As the Industrial Internet of Things continues to be one of the top points of discussion in any manufacturing setting, it was only a matter of time before a connector manufacturer launched a design ready to enter this data-driven world.
This was the hot news at the Lemo booth this week in Anaheim, as the Rohnert Park, Calif.-based connector company launched its first smart connector line, embedded with a special chip to help maintain secure connections in medical, aerospace/military and other critical applications.
The technology is so new that little information was available at the show but Lemo did have a demo unit available, which I got to see in action and shoot a video about. Stay tuned to learn more.
The gist of the new technology, said Jeff Garvais, territory account manager, is a chip that helps identification, counting, safety and security. For example, a connector won’t work if it’s plugged into the wrong port or connected to a cable from the wrong manufacturer, he said.
“In medical, it can count how many times it’s been connected and disconnected, for disposable or limited use connectors,” Garvais said.
The connector works with Lemo’s special USB thumb drive that records all the data. Users can then plug the USB into a computer and manage this data.
Designed with integrated electronics, it can also prevent counterfeit functioning; store and retrieve date codes, lot numbers; only apply power when allowed and prevent hazardous mismatching.
The connector has a variety of security functions as well, such as preventing unauthorized use, allowing only planned compatibility, preventing unauthorized data download and protecting data.
Garvais also said that the device makes use of its Halo LED connector design, which features an LED lighted flange to display connection status.