A Pareto analysis of the top three automotive priorities frequently identifies cost, then cost and, finally, cost. While cost is a driving force in automotive requirements and decisions, there are others, including the need for improved reliability, the ability to handle higher power and data, and the need to reduce the systems complexity as vehicle electronics proliferate. With more than two km of wire and more than 5,600 parts in a high-end vehicle’s wiring harness, connects and wiring are a key target for improvements. In addition, automotive applications pose unique environmental and special testing requirements for connectors. Reliability, especially in systems such as powertrain and chassis control, is always critical but in general, improving the wiring harness and connector reliability is important, too. At the same time, vehicles must meet many of the same regulations as other electronics applications such as the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive and a host of others specifically for vehicles. Three quite different automotive connectors target higher reliability, improved assembly and survival in fuel tanks.
PRESS-FIT COMPLIANT PIN TECHNOLOGY
New automotive technology gleaned from aerospace and telecom industries allows the mating of a connector component and a printed circuit board (PCB) using press-fit compliant pins to provide a solder-less electrical connection. Delphi Connection System’s press-fit over-sized compliant pins use an eye-of-the-needle design to meet automotive performance, reliability, manufacturability and cost objectives. The design allows straightforward mechanical integration and easier repair potential. This in turn allows performance benefits and design simplification. The pins will assist automakers’ compliance with regulations such as the European Union’s RoHS, WEEE and ELV initiatives through the elimination of lead in the soldering process and in manufacturing systems. The connection system has both straight and right-angle header configurations for specific integrated seal modules and plans on developing USCAR unsealed compliant pin headers as replacements for existing soldered applications. The connector technology targets vehicle applications in body electronics, powertrain, automotive telematics and infotainment. The technology can also be integrated into airbag control modules, engines, transmissions and antilock brake systems among others. Get more information on Delphi Connection Systems’ press-fit compliant pins technology.
HIGHER RELIABILITY CONTACT SYSTEM
Tyco Electronics MCON 1.2 contacts in either sealed or unsealed versions can be used to meet the automotive industry’s requirements for more reliable electrical connections. The MCON 1.2 contacts increase the safety margin in high vibration situations. The contact spring technology provides eight defined contact points — two contact points on each of the four independent beams. An integrated overstress protection feature and a closed box design prevent spring distortion. In addition, reliable transmissions are ensured by a 15A at 80C rating in combination with a 1.2 × 0.63 mm tab contact. Get more information on Tyco Electronics MCON-1.2 contact system.
LOW EMISSIONS WIRE SEALS
To help meet new EPA emissions requirements, PAVE molded epoxy designs help eliminate leakage for transmission wire seals and low emissions fuel pump installations. In general, wire sealing capability can range from helium-tight hermetic to vacuum-tight, fluid-tight or gas-tight, and meet specifications that include NEMA 4-6 or IP65-68 type moisture-proof, and/or FM, UL, CSA, Cenelec Exxd explosion-proof requirements. The standard or custom molded epoxy design with bulkhead piston o-rings seals any type of insulated fiber optical or electronic wire harness or pin connector combination. The design produces a hermetic seal with no wire leakage for pressure or vacuums, from -60 to 200C. Low emission fuel pump applications include SUVs, passenger vehicles, motorcycles, ATV’s and even race cars. The air suspension or transmission system connector seal applications include military and commercial jets, snowmobiles helicopters and natural or propane gas powered fleet vehicles among others. Get more information on PAVE Technology Co.’s hermetic molded epoxy wire seals.