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Connecting the connectors

16 June 2021

Connectors normally don´t get as much attention as they should be getting, the focus tends to be on other electronic components. But without connectors, there is no electronic device. Connectors are essential to creating a complete electronic product. They might be small (in most cases) but they have a very large impact on the whole product. Each connector is different for a specific device or object but in general the manufacturing process is the same. Below we explain to you a bit more about manufacturing electronic connectors. We want to give the connectors the attention they should be getting. Thanks to high quality connectors we can make sure the other electronic components work well together.

What are electronic connectors?

To create a complete electronic device, we need to create and connect an electrical circuit. Connectors are used to join the different electronic elements in order to create one circuit. Electronic connectors are sorted by gender, male for plugs and female for sockets. Our clients may require their electronics to be portable and connections make it easy and removable. A connector is normally made from two different components. First, we have the housing, or the insulator. The housing keeps the connection safe and in its place. Second, within the housing we find the terminals, or the conductor. These are the pins that establish the electronic connection.

We can say that electronic connectors are divided into three types of connectors.

Board-to-Board
Basically, printed circuit boards (PCBs) without a cable. Have you read about our SMT-line in our recent blog article? You can read all about it here.

Cable-to-Wire or Wire-to-Cable
As the name suggests, these types of connectors connect wires. In this case the connector connects wires on one end and cable on the other end or in reverse.

Wire/Cable-to-Board
Unlike the wire-to-cable or reverse, this type of connector connects a wire or cable to the printed circuit board.

Within these three types, there are many variations possible, the options are endless. Think about the method of connecting, the size, materials used, contact resistance, durability, insulation and many other options and considerations.

Some of the considerations or features are:
-    Locked connectors with a locking mechanism to hold it in place
-    Keyed connectors give the possibility to only be able to get connected when in the proper place
-    Waterproofing the connector
-    Connectors that are oil or moisture proof
-    Sealed connectors, not only waterproof but also water pressure proof
-    Filter connectors protect the connection from signals such as electromagnetic interference (EMI) or radio frequency interference (RFI)

Rompa Group can support you with all of these from design and manufacturing to final assembly.

Materials used

Most connectors are made from plastic or metal. But in some cases, other materials are a better fit for the connector. Materials such as high copper alloy, phosphor bronze or brass.  We support our customers in the choice of materials that could be used.

The process flow of manufacturing electronic connectors

The different types of electronic connectors are countless. You can almost say that for each individual electronic device there are designated connectors. But the manufacturing process and steps are the same in general for most of these electronic connectors. Below we give you a short overview of the stages we go through when manufacturing connectors.
 

1. Stamping pins
The process starts with stamping pins from thin metal strips. This technology gives the possibility to produce rectangular-profile connector pins but also electrical interconnection lead frames.

2. Plating the contact surfaces
When the pins are stamped the process continues by plating the surfaces of the connectors for protection and conductivity improvement. The plating is done with different types of metal coatings.

3. Injection moulding
Next step is to create the plastic housing of the connector. In most cases injection moulding technology is used to create plastic housing. At Rompa Group we have many years of experience in injection moulding. You can read more here about this technology that we offer.

4. Assembly of the plated pins and the housing
The final step is to combine the plated pins with the injection moulded housing. And of course, we always finish with an inspection of all connectors to assure high quality.

Rompa Group offers all the above technologies except for plating. For plating, we work together with industry leaders to support the one-stop shopping experience for our customers.

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Rompa Group connects your connectors

Rompa Group has an extensive track record in designing and manufacturing connectors. For years we support our customers, which are all respectable connector companies, with the production and assembly of their products. Rompa Group always aims for the most innovative and efficient manufacturing processes. Efficiency does not only cut costs, but also has a big impact on environmental sustainability. Our global footprint offers you the option to have your products made at a location close to you.

You are always welcome to contact us for more information. Our specialists are ready to explain you more about our technologies and work methods.

Let’s connect.