Semiconductor technology for power electronics has progressed at a steady pace in the last few years enabling more complex drive controllers to be manufactured, e.g. for rotational speed controllers or for precise positioning systems. So it’s more important than ever to take advantage of connection technology that you can trust now and in the future.
Weidmüller specializes in industrial connectivity; our connectivity solutions for the power electronics sector are backed by our comprehensive, real-world expertise. We understand the extremely demanding requirements for the servo-controllers and frequency inverters that are common in this business. Voltages of 400 to 690 V (according to IEC) and 600 V (according to UL), and up to 1000 V in DC circuits, are not uncommon for such equipment. That is why you require high current-carrying capacity implemented in the most compact space possible. We can provide superior connectivity solutions to meet these challenging requirements.
1. Power supply
Reliable device connections are essential to meet the maximum power and voltage requirements found in power electronics applications. For that you need products with many features which ensures maximum safety and reliability. A particularly design of the mating profiles makes it impossible to accidentally plug the wrong connectors together. The connectors can also make use of additional attachment mechanisms such as latches, interlocks or screws. You can select the spring or screw connection for the wire, depending on your application requirements. To further support proper on-site wiring, one can print the products with customized wire assignment labelling. Many products provide plug-in connectivity solutions for power electronics applications and state-of-the-art drive systems. The current range sets a new standard – with increased safety and innovative details such as a pluggable shield, integrated signal contacts and one-handed operation. The standard connectors and IT-mains connectors are suitable for wire crosssections of 2.5 mm², 6 mm² and 16 mm. Some products provide a sturdy, direct-connect solution to deal with extreme current and voltage requirements for many power electronics applications: such as solar inverters, frequency converters, servo-controllers and power supplies. They come in 10.16 mm, 12.7 mm and 15.0 mm pitches, and can connect wires up to 50 mm². Finally, a few products are a universal solution for feeding currents of varying magnitudes through device panels. Often they are suited for connecting wires from 4 mm² to 95 mm².
2. Intermediate circuits (DC-Link)
A touch-protection shield on both sides of the plug-in connection helps to minimize the risk from high inverse voltages. This means we are in full compliance with device approval guidelines as laid out in IEC 68100-5-1. The female headers, when used together with the correct male plugs, can provide 3 mm of touch protection on both sides of the unplugged connection. More standards compliance, less compromise. The features built into these connectors simplify your design-in and approval processes and ultimately make your operations more reliable. For non-pluggable connectivity solutions, we recommend PCB terminals in 10.16 mm, 12.7 mm and 15.0 mm pitches, for connecting wires up to 25 mm², or device feedthrough terminals for 4 mm² to 50 mm². When working with high voltages, the spacing between poles for the PCB terminals and device feedthrough terminals can be widened.
3. Motor connections
This interface typically requires connections for the motor voltage, internal temperature sensor and possibly the mechanical brakes. Depending on the application, a connection to an encoder or resolver may also be required. The hybrid motor connector needs only one plugging operation to simultaneously connect power, signals and cable shielding. This helps you to save space on the circuit board and on the housing’s exterior. An one-handed, auto-interlock mechanism speeds up your installation and maintenance procedures. It is easy to handle and interlocks automatically – even in hard to reach installation positions. Currently there is only one manufacturer to provide special PCB connectors for devices connected to IT-type power grids. PCB terminal blocks (in 10.16 mm, 12.7 mm and 15.0 mm pitches with wire connections up to 50 mm²) offer non-pluggable connectivity solutions. For panel feedthrough bushings, we recommend using device feedthrough terminals with 4 mm² to 95 mm² wire connections.
4. Safety circuit
Safety switching devices (such as emergency-stop switches, safety light curtains and door switches) communicate closely with your drive controllers. They protect man and machine: ensuring that connected drives can be stopped immediately when required. The connectors, in 5.08 mm pitch and with either screw or “PUSH IN” wire connections, ensure reliable connections for signals. The PCB terminals, in 5.08 pitch, provide a non-pluggable solution.
5. Positioning feedback and network connections
Industrial-quality data connections are essential for providing reliable data transmissions. This components feature a much higher level of quality and reliability than what you would need for a conventional office PC. A good product line includes IP67 solutions for network connections and positioning feedback. We recommend the use of connectors with IP67 protection for positioning feedback and encoder connections. Over moulded cable assemblies are also available as an alternative. There are also a variety of RJ45 connectors with crimp or IDC wire connections, in accordance with Cat. 6A/Class EA and in protection classes ranging from IP20 to IP67, for all your network connectivity needs.
6. External I/Os
Your servo-amplifiers require input interfaces for home switches, limit switches, etc. They also require output interfaces for any solenoid valves, conveyor controllers and a foreign machine interface (FMI). The connection voltage depends on the application and lies between 12 and 24 VDC or up to 240 VAC. Pluggable connectors are optionally available with a screw flange or release latch to ensure an even stronger attachment. The connectors can be printed on so that the connections are clearly labelled and cannot be miss-mated. For SMD-assembled circuit boards, the wire connections are available in reflow-compatible SMD or SMT variants. The smallest plug-in solution is available in 3.5 mm pitch that features an integrated signal display and a built-in cross-connection for supplying power to any connected sensors and actuators. They are the perfect choice for I/Os from 10 to 30 V. There are other pluggable versions, for pitches up to 5.08 mm, which can be combined on the circuit board with the reflow-compatible male header when needed.
7. IP65 modules
Decentralisation of Power Electronics Modules assists with the simplification and acceleration of plant planning and maintenance projects saving time and money. The prerequisites for these modules are a rugged housing and high protection degrees. It is crucial that the connection system also supports a simple pre-installation method, fast initial commissioning and con venient servicing. Some Control housings are built from polycarbonate that is extremely stable when exposed to flame. They are perfect for use as enclosures for electronics, or with switching and protective equipment. The power supply has an integrated power bus; it can be installed quickly and smoothly using conventional round cables. The cables do not need to be cut or specially prepared for the connection. Hinged seals allow the plug wires to be inserted quickly. The sensors, actuators and data bus are best connected using M12 or RJ45 connectors. IP65 connectors (in accordance with ISO 23570) are available for the power outlet. They can be used with unshielded or shielded motor cables.
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