M8 and M12 circular connectors

Modular compact servo drives with intelligent M8 and M12 connection technology Jenaer Antriebstechnik manufactures tailored drive solutions and systems for a large number of different markets.

  • The demands that have been brought about by Industry 4.0 mean that drive systems also need to be more powerful and compact.
  • That is why Jenaer Antriebstechnik uses intelligent M8 and M12 connection technology in its modular compact servo drives with integrated booster.
  • As a result, customers can significantly increase the productivity and efficiency of their systems.

Customer profile

Jenaer Antriebstechnik GmbH (JAT), a drive technology specialist based in Jena, Thuringia, Germany, has been developing and manufacturing tailored drive solutions and systems for a large number of different markets – each with their own specific requirements – for more than 28 years. With more than 160 employees, the family-owned company is a well-established force on the market.

Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Hertwig, Development Engineer at JAT Jenaer Antriebstechnik GmbH

Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Hertwig, Development Engineer at JAT Jenaer Antriebstechnik GmbH

Application

Generating greater flexibility for customers is a key pillar of the JAT product development philosophy. This also includes designing the servo motor in accordance with the exact requirements of the customer, so that they can increase the productivity and efficiency of their systems. The result of these endeavors is a decentral compact servo drive system with a controller that does not need to take up any space in the control cabinet, thereby reducing installation work to a minimum. This does not just save costs – it also creates a great deal of flexibility in the design of machines and systems.

“Our aim was to design a basic device while eliminating anything that is not necessary for the basic functionality of the compact drive,” says Thomas Hertwig, the developer responsible for the project, explaining the company’s product philosophy. “To make adaptations to customer-specific requirements, we have an option module on which we can install all of the additional functions that are necessary for the particular application.” The user therefore does not have to bear the hardware costs for device components that will go unused. Hertwig goes on to explain: “Furthermore, we provide our customers with a tailored product that is easy on the budget, with rapid availability.”

Employee holding the motor with option module

The PCB simplifies the entire manufacturing process; the interfaces of the motor configuration levels can be combined

Solution

To keep manufacturing work to a minimum and flexibility to a maximum, JAT decided to use two-piece M8 and M12 connectors from Phoenix Contact. “The huge variety of versions, number of positions, and codings enabled our developers to integrate all of the optional configuration levels of the new servo drive system on just one PCB, the option module,” explains Hertwig. “This not only saves space in the motor, but also reduces manufacturing and mounting costs.”

The basic device consists of various modules. Depending on the requirements, either low- or high-position motors with flange dimensions of 80 mm or 86 mm are used. Thanks to the multi-position motor concept, the motor can provide high torque, even at 1,500 rpm. This, in turn, can eliminate the need for individual gear levels, or even the entire gearbox system. In this way, not only are the device costs reduced – the tolerances can also be tightened, which results in higher precision. Furthermore, because this concept has one less mechanical part that can fail, maintenance effort is also reduced. This, again, increases system availability.

The huge variety of versions, number of positions, and codings enabled our developers to integrate all of the optional configuration levels of the new servo drive system on just one PCB, the option module.

Thomas Hertwig - JAT Jenaer Antriebstechnik GmbH, Development Engineer
Machines with suitable cable connection technology

Intelligent motors support intelligent machines with suitable cable connection technology

Even with the basic configuration, the customer has several digital inputs and outputs available for connecting sensors and actuators to the machine. “Without the M8 and M12 connectors, this flexible concept would not have been possible,” says Hertwig. “The range of sensors and actuators that can be connected can be extended at any time, whenever necessary.”

Depending on the performance class, the motors are either operated with 60 V DC protective extra-low voltage or, by connecting up to an additional high-voltage module, from the grid with 230 V AC or 325 V DC. This is also supported by the metric circular connectors from the PLUSCON product family. “When making the selection, key factors such as performance, reliability, and robustness were decisive,” says Hertwig, explaining his decision. “This is because our motors always have to work reliably, even under the harsh conditions that often prevail in industrial use.”

Summary

Increasingly compact intelligent motors require increasingly compact intelligent connectors. “To be able to tailor our products to the customer application as economically as possible, we have designed our device concept so that we do not have to modify the basic device itself,” sums up Hertwig. “This minimizes the engineering work which, in turn, reduces development times and costs.” Practically any customer requirement can be integrated into the option module easily and flexibly, whether it be a standard option or a special request from the machine builder. In addition to various communication and configuration interfaces, additional analog and fast digital inputs and outputs are available for individual configuration.

Circular connectors

Circular connectors

Phoenix Contact offers metric circular connectors for industrial automation in a variety of designs: from small to large, straight or angled, molded or designed for assembly on site. The wide-ranging portfolio offers versatile solutions for transmitting signals, data, and power.