Cooperation for New Market Standard Without Market Acceptance, M12 Push-Pull Remains a Niche Product

The interview partners (from left to right) Christoph Prem, sales and marketing director at Yamaichi Electronics Germany / Monika Kuklok, director product management industrial communication at TE connectivity / Anja Zierler, Martk & Technik / Eric Leijtens, global product manager industrial communication at TE Connectivity / Manuela Gutmann, division manager connector solutions at Yamaichi Electronics Germany

In cooperation with TE Connectivity, Yamaichi Electronics wants to establish its M12 with internal push-pull locking on the market. In an interview with Markt&Technik, experts from both sides

Markt&Technik: The M12 push-pull is not new per se. What makes the Yamaichi connector especially interesting?

Manuela Gutmann: The idea of a push-pull locking system in the M12 connector is really not new and makes sense because the connector can be plugged in without a screw connection. However, so far there are only connector systems that use the so-called external push-pull locking system. The locking mechanism of the M12 from Yamaichi, on the other hand, engages inside the socket. This ultimately means that the complete connector is much smaller than systems with external push-pull locking, which means that less space is required on the device.

Eric Leijtens: The backwards compatibility of the connector also makes it very interesting for device manufacturers, because they do not have to create a new design or a new infrastructure. They can therefore integrate the connector into the same installation space - and then market their devices as push-pull ready.

Why did Yamaichi decide to release the M12 Push-Pull patent?

Christoph Prem: It is important for the M12 to be widely accepted by the market and to find a broad application layer. Without this market acceptance, the M12 push-pull will remain a niche product. No device manufacturer will accept a solution that concentrates on just one supplier. Our connector system is intended for the large market, not for the niche, and standardization is essential.

How did the contact with TE Connectivity come about and to what extent does the cooperation stimulate the development of both companies?

Christoph Prem: We have all been on the market for a long time and we know each other from previous conversations. Yamaichi was especially interested in finding a strong partner for the somewhat complex process of standardization. TE definitely offers a very good network and the corresponding competence.

Monika Kuklok: Cooperation always simply has an acceleration factor. If a single manufacturer develops an entire product portfolio, it naturally takes a certain amount of time. In order to advance market acceptance, it is important to quickly and jointly launch a portfolio on the market that allows the customer to choose a solution from several different variants.

For which applications is the M12 Push Pull designed?

Monika Kuklok: The connector is suitable for any factory automation - especially for automotive engineering. Generally, for applications where maintenance cycles are frequent and the connector is often disconnected and plugged in. There, users have a great time advantage with the push-pull. This eliminates the need for tedious screwing and at the same time increases the reliability of the connection.

When will the customer probably be able to fall back on a standardized connector?

Christoph Prem: We have already presented the connector to the DKE, the German Commission for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies, and the PNO, the Profibus user organization. Standardization can take place very quickly. I think we are talking about the end of 2020.

And what are the next steps in the partnership?

Manuela Gutmann: As I said, Yamaichi already has products available that are already in series production. The next goal of the cooperation with TE is to bring an expanded product portfolio onto the market as quickly as possible and to enable our customers to integrate this solution into their devices, regardless of when the final standard is on the table.

Monika Kuklok: That's exactly the point. The earlier we make the first products available, the faster device manufacturers can make their products "push-pull ready" and thus rely on a forward-looking solution that is increasingly in demand by machine manufacturers and users due to the advantages in installation and maintenance.

Currently, a standardization process is also underway for Molex's Brad Ultra-Lock system, also an M12 connector with push-pull locking. Can the two connectors exist in parallel?

Manuela Gutmann: Connectors with external push-pull are also absolutely justified. In principle, it will ultimately be the case that there will be an IEC standard that includes our inner push-pull and in all probability another IEC standard that includes the outer push-pull.