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Lifelines of Industry 4.0

Miniaturised, modular, multifunctional connector system
Florian Hackemeier
Florian Hackemeier
Product Manager, HARTING Electric

Connectors are indispensable for transmitting data, power and signals, and hence are the lifeblood of Industry 4.0. Miniaturised and featuring modular design, e.g. the Han® 1A, thanks to their modularity and flexible inserts they are suitable for all areas in which small drives, sensors and devices need to be supplied.

Miniaturisation in the industrial sector is progressing. For example, smaller and smaller interfaces are needed for ever smaller drives in mechanical engineering and robotics. The new Han® 1A connector series reflects this trend with matching housings and inserts. The necessary shielding for the motor connection can also be achieved with Han® 1A plastic connectors.

Proven modular principle

The series follows the Han® modular principle. The user can flexibly combine insulating bodies, contacts, housing and locking to interfaces. The degrees of protection are scalable between IP30 and IP65 as dictated by requirements. As a result of the modularity and a variety of different inserts, the connector system is suitable for all areas in which small drives, sensors and devices must be supplied. The Han® 1A is almost one-third smaller than the next largest rectangular industrial connector, the Han® 3A. The individual elements are easy to recognise in the modular system and can be quickly assembled into a ready-to-use connector. A mere two components are used to create an IP20 solution for use in protected areas such as control cabinets. With additional housing elements, the degree of protection can be quickly extended to IP65. The portfolio also includes accessories such as fasteners for quick wall mounting, strain relief elements or plastic elements for colour coding.

Contact inserts are available for power, signal and data transmission. The connector transmits a maximum of 16 amps and 400 volts. For areas that are particularly susceptible to interference, a shielded version is available that clearly outperforms the usual auxiliary strands in their EMC effect. For data transmission, Han® 1A modules offer categories Cat. 5 or Cat. 6A.

Contacts with crimp or screw connection technology ensure secure and tension-proof connection for devices. The crimping technique is more suitable for mass pre-assembly, whereas screw technology is advantageous for installation in the field. With the Han® 1A, signal interfaces with a density of up to 12 D-Sub contacts can also be built up. The housings, seals, inserts and cable glands are made of durable, robust polyamide. Minimal effort is needed to produce a water- and dust-proof solution with single-wire sealing mats to supply gripper and other robotic tools in pluggable fashion. The Han® 1A is suitable not only for interfaces in IP-protected environments but also for the supply of devices and small actuators in the periphery of manufacturing facilities, as well as for connecting tools or small machine modules. In traffic engineering, thanks to the modular principle the Han® 1A is recommended, e.g. for the connection of door drives and entry systems, loudspeakers, screens and scoreboards.

What does the IP protection category mean?

The protection category indicates the suitability of electrical equipment for various environmental conditions, in addition to protecting people against potential risks from contact. The first digit specifies the degree of protection against the penetration of solids – from larger foreign bodies to the ingress of dust. The second is the protection against water. The Han 1A series is scalable between IP20 (standard for control cabinets) and IP65. The latter stands for dust-proofing and protection against jets of water.

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