Han-Modular® Flexbox: Modular connectors for energy chains

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Reduces the associated construction and connection effort / Less space is needed.
The flexible and reliable supply for fast, linearly moving components of machines and systems is made possible by the Han-Modular® Flexbox – a novel interface in the modular plastic housing system from HARTING. Longer, moving cable runs for machines and machine modules are easier to install and maintain.
The Han-Modular® Flexbox makes it possible to sub-divide energy chains into flexibly manageable and easily replaceable segments. The modular housing concept replaces the previous implementation consisting of multiple individual connections and offers a single plug-in and disconnection point as a compact overall solution. This reduces the associated construction and connection effort, and less space is needed. Fastening elements can be used to join the housings together in different configurations. As a result, the height and width of the interface can be flexibly designed. The Han-Modular® Flexbox thus fits the requirement profile of a wide variety of applications. The Han-Modular® Flexbox was developed in a co-engineering process with our partner igus.
The Flexbox’s housing and other components are made of high-performance plastic and comply with the applicable standards in terms of fire protection and resistance to environmental influences. The seals on the cable glands are designed for easy handling and are available for cable diameters from 4 to 24 mm. The system is rounded out by integrated strain relief that can withstand forces in excess of 150 Newton. The Flexbox is a stand-alone solution that boasts all the features of housing for industrial connectors.
HARTING has succeeded in continuing the modularity inside the housing as well. Nearly all the Han-Modular® portfolio – which features more than 100 modules for transmitting currents, signals and data, as well as compressed air and fibre-optic signals – can be used in the Flexbox. This results in almost endless combination possibilities when it comes to implementing the right interface for every application. A plastic frame enables integration of the Han-Modular® modules in the Flexbox. Currently, a maximum of four modules can fit in one frame.
The connections in the Han-Modular® Flexbox are securely protected against environmental influences such as water and dust. Screw locks in different designs ensure tightness.

Some positives among the COVID-19 gloom cannot disguise a hugely challenging year ahead for the UK connector industry

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• T&M, Medical, Mil/Aero and Comms sectors still positive
• Commodity prices and supply chain issues are challenging
• ITSA members revenues drop by 10% in Q1

May 19th 2020. It has taken just a little under three months to turn what had the real potential to be a positive 2020 for the UK electronics industry into one that has shaken every business to the core. The shutdown in China, for example, has had a significant effect on the supply chain while the dramatic changes in commodity prices will have an obvious impact on materials and manufacturing as well as incoming costs and outgoing prices.
“The result of these and other challenges has meant that ITSA (Interconnect Technology Suppliers Association) members have faced a difficult first quarter.” Says ITSA’s Chairman John Biggs. “And there can be no doubt that the UK connector industry has a particularly challenging year ahead.
“In terms of numbers, ITSA members saw revenues drop by 10% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019 but of more significance is that orders dropped by 14% giving a negative book to bill of 0.87:1 which will inevitably lead to lower revenues later in the year. Member’s distribution revenues dropped by 20% and this is likely to follow elsewhere in the market as we progress through 2020.
“We have witnessed dramatic effects on the price of commodities such as Oil, which dropped to the lowest level for 18 years and Gold, where prices have increased by between 5-8% depending on which quarter we compare it to in 2019. Prices for Silver have fallen by more than 15% since January while Copper has been at a 52-week low.” Adds Biggs

According to ITSA, several markets have continued to be buoyant. These include Test & Measurement, Mil/Aero and Medical. Not surprisingly, T&M and Medical have both been positively affected by the technology demands to combat COVID-19 while Mil/Aero is almost certainly due to the need to fulfil existing programmes.
The communications market is clearly being driven by 5G with members seeing 29% growth. The deployment of Fibre into networks continues at pace and ITSA members enjoyed a 45% increase in this product area with Q1 being the highest level for 8 years.

