Heavy Duty Connectors: Ultimate Guide

As system complexity increases, the variety and number of connectors required for control systems grow, making the design of interconnect systems more difficult. Such challenges are even more pronounced with heavy duty connectors.

Heavy duty connectors will have higher requirements, specifically designed to meet the demanding application environment for reliability and safety. And sometimes, in addition to electrical interconnections, we also need to consider the optical and air connections, which require developers to spend more effort and cost on designing the interconnection system.

Heavy duty connector is a kind of terminal block, mainly used in industrial automation, equipment manufacturing, industrial systems building, information and control technology, and many other fields, also known as “industrial connectors.”

The Development of Heavy Duty Connectors (HDC)

In solving the complexity of the problem, modularity is a common way of thinking. In the field of heavy duty connectors, the HARTING company, its modular design of heavy duty connectors is also the deepest understanding, the earliest exploration, the results are quite fruitful.

Typically, a heavy-duty connector consists of six major components such as core, pins, frame, housing, chassis and accessories. Trying to modularize them means standardizing these components and then developing compatible modules with different functional and technical specifications (e.g., shape) based on this standard. This gives developers the flexibility to build modules as needed to configure a connector as multiple integrated blocks. This is the biggest difference from traditional one-piece connectors with a single function.

heavy duty connector structure

HARTING’s earliest practice in heavy duty modular connectors began in the 1990s with the prestigious Han series of connectors. Initially, they only considered using the modular design to achieve a hybrid power+signal connection in one connector. They then gradually added fiber optic and network modules and finally launched the mature Han-Modular series in 1995.

Han Modula series heavy duty connector

Today, various industries widely employ heavy-duty connectors in applications such as construction, textile, packaging, printing, tobacco, robotics, rail transportation, hot runner systems, electric power, automation, and other equipment that necessitate electrical and signal connections.

Benefits of HDC

  • Pre-installation of a large number of complex circuits. It can greatly improve the efficiency of equipment installation and reduce the wiring error rate.
  • They provide highly integrated connections and a rich combination of ways to maximize the effective utilization of equipment space.
  • Heavy duty connector connectors are convenient and efficient for achieving the modular structure of each functional module block of the equipment, making the equipment easily and safely transported, installed, maintained and repaired. Connectors in the power transmission and distribution of a wide range of applications.
  • Heavy-duty connectors offer high levels of protection (IP65, IP68). This is unrivaled for equipment connection systems in harsh environments. They can provide effective protection for harsh environments such as sand, dust, rain, cold, ice, snow and oil.

Types of HDC


From the perspective of ferrule modules, Han-Modular® currently provides more than 40 types of modules, covering signal, power, high voltage, gas, optical fiber, shielding, network data (RJ45, M12, Ethernet, etc.), coaxial and customer-defined connections device. Meet a wide range of design specifications, covering current from 5A to 200A, voltage from 50V to 5000V, air tubes from 1.6mm to 6mm ID, sensitive bus signals, and applications such as plastic optical fiber (POF) and glass optical fiber.

In terms of frame, HARTING replaces the traditional buckle with metal spring strips in the latest products. Easier to open and close, mechanically strong, easy to fix and equipped with guides for assembly without special tools. Good compatibility with ferrule modules.

Han-Modular® also has a wide range of housings to support combinations of 1 to 12 connector modules. It is also available with various ingress protection ratings such as IP65, IP67, IP68 and IP69K.


Han-Eco® replaces the metal top case and chassis traditionally used in harsh industrial environments with high-performance polyamide materials, ensuring interconnect system reliability while being lightweight and cost-effective, giving users greater design flexibility.

han-eco series heavy duty connector
han-eco series heavy duty connector

Han-Eco® is compatible with the range of modules in the Han-Modular® series, available in sizes 6B, 10B, 16B and 24B, and with integrated cable fasteners and optional PE pin modules for fixing protective ground wires. Thanks to the “Click & Mate” technology, the user can audibly confirm that the connectors are correctly paired. This enables quick assembly without screws and tools and is very easy to use.

Han-Eco® also meets the flammability requirements of UL94 Class V 0 and offers IP65 protection according to DIN EN 60 529 when mated and locked. With an operating temperature range of -40°C to +125°C, it offers high mechanical stability and excellent resistance to harsh environments. It is therefore very popular for industrial applications of modular interconnections that do not require expensive metal housings, e.g. offshore wind farms, conveyor systems, packaging machines, etc.


The Han-Yellock® connector system is another modular solution of interest. The system interface consists of a base, its side bulkhead mount, and an intermediate housing with a cover on the cable side. While retaining the core functionality of the Han® series, the special form and dimensions of the design to meet the needs of high safety and reliability indoor and outdoor applications while providing great flexibility and ease of use.

han-yallock seires heavy duty connector
han-yallock seires heavy duty connector

Specifically, the Han-Yellock® connector system has the following features.

  • The upper housing features a special built-in latching mechanism that, when locked by rotating the locking button on the housing 90°, achieves IP67 protection and is resistant to mechanical shock and vibration.
  • The Han-Yellock® connector system includes a Series 60 upper housing and chassis for additional functionality.
  • Modules from the Han-Modular® system can be used through an adapter frame, making the resources available even more abundant.
  • Insulators can be mounted from the front or rear of the housing for extreme flexibility.
  • The ground wire (PE) is connected using a crimp or Quick-Lock connection.

Another important concept in the Han-Yellock® design is to simplify the electrical and mechanical layout of the device by “doing the wiring that was previously done inside the device, inside the connector.”

Multiplier modules achieve this by switching five contacts (each with a current-carrying capacity of 20A) to two, three, four, or five links, depending on the need. In other words, Han-Yellock® connectors can achieve the multiplication function that used to be implemented in the device using terminals.


So yeah, that’s what you should know about heavy duty connectors.

Now I’d like to hear from you.

Have you used HDC before?

Let me know in the comments section below.

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