ERNI has supplied over 300 million SMC connectors
With the SMC connectors (small multiple connector) family introduced in the late 1990s, ERNI developed a pure SMT connector system. In addition to SMT as the termination method, the aim was to reduce the DIN pitch from 2.54mm to 1.27mm and thus to advance miniaturisation.
More than two decades of continuous development have resulted in a comprehensive product family with female and male connectors (straight and angled), different heights and pin counts from 12 to 80. In the meantime, IDC female connectors, board-on-IDC connectors, male connectors in press-fit technology, board-to-board adapters and versions with integrated locking are also available as part of the SMC family.
SMC connectors can be found a million times over in applications such as industrial controls (PLC), power electronics such as inverters or battery management systems, remote I/O, frequency converters, controls for solar systems, and much more.
The main reasons for the success and the wide range of applications are the high flexibility, the space-saving 1.27 mm pitch, the high contact reliability with ERNI's proven dual-beam female contact and the high mating reliability thanks to polarisation and lead-in chamfers – coupled with high manufacturing quality despite miniaturisation.
Increasing device functionality/integration requires higher data rates, higher pin counts and smaller pitch dimensions – in other words, higher contact density. The comprehensive SMC portfolio combines these often-conflicting requirements and offers a wide range of solutions. The optimised contact design has an almost continuous impedance curve and, with the appropriate design, allows the secure transmission (differential) of data rates up to 3 Gbit/s. Many customers prefer SMT as a termination method and reflow soldering processes.
When using connectors with a very small pitch, however, care must be taken to ensure reliable processing. To meet the industrial vibration and shock requirements, double-sided contacting (with vibration/shock tests up to 20 g/50 g) offers undisputed advantages. A full metal SMT bracket also absorbs high insertion and withdrawal forces.
With SMC connectors, leading and lagging contacts as well as partial assembly are possible. This means that the customer receives tailor-made products for their respective applications, with corresponding time and cost savings.
The small pitch and the many designs enable miniaturised applications with optimum use of the installation space. The high contact reliability in combination with a high center and angular offset as well as protection against mismating (min. 2.5mm) reduces failures in the field and thus saves time and costs.
Various modules such as straight and angled male and female connectors in combination with SMT, press-fit and IDC connections offer the user maximum design freedom. The connectors are often used several times at very different places within a system, whether for mezzanine, flat cable or coplanar configurations (0.1 mm coplanarity).
The excellent tolerance compensation of the SMC contact system allows the different arrangement of several SMC connectors (clusters) on one board (up to 24 connectors simultaneously) without any problems. The SMC connectors are available in various heights for a variable assembly design, allowing mezzanine distances of eight to 20mm to be realised. With board-to-board adapters, the distances can even be increased to 40 mm.
The high-quality SMC connectors are produced on state-of-the-art, fully automated production equipment and are even designed for fully automatic assembly. Fully protected male contacts, solid solder clips to absorb the holding forces, selective gold plating on the contact surfaces and completely coated contacts (no surface diffusion or corrosion) ensure reliable processing.