Automation Update - Issue 55

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Issue 55



Smart sensing in 3D

Built-in apps make 3D sensor easy to use!





years if m pr od

u ifm Telephone (020) 8213 1111









+44 (0) 1844 204420 Email us at

Ecopac (UK) Power Ltd, Unit 4, Ridgeway, Crendon Industrial Area, Long Crendon, Bucks, HP18 9BF

AUTOMATION UPDATE Editorial Assistant Laura Sharpe 01843 580 460 Publishing Director Jodie Little 01843 580 460 Sales Director Tim Johnston 01843 448 443 Advertising Exec Jamie Simmons 01843 580 460

Automation Update is an engaging, editorially led publication & directory giving the reader news and updates on new products and services to our ever Progressing industry. Publishing House Jet Digital Media Ltd The Forge, Spratling Court Offices, Manston, Kent CT12 5AN



The intelligent path to customer-specific connections: ODU-MAC – our versatile modular connector solution enables the transmission of power, high current, high voltage, coax, high-speed data, fiber optics and other media such as air or fluid. For your made-to-measure connection.

COMPLETE SYSTEM SOLUTIONS ODU provides pre-assembled component solutions. Our development and manufacturing expertise, combined with our state-of-the art manufacturing facilities in Europe, China and the USA, enable us to offer our customers outstanding assemblies and a full range of logistics services.


ODU-UK Ltd. Phone: +44 03301509 002 266433 0640

Automation Update - 3

are carried out by a robotmounted marking head. The whole process is controlled by Pryor’s software, which is linked to the manufacturer’s plant production system to ensure that the correct data is applied.

Making a mark in aerospace

The robotic marking of components is vital to ensuring that they can be traced at all steps along the aerospace supply chain. Dan Stephenson, sales manager at Pryor Marking Technology, explains why. The marking of parts is critical in the aerospace industry and, in many cases, mandatory. Specifications such as the UID standards laid down by the US Department of Defence and SAE International’s AS9132 marking standard stipulate that parts be marked permanently in order to give them a unique identity. This is done by applying a Data Matrix code (similar to a barcode) to the surface of parts. The code serves as a passport for the component and by scanning it, a manufacturer can access a myriad of data regarding its production - including the supplier of the material from which it is made and the production operative responsible for its manufacture. If the part fails, this data can help to determine the reason(s) why. Some parts can be marked adequately using hand-held devices, but large parts may need to be marked multiple times in exact locations. With some engine components worth more than £100,000 each, the incorrect application of a mark can be an expensive mistake to make. With this in mind, a precise marking technique, such as robotic control, is needed. 4 - Automation Update

Using Pryor Marking Technology’s multi-axis robotic systems, a large part is moved into a marking cell where it is loaded onto a rotary table and clamped in place. An operator scans the part’s unique identification code, which calls up a programme with marking instructions. These

A key element of the technology is the vision system, which helps to validate and verify all of the marks. It checks that the marked information is correct and that it meets the relevant specifications. It can also help to ensure that the positioning of the mark is correct. While this information will be loaded as part of the marking programme, a mark may have to be made in a position relative to a certain feature on a component. The camera can find this feature and apply an offset to the marking programme as a further check to ensure correct placement. Robotic marking systems are generally used on round and cylindrical aeroengine components of up to 1.2m in diameter - although larger parts could be handled if required. As such parts become more commonplace, the need to track them will become increasingly important. For more information, please contact Pryor Marking on 01142 766044, email: or visit



5 Comm ports inc. ethernet | Easy PID | Free no-limit programming | Hot-swappable I/O Built-in data logging | Integrated web-server | Motion made easy

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HARTING’s ix Industrial® connector wins the German Innovation Award The HARTING Technology Group have received the coveted German Innovation Award 2019 for their ix Industrial® range.

