Factory automation products requiring reliable electrical connections between sensors, drives and control units can save space using a new family of products from the 3M Electronic Solutions Division.

The 3M Mini-Clamp products are 2mm pitch products, 3M Link products are 0.100 inch pitch, and both are attached to wires using 3M IDC (insulation displacement connector) technology. Discrete wire mounting can be performed with only a pair of pliers.

3M Mini-Clamp connectors are available in three and four-pin configurations as pin or socket plugs for cable mounting; and as socket plugs for PC board mountings. Other connector configurations include 12- and 16-pin socket plugs for board mounting.

In cable-mounted arrangements, the 3M Mini-Clamp connectors are available to accommodate wire gauges from AWG 20 to AWG 26 with insulation diameters from 1.0 to 2.0 mm.

3M Mini-Clamp connectors are colour-coded in clear, yellow, red, blue and green to help enable the correct wire gauge application and minimise wiring errors. For board mounting, the solderable straight (or vertical) socket plugs are available as single plugs with 3 or 4 pins or as 4 x 3-pin or 4 x 4-pin blocks.

Connections made using the 3M Mini-Clamp and 3M Link connector products are visible through the cap. The connectors have integrated guiding and fixing devices, which are said to help provide reliable positioning of individual wires within the connector.

The IDC technology used eliminates cable preparation such as stripping and tinning as well as the separate operation of loading the terminals after wire attachment. Polarising tabs reportedly promote correct plugging and latching devices provide a safe connection even under severe conditions such as mechanical stress and vibration in industrial environments.

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