Crimping terminals is a very common wire assembly process going back several decades. Through the years processing methods and operations were established and improved to assure optimum crimp quality and electrical conductivity from the wire to terminal connection. This post will cover the most popular crimp types, crimp methods used to supply a quality wire to terminal connection and migration path from manual processing to automation of the crimp process.
Closed Barrel: Closed barrel terminals have got a round crimp barrel that surrounds the wire being crimped. There are 2 typical open barrel configurations, formed by progressive stamping process with a seam where two sides come together and form a circle and solid machines connector in which the crimp barrel is seamless, normally produced on pneumatic crimping tool. Closed barrel terminals come insulated or non-insulated and therefore are in loose form or on a reel. Examples of closed barrel terminals include rings, quick connects, ferrules and solid pins used in aerospace applications.
Open Barrel: Open barrel terminals are generally U shaped before crimping and they are crimped around the terminal in the B shape or overlapped. Open barrel terminals are usually available placed on a reel but in some cases can be purchased in loose form for lower volume processing. Along with a barrel to the wire, some open barrel terminals include an insulation support for applications for additional strain relief (from vibration or wire movement). Open barrel terminals normally are un-insulated but in some cases have a partially loaded insulator pod which is inserted within the terminal in the crimp process.
Wezag Crimp Tool 1Hand Tools: A hand tool can be used in low volume or prototype crimp applications. Tooling in a hand tool might be fixed and non-removable through the hand tool frame or could be removable. Crimp dies are available for open barrel and closed barrel terminals A reliable approach to crimping wire to terminals with good repeatability. As volumes increase, repeated processing of terminals with hand tools may cause stress on an operator.
Bench Top Crimping: Crimping terminals with bench top crimping equipment provides moderate volume processing of loose piece and reel mounted terminals.
Wezag CS 200With loose piece terminals, the terminal and wire are hand loaded to your crimp nest and also the operator cycles the press employing a foot pedal or palm button.
applicators2Reel mounted terminals are processed employing a crimp press and applicator. The applicator carries a mechanical or pneumatic feed which positions the terminal on the crimp anvil. The operator presses a foot pedal along with the crimp press cycles, forming the terminal across the wire and advancing another terminal for more processing. A wide range of applications could be processed with bench top crimping equipment from the using different press tonnages and applicators/die sets (fixed and quick change).
Automated Crimp Processing: Automated processing adds a wire cut and strip element towards the crimp process. The standard form is the stripper-crimper which adds a wire stripping unit to some bench crimp press to strip the conclusion in the wire and presenting the wire to the crimp nest for crimping.
Automated crimp centers process the wire from the source in the barrel or reel, cut and strip the wire to length and present it into a crimp press for crimping. Reel fed applicators are the same as the bench top type. In the case of loose piece terminals, a vibratory bowl can be used to orient the terminals and offer for the crimp press for pipe cutting machine.
As volumes increase, the necessity to automated also increases. On occasion, the increase is dramatic, requiring a greater step through the automation migration path. But normally the increase is controlled and slower so migration might take a multi step approach after a while.
Hand Tool to Bench Top Migration: Migrating from your hand tool to power assisted bench top crimping demands a bench top crimping platform much like the Accu-Crimp 62 or electric powered CS200 from Wezag Tools (both pictured above).
Heavy Duty Applications use higher tonnage to deliver the strength needed toprocess large terminals. The Wezag UP60 is pneumatic powered and offers over 7 plenty of crimp force.
Non-Fixed hand tool die sets may be removed and works with bench top crimping units. This reduces the overall cost of your migration from hand tools to powered bench top equipment.
Bench Top to Automated Process Migration: Migrating from a bench top to automated processing machine such as the Primo XLT or Uno multi-station machines is easy and straightforward. Mini style applicators used in a bench press application as pictured above may be mounted straight from a bench top press to the press around the automation system. Some applications call for a different feed cam to give the terminal about the press downstroke allowing to the robotic arm to dexopky08 into position without having interference in the terminal.
However, in the case of loose piece terminals, separate presses with integrated vibratory bowl fed systems is usually necessary since they are not much of a standard setup by using an automated machine.
Loose Piece to Reel Mounted terminal Migration: Converting from loose piece processing to reel fed terminals takes a crimp press and applicator as described above. The first step is determining the compatible terminal on reel equivalent. When a quick change mini applicator may be used, then this pneumatic cutter might be quickly changed in one terminal type to a different one just by switching the terminal applicator.