Custom mating PCB and Overmolded cable connector solution for Door Entry Security System

GCT's Custom connector and cable assembly for door entry security system

Technology for building automation continues to evolve and expand its reach across many control, monitoring and management functions.  Security/Access Control is one particular area where there has been continued growth in both commercial and consumer markets.

As the equipment itself becomes ever more sophisticated, GCT was approached by a leading manufacturer of door entry security systems to create a custom solution for one of its latest products.

 

The Challenge

The customer required a bespoke mating connector system but with several key design constraints.  For a start, there was a limited amount of space available for the connector solution as it had to fit inside a compact panel within the building’s cavity walls.  The solution itself required a secure connector locking mechanism to prevent from tampering in the field, along with sealed properties to make it dust and waterproof.  Due the nature of being handled within a tight space environment, a highly flexible cable was also imperative.

 

The Solution

Given the array of different requirements, the team at GCT innovatively developed the following items to provide a solution.  A custom 3×4 grid mating connector was designed to ensure fit within the space restrictions.  An overmolded cable connector soldered to the flexible cable was also designed constructed from two molds, an inner low pressure mold to hold solder joints in place and prevent blow through of the 2nd stage outer high pressure mold which also provided a perfect finish.

In addition, GCT designed a boxed PCB header with flexible latches which slots into the cable connector overmold to create a strong locking system.  By using two grades of nylon (66 and 9T) on the two separate insulator parts, this created the correct balance of strength and flexibility for the latches.  This also allowed the connector to be processed at a high temperature but retain flexibility for latching.

To meet the sealing requirements, the PCB header is totally enclosed to prevent any ingress from potting material.  By enveloping the entire header outer walls using an innovative design for the cable connector housing, GCT achieved complete ingress resistance tested to IP65 by the customer.

Completing the solution was the manufacture of a special 12 core cable to meet the customer’s cable flexibility needs.

This custom mating PCB and overmolded cable connector solution is one of many projects GCT has helped customers.  To find out more about GCT’s bespoke connector and cable capabilities and how we can help with your next project, please visit our cable assembly and custom board to board connector pages on gct.co.

 

Taxis fare better with GCT custom cable assemblies

GCT Custom Cable Assemblies - Verifone Case StudyBlack cab drivers across London face many challenges, not only from stringent and changing legislation, but also from competitors such as Uber and Addison Lee. Traditional cabbies are fighting back though, with an action plan to guarantee a faster, smarter and greener future for London’s black cabs. Details include zero emission capable cabs by 2018, and adoption of new technologies such as fast Wi-Fi and electronic card payment with contactless support.

In fact, electronic payment ability has become mandatory since February 2016, when TfL announced that all licenced taxi drivers must offer passengers the option of paying their fare electronically at the point of sale.

Verifone has long been providing a valuable resource into this area; they are global market leaders in ePOS, offering over 25 years’ experience with taxi fleets. Their fully TfL compliant card payment solution accepts payment from all major Chip & PIN, swipe and contactless credit and debit cards, and can accept electronic payment via ApplePay and NFC enabled android devices.

The Challenge

Verifone’s provision of card payment technology to taxi fleets meant that they had to respond rapidly when TfL introduced their new legislation last year. They needed to fulfil an urgent request to equip nearly a quarter of London’s black cabs with not only ePOS card payment units, but also Fare Taximeters and taxi advertising systems that deliver a customer information channel on a 15” digital screen within the passenger compartment.

Their success in meeting the project’s tight deadlines was due in part to support from their trusted cable and connector supplier, GCT.  GCT designed a set of cable assemblies that, while being customised for connector arrangements and environmental resilience, were produced in the required production volumes within critical deadlines.

The GCT Custom Cable Assemblies Solution

GCT’s supply comprised four cable assembly types, using various custom combinations of Micro USB, USB, DSUB and Jack connectors. One example splits a USB A output into a Micro USB B male and a Micro USB B female connector; in another, the split is from mini HDMI to a DC Jack and DSUB 9 Pin connector.

The assemblies were customised for their environment as well as their connector combinations. The HDMI/DCJack/DSUB cable has a copper foil shield over its inner mould on the connectors to eliminate electrical noise interference and reduce signal attenuation. This also helps compliance with ATC and RoHS certifications. Additionally, the cables have a braid and PVC jacket to allow an extended flex cycle life – an important consideration as shock and vibration are ever-present parts of taxi vehicle operation.

As the cables were more complex than previously required, while being on a very tight delivery, GCT had to make special arrangements to meet Verifone’s requirements. After a prompt, early visit to Verifone’s premises to ensure a detailed understanding of the project, GCT set up a manufacturing plan that included extensive factory overtime. 100% quality checking and testing was performed, including extra technical and quality checks for the higher-complexity HDMI/DCJack/DSUB cable. Additionally, goods were delivered in batches to avoid any production line stop at Verifone.

