Design News, January 2013

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deep and understand how a manufacturer specifies their connectors' current ratings and operating voltages. Their test data should reference a test standard, informing you exactly how their testing was conducted. Not everyone uses the same testing criteria, so ensure that you understand how these specifications were derived. When you are reviewing current ratings, take note of the "temperature rise" spec, which indicates how much heat will be dissipated at a specific current value.You should also confirm that the contact will support the conductor size that you've selected. A non-compatible conductor could cause overheating issues, leading to premature connector failure (see table A). 2 Adding Functions: After you identify the electrical requirements, determine whether other functions can or should be added to your connector. Hybrid connectors are usually custom-designed, but if you have the time to work with a manufacturer to develop a specific hybrid connector to exactly meet your needs, it can be worth the effort. The results will provide the end user with fewer connections and cables to manage. Try to source a single connector that can carry more than one of the following: power, signal, coax, fiber, liquid, and/or gas. The most common types of hybrid connector are the all-electrical versions that offer several larger pins for power and a high-density group of smaller pins for signals. The industry is moving to smaller, denser, and often more rugged multi-use connectors, and this approach could lead you to a device that's easier to use, and more cost-efficient. 3 Termination Types: Termination types have a direct effect on the assembly process and the ability to seal a connector. Connectors with solder contacts are typically easier to seal against moisture ingress, while crimp contacts may offer better field reparability. There's a trade-off between the two, so the final decision on which termination type to use is often made after discussions with your manufacturing and design groups. It's important to know exactly how and where the connector will be used, and whether field reparability is a requirement, as this decision has a significant impact on the assembly equipment and processes used in manufacturing. 4 Environmental Sealing: If the connectors will be used in harsh operating environments, check the manufacturer's IP (Ingress Protection) rating for sealing to dust and water at various depths and operating time frames. Make sure you understand the end use environment for your connectors, and then compare that scenario with the details behind Design News | jaNuary 2013 | w w w. d e s i g n n e w s . c o m –47– AAC carries the largest selection of built-to-last Foot Mounts available Whether Your Machinery is... • Light, Medium or Heavy Weight • Requiring Adjustability, Vibration Isolation, Non-slip Pad or Washdown • Used in Pharmaceutical, Medical, Food, Dairy or Beverage Industries AAC Levels it All! Call today with your application: (516) 328-3662 Request Your New Free V120 Catalog Now available from AAC

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