REDwire Choosing between circular and rectangular connectors

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The advantages of rectangular connectors often outweigh those of circular connectors.

As a global leader in the connector industry, Harting is seen as an authority when it comes to industrial connector technology. The company offers a range of connectivity solutions, and has the expertise to help its customers select the right product for the application. One of the questions the company is often asked relates to the differences between circular and rectangular connectors, as well as the benefits and ideal applications of each. Harting tackled this topic for its customers, and the results are found in the “FAQ” section of its website.

The applications

When it comes to specifying industrial electrical connectors, design engineers can choose between circular and rectangular connectors. Circular connectors are typically used in military applications and in food and beverage processing, while rectangular connectors are often used in modular machine design, factory automation, robotics, transportation and power generation. 

The advantages

Both connector types offer benefits. Circular connectors are ideal when a cable is passing through a cable tray. But the advantages of rectangular connectors often outweigh those of circular connectors. For example, rectangular connectors offer easy customization with standard modules, and they take up less space. Plus, they can easily combine multiple medias, such as power, signal, coax, Ethernet, fibre optics and pneumatics cabling, into a single connector using standard modules that can be easily arranged into a custom solution. In addition, rectangular connectors are typically less expensive, have shorter lead times, and a better grounding system that provides more protection against overvoltage. 

Harting also says that rectangular connectors are more reliable than circular connectors. While both offer protection against vibration, the locking elements and seals of rectangular connectors do not allow dust and dirt to penetrate. Rectangular connectors also offer guide pins to key the connection and prevent mismating a similar connector.

Additional details

Harting expands on the many benefits of rectangular connectors on its website. Download the FAQ document to learn more, or contact Harting for details on the wide variety of connectors it offers.


Harting Canada Inc

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