The request for faster, safer and more comfortable services has grown proportionally in the rail industry over the recent years and the last two decades have seen exponential growth in the use of technology towards the evolution of very sophisticated transport system where the performance of components is more and more critical.
The railway market has been one of the main markets served by Smiths Interconnect since the beginning of the company’s design and manufacturing activity in the middle of the 20th century. Over the years, Smiths Interconnect has been able to follow the technological evolution of this sector, closely, and to deliver state-of-the-art connectivity solutions requested by the increasing number of electronic and electrical systems used in rail design.
The demand for reliable connectivity today concerns all systems that are part of the railway transportation, including safety control and command systems, power distribution and data transmission on-board or on-board infrastructure systems including communications.
Over the years, the core competencies that enabled Smiths Interconnect to follow the industry trends and to develop the appropriate solutions were the reliability of the technologies that ensured the high performance of qualified products; the flexibility of designs to meet the most stringent requirements; and the proven engineering and manufacturing capabilities that were key to make Smiths Interconnect a trusted and qualified partner to the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The support and confidence of our main key customers in the rail industry who believe in Smiths Interconnect’s capabilities and collaborate with us to develop the right solutions is the key factor leading us through this market’s evolution – as an integral partner to their development programmes.
The company’s portfolio of diversified products for the rail market has been developed thanks to this important business and engineering symbiosis and has allowed Smiths Interconnect to establish long-term and win-win partnerships with the major manufacturers in Europe and Asia.
Quick-mating rectangular multipole plastic connectors were developed to meet the most stringent requirements of the rail transportation industry in terms of electrical, mechanical and environmental performance and, most importantly, within full compliance with fire and smoke standards.
The REP series is a full plastic solution offered in either cabled or PCB mounting options to provide rapid assembly installation without requiring additional mounting hardware. It can be used in multiple applications such as wind shield wiper, door control, lighting and power supply requirements for passengers.
The connector uses the proven Hypertac® Hyperboloid contact technology, which ensures excellent reliability even under high levels of shock and vibration, allows for more than 500 mating cycles, and is electrically capable of operation up to 18Amps and more than 240V compliant to meet the overvoltage EN rail standards. The REP connector range offers two main versions: with crimp termination contacts for cable harness applications and with straight or bent termination contacts for PCB mount applications. Both versions are available in 3 layouts, 2, 6 and 12 ways and offered with a shunt accessory enabling electrical derivation inside the connector for transmission of information to different locations.
The same contact technology equips our C Series, EMC metallic circular connectors suitable for automatic train, operation and traffic control as well as the braking system. The C series connectors offer a robust sealed body shell with 5 mechanical coding options that ensure safe mating. Cable clamps with a large cabling chamber allow a variable cable diameter range of 6-13.5mm. The C series offers a shielded connection for EMI and RFI constraints and is available with a large choice of shells. It can be offered with standard cable assemblies to provide a complete interconnect solution.
A modular, blind-mating rack-and-panel solution with a flat, float-mount construction that enables quick and easy mating and unmating, employing guide pins for blind mating, and compensates for mechanical misalignments up to 1.25mm to ensure excellent signal integrity. The LHS series supports mixed power, signal, coaxial, and high-speed data contacts in a ruggedized shell, as well as high-contact densities. Furthermore, this outstanding range employs Hypertac Hyperboloid contact technology to ensure high-reliability performance, immunity to shock and vibration, and minimal contact resistance. The Series is built with low-fire, -smoke, and -toxicity materials per railway’s stringent industry requirements, and is compliant with NF F 61-032 standards as well as qualified to SNCF (French National Railway Company) standards.
A different contact technology facilitates our Transforemer Range of high density, high power, heavy-duty couplers offered with Tortac® contacts to provide up to 500 mating cycles and high current rating up to 300A and 700A. Suitable for all the on-board inter-coach and boogie power distribution, they are offered in 1 to 4 pole versions, supporting an exceptional voltage rating of 3600V and enabling customers to design their own solution by supplying the elementary components of the whole connector.
Smiths Interconnect’s wide portfolio of connectivity solutions for the rail transportation covers more than 60 years of design evolution and the above mentioned product series are just a few examples of our diverse portfolio. It also includes the the rugged Hypermod series, heavy duty, modular, rectangular series conforming to DIN 43652 standards and with NF F61-030 railways approval; the F series couplers equipped with mixed signal, power, data and fibre optics contacts and, finally, with a IP68 heavy duty aluminum shell, the circular M12 Series is compliant with critical fire and smoke standards.