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CABLES & CONNECTORS FEATURE


Electrical connectors are used in almost every type of equipment, and this diversity means they are needed in a wide variety of formats, sizes and ratings. Selwyn Corns, managing director, gives us a glimpse into the types of connectors available from Stäubli Electrical Connectors UK and the applications in which they are used


OMNIPRESENT CONNECTORS FOR A JOINED UP WORLD O


ne of the most versatile connectors from Stäubli is its modular


CombiTac range. A single, compact housing can be fitted with any combination of power, signal, data, thermocouple, coaxial or fibre optic contacts, and even media such as pneumatics and hydraulics. Reliability is essential, and Stäubli has


made this possible with its proprietary MULTILAM contact technology, which uses torsion spring contact elements to produce a large number of current- carrying contact points. Each torsion spring forms an independent current bridge, so that the many parallel springs substantially reduce the overall contact resistance. The result is a high number of mating cycles, high electrical and thermal conductivity, resistance to shock and vibration, and long service life. The CombiTac range has just added a new fluid coupling module. Its shorter 11mm stroke enables the LCT06 coolant coupling to be used for fluid and pneumatic transfer in a DIN housing as well as panel mount applications. With a shut-off valve on both sides, and a double flush face, the modules have a lifetime of up to 100,000 mating cycles. A slightly larger bore size also allows a higher flow rate.


RAIL CONNECTIONS Among the Stäubli products serving the rail industry is the CT-HE CombiTac range. Designed for connecting battery packs used on rolling stock and other rail applications, these meet the stringent requirements of rail industry standards including EN 45545-2. With power contacts up to 430A in combination with signal contacts for monitoring battery parameters such as temperature, the blind mateable connectors are ideal for withdrawable battery units. Also widely used in the rail sector is the MPC, a modular plug connector suitable for a range of power transmission applications in electric


The CT-HE CombiTac range is designed for connecting battery packs used on rolling stock and other rail applications


Right:


The lightweight RobiFix MINI can be used with traditional welding applications in the 50 to


3000 Hz frequency range as well as with the latest high frequency welding technologies


trains. Rated at 3600V and up to 700A, the units can be used for connecting transformers, traction motors, inverters and batteries as well as inter-carriage power links. Linear versions produce flat connectors, which are particularly suited for under-floor mounting.


HEAVY DUTY CONNECTORS IN FACTORY AUTOMATION The RobiFix range is a system of quick to install primary circuit connectors for use on welding robots. It allows power cables to be divided into sections, so that in the event of damage only the affected section needs to be replaced. The compact, energy efficient, system has established itself as a de facto standard in factory automation. For example, major automobile manufacturers including Daimler, Audi, VW, BMW, Tesla, Ford, Opel, Renault and Nissan use RobiFix for their robot welding interfaces – for hand-held and stationary welding guns as well as automatic tool changers. A lightweight version called the RobiFix MINI has been introduced that can be used both with


traditional welding applications in the 50 to 3000Hz


frequency range as well as with the latest high frequency welding technologies with frequencies as high as 10kHz.


RENEWABLE ENERGY Stäubli has also developed the MC4 solar power connector range, which has become another industry standard. More than one billion photovoltaic connectors in the MC4 family, carrying 190GW of power, have been installed worldwide over the past 20 years. The snap-fit MC4 units are suitable for cable cross-sections from 1.5mm² to 10mm² and are rated for currents up to 45A. Resistance to UV, ammonia and salt spray enables the IP68 rated devices to operate in the harshest environments.





A newer variant is the MC4-EVO2, whose voltage rating of up to 1500V dc means that solar power operators can benefit from longer cable strings when linking solar fields. It has a current carrying capacity of up to 69A, helped by a streamlined design that improves heat dissipation.


TEST AND MEASUREMENT Test is a critical part of every manufacturing operation and whether it’s CombiTac for automated test systems or manual test for short run production, Stäubli can offer solutions from its complete range of insulated test accessories. These meet today’s stringent safety requirements for measurement categories up to CAT IV, and include probes, plugs and sockets, for low and high frequency engineering, as well as a wide range of high flexibility leads. With the Grip-ESZ single collet plier,


replaceable inserts allow the instrument to clamp onto M4, M5 or M6 threaded bolts, with contact depths ranging from 3-6mm. A 4mm diameter safety lead plugs into the handle. The Grip-ESZ is a more flexible


complement to Stäubli’s MK six-pole motor terminal plugs. These have a simple clamping action which enables them to be quickly locked onto terminal blocks with various pin spacings and diameters. They are available for five thread sizes from M4 to M10 and can be specified with up to two spring-loaded earth pins on their top face. This, however, is just a selection of the wide range of types and sizes of high reliability connectors available from Stäubli Electrical Connectors.


Stäubli Electrical Connectors www.staubli.com/electrical


DESIGN SOLUTIONS | MARCH 2019 29


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