Industry Article

Key Factors in Selecting a DIN Rail Power Solution

What are DIN Rail power solutions, and where do you need them in your facility?

According to data compiled by Statista, the factory automation and industrial controls market amounted to approximately $164 billion in 2017 and is expected to grow to $262 billion by 2023. This increasing need for industrial automation has been driven by several circumstances, including the growing popularity of Industry 4.0, and a serious labor shortage, not to mention the more recent impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on manufacturing.


AC-DC DIN Rail Power Supply. Image used courtesy of MEAN WELL


With the growth of industrial automation comes a need for DIN Rail power solutions, including AC-DC power supplies, DC-DC converters, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), and the necessary accessories.


UPS Power Solutions for Industrial Robotic Arms

Robotic arms are one of the most common and well-known industrial automation applications. These robots serve many purposes, including machine loading, material removal, palletizing, part selection, and packaging, and they serve as a good example of the need for effective power solutions. These robots typically depend on DIN Rail power supplies and converters.

An industrial robot arm, for example, requires both an AC-DC power supply for normal operation as well as a DC-DC stage to charge the battery during normal operation via the UPS module. During AC power loss, the traditional solution for providing backup power is a system composed of the battery, UPS, and DC-DC converter. 


A robotic arm that can "park" the moving parts into position.


A reliable backup power source is vital for industrial robot arms to “park” the moving parts in a safe position and save information about the production stage and progress. However, a DBUF buffer module can be used in place of the Battery, UPS, and DC-DC system—as long as only a small amount of backup power is required for saving the production stage and progress. 

Some rail-mounted UPS modules also enable a DIN Rail-mounted UPS system, redundancy modules that provide reliable backup for mission-critical systems, inrush current limiters that suppress current spikes during system power-ups, and buffer modules that act as temporary backup power solutions during emergencies.

In addition, a few notable uses for DC-DC DIN Rail power solutions include DC voltage regulation, additional system isolation, or voltage compensation; they are suitable for all types of industrial, security, railway control, and communication applications.


Selecting a DIN Rail Power Solution

Certain basic characteristics serve as the foundation for choosing a DIN Rail power solution for industrial automation, such as:

  • mechanical dimensions
  • wiring
  • connection
  • input voltage range (which may vary according to country)
  • PFC (power factor correction),
  • and others. 


Beyond that, there are additional factors that may come into play.


Standards Compliance

One such factor is compliance with applicable standards, including UL 508, UL 60950-1, UL 62368-1restriction of hazardous substances directive (RoHS), and REACH. Some environments may require Class I, Division 2 Hazardous Location certification if ignitable gas, liquids, or vapors could be present under abnormal conditions and pose a serious risk.


A DIN Rail with screws on a mounting plate. 


EMC Testing

Also, keep in mind that certain applications may require EN55022 or EN55011 electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) testing and compliance. This is common in environments where electromagnetic interference could compromise the safety and performance of highly EMI-sensitive analog, digital, and RF/microwave electronics.

In addition, some engineers may use a fixed switching frequency to avoid potential interference with system clock frequencies.


Thermal Considerations

Thermal considerations are also important: While built-in safety measures can prevent overloading, not all heat generation can be avoided. One reason why DIN Rail power solutions have become increasingly popular lies in their ability to remain at a reasonable temperature without requiring forced air cooling, which depends heavily on the efficiency of the chosen power supply.

The growth of industrial automation requires DIN Rail total power solutions to offer everything engineers need to implement compact, efficient, and dependable solutions. In addition to industrial automation, DIN Rail power solutions can be used in security, telecommunication, transportation, energy management, household automation, and HVAC systems

MEAN WELL products are known for their reliability, quality, and straightforward design. Their DIN Rail power solutions are simple to install and integrate into existing systems and can be used in a variety of industrial automation applications. As MEAN WELL's leading authorized distributor in North America, Sager Electronics has the most extensive product line of MEAN WELL power solutions in stock, which means that engineers can find AC-DC and DC-DC solutions along with all necessary accessories from one place. Whether the design constraints include the need for an ultra-slim cabinet design, extremely high efficiency, or limited budgets, MEAN WELL has the DIN Rail power solution.