“Success in this assignment depended in close co-operation between both companies,” comments Eren Ozkan, UK Project Manager at GCT, “Our task was made far easier, and turnaround was greatly facilitated, by the responsive support from Verifone’s engineers at all times throughout the project.”

The Feedback

Mike Wakefield, Inventory Manager at Verifone was also pleased with the project’s results. He comments:

“We originally approached GCT with this requirement because of our previous experience in working with them. Although these assemblies were more complex and on much shorter lead times than previous years’ deliveries, GCT’s production allowed us to meet our commitment to our customers. Although the project occasionally presented some technical challenges, we overcame these together in a timely manner.”

Visit gct.co/cable-assembly to learn more about GCT custom cable assemblies, manufacturing and testing capabilities, together with UL approval and ISO certification information.

GCT Electronica 2016 Prize Draw Winners

GCT Electronica 2016 Prize Draw WinnersCan you believe it’s been over a month since Electronica Munich 2016 closed its doors? The team here at GCT had a fantastic show and we hope you did too.

A big Thanks to all those who visited us in Germany.  Those who managed to come by our stand will have had the opportunity to leave a business card in a free prize draw. There was a chance to win some fantastic prizes, all of which utilise GCT parts including Board to Board Connectors, Micro USB and FFC connectors.

I’m pleased to announce the Electronica 2016 prize draw winners of the competition, all have been notified and sent the following prizes:

Werner Bröring, Tyco Fire Protection Products – Neato Botvac

Carlo Scoccia, SeitronLifeBEAM Smart Helmet

Paolo Vernelli, ABB Building ProductsBose SoundLink Mini II

Thank you to all those who participated, we had an overwhelming number of entries into the competition.  We hope the Electronica 2016 prize draw winners enjoy their respective products, better luck to those who did not win this time around.

If there are any requirements on any of our connector products or services, please do get in touch to see how GCT can meet your requirements.

 

Custom Overmolded Cable Assemblies – Trust Our Expertise

GCT Custom overmolded Cable Assemblies

Working with blue chip customers has developed GCT’s expertise in custom overmolded cable assemblies. GCT understand the complex nature of product development and have the skills and experience to help you design the perfect solution for your design, the starting point for considering a molded assembly is often a design challenge, GCT have helped many customers by working hand in hand on developing a custom solutions.

Overmolding provides an aesthetically pleasing and professional finish to your assemblies. In addition overmolding offers durability, improving the overall reliability of the cable assembly.

GCT also offer a range of standard connector overmolds, minor modifications such as strain reliefs, bushes, boots, grommets and PCB’s can be molded into your application for little cost.  Custom overmold tooling starts from as little as $500, making molded cables exception value.

If you seek a bespoke mating connector solution we can help, we’ve designed mating PCB connectors and overmolded cables for a variety of customers. For a flavor of our capability see our case studies.

All cables are fully tested and our production facilities are accredited to ISO9001:2008.  UL certification is available upon request.

Contact your local GCT office to discuss your requirements, we have expert staff to assist you in all locations, we support you wherever you design – wherever you manufacture.

Custom Connector Solutions

GCT has the design and engineering expertise to offer custom connector solutions.

Custom connector solutions

As an example of a recent design that was turned around in eight weeks, a customer approached GCT to provide an RJ45 modular jack with a very small width sidewalls, their application didn’t have the space to accept a standard size connector. After understanding the customers’ requirements and assessing the quality implications of molding very thin side walls, we asked ’why use sidewalls at all?’

GCT offered a modular jack connector without an outside wall, the key design challenge was to hold the eight contacts in place, as without a side wall they would be highly likely to move out of position upon mating. GCT proposed a snap fit comb to be fitted over the contacts of the SMT connector post reflow soldering. The fitted comb not only keeps the contacts in the correct position for the lifetime of the product but also holds the contacts upright for final assembly, securely fastened in place by the customer’s SFP die-cast hood.

To allow auto SMT assembly the main body of the connector was designed to be fitted on the underside of a cutout PCB with two locating pegs providing placement assistance and extra strength.

GCT also offered custom tape & reel packing, no special film was required as flat area was designed on the connector to allow vacuum suction, commercially GCT delivered the solution for the same price as a standard SMT mod jack.

What’s more GCT is also providing the mating special cable assembly, screened to prevent EMI/RFI and including a special offset keyed RJ45 cable plug, which removes any chance of mismating.

“Here at GCT we are very confident in our abilities to exceed customer expectations when it comes to the design and build of innovative connector solutions” stated Steve Turner, Engineering Director of GCT. “What’s more, our engineers relish the challenge of not only designing something that is technically sound, but also that the design is commercially viable”.

Contact your local GCT office to discuss your custom connector requirements.

See Custom connector solutions at the GCT website.