SELECTING CONNECTORS FOR AUTOMOTIVE MACHINERY & EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURING ALICIA KEENE, CATEGORY MARKETING MANAGER RS
Manufacturing vehicles involves complex, highly automated production processes. Each stage of assembly requires specific equipment that needs rugged, reliable electrical connectors to ensure safe, efficient operations. As pressures mount to increase production with less human labor, automotive engineers and machine builders are incorporating more Industry 4.0 and digitalization technologies into their designs. Adding more electronics into the automotive manufacturing process requires a careful evaluation of the components used in assembly and automation equipment. Selecting the right electrical connector for an application should reduce downtime, increase efficiency, and ensure connected devices correctly operate — all of which ultimately result in decreased costs and improved
product quality. However, the manufacturing environment is challenging. Equipment operates on a continuous basis with high shock and vibration, manipulating heavy parts. The interconnects selected for this equipment must be up to the challenge.
AUTOMOTIVE CONNECTOR DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS Challenges
When selecting a connector, an engineer must first define the application-specific electrical requirements, mechanical factors, and environmental challenges the end product will face in the field. Start by establishing electrical requirements, like voltage and current ratings, and the desired connector's mechanical requirements, including size and shape. Other factors include the
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