The Right Connections for Your Network

May 16, 2013
You Have Lots of Things to Worry About, but the Physical Connection of Your Cabling Shouldn't Be One of Them. There's a Lot to Choose From.

The method for the physical connection of signal wires and cables often depends on the location of the I/O in the application. In a recent poll of sibling Control Design's machine builder audience, we learned that more than half (57%) of the respondents are nearly all centralized and rack-mounted. That corresponds pretty well to the 72% who indicated that the I/O is cabinet-mounted, and, by implication, reasonably protected.

But even in well-protected environments, the use of molded or assembled cordsets is a growing choice for that physical connection in place of traditional screw or spring-clamp terminations. It's sometimes a question of the tradeoff of initial cost versus installation labor savings.

SEE ALSO: Assembled vs. Overmolded Cordsets

"Assembled cordsets are a common connectivity solution, however, in-the-field assembly makes them vulnerable to performance deficiencies, such as mis-wiring and moisture ingress, which can impact the operation of the entire application," says Jay Bartsias, connectivity product manager, Turck. "So, cordsets have progressed to include overmolded options. Overmolding can improve the durability of the cordset, as well as reduce the total cost of ownership by improving uptime, decreasing labor and maintenance, and improving overall performance for enhanced application accuracy and efficiency."

Multi-Wire Connection   
ZIPport multi-wire connectors frame sizes include 10A, 16A, and 32B made of heavy-duty metal or thermoplastic housings. Connector hoods are available with top entry and side entry cable passages, and feature Pg threaded cable passages. Accessories include additional IP66 and IP68 cable glands, Pg to NPT adapters and blanking plugs. Insert plates are available in blank, reducer and cutout styles.
(770) 889-2858
Make a Change   
Serial to fiberoptic Ethernet converters integrate serial port devices into industrial Ethernet networks for transmission over longer distances. They provide conversions from RS-232, RS-422 or RS-485 into fiberoptic signals in both SC and ST fiber connection options, and have automatic baud rate recognition. If the baud rate changes, the signals are still routed without any data loss.
(800) 849-9343

Code Compliant   
I/O and data cordsets include M12 and M8 standard-length and customizable cordsets with a look and feel common in North America. They’re available in yellow PVC cable, are sunlight-resistant, and rated–30-105 °C. These three-, four-, and five-position M12 cable assemblies meet ITC/PLTC rating for installation in industrial cable trays/raceways in accordance with NEC Articles 725/727.
Phoenix Contact
(800) 322-3225

