At HARTING, our slogan ‘Pushing Performance’ challenges us to drive advancements across a range of industries. The Han connector was first developed in the 1950’s and since then, the range has expanded and advanced, an ethos of continuous innovation that provides customers with simple yet reliable solutions.
The newest addition to the Han portfolio is the Han F+B, a range of connectors which have been specially designed for the requirements of the food processing, bottling and packaging industries. Within these sectors, hygiene and safety are key considerations, meaning machines and equipment must be both easy to clean and designed so dirt pockets and bacteria cannot accumulate.
Before creating the range, it was important to recognise how a production site within the food and beverage industry is divided up. The EN 1672-2 standard defines three distinct zones for food production, which differ in terms of contamination risks and the number of cleaning cycles required. Zone 1 is the food zone, where components come into direct contact with foodstuffs. Zone 2 is the splash zone, where components must be cleaned regularly using high pressure washing and chemicals to avoid contamination. Anything outside of these two zones is classed as a non-food zone, where the contamination risk is minimal. The Han F+B has been specifically developed as a suitable product for the food zone and primarily the splash zone and there are several innovations which make it the ideal solution. Firstly, all hoods, housings and seals are IP69K rated, so the connections are fully protected and resistant to the water jets used to clean equipment.
They also have large nooks and surfaces in accordance with the guidelines of the European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group (EHEDG), which allows cleaning and disinfecting agents to flow unhindered. For secure identification and easy traceability, the connectors are blue, although a black version is available. The range is Ecolab approved, which means it is resistant to the highly aggressive cleaning agents used in the food and splash zones. As the housings are constructed from polypropylene, they conform to the directives of FDA 21. All surfaces also have a smooth finish, which prevents impurities and bacteria from accumulating, whilst the portfolio can function in a wide temperature range from -40 to +125° C.
Cable glands available include variants made of PA plastic in combination with blue silicone sealing rings, which achieve the highest degree of protection against the penetration of dust and water. As well as hygiene and safety concerns, HARTING have also considered the impact of machine downtimes, designing in features which keep disruptions on the production line down to a minimum. Customers are increasingly looking for solutions which allow them to embrace flexible schedules and smaller batch productions, meaning businesses must become adaptable in order to meet these demands. As a result, the ability to quickly attach and detach connectors is vital if costly production downtimes are to be avoided.
With the Han F+B, operators do not need to open any cable glands on the control cabinet in order to decouple field devices, eliminating the complex disconnecting and reconfiguring of fixed wiring. This solution also allows for faster replacement of defective components and a more efficient configuration when changing components, allowing businesses in the food industry to shorten set-up times and reduce production stoppages. In addition, the Han F+B series has been designed so it can be plugged and unplugged easily, safely and quickly. Special fluting in the housing walls ensure that the installer's hands do not slip off the connector, even in damp or humid conditions.
The housings can be used with hybrid contact inserts for all types of industrial transmission, including data, signal and power, a versatile connector concept which makes it possible to configure future-proof machine design for processing units, including Ethernet. With the use of an adapter, the user can integrate a selection of Han 3A inserts, including RJ45 interfaces, signal inserts with up to 21 poles as well as power contacts for currents up to 40 A.
HARTING has over 70 years’ experience of producing robust industrial connectors. From the very beginning, the focus was always on developing a product which would be easy to handle, durable and adaptable for a range of uses. Another important consideration was an ethos of continuous innovation, which gives users reliable solutions even as markets and industries evolve.
In the case of the Han 1A (Left), HARTING has recognised and responded to the demand for smaller interfaces to powerengineering equipment. Itrequires up to 30% less space than the Han3A (Right) andprovides all the benefits of a modern network.
Constructed from lightweight, durablepolyamide plastic, the Han 1Aemploys a system of modular inserts, making it extremely versatile. For power, it can transmit a maximum of 16 amps and 400 volts.Modules for Cat. 5 or Cat. 6A are available for data transmission and up to 12 D-Sub contacts can be used for signal interfaces. A shielded version is also available for areas which are susceptible to interference.
Only two components are required to quickly assemble an IP20 solution, while additional housing elements or single wire seals can easily extend the degree of protection to IP65, making it suitable for use outdoors. Accessories such as fasteners for wall mounting and colour coding pins to help identify different lines and reduce cabling errors are also available.
What’s more, as the entire Han 1A connector system is based on just a few components, material supply is greatly simplified as a plug-in connection consists of a maximum of twelve different contacts. This gives you the flexibility to easily create simple and efficient interfaces for applications in mechanical engineering, automation, robotics, transportation, traffic engineering and the energy sector.
