NearFi couplers

NearFi couplers – contactless power and data transmission

NearFi is the new contactless real-time transmission technology from Phoenix Contact. Thanks to protocol-independent Ethernet communication, it offers flexible application options for any Ethernet protocol.

With NearFi couplers, power (24 V, 2 A) and real-time Ethernet data (100 Mbps, full duplex) can be transmitted across an air gap of a few centimeters. This allows you to use this technology to replace wear-prone connections and slip rings in industrial applications, while minimizing costly outages.

Your advantages:

  • Contactless, and therefore no wear and no maintenance
  • Protocol-independent and latency-free Ethernet real-time communication
  • High power in a compact housing
  • Flexible – a high degree of freedom when it comes to installation due to flexible proximity options
  • All-around visible diagnostics with LED ring on the housing
Bit-oriented transmission with NearFi

NearFi communication in real time

Ethernet in real time

The power and data couplers transmit Ethernet data up to 100 Mbps in real time. At the same time, the couplers are fully protocol-transparent, meaning that all conventional Ethernet protocols can be used.

In addition, the couplers also transmit power inductively, and can therefore supply other end devices such as I/O stations, switches, etc., with power without the need for contact.

NearFi Coupler Animation – Live Demo
NearFi Coupler Animation – Live Demo YouTube

NearFi technology in a video

Do you want to learn more about the NearFi contactless real-time transmission technology from Phoenix Contact but would rather not read a great deal of text? Then simply watch our video on the topic.

In the demo, we’ll show you how to minimize costly outages by simply replacing wear-prone connections or slip rings in industrial applications with the NearFi coupler.

NearFi coupler in use with dust and dirt

Robust and versatile in use

NearFi couplers resist dust and dirt

Where conventional connection technology reaches its limits due to space and movement restrictions, vibrations, dust, dirt, rotation, and frequent contacting, NearFi enables wear-free communication across an air gap of a few centimeters. Moreover, transmission through non-metallic materials such as glass, plastic, and wood is possible, which opens up a variety of application possibilities.

With robust IP65 housings featuring M12 connections for Ethernet and power, you can also use the NearFi couplers in demanding environments.

Your advantage: Universal in application.

NearFi coupler in an angled position

NearFi coupler in use

High degree of mounting freedom with flexible proximity options

In contrast to standard connector solutions, the NearFi couplers can be positioned to face each other from any direction, and even rotating in relation to each other. Furthermore, the couplers do not need to be position precisely opposite each other, but can face each other with an offset, or at a tangential angle.

The couplers can be mounted flexibly with the universal mounting options. They can be mounted via the mounting flange using M5 screws or via the inside thread with M6 screws.

Your advantage: Reduced degree of precision required for the mechanical movement of two independent system parts.

Let’s take a look at the NearFi coupler with all-around visual signaling

Primary and secondary couplers with all-around LED ring for rapid diagnostics

Easy commissioning and diagnostics

In principle, two devices are always necessary for transmission: a base coupler and a remote coupler. The couplers do not need to be configured and are as easy to use as a connector. A signal is issued via an integrated alignment aid once the devices are optimally coupled.

The all-around visual signaling with bright LEDs indicates the operational readiness of the coupling link in all spatial directions. The couplers are diagnosed by a higher-level control system via a digital output. The remote coupler is switched on and off at defined intervals with a digital input on the base coupler.

Typical NearFi coupler fields of application

Robots in the automobile factory
Material transport systems
Automated guided vehicle systems (AGVS)
Handling and lightweight robots
Cleanroom systems
Robots in the automobile factory

In maintenance-intensive applications, such as tool changes on robots, you can easily replace wear-prone and maintenance-intensive connections with NearFi couplers, thus minimizing downtime costs.

Material transport systems

Communicate without contact between workpiece carriers and processing stations with NearFi couplers. Replace slip rings on turntables and rotary tables with wear-free couplers.

Automated guided vehicle systems (AGVS)

Install NearFi couplers quickly and easily on your automated guided vehicle system (AGV) and transmit power and data between charging stations and AGVs without contact.

Handling and lightweight robots

Use NearFi couplers for contactless docking between robot and workstation and replace wear-prone connectors.

Cleanroom systems

Use NearFi couplers for communication in cleanroom systems. With contactless transmission, you can avoid particle contamination on connections.

NearFi couplers in use during a robot tool change

Tool change on an industrial robot

NearFi couplers in use during a robot tool change

Especially in applications such as robot tool changes, the service life of connectors is limited. During robot tool changes, connections are often plugged and unplugged up to several hundred times per day.

The contacts may become damaged, dirty, or misshapen. This leads to unplanned or unforeseeable production stoppages and regular maintenance intervals. The costs for this can quickly run into the millions. Contactless communication with NearFi couplers is a quick remedy for this.