Buyers and engineers requiring connectors for use in hazardous areas have traditionally been faced with manufacturers' lead times of 10-12 weeks, even for popular product lines such as multi-pin circular connectors. Such long lead times can cause severe problems when the requirement is urgent, e.g. for maintenance and repair applications. And, very often, manufacturers would also quote minimum order quantities that exceeded customers' actual requirements, forcing them into the expense and inconvenience of carrying unnecessary additional inventory.
Hazardous-area connectors now available fully assembled in 48 hours to address these issues, franchised connector-assembly specialist PEI-Genesis has expanded its portfolio of products from manufacturer Amphenol Industrial Operations to include a comprehensive range of ATEX-approved multi-pin circular connectors, all of which are available for dispatch within 48 hours.
The Amphe-EX series and Star-Line EX series connectors are specifically designed for use in harsh environments such as those associated with oil and gas exploration, petrochemical plants and fuel storage sites.
In common with most multi-pin connectors, these rugged Amphenol products can be specified in a huge variety of configurations with regard to shell style and size, insert pattern and contact type. To ensure that customers are supplied with exactly the right connector for their application, PEI-Genesis holds its stock at piece-part level and only assembles the connectors to order.
The Amphe-EX series of miniature connectors is an extremely versatile hazardous-area connector that accepts copper, coaxial or fibre-optic contacts. In addition, the connectors can be specified with RJ45 or USB inserts for applications such as data acquisition, process control, communications systems and embedded computers.
Capable of withstanding the most extreme environments, the Amphe-EX connectors feature machined aluminum components plated with a hard anodic coating for superior resistance to heat, corrosion and scratching. They are ATEX, AEX and IEC certified for Zone 1 rated applications and flameproof compliant to EN60079-0 and EN60079-1. Utilising a double-lead threaded coupling, the connectors are IP68-rated to provide maximum protection against the ingress of dust and fluids.
Available connector styles include in-line receptacles, panel-mount receptacles and straight plugs, all of which come in a choice of seven shell sizes ranging from 9 to 21. The connectors can be specified with crimp contacts in five sizes from 22D to 10, and the range offers a wide variety of insert patterns.Complementing Amphe-EX is Amphenol’s Star-Line EX series of heavy-duty hazardous-area connectors, which are designed to accommodate crimp, solder or pressure contacts for power, signal or mixed applications.
Covering five shell sizes from 12 to 28, these connectors are also made from machined aluminum parts with a hard anodic coating. They are ATEX and IEC certified for use in Zone 1 hazardous environments and feature a double-lead coarse threaded coupling, together with an IP68 rating.
Both the Amphe-EX and Star-Line EX connector series are now in stock at the PEI-Genesis European assembly facility in Southampton. The company’s 48-hour assembly service means that buyers and engineers can now obtain exactly the right connector for their requirement in the shortest possible timescales. PEI-Genesis achieves this high service level by investing in a massive inventory of connector piece-parts and developing its own in-house machines to automate the assembly process wherever possible.
PEI-Genesis does not impose any minimum order quantities and is more than willing to assemble just one connector if that is all the customer requires. This is particularly useful for maintenance-and-repair applications and for customers wishing to minimize their inventories as there is no need to purchase unnecessary additional stock. Equally, however, with a production capacity running into tens of thousands of connectors a day, the company can manage much larger orders as well.
For customers who do not know the exact part number of the connector they require, PEI-Genesis has a specialist engineering team who can provide advice on the correct product to use for a particular application. This technical expertise is complemented by a website offering a wealth of useful resources, including connector comparison charts and comprehensive technical data in the form of a library of PDF datasheets.
For all its emphasis on speed of service, the one thing that PEI-Genesis will not compromise on is quality. Rather than simply building a product and testing it at the end of the line, the company has introduced QA procedures into each stage of the assembly process. It also vigorously pursues a program of continual improvement and constantly evaluates its processes to eliminate any bottlenecks.
PEI-Genesis i now assembling well over 8.5 million connectors a year covering some 56,000 different part numbers, with around two-thirds of the annual output built for customer orders of ten pieces or less.