TE Connectivity's smart factory solutions

Harsh factory environments can play havoc with sensitive equipment and connectors are no exception. TE Connectivity have developed products to deliver data, power and signal whilst operating effectively under these contraints.

Industrial Connectivity for Smart Factories
The smart factory is the next step in the world of industrial production. As we have seen, the smart factory will embrace the power of the latest electronics technology. The result will be a facility that can respond almost instantly to a change in requirements or a sudden demand.

The key characteristic of the smart factory is the ability to share information. Not only do the individual machines need to receive instructions from a central location, the machines share information that they collect with each other and with the higher levels. Simply put, in order to collect the Big Data that is generated by the smart factory, everything must be connected.
Nowadays, we tend to use the word “connected” in a non-specific way – we talk about being connected with our colleagues or connected to the internet. However, in the smart factory the word “connected” should be used literally – every machine, device and data node must be connected to the others.

For those manufacturers who want to embrace this new way of working, the physical connectivity represents one of the key hurdles to adoption. The challenge lies in the need to join a potentially large number of disparate devices to each other.
However, this is the challenge that partners such as TE Connectivity and RS Components can help to overcome. TE Connectivity is the largest connector manufacturer in the world and offers an enormous range of solutions for the smart factory installer.

Tried and Trusted
Even amongst the latest technologies, the Mini-Universal MATE-N-LOK family of connectors is one of the most familiar products in the TE Connectivity range, with good reason. Its combination of simple operation and excellent value with the flexibility of panel mount, free hanging, and wire-to-board configurations has made the Mini-Universal MATE-N-LOK hugely popular in the industrial marketplace.

Take a look at the Mini-Universal MATE-N-LOK connectors available from RS Components.

Familiar Standards
For two decades, the RJ45 or 8P8C connector has become the standard solution for computer networking. Also known as the modular connector, the RJ45 is simple to operate and is very quick to terminate, making it cost effective in the huge quantities required for installations around the world. They are still very popular and have found a place in the smart factory due in large to the sheer number of devices that are fitted with an RJ45 connector.

Another connector that has become very popular is the Universal Serial Bus, or USB, connector. The USB was introduced as the replacement for several products used in device-to-device connectivity. As a solution that can be used across a range of applications, the USB has become possibly the most recognizable connector in the world. The latest iteration, the USB Type-C, is quickly becoming the natural choice for the next generation of hand-held devices. Such personal devices have an important part to play in Industry 4.0 as maintenance personnel become yet another element in the smart factory.

RS Components has a comprehensive range of RJ45 and USB products from TE Connectivity, including the latest USB-C family.

The Next Generation
The factory environment is challenging. The combination of aggressive chemicals, physical vibration and extremes of temperature and moisture can play havoc with sensitive equipment, and connectors are no exception. Regardless of the environment, connectors must still perform flawlessly for the smart factory to function.

In order to prepare for these challenges, TE Connectivity has developed the Mini-I/O connector family. Designed from the ground up for the industrial environment, the Mini-I/O is a shielded, IP20 rated connector that is only a quarter of the size of the established RJ45 connectors. It features a locking system that provides a high retention force and a dual-spring contact design for a long service life.

The Mini-I/O is one of the first connectors intentionally designed for smart factory applications, and is available from RS Components.

The Future
Surveys have shown that 80% of manufacturers are expecting to introduce some aspect of smart technology into their production environment. TE Connectivity is a leader in providing the products required for smart factory integration and these products can be found at RS Components.

Digitalising Factories: give a second chance to existing equipment 

Older factory equipment can be expensive to upgrade or replace. Find out how TE Connectivity is using a device that enables a standard interface between machines in its own factories to connect them to a network, communicate with each other and with operators in real time.

Industry-Proven Connectivity Solutions

Reliable connectivity that delivers greater simplicity, efficiency and uptime in harsh factory environments.

Industrial Sensor Solutions

Innovative sensor solutions designed to provide the real-time system measurements and data analyses critical to the success of smart factories today and tomorrow.

Antenna Solutions

Get high-quality wireless transmissions with minimal interference whilst maximising efficiency and bandwidth.