3 Basic Types of Electrical Connectors

Any electrical equipment will have different types of electrical connectors within. Each connector comes in different shapes, sizes, and materials. Function is another key factor that classifies the connectors.

From connecting a wire to a board to joining key elements on a PCB, connectors play diverse roles and serve many applications. Despite their simple design, they connect and bring power/signals to the system. Key factors that determine the quality of a good connector is its reliability, signal integrity, speed performance, power rating durability, and ease of assembly.

Connector manufacturers offer an extensive array of tried and tested product solutions.

There a few common connectors which are worth the mention:

8P8C Connector

8P8C connector, where 8P8C stands for “eight positions, eight conductors” have eight positions, with corresponding conductors in the mating socket assigned to each. It is basically a modular connector and was primarily used in telephone wire applications. Today, they serve many applications and functions like being used to interface Ethernet jacks.

The 8P8C connectors have a male plug and a corresponding female socket connection. It carries eight contacts and when they get aligned with the corresponding eight conductors within the sockets, electrical signals get transmitted. Apart from Ethernet and telephone wires, they are also used in computer applications and other communication cables.

Generally, most modular connectors are technically named after the number of positions and conductors. They include sizes like -4-,-6-, 8-, and -10-. For instance, a 10P8C will have ten positions with eight conductors.

D-Subminiature Connectors

D-subminiature is much similar to 8P8C, as they are used in computer and play a critical function on modems. Though the name states “subminiature”, these are larger than most modern computer connectors. The connector has a D-shaped metal component that defines its shape and protects it. It also consists of two or more rows of pins with varying numbers in the male connector and a similar set of receiving ends in the female part. The male connector with a pin is called a plug whereas the receiving part that houses the contacts that connect these pins is called a socket. This connection is established to transmit electrical signals. This variant has the capability to provide protection against electromagnetic interference, commonly known as EMI.

USB Connectors

USB or Universal Serial Bus is a very common type of connector. They are small interfaces used to attach multiple devices to a computer. You can see at least two USB ports in any standard laptop that support external USB connectors and cables, while desktops have up to 4 USB ports in general. USB connectors gained much popularity and recognition, as it can be connected and disconnected easily while the device is still working. This contributed to its widespread use in computer applications that constantly require plugging and unplugging external devices, especially for transferring data.

There are many variants for USB connectors that suit both high-speed and low-speed connections like USB 1.0, USB 2.0, and USB 3.0. While USB 1.0 models generally connect keyboards and mice, USB 2.0 offer higher speed connections for these devices.

Industrial Processes And Emerging Technologies

Technology has been playing an incredible role in transforming the way industrial processes are performed. Whether it is a machine-to-machine communication or augmented reality, technology has been helping industries in every possible way to streamline and automate their work. Emerging technologies, like 3D printing, robots, algorithms, etc., have the power to completely transform the existing manufacturing processes. Or, in other words, modern technology has the potential to make our lives better. A rapid increase in the level of sophistication in technology has a strong impact on the workforce.

Robotics

Robots are being increasingly used to perform all sorts of industrial tasks. The developed parts of the world have witnessed a sharp rise in the demand for automated machines and equipment. Approximately, there are more than 2 million robots in use and the number is expected to rise quickly in coming years. Japan is leading the list of countries with the most number of robots. Recent years have witnessed a major decrease in the costs of automation and robotics.

Additive manufacturing

Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is an emerging technology that enables industries to manufacture three-dimensional objects. It is a process of building complex products by adding ultrathin layers of materials one by one. Currently, only selected items are being created out of a single material, for instance, medical implants and plastic prototypes. Comparing 3D industrial technology with that of traditional, additive manufacturing enables industries to manufacture new shapes without worrying about manufacturing limitations.

Autonomous technology

Autonomous technology, such as unmanned cars, is stretching the possibility of producing highly sophisticated industrial machines capable of performing the unthinkable. It has a great potential in making industrial processes seamlessly smooth with hardly any human intervention. Autonomous robots have already been deployed by a number of industries worldwide to perform quality control and inspection related tasks.

Augmented reality

Augmented reality is about the augmentation of the elements of physical world. By using handheld sensors, people can simulate various situations or, in other words, augmented reality enables us to create an illusion of reality. This technology can help engineers build incredible industrial solutions. One of the practical applications of this technology is the training of military recruits where they are tested with various virtual situations.

Conclusively speaking, new technologies are enabling engineers to develop intelligent machines that can perform multiple industrial tasks with great precision and speed. Companies need to invest in automation technology in order to maintain competitiveness and meet growing demand for innovation and modernity.

