Updated: March 11th, 2014

Crimp Force Monitors Hold The Recipe for Success

In my line of work, I have the privilege of visiting many shops that produce wiring harnesses for many different industries. One of the common issues I’ve noticed when visiting shops that use crimp force monitors (CFMs) is that the CFMs are usually turned off, regardless of the brand, because engineers and operators are not using them properly. While I hope this does not apply to your specific situation, it may be worth paying an unexpected visit to your crimping work areas to see whether the CFMs are being used regularly. Chances are they are not. Unless of course it’s audit time — then you can be sure all the CFMs will be on!

Why, with all of their benefits, aren’t CFMs being used regularly by employees? One of the biggest problems is the lack of understanding of the variables affecting the CFM’s ability to detect variations. Crimp quality detection is similar to baking a cake: There are a lot of ingredients and if one ingredient is missing or bad quality, you likely won’t achieve your desired result. Let’s look at the basics of a crimp quality detection system and discuss what ingredients or variables you need to consider before switching off that CFM.

What can CFMs actually detect?

One very basic and important concept that needs to be understood in order to achieve successful crimp force monitoring is what a CFM can actually detect. There is a general assumption within the industry that crimp force monitoring will provide reliable detection of all general crimping errors during processing, including:

  • Wrong strip length
  • Missing strands
  • Wrong wire cross section
  • Wrong terminal
  • Inconsistent terminal material
  • Insulation in wire crimp
  • Wrong