Choosing the right connectors for industrial automation applications can pose a lot of challenges. Automated systems form the backbone of many modern sectors, and as such, they require components and connectors that meet the highest standards of quality and reliability.
When selecting a connector for your automation application, it is therefore important to ask yourself the right questions. Will this component be suitable for the demands of the working environment? Can it be relied upon to deliver long-lasting performance, without requiring maintenance? Can it be incorporated into an efficiently-designed system?
To help you find the right connector for automated systems, Northern Connectors has teamed up with HUMMEL, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of industrial connectors, to offer advice on how to choose the best components for your application.
What should I look for in a connector for automation?
Choosing the right connector for automation industry applications means looking for products that offer guaranteed performance on a number of important metrics. Here are the key qualities to look out for, as recommended by the experts at Northern Connectors and HUMMEL:
High transmission capabilities
Connectors used in automation applications are required to support the effective transmission of power, signals and data via industrial ethernet. In this Industry 4.0 era, these demands are only increasing, as modern innovations emerge that require enhanced networking, intelligent controllers and lightning-fast communication between machines and products.
As such, you will need to ensure that your connectors are able to provide a robust performance in terms of transmission capability, delivering the speed, voltage and/or power needed to keep your systems operating at peak performance.
Robustness and reliability
Automation technology is used in a wide variety of sectors and environmental conditions, from outdoor environments where equipment is likely to be exposed to the elements, to challenging industrial settings where ambient temperatures can run higher than 100°C.
If you require a connector for an automation application, you will need to realistically evaluate all of the conditions under which your systems will operate, and find a connector that is able to provide a firm, reliable and secure connection even under duress.
Compact design for space-saving
Because automated equipment is designed to operate independently, without relying on manual maintenance or interaction, these systems need to be designed as efficiently as possible to accommodate all of the circuitry and components needed for self-sufficient operation.
Space is often at a premium when designing a system that provides reliable automated functionality, which is why it is important to look for connectors with a compact design that can fit comfortably into an efficient layout.
Hybrid connector design
Another means of conserving space within an automated equipment layout is to utilise connectors that can serve multiple purposes all in one shell, with a single connector taking the place of two or more single-purpose components.
Many modern hybrid connectors are able to achieve this, transmitting power, data and signals through the same cable in order to provide considerable savings on space, costs and setup time.
Which HUMMEL connectors are best for automation applications?
If you are looking for connectors for an automation application that tick these boxes, HUMMEL can recommend a number of industry-leading solutions that have been proven to offer significant advantages and reliable performance:
HUMMEL’s M23 Hybrid connector is a compact all-in-one solution for the transmission of power, industrial ethernet and signals, designed specifically for use by the automation industry.
Developed with a focus on manufacturing quality and robustness, the M23 Hybrid is vibration-resistant and guaranteed to be waterproof in mated condition, with IP67/IP69K ingress protection as standard. The series has also been optimised for ease of installation and use, to be seamlessly integrated and used in conjunction with all housing types in the M23 line.
The M23 Hybrid is available with screw connections or with TWILOCK quick connection technology, allowing users to secure the fitting with one click, even in otherwise inaccessible locations. As such, the M23 Hybrid represents a highly versatile solution to many of the challenges faced by the automation sector.
The M23 Power system from HUMMEL is a waterproof circular connector solution that is ideal for use in tough environments, offering robust performance and a range of different configurations for your applications.
Sealed to IP67 and IP69K in mated condition, the M23 Power’s sealed connection offers robust protection at all times, with pin counts available from six to 12 and a current carrying capacity of 28A.
This range is one of the most established offerings in HUMMEL’s portfolio, and has a proven track record of delivering reliable results in challenging automation applications. You can select from a variety of cable clamping options, cable orientations and mounting options when purchasing the M23 Power series.
M12 Power connectors from HUMMEL offer the user high power ratings in a compact profile. This innovative component was one of the first connectors of its kind to offer effective power transmission with ratings as high as 16A, made possible by the device’s unique design.
With the M12 Power, you can expect reliable temperature resistance up to 125°C, as well as ingress protection up to IP67/IP69K as standard, thanks to the new materials this connector incorporates into its design. The innovative construction also means that the connector is versatile enough to accept cables with an external diameter of up to 11mm, despite its compact design.
The M12 Power has four different encodings (S, T, K or L), with shieldable and stainless steel variants available among the options. All of this means that HUMMEL’s M12 Power range can offer the right solution for a variety of challenges.
Find out more
If you would like to learn more about Hummel’s range of industry-leading connector solutions, you can browse Northern Connectors’ complete selection of HUMMEL connectors. You can also visit our dedicated automation industry hub to learn more about how to find the right solution for your sector.
Get in touch with Northern Connectors today if you have any other questions. Call us on 01744 815001, use our online chat or complete an enquiry form and request a call back.