Making connections: More work for Harting, less effort for customers

Connections are catching on, creating more business for Harting’s 110,000 ft2 North American facility here and other manufacturing and assembly sites in Europe and Asia. The desire to make reliable connections more quickly is feeding demand, including power, pneumatics, and industrial communications, such as industrial Ethernet hardware, managed and unmanaged designs, inside, in-between, and outside enclosures.


Elgin, IL —Connections are catching on, creating more business for Harting ’s 110,000 ft2 North American facility here and other manufacturing and assembly sites in Europe and Asia. The desire to make reliable connections more quickly is feeding demand, company representatives told Control Engineering on Oct. 9. That includes power, pneumatics, and industrial communications, such as industrial Ethernet hardware, managed and unmanaged

Ability to make faster, more reliabile connections prompted a wind turbine manufacturer to use Harting for connectorized cable sets, one of the multiple product lines being assembled on the Elgin, IL, plant floor. Images by Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering .

Products include diverse lines of electronic connectors, with integration, if needed, into backplanes or cable assemblies. Harting Han-Inox stainless steel connector lines have hoods and rugged rectangular housings. The Automation IT product lines have a wide range of Ethernet components, cabling, and connectors.

Connection advice for machine builders, users
Machine building has moved from hard wiring, to terminal blocks, to connectorized cabling, explains Rob Hanes, director of marketing, industrial, Harting Technology Group. Harting, with about 110 U.S. employees and 2,200 globally, helps machine-builders save three to five days on installations by using “connectorized” designs instead of terminal blocks, Hanes says.

More people need to think about the heavy duty rectangular designs for connections, says Rich Carlson, Harting senior product manager; round connections require one-third more hand room. Hardwiring is costing the industry too much time, effort, reliability, and maintenance, he suggests, and needs to be removed from most designs.

Carlson says various Harting quick connector designs (no tools needed) include NEMA 4 rating, up to 350 Amp power, communications, pneumatics, with stainless steel outside, for environments where aluminum won’t do.

While Harting is widely known for connector-type products and passive Ethernet components, it has added active physical layer industrial Ethernet components, says Ken Kotek, senior product manager, for industrial Ethernet products.

How to think about industrial Ethernet

Harting custom rectangular groupings of connectors can include power, communications, and pneumatics, as needed, adding strength, termination certainty, and assembly speed when part of a larger system. Rich Carlson, Harting senior product manager, holds up each half of the 6-in-1 connector. At the time of the interview these connectors were so popular that he hadn’t been able to keep enough in stock to give out samples (thus, the photo).

Kotek says decisions about Ethernet switches
-Function (basic, configurable, and management levels);
-Installation (inside an enclosure, in-between, and outside);
-Protocol (standard, Profinet,
-Cabling (generic ISO/IEC 24702 or profile specific).

A four-panel, two-sided guide describes those areas in greater detail and matches Harting offerings accordingly, Kotek says. What’s holding companies back in their information integration efforts? “Companies need to decentralize their designs for better networking architectures: shorter cable runs, less cable, fewer connections, and reduced installation time.” These all help lower total cost of ownership with faster commissioning, less troubleshooting, and easier connections with legacy devices, Kotek explains.

The in-between option, Kotek says, is exclusive to Harting. With IP67/20 protection, the eCon 6000 (unmanaged) or mCon 6000 (managed) series of In-between devices connect through a standard enclosure cutout, giving visibility to alarms without the time or dangers related to opening a cabinet, he adds. Software configurators are available, among many other products to help with more efficient integration. “There’s a lot of information in factories that needs to get up through the enterprise,” Kotek says.

See also: Surface mount: D-subminiature connectors from Harting .

Mark T. Hoske , editor in chief
Control Engineering News Desk
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