Freedom with Right Connectors

Right connectors allow high degree of freedom in the design of industrial equipment Miniaturised FreedomThe demands for performance and flexibility in control technology have risen rapidly in recent years, accompanied by ever increasing pressure for miniaturisation. The har-flex series of connectors extends the range of possibilities for designers of industrial equipment.
In recent years, the application areas for control technology have increased in the industrial environment as well. In addition, requirements are becoming more stringent in connection with the development of intelligent systems and the demands of the application area as well as in the networking of different divisions of the enterprise. Control systems are taking on ever more tasks, performing ever better and can take into account ever more eventualities and environmental factors, without being affected even by extreme environmental conditions. Decentralisation, networking and miniaturisation are the keywords in this development. This has a number of consequences for connector technology: connectors take on control tasks and must remain reliable and fault tolerant in the field and also fit into the smallest spaces.
Open & ProprietaryFor this reason, standard solutions were used on the connector side in the early stages of the development of electronic control systems. They should be freely available and not specialised, to cover the widest possible range of applications. IEC 60297 standardised systems, which were initially widely used, are therefore based on DIN 41612 connectors. But rising requirements generally led to the replacement of open with proprietary solutions during further development. Thus, a backplane was used solely for I/O plug-in cards. This tendency towards custom solutions continued in the next step: The rack system was dropped and modules connected directly together. Rack systems and backplanes were entirely eliminated. The connectors were perfectly adapted for this linear architecture, with, however, the loss of all the advantages of open architectures: Portability, easy availability of spare parts, wide scale use of a connector type.
Specialist for E-connection TechnologyHARTING is globally active in electrical and electronic connector technology. The company’s business units offer a wide spectrum of custom solutions for applications in the industrial environment. The product portfolio includes connectors, equipment connection technology, network components and wired-up system cables. Benefit for the user arises from the triad of installation technology, device connectivity and automation IT.
Approach for Open SolutionsThe latest developments arise from this point for which har-flex is perfectly suited. Proprietary solutions cannot withstand the increased competitive pressure of recent years. They don’t provide increased performance, nor does their use make economic sense. Proprietary solutions only lead to the development of further proprietary solutions – with ever increasing product differentiation, runaway development costs and serious deficiencies in the workflow in the field. This is why open solutions moved strongly back into the foreground, with their wide application spectrum and ability to be adapted fast and economically for specific applications. HARTING has followed this approach and upgraded DIN 41612 connector solutions to satisfy today’s requirements.
Robustness in Miniature PackagesHARTING’s har-flex connectors represent a major step in this phase of control technology: har-flex demonstrates the necessary robustness in miniature format. In addition, har-flex is available in a range of shapes and numbers of poles, which satisfies the need for the greatest possible freedom in product design for board to board applications. This is based on the fundamental idea which drove the development of har-flex: The increased complexity and functionality on the circuit board level leads to an increased trend to miniaturisation, which can only be satisfied with radically new approaches. The most interesting new approach is known as “Box Architectures”, which are pushing out the bigger and clumsier backplane systems. This method of construction enables compacter and above all extremely powerful solutions, and on top of that it allows costs to be reduced.
HARTING has based one of the most important targets – the greatest possible flexibility for pole variants – on a 1.27 mm raster. Since the number of poles can be limited to that necessary for the particular application area, precious space on the circuitboard can be used much more efficiently and economically. The number of poles can be anything from 6 to 100, rising in steps of 2. A robust connection to the PCB is achieved through the use of extra fixation devices. Insertion and withdrawal forces are absorbed, considerably relieving the solder contacts on the termination side.
Daughterboard ApplicationsWith regard to daughterboard applications, HARTING efficiently widens the product range in the Device Connectivity division. Implementations in four different stacking heights have recently been developed, suitable for bridging parallel circuit board offsets from 8 to 13.8 mm. Additionally there are angled implementations, which considerably extend the design possibilities, as well as cable connectors which allow for larger flexible connections. Thus the range of combinations and implementations can be further extended.
Mechanised and therefore economical assembly is supported by SMT (Surface Mount Technology) and automation friendly tape-and-reel packaging. The insert is made of heat resistant material, which allows reliable machine soldering. The co-planarity of the contacts, essential for the SMT processes, is ensured by 100 per cent camera inspection. In this simple way the manufacturer enables processing on the circuit board which is high in efficiency, quality and reliability.
For more details, contact: janine.hempelmann@HARTING.com

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