TE Connectivity Entrelec Terminal Blocks

With an ever-growing need for Automation, the need for accurate, efficient, easily identifiable, modular wire connections continues to grow. Equipment needs to be manufactured, assembled, tested, installed, and commissioned in a quick, efficient manner. This means time spent troubleshooting shorts, wiring errors, and bad connections can be costly. Every man-hour spent troubleshooting can cause delays leading to a loss of capital. This makes the need for high quality, flexible terminal blocks all that much more important. TE Connectivity has recently introduced to its product offering the Entrelec Series Terminal Blocks.

Things to Consider When Selecting Terminal Blocks

There are a few types of structures to consider when selecting a terminal block. For instance, how many levels will your application need? Will single feed-through suffice, or do you need more I/Os (inputs/outputs)? If you need more I/Os, you may want to consider a double or even triple level. Multi-stacked levels allow engineers and technicians to double or triple their I/Os and conserve space. This is particularly useful in cabinets where real estate comes at a premium. With double and triple stacks, you also have the option of bridging I/Os.

(Image source: TE Connectivity)

Once you have decided on the structure, you need to ask how the terminal blocks will be used. As a ground circuit or I/O blocks? Maybe you are looking to use them as a sensor block. Each configuration requires a different setup. For instance, if it is intended to be used as a fuse block, you are going to need to incorporate fuseholders, whereas a sensor block will handle three and four-wired sensors.

The next decision should be how the blocks will be mounted into the application. Will you be screwing your blocks to the panel, or will you use a DIN rail? If you intend to use a DIN rail, what type? Top hat? G32? Top hat tends to be the most common and works with most Industrial Automation equipment. Mini-top hats look similar to the shape of a standard top hat but are half the width at 15 mm. Top hat rails are typically rated for applications up to 600 V.

There are several options to connect wiring using terminal blocks. An insulation displacement connection (IDC) is made by the insertion of the wire with the jacket still intact. The wire is pushed between two sharp metal pinch points that pierce the jacket. This method allows engineers to make connections without needing to expose bare wiring. Screw clamps are typically used in higher voltage applications. This provides a more secure connection and can accommodate a larger gauge of wire. Spring clamps incorporate the use of springs to make connections. The bare wire is inserted into the terminal, the spring then locks the wire in place. To remove, a small screwdriver is inserted to release the spring. These have become more popular in smaller wire gauge applications and projects with confined space requirements.

Terminal blocks today are available with a host of new features. For example, they can be purchased with different angular orientations to allow for access in those confined spaces. They may come with pluggable options as well, such as the TE Entrelec SNK Series. This provides the engineer with the ability to pre-wire and quickly assemble and disassemble, which is highly important in this fast-paced world.

Check out TE Connectivity’s Entrelec SNK Series.

This series provides all of these options and many more. They are available in PI-Spring (Push-in, spring mode), pluggable, screw terminal, jumpers, insulation accessories, circuit separators, wire markers, and much more.

About this author

Image of Eric Halvorson

Eric Halvorson, Partnership Marketing Manager – Strategic Programs, has been with Digi-Key for over 12 years. Eric’s focus is in the Industrial Automation Market. He graduated from Northland Community and Technical College in 2011 with an AAS degree in Electronics Technology and Automated Systems. Until recently, Eric worked as a Product Manager in Electromechanical with a primary focus in Switches. Eric enjoys spending his free time woodworking, fixing things, and time out on the range.

More posts by Eric J. Halvorson