Components of a PLC

Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) play a crucial role in controlling and monitoring various processes. PLCs are versatile devices designed to automate electromechanical processes, replacing traditional relay-based control systems. Understanding the key components of a PLC is essential for engineers and technicians working in automation. Generally, four main components that make up a PLC.

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What is a PLC

In the past we’ve covered PLC’s and what they are, as well has how they function.  The basic run down of a PLC is that it  is a specialized industrial computing device designed to control and automate various processes within manufacturing and industrial environments. It serves as the brain of an automated system, executing programmed instructions to manage machinery, production lines, and other electromechanical processes. PLCs offer flexibility and versatility, enabling engineers and technicians to modify and adapt control logic easily without the need for extensive rewiring or hardware changes.

At the core of a PLC is its Central Processing Unit (CPU), responsible for executing control programs stored in memory. The CPU reads and interprets the instructions, making decisions based on the programmed logic. It then sends signals to output devices such as motors, valves, and sensors. Input modules gather data from the field through various sensors and switches, converting analog or digital signals into a format that the PLC can comprehend. Conversely, output modules translate the processed information from the CPU into signals that control the physical components of the automated system.

The Four Components

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

At the heart of every PLC is the Central Processing Unit (CPU). This component is the brain of the PLC, responsible for executing control programs and processing inputs and outputs. The CPU reads the program from memory, interprets the instructions, and sends signals to the output devices based on the program’s logic. Modern PLCs come with powerful CPUs capable of handling complex control tasks and communication with other devices on the industrial network.

Input Modules

Input modules are responsible for interfacing the PLC with the external world by collecting data from various sensors and switches. These modules convert analog or digital signals from field devices into a format that the PLC can understand. Digital input modules handle binary signals (on/off). In contrast, analog input modules process continuous signals such as voltage or current. Input modules are crucial for monitoring the state of the controlled system and providing real-time feedback to the PLC’s CPU.

Output Modules

Output modules facilitate communication between the PLC and the external devices such as motors, valves, or actuators. These modules convert signals from the CPU into a form that can control the physical processes in the industrial environment. Just like input modules, there are digital output modules for binary control and analog output modules for continuous control. The accuracy and reliability of output modules are vital for ensuring that the controlled system responds appropriately to the PLC’s commands.

Memory

PLCs have two types of memory: RAM (Random Access Memory) and ROM (Read-Only Memory). RAM is used for storing the control program and data temporarily while the PLC is powered on. ROM contains the firmware and the operating system that are essential for the PLC’s functionality. The memory capacity of a PLC varies, and it is crucial to choose a PLC with sufficient memory to accommodate the complexity of the control program and the amount of data processing required.

Conclusion

Programmable Logic Controllers have revolutionized industrial automation, providing a robust and flexible solution for controlling and monitoring complex processes. Understanding the four main components of a PLC – CPU, Input Modules, Output Modules, and Memory – is fundamental for anyone working in the field of industrial automation. As technology advances, PLCs continue to evolve, incorporating new features and capabilities. Furthermore PLCs enhance their role in modern manufacturing and industrial processes.

Whole House Surge Protectors: Pros and Cons

In today’s technology-driven world, our homes are filled with a plethora of electronic devices, appliances, and smart technologies. These advancements bring convenience and efficiency, but they also make our homes more vulnerable to power surges. A sudden surge in electrical voltage can damage or destroy electronic equipment. This leads to expensive repairs and replacements. For this reason, whole house surge protectors are an essential line of defense.

Read more: Whole House Surge Protectors: Pros and Cons

What Happens During a Power Surge

A power surge is a rapid and temporary increase in voltage that exceeds the standard flow of electrical current in your home’s wiring. These surges can result from various sources like, lightning and power grid fluctuations. While minor surges may go unnoticed, repeated exposure to these events or a severe surge can cause irreparable damage to sensitive electronics.

What Goes Into a Whole House Surge Protector

The device on the right is an example of a whole house surge protector.

Whole house surge protectors are advanced devices designed to safeguard your entire home from power surges. Unlike individual surge protectors that you plug into outlets, whole house surge protectors are installed at your main electrical panel. Their primary purpose is to intercept and divert excess voltage away from your home’s wiring. This ensures sensitive electronic devices receive a consistently safe level of power.

