RADIO FREQUENCY (RF) ABLATION CONNECTOR: IMPROVE COST & PERFORMANCE

 

The RF Ablation Connector Market Is Segmented
Into Two Main Categories

PUSH PULL STYLE CONNECTORS

OVER MOLDED BANANA PLUGS

PUSH PULL STYLE CONNECTORS

RF ablation push pull style connectors offer additional function and space saving benefits.

DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

 
1-30+ CONTACTS
Push-pull connector housings protect pins from damage allowing for miniaturization of the contacts. Smaller contacts have lower retention forces, therefore, allowing for high contact counts with acceptable insertion withdrawal forces.
 
LOCKING, BREAKAWAY, OR NON-LOCKING
Nonlocking and breakaway connectors rely on acceptable contact forces and housing interference to achieve desired insertion extraction forces. Additional components are required to achieve locking functionality.
 
HIGH CONTACT DENSITY
After the contact insulator is molded the contacts are either press fit or snapped (crimp and poke) into place. This assembly process and the ability to miniaturize the contacts allows for high contact density.
 


 

PUSH PULL COST DRIVERS IN ORDER OF MAGNITUDE

 

1. CONTACTS

 
STAMPED CONTACTS

  • Less than $0.02 each at volume
  • Recommended for high volumes
  • Crimp and poke assembly requires the least amount of labor
  • Cannot be potted in epoxy or over molded easily

 
MACHINED CONTACTS

  • Less than $0.10 each at volume
  • Utilized for small to medium volume
  • Press fit then soldered which can be more labor intensive
  • Used when ingression protection is a concern.

2. CONTACT PLATING

 
DISPOSABLE APPLICATIONS

  • Less than $0.01 each at volume
  • <10 insertion extraction cycles
  • Less than 10µin” gold plating
  • Stamped contacts can utilize selective gold plating further optimizing costs.

 
REUSABLE APPLICATIONS

  • Less than $0.25 each at volume
  • 2,500+ insertion extraction cycles
  • Minimum thickness of 30µin” gold plating
  • Contacts with 30µin” gold plating will cost 4x more than gold flash contacts.

3. OTHER COMPONENTS

 
INDUSTRY STANDARD PLASTIC PUSH PULL

  • Locking assembled connector
  • 6 molded components (excluding bend relief) at $0.50 each totals $3.00

 

4. PLASTIC MATERIAL

 
Without being exposed to high temperatures during soldering, crimp and poke stamped contacts can be paired with ABS contact insulators. ABS is the lowest cost contact insulator material and recommended for disposable applications. For multiple use applications requiring sterilization, plastics and metals can be carefully selected to optimize cost and performance.

PURPOSE-BUILT

  • Non-locking assembled connector
  • 2 molded components at $0.50 each totals $1.00
  • Formed cable clamp is less at $0.05 each

 


 

Below is a cost comparison for a industry standard Push Pull connector vs a GII Purpose-Built Connector:



 

OVER MOLDED BANANA PLUGS

RF ablation connectors with over molded banana plugs are the lowest cost option. The contacts are stamped and molded directly into the connector.
 


 

OVER MOLDED BANANA PLUG DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

 
LIMITED CONTACT COUNT

  • Each contact has high normal force making these types of contacts only suitable for low pin count applications.
  • Applications requiring high pin count will run into challenges achieving manageable insertion extraction forces.

 
NONLOCKING

  • Each contact has high normal force making these types of contacts only suitable for low pin count applications.
  • These designs lack locking features and rely on the contact force to hold the connector in place.

 
LARGE ENVELOPE DIMENSIONS

  • Due to the size of the contacts and pitch, connector size is impacted significantly with each contact added.

 

OVER MOLDED BANANA PLUG COST DRIVERS IN ORDER OF MAGNITUDE

 

1. NUMBER OF CONTACTS

  • Less than $0.05 each at volume
  • Labor is also required to terminate the wire to the contact and load into the injection machine load bar.

 

1. TYPE OF CONTACT PLATING

  • Banana plugs are typically bare copper (no plating), nickel, and sometimes gold plated.
  • For disposable applications bare or nickel plating is typically utilized.
  • Bare copper is the lowest cost option, then nickel plated, with the most expensive option being gold plating.

 

2. NUMBER OF MOLDING OPERATIONS

  • For more rugged connectors a two over molding process takes place, core than over mold. Each molding operation add labor.

 

3. MATERIAL

  • PVC dominates the disposable market while TPE and silicone complete the reusable market.
  • PVC is recommended for EO and gamma while TPE and silicone extend the sterilization options to steam autoclave.

 

 

Understanding the above design considerations can help you optimize your design.
The most dramatic savings can be realized for high-volume disposable applications;
Gii Purpose-Built connectors have the ability to save 6 to 7 figures, contact us for a sample.

 

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