Industrial automation requires constant, reliable connectivity for high-vibration environments. Miniaturization is also a challenge for interconnect designs, but it does not imply foregoing electromechanical reliability and mating integrity to achieve density and space savings, according to officials at ERNI Electronics, Richmond, Va.
Connectors with a contact pitch of 1.27 mm (0.050 in.) or less are ideal for drive/servo controller applications, they said. Also important is the ability to accommodate mating boards at different orientations or wire-to-board requirements in the same product family. Polarization features, high temperature (up to 125° C) capability, optimal current rating density, forgiving mating tolerances, and long wipe lengths can be realized in a connector design focused on manufacturing, reliability and product life as required in the Industry 4.0 environment, they continued.
To meet demanding drive and controller requirements, ERNI offers a wide and growing selection of electrical interconnects. Product offerings include the high-density SMC connector series with board-to-board extenders; a robust and configurable MiniMez stacking connector series; and the newest MicroCon Series available in a high-density 0.8-mm pitch grid.
The expanded SMC 1.27 mm (0.050 in.) pitch connectors offers a board-to-board extender that allows parallel spacing between PCBs from 20 to 40 mm. Users can select the interposer extenders based on the tallest component in the controller or to accommodate varying enclosure widths. One side of the extender connector locks into a female connector so that mating and release is always on the opposite end. In addition to mezzanine connectors, SMC offerings also include coplanar and perpendicular board-to-board products with a polarized interface and fully SMT termination with added strain relief features. A ribbon cable assembly rounds out the range, accommodating high-temperature or halogen-free application requirements.
The MiniMez product family is also equipped with a 1.27 mm pitch. It is designed around a ruggedized mezzanine orientation with a comprehensive selection of spacing heights and positions. With thick side walls, blind mating, and LCP housing materials, the MiniMez connector is built for demanding drive, servo and stepper applications. Pin counts for this two row connector range from 10 to 100 positions, and stacking heights range from 6.5 to 20 mm (0.26 to 0.79 in.). MiniMez is available in solder (through hole) or SMT termination options.
The ERNI MicroCon 0.8 mm (0.031 in.) pitch product family, the newest release, is based on the proven contact design from the SMC product family, but in a much smaller package. The pin-in-socket design uses a two-point contact interface in an industry-first 0.8 mm pitch. MicroCon is used for board-to-board stacking and with product extensions for perpendicular as well as coplanar applications. Offering blind mating, polarization and misalignment tolerances of ±0.7 mm, the SMT MicroCon product family is suited for LVD servo controller applications that require PCB space savings without compromising reliability in a ruggedized interface. A ribbon wire-to-board offering enhances this newest ERNI product family with polarization and reliable latching features without compromising board space.
“ERNI continues to offer and expand connection systems and cable assemblies that support varying board mating configurations in the most challenging of enclosures. The rugged, dual-beam design delivers the performance, reliability and efficiency required for industrial automation and control systems. Our proven design and manufacturing capabilities continues to position ERNI in these long-life cycle applications where reliability is required over time,” said Sam Hines, product marketing engineer at ERNI Electronics U.S.