Latest versions from L-com and TE fit into tight spaces and handle high data rates

By Jean-Jacques DeLisle, contributing writer

A new family of M12 cable connectors and
configurations are hitting the market from a variety of companies. These new
cable modifications are designed to address the ever-growing demands of industries
that utilize heavy machinery, such as industrial, public transportation, and rail
transportation. M12 cables have been manufactured to be more space-efficient
and durable than previous models.

The new M12 cable assemblies are designed to
allow for faster high-speed data transfer in even more harsh environments than
before, as well as enabling large automation industries to operate more efficiently.
As the internet of things (IoT) expands, and more machinery and technology become
integrated with the internet, the need for data to be transferred reliably and
quickly has increased exponentially.

Here we look at a few of the advancements that
several companies have made to M12 cable assemblies and what their designs bring
to the table.

The first on the list is right-angle
M12 cable assemblies
from L-com Global
. These cables are designed for harsh Ethernet
connectivity environments and were developed for use in applications where the
integration of straight cables is not feasible.

The right-angle design allows the cables to fit
into smaller and more difficult to reach spaces, while occupying less space. Designed
for industrial connectivity requirements, the M12 assemblies are built with high-flex, outdoor CMX-rated, double-shielded, FR-TPE cable, and
IP67-rated M12 connectors, enabling the assemblies to withstand harsh
environments including exposure to oil, UV rays and weld splatter.

Two different versions of this series of M12
cable assemblies have been released. Both feature different connector
arrangements and components to better suit specific project applications. The TRG507-T4T series includes a straight M12, 4-position, D-coded connector on one
side and a right-angle, M12, 4-position, D-coded connector on the other end. There
is also the TRG508-T4T series that is comprised of a right-angle, M12, 4-position,
D-coded connector on one side and a shielded RJ45 connector on the other end.
The M12 cable assembles are available from stock.

TE Connectivity Ltd. also has produced a new
line of M12 cable assemblies
but they have been designed for trains
and other applications where the aspects of durability and reliability are most
paramount. The cables deliver high data speeds up to 10 Gbits/s. The M12 cables and components are part of the
company’s line of modular twisted-pair series cables. Conforming to EN45545 HL3 standards for fire/smoke safety
characteristics, the M12 cable assemblies are suited for public transportation
and other heavy industrial applications. They are also designed to withstand severe
shock and vibrations experienced in trains and other demanding environments, according
to EN 61373 Cat1 Class B.

TE Connectivity’s M12 cable assemblies for heavy industrial
applications. (Image: TE Connectivity)

A key feature of the M12 rail cable assemblies is
a crimped cable strain-relief that reduces the chance of cable breakage that
could lead to system failure. The crimp provides a tamper-proof installation
that protects from an accidental unlocking of the strain relief. The high-speed
category 5e or 7 cable ensures future-proofing, allowing them to be used in
network upgrades.

The M12 cable assemblies are available with
compact, straight and right-angled connectors that allow the cable to be used
in tight spaces. They also feature a full-metal shell together with a secure
cable shield termination, making the entire system more secure and EN50155

The IP67 sealed cables are all 100% tested in TE’s
factory. Available lengths range from 1.0 to 20 m in 0.5-m increments. Special
lengths are available. The cable assemblies are pre-assembled to reduce
installation time.