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Crimping terminals is a type of wire assembly process dating back to several decades. Throughout the years processing methods and operations were established and improved to guarantee optimum crimp quality and electrical conductivity of your wire to terminal connection. This post will cover the typical crimp types, crimp methods used to provide a quality wire to terminal connection and migration path from manual processing to automation from the crimp process.

Closed Barrel: Closed barrel terminals use a round crimp barrel that surrounds the wire being crimped. The two main typical open barrel configurations, formed by progressive stamping process with a seam the location where the two sides come together and form a circle and solid machines connector where crimp barrel is seamless, normally produced on pneumatic crimping tool. Closed barrel terminals come insulated or non-insulated and so are in loose form or on the reel. Samples of closed barrel terminals include rings, quick connects, ferrules and solid pins employed in aerospace applications.

Open Barrel: Open barrel terminals are usually U shaped ahead of crimping and so are crimped across the terminal in the B shape or overlapped. Open barrel terminals are typically available installed on a reel but occasionally can be purchased in loose form for lower volume processing. As well as a barrel for the wire, some open barrel terminals feature an insulation support for applications for additional strain relief (from vibration or wire movement). Open barrel terminals normally are un-insulated but occasionally use a partially loaded insulator pod which is inserted across the terminal through the crimp process.

Wezag Crimp Tool 1Hand Tools: A hand tool is used in low volume or prototype crimp applications. Tooling in the hand tool can be fixed and non-removable in the hand tool frame or may be removable. Crimp dies are available for open barrel and closed barrel terminals A trusted approach to crimping wire to terminals with good repeatability. As volumes increase, repeated processing of terminals with hand tools could 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 into a crimp nest as well as the operator cycles the press using a foot pedal or palm button.

applicators2Reel mounted terminals are processed utilizing a crimp press and applicator. The applicator has a mechanical or pneumatic feed which positions the terminal on the crimp anvil. The operator presses a foot pedal and the crimp press cycles, forming the terminal over the wire and advancing the subsequent terminal for additional processing. A wide range of applications may be processed with bench top crimping equipment with the utilization of different press tonnages and applicators/die sets (fixed and quick change).

Automated Crimp Processing: Automated processing adds a wire cut and strip element to the crimp process. The most basic form is the stripper-crimper which adds a wire stripping unit into a bench crimp press to strip the end of your wire and presenting the wire towards 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 offer it to a crimp press for crimping. Reel fed applicators are similar since the bench top type. With regards to loose piece terminals, a vibratory bowl is used to orient the terminals and present to the crimp press for large wire strippers.

As volumes increase, the need to automated also increases. Occasionally, the increase is dramatic, requiring a larger step throughout the automation migration path. But normally the increase is controlled and slower so migration will take a multi step approach over time.

Hand Tool to Bench Top Migration: Migrating from a hand tool to power assisted bench top crimping requires a bench top crimping platform like the Accu-Crimp 62 or electric powered CS200 from Wezag Tools (both pictured above).

High Quality Applications use higher tonnage to deliver the ability needed toprocess large terminals. The Wezag UP60 is pneumatic powered and gives over 7 tons of crimp force.

Non-Fixed hand tool die sets might be removed and appropriate for bench top crimping units. This reduces the overall cost from the migration from hand tools to powered bench top equipment.

Bench Top to Automated Process Migration: Migrating from a bench top to automated processing machine just like the Primo XLT or Uno multi-station machines is simple and simple. Mini style applicators found in a bench press application as pictured above may be mounted directly from a bench top press towards the press in the automation system. Some applications demand a different feed cam to give the terminal about the press downstroke to allow to the robotic arm to dexopky08 into position without any interference from the terminal.

However, in the case of loose piece terminals, separate presses with integrated vibratory bowl fed systems is usually necessary as they are not really a standard put in place with an automated machine.

Loose Piece to Reel Mounted terminal Migration: Converting from loose piece processing to reel fed terminals requires a crimp press and applicator as described above. Step one is determining the compatible terminal on reel equivalent. If your quick change mini applicator can be used, then this pneumatic cutter could be quickly changed from a terminal type to another just by switching out of the terminal applicator.