In our cars, we rely on components like parking sensors, power steering and airbag sensors. Safe electrical connections are necessary, which are, for example, manufactured by soldering, clamping, or press-fit mounting. In press-fit mounting, a punched connection is pressed into the metallized hole of a printed circuit board, which creates a mechanically stable and electrically conductive connection.
"Our press-fit zone connections are punched from different copper alloys. Various requirements for temperature or conductivity can be fulfilled by means of material properties. The press-fit zone of the connection is pressed purely mechanically into the plated-through hole of a circuit board." Heike Woldt, expert for press-fit mounting at Diehl Metal Applications, explains. "The electroplated coating of the press-fit zone serves as lubricant. We do not need any additional process materials. Precision stampings are used in many electrical and electromechanical applications: e.g. overmolded lead frames for transmission control systems and lamp sockets or as tabs and pins with soldering points in control devices and sensor housings. But we also manufacture innovative precision stampings, such as lead frames for power modules, for the future-oriented industry “alternative drive units”.
Press-fit connections have the advantage over soldering that no heat load is generated. In comparison to other connection technologies, press-fit connections have a high reliability and connection resistance measurable only in the micro-ohm range.
The focus here is completely on the benefit and the requirements of the customers: "Press-fit connections must be robust and optimally meet the functional requirements of customers. In the meantime, we have an extensive press-fit zone range, not only offering standard applications but also connections for the range of miniaturization or high-current applications. My aim is to set up an attractive catalog from which the customer can choose suitable standard products," Heike Woldt explains.
The graduate engineer has been part ever since the beginning: "Since 2000, we have been manufacturing press-fit connections according to drawings. When the interest in this technology grew, we invested steadily and market-oriented in
know-how, tools and laboratory technology. In 2004, we received the first customer project: this was the entry into the automotive industry. About 2 million connection parts were to be manufactured for one customer. In 2018, only 600 million pieces from this connection were manufactured. Together with our colleagues in France, the productive volume of press-fit connections was at 4 billion pieces last year."
Heike Woldt is realistic: "Due to increasing electrification, cars are equipped with more and more sensors, which are constantly evolving. We will continue to be successful in the future only if we adjust to this again and again!"