Weidmüller’s u-mation system embraces the IoT digitally connected world

Weidmüller’s u-mation system is more than just about automation, it is a connected digital solution for a diverse range of businesses. That’s because u-mation is an automation hardware and software solution that embraces the Internet of Things (IoT) philosophy in an increasingly digitally connected world.
In South Africa, Phambili Interface is the exclusive distributor of Weidmüller’s German engineered quality connectivity and interface products in the areas of Industrial Electrical, Automation, Instrumentation and Renewable Energy, amongst others.
Weidmüller’s u-mation system is one of the cutting-edge solutions available exclusively from Phambili Interface, a proudly Bidvest company.

With u-mation you can make the leap to the “Smart Factory” by intelligently networking hardware, software and data.

According to Weidmüller, the digital transformation of industrial manufacturing is making great strides. Already, many production processes are no longer just automated, but connected to each other via a digital infrastructure, thus becoming a Cyber Physical System.
With the rise in complexity of machines and systems, there are increasing demands being placed on modern automation technology. Consequently, branched sub-systems need to be precisely integrated into complex topologies. A rapid and reliable transmission of signals and data is critical for smooth operation, however small and adaptable components which can be integrated in an application-specific manner are needed.

Weidmüller’s remote I/O systems for protection degrees IP 20 and IP 67 offers flexibility in the design and cabling of your systems; reliability in the transmission of signals and data; and very compact offerings amongst its array of digitally savvy solutions.

“You need an I/O system that allows you to work quickly and flexibly. A system that won’t leave you in the lurch as facilities become increasingly decentralised. The compact u-remote system consisting of IP20 and IP67 components offers maximum benefits and flexible use in automation. You essentially have a complete solution in your hands,” notes Peter Mc Donald, from Phambili Interface.

The overall u-mation system can be adaptable and flexible according to a business’s needs. Components of the system include u-control, u-view and u-remote units and there is a helpful u-remote News section, where one can discover the latest innovations from Weidmüller’s automation portfolio.

“The u-mation system combines high-end hardware with innovative engineering and visualisation tools for future orientated services. It also offers maximum freedom for the individual design of scalable automation solutions and corresponding services,” Mc Donald explains.

The key components of the u-mation system is explained below:

• u-control – platform independent system programming via a browser or conventional Windows based
• u-view – for brilliant visualisation for the monitoring and control of systems
• u-remote – modular I/O system for lean planning, simple installation and quick commissioning

The main u-control system, dubbed u-control 2000, can be used with all u-create software tools. Its design and tech features include:
• Being compact – 54mm width with integrated galvanically isolated supply 2 x 10 A
• Communication interfaces – with 2 x RJ45, USB and CAN connections, u-control 2000 offers full flexibility
• Clear separation – the 2-core A9 processor separates the real-time side from the non-real-time side
• Flexibility – storage of projects and data in the device on internal memory or SD card
• Safety – use of security-by-design principle as well as standard IT technologies such as VPN
• Modular – up to 64 modules can be arranged directly on the controller

In addition to the open and scalable u-control system, u-mation’s complementing u-view and u-remote products cater for businesses of different sizes and diverse operations. For instance, the u-view Multitouch-Panels that resemble an iPad/Tablet, come in basic, advanced and IPC/ Panel PC lines.

The u-view Multitouch-Panels boasts brilliant image quality; elegant and flat designs; powerful CPUs for fluent visualisation of content; intuitive touch control; and, supports web technology (HTML5). Based on the different lines, the u-view panels come in different sizes and processing capabilities.

The u-mation system’s compact u-remote IP20 and IP67 offerings have an array of safety features, which include:
• Unique on the market u-remote safe power-feed modules
• Cascadability of safety circuits
• Safe switch-off of standard output modules
• PROFIsafe modules for the PROFIBUS-DP and PROFINET fieldbuses
• Fail Safe over EtherCAT(FSoE) is designed for EtherCAT
• Safe 4DI/4DO modules combine various safety functions on only 11.5 mm width
• Easy system configuration due to less variants of safe I/O module

With u-remote News, the u-mation system allows businesses using the system to discover new automation components to enable the business to respond faster to growing complexities as the business grows. Current additional components in its automation portfolio include: a Stepper Motor Module IP20; Push-and Pull Module IP67; Multi-Protocol Module IP67; and; the Digital Input and Output Module IP20.