In mechanical engineering, it provides an efficient solution for connecting tools and smaller machine modules such as heating and cooling units, fans, control terminals, lighting systems, drives and vibration conveyors. As it complies with standard EN 45545-2 for fire protection on railway vehicles, the Han 1A is also ideal for use on door systems and ramps, door openers, push buttons, lighting systems and screens.
Industry 4.0 is a hot topic, so it’s time to look at how we can integrate Industry 4.0 technologies across machinery, shop floor, and building management systems. To do so involves ensuring equipment is able to work with enhanced communication – including the three lifelines of industry – power, signal and data.
Multi-way communication of ‘big data’ is created by connecting devices so they are able to interact with each other. The modular industrial computing architecture – MICA – uses open software architecture for an embedded industrial computing device. The robust IP67 industry computer can easily be integrated into the manufacturing environment as a stand-alone offline computer, or a protocol converting gateway linked via the Internet.
Integration of additional intelligence to an existing production line environment is achieved using MICA. Process improvements can be identified through the capture and process of data from a variety of sensors. It therefore provides the processing pre-analytical link between the factory floor sensor level and the analytical/ big data cloud. As such it supports the trend toward Industry 4.0 enabling the integration of the two key elements of Machine to Machine communication and Manufacturing Logistics. MICA is the first embedded computer to provide virtualisation in the manufacturing environment.
When looking at Industry 4.0 applications, and where MICA can be used within these, the possibilities are endless. For example, by integrating suitable sensors and being able to communicate with a machine’s existing operating system software, MICA can be retrofitted to support predictive maintenance, reducing downtime and significantly extending the lifetime of the machine. It can also be customised to carry out defined test programs for remote, field based applications, making it a viable solution for rugged programmable testing conditions. MICA can be used in high vibration and wide temperature fluctuating applications.
For Industry 4.0, using MICA offers significant economic benefits compared to industrial PCs; without the need of a fan, the device is maintenance free, and there is no associated licensing or leasing fees. It offers further operating cost savings as the base version only consumes around 5W of power.
Ethernet is the undisputed dominant communication standard and as we increasingly rely on staying connected wherever we are, it is permeating ever more areas of our lives. As the demand for smaller, compact electronic and industrial devices grows, so connecting interfaces such as system cables must follow suit. However, whilst these components are reducing in size, they are simultaneously becoming more powerful to meet the demands of consumers.
In order to future-proof device technology and embrace the ongoing challenges of Industry 4.0, HARTING have developed the ix Industrial, a robust and compact interface that delivers Cat. 6A performance for 1/10Gbit/s Ethernet.
The classic RJ45 is the world’s most widely used connector and is synonymous with Ethernet connections in the IP20 environment. However, as devices such as tablets, sensors and cameras get smaller, the size of the RJ45 is becoming problematic because it takes up more and more of the already restricted space available on components. With the ix Industrial, HARTING have slashed the PCB jack size by a substantial 70%, enabling manufacturers to use it in much smaller devices, which can then more easily meet the needs of miniaturisation.
In addition, it combines both data transmission and power supply into a single interface, further reducing the area required for connectors within devices. Despite its compact dimensions, the ix Industrial still produces Cat. 6A performance for 1/10Gbit/s Ethernet at a control level, whilst its high current-carrying capacity supports both existing and future Power over Ethernet (PoE) applications.
As well as significant space savings, the ix Industrial has been specifically designed and built to withstand the rigours of industrial environments. This resolves the issues associated with the RJ45, whose plastic locking tabs are easily broken in busy manufacturing environments, which can lead to contact problems as the connection works loose.
ix Industrial (Left) and RJ45 (Right)
To ensure a strong connection, the socket and connector are securely locked together by two metal snap-in hooks, ensuring a robust and vibration-proof connection from the cable to the circuit board for up to 5000 mating cycles. The cable and plug also benefit from a sturdy crimp connection, which improves strain relief.
When it comes to standardisation, the interface complies with IEC 61076-3-124 and conforms to the shock and vibration resistance levels set out in EN 50155 railway specifications, making it the perfect solution for a range of markets and sectors.
The socket is firmly fastened to the circuit board with five through hole reflow (THR) shield contacts, preventing the conductor tracks from being damaged. There are also no unprotected wires from the cable to the connection point, which can affect a fault-free, high frequency signal. As a result, the ix Industrial takes care to safeguard data transmissions; thanks to its continuous 360° shield design, it guarantees a high immunity to interference, even in EMC-critical applications.