The pioneering connector impressed the German Design Council and won the award for “Excellence in Business to Business”. The German Innovation Award acknowledges products and solutions that clearly set themselves apart from conventional solutions, thanks to their user focus and added value. HARTING’s ix Industrial® stands for ruggedness, miniaturisation and outstanding performance. Thanks to these attributes, and in view of the increasing use of miniaturised devices and sensors, today’s ix Industrial® is ideally suited for tomorrow’s solutions. Targeting the widespread RJ45 connector, the ix Industrial® offers 6 - Automation Update

solutions for new industrial devices. A connector that is compact and robust, whilst ensuring Cat. 6A performance for 1/10 Gbit/s Ethernet on the control level, has long been on the wish list of users, designers and developers. With the ix Industrial®, HARTING has met all these demands with a practical and consistent system.

assessed on the criteria of innovation levels, user benefits and economic efficiency. The innovation strategy factors in aspects such as social, ecological, economical sustainability, as well as the deployment of energy and resources.

In industrial Ethernet (Type A) the ix Industrial® interface excels in signal as well as in serial BUS systems (Type B). The size of the sockets has been reduced by 70% in comparison with the RJ45, thereby enabling device manufacturers to deploy the ix in considerably more compact devices. To ensure device integration, a compact and robust socket with five THR shielding contacts provides the highest stability on printed circuit boards. The ix connectors feature a stable clipping mechanism with two metal hooks. Together with the new socket, this guarantees secure and vibrationfree connections, from the cable through to the PCB for a minimum of 5,000 mating cycles.

“This is the third award acknowledging ix Industrial®. I see this as clear proof that we have clearly understood the sign of the times with our ix Industrial® and have created THE future miniaturised interface for Ethernet in the industrial arena” commented Jonas Diekmann, Technical Editor at HARTING Electronics.

The jury comprises independent, interdisciplinary experts from industry, science, various institutions and the financial arena. Submissions are

Winning this prestigious accolade is an indication that HARTING developments are closely attuned to current trends and represent innovations that make life easier for users. Maximilian Rohrer and Jonas Diekmann from HARTING Electronics were delighted to receive the coveted award.

Maximilian Rohrer went on to add: “For me as product manager for the ix Industrial® series, it is a very special honour to receive this award. While the product is still in its infancy, there are already a good many users, both large and small, who are enthusiastic about the new possibilities that our solution is opening up. And this is just the beginning. In the next years we will be expanding the portfolio revolving around the ix.”

Multi-functional cell from Wood Automation & Control takes training in robotics and automation to new levels

Addressing the skills shortage within UK manufacturing has become a clear focus at all levels, from Government initiatives, recruitment of apprentices within both small and large companies, and from organisations such as Make UK, who are focused on creating the most supportive environment for UK manufacturers to enable them to thrive, innovate and compete. As robotics and automation continue to play an increasingly important part in our manufacturing processes, it is essential that both our current and future generation of engineers have the opportunity to get “hands-on” training and experience with the latest robot, automation and control technologies. Wood Automation & Control used their wealth of engineering and automation expertise to design, build and install a state of the art robotic training cell at Make UK’s Technology Hub in Birmingham. This training cell is now live and ready for use by the 400 apprentices and other engineers joining the Make UK training courses this year. This significant investment in the latest robotics and production automation, including both software and hardware, complements systems already installed at the Technology Hub, which now boasts an unrivalled range of industry standard components from a variety of manufacturers. Engineering apprentices at the Make UK’s Technology Training Hub can now get their hands on the latest robotic programming and production trouble-shooting systems thanks to the system designed and built by Wood Automation & Control, with support from technology partner SMC UK Ltd. Students using the facility, including both apprentices and experienced engineers seeking to enhance their skill level, will be able to experience a range of tasks including the inspection, conveying and robotic transfer of component shafts into and out of the cell and the robotic pick and place of automotive body panels. Tim Bednall, Sales and Marketing Manager for Wood Automation & Control commented: “Make UK required a training cell that incorporated a variety of robots and control systems, in order to give apprentices the widest possible knowledge and experience. We designed a self-contained cell featuring a range of automated handling technologies commonly found within manufacturing

