Jane, isn't it amazing that something so prosaic as a connector becomes important? It is especially true in high reliability environments. Whenever I see a site or magazine geared toward the military and aerospace markets, I see lots of ads for connectors. These are essentially the same ads that have been running for many years, but the importance is still there.
Connectors and harnesses are big business. However, I would like to see some standardization in the medical industry. I worked for a company making some medical products. They literally said that they made a proprietary connector so the industry would have to buy more from them at high prices.
I was disappointed at their attitude towards their life saving devices. I didn't stay there for that and other reasons. Since then, I have been a big fan of standardization and open source.
This is a nice list of technical issues that should be considered. Datasheets are usually accurate, but many companies publish data in a way that presents their product in the best possible light. Knowing what to look for beforehand is an important part of choosing the right connector.
Jane, to my best knowledge most of the device manufacturing companies are just like a system integrator. They had outsourced all the major component development and manufacturing to third party vendors and finally they will assembly/integrated all such components under their case (outer covering) with brand name.
As you mentioned, one of the biggest factors we look for is ruggedness and the ability of the connector to withstand insertion forces without breakage. Recently, we switched from a surface mount connector to a through hole connector in order to improve durability in the field.
In an age of globalization and rapid changes through scientific progress, two of our societies' (and economies') main concerns are to satisfy the needs and wishes of the individual and to save precious resources. Cloud computing caters to both of these.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.