How to Choose the Right Industrial Relays

The recent shortage of semiconductors has made many components, including industrial relays, more difficult to procure. In this case, you may not be able to find the relay you are looking for, and you may be forced to look for alternatives. To help you choose alternatives, this article will give you the basic information you need to know when looking for the right industrial relays.

1. Applications

Relays are classified into the following types according to their applications.

Power Relays

Mechanical Relays are mainly used for more than 3A load switches, and are suitable for power supply applications such as industrial machinery.

Signal Relays

Mechanical relays mainly used for lower than 2A load switching and suitable for signal control.

Terminal Relays

Terminal Relays integrate terminal blocks and multiple relays and are ideal as an interface between PLCs and I/O devices, contributing to reduced wiring and maintenance.

Solid State Relays (SSR)

Unlike mechanical relays, Solid State Relays do not have coils, magnetic fields, springs and mechanical contacts, but are composed of electronic components such as semiconductors.

2. Mechanical Relays vs. Solid State Relays

Mechanical Relays (include Power Relays, Signal Relays and Terminal Relays) and Solid State Relays each have their own superior characteristics.

Dimensions – To reduce the size of equipment, it is important to use compact products. Solid state relays are more compact than mechanical relays.

Lifetime – Solid-state relays have a longer lifetime than mechanical relays.

Speed and Frequency – Solid state relays enable high-speed and high-frequency opening and closing.

Shock Resistance – Solid state relays are more resistant to physical shock and vibration than mechanical relays

Multiple Contacts – While solid state relays have only limited contacts, mechanical relays offer a variety of contact configurations from which to choose

Cost – The average cost of a solid state relays are much higher than that of mechanical relays.

MISUMI offers many popular Japanese brands including Omron, Fuji Electric, and IDEC. Explore the selection with many products in-stock or reach out the the electrical team at electrical@misumiusa.com for the best lead times.

About the Author

Akira Kajihara

Akira Kajihara comes from MISUMI Japan as a Product Development Analyst. He is very familiar with Japanese electrical control parts and has been involved in the development of many major electrical product launches over his 6 years with the company. He is currently managing MISUMI's large cable assembly offering.

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