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Connector Insights from iCONN

What is the Future of 3D Printing Technologies?

Posted by Rick Regole on Mon , July 10, 2017

Most people see 3D printing as a new technology. But it actually came to life in the early 1980s. The first 3D-printed object? A tiny cup. Much has changed since then. Today, engineers are successfully printing 3D cars, five-story office buildings, firearms and even human tissue. Inarguably, 3D printing’s impact on the world as we know it is astounding.

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Workplace Safety Tips You Didn’t Know You Should Be Practicing

Posted by Jacqueline Jeffery on Mon , June 26, 2017

Keeping employees safe isn’t just about protecting the lives of the people you depend on, it’s also about preventative health measures. According to the 2017 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, serious non-fatal workplace injuries amount to nearly $60 billion in direct U.S. workers' compensation costs. And in 2015, 4,836 workers lost their lives due to workplace injury — or about 13 people per day! You might think that your facility has safety figured out, but there’s always more that can be done to reduce these shocking statistics. Here are four workplace safety tips you didn’t know you should be practicing.

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Is PVC Right For Your Application?

Posted by Rick Regole on Mon , June 19, 2017

Engineers and developers know that getting even the smallest details correct is vital to a product’s success. After all, a system is only as good as its weakest link. For this reason, custom designed cable assemblies make a lot of sense. If a cable assembly fails, so does the product. Cable jackets help protect cable assemblies from destructive elements. One of the most common materials for these assemblies is polyvinyl chloride, also known as PVC.

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Is Thermoplastic Polyurethane Right For Your Application?

Posted by Rick Regole on Mon , June 12, 2017

Your cable assembly and connector design are paramount to your product’s success. Exposure to water, fire, chemicals, frequent connecting and disconnecting and extreme temperatures can destroy a cable assembly if it’s not properly shielded using the right materials. If a cable assembly fails, so will the product.

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About the Injection Molding Process

Posted by Rick Regole on Mon , June 5, 2017

Injection molding is a complex and difficult process that doesn’t always result in a product that matches the developer’s original vision. There are limitless variables at play, and product designers don’t always prioritize injection molding guidelines, which will complicate the molding process and increase the risk of inconsistencies and flaws.

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Cable Jacket Material Comparison Chart: What You Need to Know

Posted by Rick Regole on Tue , May 30, 2017

When shopping for cable assemblies, your focus is likely on details such as the conductor AWG size, mating mechanism or shielding for EMI/RFI. But what about the jacketing material? People often gloss over this product detail, but it’s more important than you think. Cable jackets are the first line of defense for cable assemblies against weather, abrasion, water pressure, flame and chemical elements.

If you choose the wrong type of jacketing material for your application, it could result in a short cable lifecycle, fire code concerns and safety issues. There are many jacketing materials to use on your application, but ultimately, the application itself will determine what type of jacketing material you need. Below is a cable jacket material comparison chart to help you understand the key differences.

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Would You Eat Off of That? 7 Strategies for Workplace Cleanliness

Posted by Jaymin Jeffery on Mon , May 22, 2017

If you dropped a chip on the floor at your workplace, would you eat it, or consider it a lost cause? It’s a silly question, but the cleanliness and organization of your workplace has a substantial impact on business and the well-being of your workforce.

Slips and falls are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims. Illness is the No. 1 reason why employees call off work. Employees can’t be productive if your environment is grimy and in disarray. To improve the safety, health and quality of your workplace, clean up your act using these seven strategies.

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Injection Molding Problems & How to Solve Them

Posted by Rob Smith on Mon , May 15, 2017

Injection molding is the most versatile way to produce parts and products. It’s fast, works with a variety of plastics and can result in a prototype or final product that is both durable and highly detailed. But the process is complex and riddled with challenges. Luckily, many of them are easy to resolve. Our job at iCONN Systems is to help you succeed, so we’ve created a cheat sheet with the most common injection molding problems you might encounter and how to fix them.

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Ways to Shield Connectors and Overmolded Cable Assemblies

Posted by Tony Czyz on Mon , May 8, 2017

Connectors and cable assemblies involved in the transmission of data are highly susceptible to electro-magnetic and radio-frequency interference (EMI/RFI). If assemblies aren’t adequately protected, EMI/RFI interferences can result in poor signal quality, loss of data or a complete disruption, which will cause electronic equipment to fail. To prevent these issues, interconnect engineers outfit connectors and cable assemblies with shielding. Shielding contains electrical energy that protects the signal on the cable from radiating and interfering with other nearby cables or circuits. Here’s a rundown on the various types of shielding, and how each will benefit your applications.

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How the Environment Impacts Your Connector

Posted by Rick Regole on Mon , May 1, 2017

An application’s environment is one of the most important factors to consider when shopping for or creating a product’s cable assembly and connector. When we say “environment,” we mean any combination of conditions that could compromise performance and reliability. If your connector is not equipped to withstand the probable and possible factors of its intended environment, it can corrode, deteriorate, break and fail to do its job. Translation: Your product’s lifespan will be short and inconsistent, safety risks will increase, and your brand reputation will likely suffer.

To avoid jeopardizing the quality and performance of your product, we put together a list of some of the most important environmental factors to consider when selecting a connector for your application.

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