Digitization isn’t just for “quiet” environments like the home and office. It’s also making inroads in tunnel drilling projects, mining and other rugged settings. Given the harsh environments, the requirements for components are quite high. Large distances, together with the high bandwidths, make fiber-optic cable (FOC) the indispensable conductive medium for industrial Ethernet. HARTING has now developed a product that is reportedly ideally suited for these tough tasks.
However, because optical interfaces are known to be quite sensitive to contamination, a system had to be devised for mine and tunnel construction. At HARTING, the solution for high data rates under extreme conditions is the Expanded Beam Cable Assembly. As a result, HD-TV is no longer a problem on machines and systems: The fiber is safely packed in a connector that is unaffected by dust, water or operation in harsh environments.
Also regular disconnection and reconnection of the cabling in these environments is less problematic compared to standard fiber-optic cabling. Even extending the length of the optical connection is uncomplicated, and is as simple as connecting an additional cable, with no need to pay attention to the laying direction. Thanks to the hermaphroditic mating face, an additional adapter is not required. As a result, said the company, the customer saves time and money, and also the risk of having a different mating face than needed at the end of the cable.
Consequently, the HARTING design is applicable in areas that are exposed to extreme harsh environments in which standard optical connectors have shown that they are not a reliable—and which have been inaccessible for FOC until now. Mining and tunnel boring machines are only two of the many possible applications. HARTING’s Expanded Beam Cable Assembly can also be used to link networks in applications like event technology, stage construction and container ports.
HARTING Technology Group