Drive Connectors

Industrial drive connectors must have the integrity of construction to stand up to the rigors of intensive use. However, when one fails, quickly finding a similar model is an essential step to reducing downtime in a facility. Knowing the types of electrical connectors available and their uses will make it easier to find the right replacement drive connectors when needed.

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Types of Electrical Connectors

Drive connectors consist of the terminals and housing and create bridges between electrical circuits. There are many types of electrical connectors, which include the following:


Posts often do not have long-term use in devices. However, these connections work well for testing since wires connected to the post can be changed quickly. A wire screws or clamps onto a conductive base, creating the connector.

Terminal Blocks

Terminal blocks bring multiple wires to a single site on a device. In many cases, the terminals have a strip configuration to make connecting the wires simpler. These often appear to connect multiple wires to the ground or several switches to the main power source.

A specialized terminal block is a crimp-on design. This connector crimps onto the end of a wire to ensure the most secure fit for the wire. These terminals may also connect a pair of wires.

Other types of terminal blocks have names based on the devices they create bridges between. For instance, ground circuit terminals make ground connections. To facilitate communications between a controller and apparatus, an I/O block fulfills the need. Fuse holders are another form of a terminal block that connects multiple fuses. Damage during a short circuit only occurs to the fuse and its connected wiring.

Plug and Socket Connectors

Plug and socket connectors are a common type of attachment that consists of pins or prongs on a male plug to fit into the female socket. These bridges make connecting and disconnecting components faster for servicing.

Circular connectors are a type of plug and socket connector for industrial operations, especially in motion control systems. These connectors may transmit power or signals. The circular design allows for these connectors to lock into place using one of several methods, such as push-pull, twist and lock, bayonet, screw or breakaway.

Another type of plug and socket connector is the D-sub connector. D-sub or D-subminiature connectors have the sockets or pins arranged in at least two rows with different numbers. The surrounding metal shield that creates the eponymous D-shape protects against electromagnetic interference, improper insertion and physical damage to the pins. Types of D-sub connectors may appear in use to connect peripherals or other devices to factory computers.

Some forms of plug and socket connectors have higher ratings for extreme environments.

Modular connectors for industrial use combine several connector sites into a single housing. These connectors allow for power, data, pneumatic signals and fiber optics wires to attach to a machine with one connector and without the need to hardwire. Specific types of these connectors are ideal for robots, control cabinets, conveyors, welding machines, and rack and panel systems.

For industrial applications that require large electrical loads to transmit in a harsh environment, heavy-duty rectangular connectors may suffice. Typical additions to the designs of these connectors, such as wire wrap, heavy-duty terminals and solder cup, ensure that power signals do not experience an interruption or endanger those in the area. Due to the many environmental situations that may require these connectors, they will often carry ratings from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). The ratings on these connectors correspond to the conditions where they offer safe operation.

Lastly, USB (universal serial bus) connectors are another form of plug and socket connector. These plugs attach peripheral devices to a computer or another USB port. Often, these have applications for connecting input devices to computers such as keyboards or mice.

Insulation Displacement Connectors

Insulation displacement connectors facilitate attaching wires to a connection because these do not require stripping the wire first. Inside these connectors, a small piece moves aside the insulation to create the link. Typically, low-voltage applications use these types of connectors.


What Is a Bus?

Bus refers to computer or electronic connections that transmit data across shared paths. Every device connected gets the same information. A peripheral bus creates a signal path between the drives of peripheral devices and the CPU. USB is a standard connection that delivers the signals over a single wire.

The system bus refers to electronic connections internally. These may be data buses, which send information to a specific spot in the memory, or address buses, which dictate the location in the memory for data to travel to.

Common Problems

Drive connectors have several reasons for failure before their expected lifespan ends. Misuse and using the wrong connectors are common reasons behind premature damage to the connectors and more frequent replacements.

1. Wear

Wear occurs when connectors experience frequent connecting and disconnecting from each other. Each time the two separate, moisture, dust and dirt could get inside, preventing an optimal connection between the contacts. Excessive disconnections could also result in bending or other damage to the pins. These factors can also lead to wearing of the material of the pins.

2. Incorrect Connector for the Environment or Job

Not choosing the correct connector for the environmental requirements will result in the failure of the part. For example, in locations with high moisture levels, connectors must have water-tight seals to protect their components from water damage.

Additionally, connectors must match the electrical load that passes through it. Undersized models will not work as well and fail sooner than correctly sized parts.

3. Poor Installation

Securing connectors properly, mainly when used in environments with high vibration, prevents harm to the parts. Without correct installation, connectors could fall out or have their pins or shells damaged.

4. Exposure to Extreme Temperatures

For environments with extreme heat or cold, the connectors must have the proper rating to match the ambient operating temperatures. Excessive heat may result in insulation failure, conductivity spikes and corrosion. Over time, the wear may prevent adequate contact throughout the circuit, disrupting operations.

Cold temperatures can also impact the lifespan of drive connectors. For instance, plastic shells may become brittle or tin components can soften.

Contact Global Electronic Services for a Quote for Industrial Drive Connectors

Global Electronic Services provides both parts and service for industrial electronics. To schedule repairs or get a quote for drive connectors, contact Global Electronic Services at 877-249-1701 or complete our quote request form.

Contact Global Electronic Services for a Quote for Industrial Drive Connectors

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