Connectors on the Move

type of signal or power that needs to be transmitted and the ease of installation and maintenance. For example, a connector used for a sensor connection may not be suitable for a power connection. Circuit design requirements, such as wire gauge and pin count, must also be considered. Automotive manufacturing facilities are challenging environments that expose connectors to extreme temperatures, vibration, humidity, and corrosion. Connectors must be durable, reliable, and resistant to harsh settings. Select connectors that withstand these conditions to ensure your production line operates safely and efficiently. Look at sealed connectors with IEC IP67, IP68, or IP9K ratings, and appropriate NEMA ratings. Material selection is a key consideration. Plastics used for housings and overmoldings to protect connectors in automotive manufacturing applications must remain stable despite temperature extremes. Corrosion-resistant stainless-steel housings may be preferred for demanding applications. Cost is another challenge: High-quality connectors can be expensive. Engineers must balance a connector’s cost against the component’s other features, including performance, reliability, availability, longevity, and replaceability. Keep in mind that as equipment becomes increasingly

sophisticated and reliant on electronics and diagnostics, connector failures can cause expensive, hard-to-diagnose electrical failures, and down equipment can halt entire operations. Selecting quality interconnects can avoid this, and choosing products that have compatible equivalents can ease repair and replacement in the event of damage. Using products that facilitate plug-and-play disconnection and connection make repairs, upgrades, and factory modification faster and easier with minimal downtime. Designing for modularity can result in overall reduced costs, increased efficiency, and simplified versatility. CONNECTOR TYPES The United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR) maintains a current list of common, optimized electrical connector designs for use in automotive applications, plus details on industry test specifications. This guidance is specific to U.S. manufacturing; in Europe, the LV214 standard is used for automotive components. Circular connectors are widely used in automotive production equipment due to their resistance to harsh environmental conditions. M8 and M12 connectors are used in automotive manufacturing equipment because of their compact size, durability,


Powered by