The Pros of a Whole House Surge Protector

  1. Comprehensive Protection: Whole house surge protectors safeguard all appliances and devices connected to your home’s electrical system.
  2. Increased Device Lifespan: Whole house surge protectors extend the lifespan of electronic devices, reducing the need for costly replacements.
  3. Ease of Installation: Professional electricians can install whole house surge protectors directly into the main electrical panel fairly easily.
  4. Fire Prevention: Whole house surge protectors contribute to fire prevention by mitigating the potential for electrical overloads that could lead to fires.
  5. Insurance Benefits: Some insurance providers may offer premium discounts to homeowners who install whole house surge protectors, recognizing the reduced risk of electrical damage.
  6. Appliance Compatibility: Whole house surge protectors are compatible with all appliances and devices connected to your home’s electrical system, ensuring consistent protection throughout the house.

The Cons of Whole House Surge Protector

  1. Initial Cost: Whole house surge protectors have a higher upfront cost compared to individual surge protectors. However, this cost may be offset by the comprehensive protection they offer.
  2. Professional Installation: Installation of whole house surge protectors typically requires a licensed electrician, adding to the overall cost. Attempting DIY installation without the necessary expertise can lead to safety hazards and ineffective protection.
  3. Limited Protection from External Sources: While whole house surge protectors are effective against internal surges originating from within the home, they may provide limited protection against extremely powerful external sources, such as a direct lightning strike.
  4. Maintenance and Replacement: Surge protectors, like any electrical device, may require periodic maintenance or replacement to ensure optimal performance. This can result in additional costs over time.
  5. Not a Guarantee Against All Surges: While whole house surge protectors significantly reduce the risk of damage from power surges, they cannot guarantee absolute protection against all types of surges or catastrophic events.
  6. Compatibility with Older Wiring: In some cases, homes with outdated or incompatible wiring may face challenges in integrating whole house surge protectors. Upgrading the wiring may be necessary for optimal functionality.
  7. Limited Effectiveness in Certain Scenarios: In extremely severe cases, such as a direct lightning strike on the power lines, whole house surge protectors may not provide complete protection. However, they can still offer a substantial level of defense in many situations.

Conclusion

Before investing in a whole house surge protector, it’s essential to weigh these pros and cons based on your specific needs, budget, and the electrical characteristics of your home. Consulting with a professional electrician can help determine the most suitable surge protection solution for your circumstances.

Unraveling Motor Spindle Speeds

When talking about motor spindles and CNC in industrial automation, it is natural to think that speed is the important thing to emphasize.  After all, a lot of industrial automation centers around large scale production who’s business model involves getting things made quickly.  However, speed has proven to not be the sole factor in efficient production. Varying tasks requires different speeds to complete them.  Furthermore, what speed works for one task does not necessarily work for another.

Read more: Unraveling Motor Spindle Speeds

Varying Speed Advantages

A VFD is used to control the speed of spindle motors.

Today it is very commonplace for CNC machines to run varying speeds depending on what task needs completing. Different speeds come with different advantages when dealing with motor spindles completing specific jobs. As a result, CNC machines needs to have complete variable control.

Slow Speed

In applications where precision is paramount, low motor spindle speeds are often preferred. This is particularly true in industries like aerospace and medical manufacturing, where intricate parts require meticulous machining. Low speeds also, allow for precise material removal, reducing the risk of damage to delicate components. This is crucial in applications such as milling, drilling, and engraving.

Medium Speed

Medium spindle speeds find their place in applications that require a balance between precision and efficiency. Industries like automotive manufacturing often benefit from medium-speed machining processes. These speeds are suitable for a wide range of materials and can handle various cutting tools effectively. Medium speeds are commonly employed in generic tasks like turning, threading, and grinding.

High Speed

High-speed motor spindles are the driving force behind highly productive manufacturing processes. Industries focused on mass production, such as electronics and consumer goods, rely on high-speed machining for efficiency. Rapid material removal rates and reduced cycle times make high spindle speeds ideal for tasks like milling, drilling, and routing. The ability to process materials quickly without sacrificing quality is a key advantage in these applications.

The Need for Variable Speeds

Spindle motors running at low speed are ideal for precise task, such as engraving.

Many modern CNC machines feature variable-speed motor spindles, allowing for dynamic adjustments based on specific requirements. This adaptability is particularly beneficial in environments where multiple materials or machining processes are involved. Variable speeds enable operators to optimize performance for different tasks within a single machining operation, enhancing overall efficiency and reducing setup times.

