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issue: January 2007 APPLIANCE Magazine

Technology Report
All-in-One Connector


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A single-platform connector from Onanon (Milpitas, California, U.S.) is said to provide a precise blend of power and signal, while significantly freeing up real estate to add functionality to electronic devices.

A single-platform connector from Onanon (Milpitas, California, U.S.) is said to provide a precise blend of power and signal, while significantly freeing up real estate to add functionality to electronic devices.

Designed as an alternative to discrete pin or blade configurations, the MultiWise connector from Onanon, Inc. is said to satisfy an appliance engineer’s need for increased power density in small spaces. The connector technology combines the features of multiple connectors and printed circuit board technology on one connector platform. This configuration is said to enable greater simplicity and flexibility in designs by offering engineers more options for lowering contact resistance while maintaining the necessary power/signal mix.
Jim Levante, sales engineering manager, says there are several ways designers can use the single-platform connector to achieve increased power density. “Pins can be fabricated from materials that carry more current than the standard connectors offer. An example would be using oxygen-free copper instead of brass,” he explains. “Pin surface finish also affects how much current the pin can carry. Changing from tin to gold and increasing the plating thickness will increase current capability.”
Another option is to double-up pins on the connector “by interconnecting pins together with circuit traces on the connector substrate,” Levante says. In addition, the ability to combine different pin sizes in the same connector eliminates the need for one power connector and a separate signal connector.
In addition to flexibility, the connector platform is also designed to be more economical. Combining several connector technologies on one platform can reduce the manual assembly of sub-components. “This will improve the quality of the assembly by reducing the part count,” Levante says.  
The company utilizes an automated connector pin retention technology for installation. “Our latest system uses an innovative gravity feed and powerful z-axis motion to command pins into position,” Levante says. “This new process has improved throughput by 50 percent.”
A shake-insertion method is used to load the blades, pins and contacts. Unlike stitching machinery, the shaking process reportedly doesn’t cause trauma to circuit boards, fracture other components or damage electronics. The automated process is said to gently place the connectors onto circuit boards through surface mounting or through-hole insertion.
Levante says any appliance can take advantage of the MultiWise platform, from a micro electronic signal to a large current carrying application. “Refrigerators, oven electronics, dishwashers, and small appliances will benefit from the connector,” he says. “It will also find a home in smart appliances that use embedded electronics for control and communication.”

 

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