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M12 Connectors: a complete guide

M12 circular connectors: what are they?

Compact, tough, and dependable power, signal, and data connections are required in industrial automation and other harsh environment applications, and M12 connectors are a metric circular connector product utilized in these applications.

The M12 is one of the industrial market’s most often specified connectors and is regarded as the foundation of iiot system connectivity.

The M12 connector, which has a metric screw size, is a member of a group of electrical connectors (M5 through M12 kinds) distinguished by the size of their outer threads. M12s adhere to IEC-61076-2-101 standards.

They are a very flexible product type, and producers provide a large selection of locking methods and additional choices.

According to the specification, this connector can be used interchangeably and is backwards compatible with other M12 interfaces that have the same coding, allowing for manufacturer compatibility.

They can be designed to support Profinet, SPE, and fieldbus protocols and can handle bandwidth requirements up to 10 Gb/s and power requirements up to 16 V.


The M8/M12 connector interface was first presented by German connector manufacturer Lumberg in 1985 at the Hannover Fair. It was initially developed as a waterproof replacement for the outdated RK30 sensor connector, which at the time was a popular option for car manufacturing plants.

The M12 is a strong, adaptable connection that is currently widely used in factory automation, autonomous robots, data transmission, and controls. It is available from numerous vendors.

Standard Notes for Design The IEC 61076-2-101:2012 standard for M12 connections. The third version of the IEC standard, which was first issued in 2003, is now under way. In 2021, a new push-pull M12 standard, known as IEC 61076-2-010;2021, was released.

Cable Considerations M12 connectors are widely used with Cat5e and Cat6A cable types.

Current Rating Up to 16V\smounting Options M12s are available in mounting configurations including through-hole, surface mount, and wave soldering.

Materials Metals utilized for M12 shells include stainless steel, brass, copper, gold, and alloys.

Ruggedization M12 connections and related cable assemblies are designed to assure tough performance in high-reliability and harsh environment applications, including those that feature temperature extremes, radiation, rough handling, chemicals, and other environmental variables.

Sealing M12 connections are available in IP67, IP68, and IP69 varieties. Environmental protection against fluid and particulate penetration is part of what makes this connector a mainstay in harsh operational situations. Waterproofing and sealing are especially critical in fluidic and pneumatic setups.

Interference Electromagnetic interference (EMI) or radio-frequency interference (RFI) is a serious hazard for devices utilized in environments loaded with electronics machines. Shielded and unshielded connector and cable assembly choices are offered.

Handling Advantages m12 x-code connector are designed to allow rapid and easy couplings even under demanding settings. They are offered in screw-type, bayonet, and ergonomic push-pull locking methods for blind mating scenarios. Keying, color coding, and LED alternatives are provided to boost mating reassurance. This is considered a field serviceable connector and it is backward compatible.

Additional M12 features and choices

  • Figure 4 Coding, pins, and applications for M12 connectors
  • Figure 4 Coding, pins, and applications for M12 connectors

The connector choice for a certain application can be further customized by selecting choices such as those below:

Gender: male, female

  • Termination styles: crimp, screw, clamp, or IDT (Insulation Displacement Termination) (Insulation Displacement Termination)
  • Housing material: plastic, metal, or stainless steel
  • Contact plating material: Au (gold), Sn (tin), cusnzn (optalloy) (optalloy)
  • Degree of protection: IP67, IP68, or IP69K
  • Cable length
  • Cable jacket: PUR or PVC
  • Panel mounted or field-attachable
  • Rated voltage
  • Rated current

M12 coding for power supplies:

  • S-Coded and K-Coded connections are suitable for ac power sources up to 630 V/16 A. Ideal power connector for applications including: ac motor and drives, motor control switches, and frequency inverters.
  • ●       T-Coded and L-Coded connections are designed for dc power sources up to 63 Vdc/16 A. (See Figure 3.) Ideal power connector for low-voltage applications including: dc motor and drives, fieldbus Ethernet components, network devices, and LED lighting fixtures.
Ahsan Khan
Ahsan Khan
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