Motor spindle speeds also play a crucial role in managing heat generation during machining. In some applications, especially those involving hard materials, excessive heat can lead to tool wear and reduced tool life. Adjusting spindle speeds allows for better control over the heat generated during machining, promoting longer tool life and maintaining the integrity of the machined components.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the diverse motor spindle speeds available in industrial automation provide a spectrum of options for manufacturers to tailor their machining processes to specific needs. Understanding and effectively controlling motor spindle speeds are essential for optimizing manufacturing operations in industrial automation today. As technology advances, the integration of smart systems and real-time monitoring will further enhance the efficiency and adaptability of motor spindle speed control in industrial automation.

Components and Functions of a CNC Machine

Since the mid-twentieth century Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines have revolutionized the manufacturing industry. They have done so by automating and enhancing precision in the production of various components. Industries that often use them include aerospace, automotive, and electronics to create intricate and accurate parts.

Read more: Components and Functions of a CNC Machine

Function

A CNC machine is basically a sophisticated tool that translates digital instructions into precise physical movements. It allows the user to interface with

The primary functions of a CNC machine include:

  1. Digital Control: Computer programs that dictate the tool’s movements and actions. These programs contain detailed instructions for the machining process.
  2. Automated Precision: One of the key advantages of CNC machines is their ability to execute repetitive tasks with unparalleled precision. The automation eliminates the margin of error associated with manual operations, resulting in consistently high-quality products.
  3. Versatility: CNC machines can perform a wide range of tasks, from cutting and milling to drilling and engraving. Their versatility makes them indispensable in various manufacturing processes.

History

The roots of CNC technology can be found in the development of numerical control systems during the mid-twentieth century. Around this time, the aviation industry emerged as a significant catalyst for CNC innovation. Engineers sought a more efficient and precise way to machine complex components for aircraft. This led to the birth of numerical control as a solution to automate machine tools.

Early example of a CNC Machine

The 1940’s kicked off the history of the CNC machine with the introduction of punched tape systems. These systems allowed engineers to input numerical instructions into machine tools, automating certain aspects of the machining process. It wasn’t until the 1950s that the concept of CNC truly began to take shape. John T. Parsons, often regarded as the father of CNC, played a pivotal role in advancing the technology. Parsons, along with Frank L. Stulen, developed the concept of controlling machine tools through punched cards, laying the groundwork for the CNC machines we know today.

During the 1960s, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) introduced the concept of direct numerical control (DNC). As the technology matured, industries beyond aviation started adopting CNC machines. The 1970s saw the integration of computers into CNC systems, allowing for more sophisticated programming and control. This integration, allowed the machines to become increasingly versatile and accessible. This led to widespread CNC adoption across various manufacturing sectors.

Example of modern CNC machine. Note the digitalized control panel

CNC machines evolved beyond milling to encompass a wide range of machining operations. This includes turning, grinding, and electrical discharge machining (EDM). Presently, CNC machines are at the forefront of advanced manufacturing, shaping industries ranging from automotive and aerospace to electronics and healthcare.

Parts

While there are varying models and designs, CNC machines generally are made of several different parts. These parts are crucial to the function of the CNC.

  1. Control Unit:
    • Computer: The brain of the CNC machine, the computer processes the instructions from the program and translates them into electrical signals.
    • Control Panel: Operators use the control panel to input data, set parameters, and monitor the machine’s performance.
  2. Drive System:
    • Motors: Drives the movement of the cutting tool along the specified path. Common types include stepper motors and servo motors.
    • Ball Screws/Rack and Pinion: These components convert the rotational motion of the motors into linear motion, guiding the tool precisely along the desired path.
  3. Tooling System:
    • Cutting Tool: The cutting tool is an essential component that physically shapes the material. Different tools are used for various machining operations.
    • Tool Changer: In machining processes that require multiple tools, a tool changer automates the process of switching between tools.
  4. Work Holding Device:
    • Vise or Chuck: The workholding device secures the raw material in place during machining. It ensures stability and accuracy throughout the cutting process.
  5. Coolant System:
    • Coolant Tank and Pump: Machining generates heat, and a coolant system helps dissipate this heat, preventing damage to the tool and workpiece. It also aids in chip removal.
  6. Axis System:
    • Linear Guides: These guides facilitate the smooth movement of the machine’s axes. They play a crucial role in maintaining accuracy during machining.
    • Axis Motors: CNC machines typically operate in three or more axes (X, Y, Z), and each axis has its motor for precise control.

