Over the past few years, we have become increasingly reliant on staying connected to devices wherever we are, with Ethernet being the dominant communication standard in this area. It is therefore logical that connectivity will continue to influence more and more areas of our lives in the future. As part of this growth, there is also an increased demand for smaller and more compact electronic and industrial devices that are simultaneously more powerful.
In order to future-proof rapidly advancing device technology, embrace the ongoing challenges of Industry 4.0 and provide smaller connectors, HARTING have developed the ix Industrial®. This robust and compact interface delivers Cat. 6A performance for 1/10Gbit/s Ethernet at the control level, whilst its high current-carrying capacity supports both existing and future Power over Ethernet (PoE) applications.
The classic RJ45 is the world’s most widely used connector and is synonymous with Ethernet connections in the IP20 environment. However, as devices such as tablets, sensors and cameras get smaller, the size of the RJ45 is becoming problematic because it takes up more and more of the already restricted space available on components.
With the ix Industrial®, HARTING have slashed the PCB jack size by a substantial 70%, enabling manufacturers to use it in much smaller devices, which can then more easily meet the needs of miniaturisation. In addition, it combines both data transmission and power supply into a single interface, further reducing the area required for connectors within devices.
As well as significant space savings, the ix Industrial® has been specifically designed and built to withstand the rigours of industrial environments. This resolves the issues associated with the RJ45, whose plastic locking tabs are easily broken in busy manufacturing environments, which can lead to contact problems as the connection works loose.
To ensure a strong connection, the socket and connector are securely locked together by two metal snap-in hooks, ensuring a robust and vibration-proof connection from the cable to the circuit board for up to 5000 mating cycles. The cable and plug also benefit from a sturdy crimp connection, which improves strain relief.
When it comes to standardisation, the interface complies with IEC 61076-3-124 and conforms to the shock and vibration resistance levels set out in EN 50155 railway specifications, making it the perfect solution for a range of markets and sectors.
The socket is firmly fastened to the circuit board with five through hole reflow (THR) shield contacts, preventing the conductor tracks from being damaged. There are also no unprotected wires from the cable to the connection point, which can affect a fault-free, high frequency signal. As a result, the ix Industrial® takes care to safeguard data transmissions; thanks to its continuous 360° shield design, it guarantees a high immunity to interference, even in EMC-critical applications.
When it comes to device wiring, users can take advantage of flexible, thin system cables with a tight bending radius, which again helps to save valuable installation space. The cables can also be assembled in numerous combinations. For example, you can have the ix mating face on both ends or choose to go with the ix and RJ45 connector on opposite ends. This allows a gradual adaptation of new miniaturised technology into existing cabling systems without the need to use totally new components.
Currently, the ix Industrial® is available in straight form. However, angled cable connector variants will follow in the future, allowing more installations within flat and space-critical applications.
In terms of practicality, its durable, strong design and compact size means the ix Industrial® is ideal for use in automation switch cabinets, machinery, robotics, data networks and the energy markets. It is also ideally suited to trains and buses as displays and passenger information systems can receive both power and data via the ix interface.
Discussing the ix Industrial®, Philip Harting, Executive Chairman of the HARTING Technology Group said: “Industry 4.0 as an expression of the Internet of Things needs one thing above all: an Ethernet connection to any Industry 4.0 component. The international standardisation of new high-performance components and infrastructures is an essential prerequisite for market success, and provides security in terms of planning.”
Consequently, the ix has the potential to become the future IP20 standard connector for end-to-end Ethernet, from the Cloud down to supporting the next generation of miniaturised products with perfect high data transmission rates.
Please click here for more information on the ix Industrial® connector.