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Editors Message



DesignSpark talks industrial automation with TE Connectivity


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I’m delighted to talk to Ruud van den Brink, Product Manager Industrial Communication Europe at TE Connectivity about some of its key product ranges.

Ruud, thanks for taking the time to share some of TE Connectivity’s automation connection technologies with DesignSpark.

So Ruud, what are the key changes in industrial connection and automation that are driving TE Connectivity’s latest innovations?

The increasing cost of labour is in sharp contrast to the constant decrease in the cost of automation, improved quality standards and increased speed of production is making automation a more favourable scenario than expanding production based upon human labour.

TE Connectivity's M8/M12 Connectors

The overall growth combined with the increased complexity of today’s industrial automation installations, TE sees an increasing number of sensors, actuators and other components in an industrial automation build requiring the necessary interconnect. This translates into an ever increasing number of new connections, around 250 million each year in the industrial automation space alone.

With the need for more data, Ethernet becomes a better choice of technology. Rather than having systems with dumb peripheral devices and a layered build-up of serial, BUS and partial Ethernet, a more manageable system is implemented by using Ethernet everywhere. Combined with smart peripherals, additional data collection can take place alongside the required control data, enabling services like predictive maintenance.

What are the benefits to organisations looking to automate and the engineers they employ?

TE’s products will bring benefits to the OEMs developing their next generation equipment, as well as the machinery makers and installers using this equipment to build industrial installations.

Mini-I/O and Industrial RJ45 jack with integrated magnetics are good examples of products which offer the industrial robustness in combination with reducing the board space of the design and due to the integration of the analogue system parts saving on development time and cost.

The installers and machinery makers can benefit from the easy and error-free installation of TE’s cable connectors. These tool-less installable connectors offer the industrial robustness in combination with short installation times (RJ45 within 1 minute) and optimal performance realized by the automatic wire cut off function.

TE Connectivity's Industrial Mini I/O Connectors

What applications are these latest connection technologies best suited to?

TE’s industrial connectors are used in a broad set of industrial applications. This ranges from equipment using serial connections, BUS systems up to industrial Ethernet. Furthermore, applications that are IP20 graded, down to the industrial work floor requiring IP67 grade products.

Application examples include, but not necessarily limited to:

Automotive production
Motors and motor control
Control cabinets
Industrial communications

Have the products/ranges been used in any unusual designs or applications that you are aware of?

Although TE’s products are designed for use in industrial environments, a usage outside of the industry is also seen. The easy-to-terminate field installable cable connectors, e.g. RJ45, are used in traditional RJ45 applications – typically office and home – while M12 connectors are seen in charger applications, for example.

Solutions in the range include:

  • Industrial IP20 RJ45 Cat6A plug – single piece common core Cat6A plug featuring tool-free and error-free installation with automatic wire cut-off function
  • Industrial RJ45 Fibre Optic Push-Pull connector – supporting IEC 61076-3-117, ideal for automotive production.
  • Industrial RJ45 Jacks with Integrated Magnetics – reducing design efforts required with magnetics already integrated into the jack.

How do engineers go about selecting the correct product type from these ranges?

etailed product leaflets across TE Connectivity’s product ranges can be used to determine the correct connection types according to engineers’ required use.

Find out more about these TE ranges at RS now:
M8 / M12 Connectors
Industrial Mini I/O Connector
Industrial Ethernet – RJ45 Connectors

TE Connectivity's Industrial Ethernet – RJ45 Connectors

Source :rs-online.com