Robust cost reduction features for cable assembly

Many demands and requirements are made on electronic systems for mobile applications. In addition to requiring a rugged mechanical construction, the optimum use of space and simple assembly are vital to minimising costs. These advantages must not reduce safety or functionality, also, the protection of systems against external factors is becoming increasingly important. Rainer Hueske explains, how the D20 metal housing for connector systems has been optimized with regard to the above factors. Rising raw material costs have put pressure on industry to achieve cost savings in processes and production procedures. Processing time is a vital factor, particularly for patch cable manufacturers because each minor improvement of the production process can yield time and cost saving possibilities.

With the new design of the D20 metal housing, Harting has expanded its existing product range of housings for DIN 41612 connector systems primarily used for 19′ installation technology. The D20 metal housing can accommodate pre-assembled cables that are inserted together with the cable terminals. The connector and the cable clamps are retained by means of a groove-type geometry feature and do not have to be secured separately with bolts. Next, the lid is secured from one side using four Torx bolts. The cable harness no longer has to be turned over, as everything is bolted from one side, including the upper shell and cable clamps.

The design was optimized to increase cable space by 100 percent in order to facilitate assemblies with several thick cables. The cable clamps were moved to the outside to increase internal space and to enable easy access after the housing has been closed. The use of standard modules provides potential for cost saving and their user-specific combination options provide the basis for maximum flexibility in terms of response to customer requirements. The four identical cable entries of the housing enable many combinations of the extensive range of accessories, e.g. cable terminals, crimp flange technology, locking plate, or a cable bushing with moulded strain relief on the left, right or top. Single wires and several shielded or non-shielded cables with diameters up to 13.5mm can be readily inserted into the housing. This opens up numerous options for all areas of application.

Moreover, the integrated coding feature of the housing allows for a wide range of insertion variants. In addition to its flexible handling, the D20 housing is impressive in terms of safety, having passed vibration and shock tests at accelerations up to 50m/s2 in accordance with DIN EN 50 155. The order number is molded on the inside to facilitate identification of the product which is submerged to safely prevent damage to the cables even under continuous vibration stress. The helical spring lock washers provided for the locking bolts ensure permanently safe attachment of the housing to the module rack.