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Connector Insights from iCONN

When to Use a Mating Cable

Posted by Rick Regole on Mon, April 12, 2021

There’s more than one way to effectively complete an electrical circuit. Many major appliances are designed for hardwiring, which permanently affixes cables from point-to-point into a system. Others prefer the plug-and-play flexibility of a mating cable. Both approaches have their advantages, but when it comes to practicality and economics, a mating cable often makes the most sense.  Here’s our advice on when to use a mating cable over other installation methods.

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How Underwater Connector Manufacturers Provide High-Performance Solutions

Posted by Rick Regole on Mon, March 29, 2021

The underwater connector market is projected to hit $2 billion by 2026. Market growth is primarily attributed to increasing fossil fuel demands, deep-sea explorations, and higher budgeting for naval fleet expansion, among other factors. For underwater connector manufacturers, rapid market expansion means increasingly-fierce competition, especially for long-term contracts—the proverbial white whales of the electrical manufacturing marketplace. To win those contracts, manufacturers must continuously innovate, not only the solutions they create, but also the processes they employ to take solutions to market.

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4 Mating Connector Issues

Posted by Rick Regole on Mon, March 15, 2021

Electrical mating connectors consist of two pairing halves — a male end and a female end. As the joint responsible for transferring the flow of energy, achieving a secure and reliable connection between these two halves is mission-critical. However, the cross-section between any two components also represents a point of vulnerability. Here are the most common issues you’ll find with mating connectors.

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Why Choose Low-Pressure Molding?

Posted by Rick Regole on Mon, March 1, 2021

Molding is a manufacturing technique used to seal connectors and protect electronics from moisture, dust, debris, vibration and strain. Like many manufacturing processes, there’s more than one way to mold a connector, but that doesn't mean all outcomes are the same.

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How to Maintain Cleanliness and Organization in the Workplace

Posted by Rick Regole on Mon, February 22, 2021

U.S. workplaces closed out the year with a whopping $3.8 million in health violations for noncompliance with COVID-19 mandates, proving once and for all that workplace cleanliness isn’t just important, it’s vital to business continuity. If your organization is still struggling to get its cleaning protocols up to code, it’s time to rethink the plan. From plan development to implementation, this checklist will help ensure that your cleaning initiative is easy, actionable and highly adaptable.

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How the Low-Pressure Molding Process Works

Posted by Rick Regole on Mon, February 1, 2021

When it comes to overmolding delicate electronic equipment, such as printed circuit boards (PCB), nothing beats the benefits of low-pressure molding. Compared to potting, low-pressure molding is faster and simpler to perform, less expensive to produce, environmentally friendly, and offers excellent resistance and protection — all thanks to a unique manufacturing process.

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Why Custom Electrical Connectors Are The Right Choice for Your Project

Posted by Rick Regole on Mon, January 18, 2021

Do you need a custom electrical connector or will an off-the-shelf solution do the trick? The answer is both simple and compound.

A standard electrical connector is a viable option with numerous benefits, including the potential for faster availability and lower costs. However, these benefits pale compared to the value, quality and performance of a custom electrical connector. Here’s why custom electrical connectors are almost always the better option for your project.

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The Benefits of Using a Panel Mount

Posted by Rick Regole on Mon, January 4, 2021

There’s more than one way to fasten (or “mount”) a connector receptacle to an electrical device. The three primary mount styles include panel mount, free-hanging, or board mount. For the purpose of this article, we’re focusing on what a panel mount is, when to use them, and how they benefit engineers and users.

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Calculating Connector Mating Force

Posted by Rick Regole on Mon, December 21, 2020

Electrical connectors are designed to transfer power or signal between two interfaces. When joined or “mated,” the two interfaces should support a consistent flow of power or signal despite vibration or mechanical stress. Likewise, they must be capable of separation for maintenance without damage. In most cases, the connector manufacturer performs mating force calculations during the product qualification process to ensure that mating and unmating can occur without damage and to determine how many times (also known as the mating cycle). In addition to validating quality products, it’s important for design teams to use this data to control or avoid binding (over-compression of connector pins) or bottoming out and to determine if inject/eject hardware is required.

Let’s break down the factors that influence mating force calculations to better understand the significance of this data for product engineers. Do your connectors add up?

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What is Low-Pressure Injection Molding?

Posted by Rick Regole on Mon, November 23, 2020

To remain competitive, particularly during a global pandemic, manufacturers must find ways to do more with less. Fulfill more orders in less time. Build more products with fewer resources. Drive more business with less environmental impact. They achieve the impossible by replacing outdated processes with newer technologies — for example, low-pressure injection molding instead of potting.

Potting involves pouring liquid resin over electrical parts to fill the assembly and form a protective, insulating encasement. While the process can produce effective results, potting has numerous disadvantages, including a complex, multi-step process, long curing periods, and the potential for shrinking. Furthermore, because potting compounds cure exothermically, cure reactions can generate enough heat to damage delicate electronic parts, such as PCBs and sensors. Ultimately, the risks and disadvantages equate to higher production costs, longer cycle times, and lower levels of quality and consistency.

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