With respect to device wiring, users can avail themselves of flexible, thin system cables with a tight bending radius, which again help save valuable installation space. These can be assembled with the ix mating face on both ends or mixed, for example, with the ix and the RJ45 connector on opposite ends. This enables a gradual adaptation of individual elements in the control level and existing cabling systems without the need to directly use totally new components. Currently, the ix Industrial is available in straight form. However, angled cable connector variants will follow in the future, allowing more installations within flat and space-critical applications.
When it comes to practical applications, its durable, strong design and compact size means the ix Industrial is ideal for use in automation switch cabinets, machinery, robotics, data networks and the energy markets. It is also ideally suited to trains and buses as displays and passenger information systems can receive both power and data via the ix interface.
“Industry 4.0 as an expression of the Internet of things needs one thing above all: an Ethernet connection to any Industry 4.0 component. The international standardisation of new high-performance components and infrastructures is an essential prerequisite for market success, and provides security in terms of planning.”
All this means the ix has the potential to become the future IP20 standard connector for end-to-end Ethernet, from the Cloud down to supporting the next generation of miniaturised products including flat screen displays, mobile devices and small field equipment with perfect high data transmission rates.
There are many factors to consider when it comes to choosing a suitable connector for panels or control cabinets. Robustness, reliability and adaptability are all high on the list, but as businesses embrace more flexible production processes, simple handling and ease of use are becoming increasingly important.
Control cabinets often contain a myriad of switches and connections, so the ability to quickly and efficiently disconnect and reconnect the industrial lifelines of data, signal and power are vital if expensive machine downtime is to be avoided. That’s where HARTING’s PushPull technology comes into its own!
Developed with the user in mind, the PushPull family is available in a range of materials to suit your requirements. From the robust V4 Industrial with its housing that protects from aggressive industrial chemicals to the sleek M12 with its capacity to deliver data transfer rates of up to 10GBit/s, the entire ranges relies on a simple yet effective connection method.
As its name suggests, PushPull incorporates an uncomplicated connection and termination technique that ensures absolute dependency and reliability. This intuitive, tool-free method guarantees an error-free connection as the two sections click into place, the audible feedback indicating the connection is secure. The sturdy housing is also inscribed with pronounced contours, which gives the operator a firm grip on the connector, even in the most challenging industrial environments. All these features allow interfaces to be changed quickly and easily without the need for specialist training.
To further simplify the process and eliminate the possibility of incorrect connections, HARTING has fitted the PushPull range with colour-coded marks. The first is a yellow triangle which appears on both the plug and socket, meaning it’s incredibly easy to ensure both connections are orientated correctly before they are mated. This saves time for the operator, especially on projects where many interfaces need to be connected!
Secondly, the user has the option to allocate colour codes to each PushPull plug and socket in an installation. For example, they could easily colour code data, signal and power lines to ensure each line can be easily identified; a simple system to help reduce cabling errors.
Secure and adaptable
In addition to the audible click, the PushPull range also comes with a spin-lock which firmly secures the connecter in a mated condition, preventing any inadvertent disconnection. Simply plug in the PushPull then rotate the ring one-eighth of a turn clockwise to lock and secure the connection.
Finally, when it comes to variety, the PushPull range can handle all your requirements. Whether you’re looking to transmit data via an RJ45 or 690V / 16A of power via 5 poles, HARTING’s range of interfaces, inserts and housing materials can provide universal solutions for your specific applications.
Rugged, reliable, repeatable, fast, error reduced field wiring offering total on-site installation flexibility
Industry 4.0 requires repeatability, flexibility and reduced downtime. preLink is HARTING’s fast, reliable, easy to handle cable connector termination system which is perfect for flexible field cabling installation. It is ideal for systems integrator’s/installers, significantly saving site installation time, critical where site access is very limited in order to minimise downtime for installing Ethernet services. It eliminates the on-site wiring errors that often occur with time consuming crimping methods. preLink is available for HARTING’s range of widely used industry standard RJ45, for standard IP20 or accommodated within a range of different IP 65 to IP 68 protection rated housings and IP65/67 M12 connector D & X-Coded style connectors.
The preLink design concept is based around using a one-step double-jaw press-assembly tool, terminating individual wires within an IDC terminal block. Different colour IDC terminal blocks are available for typical Ethernet market standard solid and stranded cable conductor cross sections AWG 23/22 (Yellow) or 27/26 (White) for insulation diameters of 1.3 to 1.6mm and 0.8 to 1.1mm respectively. As such typically higher thickness LSOH cables are accommodated. Each terminal block also has an integrated wiring chart in compliance with the correct Ethernet 10/100Mbit/s, 1/10Gbit/s wiring assignment tab, which is discarded once completed. New terminal blocks are also available for Profinet (Black AWG23/22) and for ultra-flexible robot cables (White AWG 24/19), with appropriate wiring assignment tabs. The terminated module can then be simply loaded into either an RJ45 (male or female) or M12 male connector carrier and then these parts are simply hand-clicked together to complete an assembly.
