A developer once said, he threw out the connectors wherever possible.
Connectors take up space, they cost money and they are one of the main causes for device failures.
The man was right. But: globally, there are more than 2,000 connector manufacturers, there are more than 200 completely different basic series (D-SUB, RJ45, USB, DIN cylindrical connector, etc.) and there are individual manufacturers who produce more than 10,000, 50,000 or even 100,000 different models.
This is because such a wide variety of connectors is necessary.
This chaos of connectors is a nightmare for all developers and purchasers. Often a simple solution presents itself: the ODU MAC, the modular connector from ODU that can be strung together according to the Lego building block principle.
Here is the solution for the problem
The problem is that connectors are needed for a wide range of tasks and in a wide range of models. A connector specification easily contains more than 50 separate requirements, where the important one could be: number of contact positions, current, electric strength, signal frequency, watertightness, thermal load, shock load, mating cycles, connection system, installation and actuation conditions, etc.
In rough terms, a distinction can be drawn between printed-board connectors (whose tasks cannot be handled by the ODU MAC), internal interface connectors and input and output connectors, where the use of ODU MAC is often expedient.
ODU MAC contacts and modules. They can be put together in an aluminum frame or in a DIN housing in any way that the customer chooses. All contacts can be assembled and removed in just seconds. ODU MAC can often replace a number of individual connectors or supersede a customised development.
ODU MAC is in use around the world
The following presents applications using a few examples.
The ODU MAC connector has a special housing in which standard modules and standard contacts from the ODU MAC program are used. All metallic parts are used in a nonmagnetic design, however. MRI patients are cycled through the examination in 20 minutes, which means that the connector is inserted every 20 minutes.
This represents more than 100,000 mating cycles in 10 years. It is a considerable advantage to combine the various functions into one connector, instead of having five different connectors that have to be inserted and removed.
Standard contacts and modules, nonmagnetic are likewise used, but in an aluminum housing modified for the customer.
Each year, hundreds of millions of cellular phones are tested with the ODU MAC. Each year, millions of injection pumps, printed circuit boards, electronic products and more are tested with the ODU MAC. As a rule, the ODU MAC in the aluminum frame is used here.
Injection valves are mounted on test racks here and connected to the docking station (header) and the test computer via the ODU MAC (socket piece). The test line in this case is equipped with hundreds of racks, while there are only one or two stations for the docking and measurement.
Actuation in the docking station usually occurs pneumatically.
For large components such as airplane turbines, ODU MAC is also often used as the test connector, but in this case, for manual actuation in the DIN housing, a clamp or even a spindle is available for locking.
Machine construction and automation
In machine construction, internal interfaces are often required for connecting modules as assembly and service connectors. ODU MAC in the aluminum frame is used in this case. Examples are automatic assembly machines, chip testers, wafer steppers and generally machines that are put together from a number of components.
But there are also cases in machine construction and automation technology in which programming devices, input and output devices and the like are connected via external connectors. This is the place for the ODU MAC in the DIN housing.
The ODU MAC LC (Low Cycles = low mating cycles)
The ODU MAC is fundamentally delivered with contacts according to the springwire principle. These ODU springwire contacts are characterised by high contact stability and a large number of mating cycles (>100,000 to >1,000,000). This is a must in testing technology and in many cases in medical technology.
The above examples also make it clear, however, that there are applications in which contacts with such a large number of mating cycles are not even required. An example of this is given by interface connectors in machine construction that are often actuated only once or perhaps a maximum of 10 times throughout the entire life of the device.
The ODU MAC is over-specified for this group of applications, so the ODU MAC LC was developed.
The ODU MAC differs from the standard MAC particularly in that standard contacts with slit sockets are used instead of springwire contacts. The overall concept is targeted more at the mass market.
The system provides the user clear benefits. The prices are far below the prices for existing MAC programs for a large number of mating cycles.
The user-friendliness, such as easy assembly and removal of the contacts, is still provided to the full extent.
The ODU MAC connectors are available from Clarke & Severn Electronics .