Electrical connector is a device that joins electric conductors mechanically and electrically to other conductors and to the terminals of apparatus and equipment. The term covers a wide range of devices designed, for example, to connect small conductors employed in communication circuits, or at the other extreme, large cables and bus-bars.
Electrical connectors are applied to conductors in a variety of ways. Soldered connectors have a tube or hole of approximately the same diameter as the conductor. The conductor and connector are heated, the conductor inserted, and solder flowed into the joint until it is filled. Solderless connectors are applied by clamping the conductor or conductors in a bolted assembly or by staking or crimping under great mechanical force.
In todays cost-cutting world, the most common predicament with electrical connectors in the industry is price. Metal electrical connectors can easily cost $50-$100 per pair! It is always a struggle for companies to find "low-cost" or "cheap" connectors that perform at the same high-level that is also reliable and consistent.
For electrical and mechanical engineers looking to use high-quality plastic or metal electrical connectors for low quantities or for production-level quantities for designs for different applications such as RTDs/thermocouples, potentiometers, encoders, wirewound resistors, video camera, thermisters, generic controllers, reflective sensors, imersion heaters, data-loggers, infrared sensors and humidity sensors, these extreme prices are just not acceptable to meet cost constrains, more so given the fact that a product target selling price is less than a few hundred dollars. Electrical connectors should never cost more than 5% of the final assembly's entire cost considering its purpose.
Low-Cost Solution for High-Cost Electrical Connectors
An industry alternative to the high-priced electrical connectors are the KeyWolfTM electrical connector. These connectors are high-precision, well-engineered products that are low-cost ($10 for a mated metal pair and $6 for a mated plastic pair in OEM quantities). KeyWolfTM is a leading supplier of both metal and plastic electrical connectors to a wide variety of industries.