Conclusion

Understanding the functions and components of a CNC machine is essential for those involved in the design and operation of these advanced manufacturing tools. As technology continues to advance, CNC machines are likely to play an even more pivotal role in shaping the future of manufacturing processes.

Troubleshooting Schneider Electric Magelis HMIs

Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs) play a crucial role in modern industrial automation, allowing operators to monitor and control various processes. Schneider Electric’s Magelis HMIs are renowned for their reliability and performance. However, like any technology, they can encounter issues that require troubleshooting. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore common problems with Schneider Electric Magelis HMIs and provide step-by-step solutions to help you keep your operations running smoothly.

Schneider Electric XBTGT5330

Understanding Schneider Electric Magelis HMIs

Before diving into troubleshooting, it’s essential to have a basic understanding of Schneider Electric Magelis HMIs. These devices are used in a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, energy, and infrastructure. They provide an intuitive interface for operators to interact with machines, view real-time data, and make informed decisions.

Magelis HMIs come in various models and sizes, from compact panels to advanced touchscreens. They are known for their robustness, high-quality displays, and compatibility with Schneider Electric’s automation solutions. However, even the best HMIs can face issues, and knowing how to troubleshoot them can save time and resources.

Common Schneider Electric Magelis HMI Issues

1. HMI Display Problems

Symptom:

  • Blank or distorted screen.
  • Touchscreen not responding.
  • Flickering or frozen display.

Solution:

  1. Check Power Supply: Ensure the HMI is receiving adequate power. Verify connections to the power source and power supply unit.
  2. Screen Calibration: If the touchscreen is unresponsive or inaccurate, recalibrate it following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Graphics Driver: Update the graphics driver to the latest version compatible with your HMI model.
  4. Hardware Issues: Inspect the HMI for physical damage or loose connections. Replace damaged components if necessary.

2. Communication Problems

Symptom:

  • HMI unable to communicate with PLC or other devices.
  • Error messages related to communication.

Solution:

  1. Check Cables and Connections: Verify that all cables and connections between the HMI and other devices (PLC, sensors, etc.) are secure and undamaged.
  2. Communication Settings: Ensure that the communication settings (baud rate, protocol, IP addresses) on the HMI match those of the connected devices.
  3. Firewall and Security: Disable or adjust firewall settings on networked devices to allow communication.
  4. Network Troubleshooting: If using a networked HMI, diagnose network issues such as IP conflicts or network congestion.

3. Software and Programming Errors

Symptom:

  • Unexpected program crashes or errors.
  • Incorrect data displayed on the HMI.

Solution:

  1. Software Updates: Make sure you are using the latest version of the HMI software. Update if necessary.
  2. Check Logic and Scripting: Review and debug the logic and scripts used in your HMI application. Ensure they are error-free.
  3. Backup and Restore: Regularly backup your HMI project. If issues arise, you can restore from a known-good backup.
  4. Memory Management: Check available memory on the HMI. Clear unnecessary files and logs that might be consuming resources.

4. Hardware Failures

Symptom:

  • HMI hardware components (buttons, LEDs, etc.) not functioning correctly.
  • Unusual noises or smells from the HMI.

Solution:

  1. Component Replacement: If specific hardware components are malfunctioning, replace them with compatible parts.
  2. Overheating: Check for overheating issues by ensuring proper ventilation. Clean any dust or debris that might be blocking airflow.
  3. Inspect Internal Components: If comfortable with electronics, open the HMI enclosure (if applicable) and inspect internal components for damage or loose connections.

5. Security Concerns

Symptom:

  • Unauthorized access to the HMI.
  • Concerns about cybersecurity threats.

Solution:

  1. Password Protection: Ensure that your HMI is password-protected. Change default passwords and enforce strong password policies.
  2. Firewall and Security Measures: Implement firewalls, access control lists, and other security measures to protect your HMI from external threats.
  3. Regular Updates: Keep the HMI software and firmware up to date to patch security vulnerabilities.
Schneider Electric HMIGTO5310 HMI

Advanced Troubleshooting Techniques

For more complex issues that cannot be resolved using the above solutions, consider these advanced troubleshooting techniques:

  1. Log Analysis: Examine system logs and error messages to identify the root cause of the problem.
  2. Factory Reset: As a last resort, perform a factory reset of the HMI, but only after backing up essential data.
  3. Technical Support: Contact Schneider Electric’s technical support or consult their knowledge base for assistance with specific issues.
  4. Hardware Diagnostics: Use diagnostic tools and equipment to test the HMI’s hardware components thoroughly.

