Manufacturing connectors and contacts more efficiently

The connector industry is of central importance to Bihler. This is because demand is expected to increase significantly in the coming years.

This is primarily due to increasing digitalization and electrification, as well as the technology shift in the automotive industry towards electromobility. With its innovative strength and forward-looking automation solutions, Bihler is regarded as the technology and innovation driver for greater efficiency in your production.



Fast, flexible pin placement

Bihler has developed the stitching process for manufacturing different plug connector types. This is fast enough to permit the highly flexible insertion (stitching) of up to 600 pins per minute. At the heart of this process lies the newly developed insertion module, which can be used on both a BIMERIC and a BMK-NC. The pin insertion module lies at the very heart of the Bihler stitching process. This is responsible for handling the housing and actually inserting the pins. This NC-assisted process is performed both horizontally and vertically.

More specifically, the process starts with the infeed of the contact housing, which is then placed in the workpiece carrier. The workpiece carrier and housing are then transferred to the pin insertion position. At the same time as this is happening, the carrier strip is moved forward and the pin is separated or removed from the strip. The pin is inserted in the intended position in the housing before the housing itself is then rotated and the second row is inserted. The fully assembled housing is then removed from the workpiece carrier again and exits the process.

Manufacturing process "Stitching"


Power hydraulics

Connectors for hydraulic valves

Agricultural and construction machines commonly use hydraulic systems to drive their work units. Electrically controlled hydraulic valves ensure that the pressures in these systems are regulated safely and reliably. Three and four-point connectors for hydraulic valves are made on a BIMERIC BM 4500 servo production and assembly system. The contact part is made first. It is punched, stamped and drawn, then a thread is cut.

Next, the connectors are assembled. The BIMERIC BM 4500 inserts a screw, adds the casing, separates the contact part, and then fits out the assembly in a pick-and-place operation. The process is exceptionally reliable because the stamped and bended part is handled directly on the punch strip. Up to 80 connectors a minute in 16 variants can be made on this end-to-end system. Changeovers from one connector type to another are managed by a central control system and can be completed quickly and easily in under 30 minutes.


A perfectly shaped connection

Ring-shaped contact lamella, high current contact

The new ring-shaped contact lamella, which was recently developed for high-current contacts in transformers, switchgear cabinets and circuit breakers, looks almost like a work of art. It consists of a sprung stainless steel carrier strip with riveted lamellar bands and, compared with conventional coils spring contacts, has the advantage of ensuring a constant, low contact resistance coupled with only minimum heating of the contact even when subject to permanent load. And the manufacturing process is every bit as innovative as the component itself.

This can take place particularly quickly and reliable on a BIMERIC BM 3000 servo production and assembly system and a B 20K welding system combined with a Bihler RZV 2.1 radial gripper feed. The output performance runs to an impressive 100 lamellae per minute. During the operation, the system performs all the necessary cutting, bending, stamping and welding steps, as well as the removal of the waste material, in a single, end-to-end process. During the crucial contact welding step, the compact radial gripper feed system ensures the highly dynamic, precise feeding and positioning of the strip material.


Contact at the touch of a button

Micro-buttons, electronics

Whether for a remote control, phone or laptop keyboard: Micro-buttons in the form of so-called short-stroke buttons or keys are a long established part of many manually operated device interfaces. These components, which measure only a few millimeters must ensure extremely reliable switching and provide a sealed contact system in order to establish or break the electrical contact depending on the switch position. A highly efficient solution for the production of pushbuttons at a speed of 240 parts per minute was recently implemented on the BIMERIC BM 3000 servo production and assembly system.

The system takes in the pre-punched strip from the spool, checks the injection molding on the strip by means of a camera and then performs the cutting and bending operations. The part is then fitted from behind with up to three snap washers. The cover is then mounted, again from behind, and a check is performed to ensure correct engagement. The camera inspection and the electrical and mechanical function testing of the pushbutton are then performed. Following laser marking, the OK parts are automatically picked and transported on top the packaging plant. Alongside the high performance it offers, the system excels thanks to the Bihler servo technology, which ensures top quality and the ability to adapt the setup quickly for further switch types.




Kay Wesendrup
Key Account Manager (DACH)
"Connector Industry"

Phone: +49(0)8368/18-9510