Page 55 - 2019 How-to-Specify E-Book
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Four Considerations for Custom Connector Specification
Melanie Scott, Marketing Communications Manager at Positronic
Historically one of the last components addressed in the electronic design process — after key elements have already been solidified — electrical connectors evolved into the highly customizable components they are today out of necessity. Innumerable off-the-shelf solutions ranging from extensive standard product portfolios to modular connectors with millions of potential configurations are now available on the market, but due to wide-ranging and ever-evolving applications in each of many markets, even these don’t always fit the bill.
In these cases, custom connectors — which cover the spectrum from basic modifications of existing connector products all the way to a clean-sheet designs for unique end-user applications — can be the best solution. Four things to consider to ensure a successful outcome when specifying custom connectors are supplier partnerships, applications, and configurations, and pricing, lead-time, and volume.
1. Supplier Partnerships
Not all connector manufacturers provide custom solutions, so the first step in pursuing a custom connector should be to check with your current supplier. If they can’t provide the services you need in-house, they may be able to offer a recommendation. If not, colleagues and industry associations can be a great resource as well. Ideal manufacturing partners have experience with connector types similar to the specifications you’re seeking and provide in-house design, development, and manufacturing capabilities. Working with experienced suppliers can help ensure that the final product precisely meets all specifications and performs reliably over its projected lifetime, and working with suppliers that provide in-house services, rather than outsourcing projects, significantly reduces the risk of design challenges and longer lead-times.
Ideal manufacturing partners also offer quality support, including standardized compliance, international and customer-specific environmental requirements, and in-house quality assurance programs. These capabilities provide insight into both the quality of a supplier’s end products and the customer service they provide.
 A custom connector developed by Positronic.

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