Industrial connectors have to ensure durable and reliable electrical connections while also offering easy handling and the ability for customisation to meet the requirements of a diverse range of industries and applications. Kevin Canham of Harting describes two new developments that address these challenges
Developments in the design of industrial connectors are opening up new options and applications. For example, Han-Yellock is a new generation of industrial connectors which combine flexibility, reliability and ease of handling in a functionally designed package. The basic concepts behind the product are both simple and effective: its design allows it to be assembled and, if necessary, dismantled either from the machine side or the cabling side.
The connections are moved from the control cabinet to the connector which effectively expands its application potential. The connector thereby eases the load on the control cabinet, facilitates installation and prevents errors that can be caused during installation in the control cabinet. In the short-term this enables a further reduction in the size of the control cabinet and the amount of mechanical engineering required.
Five-pin modules can be snapped into the casing system without tools. Depending on requirements, the five contacts, each with a current carrying capacity of 20 A, can be switched to two, three, four or five-way links. Switching is via coloured socket adaptors that are snapped on by users on the mating side. This terminal block function is now incorporated in the connectors; integration is quick and service friendly, while space requirements are minimal. This connectivity approach is attractive for market areas that require increasingly smaller and ever more compact machinery and equipment. These solutions open up a number of different options and possibilities for electrical planning and procurement, such as the simplification of circuit diagrams and reductions, reduced wiring errors and lower material and wiring costs.
With Han-Yellock, the protective earth (PE contact) can be either a crimp contact or a Han-Quick Lock connection. Fewer tools are required and a bundle of conductors including the protective contact can be crimped at the same time. In addition, the modules only have to be fitted with a male contact on the customer side. There are no female contacts whatsoever.
It also offers pre-assembly advantages, correcting any twisting of the angle of cable exit by 180° with a simple rotation of the casing cover. Screw connections are also minimised; inserts and modules are simply locked into position manually in the hood and housing. The assemblies are dismantled with a fork-shaped tool that is captive in the hood.
The Han-Yellock bulkhead mounted housing is extremely flat when installed. When not connected, only an all-round surround that blends with the machine design is visible. It also features a patented interior locking facility based on a pushbutton lock which also has a blocking function.
Also available from the company is a range of industrial connectors using all-plastic housings to offer the benefits of lower weight and reduced costs – matched by high quality, safety and reliability. The new family is the ideal solution for users that do not require the full range of product features offered by ‘top end’ devices but would want to take advantage of the weight and cost advantages.
Like HARTING’s Han B standard series, the Han-Eco series is available in 6 B, 10 B, 16 B and 24 B sizes. Depending on size, versions of the bulkhead mounting and hood with straight or angled cable exit can be supplied. The cable exits are available with metric threading.
Han-Eco housings are made of high-performance plastic that is highly resistant to environmental stress and in combination with the design provides very good mechanical stability. When the connector is closed and locked it provides IP 65 protection as defined in DIN EN 60 529. The material also meets the demanding flammability requirements of UL 94 Class V 0.
Fast, simple assembly is another product feature of the Han-Eco range with a ‘click and mate’ design totally eliminating the need for tools during assembly of the housing.
The Han-Eco housing is compatible with the full range of modules from HARTING’s Han-Modular series. A PE (protected earth) module has been developed specifically for the Han-Eco housing to hold the protective ground conductor. Use of the PE module is optional depending on the application. The new HARTING series complies with all standards relating to user safety. All the metal parts in the PE system are fully connected to the protective ground conductor.
This prevents the risk of anyone touching live parts if a fault occurs. The housing is also suitable for use on machines and systems with Class II protective insulation. A key application area for Han-Eco is the alternative energy sector: in particular, the demanding conditions encountered in the wind-turbine environment.