The smart way to connect machinery

Connectors Vs Hardwiring

Hardwiring is time consuming, requiring high efforts and costs. Power networks are calling for short reaction times; the sub systems need to run as safe and smoothly. In order to meet such requirements, it is useful to utilise industrial connectors. They not only reduce wiring costs, but also allow faster construction, commissioning and maintenance processes in the field.

A reliable connection is essential for monitoring all the equipment in the generation and distribution process. Hardwiring does not always present itself as an efficient solution to such challenge; industrial connectors by contrast can overcome the obstacles, but also propose and array of additional benefits.

Industrial connectors takes the guess work out, especially, where switching and controlling devices are required to operate side-by-side. In addition, connectors increase the safety since there are coding options for every connector. Thus, both sides of a connector can only mate with their right counterpart.

Plug and Play

Choosing connector-based wiring instead of hardwiring has its benefits at every stage of the product life

Installation Time

Hardwired control cabinets in a row or larger switchgears must be disassembled to transportable sizes before they can be sent out to customers in the supply chain or directly to the construction sites. For re-assembling, customers tend to hire electricians or subcontractors who are often less familiar with the equipment itself and the special tools than the original manufacturer’s teams. This can eventually lead to failed on-site tests and lengthy re-evaluation processes.

Labour Costs

Hardwiring often leads to extra labour costs. The assembling, testing and repair of components takes a lot of time and efforts, requiring staff with special skills. The use of connectors dramatically reduces costs, since it increases efficiency and allows for savings of time and labour.

Maintenance

Using connectors instead of hardwiring, power generation and transmission facilities and their subsystems are easier to maintain. In the field, the service teams simply have to uncouple parts from the applications and replace them by pretested new ones.

Design and Lead Time

Using modules, power, control, and data transmission can take place side-by-side in one connector. The related contacts and inserts are designed for high-voltage/current, thermocouple, Profibus or Ethernet transmission. The modular principle increases the flexibility and saves space on the equipment, making it much easier for specialists to design the applications in the grid according to the latest technologies and trends, such as digitalisation, modularisation or miniaturisation.

A short insight into what a number of OEMs found in switching to connectors

  • A manufacturer of paper conveyors for commercial printing presses had been hardwiring over 200 wires to a control box of each unit. This process could take up to four days per unit. A switch to modular connectors reduced this number to as much as 2.5 days.
  • The manufacturer of large material handling cranes, takes each one apart for shipment to the customer where it is reassembled.  By transitioning from hardwiring to hybrid connectors cut field insulation time from weeks to a mere 3-4 hours. The transition also erased the possibility of hardwiring errors during installation.
  • A builder of large automated, precision-welding machines was hardwiring 300 contacts per unit. This process took a considerable amount of time to build, test, dismantle and then to reassemble at the customers location. By switching to pluggable connectors, it decreased labour time and therefore costs.
  • The maker of acoustic microscopes for analysing the integrity of semi-conductors was planning a new model requiring 120 leads of varying voltages. By switching to two heavy connectors with 60 pins each, they could streamline interior wiring achieving a small footprint and capture cost savings. Internal wiring bundles were eliminated and less metal paneling was required.
The Han® Configurator is an online tool that allows you to build and design your ideal connector.

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Brian Coyle
Product Manager

Connectors vs Hardwiring

Learn about the benefits of switching from hardwiring to connectors in our guide!

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