Non-ferrous connector systems designed for medical applications

12th May 2016
Jordan Mulcare

ERNI has expanded its miniature 0.8mm MicroStac SMT connector series to include anti-magnetic versions with 12-pin (single row) and 54-pin (dual row) configurations with a 5mm board-to-board stack height and a 1.5mm effective wipe length. The non-ferrous connectors are designed specifically for medical and instrumentation applications such as MRI machines, where ferrous materials can be hazardous and degrade test results.

The MicroStac components are based on a patented hermaphroditic design that combines male and female connector halves into one solution. The unique design reduces logistic, inventory and manufacturing cost, as the connectors mate and un-mate to themselves.

"The combination of the extreme miniaturisation and its innovative design makes the MicroStac ideal for extremely compact and demanding applications," said Sam Hines, Product Coordinator at ERNI Electronics. "The MicroStac connector system not only offers exceptional flexibility in a compact design, but also reduces cost. Instead of requiring a male and female connector to create a mated pair, the MicroStac’s hermaphroditic design enables the connectors to mate with themselves. This means only one part number is required for each mated pair, resulting in both reduced inventory cost and a reduction in number of parts in the BOM."

In spite of their extremely compact construction, MicroStac products achieve a high current-carrying capacity. With an ambient temperature of 20°C and current to all contacts, the 12-position MicroStac connector can transfer a derated 2.2A per contact. The contacts are formed through precision stamping. As a result, the contacts offer an extensive cross-section for low ohmic resistance, while at the same time providing a large radiating surface that yields higher current carrying capabilities than similar competing products.

The new connectors also offer a high mating tolerance with allowed misalignment tolerances of longitudinal and transverse axes of ± 0.7mm. The allowed angular inclination tolerance is specified with ± 4º. The SMT terminals and the unique design of the MicroStac allow for economical automated assembly. The stability of the miniature connector is facilitated through a tilt-proof contact principle with dual-side positioning of the contact on the PCB.

In addition, with its corresponding features of minimal weight (just 0.18g for the 6-pin design), co-planarity of < 0.1mm and suction areas integrated in the insulating body for pick-and-place assembly, the MicroStac components are perfectly suited for high-speed manufacturing. MicroStac connectors feature a high temperature-resistant insulating body and exact coplanarity to ensure a secure soldering experience. The black isolating body allows simple visual recognition during automatic assembly and, when delivered in the antistatic tape and reel packaging, the connectors are protected and ready for automatic assembly.

Ferrous versions are also available for a wide range of applications ranging from sensor technology, medical instruments and mobile communication to automotive electronics, automation engineering, measurement, test equipment and building automation. Available pin positions are 6, 10, 12, and 14 in single row with dual row available in 50- and 54-positions. Please inquire about non-ferrous position sizes other than 12 and 54. A 9- position single row with a 3mm stack height is also available.

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