Connector pins come in various designs and sizes to cater to the electronic (i.e., low-level signal) or electrical (i.e., power) connectivity needs in interconnect applications in multiple industries.
In addition, as new machine technologies come up in these industries, so does the need for custom connector pins to assist in powering and connecting these machines for different applications.
Various aspects of design, manufacturing, and applicability come into play when deciding the best custom connector pin for the assembly. With these requirements in mind, it is essential to consider a manufacturing partner who is well versed in connector pin customization to walk you through the production process for quick and efficient results.
This blog post takes a critical look at the three things you should look for in a supplier company when ordering custom connector pins for your interconnect assembly, which are:
- Ability to achieve the desired custom pin design
- Ability to meet production requirements of custom pins
- Cost implication vis-a-vis your manufacturer's supply chain
1. Identify a Supplier Who Can Achieve Your Desired Custom Pin Design
Before placing an order, you will need to have your design concept ready. Custom pins achieve different connection purposes. You can sketch your idea on paper or 2D or 3D CAD for more accurate visualization for final customization.
The main questions to ask yourself when it comes to designing a custom pin from scratch are:
Are You Customizing An Entire New Design Or Part Of An Existing Pin Design?
As mentioned earlier, there are several custom pin designs already. However, when customizing a custom pin, you probably have a unique connection need that the existing contact pins aren't meeting, either in part or as a whole.
Define the need for a custom pin and the specifications you'll require for the new prototype. This initial consideration is crucial as it helps you and your supplier to explore the best practical ways and methods you can adopt to create the custom pin in design and cost.
What Materials Will It Take To Create The Custom Pin?
The material a contact pin comes in plays a paramount role in its connectivity to other machine parts, service applicability, and final production cost. These materials include those that create the base metal of the pin and any plating you may want on your custom design.
Consider the different properties of different materials and the various ways in which these materials work together to be more effective and applicable for the part of the machine under development.
Consider working with an experienced connector pin manufacturer who will help you fine-tune the new design with your assembly needs. This manufacturer will walk you through the intricate geometrical and modeling modifications achievable on a custom contact pin to be applicable in different interconnect applications.
2. Know What Your Assembly Requires in Terms of Production
Once you have the design ready, the next important consideration is where to get your custom connector pin produced. Again, you'll want to share this responsibility with a manufacturer who understands every aspect of your design.
An experienced manufacturer should be able to produce quality custom pins that are devoid of flaws. Choose a manufacturer with systems in place to create custom pins including vision inspection processes to ensure your custom connector pin's diameter, length, thickness, and other parameters as you envision in your design.
Connector pins come in varying sizes and shapes, and tolerances in their dimensions guarantee their geometrical tolerances and applicability are accomplished. Choose a company that understands your design concept and can advise and produce a working custom pin that meets the dimensional needs of your connecting parts or machines.
The method by which your custom pin is produced bears a lot of weight on supply and the final cost of production. Depending on the intricacy of your design, you can opt for either of these production methods:
The swaging method is best known for producing accurate and efficient custom designs with minimal to zero material losses during manufacturing. This method uses a metal, cold-forming, swaging press and die to progressively form a solid wire or strip of metal into a custom pin design.
The stamping method involves using a stamping press and progressive die to shape metal into the desired design. Stamping involves more physical actions on the metal than swaging to achieve the desired. These actions or processes include blanking or punching the metal to for shaping and creating flanges where necessary, embossing, blanking, and coining the metal to achieve dimensional accuracy.
The screw machining/turning method involves feeding metal rods through a turning press producing loose piece interconnect pins and contacts. This process creates a lot of metal scrap which adds cost to this fabrication pin forming option.
The above methods produce quality custom connector pins but at different timelines and cost implications. Analyze the best equipped and economically and environmentally suited to build your custom pin design, and prepare your order based on the ability of the manufacturer to create and deliver in a time and cost-conscious manner.
3. Ask Your Manufacturer About any Additional Cost Implications
With a ready design and production processes in mind, the next thing to do is consider the cost implications for producing the custom pins. Manufacturers will quote for you based on the method and materials they use to create your custom pin. A low-cost quote does not necessarily equal quality production, and neither does a high quote.
Check what other value your manufacturer has to add to your custom connector pin design, from conception to product delivery. For example, consider a manufacturer with a proven record of custom pin production. This kind of manufacturer has the experience and a broad knowledge base of connector pin applications and would have much more to offer you than just a finished product.
An ideal manufacturer is also one who can guarantee you quality custom connector pins and deliver these in your expected timelines. Choose a manufacturer with a precise and reliable supply chain to entrust with producing your custom pins.
Bead Electronics is a custom connector pin manufacturer with a proven production record of over 100 years. Bead specializes in manufacturing custom pins and other types of metal electronic and electrical interconnects, electro-mechanical components, and mechanical components.