Home: December - January 2007 › AB Connectors - At the forefront of innovation
AB Connectors - At the forefront of innovation
31/01/2007 | Channel:
New Products & Services
AB Connectors, part of TT Electronics Plc, is recognised as a market leader in the design and manufacture of
connectors and interconnection systems
AB Connectors, part of TT Electronics Plc, is recognised as a market leader in the design and manufacture of connectors and interconnection systems for the harsh environments found in the rail industry, where high performance and reliability are crucial. It supplies bespoke, custom-engineered solutions to many of the major players in the sector, including Bombardier, Alstom, Knorr-Bremse, Thales Communications and Wabtec.
The company has particular experience in designing connectors and harnesses for inter-car jumpers for onboard electronics such as Passenger Information Systems.
Such systems are becoming vitally important in today’s rail industry as they provide important safety and security advice and form a crucial part of many operators’
safety policies. They also improve passengers’ travelling experience by giving real-time information on station stops, destinations and onboard facilities and
many travellers have come to expect them onboard. Indeed, functioning audio-visual
Passenger Information Systems (PIS) are now a legal requirement for all new-build
trains and many operators and leasing companies are also investing in retro-fit
programmes to increase the appeal and life expectancy of existing rolling stock.
AB Connectors was recently appointed by turnkey enhancements provider Transys
Projects to design harnesses for ‘one’ Railway and HSBC Rail. The harnesses were
required for inter-car jumpers to allow data to be fed smoothly between carriages in
order to update Passenger Information Systems and onboard CCTV monitoring.
Working in close contact with the Transys Projects’ engineering team, AB
Connectors created a unique single-harness design with a 90-degree elbow-fitted fixed plate on the car face, allowing the cable conduit to drop away vertically. This differs from standard formations of one fixed jumper with one harness or one fixed
jumper with two fixed harnesses, creating a low profile that dramatically reduces the
intrusion within the inter-vehicle space and achieving considerable cost savings.
The design delivers high-speed data transfer whilst withstanding oscillations in
temperature, corrosion from the elements, extreme weather conditions, water, salt and dust ingress and flying ballast. The critical inter-car coupling is extremely robust and will not disengage as a result of the vibration and motion of the train. Like all AB Connectors designs, the connectors incorporate low fire-hazard thermo-plastic
insulators and are manufactured using zero halogen rubber, a material that does not
produce toxic fumes in the event of a fire.
The harness has major advantages in terms of railway performance. Interconnection systems have traditionally been a weak spot in train reliability: with trains carrying more and more electronics, the failure of a basic component can completely halt a service, resulting in a knock-on impact on passenger experience, reputation and operating profits. However, AB Connectors’ design uses innovative features and advanced materials to ensure durability, strength and complete resistance
to the harsh environments and rigours of rail applications.
Onboard staff and passengers will also benefit directly from the ability of the
harness to provide effective and reliable PIS and CCTV, both of which significantly
enhance safety and security and make a vital contribution towards creating a more
user-friendly, accessible and efficient railway.