We live in a connected world. You’ve surely heard about the theory of 3⁰s of separation. New connection platforms arise every day, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Skype or mobile phones. Our ability to reach beyond what we ever imagined 15 years ago is now accepted as a standard part of life, especially for the 30 and under crowd. I am still amazed at the people I see in airports and restaurants that are connecting on these platforms almost continuously. To be honest it wears me out.
So why has connectivity in industrial applications lagged behind? Oh, I’m not talking about communication; I am talking about power delivery. The mechanical connector has served us well over the last century, but isn’t it time we pulled the plug. Today’s highly automated manufacturing and industrial machinery offer significant capability that again was never envisioned 15 years ago, let alone 100 years ago. To walk through an automobile assembly plant today, robots are picking, placing, welding, sealing, rotating, aligning, and finishing assembly processes that were at one time tedious human processes. I’m not here to discuss or argue the positive or negative impact this has had on the cost of products or the middle class workforce; we will leave that to our politicians.
What I will say is that the continued use of traditional contacting mechanical connectors limits the continued advancement and utilization of these technologies. Has there been mechanical connector innovation and improvement over the past 100 years? Absolutely. Has there been enough? Absolutely not.
Our next generation non-contacting, or wireless power Proxi-Point based connectors allow transmission through an air gap to eliminate the chances for corrosion or mechanical failure. It eliminates the limitations that mechanical contact demands, while offering new degrees of flexibility in design of automated equipment. The system is fully automatic, so as the transmitter and receiver are brought into close proximity the power is instantly flowing powering up all of the controls, sensors and actuators. This allows for moving parts to maintain a high reliability connection or to have interchangeable parts or components to rapidly come online during a change out. The system also integrates bi-directional data transfer through the same wireless connector.
We applaud the innovation that has occurred in the field of process and equipment automation, but isn’t it time you eliminated the next barrier to even greater gains and applications. It’s time to get disconnected, to allow new levels of connectivity.
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