Tuff-Link industrial interconnects and cordsets for control components such as sensors or actuators include mini, micro/M12 and pico sizes with various molding/cable materials to meet environmental concerns. The product line also includes multi-port distribution boxes, bus system connectors, attachable connectors and more.
(877) 438-8833
Overmolded Mil-Spec cordsets for rugged applications are available in shell sizes 8-24, and threaded, bayonet and reverse-bayonet styles. They meet NEMA 1, 3, 4 and 6P, and are rated IP67 and IP68. Cable options include NEK 606, ABS and IEEE 1580.
(800) 544-7769
Don't Blow It   
811 Series Class CC and Midget-style fuse holders are lever-actuated, and terminate with Cage Clamp spring pressure. For conductors 14–6 AWG, they have one to three poles; an optional coupling kit creates multi-pole configurations in the field. They support branch-circuit applications with up to 200 kA SCCR (30 A, 600 V). The Midget-style variant achieves 100 kA SCCR (30 A, 750 Vac/1,000 Vdc) for supplemental protection.
(800) din-rail
A Clean Split   
G10 Series AS-interface splitters with stainless steel coupling nuts have a one-piece housing with IP67/IP68/IP69K ratings, are immune to vibration, and feature gold-plated and machined contacts for applications subject to caustic chemicals and high-pressure washdowns. The housing design features a flat-cover top and smooth-surface bottom that resists collecting food particles.
(330) 486-0001
Take a Right   
Molded M12 male and female right-angle connectors with 360° shielding permit reliable transmission of analog and digital data in environments with strong electromagnetic fields. The connectors are single-ended or double-ended cordsets for actuators/sensors, Profibus and Ethernet cables, and connection cables. The operating range is -25 to 85 °C, with high shock and vibration resistance, and IP67, IP68 and IP69K ratings approvals.
(800) 235-3361
Make a Remote Connection   
8CVE remote connection box has IP65 protection, and comes with four hybrid cable outlets, allowing the power to be divided between up to four line structures of Acoposmulti65 8CVI inverters; and the connections necessary for Safe Torque Off (STO) signals are included. It has two local I/O connections.
B&R Industrial Automation
(770) 772-0400
Ethernet Anywhere   
Vlinx VESP211 small-form-factor serial servers connect serial devices to Ethernet networks. VESP211 supports RS-232/422/485 (MEI) with a DB9M serial port and RJ45 Ethernet port. VESP211-232 supports RS-232 with a DB9M serial port and RJ45 Ethernet port. VESP211-485 supports RS-422/485 with a removable terminal block and RJ45 Ethernet port.
B&B Electronics
(800) 346-3119
From Serial to Ethernet   
Available with one to 16 ports, SeaLink Ethernet serial servers connect RS-232, RS-422 and RS-485 serial devices to your Ethernet network and use TCP/IP, enabling any host to access serial ports as virtual COM ports.
Sealevel Systems
(864) 843-4343
Connect With Professionals   
Professional RJ45 connectors for either eight-pin Cat. 5e or four-pin Cat. 6A are available in straight and angled designs, and have a 45° angle for multiple connections in tight spaces.
(770) 497-9292
Simplify Panels   
SmartWire-DT panel wiring system connects motor control components with a single cable over EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP, Profibus-DP and CANopen. It uses an eight-conductor, flat cable in the control cabinet to connect motor starters, pushbutton actuators and indicator lights.
(414) 449-6555
Tough Connection   
In shielded and UTP configurations, Cat. 5e Industrial Max patch cords have flame-retardant thermoplastic elastomer (FR-TPE), polyurethane (PUR) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) cable jacket options. The patch cords and outlets have Cat. 5e, RJ45 connectivity encased in a protective outer housing made of heat-resistant thermoplastic with a bayonet-style mating design that latches with a quick ¼ turn. Both outlet and patch cord are IP67-rated.
(860) 945-4380
Some Need It Hot   
EtherCAT I/O devices with Fast Hot Connect reduces the connection time for these changeovers to 1 s, increasing productivity as a result of changing topologies via direct plug-and-play coupling or decoupling during operation. WinCAT automation suite supports Fast Hot Connect on the master side.
Beckhoff Automation
(952) 890-0000
Certifiable Modules   
Brad HarshIO Profinet I/O modules are PNO-certified to meet Profinet specifications for conformance class B. Fast Start-Up (FSU) technology connects industrial controllers to I/O devices, and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) support extends module diagnostics of network functions, such as port status messages. Media Redundancy Protocol (MRP) increases data reliability.
(800) 225-7724
Feed It Through   
DIN-rail-mountable AVK feed-through, screw-connection-style terminal blocks with vibration-resistant wire clamps have a plastic housing made from polyamide 6.6 thermoplastic resin with a UL 94 V2 rating for 105 °C.
Omega Engineering
(203) 359-1660
Fuse the Circuit   
WTB2-FB130L IEC fuse holder terminal blocks have a current rating to 30 A, and accept ¼ x 1¼ in. fuses. They have a built-in LED circuit to indicate when the fuse blows and funneled wiring entry with finger-safe IP20 terminals. 
(724) 775-7926
Device Connect   
EtherNet/IP Communications Auxiliary enables DeviceNet-based components to connect to an EtherNet/IP network. Users can access the status of any DeviceNet device in the network from a PC or PLC.
Rockwell Automation
(414) 382-2000