What Connection Technology Should You Use For Your Factory Automation?

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Factory Automation

Factory Automation

This might not be an unfamiliar scene of factories in the future. In fact, many factories have been moving into automation in recent years.  The biggest benefits of automation include decreasing labour cost, increasing efficiency and improving quality, accuracy and precision.

With automation comes the need of reliable sensors/actuators connector with quick connection technologies. M8 and M12 connectors offer high flexibility and time saving in cable preparation and field assembly. They also provide long term stable connection to maximise profit and minimise down time.

There are several quick connection technologies in the market. So, how do you choose the most economical connection technology?

Insulation Displacement Connection (IDC)

Due to the continuous development, the cutting clamp connection can also be used for the connection of high currents or fast network and not limited to simple sensor cables. Cable preparation time and field assembly time are greatly reduced.

The conductor is guided between 2 cutting edges without the need to strip off the insulation. The blades cut though the insulation, creating a gas-tight contact with the conductor. For the M8 and M12 connector, the cutting edges are designed to be springy. Thus, they exert an even contact force on the conductor forming a secure and reliable connection.

Piercecon

PIERCECON Connection

PIERCECON Connection

There is a clear trend moving toward miniaturization. Electronic devices and sensor-actuator cabling are getting smaller and more compact. Piercecon technology is ideal when a small and compact connector is desired. A Phoenix Contact M12 Piercecon connector is hardly larger than a similar overmolded connector. The conductor is terminated by an axial penetration of the contact spike.

PIERCECON 17-position Connector

PIERCECON 17-position Connector

Flexible conductors are inserted into the connector without stripping. The connector is colour coded to minimise user error when connecting cables with higher number of position. The cable is then cut flush with the connector. As compared to solder/ screw connection, time taken to prepare the cable for termination is significantly reduced.

Spring-cage connection factor

Spring-cage connection is the most well-known quick connection techniques of all. The distinctive features of all spring connections are the robustness and maintenance-free connection.  Spring connection provides a fast wiring option for both rigid and flexible conductors, with or without ferrules. To insert the conductors, the clamping point must be open with a screwdriver, Over the years, a particular type of spring connection, the push-in connection, has gained much popularity. For push-in connection, no tool is needed (not even screwdriver). Rigid conductor or flexible conductor with ferrule can be inserted directly while flexible conductor without ferrule can be inserted by depressing the lever to open up the clamping point. The conductor is then secured with a defined contact force, creating a reliable connection in the long run. Watch the video below for better illustration.

In conclusion, it is important to choose the right connection technology based on your requirements. For example, if you’re using high density cable, Piercecon is the way to go. If you’re looking at a vibration proof application, IDC or spring cage make a good choice. By choosing the right connection technology that fits your needs, the profit can be maximised and the down time can be kept to the minimum.

if you would like to find out more about Phoenix Contact’s M8 and M12 circular connectors, click here or contact me at michelletan@phoenixcontact.com.sg

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