Stricter emissions requirements are driving a lot of changes for commercial vehicle (CV) OEMs that are in turn escalating the need for components that are resistant to harsh environments. OEMs are redesigning engines that reduce emissions and those designs have a material impact on the considerations they must give to a number of different exposure factors, including temperature, vibration, and exposure to moisture or chemicals.
TTI’s Transportation Business Unit works with CV OEMs to help them spec their wiring harness components package. Over the last couple of years, TTI has seen an increase in the demand for components designed to weather harsh environments and that trend includes a focus on connectors. Since CV equipment is largely left outdoors, experiences high vibration frequencies and is often subject to high-pressure water or chemical cleaning, TTI’s customers are increasingly looking for connectors with ratings of IP67 and IP6K9K as baseline requirements, whereas just a few years ago the ceiling was IP67. The newer emission-reducing engines also operate at higher vibration and temperature levels. As a result, many OEMs have identified a need for connectors that exceed even the recently added V4/T4 specifications.
Off-road vehicles such as construction and agriculture equipment have some of the most stringent requirements, such as SAE J2030, which is the most rigorous and difficult to achieve connector specification. To qualify, connectors must pass a sequential test exposing the components to humidity, salt, fog, thermal shock and extreme vibration.
As the specialist in IP&E and discrete semiconductor products, TTI provides OEMs with vertical-specific expertise to help them develop their electronic component supply chain strategy. To meet market demand, TTI taps into its unmatched supplier line card to identify solutions to harsh environment needs. For high vibration, TTI offers connection systems with two-piece terminals to better handle harsh environments, plastic that minimizes relative motion (via crush ribs, interference fits, secondary locks that limit movement) and cable seals that act as strain reliefs. TTI stocks connectors made from various high temperature plastics designed to handle temperatures of 150C or higher. To meet the demand for IP6K9K ratings, TTI’s inventory includes backshells and other devices that limit or redirect spray from connector seals.
As emissions requirements continue to become more stringent, TTI anticipates that the need for higher temperature and vibration levels will continue to rise.