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Future-proof cabling for Industry 4.0 factory upgrades

15 July 2016

HARTING announced the latest developments in its support and advocacy for the ‘Industry 4.0’ initiative.

This rapidly growing movement is driving the trend towards the so-called ‘Smart Factory’ which is enabled by the connection of the real and virtual world with sensors and actuators interfacing to the Cloud via the Internet.  

New equipment to support this integrated industry approach needs to be compact, robust, modular and quick and easy to use. It also needs to be installed in a distributed and decentralised manner, and connected to the three Industry 4.0 lifelines of Power, Signal and Data.  

The latest additions to HARTING’s range of robust connector solutions provide support to these Industry 4.0 lifelines. However they also go one-step further by providing an installer user-friendly termination design option for the key Data lifeline. This preLink assembly concept is available in industry standard M12 and RJ45 connector styles.

In many cases, Smart Factory solutions need to be integrated into an existing factory automation control system and its associated cabling infrastructure. preLink allows systems integrators/installers to achieve seamless data cabling integration to such an environment through its simple and repeatable, installer friendly assembly design principle. This requires no additional skills or training and allows greater installation flexibility, saving time to minimise installation cost.  

The preLink design concept is based around using a one-step double-jaw hand press-assembly tool, terminating individual wires within an IDC terminal block. The terminated module can then be simply loaded into either an RJ45 (male or female) or M12 male connector carrier and then parts click together to complete an assembly.  

preLink also permits future site cabling modification upgrades at minimal cost. The low cost plastic IDC terminal block modules can easily be removed from the reusable connector carriers and placed into new connectors. preLink supports Fast, Gbit and 10Gbit Ethernet in both RJ45 and M12 style connectors.

For RJ45 connections, HARTING also offers preLink Extenders enabling simple cabling extensions, maximising installed flexibility. Where installations allow pre-defined cabling lengths, HARTING can provide pre-terminated end-to-end preLink terminal block patch leads. These can be very easily fed through trunking-runs in tight, difficult spaces before being quickly hand inserted into appropriate connector carrier-ends, alleviating time-consuming field assembly cabling.

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