Stories from the road: M12 fast lock

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Written by Brian Booth, Field Sales Engineer, North – Device Connections

Firstly, Happy Monday!

My name is Brian Booth and I have been working at Phoenix Contact for the last 6 years (considerably longer in the Connector and Emech world generally!)

I work with the DC Division (Device Connections) and I manage technical and commercial sales within my area which covers Scotland down to Staffs and all points East and West.

Many of our Monday Blogs deal entirely with selected products from Phoenix Contact and successfully convey their features and benefits as they should.

However, I had an idea to show some situations that I personally have encountered that need solutions in the “real world”, and what we did to solve them. I hope that you find these interesting and helpful, but if you don’t this could well be the first and last “Story from the road!”

Anyway, as everyone knows, for many years the M12 connector has become a standard in numerous industries and areas of application, giving multiple solutions for data, signal and power. I have a quite a few customers who either manufacture or adapt, improve or retrofit Specialist Vehicles, Emergency Vehicles, Agricultural Vehicles, Refuse Wagons and the like. As is the case generally, these vehicles and their needs become ever increasingly complex and are often packed with sensors and connectors interfacing to I/O modules and PCB Controllers etc.

Many of these vehicles are very cramped and extremely tight on onboard space and, as such, the field installation, refurb and maintenance is very difficult to achieve. Engineers were often found trying to “blind mate” M12 connectors to the device M12 only by feel and unable to fully see, this resulted in cross threading, mis-match and colourful language. Even the development of the Phoenix Contact Speedcon types with a simple one turn fix didn’t entirely solve this issue!

However last year Phoenix Contact came up with the perfect solution and it is this that got me excited…

We have a push-pull fast mate connector now in M12! This gives a similar experience to the common garden hose connection- push on to click, easy to blind mate in the worst spaces and engineered to be a perfect solution for high vibration and shock applications. In other words, perfect for my customers described here and also their colleagues in the rail industry, of course!

Apart from its simple ease of use, it has other important advantages. We have solutions with this system for data, signal and power transmission. On the device side, we can do THR and SMD versions too, and the system offers excellent shielding under extreme mechanical strain with the 360-degree shield connection.

However, its real plus point must be its safe cross-manufacturing locking system and, on the device side, they are also compatible with full thread M12!

We have A, D or L coded versions for now, but in principle all M12 pin assignments can be implemented with the new push pull coupling mechanism so look out for our expansions.

Do try this range, get a sample or two…trust me you will be converted.

Finally, look out for another story from the road soon!

For more information, contact Brian on 07971 280501 or email: bbooth@phoenixcontact.com

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