23 Jul 2024

AUTOMATION FOR MANUFACTURING

Compact connector targets distributed I/O market

Compact connector targets distributed I/O market

Weidmüller has designed a connector that it claims will overcome several problems faced by existing connectors when used on distributed controllers and I/O. It says that the compact connector – on which a patent is pending – will allow I/O to be removed from mounting rails, with sensor and actuators connections being made directly to the controller.

The BL I/O 3.5 connector accommodates an eight-channel I/O with integrated potential distribution in an area of just 35mm by 20mm. Weidmüller claims that it will need only half the space of a conventional connector, and will cut wiring costs by 40%.

The connector uses a new, tool-free tension clamp system that accommodates either solid or flexible wires, with or without ferrules. With ferrules, the user simply pushes the wire into the terminal point; flexible wires without ferrules are inserted by pushing a button.

The standard version of the connector has three connections per channel on the field side but two-connection versions for two-wire sensors and actuators are planned. On the side facing the I/O electronics, there are eight sensor contacts and two supply voltage connections. LEDs can be included to indicate the status of the connected sensors and actuators.