In addition to the hardware side, the u-mation system has a software bouquet that includes u-create web, u-create studio and u-create visu that bring the system visually to life on screen.

• u-create web – platform-independent plc and IoT system-programming
• u-create studio – all-in-one engineering tool
• u-create visu – brilliant visualisation for monitoring and control of the system

Major global corporate brands that have used u-create visu include the likes of DaimlerChrylser, Novatis, Continental and Federal Mogul amongst others.

Phambili Interface to exhibit Weidmüller’s u-mation system at the Africa Automation Fair

Phambili Interface, the exclusive and sole distributor for Weidmüller connectivity and interface products in southern Africa, will be exhibiting at the Africa Automation Fair (AFF), a tradeshow taking place in Johannesburg at the Ticketpro Dome from 4-6 June 2019.

A highlight at the Phambili stand at AFF will be Weidmüller’s perfectly coordinated IoT u-mation portfolio. The combination of modular automation hardware, innovative engineering tools, sophisticated digitalisation solutions and intelligent machine learning modes enables the connection of all levels of a process – from the sensor to the cloud.
Visit Stand A04 to find out more.

For more information contact Peter Mc Donald, Phambili Interface, +27 11 452 1930,


Smart heating solutions this winter with Voltex’s infrared heaters

Winter is approaching and what better way to warm up than with Voltex’s range of indoor and outdoor infrared heaters for the home and hospitality industries. Voltex, a leading electrical solutions supplier in South Africa with a branch and distribution network countrywide, has a wide range of infrared heaters that will not only keep you warm this winter, but are energy efficient and will allow you to bask in ‘sunlight-like’ rays.

When we talk about smart and modern ways of heating during this winter season mentioning infrared heaters is a must. These novel heaters are growing in popularity and are known to be a more effective and efficient alternative to gas, oil and convection heaters.

Why use infrared heaters?
Simply put, for a cheap and eco-friendly heating method, these heaters should be your go-to this winter. Infrared heating compared to other types of heating is characterised by a better energy rationalisation, and therefore lower costs and zero emissions.

These heaters instantly warm all necessary objects and surfaces in a room, thereby optimally using the heat produced. They do not create bothersome air recirculation, and above all, do not produce carbon monoxide or burn oxygen, making the heated environment healthier.

Infrared heating is one of the trendiest heating methods out there as they are ideal for keeping all the pleasure of efficient heating, while still respecting the environment, which according to Voltex is a huge step forward.

Along with that, they are more economical compared to gas vertical mushroom heaters and are unaffected by the wind. This has significant cost saving on your electricity. There is no gas burning smell, as it’s clean and odourless. Furthermore, the vertical gas heaters take a long time to warm up a room and the gas heat also gets lost once a door opens or in windy type conditions.

Voltex’s infrared heaters also have a 9000-hour lamp life and are virtually maintenance free. The range comes in various wattages (1500W and 2000W) and there is also a 1500W stainless steel all-weather-proof home infrared heater for coastal regions.

The home range of infrared heaters can cover between 12-16 square metres in insulated areas, while in an uninsulated area, the heat generated by the infrared heaters can reach up to 10-12 square metres. The range also includes an 850W bathroom infrared heater which is IP65 certified (splash proof) as well as patio heaters.
Furthermore, the range of restaurant and patio infrared heaters are commonly used for indoor and outdoor heating in restaurants, coffee bars or entertainment areas. Its indoor infrared restaurant heater range cover up to 16m, while outdoors the heaters cover up to 12m.

Voltex acquired Technilamp in 2016, who specialise in infrared and ultraviolet lamps, general and specialised lamps, and related equipment. Technilamp carry the widest range and the largest stock of these lamps in South Africa, and distribute nationwide.

* For more insight visit