M12 connectors with push-pull fast-locking system
Keep the tried and tested and add something innovative – that was the vision behind the development of the new M12 push-pull fast connection in accordance with IEC 61076-2-010. The system combines the usual advantages of the M12 connector with the new functions of push-pull technology – for the convenient and secure cabling of devices and systems.
The past three decades have seen immense leaps of innovation towards technological progress and digitalisation in the field of automation technology. The constantly increasing functionality of the devices and simultaneous demands for ever-more compact housing dimensions presented greater challenges for the connection technology. The M12 connector succeeds in performing this balancing act. Through a series of innovative pin assignments, the M12 connectors evolved from the “simple” sensor connection designed as a 4-position, compact, direct connection for sensors in the mid-1980s to today’s universal global standard in the connection technology for data, signals, and power in automation components.
Throughout this unparalleled success story, the M12 consistently retained its proven “virtues”: a robustness well-suited for industrial applications, compact dimensions, and proven locking technology with a fully threaded M12.
The M12 screw locking system does have one small drawback along with its many advantages – the time required to tighten it correctly. Several approaches emerged to optimise this aspect, by replacing the locking system with “fast-coupling technologies” or combining it with the M12 thread. However, these always ended up being proprietary solutions, unable to establish themselves as a market standard for various reasons, including additional costs, limited availability, and lack of standardisation.
The success story and level of global acceptance of the M12 connector are based to a large degree on the existing, seamless IEC standardisation. And now, a new chapter in the success story has been written from this starting point. The new IEC 61076-2-010 standard creates a harmonised, normative integration for all M12 push-pull, fast-locking connection variants commonly used in the market. The new standard makes it possible from now on to connect automation components via a consistently standardised push-pull, fast-connection technology based on M12.
The comprehensive support by manufacturers and users, as well as the standardised basis, provide security and create ideal conditions for establishing the M12 push-pull, fast-coupling technology as the new standard.
The advantages of M12 PUSH-PULL
Comparing the new M12 push-pull, fast-locking system with a conventional, standard-threaded M12 connector shows that the M12 PUSH-PULL offers significant time savings during installation. The user saves up to 80 percent installation time due to the simple plugging process of the connection – which means significant cost savings. The improved handling of the M12 push-pull, fast-locking system also results in more compact device designs. Less space is required between individual devices and there is the option to integrate device ports in the device fully “countersunk.” Both advantages benefit the increasing demand for miniaturisation.
Another advantage of the M12 push-pull, fast-locking system is the secure connection compared to conventional M12 connectors. While a M12 connector with a standard M12 thread requires a torque tool to ensure compliance with the required IP67 type of protection, a M12 push-pull, fast-locking connection does not need such a tool.
Just as important to the end user is the wide and global availability of the new M12 PUSH-PULL system. Leading M12 connector manufacturers have spoken in support of the IEC 61076-2-010 standard. The main reasons for this are the functional reliability across manufacturers as well as the economic manufacturability due to its proximity to the basic standard -101 and the easy integration in the device.
The fast and widespread availability of the new system, as well as the investment security due to broad manufacturer support, also play an important role. This is why the DNA of the M12 basic standard (-101) is incorporated unchanged in the -010, thereby updating the proven M12 know-how into a new global standard.
Easy design-in – typically M12
A particular highlight of the refinement of the M12 is that the proven M12 full thread stays the same. The push-pull mechanism simply sits in front of it, which makes converting to push-pull systems significantly easier.
The advantages of the seamless evolution of the push-pull technology become particularly apparent in the design-in characteristics of the device connectors. Nothing changes in the device – the minor modification for the push-pull technology is made only in the area of the M12 thread. Device manufacturers can continue to use established M12 device connectors such as the two-part, modular M12 Reflow device connector program, without needing to change their device design. The advantage is clear: The functionality of the devices is expanded without additional costs and provides the end user with the choice of implementing the field cabling with conventional M12 connectors or with push-pull, fast-connection technology