Thursday, August 16, 2007

FAQ Modular power supplies

I often get asked the same questions by our customers concerning Modular Power Supplies that I thought it would be helpful to list them here:

Q) What is a Modular Power Supply?
A) A Modular Power Supply is one that is assembled using a variety of pre-built building blocks (modules). This gives the customer a maximum choice for his voltage, current, signals & case style.

Q) What is the minimum quantity I have to buy?
A) At Lambda you can buy as few as one. Their modular power supplies are built using sophisticated manufacturing methods. The bills of materials are automatically generated, fed down to the shop floor and then quickly assembled using pre-built assemblies. Stock of the pre-built assemblies is managed by Kan Ban methods that trigger replenishment orders from the various workcells in the facility.

Q) Is there a set up charge for production?
A) None

Q) How long does it take to get all the safety approvals?
A) A good modular power supply series has all the safety certifications in-place to cover all of the potential configurations. Often these include EN61010 (test & measurement) and EN60601 (medical) certifications.

Q) How soon can I get a unit?
A) Because the modular units use pre-built assemblies, lead-time can be as short as 48 hours. Several US distributors have arrangements with power supply manufacturers to do the assembly. These are often called VARs (Value Added Resellers). Lambda has several VARs who can quickly build supplies to your needs.

Q) Are these units expensive?
A) Not really. Prices have dropped substantially since 1980 when Lambda first introduced modular supplies. It is not unheard of for our customers to be using in excess of 1000 units/year.

Q) Why should I use a modular over a modified standard or custom?
A) As these modular products are sold to a huge number of different customers, who are using them over a wide range of applications, the likelihood of a problem is minimal. With a custom or modified standard that risk goes up dramatically as you will be the "beta" site.

Q) Can I get odd output voltages?
A) Yes, many output "modules" feature a wide adjustment range, often 2:1. Recently, we had a customer ask for five (5) floating 18V outputs and we were able to meet their needs with a modular power supply.

If you have any questions regarding Modular Power Supplies, please let us know.

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