Recent developments in M12 connectors


David Phillips, managing director of binder UK, provides a guide to some of the more recent developments in the field of M12 sensor connectors.

M12 circular connectors are designed and built to be tough and robust. They can be shielded and are normally waterproof to IP67. M12 connectors are the most commonly used connector for automation applications and are the industry-standard for sensors for monitoring measurement and safety systems, including inductive, capacitive or photo-electric devices, pressure transducers, light curtains and encoders.

As a market-leading innovator, binder has added to an already wide product range with several new developments to meet the growing trend for M12 connectors to operate in ever more arduous conditions.

M12 goes outdoors

Originally intended for indoor applications, M12 connectors have now begun to be used successfully in outdoor equipment with field attachable versions generally rated to IP67 and moulded versions and receptacles to IP68. This makes them ideal for wet and dirty conditions.

To meet the increasing demand for sensors and instrumentation for the most extreme conditions like those experienced in the offshore oil and gas industry or where resistance to ice, snow, salt spray, UV and ozone is required, binder has introduced a new range of M12 connectors specifically designed for outdoor use.

A UV plastic body and high-grade stainless steel provide high temperature and chemical resistance while polymeric seals ensure protection to IP69K and a tough protection cap with lanyard ensures sealing even when unmated.  Screw clamp terminations make them ideal for field assembly.

Food and beverage industries

The more stringent hygiene requirements for machinery, systems and components in the food and beverage markets can be met with new binder connectors designed specifically for this market.  These M12 A-coded connectors will be highly suited to applications in all types of industrial food processing including milk and cheese dairies, slaughterhouses, bottling plants and food storage and will also find use in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries.

binder has used high-quality materials such as stainless steel and special plastics are used with very smooth contours to prevent dirt adhesion.  In addition, a high protection class (IP68 and IP69K) is provided to meet with the requirements of high pressure cleaning with the aggressive chemicals widely used in the industry.

The new range includes moulded and angled male and female cable connectors and connecting cables with M12 threads.  The moulded heads are made from cream-coloured RAL 9001 polypropylene plastic and the cables have a grey PVC jacket. This specification ensures that these versions not only look different from the standard connectors but the light-coloured surface means dirt and residue are easy to see.  In addition to the existing tests and the UL certification that is under preparation, the connectors have been subjected to the Ecolab test seal that confirms the material’s resistance to detergents & disinfectants.

Tomorrow’s sensors will be required to operate in ever more difficult conditions with protection from harsh environments and aggressive chemicals.  At binder we are only too aware of the need to develop connectors to match.

These key binder developments will be on show at the forthcoming Drives and Controls 2018 event which takes place in Halls 9 and 10 at the NEC from April 10 to 12. binder can be found on Stand D382


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