Fluid Power Journal

What Is a Deutsch-Style Connector and Why Is It Important To Pick the Right One?

What Is a Deutsch-Style Connector and Why Is It Important To Pick the Right One?

By Todd Harmon, Vice President of Canfield Industries.

While we live in a wireless world, many of the systems that we rely on require a dependable, wired connection. This is especially true in fluid power applications where a disconnect can result in a loss of productivity, revenue, and sometimes even create a safety risk.

But what can be relied on when you need to operate heavy machinery, agricultural equipment, or machines within industrial environments? 

For years this answer has been Deutsch-style connectors.

Deutsch-style connectors are a type of electrical connector that is commonly used in fluid power applications. These connectors are designed to withstand the harsh environments and demanding conditions that are typical of fluid power systems. Deutsch-style connectors are known for their durability, reliability, and ease of use while being an essential component of many industrial and commercial applications.

Historically, electrical connectors for the fluid power industry have suffered from a range of limited functions that have hindered their dependability across their wide array of applications.

Connectors for valve systems may still cause some to think of trudging through a wiring process that involves patience, careful crimping, and finding a connector kit that has everything required to ensure that the connection would not detach at the least opportune moment.

This headache is multiplied when considering the number of connections required for the system at hand, bringing the burden of labor, parts, and the inevitable human element of error that comes with any complicated process.

Deutsch-Style Connector

Luckily today, the advancements in the area of connectors by manufacturers such as Canfield Connector provide a different solution for OEMs who are looking for more reliable and cost-effective ways to bring power to hydraulic valves. 

Here are some areas to check before selecting a connector solution for a hydraulic system as well as some industries that benefit from a well-designed Deutsch-style connector.


One of the main areas to check for in Deutsch-style connectors is whether or not they provide a completely over-molded jacket to protect the cables inside. This helps to prevent damage from environmental factors such as dust, dirt, and moisture. This over-molded construction also provides additional strength and durability, making the connector resistant to impact and vibration. One should look for a connector solution with a proven IP67 rating that proves that the connector is resistant to the harsh factors that may damage the connector and result in a loss of functionality. 

Deutsch-Style Connector

Indicator Lights

Another key feature of high-quality Deutsch-style connectors is the use of indicator lights. These lights provide a visual indication of the status of the connector, allowing operators to quickly and easily identify any problems or issues. This is especially important in fluid power applications where downtime can be costly and time-consuming. With indicator lights, operators can quickly diagnose any problems and take the necessary steps to resolve them, minimizing downtime and maximizing productivity.

Surge Suppression

It is extremely vital in fluid power applications to make sure that a Deutsch-style connector is chosen that offers sufficient surge suppression. Electrical surges can occur in fluid power systems due to a variety of factors, including lightning strikes, power outages, and electromagnetic interference. These surges can cause significant damage to electrical components, including connectors, if they are not properly protected.

In an electrical connector, surge suppression works by limiting the amount of voltage that is allowed to pass through the connector and protecting the internal components from damage. Electrical connectors with surge suppression divert this excess energy away during an electrical surge from sensitive components and dissipate it harmlessly. This protects both the connector and the entire system in the event of an electrical surge.

Deutsch-Style ConnectorEase of Use

Selecting a connector that is easy to install and maintain is something that can save a great deal of time and money with a plug-and-play solution. Canfield Connector has heavily invested in providing this ability for their customers by taking it a step further and providing connectors that provide easy pre-wired, push-on connections on both sides of the cable. This technological step completely removes the need for the hassle of terminating hundreds of wires on the part of OEMs in all relevant industries.

Now the question is asked, “What industries benefit the most from Deutsch-style connectors?”

Dairy Industry: Deutsch-style connectors are used in the dairy industry for their durability and ability to withstand wash-down environments. They are commonly used in milking machines and other equipment that requires frequent cleaning.

Lubrication Industry: Deutsch-style connectors are commonly used in the lubrication industry because of their ability to withstand exposure to oil and grease. They are often used in oil dispensing systems and other equipment that require frequent lubrication.

Automation Industry: Deutsch-style connectors are widely used in the automation industry for their ability to handle high-speed data transmission and complex control signals. They are often used in industrial automation equipment, robotics, and control systems.

Process Industry: Deutsch-style connectors are commonly used in the process industry for their ability to handle a wide range of temperatures, pressures, and corrosive chemicals. They are often used in pumps, valves, and other equipment that is used in chemical processing, food processing, and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Oil and Gas Industry: Deutsch-style connectors are widely used in the oil and gas industry because of their ability to withstand harsh environments such as exposure to saltwater, extreme temperatures, and high pressure. They are often relied on in these environments and it is imperative that the connector can sustain the harshest of conditions in these no-fail applications.

In Conclusion

Technological developments have brought savings in time and money in every area of life — with electrical connections for the fluid power industry being no exception.

Choosing a quality Deutsch- style connection eliminates the need for terminating wires and specialized crimping tools. One should also ensure that the selected connector is as rugged as need be for the environment in which it will operate. IF necessary, choose a Deutsch-style connector that is resistant to dust, heat, oil, and shock.

Connectors today may also be found that provide useful features such as powerful indicator lights. When troubleshooting a piece of equipment is necessary, indicator lights prove to be an invaluable tool to show where power is (or is not) applied and where a problem may be present.

Overall, the importance of Deutsch-style connectors in fluid power applications cannot be overstated. These connectors provide essential protection and functionality that are necessary for the safe and reliable operation of fluid power systems. Choosing a connector solution with over-molded construction, indicator lights, and surge suppression capabilities can make them an ideal choice for use in harsh environments and demanding conditions.

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