Preventive Maintenance

Preventing issues is as important as troubleshooting them. Here are some preventive maintenance tips for Schneider Electric Magelis HMIs:

  1. Regularly clean the touchscreen and enclosure to prevent dust and dirt buildup.
  2. Monitor system logs and performance regularly to catch issues before they become critical.
  3. Update software and firmware as recommended by Schneider Electric.
  4. Train operators and maintenance personnel on proper HMI usage and basic troubleshooting.

Conclusion

Schneider Electric Magelis HMIs are vital components in industrial automation and keeping them in optimal condition is crucial for efficient operations. With the troubleshooting techniques and preventive maintenance tips outlined in this guide, you’ll be better equipped to address common HMI issues and ensure the continued success of your automation processes. Remember, when in doubt, consult Schneider Electric’s technical support for expert assistance.

Title Graphic About the Most and Longest Power Outages by U.S. State

States with the Most and Longest Power Outages

Title Graphic About the Most and Longest Power Outages by U.S. State

With the constant threat of severe storms, losing power is an inconvenience homeowners and businesses alike can expect. Tropical Storm Risk predicts hurricane activity in the North Atlantic this year could be 50% above the last 50-year norm. Understanding which states are most affected by power outages can help residents better prepare when their electricity fails.

At MRO Electric, we wanted to determine which U.S. states are most at risk of power outages. To find out, we analyzed data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration to determine the average frequency and duration of power outages in each state. Specifically, we used outage data from their annual reports for the last five years (2018-2022). Keep reading to see how your state stacks up.

The U.S. States with the Most and Least Power Outages

With the most annual power outages, Maine is surely left in the dark. The Pine Tree State tops the list with an average of 4.35 power outages every year, a stark increase above the national average of 1.62 per year.

Given that severe weather can lead to outages, it is no surprise that Louisiana is ranked third on our list. According to the National Hurricane Center and USAFacts, Louisiana is one of the most hurricane and tornado-prone states, and with about 2.78 power outages a year, it is not hard to see what is causing these blackouts.

Mississippi, with the most annual tornadoes on average, and Florida, the most hurricane-prone state, also suffer from outages with 2.25 and 2.18 outages per year on average, respectively. The South, with its frequent severe storms, was the region with the most power outages on average and these states certainly contributed. Comparatively, the South experiences about 1.97 power outages a year, the Northeast encounters about 1.64, the West has about 1.50 on average, and the Midwest comes in last with about 1.31 power outages in a year.

The District of Columbia suffered the least from power outages, with about 0.47 per year on average. Utah and Wisconsin are close second and third with 0.60 and 0.75 annual outages, respectively.

Another factor that should be considered when determining the severity of a power outage is how long the outage lasts. Now, let’s take a look at which states had the longest and shortest power outage durations.

The U.S. States with the Longest & Shortest Power Outages

As mentioned earlier, Louisiana is a hurricane and tornado-prone state. This may be why Louisiana has the longest average annual power outages of any state, with an annual average of more than a full day without power (24 hours and 54 minutes), which is four times the national average of 6 hours. Following Louisiana, Maine, with the most average annual outages, also had some of the longest outages lasting up to nearly 16 hours.

Once again, D.C. fares well in terms of outages and has the shortest average annual power outage duration at only an hour of no power on average, which is just a fraction of what Louisiana suffers. Delaware (1 hour and 42 minutes) and Utah (1 hour and 54 minutes) follow, with an average power outage duration of less than two hours. To see more averages of power outage duration, see the map above.

Let’s Shed Some More Light on the Matter…

When evaluating frequency and duration patterns of power outages, major event days (MED), are occurrences that are factored in and necessary for understanding the severity of each. Major event days are defined as any day where outage metrics exceed normal averages. While these can sometimes be attributed to hackers, cyber attacks, and other anomalies, they are usually caused by severe weather patterns like hurricanes and blizzards.

To take a closer look at these power outage metrics across the country, hover over each state in the interactive map below. Find out what you can expect for where you call home.

