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Connectors assist with weight reduction in the rail industry

HARTING’s slogan is ‘Pushing Performance’, which reminds us that we must continuously innovate our products and solutions to help drive advancements and keep pace with the latest industrial trends. For example, one of the current focuses of the transportation industry is on weight reduction. Manufacturers within the rail vehicle construction sector are striving to reduce mass and minimise energy consumption to help improve efficiencies and deliver cost savings.

There is a very simple reason for this; every gram of train weight needs to be accelerated and decelerated thousands of times during a vehicle's life. As a result, a heavier vehicle requires more energy to accelerate, which in turn costs the operator more money. According to calculations done by rail operators, each kilogram of train weight costs more than £10,000 over an average service life of 40 years.

Therefore, it’s clear that alongside improving vehicle aerodynamics and the efficiencies of drive units, reducing the weight of rail vehicles and their components is a key method of delivering vital savings.


When it comes to reducing mass, connectors can make a measurable contribution. Obviously, these potential savings may seem low compared to the overall weight of a train, but manufacturers are scrutinising the design of their rail vehicles ever more closely and always looking for opportunities to reduce weight wherever possible. Also, as the number of connectors used in trains continues to rise, their proportion of the overall weight increases simultaneously.

With the Han-Eco® B, HARTING has developed a range of hoods and housings manufactured from high-performance, glass fibre-reinforced, polyamide plastic. These products offer substantial weight savings of up to 50% per connector compared to their traditional metal versions.

The Han-Eco® range complies with standards IEC 61948 and EN 45545-2 HL3 and is fire-resistant according to UL94 V0. Furthermore, the Eco B range is completely compatible with standard metal Han® B housings, meaning both variants are intermateable. As well as being lightweight, the Han-Eco® B also supports modular inserts, meaning data, signal and power can all be combined into one standard-sized industrial connector.

Not only does this make them versatile, it also lessens the space requirement for connectors within the train, offering customers greater flexibility and reduced costs.

To view the range simply search Han-Eco® B the RS Components website.



HARTING Ltd is skilled in the fields of electrical, electronic and optical connection, transmission and networking. We use this expertise to craft solutions for the transportation, data transmission, wind energy, mechanical engineering, factory automation, automotive and robotics markets. HARTING also design and manufacture cable assemblies, box builds, kit assemblies and modified products at our UK facility in Northampton.
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