Dust, Vibrations and Splashing: Cabling in Industrial Environments
R&M is a technology leader in the use of Insulation Displacement Contacting (IDC) in twisted-pair copper cabling. It draws on decades of experience to manufacture the ultra-reliable insulation displacement contacts that also offer long-term functionality in industrial environments. The research and development team at R&M works with FEM (Finite Element Method) simulation models to bring about further improvements in IDC geometries and their contact properties.
This is what happens
The task was to develop a machine for food production that was unsurpassed in its capacity to meet future requirements. The designers therefore selected Ethernet, a fast and common technology, as the protocol for system communication and management. Over 50 substations were connected with each other in a ring-shaped cabling system with standard RJ45 connectors. The machine operated with maximum efficiency.
But there was no end of jiggling and joggling during processing, which is often the case with production machines. Cleaning was not exactly a gentle procedure either. The elements were rinsed with steam, which heated the surrounding machine parts to temperatures of 70°C or more.
The inevitable soon came to pass: The RJ45 connectors were unable to withstand the adverse external influences and the machine kept breaking down all the time for no apparent reason. The customer often could not resume operation until the RJ45 patch cords were replaced.
Good to know
A specially designed RJ45 connector solved the problem. Instead of being pierced at the stranded wire in the customary way, a plug featuring IDC was used. This design provides an ultra-stable connection between the cable and the connector.
The changeover to IDC-contacted RJ45 patch cords eliminated all the problems. The machine ran trouble-free and was highly efficient once again.