QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

SATA connector


Common Connector Problems
 
Contact Information
2408C Park Drive
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 717-540-4330
Fax: 717-540-4339
Email Us

WHAT ABOUT MY CONFIDENTIALITY?

WHO OWNS THE ITEMS CREATED BY APEX?

HOW MUCH DOES APEX CHARGE?

IS THERE A CHARGE TO OBTAIN A QUOTATION?

DOES APEX HAVE TERMS AND CONDITIONS?

HOW CAN I DO BUSINESS WITH APEX?

HOW CAN I REDUCE GOLD USAGE?

CAN I RELIABLY ELIMINATE LEAD IN ELECTRONIC APPLICATIONS?

WHAT CAUSES CONTACT CORROSION?

HOW CAN I IMPROVE CONNECTOR SOLDER JOINTS?

CAN APEX TEACH ME ABOUT CONNECTOR FUNDAMENTALS?

DOES APEX SERVE BUSINESSES OUTSIDE THE CONNECTOR INDUSTRY?

DOES APEX MANUFACTURE PRODUCTS?

CAN APEX RECOMMEND APPLICATION TOOLING?

HOW CAN I MAKE MY DESIGN MORE ROBUST?

HOW CAN FRETTING BE PREVENTED?

WHAT NORMAL FORCE SHOULD BE USED?

WHAT ADVANTAGES EXIST WITH BIFURCATED OR REDUNDANT CONTACTS?

CAN APEX ACCELERATE TIME TO MARKET?

HOW MAY COST BE REDUCED WITHOUT SACRIFICING PERFORMANCE?

 

 

WHAT ABOUT MY CONFIDENTIALITY?

Your information is handled in a secure manner. APEX agrees to maintain confidentiality either through your Confidentiality / Non-Disclosure Agreement, or alternatively, APEX will send you a copy of its own standard agreement for you to approve. Terms are written to meet your needs, with protection generally spanning from one to three years.

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WHO OWNS THE ITEMS CREATED BY APEX?

Because APEX is working on your behalf, you maintain ownership of what APEX delivers, unless there is an alternative arrangement. This can include inventions, designs, drawings, specifications, or other items developed for you by APEX. APEX includes a statement conveying rights to Intellectual Property as part of its Terms.

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HOW MUCH DOES APEX CHARGE?

APEX charges are based upon individual requirements. Charges vary depending on the specific type of work demanded by a project. Clients prefer APEX for its fast, highly skilled, multi-disciplinary, and professional approach. APEX services can be invaluable – especially considering all that you receive in terms of expertise, commitment, flexibility, delivery, and impartiality.

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IS THERE A CHARGE TO OBTAIN A QUOTATION?

In general, costs associated with service estimates are not applied to a project. Initial discussion takes place on a getting-to-know-you basis. APEX believes that both parties benefit from this "front-end" familiarization. APEX details the specific work to be performed, provides estimated cost and lead-time, and lists all deliverables in a written quotation.

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DOES APEX HAVE TERMS AND CONDITIONS?

APEX “T’s & C’s” are included as part of a written quotation. Generally, APEX sends an invoice on a monthly basis, with payments due in 30 days. Terms also cover items such as travel, retention of samples, intellectual property, etc.

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HOW CAN I DO BUSINESS WITH APEX?

Give us a call or contact APEX by Internet. Services are generally provided via our primary office in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. APEX will also work “on-site” when requested by the client. APEX believes that service begins with the very first conversation; however, formal work starts when you give APEX the “go ahead” for services by issuing a purchase order.

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HOW CAN I REDUCE GOLD USAGE?

Several ideas are worth considering: 1) Apply gold only to the functional area and only of a thickness needed for the application; 2) Apply an ultra-thin gold layer over a precious or non-precious undercoating; 3) Apply a pore blocker or other surface treatment to very thin gold; 4) Replace gold with another suitable metal. Utilize APEX expertise to determine which combination best fits your application.

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CAN I RELIABLY ELIMINATE LEAD IN ELECTRONIC APPLICATIONS?

Lead is used in tin-lead solder alloys and in plating. Lead is beneficial in that it lowers solder reflow temperature, and prevents tin whiskers and tin pest. After a thorough review of application requirements, APEX may recommend a lead-free solder.

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WHAT CAUSES CONTACT CORROSION?

There are a number of ways contacts can become corroded. APEX recommends it examine the contact and assess the environment the contact is in. Also, investigating the contact manufacturing, application, design, cleaning and handling parameters, and exploring for other possible contamination sources helps to properly identify specific cause(s) of corrosion. Once the cause is identified, preventive measures can be recommended.

