Keeping the Clever Bits Dry
Roy Phillips, MD of Intelliconnect (Europe) considers the evolution of waterproof connectors
Some time ago a manufacturer of Locator Beacons, approached us and requested we design a range of special
connectors. Despite the small quantities involved, we were happy to oblige.
“They need to be waterproof (unmated ).”
OK that’s fine, a piece of hermetic glass in the rear end will work!
They told us that was too expensive.
They wanted to pay the same as a standard connector.
And – “We need it to be highly reliable...with no NRE charge.”
So, we had to design, develop, sample, machine, plate, assemble and deliver a range of four connectors with a completely new feature, in seven weeks!
The connectors themselves were relatively simple jacks and cable plugs.
The problem, was how to make them waterproof.
After much deliberation, a solution was arrived at and like most great ideas it was ultimately a very simple one.
We used O rings and other solutions and with much help from our vendors, materials were sourced which conformed to our requirements.
Initial prototypes were made and products were tested using air at a pressure of 2 bar for 8 hours (twice the pressure and time that the customer required) without failures.
Samples were despatched to the Customer and soon news came back that they were happy!
Seven weeks after the original enquiry, we delivered the first production quantity. The Pisces range was born and that Customer is still using our products without a single failure.
Intelliconnect has since developed a wide range of waterproof interconnect solutions for Customers with applications ranging from safety and detection equipment to hearing implants;
All components are sourced and assembled in the UK in Corby. Pisces is now Intelliconnect’s fastest growing brand.
The point of this article is to demonstrate that by putting a lot of engineering effort into a small project to support a Customer, a business can reap huge rewards by taking that idea just a little further. “From tiny acorns...”