Saturday, 3 March 2012

 Wire and cable applications call for increasingly innovative solutions that not only provide protection from shock, noise, and corrosive environments, but add flexibility and offer new features by way of advanced materials. Here are recent examples of product offerings addressing such applications.
An alternative to plastic cable ties, the Eastex Strap-It Cable Wrap from Eastex Products (www.eastexproducts.com) is a hook-and-loop cable organizer for bundling fiber-optic cables that is functionally equivalent to Velcro cable wrap. Cut to length and reusable, the organizer is easy to adjust and comes in ½-, ¾-, and 1-in.-wide options on 25-yard rolls. Constructed from Nylon with a micro hook on one side and low-profile loop on the other, the wrap can be opened and closed hundreds of times without incurring the rigidity and over-tightening challenges of plastic cable ties.
The ESG Flexible Power and Data Bus System from Electrotech (www.esgllc-usa.com) eliminates the need for junction boxes, splices, and home run wiring when running power and data to industrial and commercial equipment. The multiconductor flat-cable family is available with five to seven conductors. Individual conductors range from 16 AWG (1.5 mm2) to 6 AWG (16 mm2). Cable construction is PVC, polyethylene, or halogen-free sheaths. Power connection boxes are rated from 1 to 76 A. A series of power connection boxes with IP65 protection is available.
For applications requiring rugged, industrial-strength four-port USB, the USB-104-HUB from Access I/O Products (www.accesio.com/usb-104-hub) is a small industrial-/military-grade hub featuring extended temperature operation (40° to 85°C), high-retention USB connectors, and an industrial steel enclosure for shock and vibration mitigation. High-speed USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and 1.1 compatible, the hub has three power input connectors: dc power input jack, screw terminals, or 3.5-in. drive power connector (Berg) available.
Mounting provisions include DIN rail, 3.5-in. front-panel drive bay mounting, and various panel-mounting plates. The USB HUB simplifies adding USB-based I/O to embedded systems or to connect such peripherals as external hard drives, keyboards, GPS, and wireless. Applications include industrial automation, embedded OEM, laboratory, kiosk, transportation/automotive, and military/government. 
Corning fiber assemblies using Multi-fiber Termination Push-on (MTP) connectors are available from Cables Unlimited (www.cables-unlimited.com). A simple push-pull latching mechanism ensures easy insertion and removal in high-density connections between network equipment. Although the same size as SC connectors, the MTP enables more connectors on overcrowded faceplates, reducing system footprint and holds up to 12 fibers, resulting in 12x the density of SC connectors.
The EPIC ULTRA line of rectangular connector housings by The Lapp Group (www.lappusa.com) features nickel-plated zinc hoods and bases with stainless-steel hardware for use in corrosive, noisy, or mechanically challenging environments. Featuring an integrated brush-style cable gland for fast and easy termination of a cable shield with a 360 low-resistance contact area, the housing and cable gland form a conductive shell or Faraday cage to eliminate electrical interference. The built-in cable gland improves sealing and strain relief while eliminating leakage and speeding assembly. 
The catalog New Horizons in Automation, Version No. 30, from OMEGA Engineering (www.omega.com) contains over 100 full-color pages of the latest state-of-the art products from Omega’s automation line: wire connection, programmable logic controllers, smart relays, enclosures, process measurement and control devices, motion control sensors, human machine interface, pushbuttons, proximity sensors, and relays and timers. A user-friendly index is available for easy product search, economical choices, popular models, and accessories. Readers can also enjoy pages of original Rube Goldberg cartoons.

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