facilities. The cell has also been designed with a minimal footprint and features different control software and interfaces. In addition, the whole system has been engineered with safety being of paramount importance.” The training cell incorporates KUKA, FANUC and ABB robots, and a fundamental part of its configuration is its unique and secure wireless communications and data capture system that enables the entire suite of control systems and robotics to operate and talk to each other. Wood Automation & Control worked in collaboration with SMC UK to achieve this high level of functionality in such a demanding environment. At the heart of this system is SMC’s wireless EX600-W Fieldbus system for serial input / output transmission. Capable of operating over a radius of up to 10 metres it can easily control all of the individual systems within the training cell. Remote monitoring via a PC allows tutors and students to check functionality or trouble-shoot whilst away from the physical training cell. The Wi-Fi system uses the 2.4GHz ISM frequency band, but can frequency hop every 5 milliseconds to provide stable communications and minimise the risk of disruption from other electronic devices. Its data encryption system helps to maximise security and prevents unauthorised access. The cell also features a dual control system to allow students to become familiar with both Siemens and Rockwell controls and HMI architectures. A touchscreen ‘Tutor’ HMI enables instructors to select fault conditions and disable components within the cell to create realistic system failures for subsequent identification and rectification by the apprentices. A range of pneumatically operated gripper systems, with interchangeable gripper fingers, provides the flexibility for the robots to handle and manipulate different component parts. Gordon Thompson, the Technology Skills Lead at Make UK, comments on the cell’s performance: “The Robotic Training Cell is proving to be an excellent training aid capable of a wide range of usages and scenarios, in part due to the advanced technology supplied by Wood Automation & Control and their partner in this project SMC UK Ltd. This is allowing us to produce more scenarios than envisaged and has added some significant value to the training delivery.”

Often the little things provide the greatest benefits.

Han® 1A - Compact, robust and versatile.

The new standard for small, universal industrial connectors ■ Uses up to 30% less space: Compact connector for power that can be installed in the field ■ Flexible in use: Transmits data, signals and power with up to twelve contacts ■ Highly versatile: Modular system of inserts and accessories for indoor and outdoor applications (IP20 / IP65)

One Range. No Limits:

Reducing The Costs And Consequences Of Unplanned Downtime In today’s competitive business environment, it’s essential that productivity, efficiency and customer service levels remain high, if cost and profitability targets are to be achieved. Whilst there are many different aspects to manufacturing and operational processes, one of the main inhibitors to achieving required output levels and targets is that of unplanned downtime. In this article, Reich Drive Systems UK’s David Proud recommends some basic steps that can be taken to reduce the potential for these events and the subsequent costs associated with downtime. The issue of downtime, and especially unplanned events, is a blight for any business whether they are manufacturers, plant and transport operators or delivering key infrastructure services. There can be many causes of unplanned downtime ranging from unavailability of materials, shortages of manpower, extended changeover periods and of course one of the most common reasons, equipment or machinery failure. Regardless of the reasons behind the stoppage, the effects are the same: loss of production and value whilst overhead costs continue to accrue. Although it is almost impossible to avoid all unplanned downtime, it is possible to significantly reduce the potential for these costly events by taking a pro-active and technically led approach. When considering the potential for unexpected downtime caused by components or equipment, it is highly likely that the oldest or obsolete items will pose the greatest risk. Initiating a detailed review or audit of all machinery and componentry will highlight any particular items that may require immediate maintenance attention or indeed replacement. This review will also help to enhance and update any existing preventative maintenance schedules, setting new priorities for other items deemed at immanent risk of obsolescence or failure, and also identifying items that are vital to maintaining high operational efficiencies. Taking steps to replace items perceived to be at risk before they actually fail is much less costly that suffering the consequences and costs associated with unplanned downtime. When considering

10 - Automation Update

replacements, it is also essential to look closely at the specification of the replacement item. Merely selecting the exact same part, or the least expensive part that will fit, may not be the right decision as this is likely to replicate the original problem, possibly even in the short term.

Taking time to review the different coupling types, and selecting a coupling which not only meets all of the technical and application requirements, but is either maintenance free, or has the ability to have change parts replaced in-situ will bring significant ongoing benefits to uptimes and efficiency.

This is especially true of drive couplings, which are an essential part of any drive train, and therefore a key element in maintaining uptime and efficiency. Drive couplings vary greatly in their design and capabilities, so for any given application engineers must ensure that they specify the drive coupling correctly to guarantee ongoing reliable, efficient and safe operation. Factors such as torque transmission, speed ranges, running start / stops and potential shock loadings are just some of the key elements in the selection of the coupling. If a previous coupling has failed unexpectedly it is likely that one or more of these factors has been overlooked. If there is any uncertainty in specifying a replacement part, engineers should speak with a reputable supplier who will be able to review the application details and identify a variant capable of meeting the challenges of the specific application.

