Matthias Domberg, a Product Manager with Harting Technology Group, explains how a new generation of M8 connectors is enabling Fast Ethernet to be used with today's compact sensors.
The consistent and seamless implementation of Integrated Industry entails Ethernet from the Cloud down to each and every sensor. Still, providing Ethernet down to the finest reaches of sensors means that adjustments must be made to connection technology. Ever-increasing numbers of ever-smaller sensors are harnessing Ethernet to monitor processes and states, down to the most compact devices. In the field, Harting M8 connectors are taking care of the connection of the last blank areas on the Ethernet map.
At the field level, more and more ever-smaller sensors are being used for process monitoring, which are no longer accessed via a bus system but rather via Ethernet. The Ethernet protocol down to the last sensor could soon become the common standard and replace other systems.
In future, control and monitoring will no longer consist of fenced-off systems. Rather, they can – if the necessary security measures are taken – be connected to the Cloud. The former vision of 'From the sensor to the Cloud' is becoming a reality. Internal communication among corporate locations has improved and production processes can control themselves globally in automated manner.
Conventional connectors are too large
The field level is being enhanced with smaller and smaller sensor systems for intelligent production. These may be high-resolution camera or laser systems for optical positioning which require new, more powerful Ethernet connections due to the high volumes of data involved. Furthermore, today many sensor and actuator systems for the smallest applications are already so compact that current connectors and sockets are simply too large. Common formats for IP65/67 protected connectors - for example, the M12 format - are increasingly too large for new generations of devices. Here, manufacturers and users need new, space-saving and high-performance connectivity technology.
Manufacturers of I/O boxes, camera equipment and sensors are going down the miniaturisation path as well. Here, Harting is also taking the step towards miniaturisation that is so necessary for digitalisation and broadening its portfolio by adding its space-saving M8 connector. This integrated system includes miniaturised sockets and overmoulded system cables.
Benefits of M8 connectors
One-third smaller, yet still robust and protected to IP65/67, the M8 system is also suitable for demanding applications in harsh conditions. 100 Mbits to Cat 5 means the four-pole, D-coded M8 enables Fast Ethernet down to the most compact application and enables a coherent, consistent standard with only one protocol, which meets IEEE 802.3. The connector, which complies with the PAS IEC 61076-2- 114 standard, gives customers investment security and can be used in existing active and passive infrastructures. This applies equally to the automation and transportation markets. The Harting M8 D-coded connectors pave the way for digitisation thanks to rigorous miniaturisation.
Follow the link for more information about Harting's M8 D-coded connectors.