Page 44 - 2019 Mil/Aero eBook
P. 44

In addition to the availability or scarcity of metal, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has strict purchasing regulations for raw materials. Many of these regulations, including those specified in the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation (DFARS), are designed to ensure that materials do not originate from a single source or from countries with adverse U.S. relations, which definitely has its benefits, but can also add to additional material cost fluctuations beyond normal supply and demand.
7. QPL
M39029-certified contacts must go through a long, lengthy, and costly testing and approval process by the U.S. Government. Once approved, the product is listed on a Qualified Product List (QPL), which the government makes readily available to simplify specifying and sourcing processes. Although connectors used in military and defense applications must utilize M39029-certified contacts, non-military harsh-environment applications, including industrial applications, are free to use M39029 commercial equivalent contacts. These contacts can be just as good as, and sometimes even better than, M39029-certified contacts. The only thing that differentiates commercial equivalents from certified parts is that the contact manufacturer has not gone through the formal M39029 contact certification process. Using M39029 commercial equivalent contacts can provide connector manufacturers with an estimated 25–50% cost savings depending on the contact size.
8. BIN Codes
Batch identification numbers, or BIN Codes, are required on all M39029-certified contacts. BIN codes can include several different marks on the contact for identification purposes. Depending on the size of the contact, identification numbers can be stamped or rolled on or designated by a color code. This process adds time and cost to the manufacturing process as well. M39029 commercial equivalent contacts do not require this process, which again saves time and cost.
This BIN code machine marks M39029 contacts with color-coded stripes.
Contacts are the foundation for connectors and are essential to connector performance in the field. Connectors must offer predictable, repeatable, and application-appropriate performance characteristics. M39029 electrical contacts play a vital role to ensuring proper signal and reliability, and particularly so in harsh environments. Application requirements must be taken into account before selecting pin/socket and plating materials. If the application is not military or defense, a M39029 commercial equivalent may be an acceptable alternative to keep costs and delivery time down while maintaining reliable and durable performance.
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