PHP | USD

High-Power Demands—Meeting Them One Connector at a Time

COVID-19 has challenged us in ways we never expected. In a short amount of time, manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers had to make tough decisions in order to increase production, meet the overwhelming expectations associated with supply chain logistics, and, ultimately, deliver products into the hands of customers.

As the consumer goods industry faced huge demands for products, one of the effects trickled down to the core of product manufacturing: the engineering of it all. Design challenges, including high-power requirements, space constraints, and end-product failures, are a few of the hurdles engineers must still overcome.

Solutions for design challenges

Fortunately, with the increased purchasing of consumer goods, many manufacturers have managed to keep up with production and adequately support their business customers. As original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) provide support, they look to companies such as Molex for the electronic products that will deliver the power required. The trend toward more consumer goods continues to increase, and Molex offers sound power solutions for many of the design challenges that engineers may face.

Image of Molex and Digi-Key power solutions Figure 1: Molex and Digi-Key have the power solutions for your application. (Image source: Molex)

Meeting the power demand with compact solutions

With more people working from home now, consumer products have been at the forefront of customer demands. The need for work and school equipment, including laptops, computers, monitors, headsets, and tablets, has risen significantly. When designing these consumer products, engineers can find it daunting to meet all the project expectations. Some high-power applications require smaller electronic components because of limited space. As a result, design engineers are tasked with meeting the need for higher-current capabilities in compact packaging without sacrificing the space their connectors occupy. Molex offers a variety of compact power connectors to meet this requirement and provide a quality solution.

Power reliability via capability and features

Nano-Fit, Micro-Fit, and Mini-Fit Power Connectors provide design engineers with fully protected header terminals in a small package. These connectors range in pitch from 2.50 to 4.20 mm and offer 8.0 to 20.5 A of current for design flexibility.

Engineers also face quality issues when designing for the masses. Manufacturers want reliable components to meet their needs and prevent failure in end products. During the assembly of connectors, terminal back-outs may occur, and some applications cause operator fatigue due to repetitive mating requirements, which in both cases can result in end-product failures.

When considering these kinds of issues, OEMs can look to Molex for quality solutions. Molex’s Fit Family Power Connectors, for example, excel at meeting the challenges engineers encounter in their design work. These connectors offer a small footprint and high current for equipment without compromising the limited available space. Fit connectors also offer integrated terminal position assurance (TPA) to significantly reduce terminal back-outs by providing locking redundancy. Additionally, with their enhanced TPA design, these connectors reduce assembly error resulting in terminal back-outs and withstand high mating cycles, all while preventing operator fatigue. See more about Molex Fit Family Power Connectors at Digi-Key’s website.

Advantages of Molex’s V-0/GlowWire combo option

A wide range of OEMs require power connectors that support design flexibility. To meet these needs, several products in the Fit Family line also offer different-colored polarized housings with isolated terminals, positive locks, and angled terminals.

The consumer goods industry can meet its cost structure requirements also. For example, Molex’s complete Fit Family Connectors offer a V-0/GlowWire combination resin that reduces the cost of materials and labor by requiring fewer items on a bill of materials. These connectors also allow customers to meet the European safety standard for electrical requirements.

Image of Molex 2074780006 Glow Wire compliant headerFigure 2: The Molex 2074780006 is an example of a Glow Wire compliant header. (Image source: Molex)

Overall, many consumer products require a profile designed for space savings and superior robustness in tight spaces. Manufacturers can look to Molex’s Fit Family Connectors to provide a complete solution with power and dependability.

Meeting the power demand with sealed protection

As homeowners begin to upgrade their homes with new appliances like smart washers and smart refrigerators, engineers require more design flexibility. These applications experience moist conditions that could cause failure in unsealed connectors. Also, as more and more capabilities are expected in some consumer applications, real estate for all the necessary electrical components gets crowded.

Reliable—even in moist environments

Molex’s Squba Sealed Connector System offers both a 1.80 and a 3.60 mm-pitch with an IP67 rating to help ensure a reliable connection even in moist conditions. Typically, as current ratings increase, so does the need for wire gauges, compromising compactness and increasing costs for consumer device manufacturers. Squba power connectors deliver more power over a smaller wire than competitors’ products. As a result, customers can deliver more power with a smaller wire, supporting space-constrained applications and decreasing costs.

Many consumer applications experience moist conditions that could cause failure if there are unsealed connectors. Seals can be damaged during assembly, handling, shipping, and use, which can, in turn, cause end-product failure. All Squba connectors feature caps to protect seals, leading to more reliable connections. Caps also provide guidance for terminal insertion to protect seals from being punctured by terminals during assembly.

OEMs from a wide range of industries can turn to Squba connectors to meet their power needs. Consumer end products are more reliable with the Squba Connector System, delivering outstanding protection with the right seal. Visit Digi-Key’s website for more information on Molex’s Squba Power Connectors.

