5 Ways to Terminate Cables into an Electrical Panel

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There are several criteria when it comes to choosing the right cable entry method into an electrical panel, such as ingress protection (IP) rating, ease of connection/ disconnection, cost of the connector etc. In this post, we have sorted out 6 different cable entry methods that Phoenix Contact has to offer.

  1. Cable Gland

The most common way to terminate cables into an electrical panel would be to use a cable gland. It is easy to use and comes in many variants such as different sizes, materials and with additional certifications such as ATEX. Cable glands are probably one of the most affordable cable entry methods mentioned in this article.

However, cable glands have its limitations too. It is difficult and time consuming to do multiple connections/disconnections with cable glands as the cables are terminated directly into the components within the electrical panel. In addition, the pre-cut holes on the gland plate are irreversible. It provides limited flexibility for mistakes and modifications.

  1. Heavy-duty Connector

As the name suggests, it is rugged and enables fast and easy connection/disconnection to the electrical panel. Cables are prewired into the connector base, which is mounted onto the panel while the field cables are prewired into the connector hood. The hood is then plugged into the base on the electrical panel for a complete connection up to IP 69K.

Heavy-duty connector is especially useful for portable applications and testing facilities as it allows quick connection and disconnection. Although heavy-duty connectors are more expensive than cable glands, it minimises time and labour needed for onsite installation and commissioning up to 80%. It also reduces errors that could occur during onsite installation.

Heavy-duty connectors are typically made from Aluminium. However, Heavycon EVO from Phoenix Contact also comes in plastic (polyamide with reinforced fibre glass) to support applications that do not require metal housings and provides cost savings of up to 30%. Besides that, the dual entry cable gland enhances the flexibility for onsite installation. Phoenix Contact’s well known Push-in Technology is also used in Heavycon to further reduce the installation time.

  1. Cable entry system

Cable entry system (CES) is similar to cable glands. However, it helps to arrange the cables neatly and systematically into the electrical panel. By better managing the cables, the gland plate can be better utilised. It works in a modular form where the cable sleeves can be flexibly combined depending on the wiring. The slotted sleeves also allow the use of sensor actuator cabling while cone sleeves come in handy when the cable diameter is not predefined.

The cut-out of CES is the same as that of heavy-duty connectors. Thus, they are interchangeable. However, CES is not a pluggable connector. Thus, it is not suitable for applications that require frequent connecting/disconnecting.

  1. CES Multigate

Similar to CES, multigate offers great cable management. However, unlike CES, multigate has prefixed cable entry. Each cable entry is a cone-shape membrane that is able to accommodate a range of cable diameters. This is especially suitable for panels with defined cable specifications. As the cables are well arranged, it is easier to isolate faulty lines, if any.

  1. Service interface

Service interfaces make maintenance, servicing, and diagnostics easier than ever. The front plate comes in different configurations of D-SUB, RJ45 and USB, offering numerous combinations.  The mounting frame offers up to IP 65 protection with locking mechanism for extra security. This reduces the need to open up the panel during programming or configuration.

There are many factors to consider when it comes to choosing the most suitable cable entry method to your electrical panels. Let us help you with the selection by filling up the form below!

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