We’ve spoken quite a bit about pin and sleeve wiring devices on this blog. However, we haven’t detailed the applications where the products are most frequently used…until now. Today, we will cover the major applications for pin & sleeve in the United States. As an aid, we’ve taken some screenshots from Hubbell University to help illustrate various applications. It’s a great resource for someone trying to educate themselves in the space.
Food Processing is perhaps one of the biggest markets for pin and sleeve wiring devices. Due to the harsh requirements of a food processing plant, they require industrial electrical equipment that can hold up to the toughest standards. There is no tougher wiring device than pin and sleeve. Thus, if you tour the floor of a food plant, you’ll see “drop cords” (as referred to in the field) all over the facility for both fixed and portable equipment.
While the data center industry does not have the same harsh environments, it takes a lot of current to power data centers. That’s why you’ll very often find pin and sleeve in data centers either above the PDU/server racks in a busway or below the floor. Additionally, data centers are an increasingly global business. Companies like Microsoft or Amazon are multinational entities and do not want to have different standards. Pin and sleeve works great in this instance because it is internationally recognized and configurable. There are even “dual rated” devices that will work for both the EU and US market. Either way, you’ll be hard pressed to walk into a data center without finding pin and sleeve.
Remember our article about welding receptacles? Well, you may have guessed but anywhere major fabrication or welding is occurring you’ll always find plenty of pin & sleeve. This may also be where you see the old metal style pin and sleeve products that will where the metal shell of the product is the grounding mechanism.
While Marinco and Hubbell Twist Lock products are certainly present for lower amperage products, pin and sleeve is used almost exclusively to provide shore power to large boats that require 60A or 100A power while docked in a marina. It’s also used for portable power distribution such as boat shows. This makes sense due to the IP 69 (and sometimes IP69k) ratings of the products; they are very comfortable near or in water.
If you’ve been to a hip new brewery lately, they very well may be using pin and sleeve. If your local brewery still hasn’t started buying the industrial stuff yet, you can be sure that the big beer manufacturers have pin & sleeve all throughout their manufacturing plants. Also, wineries use pin and sleeve as well. Look out for them the next time you are in Napa Valley!
Oil & Gas
This gets into a more specific line of pin & sleeve where hazardous products such as Killark or Crouse Hinds provide explosion proof pin and sleeve for portable equipment in processing areas of out on oil rigs.
Believe it or not, pin and sleeve devices are in almost every major sports stadium in the US. How do you think they are able to move the sausage carts around to a different spot every week and maintain a safe electrical connection with thousands of people walking around? Pin and sleeve is also used at shows or concerts as higher amperage is usually required to support the high intensity electrical needs of the shows. The locking mechanisms make sure that a Forrest Gump isn’t pulled and the show goes on without a hitch.
Pin & Sleeve Industry Summary
There are an endless number of industries where pin and sleeve is used. We could go on for months. However, you should now understand some of the primary industries that support pin & sleeve. What did we miss? Let us know and we will release a Part #2!