Würth Elektronik ICS presents SKEDD, a new technology for solder-free plug connection on PCB

Würth Elektronik ICS GmbH & Co. KG is bringing onto the market a new electrical connection technology that sets new benchmarks in the direct PC board connection field and that has the potential to permanently transform the plug-in connector industry.

The technology, called SKEDD, is a solder-free direct plug-in connection technology for printed circuit boards and allows single cables, plug connectors and other components to be directly connected to the circuit board, eliminating any need for an adaptor. The special form of the SKEDD contact and the locking mechanism of the SKEDD housing guarantee a secure electrical and mechanical connection. Thanks to it, SKEDD allows systems to be simplified by eliminating one of the layers of connection required, while retaining equivalent functionality and quality and facilitating handling.

Why SKEDD?

No electrical or electronic system today is supplied without a plug connection. At the same time, however, breakdown statistics of leading passenger car manufacturers clearly show that contact errors remain one of the most frequent causes of failure. “Based on the vast economic and technical significance of this connection technology, we set ourselves the target of providing a simpler and thus more durable connection solution. Since we have already been developing PCB-based connection solutions for many years under our business model and know all their flaws, our motto this time was: Simplify by eliminating”, explains Dr. Klaus Wittig, Managing Director of Würth Elektronik ICS.

The advantages of SKEDD technology are certainly persuasive, with their enormous potential for savings and the elimination of potential sources of error, combined with a drive to optimise quality. The use of SKEDD plug connectors eliminates a complete connection layer. Up to 50% of material costs and 30% of process costs can be saved. The height and weight of the overall solution have been reduced and assembly made considerably easier, since plug connectors can be manually connected to and disconnected from the circuit board. Board-to-board plug connections are also possible with SKEDD and are already present in a range of applications.

The enormous reduction potential of materials and processes also makes the extraordinary solutions possible that were not feasible on the conventional way previously.

As well as eliminating a layer of adapters, it was also possible to dispense with an electrical interface, which significantly reduces the electrical contact resistance. This lowers the potential for the whole unit to heat up and also enhances safety by eliminating a potential source of error.

Finally, SKEDD is also a green technology: The plug connectors are reusable, easily recyclable and go through the manufacturing process without chemicals and minimal energy consumption.

SKEDD works!

The SKEDD technology has been comprehensively tried and tested in accredited laboratories. During this process, especially high electrical reliability, ease of handling and secure mechanical connection between the plug connectors and the circuit board were focused on. The technology was checked in accordance with automotive standards, since these represent the most stringent requirements. At the same time, customers performed benchmark tests to obtain objective and plausible results. Evidence and experience accumulated to date show that SKEDD meets and sometimes exceeds all technical requirements imposed for plug connections intended for industrial use. This is also confirmed by René F. Oberhänsli, Managing Director of S-Tec electronics AG, the Swiss manufacturer of LED lighting installations and controls: “We teamed up with Würth Elektronik ICS to develop the SKEDD technology for connecting LED-printed circuit boards. The outstanding features during use include the minimal height, the slim dimensions, high current-carrying capacity and the solder-free connection technology – all of which allows LED strips to be connected without obstructive shadows. This new technology has already more than proved its worth in lighting products from eigerLight.”

SKEDD can be used almost anywhere!

SKEDD has a vast applicable scope, ranging from the automotive sector to wide-ranging industrial electronics – particularly automation or the solar industry – to telecommunication, for domestic and kitchen units or in consumer electronics.

SKEDD offers an alternative to many conventional connection solutions in a wide variety of application categories, such as high-current plug connectors (automotive and non-automotive), signal-plug connectors (low- and high-polarity), board-to-board connectors (vertical, horizontal, angled), ribbon cables or even assembling components on printed circuit boards (e.g. fuses, relays, LED – with components plugged in directly without soldering!)

Current development and future potential

“Since the start of 2012 we have approached the market systematically with our technology in an attempt to win reference projects from opinion-shaping customers. Meanwhile, we have more than 50 active development projects and are engaged in field testing with leading manufacturers in our key set of industries. We also have series applications already in place for customers in automotive and industrial electronics sectors”, explains divisional director Stephan Christ.

Our success and experience to date is presently being channelled into developing standard plug connector families, which we hope will pave the way for our entry into the mass market. This marketing step, however, requires strategic cooperation with established plug connector manufacturers. “By leveraging opinion-forming customers alongside an accompanying licensing strategy, we would like to expedite market access.”

About Würth Elektronik ICS GmbH & Co. KG

Würth Elektronik ICS was founded in 1984 as a division handling electromechanical assembly units within Würth Elektronik. In 1995 the company relocated to Öhringen, and in 2001 an extra production facility was added in neighbouring Pfedelbach. Today, the Würth Elektronik ICS group employs around 230 employees at its offices in Hohenlohe, France and in the USA and has earned sales of €41 m in 2012. Würth Elektronik ICS has positioned itself on the market as a provider of system solutions for signal and power distribution units and electronic controls as well as display and control panels for the automotive sector and industry. The Printed Electronics division focuses on developing and manufacturing system solutions for printed sensors and electronics, while the SKEDD division offers solutions for new connection technologies for electronic assembly units and components.

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