Inspection robot for inter-car connection systems: setting the course for the future

"HARTING Railway Days" / Supporting customers with engineering / Compact and secure connections for the railway sector / Reduced operating costs

Christian Schumacher (right), Managing Director of HARTING Customized Solutions (HCS), and Matthias Wiehe, Head of Global Project Engineering, at the official commissioning of the robot
(PresseBox) ( Espelkamp, )
The HARTING Technology Group is setting the course for the future with the commissioning of a new inspection robot for inter-car connection systems. "The additional test options means we’re expanding inspection expertise in this area. This is another big step for the HARTING Technology Group that enables us to offer our railway customers a complete solution package," said Christian Schumacher, Managing Director of HARTING Customized Solutions (HCS), at the official commissioning of the robot.

Schumacher welcomed some 80 guests in Espelkamp together with Matthias Wiehe, Head of Global Project Engineering. The development means that the HARTING Quality and Technology Center (HQT) will be able to test inter-car cables under realistic conditions in the future. The entire life cycle can be simulated in accordance with the route profile, thus allowing the load of the so-called "jumper cable" to be adjusted and documented.

The investment in this additional testing option completes the service package that HARTING has hitherto been able to offer. The core competence of subsidiary HARTING Customized Solutions (HCS) has long consisted of expert advice, conceptional design and the selection of the right components according to the latest railway standards, as well as the production of complete inter-car systems. "This investment gets us ‘fit’ for the future. We can support our customers even more effectively in engineering thanks to our many years of experience and outstanding testing capabilities. This saves them time and money. We can provide complete support from design through the final release and production of the inter-car systems," Wiehe adds.

During guided tours through the HARTING plants in Espelkamp and an in-house exhibition, participants and trade journalists familiarised themselves with production capabilities and the Quality and Technology Centre (HQT) of HARTING.

Compact and secure connections for railway

HARTING has specialised in the railway sector for years and offers a wide range of products and solutions. In order to save energy and make optimum use of available space, the company’s developers in rail vehicle engineering are always looking for "small" and/or "light" solutions. Even somewhat inconspicuous components such as connectors attract attention – because even connectors can make a significant contribution over the long term towards reducing rail vehicle operating costs.

Consequently, HARTING introduced the Han® 1A connector series, which enables high-performance connections for small to medium-sized electrical assemblies in rail vehicles as well as reliable, fast Ethernet. The new interfaces require only minimal space and are easy to install. The portfolio offers a broad range of solutions: from IP20 connectors for the control cabinet, through to protection class IP65, resistance to jets of water, and all the way to contact inserts for interference-proof data transmission (shielding).

In addition, the developers at HARTING have taken particular account of users' needs for limited stockpiling. The number of minimum components to be used has been kept as low as possible.

The new plastic connectors clearly undercut the dimensions of the hitherto smallest rectangle connector in the industry sector, Han® 3A, by 30%. The system resembles a modular one: it uses eight different contact inserts (each in versions for pin and socket), which are used for transmitting data, signals or power. In addition, there are plastic housings, locking mechanisms, mounting frames, cable adapters and strain reliefs, which are equipped with different coloured elements for error-free coding.

Compliance with relevant railway standards

Railway standards require that protectors provide trouble-free transmission even in environments subject to heavy-duty stresses and loads. For connector use, this means that the transmission of data and signals must be protected effectively against electrical and magnetic interference. The Han® 1A is particularly well-suited for such applications since it offers e. g. inserts which, in addition to Han® D contacts and PE, have a double slot for a shielding plate. This enables the protected transmission of signals and power up to a maximum of 10 A/400 V.

Han® 1A: Features for the railway sector

The Han® 1A is suitable e. g. for supplying power to door drives and entry systems. Adapters and contact inserts for M12, D-coded, and M12 X-coded, are also available in order to ensure trouble-free data transmission in rail vehicles. M12 D-coded enables shielded data transmission to Cat. 5, while M12 X-coded enables transmission to Cat. 6A.

Due to its modularity and the large variety of inserts, the Han® 1A is suitable wherever small drives, sensors and devices need to be supplied. In the area of traffic engineering, this could be e. g. feeding door drives and entry systems, lighting, headlights, loudspeakers, screens, scoreboards, warning and alarm lights, push buttons, wipers or beepers.

Advantages at a glance
  • Space savings of up to 30%: compact connector for traffic engineering
  • Versatile deployment: transmission of data, signals and power with up to twelve contacts
  • High flexibility: modular system of inserts and accessories for indoor and outdoor applications (IP20/IP65)
  • Reduced installation time: fast connection setup with snap-in technology, no screws required
  • Minimal components stocking: clearly structured connector system based on a few basic elements
  • Cost reduction due to lighter connectors and shorter installation times.
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