Making the right connection

  • 19-Jul-2010 10:43 EDT

Steve Willing, General Manager, Military, Aerospace & Commercial, Delphi Connection Systems

Although there is strong overlap in technology between the automotive market and the off-highway market, the wide diversity of applications and the low production volumes in the off-highway market challenge suppliers to deliver the highest level of technology in just the right package.

With over 10,000 industry standard and custom designed connection systems for a variety of industries and applications, Delphi understands the distinct needs of our off-highway customers and can make the right connection between innovation and value.

Delphi has a number of products in development to address the unique needs of the off-highway market. Our Harsh Environment Series family of connection systems is a new line of circular connectors and terminals that improve the sealing, terminal retention, and terminal insertion force performance in tough commercial vehicle, agricultural, and marine applications. Our Performance Pack connectors deliver a unique one-piece connector housing and terminal contact design that delivers improved packaging while offering high-vibration capabilities, making it a great fit for the off-highway segment.

Delphi has invested in higher mix, lower volume production technologies for both component and assembly production, including expanded over-molding capabilities. Our high-performance pin and socket terminals use our unique vaned socket design. These terminals offer our customers a better value while providing higher current-carrying capability compared to industry standards.

Across the globe, the reliance on gathering data, evaluating it quickly, and responding accordingly is also becoming more and more critical.

Agricultural equipment and military and construction vehicles are all relying more on GPS functionality and wireless communications to increase productivity and eliminate error. Data is being transferred at a much more rapid rate, and connectivity must reliably perform in very harsh conditions such as forests, mines, and deserts to improve everything from safety, performance, and efficiency.

The recent surge in the development of electric vehicle systems is leading to new high-power connection systems, and, as these products reach the automotive market, they will drive high volumes and low costs that will cascade over to the off-highway market.

To continue to successfully adapt our automotive technologies and expertise to the off-highway market, we must also recognize that supply chain solutions and lower volume production technology are just as critical as our design technologies. Delphi is well positioned to apply the right technology, in the right package, with the right customer support that the off-highway market needs.

Steve Willing, General Manager, Military, Aerospace & Commercial, Delphi Connection Systems, wrote this article for SAE Off-Highway Engineering.

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