For RJ45 connections, HARTING also offers preLink Extenders enabling simple cabling extensions, maximising installed flexibility. Where installations allow pre-defined cabling lengths, HARTING can provide pre-terminated end-to-end preLinkterminal block patch leads. These can be very easily fed through trunking-runs in tight, difficult spaces before being quickly hand inserted into appropriate connector carrier-ends, alleviating time-consuming field assembly cabling.
The key benefit of HARTING’s preLink termination system is that the termination block can be removed and inserted in another connector in seconds over and over again, meaning that cables and connectors can be switched independently of each other. It therefore permits future site cabling modification upgrades at minimal cost. Such features are particularly useful in supporting the trend toward production line process improvements as manufacturers move to integrate Industry 4.0 for Smart Factory deployment. The “Smart Factory” enables the connection of the real and virtual world via sensors and actuators interfacing to The Cloud via the Internet. New Equipment to support this new integrated industry approach will need to be compact, robust, modular and quick and easy to use. It will need to be installed in a decentralized manner and connected the three lifelines of "Power", "Signal" and "Data". For the important “Data” lifeline existing cabling installations will need to be modified to allow for additional field sensor devices and the wiring flexible for backwards compatibility. The summarise, the features and benefits of the preLink termination system can be applied in a wide range of markets for fast fully flexible field installation of Ethernet based bus cabling. It can even be used for example in certain high shock and vibration harsh environments, having been recently utilised in backbone train carriage wiring looms for the integration of wifi broadband services and Passenger Information Systems. Key pointers to its use in this application are that It also allows for easy future system performance upgrades at minimal cost, is very easy to assembly in tight spaces and the repeatability of the process.
For modern day automotive plant installation, it is becoming more and more important that functional line control equipment can be installed and maintained as easily and quickly as possible, to minimise downtime. Such operational features are critical for all sections of the full supply chain of OEM, Systems Integrator and automotive plant manufacturer. One example where valuable automotive plant installation time has been significantly reduced is with Motorised Safety Roller Shutter Door Guard systems, which are applied at the robotic assembly cells in an assembly line. These ensure the safety of workstation operators through integrated light curtains that detect and prevent personnel being present in a functioning Robot Work Zone.
One manufacturer of such Machine Guards has chosen a range of automotive production assembly approved HARTING connectors for their key I/O power and control circuits. The OEM’s key reasons for choosing HARTING was that the termination features of the different connectors satisfy fast build-up within the control panel and corresponding simple line cabling installation for the Integrator/Installer. As a result, for the critical connector I/O feed to the Roller Door 415 V Brake Motor application, HARTING’s Han ES Press connector was chosen.
Han ES Press offers fast tool-less termination based on an innovative high reliability cage-clamp design. The Han ES Press’s cage clamp is supplied in an open state, so that a pre-stripped wire conductor can be inserted directly and without effort on the rear. A moveable blue plastic plunger is integrated in the insert, just to the side of the cage clamp cavity. If this is pushed down, it provides the closure of cage clamp chamber for ensured electrical termination of the wire conductor. The plunger can also be very quickly screwdriver lever released, should a wire need to be removed for maintenance purposes. An assembly time saving of as much as 50% can be achieved by utilising this intuitive cable termination technique over others like screw or crimp!
There are other connector application areas within an automotive plant, which could also benefit from some additional unique design features of the Han ES Press. For example, Han ES Press allows certain contacts within the connector to be “Commoned” or “Bridged” together through bridging/multiplier/jumper links that are hand plugged into the rear of the connector insert. These Jumpers are available in a range of pin configurations and different colours to suit different wiring conditions, e.g. linking out 24VDC or neutrals. Such functionality can be very useful in automotive production line situations where certain key equipment is wired together in a “Daisy Chain” configuration. In this case it could be important that the last unit sends a closed made circuit signal back to the PLC, indicating that the circuit is complete. A two-way Han ES Press bridge link enables two required pins to be connected across each other, to give the necessary feedback signal.
The Han ES Press rear contact bridging link design feature can also be very useful for the commissioning of production line machinery and robot cells. Often line manufacturing/installation engineers will need to be able to short out the E-stop circuit. The Han ES Press bridge link can be used to replicate the closed circuit. For example, on a motor circuit, where they need the coil circuit to be completed to energize the contactors, two dedicated pins will be linked across to each other.
In conclusion, HARTING HAN ES Press connectors combine fast tool-less termination and rear contact bridging functionality to provide significant production process improvements to modern automotive plant assembly lines.