Programmable Relays

What are programmable relays?

A programmable logic relay is a multifunctional device that can act as a relay, timer, counter, and time switch all in one unit. Programmable relays are superior to basic relay logic systems as they vastly simplify control panel wiring, reduce cost (as less parts are needed) and make it much easier to troubleshoot problems. They are programmed by ladder logic, are highly reliable and have a large support base in the industry.

Programmable relays are inexpensive and often are the perfect solution - although this depends on your specific application.

Should I use a programmable logic relay or controller?

Often a machine or process needs to be automated, and the complexity of the design dictates that a basic programmable relay just can’t do the job. In this case, you may need a more powerful programmable logic controller (PLC) or even a Machine Automation Controller (MAC).

If your application has a limited amount of inputs and outputs, only requiring basic control and no advanced communications functions then the most economical solution is a programmable relay. The OMRON ZEN range of programmable relays provides relays, timers, counters, and time switches all in one unit. Ladder programming is possible using only an LCD and eight operation buttons. Software can also be used for more complex applications.

How to pick the right programmable relay for the job

When choosing a programmable relay controller, there are only a few basic factors to consider. How many inputs and outputs do you need? Do you have a requirement for analog inputs or outputs? What voltage (AC or DC) do you want to use? Do you have any requirements for communication using RS232 or RS485?

Once you have the answers to these questions, you can decide whether a programmable relay controller, programmable relay switch, relay logic controller, simple logic controller or one of OMRON’s other products is best suited for your needs.

Need help deciding? Get in touch to find out more.