With all the device integration going on, and the explosion of SoCs and chipscale devices, it is important to remember there are still a lot of products with multiple boards and subsystems. Just as important as the components on the boards themselves, the quality and reliability of those critical inter-board connections are vital to a successful product.
This is especially important in devices that may experience thermal swings, shocks, or vibrations—from industrial to automotive to sports. Any product addressing such application spaces must be able to function as advertised in extremely harsh conditions, especially where reliability relates directly to safety.
Wire-formed devices on the board are not just limited to edge connectors. Test points, fuse clips, and battery contacts are just some of the often-overlooked critical infrastructures that can wind up ruining a product in the field if not properly selected. One can buy these connectors and contacts “off the shelf,” or they can be custom. Ready-made products like preformed circuit board jumpers are a cost-effective, time-saving part of pc board assembly, offering a variety of sizes and shapes, with numerous standard offerings in spacing, and no ragged insulation ends to increase the possibility of failure.
In addition to meeting the circuit’s needs, it is important to remember that even those “peripheral” parts of the system also must be compliant with materials regulations such as Directive 2011/65/EU RoHS and EU Regulation EC 1907/2006. Any qualified manufacturer, especially in the area of advanced custom wire-form manufacturing, should be able to demonstrate compliance.
Custom products enable you to use precision alloy materials to strict specifications to create specialized wire-form products to suit your exact needs. Unlike most board-to-board connector contacts, special-purpose metal like spring contacts, terminals, jumpers, retaining clips, and shielding contacts, among others, often demand a custom solution.
Most manufacturers have field engineers who can guide you in choosing the right materials for your design needs, and work with you throughout the design process to ensure it meets your demands.
Specialty application spaces like medical devices, security electronics, military systems, and industrial automation must use custom solutions throughout, as the tolerances and system requirements often preclude the use of ready-made products made for a wider hardware acceptance range.
The key is to find a manufacturer that also can act as a design and development partner, as today’s designs demand precise solutions. Finding the proper source for the devices used to address your application is half the battle.
Filed Under: Rapid prototyping