- 1 A roundtable dialogue with ITT Cannon, TE Connectivity, and AVX Interconnect about connectors and cabling in cross-market, automotive, off-highway and agricultural car, rail, and business aviation markets.
A roundtable dialogue with ITT Cannon, TE Connectivity, and AVX Interconnect about connectors and cabling in cross-market, automotive, off-highway and agricultural car, rail, and business aviation markets.
We speak to 3 of the connector corporations which are innovating elements for the transportation market. They share insights on what’s coming subsequent for this thrilling and quickly altering sector.
Cross-Market Connectors and Cabling
CS: What connector and cabling calls for do the automotive, rail, business aviation, business delivery, leisure boating, off-highway, and agricultural car markets have in widespread?
Lorenzo Bonadeo, Market Director, Transportation, ITT Cannon: For aluminum connectors used throughout all of those assorted markets, platings that reach efficiency and sturdiness in harsh environments are key. RoHS and REACH have had an essential influence in recent times, and there at the moment are quite a lot of environmentally pleasant plating choices out there. These vary from nickel to zinc cobalt to ITT Cannon’s Blue Era plating, which delivers a best-in-class mixture of utmost sturdiness, conductivity, and shielding efficiency similar to the now-restricted cadmium plating.
Russ Graves, Aerospace Enterprise Improvement Supervisor, International Aerospace, Protection, and Marine (AD&M), TE Connectivity: Every of those markets is, in its personal method, a harsh surroundings for connectors, wiring, and sensors. For instance, sealing a connector from moisture ingress would reduce throughout many various markets, however how the sealing is technically completed, the precise degree of sealing, and the industry-accepted connector type issue is totally different from market to market. Inside our Aerospace, Protection, and Marine Enterprise Unit (AD&M), we are sometimes challenged to be sure that our wiring merchandise are suitable with our connector options. In buyer purposes, it’s the interface of those applied sciences that create points. Additionally, to fulfill aerospace industry necessities like Electrical Wiring Built-in Techniques (EWIS) our clients have to show that each one the electrical interconnection elements are working collectively as a totally suitable system.
Matt McAlonis, Senior Supervisor for Product Engineering, International AD&M, TE Connectivity: Widespread connector and cabling calls for for these markets embrace expectations for high-reliability, compatibility with industry requirements for a strong product ecosystem, and the power to undertake and incorporate the newest merchandise and signaling applied sciences. Safety has additionally risen to useful significance, particularly within the context of autonomous navigation functionality. Sooner or later, these markets may have increasingly more overlap with the electrical protocols adopted.
New Product Improvements
CS: Has your organization ever designed and developed an progressive, utterly new-to-market connector or cabling product to be used in human or freight transportation purposes?
Tom Anderson, Connector Product Supervisor, AVX Interconnect: AVX just lately developed a brand new, first-of-its-kind, off-the-shelf, high-reliability, wire-to-board (WTB) connection system that mixes the 2 of probably the most proven-reliable contact applied sciences within the automotive industry — press match/compliant pin and insulation displacement contact (IDC) — right into a single ruggedized package deal.
Designed to switch pricey two-piece FFC/FPC connector techniques in crucial, quality- and cost-conscious automotive purposes, the brand new 53-8702 Collection IDC/Press-Match WTB contacts enhance implementation effectivity and reliability in harsh environments, allow problem-free conformal coating, improve design flexibility, and stay efficient for 10+ years or all through the lifetime of a car.
Combining these two trusted contact applied sciences in a single high-reliability answer achieves the right marriage of supplies and phone geometries required for strong, double-ended, cold-welded, and gas-tight WTB terminations in essential automotive electronics topic to excessive shock, vibration, and temperatures, together with sensors and vehicular computer systems, comparable to airbag, engine, and transmission management models. We additionally anticipate that, as engineers check and validate samples, further purposes outdoors of automotive will probably be recognized as properly.
Ravi Kelkar, Product Supervisor, ITT Cannon: All through our 100+ yr historical past, ITT Cannon has invented various revolutionary merchandise and options to satisfy the wants of our evolving clients and markets. Some of the acknowledged — and nonetheless extensively used — is the D-Subminiature rectangular connector (D-Sub), which is known as for its distinctive D-shape and small design package deal. The D-Sub was invented by Cannon engineers in 1952 in response to buyer and market demand for smaller, high-performance electrical connectors able to transmitting sign and energy. Our willingness and skill to interrupt with custom and check out a brand new connector design was rewarded with the primary D-Subminiature connector patent in 1957, and we’ve remained synonymous with D-Sub innovation ever since.
