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Using connectors in industrial measurements

ELPRO LEPENIK presents complete kits with connectors, cables, plugs and extension leads to facilitate use in industrial environments and to ensure reliable and efficient operation of measurement systems.

In industrial measurement systems, connectors play a key role in establishing reliable and efficient connections between sensors (temperature sensors) and devices (displays, regulators, control systems, thermometers and other meters). Their flexibility, compactness, robustness, durability and many other advantages ensure smooth operation and user-friendly measurements in a wide range of industrial environments.

Connector connections are most common in portable instrumentation applications, but less common in fixed installations and automated control and measurement systems.

When we have a process that requires:

  • checking sensors more often,
  • changing sensors,
  • regular calibration, or
  • the measuring point is not fixed

the sensors must be removed (dismantled) and then reconnected (reinstalled) to the measurement system.

In such situations, it is wise to consider a connector connection somewhere between the sensor and the system, maybe on/near the sensor, maybe on the connecting cables, or even at the device or electrical control box (e.g. built-in connectors). This simple and economical intervention saves a lot of maintenance time later on, often allowing the operator to change the sensors himself or at least saving a lot of time when the process is standing still for the maintenance team to do their work.

To optimise performance, we standardise sensors as much as possible, introduce a minimum stock and train operators to change them themselves.

Not the sensor, time is money.

Sensor “at hand” and with quick connector connection, returns the process to operation in the shortest possible time, repair procedures for sensors and other equipment

but are carried out in normal (instead of emergency) hours.

This avoids unprofessional interventions, the risk of incorrect connections and similar situations, which are very common in practice and cause a lot of problems.
in measurement systems, all of which ultimately results in a product and the costs that affect its price.

Benefits of use:

Faster sensor replacement: connectors built into the measuring systems allow easy and quick sensor replacement. This reduces downtime, thus reducing production downtime and maintenance costs.

Reduced downtime during repairs: using connectors reduces the time needed for repairs and maintenance, as there is no need for soldering or other time-consuming and technically difficult sensor connection procedures.

Replaceable by the machine operator: when the industrial sensor has a connector connection instead of a fixed connection, the machine operator can replace the sensor independently. This increases operational flexibility and efficiency.

Preventing incorrect connection: connectors allow sensors to be connected precisely and correctly, eliminating the possibility of connection errors such as Pt100 4-cable sensor connection errors or polarity reversal in thermocouples (TC connectors have different pin thicknesses, so reversal is physically impossible).

Ensuring correct measurements: correct connection and reliable communication between sensors and measuring devices ensure accurate and reliable measurements and prevent possible errors in the measurement results.

Increased safety: fused connectors prevent potential hazards such as short circuits that could damage equipment or cause interruptions in the production process.

Using connectors

Connectors are versatile. They are found in many industrial applications where they play a key role in providing reliable connections between sensors and devices.

Their use is wide-ranging and includes the following applications:

Resistive sensors: connectors such as M12, LEMO and 3-pin models are often used to connect resistive temperature sensors such as RTD temperature sensors (Pt 100, Pt 1000 …) and humidity sensors.

Thermocouples : when connecting thermocouples, we use so-called flat connectors, miniature or standard, in different versions (economy, industry, high temperature, lock …). The most important feature of thermocouple connectors is their metal composition – the pins must be of the same thermocouple type as the temperature sensor. Here the untrained user is “at risk” of connecting the wrong connector, so users should strictly follow the rules of the colour scales in the IEC 584 standards (example: K-type is green-white combination, cable sheaths are green or with green filament in case of metal sheaths, connectors are green (same colour throughout the measuring system)). Confusion can arise because thermocouples in different standards have different colour codes (K type is green according to IEC and yellow according to ANSI). If we have equipment from a non-EU manufacturer we need to pay attention to this part and do our part of the installation in a suitable thermocouple pair, otherwise the measurement will be wrong.

Pressure switches: M12 connectors are most commonly used to connect pressure switches that measure pressure in industrial systems.

Level switches (WIKA, JOLA and MOLLET): connectors are essential for connecting level switches that measure the level of liquids or materials in vessels or tanks. M12 connectors are also popular for this application.

ELPRO glue set

We offer complete kits with connectors, cables, plugs and extension leads to facilitate use in industrial environments and ensure reliable and efficient operation of measurement systems.

Connectors are an indispensable part of industrial measurement systems and should be carried by everyone who wants to achieve efficient and reliable measurements. Their use allows easy sensor replacement, fast maintenance and prevents connection errors, leading to increased productivity, measurement accuracy and industrial process safety.

☏ Call us: +386 2 62 96 720

They are always available for opinions and explanations:

Aleksandra Lepenik, expert in temperature measurements

Measurement expert Zoran Lepenik

By Mojca Kugler and Zoran Lepenik, October 2023

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