Floating connectors support high-speed automated manufacture and long-term reliability

22-03-2024 | Harwin | Automotive & Transport

Harwin has released a range of board-to-board connectors that address the data and power transfer demands of high-performance applications while accommodating small movements in multiple axes. These connectors support high-speed automated assembly and enhance resistance to shock and vibration during operational life.

Offering up to 160 contacts in a symmetrical double-row layout, the new Flecto floating connector family is obtainable with three choices of miniature pitches: 0.5mm (.0197"), 0.635mm (.025") and 0.8mm (0.0315"). By accommodating movement of up to ±0.5mm in the X and Y axes, they allow for accurate placement of multiple connectors between the same two PCBs where the sum of misalignments might, otherwise, present difficulties for high-speed, high-precision mating.

The positional tolerance flexibility of the connectors also improves system reliability by maintaining connection integrity during shock and vibration events and reducing the possibility of degradation or failure from 'fretting' – a situation that occurs when long-term vibration generates plating to wear from rigid mating pins, exposing the underlying alloy to potential oxidation.

"Growing demand for multiple connectors per board pair increases the potential for mechanical alignment issues due to the capabilities of automatic pick-and-place systems and the associated reflow process, which can cause connectors to experience unintended strain," says Ryan Smart, Harwin's vice president of Product. "In addition, once systems are in the field, many connectors are subject to stresses resulting from short-term or long-term exposure to shock and vibration."

"Thanks to their innovative spring-like suspension mechanism, Harwin's new Flecto family allows OEMs to address both these challenges with a comprehensive choice of fine-pitch, high-pin-count, high-performance board-to-board floating connectors for both data and power transfer."

The connectors support board-to-board mating heights as low as 7.2mm and data rates as high as 12Gbit/s. Further power pins with the 0.5mm pitch options are rated for currents up to 3A. Vertical and horizontal female connectors permit boards to be connected in parallel or at right angles to each other, while signal-only connectors feature either location pegs or posts to eradicate movement during solder reflow. On the mixed signal and power connectors, through-board solderable posts are provided for location accuracy and enhanced mechanical strength. Some connectors feature shrouded contacts to prevent accidental damage when no mating connector is present, while others offer polarisation within the shroud to ensure uni-directional mating.

The new range's target applications include factory automation, electric vehicles, LED displays, security cameras, IoT devices, data communications, and a wide variety of embedded systems.


By Seb Springall

Seb Springall is a seasoned editor at Electropages, specialising in the product news sections. With a keen eye for the latest advancements in the tech industry, Seb curates and oversees content that highlights cutting-edge technologies and market trends.