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There are different ways to save money when it comes to building cable assemblies, and one of them is to substitute cable assembly connectors. This can lower your expenses, but it can also create problems if the connector does not turn out to be a fitting replacement.

Substituting Connectors in Cable Assemblies

(Pixabay / byrev)

Potential Challenges

So what can go wrong if you pick a poor substitute for your cable assembly connectors? One of the most oft-made mistakes is selecting a connector that is not built for the same tolerances as the component that it will be mated to. When this happens, the union could produce intermittent opens or fail altogether. If you are dealing with a pin-type contact, a mismatched connector may not even be able to fit into the receptacle.

Connectors are only as good as the materials that they are made of. If your subbed-in connectors are low quality, you could end up with diminished mating cycles and, ultimately, premature assembly failure. Watch for contact plating thickness, too. If it’s too thick or coated with the wrong materials to begin with, your assembly could break down.

Problems could also develop if a connector does not offer adequate strain relief. This could cause the cable to deteriorate at the exit point of the connector and compromise the assembly.

Finally, a connector may be high quality, but if it is not designed to function well in appointed environments, it could give out. For example, if you use a connector that is not moisture-resistant in an assembly that is destined for exposure to liquids, your assembly will become vulnerable to shorts and corrosion.

What to Look for in a Substitution

If you are choosing a substitute connector for use in your cable assembly, consider these factors:

  • Materials it is made of
  • Plating thickness
  • Ability to mate with designated receptor
  • Quantity of mating cycles (in light of intended use)
  • Capacity for strain relief
  • Intended-use environment

Speak to a leader in electronic manufacturing services for help with your cable assemblies. At EMS, we can help recommend component substitutions that will save you money without jeopardizing your final product.