Connectors aid weight reduction in the rail industry

15-07-2019 | RS Components | Connectors, Switches & EMECH

Harting continuously innovates their products and solutions to drive advancements and keep pace with the newest industrial trends. For example, weight reduction in the transportation industry. Manufacturers within the rail vehicle construction sector are aiming to decrease mass and reduce energy consumption to improve efficiencies and achieve cost savings.

Every gram of train weight requires to be accelerated and decelerated thousands of times throughout a vehicle's life. Therefore, a heavier vehicle needs more energy to accelerate, which costs the operator more money. According to calculations performed by rail operators, each kilogram of train weight costs over £10,000 through an average service life of 40 years.

Consequently, alongside improving vehicle aerodynamics and the efficiencies of drive units, decreasing the weight of rail vehicles and their components is a fundamental method of producing vital savings.

With the Han-Eco B, the company has produced a range of hoods and housings constructed from high-performance, glass fibre-reinforced, polyamide plastic. These products provide valuable weight savings of up to 50% per connector in comparison to their traditional metal versions.

The range satisfies IEC 61948 and EN 45545-2 HL3 standards and is fire-resistant according to UL94 V0. Moreover, the range is entirely compatible with standard metal Han B housings, indicating both variants are intermateable. As well as being lightweight, the Han-Eco B also supports modular inserts, meaning data, signal and power can all be merged into one standard-sized industrial connector.

Not only does this make them versatile, it also reduces the space demand for connectors within the train, giving customers excellent flexibility and decreased costs.

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