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Mar 1, 2015 - Building

Small Connectors with a Grand Future

Manufacturers of devices and lights can easily transform their products into pluggable variants using WINSTA® MINI Pluggable Connectors.

As the complexity of building automation increases, it becomes ever more important to keep installations as simple, flexible, safe, and reliable as possible. Pluggable electrical installations satisfy these demands. This especially holds true when the electric devices and lights are already equipped with connectors. The WINSTA® MINI Pluggable PCB Connectors provide exactly what is needed — an easy to use and space-saving solution.

Speed, flexibility, expandability, safety and reliability — these parameters are becoming increasingly more important over the entire life cycle of buildings. Buildings must be erected in ever shorter periods and must be adaptable to user’s requirements. From the very beginning, designers face the challenge of providing as much flexibility as possible for future alterations. At the same time, the complexity of electrical installations is increasing as the number of consumers in energy management, light control, and HVAC is also rising. The inclusion of simple switching processes in the electrical circuits is no longer sufficient to save energy and reduce costs. Closed- and open-loop control units, such as individual room regulators, are now taking over more of these tasks.

Configuring Complex Electrical Installations to Be Simple and Pluggable Building functions are becoming increasingly automated. This means that an increased number of different circuits for power supply and control must be planned and implemented as well. Providing the highest degree of safety is a vital element for this — both during installation and also during operation. It is against this background that pluggable installation systems are finding increasing use in building automation: they shorten the installation times at the job site, which helps to reduce costs while simultaneously providing a high degree of flexibility, reliability, and safety. This trend, which is occurring both in Germany and particularly in international projects, offers substantial opportunities for the manufacturers of electrical elements used in building applications: they can equip their products with pluggable connectors to make them significantly more attractive to planners and installers.

Electronics and Pluggable Installation Have Merged

Up to now, manufacturers had to retrofit their devices and lighting for pluggable applications — a complicated, time-consuming, and expensive process.
Making devices pluggable meant that they had to be refitted with a different housing and prepared to accommodate the connector in order to be “clicked in” as a snap-in version. The electrical connection of the connector to the terminals on the PCB was then made manually. WAGO has now developed a solution in order to save manufacturers and installers from this time-consuming and expensive process in the future: an extremely compact connector for PCBs. The WINSTA® MINI Pluggable Connectors can be soldered directly onto the PCB, thus allowing equipment manufacturers to avoid additional material costs and installation work. This enables electrical elements to be incorporated directly into the WINSTA® Pluggable onnection System.

Minimum Size for the PCB

The WINSTA® MINI family of pluggable PCB connectors has been added to the existing WAGO connector system, which has been successful on the market for years now and which includes a wide range of products such as connectors, sockets, distribution boxes, cable assemblies, and accessories for individual solutions. In addition to the potential for direct connection of devices, WINSTA® MINI for PCBs also stands out due to its compact size, with a pin spacing of a mere 4.4 mm. This is quite advantageous for LED lighting technology. LEDs are gaining an increasing market share, thanks to their advantageous energy balance and their long service life. As LED modules always require a PCB, and because a compact design is of decisive importance, the WINSTA® MINI Pluggable Connectors are particularly well-suited for these types of applications.

Flexibility Through Varying Pole Configurations and Assignments

This system is designed for a rated current of 16 A and is available as two- and three-pole versions with a rated voltage of 250 V, and in four- and five-pole versions with a rated voltage of 400 V. Straight and angled sockets and plugs are available to provide maximum installation flexibility. With their different designs and varying numbers of poles, the connectors can accommodate control and bus signals, system voltage and three-phase current, switched circuits, and combinations of bus applications and power supplies. KNX, DALI, and SMI bus systems can all be used, providing a high degree of compatibility. For example: As a five-pole version, the user can utilize two poles for DALI applications and the other three for the 230 V system voltage.

Color-Coded Plugs for Different Functions

In order to maintain a high level of safety — even with an increasing number of different electrical circuits — the pluggable connectors are available with several mechanical coding options. Connectors with Coding A in black and white are well suited for 230 V systems. Coding I, in blue, is provided for dimming functions for the familiar DALI lights. Connectors with Coding B for individual pole ID markings are available in gray, light green, and pink, and can also be individually marked at our factory based on customer needs.

Conclusion:

  • Manufacturers of devices and lights can easily transform their products into pluggable variants
  • Compact WINSTA® MINI Pluggable Connectors are soldered directly to the PCB.
  • Device manufacturers can avoid additional material costs and installation work.

Text: Stefan Gräfen, WAGO
Photo: Störk Tronic, WAGO

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