One other important and contributing factor to reducing downtime is that of training. A topic sometimes overlooked, structured and ongoing training for maintenance engineering teams will bring tangible dividends. Ensuring that all maintenance engineers are multi-skilled, and involved in the introduction of new components, systems and technologies within the business, means that they will have both the knowledge and tools required to identify and resolve any issues quickly.

Time spent on this exercise, even in the face of pressure by production to have the system running again, will pay dividends in the long run as the drive train will be highly reliable and unlikely to fail again unexpectedly.

With a history spanning over 70 years, REICH-KUPPLUNGEN has built up unrivalled expertise in the design and manufacture of drive couplings for use across a wide range of industries and applications. The company has earned an enviable reputation not only for the quality and performance of their product range, but also for their ability to provide application and customer specific solutions through the company’s D2C (Design to Customer) philosophy.

reich Drive couplings

keeping Industry moving competence in power transmission whatever your industry or application




Test Bench Applications


Power Generation Applications

Mobile Applications


Pump & Compressor Applications


Industrial Applications

Marine Engineering

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MATERIALS TECHNOLOGY Premium chemicals and state of the art manufacturing facilities are coupled with engineering know-how to produce high quality engineering polymers capable of delivering increased performance and replacing traditional materials such as steel and bronze. In addition to custom formulated materials for more demanding needs, Nylacast offer a wide range of standard grades renowned for being low weight, low friction, self lubricating, corrosion resistant, highly versatile and dimensionally stable. NYLACAST’S RANGE OF STANDARD GRADES INCLUDES Nylube, Oilon, Aquanyl PA 6/12, PA 6 Natural, Moly, H.S Blue, Impact, CF150, CF160, CF306, Nylube GF (Glass Filled), Nylastat (ATEX approved). ADDITIONAL MATERIALS INCLUDE Acrylic, Acetal, Polycarbonate, Polyurethane, PTFE, POM, PEEK, Polypropylene, Nylon 66, Polyethylene, PVDF, PVC Automation Update - 11

approach, they are kept on order picking trolleys that are already common to many warehouses. The trolleys are placed in a frame fitted with put-to-light displays. As soon as the operator has picked the right quantity of products, the displays indicate how many must be put into which customer bin. Each ‘put’ is confirmed by pressing the button on the display, and then the operator moves on to the next order line.

Kardex NEW FramePick 4 Wholesale delivers Faster Order Picking Need a fast and accurate picking solution but a Mini-Load is to costly? FramePick 4 Wholesale from Kardex offers an alternative for intelligent order picking For a growing number of companies – whether they are focused on the B2B or B2C market – they are experiencing bottlenecks in their traditional fulfillment operations. There simply isn’t enough time for an order picker to take a trolley up and down past endless rows of racking so that the products can be picked, packed and dispatched quickly enough. What these warehouses need is an efficient, dynamic and flexible system for fast order fulfillment. Kardex introduces their FramePick4Wholesale - an efficient goods-to-person solution that enables wholesale companies to reduce the distances walked in their warehouses by as much as 65%. The combination of smart and intuitive technologies virtually eliminates picking errors, plus intelligent order batching 12 - Automation Update

enables a fourfold increase in the productivity of order pickers – and all without having to install a complex system of rigid conveyors or investing in other costly material handling equipment. At the heart of the system is the LR 35 vertical storage system. With two, four or six units connected in series, you can create highly compact storage of the inventory in standard plastic bins. Once an order line is released, the LR 35 rapidly presents the relevant storage bin to the operator. A user-friendly screen, which can be supported with a laser pointer if desired, informs the operator of how many products to pick and put in the customer order bins. The positioning of the customer bins is unique. Rather than the traditional conveyor-transport

