Programmed Logic Controllers are used in many facets of automation control of electromechanical processes. The range of applications has expanded to include managing robotics on automotive assembly lines to controlling chemical sprayers and amusement park rides. Much of PLC circuitry is comprised of relays, and electronic circuit cards, which use DC power as their source. As PLC’s have evolved, so has the need for them to become mobile for many of their uses. Some of these mobile adaptations include incorporation into:
- Fertilizer and Paint Spray Trucks
- Weighing and Volume Measurement Instrumentation
- Sign Illumination & Control
- Fuel Cell Transportation
What makes mobility possible is the high power DC-DC converter for PLC operation. It harnesses the power of the mobile vehicle’s electrical system, and converts it to a level suitable for the PLC’s operation. The more complex the process, the more elaborate is the PLC, and the more power it consumes. When selecting a chassis mount DC-DC converter to operate a mobile system, it is important for it to possess suitable characteristics. Besides having the desired input and output nominal voltages the DC-DC converter should be capable of:
- Delivering the demanded peak power efficiently with minimum heat loss.
- An input voltage range wide enough to accommodate the voltage fluctuations in the source system while maintaining a clean and steady output.
- Operating over the temperature range of the application in any possible mounting orientation
- Withstanding the shock and vibration of the industrial environment.
- Maintaining a stable output over time.
- Easy connection and quick mounting
The most commonly used heavy duty DC-DC converters in mobile applications derive power from a 12V electrical system. High power industrial units are available in capacities of 200 Watts through 1500 Watts in conversion ratios such as 12V to 24V, 12 to 36V, 24V to 48V, and 12V to 48V just to name a few. When it comes to DC-DC converter performance in industrial processes, the key word is reliability.