How to Choose the Signal Connector for Industrial Applications?

The key factors for determining signal connectors in industrial applications include: cost, environment, vibration, connector density, signal integrity, installation method, and safety requirements.

Where are the signal transmissions in industrial and semi-industrial environments? Everywhere. Devices such as sensors, actuators, switches, valves, and cameras all require signal connections to perform control and monitoring processes. As more and more smart devices are added to factory production, safe and reliable connections become more important. Modern devices must handle a variety of functions and ensure more efficient, reliable, and safe operation.

The environment around the signal connection often affects the reliability of the signal. These factors include: dirt, moisture, oils, chemicals, high and low temperatures, and ultraviolet and ozone, which must be considered in the selection of materials and sealing capabilities. In addition, electromagnetic interference (EMI) from nearby drives, motors, and other noise-generating equipment should also be considered. Without proper shielding, signal loss or unreliable signal transmission may result. Using military style electrical connectors and cables to provide end-to-end signal shielding will eliminate electromagnetic interference and ensure signal integrity.

Many connections in industrial applications are exposed to mechanical shock and vibration. This impact on connector contacts, wire ends, or PCB solder joints can cause signal loss. When selecting connections for high-strength vibration applications, it is necessary to verify the connector design of anti-vibration structural elements, such as: locking threads or mechanical latches, radial O-rings, mounting flanges, fixing screws and spring technology.

Every application requires a reliable connection, and signal integrity may be destroyed by any breakpoints along the line. In addition to the wire end to the contact, the quality of the contact material is the most important factor affecting performance. When evaluating contact designs, the use of gold plating should be determined. Gold is a precious metal with good electrical properties and is not affected by corrosion. Preventing contact corrosion and having a high mating contact force are two key reasons for using gold plating in industrial applications.

Quick connection is also necessary for equipment installation, especially when the job requires a large number of connections. The shortest installation time can reduce the total cost. The connection is usually located in an inconvenient area or in a place with poor lighting. Finger fatigue and incorrect fastening will affect the success of rapid installation. By designing quick connection devices, such as spring cages or insulation displacement contacts (IDCS), at the PCB end, some of these problems can be prevented. On site, these devices provide quick connections of pcb plug in connectors, including half-turn technology or push-pull connections. When the equipment connection requires on-site wiring, the use of external connection, IDC or spring connection can save a lot of time. Because these technologies can achieve more connections in a shorter time. Research has proved that some IDC connectors can save 60% of the installation time. Compared with traditional screw joints, spring contact connectors can save 80% of the time.

Eliminating potential connection errors is a major concern for end users and field technicians, but equipment manufacturers and engineers can prevent potential erroneous connection factors during the design phase. When multiple connectors in the same space are used in a device, connector keying can eliminate confusion and effectively prevent users from inserting the wrong connector into the wrong socket. For example, in a typical signal connection scheme, engineers can select circular connectors with keyed changes, including: A, B, C, D, S, T, X, or Y. The terminal module connector can also be keyed in several modes to ensure that only the correct plug can be matched with the appropriate socket.

Marking and color coding can also reduce false matches. The most common mistakes made by technicians in the field are misconnections. Incorrect line terminals and incorrect terminal assignments may delay system commissioning and equipment startup. The use of color coding or other indicator marks on all line connection points can eliminate confusion and reduce the time spent troubleshooting on site.

When selecting signal connections for industrial applications, many variables that affect performance must be evaluated, including: cost, environment, vibration, connector density, signal integrity, installation method, and safety requirements. High-quality industrial connectors will help to ensure that terminal devices comply with international standards and provide safe and durable performance.

Sunkye provides custom connectors for a complete range of high-performance applications. A wide variety of mil spec electrical connectors options are available to you, feel free to contact us.

Sunkye Connection Technologies provides a wide product portfolio with a complete interconnect solutions offering. Sunkye connectors and cables assemblies are complementary with Sunkye backshells and conduits.