Image of Molex 2077820002 two-circuit Squba connectorFigure 3: The 2077820002 from Molex is an example of a two-circuit Squba connector. (Image source: Molex)

Meeting the power demand with excellent reliability

As our way of life shifts to a new normal, robust solutions are critical to meeting the associated demands faster than ever before and with ensured reliability. In the consumer industry, some applications have issues with high mismating likely due to repetitive mating requirements and terminal back-outs resulting in end-product failure. Molex’s L1NK Power Connectors provide solutions with the L1NK 250, 300, and 396 products. These connectors help prevent mismating with their unique keying design and a clear audible click for connection assurance. The TPA design of the L1NK Connector System provides security for the terminals inside the receptacle, inhibiting failure in end products by reducing terminal back-out. When a new design is in progress, engineers have faced challenges with finding alternative direct drop-in replacements for current PCB designs. The L1NK 250 and L1NK 396 headers can provide a direct drop-in replacement on the PCB to JST—XA and JST—VH products, respectively.

Some connector features include unique keying design, TPA, reflow-capable headers, V-0/GlowWire combination resin, and a positive-locking latch. For more information on Molex L1NK Power Connectors, visit DigiKey.com.

Meeting the power demand with design flexibility

As new technologies improve efficiencies, customers need greater high-current densities to meet their power requirements. Molex EXTreme Guardian HD B-to-B Connectors pack high power (up to 80.0 A) in a small form factor, providing one of the most effective solutions to meet high-current density needs. These connectors’ linear current density is 155.0 A/cm. More power is transmitted in the same or less space for design flexibility.

The demand for more compact solutions continues to increase; as a result, equipment spacing gets tighter, creating a risk of restricting airflow. With these concerns, engineers can look to Molex’s EXTreme Guardian HD B-to-B Power Connectors, which offer a low profile of 12.70 mm for enhanced airflow. The low-profile hybrid power and signal system allow for improved airflow for cooling systems.

Features

Molex’s EXTreme Guardian Power Connectors offer flexible manufacturing options with through-hole solder and press-fit tails. These connectors enable accurate through-hole positioning and secure retention with their PCB pegs. Gold contact plating is also a feature and provides low interface resistance. Their redundant contact design handles up to 125 V and supports AC or DC high-voltage applications with the lowest feasible voltage drop and irreversible dissipative power losses. With UL and CSA certification, these connectors have accredited safety agency approval and meet safety requirements.

Image of Molex’s 1510340014 four-position EXTreme Guardian power connectorFigure 4: Molex’s 1510340014 is an example of a four-position EXTreme Guardian power connector. (Image source: Molex)

Meeting the power demand with exceptional technology

This past year, with the major increase in Wi-Fi usage in the home, customers were suddenly shopping for new Wi-Fi systems as they needed more bandwidth. When fitness gyms closed or limited the number of their clients, many people purchased home gym equipment such as treadmills, stationary bikes, and home fitness mirrors, all requiring electronic components with high-power productivity.

Power efficiency is also critical to cost management in large power-consuming operations such as data centers. To meet power demands with efficiency, the Molex Coeur High-Current Interconnect System offers low contact resistance and significantly low voltage drops across the contact interface. Customers can minimize heat generation and enable higher current-carrying capacity compared to other contact designs.

Image of Molex Coeur connector 2043180006 6 mm surface mount socketFigure 5: An example of a Molex Coeur connector is the 2043180006 6 mm surface mount socket shown here. (Image source: Molex)

Due to the tolerance stack-up issues inherent in any mechanical design, it is challenging to align sockets and pins when mating parallel PCBs or busbars. A degree of self-alignment is valuable to gather the connectors during mating and mitigate any misalignment. Coeur high-power mezzanine-style connectors incorporate industry-leading technology to provide up to 1.00 mm of self-alignment during mating, which helps ensure no contact beam deformation that could generate local hot spots. Customers can select from four sizes for parallel PCB or busbar applications where self-alignment is a critical decision factor.

Molex Power Connectors
Fit Family Power Connectors Squba Power Connectors L1NK Power Connector Family EXTreme Guardian Interconnect System Coeur Interconnect System
Current (A) Up to 25.0 Up to 14.0 Up to 11.0 Up to 80.0 Up to 200.0
TPA Yes - Yes - -
V-0/GlowWire Yes - Yes - -
Seal Rating - IP67 - - -
Pitch (mm) 2.50 to 5.70 1.80 and 3.60 2.50, 3.00, and 3.96 5.15 and 5.78 3.40, 6.00, and 8.00

Table 1: Comparison of Molex’s power connector lines. (Table source: Molex)

The Molex advantage

Molex is a front-runner for the engineering resources, products, and expertise necessary to help manufacturers meet the high demand for product availability and quality. With quality power connectors that offer superior capabilities and features, Molex delivers complete solutions to help solve the difficult problems in today’s markets and meet customers’ high-power demands. Molex continuously strives to make the world a better place by being a reliable source of valuable solutions for many industries. As a global community, we work together in finding new ways to build better and grow smarter. 

Visit Digi-Key for Molex power connectors and meet industry needs for reliability, quality, and cost-effectiveness.

Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed by the various authors and/or forum participants on this website do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of Digi-Key Electronics or official policies of Digi-Key Electronics.