The response by Harwin to these market requirements has been to launch the Gecko range of connectors. These advanced connectors have a pin pitch of just 1.25 mm and are half the size and 75% lighter than micro D connectors. Their robust screw connection makes them able to withstand countless mating operations without damage.
The Gecko connector manufacturing process has been continuously refined from an initially manual process to today’s highly automated solution, capable of producing hundreds of thousands of connectors a year with a wide range of connector configurations ranging from 4 to 50 pins per connector and many PCB mounting options.
Harwin started developing a highly automated, flexible new production line with the aim of making the production of Gecko connectors more efficient. The new solution needed to be able to produce differently shaped and sized connectors on one assembly line. “That is why we developed a modular concept together with Festo”, explains Paul McGuinness, Operations Director at Harwin.
The new assembly lines at Harwin are built around the servo press kit YJKP and the compact handling system YXMx from Festo. The handling system takes care of the XY movements of the workpiece carriers and the plastic housings assembled in several of the system stations. The servo press kit, which provides easy-to-configure position- and force-controlled movement along the Z-axis, is used for press-fitting and bending the contact pins.