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Hybrid power+ signal connectors for servo drives

18 November 2010

Tyco Electronics has introduced a hybrid connector called Motorman that simplifies the connection of power and signals to locally controlled motors. It integrates communication, signal and power transmission within a compact single connector and cable assembly. The Motorman hybrid connector features two fast Ethernet interfaces plus space for five power sockets, five signal sockets and one protection-earth-contact.

The rectangular Motorman connector features a highly compact design, measuring only 41.5 x 22.3mm. The housing was developed completely from scratch and is available in a metal or a plastic version. The metal housing is ideal for tough industrial environments whereas the plastic housing is very cost-effective for less demanding environments. The cable does not enter at a right angle, but at 100° which ensures a good match of cable bending radius and housing geometry.

A guided lever locks the Motorman connector housing onto the motor PCB. The lever is easily opened from the side of the assembly, while it takes a screwdriver to unlock it from the other side (to prevent unintended operation). As the contact insert can be rotated by 180°, the cable can exit in two directions. The spacious side access enables the device to be very easily assembled. It also makes it much easier to locate faults, as every contact can be easily checked.

The pin housing designed for mounting on the servo motor PCB has been extensively optimised. Firstly, the low-height solder pins have very little mass and are tailored for automated reflow soldering at 270°C. Secondly, the signal and power pins are placed and grouped on either side of an integrated barrier. Therefore signal and power paths do not cross, which means that the PCB needs fewer layers.

The cable jacket seal (offering level IP 69K protection) generates two ring shaped lines of compression around the hybrid cable jacket. Cables of between 13 and 17mm diameter can be assembled with one size of seal and without any torque-controlled tool. A metal clamp serves as strain relief, ensuring a high cable-to-plug tensile strength of >150 N. At the same time the clamp band practically provides a 360° umbrella cable shield contact.

The Motorman connector has been designed for a DC voltage level ranging from 24 to 600Vdc and up to 20A at temperatures of up to 80°C. However, an ac supply of up to 480V is also possible by using three to four power contacts. All applicable European standards and UL/CSA guidelines for clearance and creepage distances are met.


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