How To Design-In Circular Connectors for Automation and Equipment Design

In today’s age of automation, a reliable connection is required for the transmission of data, power, and signal to complete an operation or function.  In the past, a mechanical device may have only operated by an on/off function by the use of a power cord, but with technological advances, now data and signal connections are both required for the monitoring of system operations. For example, motors ae not only connected by just power, but also by signal and data to record information such as RPM’s, wear sensor data, temperature readings and much more.  This allows operators of equipment to monitor devices to minimize downtime from excessive wear of components that may fail leading to increased efficiency and profitability. This also allows additional data to be accumulated that can benefit a company for future development and design.

Sealcon offers a wide selection of circular connectors in either nickel plated brass or stainless steel to connect components within equipment to maintain a reliable transfer of data, signal, and power. But how do you determine what is the best type and style of connector to use for your application? Many options are available, but by answering a few questions, the correct type of connector can be determined that will work best for your application.

Determining The Type of Connector Required

The first question to ask when determining what type of connector you may need for your project is what will you be transmitting?  Sealcon offers a wide variety of connectors in Power, Signal, Ethernet, PoE (power over ethernet), RJ45, and hybrid options that will transfer power, signal, and ethernet all within one connector!

Determining The Size of The Connector

As with every design, when a product or piece of equipment is being developed, size limitations may impact what size of connectors you may be able to use.  Sealcon offers connectors that range in size from M12 all the way up to M40.  Theoretically, a larger connector will give you a larger transmission of power or more pin availability for when you are using a signal connector, but in the age of miniaturization, high power can now be also transmitted within a smaller footprint. For example, Sealcon’s M12 Power connector is capable of transmitting up to 16 Amps and 630 volts, something that normally requires a much larger connector. 

Determining The “Shell/Housing” Style of The Connector

Different applications require different styles of connectors.  When designing an application, you may need to connect a connector into a panel or you may have space restrictions that require a different style of connector.  Sealcon offers its connectors in multiple styles including straight, right angle, swivel, panel mount, single whole, rear mount and many more.  This allows you to design your product to be the most efficient and productive rather than having to design around limited connection options.

Determining The Amount of Pins Or Sockets That Are Needed

Sealcon offers a vast range of pin and socket configurations for connectors. Each connector has a range of pin and socket options depending on the size of shell and what is being transmitted whether it be signal, data, or power. For example, our M23 power connectors can have a possibly of 5 to 10 pins or sockets.  Alternatively, our M27 has capabilities of up to 28 pins or sockets for signal transmission!  In addition, Sealcon offers hybrid connectors allowing for signal, data, and ethernet all within either a M16, M27, or M40 shell.

Determining The Connection Thread Type

Every engineer has their preference of thread connections for connectors and Sealcon offers 3 different types to provide a solution for everyone.  Sealcon connectors come in not only a standard threaded screw type connection, but they also are available in a Twilock ¼ turn connection system for ease of use in limited space.  When designing a system, you may have limited access to a connector and a ¼ turn option is perfect.  It is clearly marked with open or closed labeling and clicks when engaged offering a reassurance of a reliable connection.  Sealcon also offers a Twilock-S ¼ turn option that is intermateable to Speedtec® by Intercontec/TE Connectivity.

With so many options available and styles, it can be overwhelming to configure a connector. Luckily, Sealcon has a team of technical sales advisors that can work with you from the beginning of a project all the way through to delivery.  In addition, 3D CAD files as well as data sheets and approval documents are available for you!  To find out more, contact a Sealcon representative at 303-699-1135 or visit