Page 68 - 2021 High-Reliability, Harsh Environment Connectivity eBook
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from fixed to modular inserts, without sacrificing current or voltage limits. As such, moving to a modular system often makes it easier to use smaller rectangular housings.
Space is also required to separate different electrical transmissions into multiple connectors. If power, signal, and data lines all run through their own individual connectors, not only is more space needed for each individual housing, but more space is required around each connector to allow adequate room for locking mechanisms to engage and disengage. This is why combining all these separate lines into a single connector with modular inserts dedicated to each transmission line can free up a significant amount of space and reduce costs.
Protecting Sensitive Signals in Modular Assemblies
One concern when mixing power, signal, and data lines in a single housing is the integrity of the data lines. Normally, shielding for data lines follows through the housing, but in these form factors, it’s individually addressed within each modular insert. Modular products take several different form factors, but they all generally involve the shielding to be terminated to a strain-relief clamp specific to that module. That clamp then feeds through a metal body inside the module to make contact with its mating insert. This requires the shielding to be terminated on the opposite side of that mate instead of directly to the housing to maintain protection.
Sealing Connections for Different Environments
Electrically protecting the connection is only one piece of the puzzle. The primary function of a connector’s housing is to provide environmental protection for the connection, just as the cabinet it’s attached to protects all of its internal components. Regardless of the standards required, the goal is the same: to keep out debris and liquids. While rectangular housings create a seal between themselves and the panel in a mated position, incoming cables usually need to be sealed by an add-on adapter. For a single-jacketed cable, a simple cable gland can be acquired at whatever rating is needed. However, when moving to a modular system, a single incoming cable is an unlikely scenario.
» Modular components can reduce material and storage costs. Phoenix Contact’s HEAVYCON EVO housings have a unique swivel cable gland with bayonet locking and can replace up to eight types of standard housings, as well as accommodate both top and side entry configurations at time of installation.

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