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November 23, 2012

The 7th Interconnect Congress - Wurzburg / Germany 2012

Alex Cristescu, WECO’s R&D Manager, was selected for the second time during the last 3 years to present
Downstreaming interconnect innovation from installation application over NPI design concept.”


The novelty subject did consist of demonstrating the role of the ergonomic aspects related in the field installation as “primary design input” factors. A wise designer must contemplate, in addition to the list of customer specifications,  the “what-is-happening” at the installation level at peripheral end. The presentation proposed a different connector design model defining as “design inputs” the sum of customer’s FFF in-apparatus specifications plus the in-field constraints related to the practical aspects of interconnect installation, maintenance and replacement. Simplification of installation, product replacement, maintenance, ergonomic and cost factors will be shown as frontline criterion in designing new generation of connectors.

The best example to prove the validity of the new design model is the “Installer on the ladder” problem. This situation is current for installations of light controllers or LED lighting. There are three objects the installer needs to handle: stripped wire, plug connector and screwdriver. The  ergonomic problem that was not solved until now is generated by the fact that the installer has only two hands to handle 3 objects. There is no horizontal surface available on the ladder to compensate the lack of the “third hand” by a holding fixture. In other words the installer cannot achieve the wiring job on a ladder because of the existing ergonomic constraints. WECO’s designers operated a paradigm change by eliminating the usage of the screwdriver and shifting the insertion function to the hand of the installer. Accordingly the “Thumb terminator” was created (Patent Pending). Now the installer can keep the screw-less plug connector in one hand and push down the clamping mechanism with the “terminator” by using the thumb of the same hand. The proposal to replace screwdriver by “Thumb terminator” obliges connector manufacturers to introduce new generations of “screw-less” connectors.

A second example to demonstrate the usefulness of the “ergonomic thinking” from design stage is the creation of another revolutionary design solving the easy in field removal or insertion of a connector bridge patching two adjacent PCBs. The solution is critical for the maintenance and replacement of a PCB within a LED PCB –to-PCB chain. WECO’s LED bridge allows an easy disconnect as the interconnectivity function is allocated to the installer’s practice and needs, it is not “imposed on PCB” from re-flow process stage.

Given the positive reactions to the various products presented to solve installation ergonomic problems related to interconnectivity we do appreciate that the presentation had a good impact on designers’ practice to put upfront the ergonomic criterion into the “design input” specification.

WECO has proven again its creativity in finding new interconnect solutions to various problems that were considered as unsolvable until now. We will continue in the same way to demonstrate our championship in the area of creativity and solutions by design.

WECO Electrical Connectors Inc.
18050 Trans-Canada Highway, Kirkland, QC Canada H9J 4A1
Tel.: 1.514.694.9136 fax.: 1.514.694.0956
Toll free.: 1.800.724.2928 (US and CAnada only)