Initially invented to be used on business and army plane radio techniques, the Cannon D-Subminiature product line expanded to incorporate a number of connector varieties, backshells, and equipment and have become the first-ever multipurpose connector superb for a variety of various markets and purposes. For many years, they have been utilized in shopper merchandise resembling TVs, printers, stereos, and online game consoles. At the moment, variants together with high-reliability space-grade D-Subs, combo-D Connectors, combo-D with high-efficiency energy (HEP) contacts, double-density D-Subs, environmentally sealed D-Subs, and D-Subs with crimp, solder cup, and PCB terminations are used for business aerospace satellite tv for pc methods, in addition to a lot of army, medical, and industrial purposes. The D-Sub’s versatility has made this Cannon invention some of the extensively used connectors on the earth.
Matt McAlonis, TE: We now have a number of distinctive improvement tales, however among the best might be the MULTIGIG/VITA 46 (VPX). The primary answer within the MULTIGIG household was the light-weight MULTIGIG RT 2 connector system for VPX purposes as much as 10Gb/s. It contains a strong, pin-less backplane connector interface and a wafer-based design instead of pin contacts, which allows cost-effective sequencing and versatile electrical customization and reduces area failure charges in card-edge methods. This product represented an enormous step ahead on the planet of rugged computing and C4ISR-enabling know-how and have become the usual for VITA 46.
Its wafers might be made for differential or sign efficiency, and the impedance, propagation delay, and crosstalk could be custom-made to go well with buyer necessities. It can be mixed to offer the density, knowledge, throughput, and sign integrity required for the fashionable pc, communications, army, medical, or industrial management industries.
We then improved on our preliminary innovation with the discharge of the MULTIGIG RT 2-R connector, which was designed to satisfy VITA 72 environmental efficiency whereas leveraging all the technical and financial advantages of VITA 72 VPX. It includes a backwards suitable and intermateable quad-redundant contact system and ruggedized information hardware that additional improves reliability in high-vibration environments by doubling the variety of contacts factors within the earlier model.
CS: What particular traits make your product distinctive in comparison with different options out there for this market? What distinctive advantages does your product supply that particularly handle this market’s wants?
Tom Anderson, AVX: Our new IDC/Press-Match WTB connectors function two phosphor bronze contacts per place, every of which reveals superior fatigue resistance over the acute temperature and deflection ranges widespread in automotive purposes, and obtain a mixture of plastic and elastic deformation that gives high-reliability, gas-tight, cold-welded terminations. The collection is presently out there in 5 positions rated for six–10A relying on wire measurement, 125V, working temperatures spanning -40°C to +125°C, and a single termination cycle. Advantages of the brand new collection embrace:
- Redundant contact techniques for enhanced wire retention and PCB attachment power.
- The power to exchange pricey, two-piece connector methods with a single answer comprised of the 2 contact applied sciences most revered for his or her potential to ship high-reliability connections able to withstanding excessive temperatures, shock, vibration, and thermal enlargement over lengthy lifetimes in automotive purposes.
- The power to attach two PCBs which are in shut proximity, however not in the identical orientation or alignment location for a standard board-to-board connector extra reliably than the FFC/FPC cables sometimes used to jumper between two zero insertion drive (ZIF) connectors, particularly in high-vibration automotive purposes.
- Improved implementation effectivity over FFC/FPC connectors by way of using a number of color-coded discrete wire gauges with larger current-carrying capacities, which may facilitate simpler and extra conventional wire dressing and routing all through automobiles.
- Compatibility with potting processes with none danger of ingress, in contrast to conventional, elastic-only contact techniques, that are weak to potting materials ingress throughout each the potting course of and thermal enlargement.
- Twin meeting methodologies that permit for both pre-installation on a PCB in the course of the board construct course of, enabling wires to be inserted and pressed into place with any normal flat rock seating software upon last meeting, or pre-installation on a wiring harness, enabling the connector to easily be pressed into the PCB upon remaining meeting, the latter of which is particularly nicely suited to conformal coating processes.