COVID-19 – ITSA member’s response

All members of ITSA have naturally had to adjust and adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic with varying degrees of severity according to John Biggs. Some members have had to furlough staff while others have taken the decision to keep their people on board either because of demand or with support from their parent company.
Many members also responded to the challenge and are involved in supporting the medical equipment needs of the NHS. This clearly shows the level of adaptability still apparent in the UK and the present urgent requirement for COVID-19 testing for example brings into sharp focus the need for localised capabilities on into the future.
“The government is predicting that the UK economy could shrink by over 5% but that it would bounce back by Q3 or Q4 2021. This seems somewhat optimistic.” Says John Biggs
“At the moment, it is common to think about the “New Norm” which will exist after the lockdown starts to be released. This will likely take many forms but for businesses it will be a case of how best to manage their activities in a World where the traditional face to face will not be the “Norm” for many months to come.” He concludes.

Han® Rear-Fit: Quick installation of interfaces inside the switch cabinet

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Rear mounting option for contact inserts and modules extended to further housing ranges of the Han® product family
In addition to solutions for the Han® B and Han-Eco® B standards, rear-mountable interfaces for trouble-free data transmission are also available via the Han® B/EMC Rear-Fit. Simplified handling speeds up the process of equipping control cabinets with interfaces and offers new installation options to manufacturers of robotics and automation technology.

Han® industrial connectors are particularly suitable for environments that require the simplest possible installation yet place high demands on component robustness. Until now, installing control cabinet interfaces required cables to be routed through a cutout in the outer panel. Assembling the inserts then took place outside the control cabinet.
With the new Han® solutions, the prefabricated inserts can be snapped directly into the bulkhead housing from inside the control cabinet, resulting in both time and cost savings.

The contact inserts are mounted in a plastic mounting frame that snaps securely into the rear-fit mounted aluminum housing and, if necessary, the frame is just as easy to disassemble. The attachment of the PE connection to the metal housing is structurally ensured. To achieve an IP65/66 degree of protection and to protect against UV radiation and ozone emissions, a flange rubber seal runs the whole way around the rear-fit mounted housing.

The rear-fit option makes the assembly of prefabricated units more efficient. Connections for control cabinets and machine modules can largely be pre-assembled separately. This results in cost savings.

The new Han® rear-mount connectors are compatible with previous connector generations. All contact inserts and modules from the Han® line can be used without restriction in the new rear-fit mounted housings. ‘Effective immediately, manufacturers of robotics and automation technology now have a new alternative in the Han® portfolio,’ says Gero Degner, Technical Application Manager Installation Technology Han® at HARTING Electric.

M12 cable connectors with plastic threaded ring

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binder, known globally as one of the leading manufacturers of
industrial circular connectors, expands its 763 Series of molded M12 cable connectors with plastic threaded rings for screw connection.

The robustness of the plastic threaded rings distinguishes them as a cost-effective alternative to stainless-steel threaded rings. Besides their high resistance to mechanical stress, the rings are also resistant to media and temperature in the range of -40 °C to +85 °C. They satisfy the waterproof requirements of IP67 and IP68 and the high-grade plastic is UV-resistant.

Vibration-proof crimp contacts secure operation when transmitting signals and data.
As a result, the products are particularly suited to demanding applications in harsh or dirty environments such as agriculture. The new products are also suitable for many other industries and application areas.

The moulded, ready-to-connect cable connectors have 3, 4, 5, 8 and 12 contacts in straight-through or right-angle designs available as a male or female connector. The standard cables are made of PUR. Upon request, cables of other qualities are available.

binder offers coding schemes in the form of colour identification clips as accessories. These allow the user to visually differentiate the cable connectors preventing possible installation errors.

 

UK Design and Manufacture Secures Connector Supply Chain

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Cliff Electronics , the Redhill based manufacturer of connectors and test products delivers UK manufactured products to OEMs and global distributors from stock held in it its own factory. Thanks to its flexible UK based design and manufacturing facility the company is well placed to fulfill the demands of its customers and continues to grow and expand into new markets.

