Ultra-Lock™ Connection System for Food, Beverage and Pharmaceutical Equipment Manufacturers


Woodhead Industries, Inc. announces the availability of a stainless steel version of the BradConnectivity Ultra-Lock Connection System specifically designed and engineered to meet the stringent sanitary requirements of food, beverage and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Woodhead pioneered this unique thread-less connection system, which is used to quickly and securely connect sensors and control devices used in plant floor automation systems, such as conveyors and robotic bottling and processing lines. The M12-compatible Ultra-Lock System is comprised of a series of integrated distribution boxes and cordsets built on Woodhead’s patented push-to-lock technology, which enables fast, easy installation without turning the coupler. Control system assemblers simply push down to connect and pull up to disconnect, which reduces assembly time and effort and minimizes assembler fatigue. Ultra-Lock connectors stay fully mated, even under the stresses of machine vibration and cable pulls, eliminating the risk of intermittent connections. Designed to Meet Plant Sanitation Requirements According to John Sullivan, Senior Product Manager at Woodhead L.P., "Our specialized stainless steel version of the Ultra-Lock System is designed to fully comply with regulations relative to plant sanitation in highly protected industries. In selecting Ultra-Lock products to connect their automation systems, these manufacturers can gain all of the unique advantages of Ultra-Lock technology, while still maintaining sanitation best practices." Sanitation in plant operations run by food, beverage, pharmaceutical and personal care product manufacturers are strictly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure the purity and safety of their products. With FDA regulations in mind, Woodhead designed its Ultra-Lock Connection System design to include the following features: • Smooth-Surfaced, Stainless Steel Couplers. The system's push-to-lock connectors are made of 316 stainless steel with an absolutely smooth surface to prevent the transfer of bacteria and/or contaminants during processing and equipment wash-down. Similarly, their secure fit and thread-less design prevents the lodging of any foreign material within threaded grooves. The threading in traditional M12 connectivity systems is one of the main reasons why such quickconnect systems have not gained acceptance in the food and beverage industries in the past. • IP69K Radial Seal Coupling. The typical compression seal used in threaded connectors is dependent on how tight the operator makes the connection – too loose can allow moisture to penetrate; too tight can cause damage to the O-ring seal, which can also let in moisture and create electrical difficulties. The Ultra-Lock™ O-ring seal is an IP69K-rated radial seal that is operator-independent and maintains a constant pressure seal against moisture. In the Ultra-Lock System, the seals have been tested to water pressure of 1500 psi at close range, so they can withstand the frequent equipment wash-downs typical in food and beverage plants.
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