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Ask the Expert - High Precision Connectivity

In the latest in our series of Ask the Expert videos, I met with Phil Hamilton and Jet Srijaingam from TE Connectivity to talk about the Erni brand. Join us in our discussion as we talk about how to design connectors for the demanding industrial world and the future of the ERNI brand as part of TE Connectivity.

It is always interesting when you reacquaint yourself with something you knew from a previous time. Erni is a name in the connector industry that may not be familiar to everyone, but it is a manufacturer with a long track record. For those like me who know ERNI in its previous form, the name was associated with backplanes for the telecommunications market, having developed a vast wealth of expertise in high-speed and high-density connector products.

However, as Phil and Jet were keen to point out, ERNI has evolved. Now part of TE Connectivity, ERNI has established a powerful reputation in the industrial space, with products that are designed to deliver high performance and reliability in harsh conditions.

Designers in many applications, from industry to medicine, are seeing the same need for miniaturised products that can deliver robust performance in demanding conditions. During our conversation, Phil and Jet talked about some of the technologies that ERNI has employed to create products for these tough applications. From the methods employed to manufacture contacts to the plating applied to them and the materials used in connector bodies, there are many elements of connector manufacture that make them suitable for harsh environments.

Even more interesting is the way ERNI products have found roles in applications for which they had not originally been designed. Phil talked about specific examples in the automotive world.  Despite not being perceived as an automotive connector manufacturer, ERNI products have found considerable success in this field.

This is particularly interesting as automotive connectors are highly suitable for a range of other uses. Automotive connectors must work in any environment. The shells of the connector need to be constructed of materials that will withstand years of exposure to extreme weather, physical impacts, and aggressive chemicals. The contacts housed within the connector must stay aligned in high-vibration conditions to provide reliable connectivity. Proven in the tough conditions found in this arena, customers can be sure that ERNI connectors can deliver the same performance and reliability in a vast range of other industries.


Connector Geek is Dave in real life. After three decades in the industry, Dave still likes talking about connectors almost as much as being a Dad to his two kids. He still loves Lego too. And guitars.