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Industrial Cable Assemblies

Maintain Equipment Reliability In Harsh Environments

Industrial applications place unique demands on electrical assemblies. From harsh environmental conditions to mission-critical logistics, electrical components not only need to survive exposure to the extremes, but they must also offer reliable performance when transmitting signals and communicating information from these environments.

Off-the-shelf industrial cable assemblies have come a long way in terms of ruggedness and performance. However, technicians often find that they need a customized cable system solution to meet every requirement in an application. For the most reliable and robust solutions, shop custom industrial cable assemblies and industrial coax assemblies from iCONN Systems today.

Industrial Cable Assembly Challenges

When designing custom cable assemblies for industrial equipment, product teams must take numerous potential scenarios into account, including: 

  • Battery charging systems – Health and safety masks are often used in industrial settings as well as within the public safety sector. There are several challenges that can arise in the design and use of battery charging systems for these masks. Product engineers must work closely with electrical designers to consider the life of the battery, battery charging time, battery charging safety, compatibility with the mask system, and portability.

  • Durability – Many buildings depend on industrial sensor valves to operate automatically flushing toilets and other features that rely on automation. Ineffective connector seals can cause these valves to fail, creating water and energy waste and sanitation issues. When you face this challenge, consider one of our industrial cable assemblies like the industrial M12 cable assembly equivalent for their robustness, reliability, and versatility.

  • Water resistance – Sensors and actuators used in food packaging and production have specific requirements depending on where the industrial cable assembly operates. For instance, in an area where food comes into contact with machine parts, the parts need to be pressure-washed and sanitized frequently. The electrical components in these assemblies need to be able to withstand this exposure without breaking down, which is why we would recommend one of our industrial cable assemblies as a solution.

  • Resistance to extremes – Industrial cable assembly equipment needs to be able to withstand harsh environments, including high heat, contact with flames, exposure to chemicals, and high pressure. When you need a product that performs regardless of the external elements, our custom industrial coax assemblies will exceed your expectations.

Custom Industrial Cable Assemblies

iCONN Systems works closely with product teams to design and manufacture custom industrial cable assemblies like the industrial M12 cable assembly equivalent or custom industrial M8 cable assembly equivalent that can withstand extreme conditions and meet rigorous ingress protection standards. Learn more about some of the specific applications we support.

Automated Flush Valves

Using high-quality industrial cable assemblies in automated flush valves is important for ensuring reliable, durable, safe, and high-performing operation. Ineffective connector seals are one of the most common causes of failure in automated flush valves. Malfunctioning valves can disrupt programmed flush cycles, over flush, or cease to work at all, creating water and energy waste and sanitation issues for building owners and managers. 

Supply chain issues make it increasingly difficult for product teams to find the right solutions at an affordable price and volume. Raw material shortages, such as copper and aluminum, as well as plastic insulation materials, often result in higher product and shipping costs. iCONN's in-house engineering capabilities and strong supplier relationships result in product designs that meet rigorous ingress protection standards and reduce costs. 

Cleaning and Washdown

In food production, hygienic safety is paramount. Sensors and actuators used in the production and packaging of food products must adhere to varying requirements depending on the “zone” in which the industrial cable assembly operates. In “splash zones," regulations are moderate, while in “product contact zones,” the requirements are more stringent.

Contamination of food and packaging through contact with machine parts is a risk that manufacturers must avoid at all costs. In addition to process logistics, machines, and equipment in this zone are subject to frequent pressurized washdowns for sanitation. The electrical components used in this area must be impervious to high-pressure water exposure and contact with chemical cleansing solutions while ensuring reliable operation. For reliable hygiene and safety, you might consult the help of industrial M8 cable assembly equivalents that work well with sensors and actuators.

Our proprietary Niobium wet-mate connectors, also known as the NiobiCONN product line, feature pure niobium contacts, which naturally create a protective shield when exposed to water to electrically isolate the contacts from surrounding water or moisture and adjacent contacts.

In addition to this connector’s inimitable water-compatible qualities, the NiobiCONN product line is suitable for operations up to 60VDC/2A and has a pressure rating of 500+ PSI without requiring additional sealing. With robust blind mating keying and thermoplastic urethane overmold, the NiobiCONN offers unparalleled reliability in water and chemical washdown scenarios.

Mining and Tunneling Safety

Few work environments are as perilous as mining and tunneling. Mining functions place unique demands on the electrical equipment depended upon to carry out mission-critical operations. Communication, in particular, is one of the biggest pain points in mine safety — particularly when it comes to closed-mine settings. A line of sight is needed between two transmission points to communicate data and signal. However, most radio waves cannot penetrate rock. 

Furthermore, continuous layout changes and signal reflection from underground machinery add to the difficulty of designing and maintaining mine networks with the power to transmit data from inside the mine to outside locations. The most advanced mining and tunneling operations use wireless and battery-powered mesh networks, industrial-grade private LTE, connected machine Intelligence and secure, high-speed, full-coverage connectivity.

To ensure the reliability of equipment, monitoring systems, and communication channels, iCONN works closely with network engineers to design flexible wireless data and voice communication systems. More importantly, we customize solutions to ensure communication across continuously changing geography. Our solutions, like the coax cable assemblies that are great for applications where there are high-frequency signals, emphasize mobility, mechanical strength, dust- and waterproof protection, and arc resistance to ensure networks can withstand the harsh demands of underground environments.

