Browse Publications Technical Papers 2014-01-0221
2014-04-01

A Non Traditional Solution for High Vibration Connection Systems 2014-01-0221

As automotive and commercial vehicle OEM's continue their quest to reduce cost, product selection, quality, and reliability must be maintained. On-engine and wheel located connection systems create the greatest challenges due to the extreme levels of vibration. In the past, devices were fewer, and there where less direct connects in high vibration locations (Engine/ wheel sensors, electronic controllers, fuel injectors). Instead, small wire harnesses (“pigtails”) were commonly used. These pigtails can dampen the effect of the environment which includes mild to severe vibration by keeping the environmental effect away from the electrical connection contact point. Electrically connecting directly to the device creates new challenges in the connection system with the increased threat of fretting corrosion.
Suppliers supporting OEM's are attempting to meet these direct connect requirements with lubrication, precious metal plating, and high contact force contacts. Some are more effective than others, and all have their drawbacks. Non traditional methods are being introduced in an attempt to meet OEM requirements, while attempting to keep cost, packaging, and reliability in check. Some connection systems dampen the vibration effect at the interface, or increase the amount of contact points with special terminal designs. Most solutions are after the fact, adding to or modifying an existing connection system. These solutions tend to drive cost, complexity, and sometimes sacrifice other performance criteria. An additional solution can be to minimize movement between the contacts without these sacrifices. This solution is illustrated in the Performance Pack Connection System.

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