5 Pointers for Comparing Printed Circuit Board Manufacturers

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are extremely important and relevant in the electronics and appliance industries. A PCB collects the electronic elements of a product using conductive products that are usually etched on a “non-conductive” substrate. Naturally, PCBs are used extensively in production of many products, including regular consumer goods. All kinds of active devices and components, including resisters and capacitors, are usually soldered to the board.

If you are looking to place an order for your business and want to find a reliable printed circuit board manufacturer, there are a few aspects that you need to note.

1. First things first, check if the manufacturer is well known in the industry. Ask relevant questions like – How long have you been in business? Who are your clients? How many batches or orders do you handle each month? Can you share a few references? A company that has been around for a long time will never shy away from offering references. They will also do what it takes to convince their new and prospective clients. You can also check their website to find a few more relevant details.

2. Check the prices. Don’t be surprised, there are reliable manufactures who can offer low-priced circuit boards without compromising on the quality. They also ensure fast and quick delivery for their clients on request. However, be careful when you choose a service, because there are a few quality standards that must be met. Check if the concerned company has the required certifications, which can vary in some countries.

3. Know their clients. As mentioned earlier, you need to know the industries and clients that a company services. Check if they have worked for the military and some of the other bodies of the government. If they have supplied their products to known firms and electronic companies, it is like an assurance that they will never ever fool around with the quality. If you get references, call a few of them or write an email asking about their experiences.

4. Do not ignore customer service, it is extremely important when ordering PCBs. You need a manufacturer who is around to take questions or concerns and handle them quickly and accurately. It is important to be careful about customer service and whereabouts of the company, because some of them are just brokers and are making money by selling low-quality PCBs to customers.

5. Can they handle specific requirements? PCB requirements can vary, and you need a team that has the capacities to meet different production needs. They must be willing to take up production challenges, and it is not enough to claim things, unless they prove things. You can place a small order for custom PCBs to know more about their commitment towards customization, timely delivery and pricing.

Automation Engineering And Manufacturing

Automation is a broad term that refers to the use of logical programming commands and machines to replace most of the human activities such as decision making and manual-command response. With the rise of computers and intelligent machines, manufacturing processes have become smart, flexible, and less expensive to implement. The current modern industrial environment is largely driven by automation technologies that make it possible for manufacturers to meet the ever-changing market requirements in a profitable manner. Companies that have embraced automation experience higher productivity, profitability, operational efficiency, and competitive edge.

Manufacturing commonly applies to production where the raw material is used to produce various products at large scale. This process generally involves many steps: one product obtained from a process is used to manufacture more complex products. Conversion, packaging, batching, and assembly are all examples of manufacturing processes.

A factory floor functions as a central site where capital, plant, and labor are concentrated to produce small or large batches of goods. Most of the modern factories implement innovative machinery to run their manufacturing-related operations: packaging, welding, material handling, quality control, measurement, metal fabrication, etc. Old factory settings where labor gather to produce goods using obsolete production tools cannot survive in this overly competitive environment. This is why automation engineering has become a single most important factor in the contemporary industrial environment.

The innovation of industrial robots, which became a part of factory floors in the 1970s, has totally reshaped and revolutionized production processes for many industries such as the automobile. Robots are high-endurance precision machines which play important role in cutting, welding, painting, inspection, assembly, and other production operations.

Automated industrial devices have the potential to achieve the level of productivity and accuracy beyond human abilities. The new generation of industrial robotics is less expensive, easy to implement and program with extended capabilities. They perform exactly the way you want them to. The advancement in computer technology and automation engineering has completely transformed manufacturing.

It is impossible for a company to compete in any engineering field without implementing innovative technologies. Being a manufacturer, you have to analyze and consider how new technologies can fit into your industrial setup. The process to implement new manufacturing systems can be complex and expensive. However, a considerate approach and practical engineering solutions can make your business more efficient and profitable. Make sure you consult a reputable automation engineering company that can design custom machines and control systems for your production facility.

How To Choose The Very Best Water Treatment System For Your Plant

For professional companies using raw water for their plant, some form of raw water treatment program is generally necessary to ensure a competent plant production approach and quality produced products. The very best raw water treatment program shall help avoid expensive plant downtime, costly maintenance fees, rather than having the ability to sell its products in the market, among other problematic situations.

But how do you pick the best water treatment system for your plant?

The answer to this relevant question can sometimes be a little complex and depends upon a variety of factors. We’ve simplified and divided what this may mean for your company below:

Quality: What is the quality of your raw water origin and do you know the status of the treated water?

