Rugged Interconnects for Harsh Environments eBook

on a standard tool of existing products. Several factors may lead to customization. The most common is the need for a higher electrical rating with a specific number of electrical contacts. To meet these requirements, the pin housing is modified to accommodate the larger size contacts with an ample amount of spacing between polarities to meet the electrical safety and mechanical strength. FULL CUSTOMIZATION Full customization is generally a last resort for when the first and second approaches do not provide an acceptable solution. There is an upfront investment, but in most cases, full customization will resolve all technical issues and provide the best solution for unique customer needs. In some cases, customers have already designed the products, for example, in the case of OEM items. In this situation, the supplier will only tool up the molds and manufacture the products without major changes. Recommendations and slight modifications may be implemented but will not greatly deviate from the original design. SELECTING THE RIGHT SOLUTION Several parameters need to be considered in selecting connectors and cables. These will mainly depend on where the product will be deployed, which is typically a function of market segment or the industry in which the connector and cabling system will be used. Each of these industries and markets has its own extremes and variations of harsh conditions. For instance, in the marine market, the connectors need to have an extreme corrosion-resistant component, as this equipment will be exposed to salt. The cables should have a rating for marine application or comply with standards defined by regulating bodies such as ABYC

and NMEA. Exterior components should utilize non- metallic materials or a metal alloy that can withstand long salt mist exposure, and a cable insulation and jacket that will not react to chemicals present in the operating environment. In automotive applications. connectors need to withstand high vibration and mechanical impact as defined by USCAR. These connectors need to be constructed with ruggedized components that have high mechanical strength, and the cable and wire harnesses must be made with automotive-grade materials. The coupling mechanism should also be selected based on assembly method, accessibility, exposure to shock and vibration, and other relevant factors.

FOUR MAIN PARAMETERS OF INDUSTRIAL SETTINGS: ELECTRICAL, MECHANICAL, ENVIRONMENTAL, AND CHEMICAL The electrical capacity or load is based on UL and EN standards. The connector is tested to show that it can withstand any intermittent influx of current or Amphenol LTW Technology Co.’s quick-connect system is available in a variety of options to serve most applications. However, in the automotive industry, ALTW recommends a screw coupling between a connector pair to withstand extreme vibrations and frequent movement.


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