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The Methods to Selecting M8 and M12 Cord Sets

Additional cost reductions come from reduced downtime, as cord sets can easily be replaced, again without need of an electrician. Connectorized sensors and actuators can also be replaced without rewiring the system.


1. Choosing the Right Cord Set – Start with the Environmental Needs

The possible combinations of cables and connectors is a surprisingly high number. Where do you even start the specification process?

Like most engineering decisions, there’s a balance between cost and performance. You want to choose the lowest cost option that meets the requirements of the application. For example, you don’t need armored cable if it is going to be run in wire trays in a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment.

Thus the first question to ask yourself is “How harsh is the environment for my project?” The answer to this leads to selecting the right industrial cable jacket and the right IP rating for the cord set. Below is a handy table that breaks down the options according to the harshness of the operational setting.

2. Determine the Connector Configurations

Since the introduction of the 3- and 4-pin versions of the M12 connector, many more variations and options have become available. While 4-pin M12 connectors are the most common, be sure to analyze your application and choose from:

straight or right angle configurations
3-, 4-, 5-, 8- and 12-pin versions

For M8 connectors your options are:

Straight or right angle configurations
Snap(IP65) or screw connection (IP67)
3-, 4- and 8-pin versions

3. Select the Keying Options

The M12 connector is also available in a variety of keying/coding options to further minimize wiring errors as follows:

A-code – Primarily used with sensors and actuators
B-code – PROFIBUS fieldbus connections
C-code (dual keyway) – Primarily used with AC sensors and actuators
D-code – 100Mb EtherNet/IP 4-pin
X-code – Gigabit Ethernet 8-pin

The following M8 connector configurations feature a keying/coding:

B-code – PROFIBUS fieldbus connections
8-pin version

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