With the future of transportation getting faster and more connected, TE Connectivity is introducing connectors capable of meeting the demands of applications in rolling stock around the world

The future of transportation is only getting faster and more connected.

Modern railway networks are all about speed and reliability,” comments Egbert Stellinga, TE Connectivity’s global product manager for the new range of M12 X-Code connectors. The company has, in fact, been adding to its already substantial offering of connectors designed specifically for applications in rolling stock operating on railways around the world. These not only include the M12 X-Code Series connectors, but also the MU27P connectors which are designed to ensure reliable control and communication connections between railway locomotives and vehicles. The M12 X-Code Series connectors ensure secure data transfer, enabling transmission rates of up to 10Gb per second (according to IEC 802.3an Cat 6a). They have full-metal shells to provide all-round shielding against EMI/RFI interference, and are sealed against dust and water (IP67). Added to this, they can be assembled quickly in the field and, once in place, help ensure very high data transmission rates and avoid network interruptions. These have machined gold-plated crimp contacts, which resist high-vibration environments and help to provide uninterrupted service throughout their lifetime. Furthermore, all non-metal components (apart from the connector boot) are made in materials that obtain an HL3 rating in the European fire performance standard for

CONNECTING WITH the future of rail travel

materials and components on railway vehicles, EN45545-2. Stellinga comments: “The

new data transfer connectors are designed for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Industry 4.0 is characterised by growing reliance on data gathering, analysis and transmission for remote sensing, monitoring and diagnostics, as well as sophisticated control systems, automation, security and infotainment. These applications rely on high- availability data transmission, which is often carried by Ethernet. “However, major differences between

industrial environments mean that it can be challenging to choose the right cables and connectors for industrial Ethernet networks. Being sealed and rugged, M12 connectors are popular for connecting network components in rail applications as well as industrial machinery and factory automation.” M12 connectors provide the same Ethernet networking connectivity as

RJ45 connectors, but provide safe and reliable connections for environments where continuous operation is a priority – railways being a prime example.

THE MU27P RANGE The MU27P connectors,

meanwhile, are designed for high-performance transmission All non-metal

components of the M12 X-Code connectors (apart from the connector boot) are made in materials that obtain an HL3 rating in the European fire performance standard for materials and components on railway vehicles, EN45545-2

of control and communication signals. These 27-point plugs and receptacles allow a single point in the train to issue up to 27 commands to all or some of the vehicles simultaneously. They convey signals such as door controls and indications, public address, brake applied/released indications, as well as audio and other passenger rail functions. Designed to accept three 10 AWG leads

with all the other leads being 12 AWG or 14 AWG, this allows the connectors to be completely interchangeable with other brands adhering to the Association of American Railroads (AAR) standard AAR-S-512 specification. Silver plating on the crimp contacts ensures excellent electrical contacts. Dyon Bogaarts, global product


Schaeffler has developed two new products for cylindrical rolling bearings that are said to offer distinct advantages for the rail sector. The first product is the MPAX brass cage for cylindrical rolling bearings, a robust, rib-guided, single-piece solid brass cage, which is extremely resistant to vibration and shock loads. The cage has a higher load carrying capacity for radial centrifugal forces (higher radial rigidity) than its predecessors and is also suitable for very high speed applications. With MPAX, Schaeffler has improved the overall cage design by reinforcing the side edges, optimising side

edge thickness and optimising the pocket corner radius position, resulting in reduced maximum stress on the pocket corner radii. Fatigue effects occur only when very large forces are applied. The cage is always rib-guided on one ring and the rollers can be removed. In the rail sector, cylindrical rolling bearings with MPAX cages are particularly well suited to final drive gearboxes. The company has also developed a new ceramic insulation coating for rolling bearings

(including cylindrical rolling bearings) with outside diameters from 70 to 800mm. Applied to the outer ring, the Insutect A J20G coating is a cost effective solution for preventing damage to bearings due to the passage of electrical current. The ceramic coating, which is approximately 700µm thick, offers high capacitive resistance, high wear resistance and a disruptive (dieletric) strength of up to 5,000V DC. The coating helps prolong the life of lubricating grease and is suitable for bearings that operate in dry or damp conditions.


manager for rail terminals and connectors at TE Connectivity, explains: “They comply with the American Public Transport Association’s (APTA) PR-E- RP-019-99 standard covering 27-point jumper and receptacle hardware, as well as the AAR standard AAR-S-512 on locomotives and locomotive interchange equipment, with additional European Rail connector verification against a selection of tests based on French railways standard NF F 61-030.” With these, mechanical features built

into the design of each type of plug and receptacle make it impossible to connect one type of plug with a different type of receptacle. The units also have a break- away coupling system. As well as offering high resistance to salt spray, these are suitable for an operating temperature range from -40˚C to +110˚C.

TE Connectivity

 DESIGN SOLUTIONS | OCTOBER 2018 23

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