Electrical Connector Assembly and Inspection Machine

Project Scope:

Electrical Connector Assembly and Inspection Machine

SDC was presented with a challenge by a connector manufacturer to design and build a completely new concept of a field-terminable plug contact assembly machine that would be quicker, less-expensive, and have a smaller footprint than the customer’s existing contact assembly machines.

Vertical indexing dial

Servomotor driven motions

PLC based machine controls

Vibratory parts feeding

Pinch-roller infeed of contact strips

Magnified vision inspection system

Pneumatic trigger spring-eject part release

Precision slide-away subassemblies for maintenance & tool change accessibility

Complete machine safety system

The Solution:

SDC was chosen for this project because of its experience with small part assembly and its engineering competence of demonstrated and unique assembly solutions and proven ability to think outside the box.  SDC achieved the goals of the customer by creating a small-sized vertically-oriented indexing dial that receives vibratory bowl-fed plastic connector housings which snap into spring-loaded gripper inserts that ride on small spring-loaded precision slides.


This slide arrangement allows an off-dial ball-screw precision actuator to advance each gripper to each insertion position and then return before the dial indexes to the next stations, which include cleaning and multi-directional vision inspection stations.  The two alternating types of gold-plated contacts are reel-fed and are singulated by a compact insertion press with easily-serviceable tooling.


The resulting increase in performance, lower cost tooling, smaller machine footprint, and reduced tool-change and maintenance times exceeded the expectations of the customer.  Their new SDC machine significantly reduced the manufacturing costs of their plugs; improved their quality with 100 percent inspection, part tracking, tooling tracking, and automated part-sorting software; and improved process energy efficiency.

0.6 machine stitching speed per contact

600 parts per hour

100% inspection efficiency