Raw water screening and treatability study outcome: Exactly what are the variants of the feed water chemistry as time passes and how does indeed this affect the practice? Will the suggested treatment plans help you fix the problems you are having and meet with local discharge restrictions to your secondary wastes produced?

Plant lifespan: How long will you need to run the operational system? Working with your engineering company to investigate these types of key points can help steer you in the right direction when choosing the very best system for your plant.

The quality of the raw water in relation to the product quality requirements after treatment: One of many greatest factors which will regulate how to select your raw water system is the equipment that will get into the actual make-up of the system, which is often dependent on the quality of your raw water supplier in relation to the quality of water you need after treatment.

What is the quality of your water source? The first thing to understand when choosing the best water treatment system for your plant is normally what your water quality will be.

Sometimes it’s safer to treat your own water from floor or area sources or even to purchase it from a second source, for instance a municipality, but either way, it’s important to measure the quality you happen to be getting. In case the municipal water resource will probably give you low quality water and you must treat it further to make it beneficial within your facility, make certain you’re weighing these options. The contaminants present in the source water in relation to what your water quality needs are will affect the technology within the makeup of your system.

What is the quality of water you need? The second thing to comprehend when choosing the very best water treatment system for your plant may be the quality of water you will need for your company. Does it need to be:

– Pure for drinking?
– Ultrapure for microelectronics development?
– Not pure for domestic use such as for example flushing a product or toilet use?

Also remember that the water quality may be based on your industry. For example, many manufacturing facilities in industries such as power, chemical, petrochemical, and refineries, require huge volumes of water for boilers. Due to this, care must be used selecting the water treatment systems which will properly make the water intended for polishing treatment such as for example removing colloidal pollution from the water.

Tin Plating – What Is It?

During this industrial process various metal objects are coated using a thin layer of tin and can be applied to a variety of base metals. These can include copper, steel, and iron. When applying this thin layer of tin it will help to improve the metal’s appearance for particular applications. It can also help to increase their durability and performance. Once the tin has been applied to the metal base it results in material that is referred to as tinplate. One application of tin plating that is very well known is the coating that is used on metal cans that store food. It is also a material that is commonly used for making pots, pans, and other various cookware. The technique can also be used to prepare metal bases that are used in construction like metal siding or roofing. Tin plating can also be applied to parts that are used for manufacturing and electronic components.

When manufactures create such objects they use two different basic techniques. One n involves melting the tin into a molten liquid into which they would dip the metal object to tin plate it and then it would be allowed to dry. This is the older of the two different techniques. The newer technique involves coating the metal object by using electroplating technology. When this technology is used a mixture of tin salts will be dissolved in a vat full of water. There is an electric current that will be running through the water so the tin irons in the water will be attracted to the various metal objects that are placed in the water. This will create a coating of tin on the object that is permanent.

Two reasons that this sort of plating is used for protecting various base metals like steel or iron, is that it is an effective way of prevent corrosion and rust. Zinc plating can also be used to help prevent resistance to corrosion but this is too toxic for medical or food applications so that is another reason that these manufactures rely on tin plating. Using tin plating also helps to increase the ductility of various metal objects. What this means is that it will make it easier to weld these metal objects that have been tin plated to another surface.

The one major drawback with tin plating is that it is not as effective as galvanizing or zinc plating protecting base metal objects from corrosion and rust. For example, if you have galvanized metal that is scratched or damaged the zinc plating will react with the air and will form a new protective coating. If an object that is tin plated and is scratched or damaged the material underneath is exposed to corrosion or rust.

Promoting the Benefits of Work Order Software

Work order software (CMMS software) is a key part of a successful equipment maintenance program. Work orders are typically one or more tasks assigned to one or more maintenance personnel for the purpose of equipment item. These tasks are for preventive maintenance, projects, repair maintenance or other types of work. The maintenance staff enters, updates, assigns and closes work orders. This requires a certain level of commitment to the work order software and the expectation of benefits for the expended effort. As such, promoting the benefits of maintenance software is every bit as important and making the work order software easy to use.

  • What are the benefits of work order software to your organization?
  • How are the benefits of work order software promoted to maintenance employees?

Benefits of Work Order Software to Your Organization
The immediate and short-term benefits of using this software are as follows.

  • Easier delivery and communication of work assignments.
  • Balanced workload.
  • Improved spares management.
  • Better management and accountability of work assignments.
  • Improved equipment reliability.
  • Cost savings through analysis and resulting process improvement.

