Zierick Manufacturing Corporation has been named the 2009 recipient of the prestigious Higgins-Caditz Award presented by the Precision Metalforming Association in its annual “Awards of Excellence in Metalforming” competition. This honor provides global recognition of Zierick’s unique and innovative new metal-stamping-based system that connects wires to surface mount printed circuit boards.
The Higgins-Caditz Award is well-known as the metalforming industry’s highest recognition of design and engineering excellence. Creative and effective product design, originality, and appreciable cost savings are other parameters used to choose the award’s recipient.
The Worcester Pressed Steel Co., Worcester, MA, created the Higgins award in 1955 in memory of WPS-founder John Woodman Higgins and former chairman of the PMA, Carter C. Higgins. The award now is sponsored by The Quarterly Club, in memory of its founder and past PMA chairman, Clem Caditz.
Zierick, now celebrating its 90th year in business, was honored for its new Surface Mount Insulation Piercing Crimp Terminal and the tools that quickly and easily terminate a wire to Surface Mount printed circuit boards. This new system features many unique advantages including reduced production costs, improved reliability, and faster processing speeds.
Zierick’s solution combines the advantages of crimping, insulation piercing, and Surface Mount Technology into a highly reliable and economical way to terminate wires.
In developing the innovative new system, the design problem faced by the Zierick engineers, according to Janos Legrady, Zierick Vice President of Research and Development, was that “consumer and industrial electronics manufacturers are constantly miniaturizing Printed Circuit Board (PCB) assemblies. The latest Surface Mount Technology (SMT) has helped, but three areas of scrutiny remain. They are the cost of the components, the amount of real estate the components occupy on the board, and the cost of integrating the components into other electronics on the board(s).”
“Actual on-board component attachments are frequently automated,” he explained. “However, wire connections are still needed to bring power/signal to the board, link the board to other boards, and/or attach the board to additional systems. This complexity increases dramatically when the specification requires multiple wire connections to and from multiple boards. Engineers in the electronic packaging business know that wire-to-board connection is considered one of the most costly and troublesome steps in the process. The Zierick SMT Insulation Piercing Crimp Terminal was developed in response to this challenge.”
While the new Zierick solution can be used whenever a wire needs to be permanently connected to an SMT board, the most popular utilization is in instances where the wire passes through the terminal and numerous serial connections are made to one single wire. A good example of that kind of application is channel block lettering, where a series of LEDs is attached to a pair of wires.
The new Surface Mount Insulation Piercing Crimp Terminal joins Zierick’s patented, industry-leading line of low profile, re-usable, geographically stable SMT Wire Connectors Insulation Displacement Connectors (IDCs), zierick.com/leds, including IDCs and Wire Grippers. All The IDCs are designed for service in demanding applications -- shock, vibration, and elevated temperatures -- and offer a more cost-effective way of terminating a large range of wire gauges because they eliminate the need for hand soldering wires to the PCB.