Set against the backdrop of this year’s Elektra Awards in London, Smiths Connectors, a provider of high- performance interconnect solutions for demanding applications, has announced the launch of its new Transformer Connector Range. This family of high-density modular connectors provides customers with an enhanced ability to tailor interconnect solutions to the demands and requirements of their individual application environments.

One key market that the new products address is rail applications where extreme pressure is placed on connector technology manufacturers to fulfill critical rail-specific performance challenges of reliability, safety, maintenance and modularity in addition to standard compliance, plus meeting stringent electrical and environmental requirements.

Smiths Connectors has responded to these specific challenges with the Transformer Connector Range, a comprehensive series of high density, modular connectors for all on-board power applications within the rail market.

The creative design of the Transformer range includes a number of innovative features:  

·         Multiple configurations possible using  the same piece parts

·         Cost savings in working capital with local customer assembly

·         Offering the flexibility to integrate local content for components and cabling 

Smiths Connectors’ Transformer modularity enables customers to design their own solution by supplying the elementary components of the whole connector. It employs a unique do-it-yourself system based on the building block principle. It has been customised for applications requiring the transmission of very high currents such as power distribution, inter-coaches and bogies while guaranteeing the highest level of safety for the passenger.

The connectors also use the Smiths Connectors’ HPC (High Power Contact) technology, a spring-shaped contact made of aluminum or copper that allows for more contact points to reduce overheating and to achieve low mating force during the connection. This contact technology design meets the trend to increase energy level on electrical and electronic equipment for managing higher current ratings.

The Transformer range is available in 2, 3 and 5 pole versions; supporting up to 700A per pole and a voltage rating of 3600V. The connectors are easy to assemble and use due to the incorporation of just three contacts, and cross section cables can be covered from 25mm² to 350 mm². No specific tool is required, with consequent reduction of supply chain, maintenance and cabling costs.

Made with a plastic insulator and aluminum frame the Transformer optimises against ballast and enables weight savings contributing to reduced energy consumption. The materials used ensure compliance with fire and smoke standards, according to NF F 16-101 & NF F 16-102 and EN 45545.

“Through interconnect innovation Smiths Connectors has designed a rugged, reliable and high-performance modular solution for rail transportation applications, but also for hybrid and electric vehicles and various other industries.” said Gabriel Guglielmi, Smiths Connectors vice president of business development and strategy.

“Our unwavering commitment remains in understanding and then exceeding the needs of the most demanding customers across multiple industry and application disciplines within the global economy,” he added. “Our driving force is a corporate vision to push the limits of innovation in the design and manufacture of interconnect solutions that deliver a competitive edge to our customers.”

Smith Connectors has been awarded this year’s Elektra Award for Passive and Electromechanical Product of the Year. “The Elektra Awards represent a prestigious accomplishment in the European electronics community,” Guglielmi said. “To be a winner amongst a field of competitors who all enjoy a reputation of recognised expertise in their particular niches is gratifying to the entire Smiths Connectors team.”