Cliff has over 40 years’ experience in supplying cost effective and high reliability connectors to OEMs and System Integrators around the world. Markets served include broadcast and professional audio, medical, industrial, building automation, video installations, instrumentation and test and measurement.

Key UK manufactured products include terminal posts, jack sockets and their market leading range of XLR footprint FeedThrough connectors.

Cliff terminal posts are widely used in audio, test and measurement and for connections on power supplies. Standard options include a choice of colours,
either two or three stud lengths and different terminations, various mounting hardware options, metal parts are nickel plated as standard with gold to special order and an antimagnetic no-nickel version of TP60 terminal is available. “Y” versions have either sealed top 4mm hole or can be supplied with a coloured bung.

Having manufactured professional quality industry standard ¼” Jack Sockets
since the beginnings of electronic music Cliff have a very extensive and reliable range. They are available for PCB or through-panel mounting and with a nylon or rugged metal threaded metal “nose” which offers secure connection of locking plugs and grounding to system chassis. The socket body is made from durable nylon for superior performance and in a variety of styles including, offset nose, vertical, mini and stackjack to facilitate panel design. A number of switching options are available for designers to incorporate into their systems.

Cliff’s market leading and fastest growing product range are their highly successful XLR-Format Feedthrough connectors offering a very wide range of audio, video and data connectivity in the industry standard 24mm diameter XLR connector panel cutout. The standard format offers designers simplified panel layout and manufacture and the FT Series offers true feed-through connection. This allows standard cabling to be used to connect at both front and rear, eliminating the need to solder or terminate the connections and simplifying and speeding up assembly.

Models in the Cliff FT range now include Firewire, HDMI A-A female to female and 50 & 75 ohm including 75 ohm 12 GHz gold plated BNC versions, USB2 A-to-B and B-to-A “gender change” sockets, high speed USB Type – C, USB3 to USB3 in all gender changing configurations – A-A, A-B and B-A. Also available are all popular data and Ethernet connectors including USB 2.0 and 3.0, LC and SC fibre (Duplex & Simplex), UTP and FTP RJ45s in both Cat6 and Cat5e (shielded and unshielded), Toslink, RCA Phono, dust caps and blanking plates.

Cliff FT connectors are available in plastic or rugged zinc/nickel XLR housings finished in nickel or black and may be front or rear mounted to control panels. The Firewire and HDMI models may be specified with an optional socket sealing cover to prevent the ingress of dust when not in use or when in transit.

John Hall, General Manager of Cliff Electronics, comments; “With our UK Design and Manufacturing we can respond to changing market requirements quickly and provide cost effective solutions for our customers. We have a huge range of connectivity solutions for a wide range of markets in stock ready for immediate dispatch and our customers can rely on direct shipping and our extensive global distribution network.”

New FeedThrough Connectors from Cliff for Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Equipment

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Cliff Electronics leaders in the design, development and manufacture of connectors and test equipment have introduced two versions of their very successful FeedThrough connectors aimed at manufacturers of medical diagnostic and treatment equipment. Typical applications include medical devices for diagnosis, prevention, monitoring, treatment or alleviation of disease , clinical and home monitoring products, dental and cosmetic electronic equipment, modems, routers, security and PoE systems.

The new versions of the widely used USB2.0 A-A and CAT5e RG45 data connectors are moulded from white nylon to allowing designers to integrate them into equipment where the most commonly available black versions would be out of place and spoil “the look” of the end product. Cliff’s FeedThrough connector design allows standard, off the shelf, cables to be used for internal connectivity simplifying assembly.

Cliff’s FeedThrough (FT) connectors are designed to be mounted in the industry standard 24mm-diameter XLR panel cut-out. With over 20 different connector types now available in this standard format, panel design and manufacture are greatly simplified. The new white USB2.0 A-A and CAT5e RG45 connectors are available with plain or countersunk mounting holes to facilitate assembly on the front or rear of control panels.

The wide range of FeedThrough connectors now available from Cliff allows designers to integrate audio, video, digital, optical, networking and data feeds into professional equipment for broadcast (studio and mobile), lighting, audio, medical, PoE and industrial applications, instrumentation and control connectivity.

The most popular connectors in Cliff’s FeedThrough range are CAT 5e RJ45, CAT 5e Shielded RJ45, CAT 6 RJ45, CAT 6 Shielded RJ45, HDMI Female – Female, USB 3.0 A-A, USB 2.0 B-A and USB 2.0 A-A. All widely used in data and audio-visual applications.

A range of dust covers are now available to protect unused connectors from the ingress of dust. Push-in types in black or white may be used with RJ45 USB-A USB-B USB-C and USB3-B connectors including lanyards and gasket style versions in red, black and blue are suitable for the rest of the connector range.

“There is rapid growth in new technology for medical diagnostic and treatment devices and cosmetic surgery while IT and PoE systems continue to become more sophisticated and require more complex connectivity for the IoT Industry 4.0 and Cloud Computing. The majority of these devices are packaged to fit into workplace or home environments where traditional industrial style connectors would look out of place and reduce the perceived quality and appropriateness of the product.” Says John Hall, Managing Director of Cliff Electronics.” Our flexible UK design and manufacturing means we can respond to changes in our customer’s requirements and new markets quickly and cost effectively.”

The complete range of standard and FeedThrough connectors available from Cliff may be found on their website at https://www.cliffuk.co.uk/products/feedthrough/index.htm and are available from major international distributors.

4- and 6- way snap-in circular connector distributors fom binder

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binder has increased the applications for its popular snap-in 720 Series of miniature circular connectors with the launch of 4- and 6- way distributors. These will prove a welcome addition for those designers and installers who need to connect several devices from a single supply line.

Applications will include installations where the need to split/distribute the signal exists. These include control, measurement, monitoring systems, lighting systems, distributed heating systems including stadium seating and greenhouses and data logging equipment

The binder 720 Series is made up of low-cost plastic bodied connectors featuring a quick and simple snap-in locking mechanism and protected to IP67 when mated. binder designed the 720 Series specifically for use in applications where a simple waterproof connection is needed in harsh environments.
The distributors feature 3 or 5 gold plated contacts rated up to 7A at 250V (5A at 125V). binder 720 Series connectors come in black as standard.

ITSA contribute to the Umbrella Project’s EU submission on RoHS and Reach

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ITSA are delighted to be able to support this important initiative by the Umbrella Project

Umbrella Project_Relationship RoHS and REACH

 

 

ITSA hosts its first industry editors meeting in London

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ITSA held its first editors meeting in London on the 20th February. This was the first meeting of its kind and was the beginning of a comprehensive PR/Marketing plan which will continue throughout 2020.

The meeting was attended by several ITSA members together with editors from Electronics Sourcing, Electronic Product Design & Test, Electronics World, Components in Electronics and Electronic Specifier.

Feedback from the meeting has been very positive with a high degree of interest in further promotional activity as well as planned interviews and greater exposure of ITSA, its members and its aims and goals for the future.

There will be more information in the coming weeks.

ITSA reports that 2019 ends well for the UK connector industry

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2019 – ITSA Members posted 5% revenue growth over previous year
• 2019 – Highest revenue year since 2014
• 13% increase in distribution revenue stream

February 20. The European electronics market had what many have described as a “difficult” 2019 with only single digit growth, while the UK market fared marginally better. One of the many sectors that make up the UK marketplace, the connector industry, saw modest growth by the end of the year after a poor first half.
The first two quarters of 2019 saw connector revenues decline reflecting the weakness of the global economy and the high levels of uncertainty caused by Brexit. This according ITSA (Interconnect Technology Suppliers Association).
“It was also a reflection of UK companies adjusting their component inventories which many had built-up as a contingency against the possible consequences of Brexit” says John Biggs, Chairman of ITSA.
“In the second half of 2019, the UK connector sector stabilised as confidence returned to the market and key infrastructure projects were released.
“Against this backdrop our member companies saw a revenue growth of 5% over 2018 and enjoyed the highest revenue year since 2014. A key driver of this growth has been the increase in the distribution revenue stream which increased by 13% and now accounts for 37% of ITSA UK revenues” John Biggs adds.

Key market performance
There are several key markets for ITSA members including MIL/Aerospace, mass transportation and communications and these continue to perform in different ways. During last year, MIL/Aerospace showed a 5% decrease at component level but this was more than offset by an increase in Value Add. Despite project deferrals and Government cutbacks, this sector has continued to grow and remains a long-term focus for ITSA members.
The communications market has shown a gradual decline in revenues at component level as more and more companies focus on offering Value Add solutions. This can be seen clearly with members reporting an overall increase of 36% over 2018 but with 2019 posting the highest revenue level for Value Add since the formation of the association. Clear winners here are Fibre Optics which posted a 63% increase and RF which grew by 31%.
The mass transportation market has also grown significantly over the past five years and although members saw flat revenues in 2019 this is a very project driven market and revenue trends will continue to fluctuate.

All the above should have meant a positive 2019, however, bookings remained very weak and posted three consecutive quarters of negative book to bill ending the year at 0.93:1. This is again a reflection of organisation adjusting their demand and inventories in line with the market uncertainty.
The level of contraction being seen by ITSA members reflects well against the overall trend in UK manufacturing which has reportedly posted its weakest year for seven years

ITSA Joins RoHS Umbrella Industry Project

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October 2019 — ITSA – Interconnect Technology Suppliers Association has joined the Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment (“RoHS”)* Umbrella Industry Project (“the Umbrella Project”)**.


John Biggs, Chairman of ITSA commented “We are delighted to announce that ITSA has joined the Umbrella Project as part of ITSA´s mission and continued efforts to provide a favourable operating environment for the benefit of interconnect technology companies and a dynamic network for exploring and co-operating on mutually beneficial opportunities. Key to ITSA and its members´ continued success is active participation in unprecedented cross-industry global initiatives and forums, such as the Umbrella Project, which enable participants to have discussions and decide any action or position the global industry wishes to adopt with regard to key matters, and influence current and future changes to standards affecting the global industry, including the continuing technical adaptations of existing Exemptions to the European Union (EU)’s RoHS Directive substance restrictions”

Bodo Eilken, Infineon Technologies & Chair of the Umbrella Project added “The Umbrella Project warmly welcomes ITSA as a new Umbrella Project partnering association. We are excited about the potential of ITSA and its members to contribute to the Umbrella Project´s discussions and work underway. We are looking forward to a fruitful cooperation with ITSA and its member companies in the journey of RoHS Exemptions’ technical adaptations, and beyond”.
Notes:
* The EU’s RoHS Directive sets the benchmark and remains the most prominent sector-specific legislation on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. It has also served as a model for similar laws introduced in multiple jurisdictions around the world and it continues to rapidly evolve, including on-going and forthcoming policy and regulatory developments requiring continued enhanced leadership, engagement and collaboration across the global industry, and beyond.
** The Umbrella Project is an unprecedented cross-industry initiative, currently involving 53 partnering industry associations globally, aimed at fostering cross-industry dialogue on the adaptation to scientific and technical progress of existing Exemptions from the RoHS Directive substance restrictions and global industry alignment on technical substitution possibilities. Where necessary, dialogues result in joint global cross industry applications to the European Commission for renewal of selected existing Exemptions, or parts thereof, under the conditions laid down in the RoHS Directive. Participants in the Umbrella Project have been key contributors to the current Directive, including the continuing Exemptions’ technical adaptations, to everyone´s benefit.