NI Offers New Switching Relays for Compact FieldPoint, LabVIEW Control

9/3/2003 - National Instruments announced two new electromechanical relay modules for Compact FieldPoint and LabVIEW Real-Time control applications. With the cFP-RLY-421 and the cFP-RLY-423, control and design engineers can perform relay switching on high and low-voltage AC or DC signals.

Because these small, rugged switching relay modules can withstand high shock, vibration and wide temperature ranges, control and design engineers now can control indicator lights, external relays, motors and power circuits in harsh environments, including embedded machine control, industrial automation and in-vehicle data logging applications. The cFP-RLY-421 includes eight Form A, single-pole-single-throw (SPST) relays for switching high or low-voltage AC or DC signals. The cFP-RLY-423 delivers four Form C, single-pole-double-throw (SPDT) relays for more specialized applications, such as rerouting signals to reverse the polarity of a motor.

Because each channel on the modules uses a relay with a separate ground plane, engineers can switch signals with different voltage potentials. For example, control and design engineers can connect one channel to a 24-volt DC panel indicator light and another channel on the same module to a 250 VAC motor control relay. Using these integrated relay modules rather than traditional external relays, engineers can reduce wiring time and save space in embedded applications. With the cFP-RLY-421 and cFP-RLY-423, engineers can switch up to 250 VAC or 35 VDC at 1.5 A, and up to 250 VDC at lower current levels.

About Compact FieldPoint
Industry analysts categorize Compact FieldPoint with a new line of products called programmable automation controllers (PACs) ( that combine the reliability and ruggedness of the PLC with the software functionality and flexibility of an industrial PC. Unlike PLCs, control and design engineers can use Compact FieldPoint and easy-to-use LabVIEW software to efficiently perform analog control and custom calculations. Using PACs, control and design engineers can perform analog and discrete control, user-defined data logging, Web-enabled applications, and advanced control algorithms. Compact FieldPoint is ideal for high-vibration applications, withstanding 50 g of shock and 5 g of RMS vibration, even when mounted on heavy machinery or in vehicles. Compact FieldPoint operates in temperatures ranging from -25 C to 60 C, enabling users to run embedded LabVIEW applications in extreme environments where many industrial PCs fail.

About National Instruments
National Instruments ( is a technology pioneer and leader in virtual instrumentation -- a revolutionary concept that has changed the way engineers and scientists approach measurement and automation. Leveraging the PC and its related technologies, virtual instrumentation increases productivity and lowers costs for customers worldwide through easy-to-integrate software, such as the NI LabVIEW graphical development environment, and modular hardware, such as PXI modules for data acquisition, instrument control and machine vision. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has more than 3,000 employees and direct operations in 40 countries. In 2002, the company sold products to more than 25,000 different companies in more than 80 countries around the world. For the past four consecutive years, FORTUNE magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.

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