When choosing the contactors for your control panel, there are plenty of reliable names on the market offering products. However, not all of the parts offer the same benefits due to design variations and small improvements that make a big difference in the long run. Figure out whether ABB vs. Eaton contactors are a better choice for your industrial motor control hardware needs.
First, you need to understand what models are being compared between the two manufacturers. Every contactor offered by ABB comes from the same line, all various model numbers with the AF prefix, like the AF2650. The similar models available from Eaton are the DILH and DILM collections.
One of the most marked differences between the two sets of contactors involves the amount of energy required to modulate electricity flow with AC equipment. The two lines remain evenly matched in terms of DC use, but ABB wins in the AC performance category. An Eaton contactor requires about four times as much energy to close and hold contact when operated under 100A. This makes a huge difference in energy use, operation costs, and wear and tear throughout the control panel.
The higher end of the Eaton lines, which run up to 2000A, include the usual protections to keep the contactors working properly for months and years on end. However, the lower end of the lines are missing many of these features. For example, none of the contactors under 115A include surge suppression inside the unit. In contrast, every ABB Industrial Control Panel contactors in this line includes this feature.
Aside from protection from long-term damage, don't forget about the importance of electronic coils when you need to maintain even power to protect sensitive equipment. When comparing ABB vs. Eaton in this category, ABB takes the lead by including this feature on the entire line. Eaton only adds the feature to models above 185A.
Finally, check how much space is available on your control panel. In crowded industrial configurations, the difference of half an inch can make a big difference in whether the contactor fits or sticks out like a sore thumb. Both Eaton and ABB parts are compact and designed to minimize width, but the largest Eaton model is 80mm wider. With similar coil configurations and power loads, both should fit equally well when open space is minimal.