Custom connectorsAs electronics product technology advances, with a shift towards more compact and complex product designs, OEMs can find connector selection more challenging in terms of space or performance requirements. This is where connector customisation can offer viable solutions without significant increased costs.

“We are finding more of our customers require some level of connector customisation as they develop more sophisticated products,” said Maciej Gluzniewicz, Product Specialist for connectors at GTK. “In most cases, minor modifications to existing industry standard products will achieve their design goals, but in others, more complex modifications or completely custom connectors are required. At GTK, we can assist with all these options, but tend to explore minor modifications first as they are the most cost-effective.”

Minor Modifications

Minor modifications to standard connectors can include selective loading of contacts or adjusting pin lengths. These modifications are often cost-neutral with MOQs equal to that of standard connectors.

For OEMs using several of the same connector on a PCB, the addition of keying plugs can also prevent mis-mating at a fractional additional cost. These can be factory fitted or moulded into the housing for high volume requirements.

In blind-mate applications, adjustments to the connector housing can be modified, adding a chamfered lead-in to guide mating pins.

Complex Modifications

In limited cases, more complex modifications are required for the connector. To minimise tooling costs, GTK will look at adapting existing connectors to meet the design requirements. Examples of this could include modifying an existing connector housing, adding a backplate to a standard connector or using industry standard contacts in a modified housing. The development process for this type of modification is typically longer than a minor modification.

Completely Custom Connectors

GTK also work on complete custom connector designs with OEMs and provides support on projects from design concept through to full production. The OEM will typically contribute towards the tooling costs for the product as it is proprietary to them. The lead-time for a completely bespoke connector will be significantly more than minor modifications and OEMs need to factor this into their decision-making process as it will impact on time to market for new product designs.

“In most cases minor modifications will meet the OEMs needs,” said Maciej, “and they have the added assurance, when using an industry standard connector of a known performance level of the product in addition to a minimal additional cost and reasonable lead times. Our technical experts are happy to discuss the customisation options with customers and the earlier on in the design process, the more options can be explored.”

Get in touchIf you're working on a project that might benefit from custom connectors, get in touch with our team today