Automation Canada Machine Safety Issue May 2021 - 25

A-Coded connectors are the original and the most common M12 connector. Available with 3 to 17 poles, they are mostly used for signals and DC
power (up to 4A depending on the number of poles) and some data applications. A-Coded connectors are o┼┐ten found on sensors, actuators, safety
devices and I/O modules. You will also find many IO-Link devices using M12 A-Coded connectors with Class A devices using 3 poles and Class B
devices using 5 poles.
B-Coded connectors with 2, 4 or 5 poles are more commonly found in Europe because they are mainly used on Profibus and Interbus fieldbus
systems. Although B-Coded connectors are not very common here in North America, you can still run into them from time-to-time if you end up
working on older Siemens PLCs or other control systems that were originally designed in Europe.
C-Coded connectors are another less common M12 connector type. These 3 to 6 pole connectors are usually found on 120VAC powered sensors
and actuators so you will likely only find them on older machines with AC control systems. The connector incorporates a dual keyway which prevents
them from being accidentally connected to an M12 A-Coded connector.
D-Coded connectors are currently one of the most common M12 connectors used for connecting field devices to industrial networks. You will find
these 4-pole M12 connectors standard on Ethernet, ProfiNet and EtherCat field devices and industrial CAT5e cables that have a maximum data
transfer rate of up to 100 Mbit/s. If you are looking for Gigabit data transfer rates and CAT6 rated cables you will need an X-Coded connector (see
below).
K-Coded connectors are the first of four relatively new M12 connectors designed for power transmission. K-Coded connectors have 5 poles (4+PE)
and are rated up to 630VAC/DC with a maximum of 12A per pole but are not very common yet.
L-Coded connectors are probably the most popular of the newer M12 power connectors. Designed to provide DC power with high current, you will
find them replacing the traditional 7/8 " power connectors on many of the newer I/O modules that are being released. L-Coded M12 connectors are
available with 4 poles or 5 poles (4+PE) with a current rating of up to 16A per pole and a maximum voltage rating of 63VAC/DC.
S-Codedconnectors have very similar specifications to K-coded M12 connectors but are only available with 3-pole (2+PE) or 4-pole (3+PE) versions.
With a rated voltage up to 630VAC and a maximum current of 12A per pole, they are a good choice for AC power connections.
T-Coded connectors are another M12 connector designed for DC power connections. This 4-pole connector is rated up to 63VDC/AC, with each
pole rated to 12A. The lower current rating and the lack of a PE option are key differences between this and the L-coded connector.
X-Coded connectors were designed to meet the high-speed demands of modern industrial networks. Capable of data transmission rates of up to
10 Gbit/s they are easy to identify due to the galvanic separation plates that isolate the wire pairs forming an X. This 8-pole M12 connector is quickly
becoming the standard connector for high-speed industrial network connections that require IP67 protection.
Y-Coded connectors are another relatively new type of connector designed to provide a hybrid solution for connecting power and data using a
single cable. The connector consists of 8 poles split into two groups of 4 that are galvanically separated with a metal coding that looks like a Y. The
metal coding plates also provide an effective separation between power and data. The connector's data poles are rated at 0.5A and can transmit
data up to 100Mbit/s. The power poles rated to 6A at 30 VDC.
CANADIAN AUTOMATION
VOLUME 3, ISSUE 3
25

Automation Canada Machine Safety Issue May 2021

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