Many of the technical terms used throughout our website are explained in this glossary. Please select a letter of the alphabet – or choose “View All” – to browse terms and definitions.

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Patent: A legal document securing to an inventor for a term of years the exclusive right to make, use or sell and invention. A utility patent makes claims based on the usefulness of a device. A design patent makes claims based on a unique form.

PCB: Printed circuit board- a thin substrate typically made of fiber glass with copper traces used to connect electronic components into a useful circuit arrangement. PCB's are fabricated using plating, etching, drilling, silk screening and routing phases. PCB's replaced the older point-to-point wiring technique of connecting components.

PFC: Acronym for Power Factor Correction

POL: Acronym for Point-Of-Load

Potting: A generic term describing the use of a liquid, poured over a circuit, that hardens into a solid. Potting is used to protect circuits from environmental elements of moisture, dust, shock and static electricity. It also protects a proprietary circuit from inspection. Common forms of potting are epoxies, urethanes and silicones.

Proportional control: Proportional control in electro-hydraulics refers to the ability to adjust the flow of hydraulic fluid in direct proportion to current applied to a hydraulic valve. The most common method is to apply a PWM signal to a valve designed for proportional control.

Proprietary: Having the exclusive right to manufacture and sell.

Protel: A brand name of an electronic printed circuit layout CAD software.

PTC: Positive Temperature Coefficient

PWM: Pulse width modulation- varying the ratio of a pulse's 'on' time to its repetitive period in a pulse train. This method is useful in a resistive or inductive circuits to control the average current flow. The drive circuit is either full on or full off at all times which conserves energy. The modulation is expressed as a percentage.