Closing Thoughts

With the uncertainty of power grid reliability by state in inclement weather, access to quality repairs on weather-damaged parts or new parts is essential. MRO Electric ensures that power outages do not hinder progress by providing experienced service in repairs and same-day delivery of industrial automation supplies.

Methodology

To determine which U.S. states are most at risk of power outages, we analyzed data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) to find out the average frequency and duration of power outages in each state. We used outage data from their annual reports for the last five years (2018-2022). We collected the average duration (SAIDI) and frequency (SAIFI) of outages in each state per year. Then, we aggregated the data into 5-year averages for each state.

We included major event days (MEDs) data in the calculations to ensure we included the most accurate average duration and length of outages per year. A common example of a MED is a serious weather event. Hawaii could not be included in this list due to insufficient data for 2022 and 2021.

Surge Protectors Vs Power Strips

In a world full of misinformation and misconception, people tend to overlook one bit of knowledge. This specific misinformation manifests in the form of two specific objects, commonly found at home and at work. These objects hide under your bed. They lie forgotten about in the crevice behind your office desk. Heck! You may even find two to three of them daisy-chained together by some rabbel-rouser rebelling against OSHA!

Of course, I am talking about power strip and surge protectors. At a glance they both look and function in a similar way. However, once you get the past the surface level similarities, the differences begin to reveal themselves. At this point the importance of knowing the difference becomes very clear.

Read more: Surge Protectors Vs Power Strips

History

Power Strip

The history of the power strip traces back to the early 20th century. The increase demand for electricity in homes and workplaces made it necessary to have a way to power more devices. The earliest patent for a power strip dates back to 1929. As more electronic devices and appliances became integral to daily life, the need for additional electrical outlets became apparent. The earliest power strips were simple extensions of existing electrical wiring. They offered a convenient way to power multiple devices from a single wall outlet. These early versions were rudimentary, often lacking safety features and surge protection.

Advancements in electrical engineering led to the integration of safety features. These included circuit breakers and individual switches for each outlet. The 1970s saw the update and release of the power strip type that we all know today. With the rise of computers, home entertainment systems, and an increasing number of electronic gadgets, power strips became ubiquitous in households and offices. They played a pivotal role in managing the complex web of cords. They also provided a centralized power source for various devices. Power strips continue to evolve, incorporating smart technologies and energy-efficient designs.

Surge Protector

As more sensitive electronic equipment like computers and televisions became commonplace, the vulnerability of these devices became evident. Surge protectors emerged as a response to this challenge, aiming to mitigate the risks associated with power fluctuations. Early surge protectors were rudimentary. They often utilized devices like metal oxide varistors (MOVs) to redirect excess voltage away from connected devices. However, these early models lacked the sophistication and comprehensive protection features seen in modern surge protectors.

As technology advanced and electronic devices became more intricate and expensive, surge protectors evolved to offer enhanced protective mechanisms. Throughout the latter half of the 20th century and into the 21st century, surge protectors integrated advanced technologies, such as transient voltage suppressors and thermal fuses, to provide more robust defense against power surges. The growing awareness of the importance of surge protection has led to the widespread adoption of surge protectors in homes, offices, and industrial settings. Today’s surge protectors not only shield devices from voltage spikes. They also often include additional features like USB ports and smart functionalities to meet the diverse needs of contemporary users.

So What’s the Difference?

As mentioned above, at an initial glance power strips and surge protectors may seem like interchangeable jargon for the same item. However, the difference between them lies in their functionality and purpose. Power strips function as a tool for allowing power to multiple devices at once. The modern conception used today comprises of a multi-outlet strip with a power switch installed. Power strips serve multitude of uses across various industries. Shops utilize them for being able to use multiple power tools at the same time. Offices use them to hook multiple computer components. In the home they are often found in the living room powering the entire family entertainment system.

While the surge protector essentially finds itself used in the same way that the power strip does. Unlike the power strip, the surge protector has the added bonus of being able to actually protect devices if there is a voltage spike. Often these spikes (more commonly referred to as surges) come from things lightning strikes or power outages. It is often advised that all expensive and sensitive devices be connected to a surge protector as to ensure their longevity.

Conclusion

Understanding the disparity between power strips and surge protectors is vital for making informed decisions about the safety of your electronic devices. While power strips offer convenience, surge protectors provide essential protection against unexpected voltage fluctuations, ensuring the longevity and functionality of your valuable electronics. Finally, if you are trying to buy a surge protector make sure to read the box fully to ensure you are not buying a power strip.