Global developer, manufacturer and marketer of automation and electrical products Woodhead, represented locally by Shorrock Automation, has pioneered a threadless connection system to quickly and securely connect sensors and control devices used in plant floor automation systems, such as conveyors and robotic bottling and processing lines.
Connector manufacturer BradConnectivity’s Ultra-Lock system for the connection of sensors and control devices features unthreaded stainless steel connectors, with IP69K rating and patented push-to-lock technology for faster, easier and more secure connections.
The stainless steel version of the BradConnectivity Ultra-Lock Connection system is specifically designed and engineered to meet the stringent sanitary requirements of food, beverage and pharmaceuticals manufacturers.
The M12-compatible Ultra-Lock system comprises a series of integrated distribution boxes and cord sets built on Woodhead’s patented push-to-lock technology, which enables fast, easy installation without turning the coupler.
Control system assemblers simply push down to connect and pull up to disconnect, reduc- ing assembly time and effort and decreasing assembler fatigue. Ultra-Lock connectors stay fully connected, even under the stresses of machine vibration and cable pulls, eliminating the risk of intermittent connections.
The system’s push-to-lock connectors are made of 316 stainless steel with a smooth surface, to prevent the transfer of bacteria and/or contaminants during processing and equipment wash-down. Similarly, their secure fit and threadless design prevents the lodging of any foreign material within threaded grooves. The threading in traditional M12 connectivity systems is one of the main reasons why such quick-connect systems have not gained acceptance in the food and beverage industries in the past.
The typical compression seal used in threaded connectors is dependent on how tight the opera- tor makes the connection. If it is too loose, it can allow moisture to penetrate, and if it is too tight it can cause damage to the O-ring seal, which can also let in moisture and create electrical difficulties.
The Ultra-Lock O-ring seal is an IP69K-rated radial seal that is operator independent and maintains a constant pressure seal against moisture.
In the Ultra-Lock system, the seals have been tested to water pressure of 1 500 lb/in2 at close range, so they can withstand the frequent equipment wash-downs typical in food and beverage plants.