Once all the customer bins on a trolley are full, the displays on the frame light up. An operator can then simply transfer the trolley to the packing area where all the orders are packed ready for dispatch as normal. The next trolley waiting to be filled with customer orders can immediately be wheeled into the vacant space. When the operator uses the software to select the relevant number of customer orders, the software applies a predefined strategy to link them to the empty bins on the trolley. Then, a single scan is all it takes to connect the trolley to the frame and to add it to the current batch of orders being processed. The fast order fulfillment solution revolves around the LR 35, which is the fastest vertical storage system on the market. Kardex Remstar supplies FramePick 4 Wholesale as a total solution including LR35 units, frames with put-to-light displays and Power Pick Global Smartpick 6000 software. Plastic bins, order picking trolleys, label printers and additional software modules are also optionally available from Kardex Remstar. The total solution is offered with a complete service package which gives customers the peace of mind they need in fast order fulfillment. Download the white paper to learn more about the new solution for faster order processing or contact Kardex Remstar at website at

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Piezotronics, Devtank, Kistler, SIKA and Bronkhorst.

Innovation Showcase

Celebrating a connected world at Sensors & Instrumentation Live Sensors and the myriad of instruments that measure and collect data provide the backbone for the Internet of Things (IoT) and our increasingly connected world, and for the last ten years Sensors & Instrumentation Live has served as an annual hub for the cutting-edge technology that has been driving this connectivity. This year's special anniversary event, sponsored by Mouser Electronics, will be no different - with sensors among the many technologies from industry titans on display in Hall 2 at the NEC Birmingham from Wednesday 25 to Thursday 26 September 2019.

A lively exhibition floor The Sensors & Instrumentation Live exhibitor line up continues to grow as the event approaches and Bronkhorst, Charcroft Electronics, Keller, Kistler and Rheintacho are just a few of the marketleading companies that will be present on the show's aisles. In addition to the unique opportunity to source an array of products and solutions under one roof, visitors will be able to explore the latest technological innovations and gain insight from top organisations on how to grow businesses or streamline productivity in a number of the event's newly introduced feature areas.

The Enterprise Hub The new Enterprise Hub is a prime opportunity to discover the variety of options available to visitors that are looking to grow their business. Representatives from key engineering 14 - Automation Update

institutions and organisations will give a series of invaluable presentations, covering topics from funding, training and apprenticeships through to making the most of supply chains. The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), The Institute of Engineering & Technology (The IET), Make UK, the University of Birmingham's Centre for Innovation in Advanced Measurement in Manufacturing, the British Measurement & Test Association (BMTA) and GAMBICA are among the organisations that have already been confirmed to speak in The Enterprise Hub in September.

Watch live demonstrations Innovation in Action, sponsored by PCB Piezotronics, is another new feature for the 10 year anniversary of Sensors & Instrumentation Live. Free-to-attend, Innovation in Action will see live demonstrations of some of the best products on the market - giving visitors the opportunity to see how these products work in real life and have their questions answered by the experts in person. Companies already confirmed to give live demonstrations of their products in Innovation in Action include sponsor PCB

The popular Innovation Showcase, sponsored by Bronkhorst, makes its return to Sensors & Instrumentation Live in 2019. Serving as an assembly of the most cutting-edge products and solutions available from exhibitors at the show, the Innovation Showcase gives visitors a chance to get hands on with devices from companies including Charcroft Electronics, Mantracourt, Broadband Technology 2000, Rheintacho and Bronkhorst and make sure they do not miss out on a single thing.

Engineering Symposium: Sensing Innovation The Engineering Symposium is an exciting new partnership between DJB Instruments and Sensors & Instrumentation Live, presenting CPD-accredited training that is driven by sensor innovation and the very latest in engineering. DJB will bring together a team of speakers from some of the UK's leading technology and engineering companies for a two day programme of technical training sessions, exploring topics from the basics of signal processing and analysis and control of noise sources in data to accelerometer technology and more.

Register online now - for free! Registering for Sensors & Instrumentation Live's 10th anniversary spectacular is quick, easy and completely free of charge. Not only will a free ticket provide visitors with access to these great feature areas and the best sensors and instruments on the market, but it will also provide entry to the colocated TCT Show.

To find out more about Sensors & Instrumentation Live 2019 or to register for a free entry badge, click here.


