Robot Connector System, Reliability is The Premise

14/09/2022 Leon

In addition to the extremely high demand for transmission measurement and control regulation in highly automated equipment, the protection of electronic components from overvoltage is an implicit need. Robot shutdowns due to overvoltages are common in many manufacturing plants.

Robot Connector System, Reliability is The Premise


The improvement of industrial automation rate has a lot to do with the development of robotics. At present, the trend that industrial robots need to handle tasks is expanding to high-speed processing and precise processing, and promotes the demand for multi-functional, flexible and intelligent end tools. This involves the entire robotic connectivity system, which collects and transmits a large number of data points from the robot and its manufacturing environment as fast as possible. The connection system not only requires fast data transmission, but also its protection is the premise of realizing the high reliability of the entire robot body.



Interference-free data transmission for sensor connections


Sensor technology and its integration has always been a hot topic in the field of robotic design. In order to realize the smooth integration of the sensor system and the robot system, the connecting components must meet the high requirements in terms of data transmission efficiency. Thanks to the reliable and high-speed data transmission of connectors, robots can cooperate with more and more sensors to sense the environment.


Robot connection generally requires IP65/IP67 protection level, and M12 X code or push-pull RJ45/M12 connector is generally selected on the sensor interface. The traditional M12 X code and RJ45 are relatively well-known, and they are found in many industrial scenarios. And push-pull M12 connectors, with push-pull technology, can achieve higher density M12 connections on industrial equipment, just plug the connector on the PCB socket. And push-pull technology brings less risk of intermittent connections or loose connections.


In terms of deployment, this push-pull technology improves reliability and convenience; in terms of transmission, the push-pull M12 integrates high-integrity signal transmission of the traditional M12 system, which can meet the bandwidth requirements of up to 10 Gb/s. In addition, higher conductivity can be achieved by changing the terminal material, such as silver plating the terminal. All signals of push-pull connection are electrocuted and can be used to transmit analog signals, digital signals, low voltage signals and bus signals.


Another requirement for sensors to achieve interference-free data transmission is high shielding. Whether M12 X-coded or push-pull RJ45/M12 connection, 360° EMC and mechanical protection are set. Especially optimized RJ45, using three-wire choke (no interference between PoE and signal), can provide excellent signal integrity, can prevent saturation and greatly reduce transmission errors.



In addition, it needs to be added that the number of modules of the connector needs to be selected according to the technical specifications of the robot sensor. There are many different matching modules for 4 A, 10 A, 16 A or 40 A for different current ranges. The efficient integration of these different modules greatly enhances the use of sensing in robotics applications, enabling interference-free data transmission.



High-density heavy-duty connections with full electrical performance coverage


As a heavy-duty connector designed to transmit power, data and signals in the harshest conditions, it is naturally aimed at the harshest robotics conditions, vibration, dust, temperature challenges and mechanical shock, to name a few. With the current trend of flexible modularization and the upgrade of hybrid transmission, heavy-duty connections can not only solve high-power transmission in harsh working conditions, but also be flexible enough.


The hybrid transmission first solves the space problem, thanks to the modular system, heavy-duty connectors can combine various power, signal and data transmission technologies (RJ45, D-Sub, USB, Quint, fiber optic), saving a lot of money Connection size. The mere size savings is not a big advantage, the high density of signal contacts in a single connector is a bigger attraction in space-constrained sizes. If the heavy-duty connector module is fully configured, its signal terminals can be as many as hundreds of pins, and the high density is self-evident.



The heavy-duty connection of high-performance, high-density electric shock structure covers a wide range of electrical performance of the entire robot system, and can easily carry currents ranging from a few amperes to hundreds of amperes. And the customization of heavy-duty connection can not be limited to a signal or data transmission, and can realize signal, power, pneumatic, coaxial cable and Ethernet connections. Heavy-duty connections are favored for industrial robots that need to work under harsh conditions.


Surge protection in connection


In addition to the extremely high demand for transmission measurement and control regulation in highly automated equipment, the protection of electronic components from overvoltage is an implicit need. Robot shutdowns due to overvoltages are common in many manufacturing plants.


In order to actively protect various signals in a production system, the reference potential of the signal circuit must be identified and taken into account when selecting suitable protection equipment, so it is still necessary to integrate surge protection into the connector. The surge protection module can optionally use several protection elements such as gas discharge tubes, suppressor diodes and resistors, the combination of which ensures a coordinated derivation of disturbance variables in the event of overvoltage conditions. With one more surge protection, the robot can greatly improve the normal operation time. This cost is not difficult to calculate.




On the robot connection, we don't need to worry too much about the high transmission rate and high bandwidth in our perception. It is relatively easier to achieve these two points at the current connector level. How to achieve better connection effect in connection protection, space saving, and high-density plugging and unplugging is even more difficult. After all, protection is the premise to achieve high reliability of the entire robot body.

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