Programmable relays

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Programmable relays

Programmable relays are small elements of modern industrial automation. They are responsible for device control in simple machine operating systems. In industry nomenclature, they often appear as mini controllers and perform simple and cyclically repeated tasks in machine control systems.

Intelligent relays - operation

In practice, this small switching and control device partially replaces the PLC controllers. The operation of the programmable relay comes down to the generation of appropriate control signals, depending on the currently existing input signals, according to the algorithm introduced by the user (control program).

The control program is stored in the controller's memory and is used to implement the control strategy. It can be modified and frequently changed depending on current needs. Programmable relays have outputs that enable control of electrical devices supplied with 230 V AC.

Smart relays control make / break contacts via a coil. All basic and additional functions can be linked with each other and their operation can be activated at the touch of a button.

Programmable relays are programmed using computers or programming panels, which are built into the relay. The control program can also be entered via an external memory card.

Programmable relays - more and more possibilities

Logic relays are used in various industries, construction and autonomous process control systems:

  • building automation (lighting, heating, air conditioning, alarm and fire protection systems control),

  • industrial automation (controlling the operation of a small number of machines: compressors, motors and pumps, car washes, forming machines and welding machines. Decentralized control systems for medium and large machines),

  • automation in warehouses, greenhouses, fruit ripening rooms (temperature, humidity, ventilation control, sprinkling systems),

  • automation of irrigation systems (garden irrigation, pool filling systems,

  • access control systems (e.g. rooms, parking lots).

Programmable relays - application

Programmable relays used in relay-contactor control systems enable a significant simplification of the structure of management systems. The modular structure consists of a set of cooperating elements:

  • input modules - to which signals from sensors, contacts, setter units and other devices are connected. Their role is to introduce signals into the device, on the basis of which it is to execute a given control program.

  • output modules - transfer the calculated control signals to the appropriate actuators connected to the relay outputs.

  • central processing unit - containing a microprocessor, RAM data memory, and user memory. Executes the stored control algorithm based on the data read by the input modules. Then, the calculation results are transferred to the output modules in the form of control signals.

Programmable relays usually have digital outputs (relay or transistor), and some additionally also have analog outputs.

Most smart relays have a display that is used during programming and while the system is running. It shows messages and system parameters. The relay also has an operating status indicator and additional communication connectors. Graphical programming languages ​​are usually used to create applications for programmable relays: LD and FBD (using function blocks or ladder language). Programming can be carried out directly on the keyboard or by means of a PC.