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NiobiCONN™ for Food & Chemical Processing

Posted by Evan Freemon on November 16, 2020 | Updated on November 16, 2020


This is the final post in our six-part series as we take an in-depth look at how NiobiCONN™ performs in various applications and can provide solutions no other connector can.

When it comes to food and chemical processing, success depends almost entirely on safety, reliability and consistency — none of which occur easily in an industrial landscape laden with oxidizers, irritants, corrosives, flammables, high temperatures, pressurized gases, biohazardous substances, and dangerous machinery. It’s no wonder the industry faces an endless cascade of regulations and oversight. What is surprising is that electrical hazards far outweigh citations related to chemical exposure, which explains why the demand for more sophisticated and resilient cables and connectors, like NiobiCONN for food and chemical processing, is on the rise.

Last year, the Occupational Safety & Health Association (OSHA) dolled out over 1,000 citations to food manufacturers, resulting in a total of $7,171,513 in fines. Despite the many potential dangers, electrical hazards took the cake, representing almost 40% of the citations for violations related to:

  • The control of hazardous energy: 246 citations
  • Mechanical power transmission: 65 citations
  • Powered industrial trucks: 49 citations
  • General electrical installation and maintenance: 47 citations
  • Wiring methods, components, and equipment for general use: 45 citations

When you consider the proximity between flammable chemicals and the vast and diverse fleet of machines required to clean, process and package foods, the gravity of an electrical failure makes sense. Just one spark from a shorted wire could ignite a fire, causing catastrophic damage, including deadly explosions.

Adding to the challenges of maintaining electrical equipment in food and chemical processing environments is the strict need for sanitation, which requires frequent wash-downs with abrasive detergents and cleaners that can quickly corrode and deteriorate connectors and cable assemblies.

NiobiCONN For Food and Chemical Processing

iCONN’s patented NiobiCONN connector is changing the safety and performance profile for food and chemical processing equipment, including:

  • Conveyors
  • Wastewater Treatment Systems
  • Purification & Filtration Systems
  • BioSensors
  • Image Processing Equipment
  • Liquid Level Sensor Equipment

In addition to excellent chemical resistance, NiobiCONN features niobium contacts, which instantly produce an insulating film when exposed to water. The protective film acts as a barrier between contacts and any external elements, including technicians and operators, to allow the safe transmission of electricity in wet or dry conditions. In other words, NiobiCONN is fully waterproof (not just water-resistant) and impervious to corrosion.

Niobium connectors can handle up to 60V DC and are Power over Ethernet (PoE) capable, requiring only one cable to transfer power and data to a device. In processing plants, fewer cables mean fewer risks. Use NiobiCONN with off-the-shelf cable and sensor solutions, or select from endless shapes, sizes, colors and overmolding materials to customize a solution that will stand up to even the most demanding application requirements.

Learn more about iCONN Systems’ patented niobium technology.


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