The right connection! – Dinkle DIN rail mount terminals from Switchtec



One of the main considerations for any Control Panel designer is the selection of and the arrangement of DIN Rail Terminal blocks. The type, location, colour and their use within a Control Panel are paramount to ensure the right electrical connection is made.

Whether for commercial or industrial use, panels can often be installed in harsh environments, with extremes of temperature, humidity, and vibration. To ensure that the electrical interfaces within panels perform reliably for the long term, panel designers need to consider the best connectivity options when selecting DIN Rail Terminal blocks. The Screw Clamp Terminal has been the historical standard go-to terminal block, but is it the best connection?

Screw Clamp Terminal: Dinkle DK/DK.N Series. This traditional technology uses screws to terminate wires directly with the wiring cage compressing bare wire or a bootlace ferrule. The historical standard for control panel wiring, both individual conductors and multi-conductor cables. Users must ensure the correct torque is applied to each terminal to ensure a long-lasting positive connection. The screw terminal is universally recognised and can handle the widest range of wire sizes.

Spring clamp Terminal: DINKLE AK Series. This technology uses spring force on the conductor to provide maximum contact and reliability, even in high-vibration environments. A tool, usually a screwdriver, is needed to push open the terminal points as the wire or ferrule is inserted making the termination faster and easier than with a screw terminal. This type of connection is beneficial in high-vibration environments such as railway and marine applications.

Push-in Terminal: DINKLE DP Series. Push In terminals also utilise spring force directly on the conductor however allow users to directly push in solid wires or stranded wires with ferrules without a tool. It is the fastest and most efficient connection possible. This technology reduces wiring labour by at least 50 percent compared with traditional screw terminals, and it provides a durable connection, similar to spring cage technology. A tool is needed to remove a wire.

Larger-size conductors and higher-power connections typically use screw terminals. Smaller conductor sizes for lower power and signalling applications work well with either spring cage or Push in terminals. All DIN terminal blocks fit on to standard Top Hat DIN rail for easy and secure installation.

Installers must also consider what functional arrangements are needed. These could include:

Feed through, the most common and simple type of terminal block. It is single level and provides one wire-to-wire connection. Some types have multiple connections for one-to-two or two-to-two connectivity.

Multilevel, which is the same as the feed-through terminal but with two, three, or more isolated levels stacked together for substantial space saving.

Earth/Grounding, where the terminals are electrically connected to the DIN rail or panel on which the terminal is mounted. This provides a ground connection, without having to purchase and install a separate ground wire.

Disconnect, similar to the feed-through terminal block but incorporates a knife/blade switch to easily open (disconnect) the circuit without removing wires.

Fused, again similar to the feed-through terminal block but the terminal houses a fuse for downstream circuit overcurrent protection. It may also include an LED blown fuse indicator for troubleshooting convenience.

Sensor/actuator, similar to the multilevel style but may also include a grounding connection. This is especially suitable for common multiconductor cable wiring that is often used for connections with sensors and actuators.

Regardless of what combination of terminal blocks chosen, components should be manufactured in accordance to and recognised by test laboratories & agencies to standards such as UL508, UL1059, and IEC 60947. These standards ensure the materials and component construction are sufficient for industrial use. Furthermore, designers should think about usability features such as colour coding, along with easy provisions for marking and tagging.

The new DP series from Dinkle are a push-in design that are spring loaded and allow users to directly push in solid wires or stranded wires with ferrules without a tool. Providing a durable connection, the DP series is 35mm Top Hat DIN rail compatible and accepts cable sizes ranging from 1.5mm to 16mm diameter. It is available in colours Grey, Blue, Red, Orange, Brown, Black and Yellow/Green for earth and made from PA insulating material.  The DP series offers single, two and three layers and have the following approvals: cULus, VDE, CE and UKCA.

Electrical control panels are necessary for many applications which use electrical power for control & automation applications. By using modern connection options, designers can save significant panel space and create equipment that is easy to fabricate, install, and maintain. Labour costs are reduced, and the right connection products provide improved reliability, functionality, and safety throughout their lifecycles.

Available Ex-stock from Specialist distributor Switchtec, Dinkle DIN Rail Terminal Blocks, have more than 30 years manufacturing expertise.

As with all products from Switchtec, the company’s experienced, technically qualified field sales managers are available to discuss specific needs and support in product selection.