Commercial circular connectors can be used in many types of electrical control and distribution systems. Applications include, but are not limited to, connectors for signal, sensor, power, and PCB interfaces, as well as controllers, encoders, and connector interfaces for robotics, feeder/delivery, and assembly systems.
From the engineering applications and product performance perspective, circular metric connector products, in particular the M16, M17, and M23-M40, can offer superior features over standard MS NPT threaded circular connectors, particularly in industrial applications requiring high sealing (IP rating), vibration/shock, strain relief applications, flexibility, and overall robustness, while minimizing required footprints, thereby allowing for more compact designs than would be possible with the larger footprints found for same-class connectors in the MS connector world.
Generally, the interest in choosing circular connectors within the industrial automation arena should be directly proportional to their impact on life and/or production in the event of connector failure. In other words, if a circular power (and signal) connector application is desired, then the choice selection should be based on answering the following three questions in the positive:
What is the perceived cost of the connector in relation to the customer’s product/system? While typically a low component cost-to-product/system ratio may be perceived by purchasing as a green light to purchase, a second and third criteria should be considered.
How important is connector reliability to a product/system? If answered in the positive (i.e. high importance) then this question may override any cost ratio considerations.
Finally, closely connected to the second question in the criteria selection of circular connectors is the following.
What is the cost of connector failure to a product/system? Obviously, the greater the cost of failure, the more important this criteria becomes.
Thus, within the realm of designing robust industrial power and signal circular connectors for automation/control applications, and if a circular connector application is desired, then the above criteria should be applied in making the cost/value decision for the product/system in question.
Information provided by Phoenix Contact.