Better connected

Paul Boughton

Whether in modern production processes with integrated automatic testing stations or in high-performance machines with interchangeable modules – for a smooth operation, reliable interfaces are indispensable.

CNC machining centres with interchangeable drillheads, testing facilities for electronic devices, battery charging stations and robots with tool changers all have one thing in common: their interfaces must work reliably in harsh environments, withstand many mating cycles and at the same time be both easy to handle and safe. They may contain power, signal and data contacts as well as connections for other media such as pneumatics, hydraulics, thermal elements and optical fibre.

With Multi-Contact’s modular connector system, CombiTac, different types of contacts may be combined as needed. The result is a compact electrical or hybrid connector. Application-specific requirements can thus be met by using standard components.

Reducing a number of connections to just one connector facilitates handling, saves space and increases safety. Predetermined dimensions and variable combinations enable an easy integration into machines, tools, or workstations. Panasonic, for example, uses standardised CombiTac connectors with different contact combinations for the testing of car audio systems on a number of testing stations throughout the production process. The electrical contacts with Multilam technology ensure constant contact resistances even in high mating cycles, for steady and reliable results.

In battery charging stations and motor test benches, high-power modules for up to 300A have proved successful, complemented by signal or control contacts for monitoring systems. For automated mating processes, panel-mounted solutions are ideal. The float-mounted contacts in a flexible plastic frame are easily pluggable and compensate for misalignments. The housing version is perfectly suited for mobile test stands or mobile devices.

The drilling tool of a CNC maching centre requires multi-pole power and signal contacts, the greatest challenge being the high mating cycles. Moreover, the solution needs to be compact, robust and safe in the industrial environment. CombiTac provides all required connections in a compact solution. As the connector is integrated into the tool, a housing is not required; but IP2X and IP65 offer sufficient protection for the operating staff.

For more information at

Recent Issues