The eXLink Ethernet and USB explosion proof connectors from Cooper Crouse-Hinds combine the safety of an explosion-protected connector system with the advantages of having a continuous communications infrastructure between the main, control and process levels of production plants.
With the connector system, Ethernet-based communication systems can be secured in hazardous areas. This will allow companies to install and use the latest IT and communications infrastructures while still fulfilling all necessary explosion protection regulations and standards.
Another innovation comes form Amphenol-Industrial who have launched their Star-Line EX® Series. These little suckers are miniature explosion-proof threaded connector specifically designed to allow a signal to pass through Zone rated areas, using coax, fibre optic cables, as well as standard copper.
The RoHS-compliant Star-Line EX connectors feature a dielectric strength of 1800 V and heat resistance up to 750°F (399°C). The product line incorporates a broad range of backshell arrangements and contact inserts for power (up to 1135 amps at 1000 volts), signal (up to 143 contacts), and mixed power and control applications, which are interchangeable and reversible to suit specific needs. Contacts are made from copper with standard silver plating, and are available with optional gold plating.
So in other words you have never been more spoilt for choice and my suggestion to you the designer is to look at what you are currently using and ask could you improve the product design by moving to these new connectors?
If you always wanted to use USB or Ethernet but felt restricted you now have the connectors built just for your type of products.
Remember there is also a commercial benefit to these products! What’s that you ask? Well if you tell your customers that you are using the very latest products designed to meet the most hazardous environments then surely your products are far better than your competitors!