52nd IEEE Holm Conference on Electrical Contacts
Dr. Morton Antler Lecture
Dr. Werner Johler, Senior Member IEEE
Tyco Electronics Logistics AG – Werk AXICOM Au
Au – Waedenswil, Switzerland
Electromechanical relays have been extremely successful on the market in the past years. They are reliable, robust, cost efficient and easy to use devices. This is astonishing as it has been told since semiconductor devices appeared on the market almost 50 years ago that electromechanical relays will disappear.
Reasons for this success are mainly the innovations the relay industry was able to introduce into new designs and to meet the needs of the electronic industry, telecommunication and automotive industry.
The major challenges have been the miniaturization of the relays, increasing the switching capability and reducing cost and make the products environmentally friendly at the same time.
When electromechanical relays are miniaturized following topics are of special interest and those are discussed:
- Contact reliability at reduced contact forces and contact breaking forces
- Prevention of internal and external contaminations – protection of relays
- Handling material transfer and contact erosion at reduced contact gaps
- Improving dielectric and isolation characteristics, while reducing creepage and clearance distances
- Thermal characteristics caused by heat dissipation and increased ambient temperatures
- Extended lifetime and switching capability
- Increased reliability expectations from users
- Limitations given by manufacturing
Introducing new technologies and new approaches to relay design will enable innovations in relay technology also in the future
WERNER JOHLER Werner Johler received his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the Technical University of Vienna, Austria in 1988 and his MBA in 2003.
From 1984 to 1988 he was a scientific staff member at
He has published more than 60 papers on relay technology, miniaturization of electromechanical devices, contact physics and reliability of electromechanical relays