To achieve more automated functions in the factory, large-scale industrial robot applications are essential. From automotive and aircraft manufacturing to the pharmaceutical industry to logistics and metalworking, a new generation of state-of-the-art industrial robots is capable of more complex tasks and an ever-growing number of applications.
Currently, industrial robots are in great demand for versatile, flexible, and intelligent end-tools, and these designs require robust, high-speed, and reliable connections, while connected systems that collect and transmit large amounts of data from robots and their manufacturing environments as fast as possible. data points so that the system can make timely controls. On the other hand, choosing a connection to protect power and data flow to meet various challenges can also be a headache.
Robot-connected small modular wind direction
Basic technologies such as power supply, data and signal transmission interface connections are the basis for realizing a reliable connection system for industrial robots. Let’s first look at the heavy-duty connector HDC. As a fairly significant category of industrial connectors, heavy-duty connectors are common in many fields such as industrial automation, equipment manufacturing, industrial system buildings, and information and control technology to cope with the harshest environments. Heavy-duty connectors are used to solve the connection of electrical and signal equipment in industrial robots. Modular heavy-duty connectors are the mainstream choice for robot applications. This kind of sub-modules are designed first and then quickly connected together. Common connection schemes come in handy.
With a modular system, heavy-duty connectors can combine a variety of power, signal and data transmission technologies (RJ45, D-Sub, USB, Quint, fiber optic), resulting in significant savings in connection size. The connector volume saved by modularization is actually very critical, especially in the development of industrial robots to collaborative robots. Collaborative robots pay attention to flexibility, and modular connectors not only reduce costs, but also provide greater flexibility in designing smaller connection components and fewer interfaces.
The premise of modularity is to ensure the transmission density, to achieve the same signal and data transmission on fewer interfaces and components, and even to achieve a higher transmission density than the original design. Higher transmission density depends on the density of signal terminals in a single module. Take TE’s heavy-duty connectors as an example. Heavy-duty connectors provide high-density 48-pin signal terminals in a single module. The connector is 288 signal terminals, one-third more than the previous signal terminals. On the end clamp of the robot arm, the high-density contact structure greatly improves the electrical performance of the machine and realizes the precise control of the robot.
The M12 connector commonly used in robot sensing systems also takes the development route of miniaturization and modularization. Power, signal, data transmission, male and female pins are combined in one module, greatly reducing the number of interfaces required for each unit. Connectors have become smaller and lighter than before, allowing more modules to fit into a complete connector.
Robot manufacturers can make flexible choices in the configuration of the connector, and even expand and customize the connector according to their own needs. Under this trend, connectors not only realize the safe and error-free transmission of power, data and signals, but also provide users with additional added value.
Ensuring machine electrical performance Enhanced shielding guarantees interference-free transmission
The connection of the entire system of the robot involves power, signals and communication on the one hand, and related interconnections, including hybrid types, on the other hand. The development of miniaturization has solved the reliability problem of part of the interconnection system, mainly the reliability of physical characteristics. On the other hand, interconnected data is particularly sensitive to EMI, as is the case with 10Gb/s Industrial Ethernet, where the electrical performance of the system must be maintained through the shielding of the connectors.
Generally speaking, the weakest link is at the end of the Ethernet cable, which is the connector, that is, the two industrial Ethernet connectors, the RJ45 connector and the industrial Mini I/O connector. Industrial robots actually have many requirements for this type of connection, not only for simpler and smaller cables, but also for communication at higher bandwidths, while reducing the weight of the entire connection assembly to make the robot easier to move.
RJ45 connections on Robotics applications are now equipped with 360° EMC protection, enhancing shielding to the highest level. Some additional optimized RJ45s will use a three-wire choke to reduce interference between PoE and the signal to virtually zero, provide better signal integrity and prevent saturation and reduce transmission errors on the connection.
The same is true for Mini I/O connectors. The physical reliability has been improved from the selection of materials. The contact design of double contact points reduces unnecessary indirect communication losses. EMI and signal integrity are optimized through signal path design, and 360° shielding ensures high-speed transmission of next-generation CAT 6A, ensuring that the entire robot electrical system is free from interference. In order for the system to make timely control of the robot under a large amount of data.
The overall connection system of industrial robots now values miniaturization, reliability, and flexibility. Under the trend of modular design, various flexible combinations of connecting components save more space and achieve higher transmission density. The application of more optimized signal integrity technology and the full shielding design ensure the complete transmission of massive data, and the development trend of the connection system just conforms to the trend of industrial robot upgrades.