What is the difference between a modular power supply and a rack supply?
Modular supplies and rack supplies are the two generic categories into which Spellman's standard products typically fall. These product categories were created and used to help classify hardware. Additionally, Spellman provides a variety of custom and OEM supplies that would not adequately fit into either category.
Typically, rack mounted supplies are higher in power than their modular counterparts; but this is a generalization, not a rule. Rack mounted units usually operate off-line, requiring AC input. Rack mounted units usually provide full feature front panels, allowing quick and easy operator use. Spellman's rack mounted supplies comply with the EIA RS-310C rack-mounted standards.
Modular supplies tend to be lower power units (tens to hundreds of watts) housed in a simple sheet metal enclosure. Modular units that can operate off AC or DC inputs, can be provided. OEM manufacturers frequently specify modular supplies, knowing the elaborate local controls and monitors are usually not included, thus providing a cost savings. Customer provided signals, done via the remote interface connector, usually accomplishes operation, programming and control of these units.
When ease of use and flexibility is required, like in a laboratory environment, rack mounted supplies are usually preferred. Modular supplies tend to be specified by OEM users, where a single specific usage needs to be addressed in the most compact and cost effective manner possible. These are guidelines, not rules.