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Terminal system aims to capture 20% of UK market
Published:  02 May, 2009

ABB has launched a new terminal block system with the aim of more than doubling its share of the £40m UK market to at least 20% by 2012.  The SNK system – ABB’s first new system since it bought Entrelec in 2001 – reduces dramatically the number of terminals and accessories from around 900 with the previous generation to just 220 parts, simplifying selection and reducing stockholding for users.

James Haigh, general manager of ABB’s Low Voltage Products division in the UK, asserts that the new range is 75% smaller than most competitors’ offerings. For example, there are just three end-plates (with one covering all terminals up to 16mm2), compared to up to 30 for some rival systems.

Another attraction of the new system is that the terminal widths have been reduced by up to 3mm, saving up to 25% of the space needed for a typical installation, and allowing smaller enclosures to be used. Haigh says that the 4mm2 terminals are the same size as some rival suppliers’ 2.5mm2 models.

Particular effort has gone into offering a wide choice of marking options, including pre-printed versions and blank markers that can printed using an office printer, or hand-written. The terminals have an asymmetrical design that allows markers to be read from any angle, while a patented flat marker space increases the available marker area by 20%. The SNK markers separate when installed, allowing users to remove and replace a single block.

The range, protected by seven patents, includes feed-through terminals in sizes from 4–95mm2 that accept wires down to 0.2mm2, and double-deck and disconnect versions in 4 and 6mm2 sizes. There are also fuse terminals that accept 5 x 20mm and 5 x 25mm fuses. They meet all of the main conformity assessment standards, eliminating the need for separate blocks for each standard.

Up to two cables, with or without ferrules, can be fitted to each terminal and up to ten blocks can be locked into place at a time. An anti-release screw design prevents wires from becoming loose.

Haigh reports that in its first month on the UK market, the new system has generated sales worth around £250,000.

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