Ravi Kelkar, ITT: Since its introduction 65 years in the past, Cannon D-Sub connectors have provided distinctive options and advantages based mostly on buyer, market, and software wants. When first launched, the D-Sub was designed as a easy two-row connector with solderable contacts in a small, rectangular package deal. Since then, they’ve advanced to supply numerous shell sizes, contact layouts, and kinds designed to go well with a variety of various purposes.
Two of our present D-Sub connector merchandise supply distinctive options and advantages for market-specific purposes. Our Combo-D with Excessive-Effectivity Energy (HEP) Contacts options one of many smallest packages out there, loaded with cutting-edge, canted coil-spring know-how that will increase electrical present carrying capability 62% to 75% over normal measurement eight contacts, improves effectivity, and reduces prices. It additionally presents distinctive versatility, together with energy and sign in the identical format, numerous termination, plating, and mounting choices, and compatibility with each Cannon and rivals’ Combo-D connectors.
Our space-grade, high-reliability D-Sub connectors have been first certified by NASA within the 1960s, and have been utilized in PCB and panel-mount purposes in area flight and satellite tv for pc techniques. As we speak, they continue to be the connector of selection for satellite tv for pc producers and designers worldwide. NASA requires supplies that guarantee low ranges of residual magnetism (or magnetic permeability) and low to no outgassing.
Many connector producers use elastomers and plastics that include compounds which will outgas over time, so it’s important that these compounds be eliminated earlier than remaining meeting and launch, often via a bake-out course of. ITT Cannon is likely one of the solely area connector producers to have developed specialised polymers that meet NASA outgassing necessities even earlier than the bake-out course of.
Revise, Refresh, Repurpose
CS: Have you ever ever considerably modified an present connector or cabling product that was initially developed for one human or freight transport market, or one other market completely, to be used in one other human or freight transport market?
Wayde King, Product Supervisor, ITT Cannon: We modified the latching system design on our round CLC Collection connector — which was initially designed to be used in automotive CAN bus, transmission sensor, and diesel gasoline injector purposes — and built-in it into our new MKJ Clip Lock mini round connector for business aerospace purposes, together with avionics and in-flight leisure, connectivity, and cabin techniques designed to enhance the passenger expertise.
By changing the higher-cost latching elements in our present MKJ line with a modified model of the lower-cost, quick-connect, clip-lock latching system in our unique CLC design, we have been capable of obtain a extra competitively-priced model of the compact, strong, and light-weight miniature round MKJ Collection that has the potential for use throughout a number of markets and purposes. We may also be exploring potential MKJ Clip Lock purposes within the sturdy medical gear (DME) market throughout 2018.
CS: How is the modified product totally different than the unique with regard to design, efficiency capabilities, and advantages?
Wayde King, ITT: Slightly than the plastic housing used within the unique CLC connector, we used a high-grade aluminum housing for the MKJ Clip Lock Connector to offer shielding capabilities for higher-speed purposes. We additionally used quite a few clocking configurations to get rid of mismating, in addition to high-density, measurement 23 machine contacts for a smaller design package deal.
CS: Which beforehand unfulfilled or insufficiently crammed demand(s) did your modified product fill?
Wayde King, ITT: Cannon’s MKJ Clip Lock Connector is designed to supply space-saving advantages, however it additionally solely requires axial drive for mating the 2 connectors. No bulk instruments are required — solely two fingers to grip the shell to attach or disconnect with out twisting, which permits a number of connectors to be mounted intently collectively.
CS: Did you face any challenges throughout improvement? In that case, how did your engineering workforce surmount them?
Wayde King, ITT: One of many largest challenges was the mixing of the clip to make sure perform with totally different curves and permit the connector to be simply unmated. Our engineering group used prototype amenities to develop and check numerous choices all through the design part.
CS: Was your innovation prompted by a buyer request?
Wayde King, ITT: Sure. Our buyer, a number one developer of in-flight leisure and communication (IFEC) options for the business aerospace market, required a strong, high-volume connector with a constructive latch system at a really aggressive worth. Till our MKJ Clip Lock got here alongside, their choices have been restricted to extra pricey connectors and people who required a rotational quite than axial drive for unmating.
