Adding Marketability with Accessory Power Distribution Systems

Posted on 8/13/18 2:30 PM


Incorporating an accessory power distribution system into an electrical product design can allow that product to be more marketable.

An accessory power system, which uses IEC 60320 components, can help a company offer products that are more easily adapted to the needs of global markets without requiring reconfiguration by the end user. It can give a company the ability to offer a product that can be used in many different countries because it eliminates the need to have all of the different kinds of plugs available or inventoried somewhere in a warehouse. This can result in a cost-saving benefit for the company. 

Versatility of an Accessory Power Distribution System

“Accessory power is specifying one plug and socket configuration that is accepted globally for connections between equipment systems. A country-specific mains connection is needed only for the primary power supply connections,” explained Dan Ford, Technical Support Specialist at Interpower. “This makes it easier to design and build equipment that can be accepted worldwide. IEC 60320 interconnection components included in a product design are generally accepted for use throughout the world. By using a plug and socket configuration that is accepted globally, it can allow the equipment to be more marketable.”

Using accessory power to distribute and control power to peripheral equipment through a central system is advantageous for a number of areas, including industrial, information technology, medical, dental, ophthalmological, test and measurement, and food production.

The accessory power system allows a designer to build a product that can simplify and organize a rack and/or multiple equipment units. Such a system can be beneficial when the main power system will be controlled by the accessory power strip, when there is not sufficient panel space, or when an overall power control needs to be added to coordinate different pieces of equipment.

For example, accessory power systems are used in a number of mall and airport kiosks. In these places, where space is at a premium, there are numerous electrical devices that need power. By using an accessory power system, only one cord set is plugged into the power source and the rest of the devices are supplied with power through jumper cord sets which connect to the accessory power strip. Another example where this type of system can be valuable is with a computer setup that has a variety of components.

Major Components of an Accessory Power Distribution System

The major components of an accessory power distribution system include:

  1. One Accessory Socket Strip
    One socket strip provides multiple power outlets for connecting several pieces of equipment to a single source of electrical power.
  2. Jumper Cord Sets
    Global cord sets connect the accessory socket strip to the peripheral equipment.

  3. One Country-Specific Cord Set­
    One connection for the entire system to the electrical power source, minimizing the number of country-specific cord sets that need to be in inventory.


By incorporating the above components into an accessory power distribution system, there are several benefits that a company could see.

  • Production Efficiencies
    The main equipment components can be the same in the overall design. The only component that needs to change in the assembly is the country-specific cord set.
  • Cost Savings
    Price volume discounts are possible along with lower inventory.

Using Accessory Power 

“At Interpower, we can make it easier to build equipment that can be sold worldwide because different components work together in one system. Instead of having to make four different systems to export to four different countries, a company can design one system and then add a cord set with a country-specific plug,” Dan said. “This allows the same system to be exported globally with cost-saving benefits.”

Additional Resources

For more information on accessory power offered by Interpower, see Accessory Power, the Featured Product page, and Interpower’s webcast on Accessory Power for Worldwide Markets.

Interpower offers value-added services and free technical support. For further assistance, please contact Customer Service.

Topics: IEC 60320, Accessory Power, Jumper Cords

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