Electromechanical Equipment

Electromechanical equipment refers to devices or systems that combine electrical and mechanical components to perform a specific function. Transformers and substations are examples of electromechanical equipment. More specifically, these applications convert and transfer electrical energy from one circuit to another through electromagnetic induction. For the most part, transformers are used to increase or decrease the voltage levels between circuits, ensuring the safe and careful usage of power supply to avoid power issues. 

Cable assemblies are an important part of many electromechanical systems, as they provide a means of transmitting electrical power and signals between different components. Cable failures can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as physical damage, corrosion, or electrical overstress, leading to downtime and costly repairs. Electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI) can disrupt the operation of an electromechanical system by causing interference with the electrical signals transmitted through the cables. Cable assemblies may also be exposed to extreme temperatures, vibration, and movement. 

For these reasons, it is important to select cables that are the appropriate size and type for the application and to route cables in a way that minimizes stress and makes maintenance accessible. Industrial cable assemblies must also be properly shielded to mitigate EMI and RFI interference and properly over-molded to withstand the temperature range and mechanical stress of the application. Our custom industrial M8 cable assemblies or industrial M12 cable assemblies are designed to withstand all of the elements, making them the perfect solution for electromechanical applications.

Battery Charging Systems for Health and Safety Masks

Health and safety mask systems are often used in healthcare, industrial, and other settings where there is a risk of exposure to harmful substances or contaminants in the air. Health and safety masks can be disposable or reusable and may be equipped with a variety of features such as filters, exhalation valves, and head straps to improve fit and comfort. Some health and safety mask systems may also include a battery-powered air purification system to provide additional protection against airborne contaminants.

Meters and Metering Pumps

Cables and connectors are essential components of the digital reading of meters for gas and electricity, as they provide a means of transmitting data from the meter to a remote location where it can be accessed and analyzed. Digital meters use specialized sensors to measure the flow of gas or electricity. In such applications, accuracy is crucial to ensuring the cost-effectiveness and environmental benefits of this technology. Predictably, cables and connectors play a crucial role in ensuring the accuracy of digital meter readings. If the cables or connectors are damaged or malfunctioning, the data transmitted by the meter may be inaccurate or unreliable.

Soil Testing Probes

Soil testing probes are instruments that are used to collect samples of soil for analysis to determine the physical, chemical, and biological properties of the soil. They are commonly used in a variety of applications, including agriculture, civil engineering, and environmental studies. In agriculture, soil testing probes can detect the nutrient content and pH of the soil, which can help to optimize crop growth and soil health.

When designing industrial cable assemblies for soil testing probes, product teams are often forced to choose between sealed assemblies that provide protection against moisture, dust, and other contaminants, and field-installable assemblies, which allow for flexibility in the deployment and maintenance of soil testing probes. With the right manufacturing partner, it is possible to design sealed cable assemblies that feature both capabilities.

Field-installable cable assemblies typically use connectors that can be easily attached and detached without the need for specialized tools or equipment. Sealed cable assemblies, on the other hand, typically use connectors that are designed to be permanently sealed to prevent the ingress of moisture and other contaminants.

To make a sealed cable assembly field installable, you’ll need a connector that has a sealing mechanism that can be easily opened and closed, such as a threaded or snap-fit seal. These connectors may be more complex and require additional design and manufacturing steps compared to non-sealed connectors. It is also important to consider the impact of the sealing mechanism on the overall performance of the cable assembly. For example, the sealing mechanism should not introduce additional stress on the cables or connectors, and it should be able to withstand the environmental conditions of the application.

In one such case, we outfitted our client with a solution from our iMATE connector series. Both intermateable and intermountable with existing solutions for easier in-the-field installation, our iMATE connectors are made with high-grade, glass-filled PET/PBT, which passes UL 94VO flammability specifications. Furthermore, overmolding can be customized based on the application, including PVC, TPU, TPE, PBT and more. iMATE is rated up to 300V depending on density and is waterproof rated to IP-67/68 standards.

Heating, Cooling and Ventilation

Industrial furnaces used to heat materials to high temperatures in order to melt or shape them require advanced heating/cooling ventilation systems. Temperature control is essential for achieving consistent and high-quality results in the production of metal or glass. Proper ventilation can help to control the temperature within the furnace and ensure that the materials are heated to the desired temperature. In industrial applications that deal with high temperatures, a number of safety hazards, including fire and explosion, can jeopardize the health of technicians and the electrical assemblies and sensors responsible for maintaining safety and performance. 

High heat can have negative effects on industrial cable assemblies, including physical damage to the cable insulation, which can become cracked, exposing the conductors inside and creating the potential for electrical shorts. High heat can also cause chemical changes in the materials used in the cable assembly, which can affect their physical and electrical properties. It can also lead to a decrease in the signal quality or an increase in the resistance of the conductors, which can affect the overall performance of the system. In extreme cases, high heat can cause the cable assembly to fail completely. This can result in costly repairs or downtime.

To prevent these issues, it is important to use high-quality electrical connectors that are designed for the specific application and to properly install and maintain the connectors. It may also be necessary to use protective measures such as dust covers or corrosion inhibitors to protect the connectors from environmental factors.

Ready to Design Your Industrial-Grade Electrical Assembly?

iCONN Systems, Inc., works with a portfolio of product engineers who specialize in a wide range of industrial-grade equipment. From reengineering existing solutions to customizing all-new components, we work closely with design teams to find the perfect fit to ensure the reliability and performance of industrial cable assemblies and industrial coax assemblies for even the most extreme applications.

Contact us today for a custom solution or use our configuration tool to design connector solutions that meet your exact needs and download a CAD rendering of the design to share with the rest of your product team.