Steadytec Industrial Ethernet connectors sealed to IP67

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In rolling out its IE-Line of connectors with Steadytec technology, Weidmüller claims it is presenting a modular platform concept with the following benefits: the first-ever universal IP67 connector system for copper and fibre-optic cabling; numerous versions with a free choice of insert combinations; a wide variety of materials and connections; high-quality contact technology guarantees more than 750 mating cycles for connectors complying with IEC 60603-7.

IE-Line connectors with Steadytec technology are gigabit-capable and documented in IEC 61076-3-106. The connectors specified in the standard - variant 4 (Ethernet/TCP/IP) and 5 (Profinet) as well as variant 1 (Ethernet IP) - are also required by the standards for generic cabling of industrial buildings ISO/IEC 24702 (FDIS), prEN 50173-1:2006, IEC 61918 (Automation Island) and also fieldbus installations IEC 61784-5. The new, fully shielded connectors are Cat 6 enabled, feature a compact design profile and require no tools for on-the-spot termination in the field. The compact dimensions of Weidmüller’s modular, variant 4 IE-Line housing are comparable to those of an M12 connector.

Supporting transmission rates up to 10Gbit, the IE-line Steadytec connectors are said to be future-proof. Variant 4 housings (to ISO IEC 61076-3-106) are based on a modular construction principle consisting of a flange and a connector housing. Variant 4 is designed to offer protection to IP67 when mated. Its robust housing is made of polyamide, flammability class V-0. The flange is designed to a standard pitch. A marking tag can be added to the housing, which is also supplied with a protective cap to IP67 and a securing cord made of rubber.

Because the compact dimensions of the modular, variant 4 IE-Line housing are comparable to those of an M12 connector, the variant 4 connectors will be of particular interest to device manufacturers. Until now, they have preferred to utilise M12 connectors, which are also available for Industrial Ethernet with D-coding and transmission rates up to 100Mbit (Fast Ethernet). Weidmüller’s variant 4 housing is future-proof because, in addition to its extremely compact dimensions, it also supports transmission rates up to 10Gbit. Transmission rates up to 10Gbit are required by camera manufacturers, for example, who require these speeds for monitoring and quality control of production processes. With required data transfer performances continuing to increase in the future, transmission rates from 10Mbit to 10Gbit open up whole new horizons for users. Added to this, the variant 4 connector with Steadytec technology is designed for on-the-spot termination in the field.

Copper and fibre

Despite the compact profile of the housing, the variant 4 IE housing has been designed to accommodate a variety of inserts: these include RJ45 (tool-free or crimp) and fibre-optic inserts (standard LC duplex and SC connectors). The advantage is that users are not tied to a particular medium. Utilising copper or fibre-optic cables, users are able to cover distances of a few metres through to several kilometres. The RJ45 connectors with IP67 rating support all of the different Industrial Ethernet protocols available on the market. The fibre-optic connectors are also equipped with a rapid termination technique and can be utilised for 50um and 62.5um Plastic Optical Fibre (POF), Plastic Cladded Fibre (PCF) and Glass Optical Fibre (GOF).

The size of the IP67 RJ45 connector is standardised by the Profibus User Organisation (PUO). The standard ISO IEC 24702 provides specifications for generic cabling in industrial premises and stipulates the mandatory use of the RJ45 connector (IP67) in this field.

The housing of the variant 4 (to ISO IEC 61076-3-106) consists of just two parts: a flange and a connector housing. When mated, the variant 4 is sealed to IP67. The robust housing is made of polyamide rated to flammability class V-O. It consists of a normal-pitch flange, marking tag carriers and a securing cord made of rubber for the IP67 rated protective cap. The following housings are available: connector housing, connector housing with anti-kink reinforcing sleeve, connector housing with protective cap, flange housing and flange housing with protective cap. Colour coding is available in white, grey, orange, blue, yellow and green. Even the module for connecting the cable consists of just two parts. Weidmüller placed a great deal of significance in a compatible connection philosophy for its IE-Line connectors with Steadytec technology.

In rolling out its IE-Line of connectors with Steadytec technology, Weidmüller is putting forward a modular platform concept. Steadytec integrates several technologies in a single universal and coherent concept. That applies equally to the contacts and the housing, with regard to the materials as well as the sealing and handling attributes. Furthermore, mounting, marking, cable sealing and strain relief are all based on a coherent, universal concept.

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