electric relay

General Purpose Relay And Its Uses in Different Industries

Share this

Sometimes the relays fail to act on time and it results in total failure and the device or machine does not work as it is supposed to. One of our customers that make PCB boards uses a relay to enable the on/off action. The relay which they used was not suitable and couldn’t hold the voltage current and the machines with their PCB were getting faulty and damaged. 

They came to us asking for suggestions and a possible replacement of the existing relay. After going through some basic details of their application and the issue they were facing, we suggested the Omron relay 12VDC 4 Pin. This is a general-purpose relay from Omron that is used in several other applications as well, we will be discussing other applications of this relay and its other features too. 

What is a General Purpose Relay?

general purpose relay

The relays are used to carry current from one circuit to another. The uninterrupted current flow provides power to the circuits and connects them to operate the device. You can also understand it as a switch on/off function. 

It is also known as the electromagnetic relay and it is different from the electric relay. The Omron general purpose relay works by making the airbag inflate or deflate. This process leads the contacts of the relay to automatically turn on and off. This is done by the coil energization or power-off release.

For example, let’s take the Omron relay 12VDC 4 pin, its part number is G5LE-14-DC12, and the most common applications are home appliances, office automation equipment, and vending machines. This has a working temperature range up to 850 C. Omron relay 12VDC is the type of relay that comes in other variations as well that is suitable in other applications as well.

How Does the Relay Work?

The relays work in AC and DC and it follows a unique mechanism that helps them to retain their current and not demagnetize the relay coil during every zero current position. The factors affecting the performance of the relay are the applications, coil and voltage current, contact materials, the rating of contact current, and its operations. 

The relays can be distinguished into two groups based on the number of circuits and contacts. If we do more into the factors then we have the number of poles and throws also. You might have seen terms like SPST, which refers to single pole single throw, and then Omron general purpose relays are also available in SPDT, DPDT, and DPST. 

The reason for this variety is that the single pole single throw relays are connected to only one output and control one input circuit. The next, single pole double throw relay has one input circuit and two outputs. 

The double pole single throw relay has two input circuits for two terminals and one output circuit. The double pole double throw relay has two input circuits and two output circuits and is used in polarity or phase reversal conditions.

What is the Basic Function of a Relay?

The basic function and purpose of any relay is to enable the feature of switching on and off in any electronic device. The primary function of the relay is to protect the electrical system due to overvoltage current. It detects the fault and isolates it by controlling the high current.

It isolates the low voltage circuits from high voltage circuits and controls multiple circuits at once that are not even connected to them by using automatic change over. The relays used in microprocessors control heavy electrical load that prevents the motor from electrical failure and overload damage. 

Advantages of General Purpose Relay

The Omron general purpose relays are economical and do not increase the cost of the PCB or control panels and their compact size also helps to keep the devices smaller and lightweight. 

The DIN rail mounting and screw mounting options provide ease of use and the user can choose the more appropriate and suitable mounting style. 

The relays eliminate the need for complex and high amperage wiring that will increase the cost and also take a lot of space making your device or motor super heavy and bulky. 

Application of General Purpose Relays

The Omron general purpose relays are being used in everyday applications, some of them are:

  • Lighting Control Systems
  • Traffic Control
  • Telecommunications
  • Process Controllers
  • Home Appliances
  • Motor Drive Controllers
  • Computer Interfaces
  • PCB Boards
  • Water Supply Function
  • Smart Meter
  • Gas Meter
  • Digital Switching System
  • Automated & Connected Switches
  • Air conditioning Control


Relays work by converting the small electrical input into high voltage current outputs. This is not easy considering several other components in the machine but it is required to operate the current flow. The circuits require a relay to properly function and activate the on/off feature like Omron general purpose relay in the above example. 

It works on the methodology of electromagnetic which works better if there aren’t strong magnets around the relay. The magnets can affect the workings of the relays. 

Also Read

Share this

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *