Though Ethernet cabling in its corporate and consumer applications has largely standardized on RJ45 connectors, the same cannot be said of the industrial world. In industry, Ethernet cabling connectors include multiple forms beyond standard RJ45, such as M12, push-pull V14, and IP 65/67 protected connectors.
To address this issue for industrial device connectivity, Harting has developed the Ha-VIS preLink device connectivity system, which includes a unique set of pliers and terminal blocks. Using the preLink system, the cable connection is separated from the mating face and then provided with a termination block pressed into place with the preLink pliers. The resulting cable with termination block can then be used with multiple, different connector housings.
Following connection of the terminal block to the cable, all preLink connectors are closed using housing parts (latching tab for RJ45, and Harting Extender or screwable round housings for M12), which protect the preLink termination block from vibration. The preLink termination block is considered part of the connector and not an additional connection in standards terms.
All preLink components are designed and tested in accordance with the ISO/IEC and EN standardization. As a result, preLink RJ45 components meet the plug-compatibility and performance of Cat 6A (500 MHz for 10 Gigabit Ethernet transmission) in accordance with ISO/IEC 60603-7-51; the preLink M12 component X-coded plug meets Cat 6A in accordance with ISO/IEC 61076-2-109; and the preLink M12 D-code meets Cat 5 (100MHz for Fast Ethernet transmission) in accordance with ISO/IEC 61076-2-101. The preLink components in PushPull V14 housings (AIDA) conform with IEC 61076-3-117.
The standard conformity of preLink connection technology is also said to guarantee its application in industrial cabling in accordance with IEC 61918 and its profiles in accordance with IEC 61784-5-x as well as Profinet Guideline IEC 61784-5-3.
When I spoke with Craig Zagorski, market and application manager for Harting North America, at the 2014 SPS/IPC/Drives show in Nuremberg, Germany, he said the preLink technology will be launched in North America by the beginning of April 2015.
Zagorski noted that another benefit to using the preLink technology is the ability to future-proof automated systems by terminating an 8-wire cable using a 4-wire format. Users can then “easily change over to an 8-wire format with no need to re-terminate,” he said. He added that, “when using a 4-wire format with an 8-wire cable, the unused pairs are shielded to prevent cross-talk” with the preLink terminal block. “With the new terminating tool, the cable is terminated in the block and extra wire is trimmed all in one step.”
See the video below for a visual example of how Harting’s preLink technology works.