Making better industrial connections in North American markets and globally

Harting, known globally for rugged industrial connectors, continues to expand into North American markets with radio frequency identification (RFID), industrial Ethernet switches, I/O connectors, board-level connectivity, custom 3D board level designs, current sensors, and cable sets.

By Mark T. Hoske January 21, 2015

Harting USA continues to expand into North American markets with additional rugged industrial connector products, as well as board-level connectivity, custom 3D board level designs, radio frequency identification (RFID), industrial Ethernet switches, I/O connectors, current sensors, and cable sets as described at the annual Harting Media Open House, Oct. 30, 2014, at the Harting Inc. of North America office in Elgin, Ill. The event included discussion of how the company’s products address the needs of factory automation, mechanical engineering, plant engineering, power generation and distribution, industrial electronics, telecommunications, and broadcast and entertainment industries, as explained by Jon DeSouza, president and CEO of Harting Inc. of North America, and Harting global business managers.

The event included tables of product demonstrations, with many rugged industrial connectors and a facility tour (see photos). It followed the annual conference event for customers, distributors, and sales and marketing personnel.

DeSouza showed a video recounting Harting company history, including an explanation of how Dietmar Harting began the company in 1945, starting with jukeboxes; the focus changed to connectors during the 1960s; and globalization began in 1978 with launch of various subsidiaries, with the U.S. subsidiary being added in 1986. 

Harting financials

The company, which starts its business year Oct. 1, expected record billings globally in all regions, DeSouza said, with double-digit increases, moving above 500 million Euros for the first time in the 2013/1014 financial year. Harting has more than 4,000 workers worldwide, serving industries including transportation, machinery, robotics, industry, automation, telecommunications, embedded computing, electrical distribution, and electric and electronic connectivity for power, signals, and data networking. For the coming year, growth is likely to be in the single digits rather than double digits, DeSouza suggested. For 2015, double-digit increases likely will continue for North America and perhaps Asia as well, he said.

In a Dec. 8 release, Harting outlined final financial numbers estimated at the Oct. 30 meeting. Revenues rose during the past 2013/14 financial year (Oct. 1, 2013, to Sept. 30, 2014) by 13% to €547 million (previous year: €484 million).

Europe, excluding Germany and the Middle East (EMEA), showed a slight 0.4 % rise in revenues to €175 million (previous year: €174 million). Harting revenues in Germany climbed 11% to €194 million (previous year: €174 million). In the Americas, the Espelkamp, Germany-based, family-owned company posted a 13% increase to €52 million (previous year: €46 million). The Harting Technology Group generated nearly two-thirds of total revenues (64%) abroad. Workforce (including trainees) stood at 4,048 members of staff worldwide at the end of the financial year, up from 3,815 the prior year, with 233 new jobs within 12 months—149 positions, 7.1%, in Germany, and 84, 4.9%, abroad, the company said. 

Harting product expansion

Upcoming products include high mating cycle connectors that can withstand 10,000 connection cycles, well beyond the 500 cycles of typical industrial connectors. The rectangular Han modular family of connectors continues to gain popularity in North American markets, DeSouza said.

160 unmanaged Ethernet switches with various port counts and port types are available, including 68 switches with Power over Ethernet support.

Offerings continue to expand as Harting grows from a component provider to a solutions provider with hardware and software. To meet anticipated growth, construction of a warehouse in Espelkamp is expected to be completed in 2016, freeing up a number of parking garages that are being rented for temporary product storage.

North American growth for Harting in 2014 was close to 21% with gains in the transportation, energy, and automation markets. They were boosted by growth in new technologies and the main line expansion of the Han Modular series of rectangular connectors. Charles Boyce, president of Boyce Technologies, commented about work performed for the New York Transit Authority, where rugged connectivity hardware reduces maintenance and increases reliability with connections, combining power and communications. 

Connector configuration software

Customers have identified greater machine connectivity as a need, and flexible Harting connector configuration plays to those needs, DeSouza said, as he demonstrated customer savings through the new Harting Industrial Connector Configurator software. The software showed hardware on the left, connector solutions on the right, and factored in labor costs. In an example DeSouza showed how using connectors can cost up to 40% more initially, depending on labor costs; and how connectors can save the customer money by the time a machine is relocated and reconnected a second time with about 17% savings, and 44% savings in the third move, compared to manual rewiring.

Software eases selection for sizing and options, with a drag-and-drop design for signal, power, pneumatic, and hydraulic options, creating a bill of material and validating a design. Design can be emailed to a technology team at Harting to review a design for possible improvements.

The software, also shown at the IMTS show in Chicago, became available via the Apple App Store in late October. Many of these solutions were shown at 2014 fall SPS IPC Drives show. 

Smart factory connectivity

Philip F. W. Harting, president and general partner, senior vice president connectivity and networks at Harting, explained that among company cooperation with universities is work with a German research center on artificial intelligence, looking at the smart factory of the future and incorporating continuous workflow for optimal energy savings. Hannover Fair 2015 is expected to demonstrate these concepts, Harting said.

– Mark T. Hoske is content manager, Control Engineering,

ONLINE extra 

Mouse over the images online in this article to see additional information about demonstrated Harting products and see links to other Harting products below.

Harting Inc. is a CSIA member as of 3/5/2015

Author Bio: Mark Hoske has been Control Engineering editor/content manager since 1994 and in a leadership role since 1999, covering all major areas: control systems, networking and information systems, control equipment and energy, and system integration, everything that comprises or facilitates the control loop. He has been writing about technology since 1987, writing professionally since 1982, and has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism degree from UW-Madison.