Are you familiar with the appliance sockets and plugs?

We help you select connectors and appropriate counterparts to power the device while maintaining safety, quality and ease of use.

This is an archive article published 11/27/2018. Some information may no longer be up to date and in line with the current state. Please contact us in case of interest.

Detachable power systems (Appliance couplers), according to IEC 60320, provide a great deal of flexibility and efficiency. Products must comply with the strictest safety agency requirements to ensure user safety, while responding to the increasing need for user-friendliness.

This product line plays a key role in SCHURTER's portfolio.

Detachable power connectors are used in office equipment, in measurement instruments, in IT environments, in medical devices and many other types of equipment. Therefore, each appliance's power system must be adapted to country-specific conditions (e.g. different power plugs in the US, Germany, the UK, etc.).

In contrast to hard-wired power components, detachable power systems make it easier to comply with all those diverse requirements, thereby minimizing cost and expenses in each phase of the product's life.

Terminology:

Appliance coupler means a device for connecting a flexible power supply cord to an appliance or another type of installation. An appliance coupler consists of an appliance inlet and a connector.

Power supply cord means a flexible cord fitted with a power (mains) plug and a connector, used for connecting an electrical appliance to the power supply (mains).

Interconnection cord means a structural unit consisting of a flexible cord fitted with a plug and a connector built for interconnecting or disconnecting any appliance or installation with/from any other appliance or installation using a power supply cord.

The figure below shows the fundamental differences between the various plug and socket components:

obr2242_pf336e135aca4.jpg

PEM (short for 'Power Entry Module') means a component that integrates other functional components with the actual appliance coupler such as:
• switch including integrated or remote bowden cable actuation
• circuit breaker for equipment including overload and overcurrent protection, undercurrent protection and remote triggering
• appliance fuse holder
• voltage selector
• EMC filter for standard and medical applications

Schurter distinguishes between Power Entry Modules with and without filters.

Advantages of PEM over Individual Components:
• Compact dimensions
• Only one product with pre-wired individual components
• Efficient mounting
• Alternative designs with similar dimensions
• Protected, pre-wired and tested power components

Cord retaining clamp means a mechanical device preventing an appliance coupler from inadvertently being pulled out of the socket. Typical application areas with stricter safety requirements include medical technology, stage and lighting technology as well as IT.

Safety through Coding

The standards establish the fundamental criteria governing protection class, nominal current and pin temperature as well as define various plug outlines. The purpose of plug outlines is to code the appropriate connections in a manner that: the part of an appliance coupler or interconnection coupler to be supplied with power defines the relevant safety limits. In other words, an appliance inlet can be fed only by a connector of identical or higher valency.

It is impossible, for instance, to connect a protection class II connector to a Protection Class I appliance inlet, while the opposite, i.e. connecting a protection class I connector to a Protection Class II appliance inlet, is very well possible. The same applies to the nominal current and the pin temperature. This coding plays a significant role in the safe operation of appliances and the protection against improper use.

obr2242_p2635661e91f9.jpg

Selection Criteria for Appliance Inlets and Appliance Outlets:
• Nominal/rated current / nominal/rated voltage / pin temperature / protection class
• Mounting side (front / rear)
• Mounting method (screw-on / rivet or snapin mounting)
• Terminals (push-on, rivet, solder tabs, PCB mounting, pre-fitted with stranded wires)
• Additional features such as line switch /fuse holder / voltage selector / circuit breaker for equipment / cord retaining clamp

Selection Criteria for Connectors / Plugs and Cords:
• Nominal/rated current / nominal/rated voltage / pin temperature / protection class
• Non-rewireable / rewireable components
• Colour / cross-sectional area/gauge / cord length and material
• Accessory

SOS electronic, as a partner of Schurter, offers the complete range of over 20,000 possible connections. The most common ones can be obtained from our stock, the rest is available upon request.

If you are interested in other Schurter products or if you need help, please contact us at schurter@soselectronic.com

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