3M Mini-Clamp Connectors are designed to provide connection reliability and cost performance in I/O applications commonly found in a wide range of sensor control systems, including Factory Automation and Industrial Controls. 3M Mini-Clamp products use the advantage of 3M’s IDC technology which does not require any special tooling or pre-treatment of cables, and can be terminated using a standard pair of pliers. Benefits of the Mini-Clamp products include a simple installation process that does not create material debris or waste; a labor saving IDC termination process relative to traditional interconnect alternatives; ease of assembly for system building; and a design that provides for consistent quality and reliability. Features include a semi-transparent cover, color-coded covers to provide for the proper wire usage, and wire alignment and retention built into the cover. These features allow proper wire termination along with latches and polarization to allow for proper mating of the connectors. 3M Mini-Clamp Connectors are part of a serial field bus system solution that is designed to reduce the space of sensor wires in factory automation machines when compared to parallel wiring approaches. The total field installation costs (assembly and wiring) can be reduced when the 3M Mini-Clamp products are used – especially in combination with the 3M™ Link Connector offering. The termination process of traditional connectors (crimp connectors or terminal blocks) is complicated, labor intensive and typically creates debris and waste which may be an issue in clean room environments found in the semiconductor, LCD and medical applications. The 3M Mini-Clamp connector will provide for an easier and debris-free wire termination process. The connectors have an integrated guide and retention feature built into the cover, which provides reliable positioning of the individual wires. The semi-transparent cover allows for visual inspection of the wire position prior to the termination of the wire to the IDC. This IDC style connector helps reduce maintenance work by providing higher connection reliability and helps alleviate the need for cable preparation such as stripping and tinning. Polarizing tabs help provide proper mating and latching devices help provide a reliable connection, even under severe conditions such as mechanical stress and vibration in industrial environments.
The newest addition to the 3M Mini-Clamp Connector product line is the right angle surfacemount socket which has a compact design that retains the reliable dual-wipe, high mating cycle and positive mating latch that provides a reliable interconnect in demanding applications. This socket includes three options for properly placing and locating the component on the PC board, and has a robust PC board retention tab design. Dust caps are also available for use in more harsh and dusty environments.