Groundbreaking advancements in agricultural equipment and electronics have made it possible for farms to approach crop production with great precision. Smart agricultural equipment, outfitted with sensors, monitors, and computerized systems, can electronically control the amount of seed, fertilizer, pesticide, and water that a field receives. All of this is done in an effort to optimize crop potential. Smart farming, or Farming 4.0, results in cost savings, higher yields, and a minimized environmental impact.
With the demand for both food security and sustainable farming continuously growing, there is a rising need for reliable technology in support of these efforts as well.
Connectors for Rugged Agricultural Applications
Industrial connectors are necessary wherever there is a transmission of signals or power, including the harsh environments Farming 4.0 equipment encounters daily. The electrical connectors and enclosures for smart agricultural systems must be reliable and robust, rugged enough to handle not just dirt, fine dust, wind, mud, snow, and ice, but also industrial fluids and corrosive fertilizers. They must be able to handle cleaning, as the equipment, including the control panels, needs to be opened up and safely cleaned. Many times, the only way to keep agricultural equipment clean is to use pressurized water or cleaning fluids.
This is precisely why the IP rating for Farming 4.0 connectors is so important. The basic IP ratings that apply are:
- IP67-rated: can be temporarily submerged in water
- IP68-rated: can submerge in 10m of water over 24 hours
- IP69K-rated: can withstand water pressure over 2,000 psi
Choosing the right connectors and enclosures can be tough for complex farming applications, but there are very effective market solutions.
For the cabin interface on agricultural equipment, HARTING Han Modular® Connectors are among the top options. The cabin interface is key to transmitting critical data and information to the operator and controllers within the cabin. HARTING modular connectors are designed as a system of inserts (from which there is a wide range to choose from) to meet specific requirements. These rectangular connectors can be configured to support both power and signal circuits in one connector and offer simple assembly with a small footprint. In addition to the ruggedness provided by their IP69K-rating, they are also made for particularly high mating cycles (10,000 insertions/removals).
When it comes to Farming 4.0 power management, the Amphenol ATP Series provides outstanding performance and is IP67-rated with high-temperature silicone seals. These Amphenol connectors have a thermoplastic housing with an integrated latch for secure mating. They are designed for use with 10-14AWG with size 12 contacts handling up to 25A and are available in either 2 or 4 positions.
For enclosures, Cinch ModICE® LE Enclosures work extremely well for agricultural applications — especially when involving data transfer and management. These sealed Cinch enclosures have a board size of 6.00” x 6.10" and provide multiple header configurations (30, 48, and 60 I/O). They are RoHS compliant and have a 1.5mm SHS system base interconnect technology. These rugged Cinch enclosures are sealed to IP67 and IP69K, making them resistant to most industrial fluids and remain sealed even when the harness connectors are not mated.
PEI-Genesis: Supplying the Right Connectors for Smart Agriculture
HARTING Han Modular® Connectors, Amphenol ATP connectors, and Cinch ModICE® LE Enclosures are examples of practical solutions that supply the performance, reliability, and IP-rated sealing that modern farming technology demands. At PEI-Genesis, you can depend on our team of interconnect specialists to help you find and configure the right solution for your agricultural applications.