Rail is an industry where connection reliability means everything.

Dirk Bunzel, product marketing Pluscon, Phoenix Contact GmbH & Co. and Loreen Katz, product marketing manager, industrial field connectivity, Phoenix Contact USA, talk about high-quality electrical connection systems, and there is increasing demand for custom-tailored railway cabling solutions from connector manufacturers in their recent article in Connector + Cable Assembly Supplier online.

Like those in traditional mechanical engineering fields, manufacturers of rail vehicles face the increasing challenges of higher costs and time-to-market pressures. Electrical connections and cabling are one area where they can address these challenges.

Rolling stock has relied on plug-in connectors of all shapes and sizes for decades. Heavy-duty industrial plug-in connectors and M12 circular plug connectors are particularly popular in the industry. The connectors are deployed for many different purposes; data transmission and sensor/actuator cabling make use of both custom-assembled M12 plug-in connectors and molded cables. System cables for network systems, such as PROFINET, and fieldbuses, such as CANopen or MVB (Multifunction Vehicle Bus), can be deployed just as readily as cables for connecting sensors and actuators.

Outside and inside rail vehicles use both heavy-duty industrial plug-in connectors and their matching contact inserts for many different purposes. The heavy-duty industrial housings found on and in rail vehicles can transmit power and data. Inside the rail vehicles, contact inserts are frequently installed directly on mounting frames with no need for additional housings. Read More