Concentrate on the Future
CS: Which transportation markets do you anticipate to encourage probably the most thrilling new connector or cable product developments and why?
Matt McAlonis, TE: Expectations within the business aviation market are pushed by passengers’ want for the conveniences of residence leisure, connectivity, meals, relaxation, and rest. Journey is in excessive demand, so the market is quickly rising and positive to encourage some thrilling new connector and cable developments.
The autonomous car market will even drive a rise in sensor, navigation, and safety methods, and I might anticipate this to incorporate farming and agricultural automobiles as properly.
CS: What new design parts, efficiency capabilities, or different options do you anticipate future connector or cable merchandise designed for these markets to have and why?
Matt McAlonis, TE: Connectors and cable should provide each energy consumption necessities and knowledge administration capabilities. Sensor knowledge have to be transported and processed so this info can be utilized in real-time conditions.
CS: Hybrid connectors, modular connectors, and compatibility between connector and cable merchandise manufactured by totally different suppliers appear to be current developments in lots of of those markets. Do you anticipate these tendencies to lower in significance, stay regular, or proceed to develop? Why, and through which markets?
Matt McAlonis, TE: Business requirements and the will for strong product provide chains will drive buying groups towards redundant product sources with confirmed efficiency and intermateability knowledge. That is particularly important for high-volume markets, resembling automotive and business aerospace.
CS: OEMs are all the time looking for cost-effective connector and cable merchandise, even when it’s not their number-one precedence for a specific design. How can connector or cable merchandise sustain with these calls for whereas additionally evolving in design and performance?
Russ Graves, TE: Within the long-term future, the business aerospace is trying to development the identical why as automotive — towards all-electrical and hybrid-electric energy for flight. This development ought to proceed to drive up the entire electrical energy used on the plane and to push to higher-voltage techniques.
TE Connectivity is properly positioned with quite a lot of options to cope with the higher-power wants of plane methods, extending from higher-temperature energy cables to quicker and smarter energy switching merchandise, like relays and contactors. We will additionally pull from the dependable expertise of our automotive market staff to determine connections which might be safer for plane upkeep private and simpler to put in.
On the altitudes that jet plane fly, larger voltages create considerations about corona discharge affecting electrical wiring system elements, together with wires, cables, and connectors. We’re learning the consequences of corona at altitude and are targeted on new supplies that we will make the most of in our electrical elements to raised survive corona discharge occasions.
Matt McAlonis, TE: Innovation should happen at each the product degree and on the manufacturing degree, and advances have to be made in manufacturing unit efficiencies and automation.
Requirements and Laws
CS: Are there any new or pending requirements or laws that may/are more likely to have an effect on future connector or cable product designs in a number of of those markets?
Matt McAlonis, TE: Electrical protocols and digital chipset designs will drive future product efficiency necessities, and laws in supplies restrictions will drive product compliance in these respective areas.
CS: Which automotive purposes do you anticipate to encourage probably the most thrilling new connector or cable product developments and why?
Matt McAlonis, TE: Electrical and hybrid automobiles will create challenges in voltage and present carrying capabilities. New security necessities will emerge with battery and system evolution, and web accessibility and autonomous navigation choices will create new dangers in safety and security.
CS: What particular automotive software calls for do you anticipate to have the best influence on future connector or cable product designs and why?
Lorenzo Bonadeo, ITT: Electrical car (EV) charging infrastructure is essential to the widespread adoption of EVs within the coming years. A key problem is overcoming shopper vary nervousness by delivering high-power charging options which might be ultra-fast, protected, and ergonomic to make use of. It will require innovation in connectors, cabling, and design.
Matt McAlonis, TE: Sensor knowledge assortment and administration will create new alternatives for high-speed connectivity and antennas in automotive purposes.
CS: What’s the most progressive connector or cable product you’ve developed for the automotive market?
Lorenzo Bonadeo, ITT: ITT Cannon has tackled the EV vary nervousness problem by creating an revolutionary, liquid-cooled Excessive-Energy Charging (HPC) connector, cable, and cooling unit answer that permits ultra-fast charging as much as 500A at 1,000V and may ship a 60-mile/100km cost in simply minutes. A high-performance, non-flammable dielectric cooling liquid runs from the cable all through the connector’s contact system, delivering wonderful warmth dissipation. The result’s a patent-protected, weight-optimized cable design with a minimized cable diameter that gives a extremely versatile, ergonomic, and easy-to-use answer for the worldwide EV market. With out liquid cooling, the cable would bulkier and heavy, which might make it troublesome for a lot of mainstream customers to deal with.
