Harting has developed an expanded beam fibre-optic connector for providing high-bandwidth transmission in the harsh environments found in tunnel drilling and mining applications, where industrial Ethernet over fibre-optic cable is becoming the transmission medium of choice.
The long distances involved, together with the high bandwidths that are required, make the use of fibre-optic cable essential, but since optical interfaces are very sensitive to contamination, a rugged and more reliable solution has to be devised.
Harting’s expanded beam cable assembly supports high data rates under these extreme conditions. Its high bandwidth allows the high-definition video signals used in the vision systems that control the boring machines and associated equipment to be safely and securely transmitted. The fibre is safely packaged in a connector housing that is much less sensitive to dust, water or other environmental factors.
The hermaphroditic mating design of the expanded beam connectors allows for regular disconnection and re-connection of the cabling in these environments. The length of the optical connection can be extended simply by plugging in an additional cable, with no need to pay attention to the laying direction or any additional adaptors. This eliminates the need to match different mating faces in the field and as a result, the customer saves time and money.
In addition to applications in mining and tunnel boring machines, Harting's Expanded Beam Cable Assembly can be used to link networks in other heavy-duty application areas, including outside broadcast events, concert and music festival stage installations and container ports.