One of the main benefits this software is the ability to deliver the work assignments to personnel using a paperless system. Work orders are emailed in user-friendly formats such as Adobe Acrobat. This saves paper and consistently delivers the work assignments to the same place every time. Alternatively if a paper system is preferred, then automatic printing of assigned tasks is possible. Some more advanced software solutions provide scheduled automatic task assignments. This capability also frees up the maintenance manager as manual assignments ate reduced substantially with this automated system. Lastly, work orders are accessible directly from the software itself. This avoids email and paper use; however, access to a computer that either has the software loaded or has a web link to the CMMS system is required in this case.Balancing the workload over time and resources is possible with a scheduling tool such as work order software. Organizing tasks based upon available resources optimizes these resources and results in more work completed in the same amount of time. Spares linked to work templates results in automatic spares usage and allocation to the task. This feature of many CMMS solutions results is consistent use of the correct spare part for the job and better accounting of spares use. Some CMMS systems provide live links to equipment runtime components (such as hour meters) further automating the work assignment procedure.

In addition to immediate and short-term CMMS benefits long-term benefits may accrue in as little as six months depending upon level of use. The more the software is used the greater the benefits in general. Below is a listing of some of the long-term benefits of using work management software.

  • Querying the work history database simplifies compliance reporting.
  • Analysis of work history guides the maintenance manager in allocation of work.
  • Reporting spares usage provides a guide for restocking.
  • Reliability and overall equipment effectiveness KPIs optimize task assignments adding tasks in some cases and removing tasks in other cases.

Promoting the Benefits of Work Order Software to Employees
Choosing equipment maintenance software that is intuitive and accessible is a key factor in promoting the use of the software. Additionally, user screen customization is beneficial in that it gives the user a sense of personalization and control over the system. This user-level customization generally relates to screen colors, default screen, screen labels and other preferred settings. Configuring the software so that maintenance users are able to manage their own work has benefits as well. Studies have shown that a sense of accomplishment with work is a primary job satisfaction indicator. Use of work order software provides this satisfaction as maintenance employees see exactly what work is required and close out their own work orders. In many cases, this leads to improved morale and greater productivity. This is only possible if user level roles and permissions are available within the software.By adopting this management style, users feel empowered and feel a greater sense of ownership of the equipment they are working on. Once again, this leads to improved morale and productivity.

Another group of software user are the personnel that request work. Making it simple for an inexperienced worker to submit a repair ticket to the software encourages the use of the system. In many cases a web interface is best for this function as it is accessible from many locations and various devices.

Promoting the benefits of work order software benefits your organization with the ultimate result of improving equipment reliability and the reducing maintenance costs.

Laser Wire Stripping

As laser power sources have become more mainstream and the sources themselves more affordable, laser wire stripping services and service providers have become more common. Beginning in space applications in the 1970s laser wire stripping services, the technology was developed I order to not cause insulation of wire strand damage in the most demanding IPC/WHMA Class III applications such as the launching, steering, controlling and some cases returning systems found in space vehicles. This stripping technology was developed in order to reduce the risk of damage to both conductors and insulators using other wire stripping methods-especially mechanical methods. Laser wire application acceptance became more pronounced as the data cables become complicated and multi-stranded as well as medical devices in body instruments had every finer gauge wires. All of these market demands a precise, fast, clean method of stripping off the wire insulation on the ever smaller gauge and ever more complex multi-conductor cable sets came about. There are numerous benefits of laser stripping compared to other stripping approaches that have helped this technology gain favor. One of the still common denominators in this approach to wire stripping is that it used on high valued electronics and higher value electronic applications. The benefits of the precision, accuracy, and repeatability of this stripping show up in many other positive attributes of the process. Many times other methods for wire stripping or impractical or impossible. Due to the nature of laser wire stripping there or no nicks or scrapes like there are with mechanical methods meaning the end strip quality is of the highest caliber. The laser light, when chosen properly, reflects from the conductor thereby removing all of the insulation without wire damage. This stripping can accommodate ultra fine gauge wires with no damage to the wires during the stripping process.

How it Works

Laser sources meaning that the likelihood of us having the right source for your application is high, The idea is to find the right laser source that strongly interacts with the layer you want to remove and yet is reflected from the underlying layer. With changes to the pulse duration and the different frequencies of light with the different lasers, a wide range of different processes can be achieved. This means laser systems can cut wires, clean off surfaces, cut metallic shields for the top of insulated wires as well as the traditional cutting and or vaporizing of the insulation from the wires.

