Aug 14, 2023

M12 connectors target Industry 4.0 ...

Binder in Germany has developed push-pull versions of the M12 connector and a single cable assembly to boost adoption in Industry 4.0 applications such as industrial automation.

Applications for the M12 connectors, based on DIN EN IEC 61076-2, range from basic sensor/actuator cabling to industrial measurement and control technology as well as industrial Ethernet to autonomous robots or cobots.

Depending on the coding and design, M12 connectors can transmit signals, data, and, if required, electrical power between field devices, such as sensors, controllers, or drives, and other network nodes. On the one hand, they are able to handle the high data rates of modern Ethernet networks. On the other hand, they can also supply components such as drives with high power levels.

The A coding for sensors and DC power is available with 3, 4, 5, 8, and 12 pins. The B (Profibus), D (100 Mbit Ethernet) and X (10 Gbit Ethernet) codings with 4 and 8 pins, respectively, are suitable for data transmission at different transfer rates.

In the case of power supply, for example for AC drives and frequency converters, S and K (up to 630 V(AC) at up to 16 A) and, for example for DC drives or LED lighting, T and L (up to 63 V(DC) at up to 16 A) apply.

All M12 connectors provide minimum IP67 protection against dust and water ingress. Special variants are also available in IP68 and IP69K for hygienically demanding applications.

Binder has also developed M12 connectors with outer push-pull locking. This complements the M12-threaded products with push-pull locking in M12 design. Instead of screwing, the cable side latches with the device side when the plug is pressed on. The product design follows DIN EN IEC 61076-2-010, ensuring backwards compatibility with M12 screw locking on the device side.

Depending on the design, the M12 connectors are intended for different application scenarios. Versions with special termination such as crimping or wire clamp technology are suitable for applications with vibrations; others are suitable for outdoor use and, for example, resistant even to UV radiation. Depending on the application field, metal, plastic or stainless steel housings are used.

As field devices increase in functionality, their power requirements grow. In addition, the density of interfaces increases, which requires particularly compact connectivity solutions.

For device supply with 63 V(DC) at up to 16 A, binder has expanded its M12 portfolio by panel mount connectors with L-coding and dip solder contacts. The space-saving 823 series products are suitable for manual, wave, and reflow soldering on printed circuit boards. Protected to IP68 when mated, they are designed for both front and rear panel mounting, with their sophisticated two-piece design helping eliminate potential failure sources: Because the mounting body is soldered to the PCB but the flange housing is attached directly to the device, soldering can be done without the housing, which in turn can be mounted without disturbing the solder joints.

The time-consuming and error-prone single-core wiring is no longer necessary with ready-to-connect cables. Pre-assembled, overmolded products, which have already been tested in accordance with DIN EN IEC 61076-2, significantly reduce the installation and cabling effort. The ready-to-connect cables in the M12 segment includes a number of versions: Straight and angled products, as well as products molded on one or both sides, with various codings and in different cable qualities are available with 3 to 12 pins.

The single cable M12 connector combines 7 signal contacts with 2 power contacts and thus enables power and signal supply in just one connector. Rated currents of 12 A and voltages of up to 63 V are possible for power supply, and 0.5 A and up to 12 V for signal transmission.

In addition to the panel mount parts with THR or SMT contacts, there will also be those with wires, and variants with stainless steel and plastic housings will be available.