Design rules for

Plug connectors

Development of design rules for the standardisation of plug connectors

Design rules for plug connectors

Consolidation of the design rules for plug connectors

The holistic approach of the design guidelines from sub-project 1 (SP1) is specified in more detail for the plug connectors in sub-project 2 (SP2). Due to variance in the sub-area of plug connectors, consisting of current-carrying contact parts and insulation elements such as seals and housings, detailed design guidelines are being worked out. Synergy effects with the existing sub-projects, especially between SP1 and SP2 will be used to develop suitable design guidelines and enable automated production and use of plug connectors. Existing design guidelines in the market were further developed for use as a basis.

Starting point and motivation

A large proportion of the assembly of plug connectors is currently carried out manually. Only crimping can be automated due to a good ratio between the degree of automation and the cost. The degree of automation depends on the selected type of wire harness (HV – high-voltage, LV – low-voltage or CWH – custom wire harness), whereby the CWH represents the most demanding production effort. The variety of parts available on the market makes automation difficult. There is a lack of industry-wide recognised and implementable design guidelines for plug connectors that favour or enable automation.

Current working focuses

One focus is the formulation of design guidelines for plug connectors and their structural comparison with the design guidelines from SP1. The further course of the project revealed that it makes sense to define categories of automation feasibility in level categorisations and feasibilities. The level categorisation helps to identify the suitability of components for a specific project at an early stage. The SP4 automation index describes the associated effort to integrate the component into automated production. In order for the results of SP2 to be incorporated into the more general design guidelines from SP1, a basic design was created and submitted to SP1.

Another important aspect is how design guidelines will be used in the future. The rapid pace of change in the industry and dynamic changes in the market and components need to be taken into account in the design guidelines – keyword: standardisation. To this end, reference information needs to be defined.


In SP2, work is being done on the formulation of the design guidelines. A complete implementation roadmap needs to be developed for the design guidelines, taking into account the various level categorisations and feasibilities. Real sample parts will be used to validate the design guidelines and incorporate them into the standard.