01. September 2016

Synergy in the connector: Tool-less quick-termination technology meets pluggable jumpers

Industrie 4.0 and similar initiatives are driving ever more complex network and power distribution requirements. Similarly, test rigs and other installations create a tension between the need for more connections, less space and the need to reduce commissioning time and cost – anything that can help simplify all of these elements is therefore going to have an immediate impact.

To fulfil this need, customers are demanding connector ranges that offer quick installation and effortless interchangeability.  Meeting these requirements helps increase the flexibility of modular manufacturing and other applications where solutions are created from configurable modules. The key to success is connecting them with configurable cabling with contact inserts offering tool-less terminations. These in turn need to be able to be fitted with several options of hood and housing to create a highly configurable connection.

An example of this easily configurable connection technology is the HARTING Han® ES Press which has the cage clamp delivered open so that the conductor can be hand inserted directly, without effort and without specialist tools. Once the installer presses the actuator into the contact chamber during installation, the cage clamp returns to the starting position and fixes the conductor end so that it is electrically connected to the contact. Besides the significant user-friendliness, this enables faster termination during wiring.

This also means that when removing a conductor, all that has to be done is to insert a screwdriver into the actuator and to move the lever with minimal force at the junction with the insulating body.  The actuator then opens and the cage clamp once again releases the conductor allowing the cable assembly to be reconfigured quickly and simply.

Interlinked cabling of decentralised control cabinets in a modern factory/ production line environment often creates situations where multiple contacts need the same potential (e.g. Ground or 24V), for example when providing connections for sensors, switches and Powerbus daisy chaining.   In such cases, the use of a single feeding line instead of multiple feeding lines of the same potential adds simplicity and saves space. This technique is also useful for connecting motor drives/inverter control wiring in either star or delta connection arrangements.

One increasingly popular way to help simplify the assembly of connectors with multiple contacts carrying the same potential (voltage), and to reduce both assembly time and the space required, is to use jumpers and bridges.

Until now, integrating bridge functions into the connector required the use of special modules or complicated cable connections. The latest generation of connectors now enable bridging of individual contacts for potential multiplication by using pluggable jumpers – as is the case with conventional terminal blocks. This can be implemented with different longitudinal and transverse bridges, which also enable star and delta circuits typically used for motor control; up to 12 poles can be bridged in series.

Another good idea is to incorporate a measuring point into the opening of the jumpers, which offers easy troubleshooting when assembled. If the point is located on the bus bar in the connector it can be accessed even when jumpers have been assembled. This not only reduces wiring effort but makes testing and maintenance very easy consequently.

Connectors and multipliers that require only simple hand assembly can significantly reduce both labour and material costs, and installation times. One German company has reported 43% time savings by using HARTING Han® ES Press push-fit connectors and Han® Multiplier jumpers.

The company has used the Han® ES Press 16 pin version to replace screw terminal connectors because of the saving in assembly time for their assemblies. The company, which works in the broadcast and entertainment lighting industry, builds power distribution cable assemblies for its lighting systems. These are typically used in concert installations and are rented out as assemblies to the road crew installer companies who set up and break down the stage lighting equipment.

The use of single-handed push button mating and un-mating that supports cable-trunking drag-through installations is also becoming a widely demanded application. Inserts that can be loaded from the front or rear side of a bulkhead panel make permanent and long-term installations easy, and this is particularly important in situations where equipment is likely to be moved, reconfigured or upgraded in the mid-future. Recently developed products that support this concept include a separate single 15 way Multiplier Block insert, rated at 16A with crimp contacts. 

The push fit connector and Multiplier concept can now be applied across multipole I/O connector ranges including units that can make use of die-cast aluminium IP65 compliant and rugged plastic, high-strength IP68 compliant hoods and housings. They can also be used inside switch cabinets.

If you would like more information on how to make use of push-fit connectors, bridges and jumpers, click here www.harting.co.uk/es-press or, email: salesUK@harting.com or call 01604 827500

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