Rugged Interconnects for Harsh Environments eBook

Choosing a properly shielded connector can mitigate EMI. If using a plastic enclosure, shielding to the PCB via a designated shield pin when the connector is mated is one option. Another option includes reserving a contact pin that connects to a drain wire in the cable. If using a metal enclosure, a shielding nut designed to make contact against the metal body will ensure a proper shield. As remote monitoring devices and electronics continue to shrink, the demands for I/O and connectivity are not following suit. This creates a challenge for engineers wanting to scale enclosures to maximize cost savings while still incorporating the number of connectors needed for their application. Using hybrid connectors can streamline the design, incorporating data, power, and signal in one connector. Hybrids can provide flexibility in connector selection without occupying more space on the PCB. Even though they are more expensive, hybrid connectors reduce costs, compared to using multiple connectors for the same functions.

In the process industries, the integration of connected technologies based on IEEE 802.3 Ethernet is growing. The new Ethernet with an Advanced Physical Layer (Ethernet-APL) expands on the 10BASE T1-L standard used in single-pair Ethernet (SPE), but it will be more than 300 times faster than technologies such as HART or Fieldbus. Ethernet-APL provides advantages in connector specification. Using standard screw and spring clamp connectors, cable entry via glands is an option. If a bulkhead disconnect is needed, industry- standard M8s and M12s can be used. This makes Ethernet-APL easy to deploy as a standard for field applications, from process plants with hazardous areas up to Zone 0 / Division 1 to hybrid plants, employing technologies from discrete and process automation. ACCESSORIES The ability of an enclosure to mount in different ways for differing applications adds value. Some housings have mounting capabilities integrated into the mold. Examples include integrated feet with holes for bolts or screws. They may also include voids acting as belt loops, which allow cable ties to be used for pole- mounting applications. Housing OEMs may have additional mounting accessories to help maximize flexibility and accessibility in the field. Consider a vent if the application sees rapid exterior temperature swings from ambient air, or internal temperature swings generated by the electronics. Pressure buildup inside the enclosure can stress the seal. Eventually, water or various particles infiltrate the enclosure. Venting allows internal moisture to dissipate through the membrane, protecting its components.

Phoenix Contact offers a range of M12 hybrid connectors for communication interfaces and powerful motor connections. These connectors transmit data and power to the device in a space-saving format.


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