Image Credits:  OMEGA Engineering, Inc. | Time Mark Corporation | RS Components Ltd.   Electromechanical relays are devices that complete or interrupt a circuit by physically moving electrical contacts into contact with each other.   Understanding Electromechanical Relays   Electromechanical relays are electrically operated switches used to isolate circuits or batteries, detect...
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Q & A on Electromechanical Relays

We asked our users for their input on Electromechanical Relays. Here are the results of 132 users familiar with Electromechanical Relays.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice |

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing electromechanical relay design?
18 answers
Answers:
1.High thermal rating for the winding wires. 2.Bi-metal contacts in place of silver contacts. 3.Mild steel components in place of the nickel iron (like armature, yoke and core) with better and innovative design. 4.Simple approach of the coil design for the induction coils for the Electrical reset relays. 5.Innovative and indigenous design for the flags.
~Sankaraiyer Natarajan, General Management, Bangalore, India
Especially for high end applications, overall size, high reliability switching applications necessitates hermetic seals which in turn calls for utilizing laser weld technologies. Also test requirements such as vibration,shock,fine leak tests,automated test equipments are requirements for MIL grade relays.
~Manufacturing, Cochin, India
MEMS, MEMS, MEMS. It is the only new thing in the world of EM relays in decades. They will replace most EM relays, I expect, within 10 years.
~Dan H, Research & Development, Long Beach, CA
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Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative electromechanical relays?
18 answers
Answers:
OMRON and XCOM are making MEMS devices. Coto has done a good job of cost reducing and miniaturizing reed relays. I don't see much out of the other suppliers that is all that successful, as the surface-mountability and RF performance of true EM relays is still pretty bad for anything in the tens of dollars range.
~Dan H, Research & Development, Long Beach, CA
Power Plants and Oil and Gas companies are creating the most innovative electromechanical relays.
~Eduardo G, Technical Support, Laguna, Philippines
GE and Cutler Hammer are still making Electromechanical protective relays.
~Pieter J, Test Engineer, Seymour, 06483
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Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used electromechanical relays for?
35 answers
Answers:
We are supplying the relays for all automotive applications -- flasher, wiper, radiator fan controls, grid heaters etc Industrial segments -- CMRs, for protective relays etc Consumer segments --UPS, stabilizer Defense ,Telecom & power conditioning equipments
~Lakshmi P, General Management, Kochi,Kerala, India
As safety component for audio speakers, with retarded switch-on. As safety component where the power circuit had to be physically remote from the low voltage circuitry; As a current amplifier.
~Tony Vrancken, Ex design engineer, Leuven, Belgium
Buffer between plc outputs and load, Built some relay logic controllers, Latching functions in power on off control, Safety functions
~Technical Support/Services, Cork, Ireland
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Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that electromechanical relays have been used for.
14 answers
Answers:
Pretty clever stuff right now in radar and comm instrumentation, although it's not crazy new, it's just that we are implementing things everyone talked about 5 years ago as being some sort of fantasy. Everyone is moving to reconfigurable matrices or load boards, with the same pure digital synthesis test system pretending to be whatever is needed. This is why the linearity of EM is still king, because both radar and comm is pushing linearity requirements due to clever waveform and bit stacking far more than has ever mattered before.
~Dan H, Research & Development, Long Beach, CA
1.To represent the various Make and Break contacts for the circuit breakers and thereby reduce the cost of cables run between the control panel, breaker panel and yard.
~Sankaraiyer Natarajan, General Management, Bangalore, India
In Hybrid or CNG vehicles relays are used for cutting all electricity while fuel filling.
~Lakshmi P, General Management, Kochi,Kerala, India
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Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of electromechanical relays?
10 answers
Answers:
Most disasters are associated with hot switching parts due to bad test engineering. Higher speed testing and switching happens a LOT in the time scale of human reactions. You can blow out a whole stack of load boards in a few seconds if you're clicking away at a kHz with a negative pulse instead of a positive pulse. OVERLAY YOUR WAVEFORMS. CHECK THEM TWICE (with a different person, if possible)!
~Dan H, Research & Development, Long Beach, CA
Improper use of the technologies and design with inadequate knowledge of the application requirement of the aux and trip relays. For e.g the coils of the trip relays will have to be designed carefully with respect to the individual voltage rating. Also the burden of the circuit breaker trip coil will have to coordinate with the coil rating (low burden or high burden)
~Sankaraiyer Natarajan, General Management, Bangalore, India
We required an XOR relay and selected one from the data available to us but found that its operation is not exactly correct to our requirement.
~Perera S, Design Engineer, Colombo, Sri Lanka
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FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
13 answers
Answers:
RF with true performance to 12 GHz at least. Surface mountability with a decent RF transmission line. Faster speeds so they cut down on test time. Graceful or recognizable failure mechanisms. Easy board-rework so down time on ATE systems isn't so devastating to the bottom line (30% down time right now for SMA-type switch matrix systems, that's ridiculous).
~Dan H, Research & Development, Long Beach, CA
1. Cost reduction with innovations. 2. Fast and consistent operating time for the trip and aux relays. 3. Safe and fool proof operation of the relays and flags.
~Sankaraiyer Natarajan, General Management, Bangalore, India
Super multi compact relays, high power/ current and electronic design, easy repair and replace parts.
~Engineering, Other, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using electromechanical relays?
10 answers
Answers:
Look at RF MEMS parts, they're real now (finally). Be careful of definitions of open and close time. Make your own linearity measurements if you are doing cutting edge waveforms, because stuff that didn't matter 10 years ago is a system killer now.
~Dan H, Research & Development, Long Beach, CA
Most brands are getting better and more reliable; stay with a locally stocked one because you may have to replace it [Sd D].
~Dan W, Builder/Contractor, Kitscoty Alberta, Canada
Quality should be given more importance rather than cost considering long term maintenance free services.
~Lakshmi P, General Management, Kochi,Kerala, India
Do not exceed the specifications and try to find out how they influence life time.
~Tony Vrancken, Ex design engineer, Leuven, Belgium
Digital relays cost significantly less and are usually capable of doing more.
~Pieter J, Test Engineer, Seymour, 06483
Look into the design of the contacts and coil standards.
~YC Ho, Design Engineer, Hong Kong, China
Double the contact rating above your expected load.
~Victor B, Facilities Manager, Chatsworth, Canada
Yes for the solid state electromechanical relays
~Eduardo G, Technical Support, Laguna, Philippines
Check the relay characteristics
~Perera S, Design Engineer, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Switching current
~William H, Research & Development, Heyfield, Australia

Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of electromechanical relays?
14 answers
Answers:
Buy enough parts to last your build. The smaller chip-scale packaging on MEMS and reeds is changing fast enough that if you do a design in, you might be left "less supported' a year down the road. Qualify and get your parts. . . don't trust sales and marketing guys about what/when the next gen part is, and definitely don't wait for it.
~Dan H, Research & Development, Long Beach, CA
While selection and usage of the electromechanical relays various aspects like 1. Consistent timing in operation. 2. Simple design and ease of understanding of the product by customers. 3. Versatility and compactness of the contacts and the coils. 4. Aesthetics and simplicity for the mounting on the control panel.
~Sankaraiyer Natarajan, General Management, Bangalore, India
Yes, please do not used unbranded electronic / electrical components, using of local component will put your life in danger.
~Engineering, Other, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Ensure operating times and characteristics are indeed what the situation requires prior to ordering / purchasing.
~Pieter J, Test Engineer, Seymour, 06483
Operating voltage, voltage stress, contact tip design, mechanisms, also the life expectancy.
~YC Ho, Design Engineer, Hong Kong, China
While selecting relays consider the inrush currents also in addition to load currents.
~Lakshmi P, General Management, Kochi,Kerala, India
Watch contact rating [current]. Remember they produce heat in the cabinet.
~Dan W, Builder/Contractor, Kitscoty Alberta, Canada
Prevent under sizing, never use above 2/3 of specified load.
~Cor F, Technical Support, GRand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Buy robust units. Do not be cheap.
~Victor B, Facilities Manager, Chatsworth, Canada
Verify contact ratings are correct
~Engineering, Design, Calgary, Canada
Check the relay specification
~Perera S, Design Engineer, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Check for diode protection
~William H, Research & Development, Heyfield, Australia
Yes for long operation
~Eduardo G, Technical Support, Laguna, Philippines
As in 8.
~Tony Vrancken, Ex design engineer, Leuven, Belgium


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