Smart Relay: Basics, Function, Advantages, Applications
Look around you. Smart relays are everywhere! You can find them in lighting controls, ice-making machines, grocery store mist systems and more. And there’s a good reason: They meet all safety requirements, while at the same time saving you time and money. In this article, I will explain to you the basics of smart relays.
What is a Smart Relay?
The smart relay is a small-scale PLC designed for use in industrial environments. It is also called mini PLC or logic relay in the electrical market. This intelligent logic module is the ideal controller for simple automation tasks.
There may not be a need for too many inputs and outputs in a machine or an electrical panel. Simple operations can also be performed by programming smart relays.
The PLC measures and evaluates the events, changes, and movements in the field with various measuring devices. It then interprets it in itself and transfers it to other devices that it commands in the field. Collection and transfer of information can be done analog or digitally. For example, data from the sensor can be transferred to a valve. PLCs should be preferred if the system to be controlled is larger and requires more operations.
Smart relays have simple functions such as time relay, counter, and PTC. Smart relays are designed to simplify the electrical wiring of intelligent solutions. A smart relay is simple to implement. Its flexibility and its high performance allow users to save time and money.
The smart relay has a display used to show ladder diagrams. The programming software allows you to represent ladder diagrams in three different formats:
- Electrical symbols
- Ladder symbols
- Smart relay symbols
Advantages of Smart Relays
Smart relays have many benefits for the system such as:
- Can be used in small and medium-sized control applications.
- With their features such as a timer, counter, relay output and auxiliary contact, they reduce the number of equipment and wiring. They save time.
- LCD-displayed models are available.
- Displayed models can be programmed on the screen without any software. Alternatively, they can be programmed via software.
- Compact dimensions and low price.
- Input and output numbers can be increased with digital and analog extension modules.
- Some brands’ screens can be moved to the panel cover. Adjustment and control can also be made on the panel.
- They have an internal memory and their memory can be increased as needed.
- Communication protocols such as Modbus, Profibus and DeviceNet can be used.
- Even an operator who does not have much programming knowledge can use them easily.
Applications of Smart Relays
Smart relays have wide application areas such as:
- Industry and machinery manufacturing
- Compressor control
- Packaging machines
- Indoor applications
- Lighting and door control
- Solar and wind power plants
- Pump control
- Level control