On 19 June, Don Schriek will be presenting for Acal BFi at the Power Electronics Event in Den Bosch, the Netherlands. His talk will include a live demonstration. This event is the meeting place for power engineers wishing to expand their knowledge and learn from power experts.
Don is European Sales Manager at our power partner Excelsys (part of Advanced Energy since 2017). Looking ahead to the event, we asked him some questions.
1. Your presentation is about Industry 4.0 and power supplies. Can you explain why it is a good idea to combine connectivity with power supplies?
"Gathering information and doing something with it has become commonplace. This is mainly due to the capabilities, user-friendliness and low costs of contemporary IoT applications", Don says. "Expensive hardware is no longer required to be able to get a readout of a power supply. When it comes to using your product, end users find it incredibly convenient to have fast access to the key parameters of the supply, such as the temperature, voltage and current. For example, the user can tell in good time that the power supply needs to be replaced. If your product provides this insight, you're a step ahead of your competition", Don explains.
2. Our Electronic Test and Measurement partners have instruments that are used to measure power supplies. How does this differ from your readout method?
Don: "You shouldn't look at our solution as a measuring instrument. It's a hardware-based addition to power supplies, allowing readouts to be provided using software and enabling users to gain basic information on a power supply in next to no time. The readout is actually done by the power supply itself. This is simpler but less accurate than using testing and measuring equipment. The results can differ by 10% or 10 degrees. The voltage can be read out quite accurately, because there is no room for being wrong, even by 0.2 V or 0.3 V."
3. What do you think the future holds for power supplies and connectivity?
''From a technical perspective, we have been able to get readouts from power supplies for several years. However, we have now reached a point where it can be done affordably. We need to increase awareness of the approach and locate further demand in other sectors. For a simple 20-watt power supply, there is no need for a readout. However, when it comes to medical devices operating at several hundred watts, failures can have fatal consequences. If you can provide users of these medical devices with visibility of key parameters, this makes your product stand out from those of your competitors. In the field of data communication, wear can be detected in power supplies by measuring changes in voltage and current through the fans, meaning that failures can be predicted", continues Don.
"I was recently at a company that manufactures mobile phone traffic jammers. They sell to prisons, for example in South America, and their devices are intended to prevent prisoners from making mobile phone calls. The location of the prison (its proximity to towns and cities), as well as conditions such as the weather, can influence the effectiveness of the jamming signal. In locations where the signal needs to be strong enough to prevent mobile phone calls in prison, this must not affect the local population who live near the institution. Since the strength of the jamming signal is linked to the power generated by the power supply, you can understand that the ability to remotely modify the jamming power adds a great deal of value. After all, it would be impractical to have to send an engineer to South America to turn the knobs on site…" Don explains.
4. What do you want to communicate to the people who attend your presentation? What will they see?
"I want to open their eyes. It's no longer a question of buzzwords and has not been for some time. It is clear that the need to combine communications with power supplies is really taking off in all sectors. This is why I will be giving a live display of the possibilities of digital readouts for power supplies. Everyone is welcome to attend the presentation", Don says.
Come to the Power Electronics Event on 19 June in the 1931 Congress Centre in the Brabanthallen in Den Bosch. Register to attend for free here.
Before and after the presentation, Don Schriek will be happy to talk to you at the Acal BFi stand (Stand 16).