CS: Was your innovation prompted by a buyer request?
Lorenzo Bonadeo, ITT: Our HPC improvement was the direct results of inquiries and questions we acquired from Tier 1 automotive producers who have been in search of a brand new degree of charging efficiency not beforehand seen. They know the charging infrastructure is important to their EV plans and that ultra-fast charging was the place they finally must be. Our engineering group took up the problem and, with the voice-of-the-customer clearly in thoughts, began to develop what has grow to be our liquid-cooled HPC answer.
Off-Freeway and Agricultural Automobiles
CS: What particular off-highway and agricultural car software calls for do you anticipate to have the best influence on future connector or cable product designs and why?
Lorenzo Bonadeo, ITT: Sensors, cameras, diagnostics, controls methods, and the like are resulting in vital will increase within the amount and complexity of connectivity inside these automobiles, which leads to extra wiring and extra connectors. As such, connectors are more and more anticipated to supply larger pin-counts in smaller, weight-optimized type elements which might be value efficient and straightforward to put in. An excellent instance is our new CTC Collection. This cable-to-cable interconnect answer was developed to deal with each present and future off-highway and agricultural car purposes for harsh-environment car wiring necessities.
CS: What’s the most revolutionary connector or cable product you’ve developed for the off-highway and agricultural car markets?
Lorenzo Bonadeo, ITT: Our Modular APD Interface simplifies the administration of our APD connectors in cabin-to-chassis purposes on the car manufacturing line. As connectivity has elevated and wiring has grow to be extra complicated, the mating, unmating, and reconfiguration of interconnects has grow to be a extra complicated and time-consuming course of. The distinctive modular interface we developed permits a number of connectors to be managed by way of a single, modular plate that’s straightforward to put in, absolutely customizable, and makes managing interconnects easy and quick.
CS: What distinctive advantages does your product supply that particularly tackle this market’s wants?
Lorenzo Bonadeo, ITT: The Modular APD Interface saves time, saves area, and reduces complexity throughout each preliminary meeting and subsequent service and improve exercise. The system delivers distinctive flexibility so as to add or change connectors as further car providers are developed and to implement standardized, but customizable, connector methods for a number of purposes. For example, cabins typically must be faraway from their chassis a number of occasions in the course of the meeting course of, and this interface makes working with Cannon APD interconnects throughout this course of easy, quick, and pain-free.
CS: Which rail software calls for are most difficult to perform? How have you ever surmounted these challenges in current connector and cable product designs you’ve launched?
Lorenzo Bonadeo, ITT: In rail, as in lots of different markets, there’s an growing demand for high-speed knowledge providers for each practice controls and passenger connectivity. A key problem is delivering this high-speed answer in a connector that meets the extraordinarily demanding reliability and harsh-environment necessities of the rail market. ITT Veam’s FRCIRM12 knowledge transmission connectors meet this problem by combining Veam’s extraordinarily dependable and strong FRCIR connectors with M12 and coax contacts. The result’s a collection capable of present as much as 10-gigabit Ethernet (GbE), multifunction car bus (MVB), wire practice bus (WTB), and video strains inside the similar connector, with optimum sealing and excessive shock and vibration resistance for the harshest rail automotive environments.
CS: Which business aviation purposes do you anticipate to encourage probably the most thrilling new connector or cable product developments and why?
Russ Graves, TE: The eventual market shift towards all-electric and hybrid-electric energy for flight, which would require higher-voltage techniques which are impervious to corona discharge.
CS: What particular business aviation software calls for do you anticipate to have the best impression on future connector or cable product designs and why?
Russ Graves, TE: At TE, we’re very targeted on larger voltage and energy, as described above; greater speeds and bandwidth for each high-speed copper and fiber optic options throughout wiring, termination, connector, cable administration, and harness accent product strains for avionics and IFEC purposes; and electrical grounding and bonding options for composite plane designs — particularly, coping with the challenges of lightning strikes on composite airframes.
For extra responses, please go to our 2018 Transportation eBook.
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