Laser Wire stripping-The Method of Choice

There are numerous applications where this stripping is the stripping method of choice. One of the applications where other stripping methods do not strip to the precision required simply does not work at all are I instance of very small diameter wires. These are typically below 36 gauges and are typically found in medical devices. Most stripping methods cannot adequately remove enamel from enamel coated wires or other wires with bonded on insulated. Window-pane stripping, or removal of the insulation in a given length of wire and not at the cut ends, is another place where laser wire stripping can shine. Ribbonized cables are stripped easily using this stripping, especially when bonded to the wire. When cables are out of round and mechanical means of stripping are not possible, this stripping is the answer as ablation of the insulating material, regardless of where is it is can be done. The above are but a few of the application areas where laser wire stripping is the right solution to your wire processing outsourcing needs.

Automation Technologies And Manufacturing Safety

As a business leader, you have to continually search out ways to increase operational efficiency and throughput, and lower manufacturing costs. Besides improving the productivity and streamlining production processes, the working environment is something that demands special attention from business leaders. It is crucial to ensure safe working conditions and reduce incident rates. This can be a challenge to maintain a balance especially when production and safety are in a constant battle with each other.

Fortunately, industrial automation and safety systems have made major advancements in the past decade. Sophisticated automated machines and control systems have bridged the gap between production and safety. Your job is to make sure that your engineering staff is implementing new technologies correctly.

It is a necessity to have a corporate safety plan focusing on the implementation of plant safety technologies. We need to dig a little deeper in order to understand how an integrated production system can contribute to a company’s overall success. Safety management is supposed to provide a safe workplace for employees, whereas, engineering department is tasked with improving the manufacturing process. We cannot separate these disciplines as they are interconnected.

Most of the traditional machine guarding systems are simple in design and do not require an engineering background to implement or understand them. However, traditional machine safeguarding techniques are limited in scope. Modern automation and engineering safety controls are intelligent enough to automatically change the safeguarding methods depending on current hazards.

What if the safety system at your production facility were intelligent enough to allow safe human interaction for tasks that are repetitive, routine, and integral? An intelligent safety mechanism can help you improve the productivity of workers and lower the injury risks. It can have a big impact on your bottom line. The advanced industrial technology offers capabilities necessary to develop an integrated manufacturing process where manufacturers can maintain a balance between safety and production.

The advanced integrated technologies are more complicated than traditional safeguarding devices. The use of safety-rated devices can unknowingly create an unsafe environment where safety is nothing but an illusion. Even the advanced safeguarding solutions come with the risk of creating a dangerous work environment. Therefore, it is important to have skilled engineers who can implement and maintain modern machine safeguarding systems.

If you are not satisfied with the current safety conditions at your production plant, consult an engineering company that can design a better safety plan for your manufacturing unit.

Simple Steps To Improve Manufacturing Productivity

Staying competitive in a global economy demands consistent efforts to improve manufacturing productivity. In order to succeed with the objective of sustainable growth and the capacity to generate useful output, manufacturers have to make critical decisions regarding the deployment of resources, implementation of new technologies, elimination of operational inefficiencies, etc. A sound manufacturing strategy plays an integral role in shaping the competitive position of a company.

The more effective your manufacturing productivity, the more profit your company can make. In some cases, it is easy to identify variables that interfere with operational efficiency and productivity. However, it is not always simple to understand the complexity of a process. Once you are determined to improve manufacturing productivity, you will be able to better understand underlying problems and resolve them. Following are simple steps and strategies that can help you improve the productivity of your production plant:

Collect data regularly

As you put efforts to comprehend your manufacturing processes in depth, you become better positioned to enhance your production process. First and the most important thing is to understand manufacturing patterns through data. The number of production hours, efficiency of production machines, time to manufacture each item, output per hour, and productivity of employees are some of the variables that highlight the overall efficiency of a manufacturing plant. Successful manufacturers keep track of everything happening on their factory floors.

Identify bottlenecks

It is very important to locate points in your workflow where production gets backed up because production processes are not properly integrated. Integration of production processes plays a vital role in bringing about an efficient factory floor where everything is connected and works in harmony. So, identify and eliminate bottlenecks in order to develop a more streamlined and organized workflow.

Upgrade manufacturing systems

Old-fashioned, manual production processes cannot meet the growing market expectations. Customers demand high-quality products. It will be extremely difficult for a manufacturer to address emerging market trends without implementing innovation and bringing in modern automation technologies. As a manufacturer, you should continuously look for modern production means that are fast, efficient, and flexible. It is the only way to maintain manufacturing productivity over a long period of time.

Industrial automation solution providers offer a variety of affordable manufacturing systems that you can integrate into your existing setup and witness dramatic improvements. Consult a reputable automation engineering company that can develop custom machines and control systems for your factory floor.