25 & 26 September 2019 | Hall 2, NEC Birmingham


Continuous level measurement even in harsh environments There is no shortage of level control technologies in the process control market, for either simple point level or continuous measurement of the level, and perhaps one of the favourites that can do both is GWR, or guided-wave radar.

pipe is available for the LR2050 to improve detection of oils and to help eliminate false readings caused by foam. Over a dozen probes of different lengths, between 15 cm and 160 cm, can be attached to the LR2050, which will automatically adjust to these different rods. The user can even shorten the probes if required. The process connection is via a G3/4” thread

In a nutshell, this is where low-energy microwave (it isn’t going to cook your dinner) signals are generated in the head unit to be transmitted along an attached antenna until they reach a surface that will reflect then back to the head unit. The benefits of such a system lie in several factors. Firstly, few substances absorb the signal, guaranteeing detection. Secondly, the waves will pass around any deposits that might adhere to the antenna, so they do not disrupt the true measurement. In addition, the antenna itself (also known as a probe, or simply a rod) is a passive component, allowing the user to cut it to the right length for the vessel. The GWR system can also ignore foam on the medium. As a major manufacturer of sensors for process control, ifm electronic has been supplying GWR sensors for a number of years. Here we look at some of the features of this series and recent developments. The LR series (L for level, R for radar) all consist of a modular system with evaluation unit and probe. The evaluation unit offers an intuitive pushbutton 18 - Automation Update

setting interface and a clearly visible 4-digit LED display. Setting the LR is simple, and can even be done before installation. Sensor parameters are accessible using the pushbuttons on the device, or remotely over IO-Link, and the LR even includes a simulation function to facilitate testing. The evaluation unit provides different output combinations depending on the model: standard output functions available are two programmable switched outputs, or one switched output and one scalable analogue (4...20 mA). Alternatively, IO-Link can transmit the true value. The newer versions of the LR range from ifm feature enhanced capabilities, compared to earlier models, and are constructed in deep-drawn stainless steel housings for robustness. The LR2050, for example, is clearly designed for hard work. It is suitable for medium temperature up to 100 °C and can fit into confined spaces. will detect all manner of substances, and a coaxial

Another example is the LR2750. Outwardly similar to the LR2050 but designed for hygienic application, the LR2750 naturally has a food-grade process fitting deigned to work with a common standard fittings. The LR2750 can also withstand a higher vessel pressures and medium temperature of up to 150 °C, and work with probes up to 200mm in length. Like all LR’s, the LR2750 has a high IP rating. The most recent version of ifm electronic’s LR sensor is the LR9020 model. One of the most important features of the LR9020 is the lack of any buttons or displays. This rules out any unauthorised access to the settings. Nevertheless, what this new level sensor does have, like all of them, is an IO-Link interface for remote control. For the reliable level control in tanks and containers for water-based media, oils and coolants there is nothing better than the LR range from ifm electronic. ifm is committed to working closely with its customers to develop products which precisely match their needs, and the company provides expert, readily accessible technical support to help users maximise the benefits they gain from ifm products. For further information, contact Gemma Anderson. Telephone: 0208 213 2234 E-mail


Capacitive sensors with easy setting Reliability is Key





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No more trial-and-error, LED’s show the way

Potentiometer - not pushbuttons

Proven noise immunity to generic standard EN61000-4

Reliable performance over a temperature range of -25 to +80°C

IP 65 / IP 67 / IP 69K

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ollowing extensive discussions with some existing customers, ODU have created a hybrid rectangular connector, incorporating expertise from its range of push-pull locking circular connectors into their ODU-MAC® Blue-Line product range. The resultant PUSH-LOCK creates an even more compact ODU-MAC® modular connector with a design that makes these innovative hybrid connectors stand out from the crowd. The goal was to offer a connector that was ergonomic, easy to use, and highly flexible – in a style that was as small as possible. The size was incredibly important, so as to meet the growing trend for miniaturization. The result is a handy hybrid IP67 connector capable of over 5,000 mating cycles, that can be equipped with various module inserts and yet has a relatively large M25 cable outlet.

18 - Automation Update

ODU-MAC® PUSH-LOCK a new compact rectangular connector. Push-pull locking is incredibly simple and reliable. This locking style saves a huge amount of space, so several connectors can be mounted very close to each other – an advantage that is inextricably linked to its locking principal. This, combined with low mating and de-mating forces, means the connector can be used intuitively with just one hand. Find out more at:

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