bisco industries Blog

What is a Disconnect Switch?


Disconnect switches (also known as isolator switches, safety switches, and load break switches) are used to isolate electrical circuits by interrupting the flow of electrical current. By quickly stopping the flow of power, disconnect switches allow for emergency shutdowns, switching to alternate power sources, and maintenance.

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What is a Terminal Block?

Terminal blocks function as convenient connection points for electrical wires while avoiding the need for wires to be spliced together. At the most basic level a terminal block is a strip of molded plastic fitted with metal plates and screws. Each connection point (terminal) features a metal plate and two parallel screws which conduct electricity and secure the wires in place. Connections are formed when the wires (typically outfitted with terminal lugs) are clamped between the screws and the conductor plate. Terminal blocks are also available in more complex configurations which provide features like spring clamp terminals and din rail mounting. Related products include euroblocks (European style terminal blocks) and power blocks.

Common Terminal Block Configurations

  • Din Rail Mounted Terminal Blocks
  • Double Row Terminal Blocks
  • Single Row Terminal Blocks
  • Feed Thru Stud Terminal Blocks
  • Barrier Terminal Blocks

Leading Terminal Block Manufacturers


For more information about terminal blocks check out resources from manufacturers like ABB and Marathon. Have a question? Contact bisco’s customer support team anytime.

ABB Analyzers Help Forecast Weather

Tonight’s weather forecast brought to you by ABB! Hundreds and thousands of miles above earth, satellites equipped with ABB analyzers help monitor the earth’s atmosphere and forecast weather. The data compiled helps predict atmospheric changes and provides early warnings of extreme weather conditions like increased rainfall and powerful storms.

Over the past few decades the atmosphere’s chemical composition has been rapidly changing due to emissions. The consequences could be profound, including a significant increase in the earth’s temperature. The data collected by the ABB equipped satellites helps scientists better understand the gas composition of the atmosphere and provides information for weather forecasting, greenhouse gas and pollution monitoring, ozone depletion and climate change studies.

In the last 20 years, ABB has contributed dozens of optical instruments to satellite missions sponsored by NASA, universities and major space exploration agencies. This ABB initiative is just another example how ABB strives to make a global impact with their product and technology. bisco industries is proud to be an authorized stocking distributor of ABB Low Voltage products. Contact our customer service team to learn more about ABB diverse products or visit our website to find pricing and availability.

What is a Circuit Breaker?

Circuit breakers act as automatic switches that prevent damage from spikes in electrical current or the incorrect flow of electrical current (short circuit). Circuit breakers do this by detecting irregularities in the flow of electricity, interrupting the current and then controlling the current arc. Interruption and containment of the electrical current (arc) can be accomplished through a variety of means including air pressure, and pressurized gas. While they perform the same function as fuses, circuit breakers can sustain repeated use as long as they are reset. An everyday example of a circuit breaker is a standard power strip. Like their commercial counterparts, power strips prevent power surges from damaging connected devices by switching off the flow of electricity. Key variations to keep in mind when selecting a circuit breaker include voltage range, current rating, and type (low voltage, magnetic, etc.).

Common Circuit Breaker Applications

  • Solar Installations
  • Commercial lighting
  • Data centers
  • Oil rigs
  • Aircraft

Circuit Breaker Manufacturers

The circuit breaker marketplace is extremely competitive but a few of the top players include:

Looking to learn more about circuit breakers? Check out free this 20 minute training courtesy of ABB.

This blog is part of bisco industries’ weekly blog series, What is it Wednesday?, which focuses on providing foundational product knowledge to procurement professionals. Click subscribe to stay up to date on the latest news from bisco industries.

ABB’s PSTX Softstarter Recognized for Innovative Design

Polish magazine, Scientific-Technical Monthly, recently awarded ABB with the Product of the Year 2014/2015 medal in the category of “Motors and Drives” for their PSTX Softstarter. The PSTX Softstarter is one of ABB’s latest advancements in motor control and protection. It adds new functionality with increased reliability to motor starting applications, providing more control in a smaller space. ABB’s PSTX Softstarter combines many years of research and product development with extensive knowledge of application specific requirements and needs.

PSTX Benefits:

  • Secure motor reliability
  • Improved installation efficiency
  • Increased application productivity.

PSTX Features:

  • Three-phase controlled
  • Operational voltage: 208-690 V AC
  • Wide rated control supply voltage: 100-250 V, 50/60 Hz
  • Rated operational current: 30-570 A (inside-delta: 987 A)
  • Coated circuit boards
  • Torque control for excellent control of pumps.

bisco industries is proud to be partnered with a world recognized leader in innovation like ABB and is a newly authorized distributor for ABB low voltage products, Interested in learning more about ABB products? Contact a bisco product specialist today!

bisco industries Now Authorized for ABB

bisco industries is proud to be a newly authorized ABB distributor. ABB is a worldwide leader in power and automation solutions offering everything from circuit breakers to robotics systems. Based in Switzerland, ABB has 140,000 employees around the world working to drive innovation. In fact, ABB was recognized for a third year as a top 100 global innovator by Thomson Reuters. bisco industries’ partnership with ABB will focus on ABB’s low voltage product offering. The low voltage product offering includes circuit breakers, distribution boards, switches, power supplies, relays, terminal blocks, contactors, and more. bisco industries has brought in an initial stocking package of over 450 products. To find a complete listing of the ABB products in stock and to request quotes visit

About bisco industries:

bisco industries is a premier distributor of electronic components, fasteners, and hardware. bisco serves clients from a wide variety of industries including aerospace, communication, printed circuit board, semiconductor, industrial equipment, instrumentation, marine, and military. bisco’s local presence, e-commerce capabilities, and supplier relationships allow us to provide exceptional service and one stop shopping to clients around the globe.

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