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Novel Shielding For Connectors

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Novel Shielding For Connectors
Novel Shielding For Connectors

Video: Novel Shielding For Connectors

Video: Novel Shielding For Connectors

With the increasing requirements in factory automation, the requirements for M8 and M12 connectors and cabling solutions in IP-protected areas are also growing. Whether it concerns transmission properties, mechanical robustness or application-specific requirements - the connection technology is getting better and better. As with the increase in transmission properties to 10 Gbit / s or with the integration of new mating faces for industrial use - for example with the X-coded M12 or miniaturized D-coded M8 connectors - technologies inside the connector must also be optimized. With "Advanced Shielding Technology", Phoenix Contact has not developed any existing technology,but the shield connection of circular connectors like the M8 and M12 has been completely rethought.

Picture gallery

The conventional process, which uses crimp sleeves in die-cast zinc or stainless steel as a screen element, ensures a high level of material variation in the manufacturing process. This variance is caused by differences in the cable diameter and the shield quality as well as by specific requirements for the shield connection to be implemented. In recent years, the technology of the ferrules as a crimp variant has been continuously refined and optimized. New materials were tested for better properties, and the manufacturing processes were also optimized. The challenge was therefore not to add a minimally optimized variant to the existing crimp sleeve technology. It wasto achieve a secure shield connection even under extreme mechanical stress and to avoid the weaknesses of the crimp sleeves.


Four new managing directors at Phoenix Contact

Metal coating with special tin

Whether in applications with drag chains, in environments with extreme weather conditions or in robotics applications with high demands on the mechanical connection - the requirements for standardized industrial connectors are constantly increasing. The new technology is now based on a special polyamide pre-molding. This new type of pre-molding protects the single wires and serves for mechanical robustness. At the same time, it ensures that the contact carrier is held securely and seals against the ingress of moisture. The real quantum leap - the innovation compared to existing concepts - is a metal coating with special tin. It encloses the polyamide pre-encapsulation and ensures a material connection between the screen braid and the head of the M8 / M12 connector. Current peaks of up to 20 kA - such as those generated by lightning - cannot harm this secure 360 ° shield connection.

The improved resistance to micro-screen interruptions also extends the field of application of the connectors to applications with high shock and vibration levels - such as in robotics. These applications require not only drag chain suitability, but also high resistance to different combinations of mechanical loads such as torsion. Here the new connectors offer more security compared to conventional products. The high level of robustness that is achieved through pre-molding and metal overmolding can be further optimized through the process of overmoulding. The compact design of the circular connectors also supports the requirements for miniaturization with regard to Industry 4.0 applications.

Book tip

The Practical Guide to Connectors is a reference work for device development and for the use of connectors. Developers and users receive answers to questions about design, materials, physical principles, contact surfaces, shielding measures, housing mechanics and locking systems.

Shielding concept for data, signal and power transmission

In industrial applications, many users not only rely on assembled, shielded M8 and M12 data lines, but also use shielded solutions for power and signal cabling. Here too, the technology shows - compared to other shielding concepts - a higher heat dissipation in the event of a short circuit due to the specially developed tin in connection with the pre-coating. The electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), which is particularly relevant for data lines, is improved by up to 60% compared to conventional crimp sleeves.

This significant improvement is achieved through the integral connection of the cable shield to the connector head. In the future, applications with up to 40 Gbit / s will also be conceivable for data transmission, which means that this technology is future-proof, even for high-performance systems in the high-speed data area or for real-time communication. In addition, the low resistance of the connection between the metal encapsulation and the cable shield has a positive effect on the electrical properties. The new technology is therefore also recommended with regard to Industry 4.0 projects.

Highly automated production increases process reliability

Some difficulties with the use of crimp sleeves do not result from the material or from the crimp sleeve itself - the challenges lie more in the manufacturing process. Incorrect sleeve diameter, connections too tight to the cable with the risk of damage, non-contacting of the shield: Here some process parameters have to be considered. For this reason, manual or partially automated processes are still the norm today for shielded products. The consequence is complex quality assurance and control.

Connection technology

Connectors equipped with a new grounding concept

In addition, there are always problems with breaking shield connections in the area of the pressed zone on the cable sheathing on the user side - a fault pattern that is particularly favorable in moving applications due to the mechanical stress on the cable at the connection to the crimp sleeve. In addition, the high variance of individual parts requires a higher logistical effort, which in turn makes availability more difficult for the user.

The Advanced Shielding Technology is supposed to solve these problems completely, because the shield braid is no longer subjected to any mechanical stress during production. This highly automated manufacturing process significantly increases process reliability, and dependencies on materials and suppliers are a thing of the past.

User congress connectors

The connector user congress in Würzburg illuminates practical aspects of the design and use of modern connectors. In practical workshops, top-class experts impart electrical engineering basics, specific know-how and help you select the right connector.

Optimize field cabling

Increasing demands on field cabling require new developments in connectors - this applies particularly to the shield connection. With Advanced Shielding Technology, Phoenix Contact wants to make an important contribution to further optimizing the M8 and M12 connectors: robust, highly available, durable and resistant even when overloaded. This lays an important cornerstone for future cabling.

Control cabinet removal

Have wires assembled fully automatically


Design connectors individually


Safe thanks to the Olympic looping

* Manuel Rüter is product manager for passive network components in the field of industrial field connectivity at Phoenix Contact GmbH & Co. KG in Blomberg.