Harrisburg, PA--For two decades, AMP Inc. has produced a pneumatic line of hand-held crimping tools that terminate electrical connections. Attention to specific customer demands, however, led to eight different versions offering little modularity. This lack of modularity created stocking problems and prevented easy changeover in the field.
Developed for AMP by Compact Air Products Inc. of Westminster, SC, a modular power unit consolidates the different power unit versions into electropneumatic tool systems that utilize interchangeable tool holder assemblies and crimp heads. Key to the new line's success: Replacing the previous air logic and associated plumbing with electronic controls.
Control components reside on a custom circuit board built into the hand tool's housing. These regulate such functions as timing and pressure assurance, and allow for activation by either a membrane trigger or an electric foot switch.
For example, the timing circuit and Hall sensor help eliminate partial crimps. When the dies bottom, the sensor detects the presence of the tool's activating piston. The resulting signal opens the jaws to release the crimped product. If a wire gage greater than the tool's crimping capability prevents full piston travel, the jaws remain locked, alerting the operator.
"With the previous design," says Dan Mosel of AMP, "there was no way to be sure the dies bottomed except by physically measuring crimp height. This step is not practical in the field, where an operator may crimp 700 to 1,000 terminals an hour."
· Tabs and Receptacles
· Coaxial connectors
The electronics also include a pressure sensor to prevent tool actuation when air pressure drops below the minimum; LEDs to indicate "system ready" conditions; and timers to prevent "double clutching."
Users can remove the tool's back plate and attach a fourth cylinder, a capability that adds to the system's modularity and improves crimping power. Compact Air Products also maximized crimping power by relocating the tool's airflow pathways. Instead of running through the center of all three pistons, the air passes through an exterior, extruded tunnel. This design, combined with the reduction in pneumatic plumbing, gives the new tool a smaller, more ergonomic shape.
Additional details...Contact AMP Inc., Box 3608, Harrisburg, PA 17105-3608, (800) 722-1111
Additional details...Contact Compact Air Products, Inc., Box 499, Westminster, SC 29693, (803) 647-9521, FAX (803) 647-9202