Board and wire connector solutions optimised for industrial drives

16th February 2018
Anna Flockett

Continuing to support industrial automation, ERNI Electronics is taking advantage of decades of electro-mechanical contact design and employing that experience in ruggedised factory applications. Industrial automation requires constant, highly reliable connectivity for high vibration environments. Miniaturisation is also challenging interconnect solutions and options, but it does not imply foregoing electro-mechanical reliability and mating integrity in order to achieve density and space saving solutions.

Connectors with a contact pitch of 1.27mm (0.050") or less are suitable for drive/servo controller applications. As important to connector density is the ability for the chosen solution to accommodate mating boards at different orientations or wire-to-board requirements in the same and proven product family.

Polarisation features, high temperature (up to 125°C) capability, optimal current rating density, forgiving mating tolerances, and long wipe lengths can be realised in a connector design focused on manufacturing, reliability and product life as required in the Industry 4.0 environment. Proven to meet demanding drive and controller requirements, ERNI offers a wide and growing selection of electrical interconnect solutions. 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 0.8mm pitch grid.

The key to ERNI’s proven designs are many, but over 50 years of engineering and manufacturing experience enables a two-sided female contact interface in even the finest pitch connector package. The expanded SMC 1.27mm (0.050") pitch connectors offers a board-to-board extender that allows parallel spacing between PCBs from 20mm to 40mm (1.57"). The interposer extenders can be selected based on the tallest component in the controller or 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, the SMC offering also includes coplanar and perpendicular board-to-board solutions with a polarised interface and fully SMT termination with added strain relief features. A ribbon cable assembly rounds out the offering, accommodating high-temperature or halogen free application requirements. The MiniMez product family is also equipped with a 1.27mm pitch. This offering is designed around a ruggedised 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 10-100 positions, and stacking heights range from 6.5mm (0.26") to 20mm (0.79"). MiniMez is available in solder (through hole) or SMT termination options. The ERNI MicroCon 0.8mm (0.031") pitch product family is the newest release and is based on the proven contact design from the SMC product family, but in a much smaller package. The pin-in-socket design utilises a proven 2-point contact interface in an industry first 0.8mm pitch offering. MicroCon is utilised for board-to-board stacking and with product extensions for perpendicular applications as well as coplanar.

Offering blind mating, polarisation and misalignment tolerances of +/-0.7mm, the SMT MicroCon product family is an optimal choice for LVD servo controller applications that require PCB space savings without compromising reliability in a ruggedised interface. A ribbon wire-to-board offering enhances this newest ERNI product family with polarisation 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 US.

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