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HOW CAN I IMPROVE CONNECTOR SOLDER JOINTS?

Many solder joint failures are related to surface cleanliness, wetting ability, reflow temperature, solder alloy composition, intermetallic formation, manufacturing practices, and thermal cycling. APEX finds that solder joint issues are frequently resolved by improving these items. Various diagnostic methods exist and are used to confirm the integrity of a joint: Strength (pull test), Fill / Shape / Form (cross-section), or Internal Issues / Voids (X-ray).

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CAN APEX TEACH ME ABOUT CONNECTOR FUNDAMENTALS?

APEX offers courses on the fundamentals of connector design, connector selection, and various technologies. Courses can be presented on-site, electronically, or at the APEX main office in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Any APEX course may be specially tailored to address your requirements.

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DOES APEX SERVE BUSINESSES OUTSIDE THE CONNECTOR INDUSTRY?

Yes! APEX skill sets are applicable to any industry in the world that designs, manufactures, or markets electromechanical devices. For example, APEX Technology expertise (whether design, materials, finishes, assembly, automation, etc.), as well as Business & Management expertise (such as patents, due diligence, competitive market evaluation) generally applies to most businesses. APEX has clients in the medical, packaging (closures), heat sink, industrial, processing, and many other non-connector industries.

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DOES APEX MANUFACTURE PRODUCTS?

No. APEX serves clients best by offering direction and advice based on hundreds of years of accumulated expertise. Even though APEX does not manufacture or sell any products, APEX will work with you to identify and select manufacturers to make prototypes or qualify a supplier for high volume production.

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CAN APEX RECOMMEND APPLICATION TOOLING?

Yes! APEX has extensive experience in designing, selecting and recommending all levels of application tooling, from simple hand tools to fully automatic machines. The APEX knowledge base includes the best practices for common compression (i.e. crimping, insulation-displacement, press-fit) and other terminations (welding, ultrasonic, etc.).

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HOW CAN I MAKE MY DESIGN MORE ROBUST?

APEX adds the assurance that a product is robust by an expert review of your design. APEX also participates in on-site design reviews. APEX predicts mechanical and/or electrical design performance through analytical modeling (FEA, SI), and will determine appropriate materials and finishes. APEX also advises on Design for Manufacturing (DFM), Quality Assurance, Testing (DOE), Failure Analysis, and other aspects of “proactive” product reliability.

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HOW CAN FRETTING BE PREVENTED?

In connector industry terms, “fretting corrosion” relates to a specific type of failure at the separable contact interface, frequently associated with tin finishes. A contact interface that experienced fretting usually exhibits corrosion debris (oxides) due to very small, cyclical wearing motions, often resulting in an undesirable increase in contact resistance. Resolving a fretting issue may include protecting the surface from the environment, or by minimizing the fretting motion. APEX advises on connector design aspects that identify, prevent, or minimize the effects of fretting.

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WHAT NORMAL FORCE SHOULD BE USED?

“Normal Force” is a term used by the connector industry to designate the perpendicular force between two metallic surfaces comprising the electrical contact interface. The optimum normal force depends on the surface finish (gold, silver, tin, nickel, etc.), the particular electrical application (high or low voltage and current), number of mating cycles, and environmental conditions (temperature, vibration, moisture, corrosive atmosphere, etc.). The appropriate value may be anywhere from tens of grams to several thousand grams.

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WHAT ADVANTAGES EXIST WITH BIFURCATED OR REDUNDANT CONTACTS?

“Redundant” refers to having multiple contact spots for the same contact interface. This offers advantages to overcome harsh surface conditions imposed by dust, adverse films and surface corrosion. Two or more contact springs may be used in parallel for bifurcation. One example where this applies is in high current density applications (i.e. power supplies). With bifurcation, contact normal force may drop substantially, and as a result is often not recommended.

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CAN APEX ACCELERATE TIME TO MARKET?

Performance modeling is a premier technique to get products to market faster. It greatly reduces the number of physical part trials needed to optimize performance. APEX has the experience and software tools to model and simulate a virtual application once mechanical and electrical parameters are defined.

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HOW MAY COST BE REDUCED WITHOUT SACRIFICING PERFORMANCE?

Product cost directly relates to product design, the materials specified, and the manufacturing processes that are employed. APEX optimizes all three areas resulting in the lowest cost to meet defined requirements. APEX believes many intangible costs, such as cost of non-conformance, missing a market opportunity, or just having the wrong design, may be just as important and are avoidable.

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