Most cable assemblies used in motion control systems require some type of interconnect device to transmit the signals from the cable to the motor or drive. Commonly used connectors include M12 and M8 connectors, which are circular connectors with a 12- or 8-mm locking thread used for sensors, actuators, Fieldbus and industrial Ethernet, primarily in factory automation applications. Often with ratings of IP65, IP68, and IP69K, they work in washdown and corrosive environments.
High-speed miniature connectors are increasingly common in compact designs for industrial automation needing signal density, electrical performance, and mechanical dependability. Modular connectors, microconnectors, and heavy-duty connectors with locking systems provide reliable connectivity even for high-vibration environments. These designs must provide mechanical strength and vibration resistance in power, control and signal circuits in demanding motion control systems.
Many industrial automation networks require greater amounts of data at extremely high speeds. In addition, they usually operate in harsh environments and in tight spaces. This requires compact connectors with 1.27 mm [0.050 in.] pitch or less. High-density miniature connectors are used for their design flexibility higher speed capabilities.
Where machines must transmit power and data from a stationary structure to a rotating axis, the connections often rely on slip rings. They are common in wind turbines and packaging machinery where continuous rotating motion is present. Slip rings are used in place of industrial motion cables to supply power and data in these rotating devices.