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When Is Custom Connector Design the Best Option?

With so many options for stock connectors available, finding the perfect fit for your needs and products should be easy. Sometimes, no matter how many connector designs you look at, an off-the-shelf connector is simply not the right solution.

That’s when a custom connector design can make all the difference. Customization allows you to configure pin length (especially for PC tail contacts), contact arrangement, connector body dimensions - and various backshell features.

This is especially important for organizations launching a new product, scaling production orders or struggling to meet critical product validation dates. Not having the right parts – whether that’s because of long lead times or not being able to find the right stock component – costs companies time and money.

Here are some situations when you should consider custom connector designs and how you can streamline the customization process by working with a single supplier.

Common Reasons For Connector Customization

Custom connector designs don’t have to be complicated.

Customization is often the best option when you can’t find a compatible circular connector that meets your design requirements. In that case, you may want to consider sourcing a connector specifically tailored to your application and budget requirements.

Some common reasons a stock connector may not be sufficient include:

  • When additional protection from more extreme environmental conditions is needed.
  • If you’re failing to meet creepage and clearance standards with stock connectors.
  • When PC board contacts don’t align with your product’s layout.
  • If your mounting flange doesn’t fit the enclosure configuration.
  • When your product isn’t meeting testing standards, like failing to meet compression requirements.
  • If you’re facing long lead times or a lack of availability of specialized parts.

These are all issues that customers have come to us at Amerline with over the years.

In all these cases, and countless others, Amerline’s product development team was able to swiftly come up with a custom solution.

A connector failing to meet creepage and clearance standards? We tooled up a custom reverse bayonet connector in the same series as the original one, but with a larger shell size that allowed those standards to be met.

Whenever the connector you need isn’t in a catalog, it’s time to consider custom options.

The Benefits of Working With a Single Supplier

There is a lot of value from working with a single supplier that can handle both stock and custom connector needs – especially in terms of cost-effectiveness and quick turnarounds.

A common misconception about custom design is that the cost must be prohibitive. A solution created specifically for your needs? It must be expensive! Likewise, concerns about how long it takes to design and develop a custom connector are common.

However, working with a proven connector manufacturer with in-house customization capability can greatly reduce both cost and lead times.

For one, it bridges the gap between the design and manufacturing processes. Working with a single supplier who is involved from the first meeting with your engineering team to the final product streamlines design revisions and reduces potential miscommunication – both of which could otherwise hold up a customization project.

Additionally, working with multiple connector manufacturers comes with hidden costs that can quickly add up, like higher minimum-order volume requirements or shipping, tariffs and other fees if the customization is outsourced overseas.

Proven, Cost-Effective Custom Connector Designs

When it comes to custom connector design, Amerline’s experienced production team can help you turn circular connector concepts into reality with proven, cost-effective strategies.

We are dedicated at every step of the process, ensuring the quality of a customized solution that’s tailored to your application and budget requirements.  

Thinking of switching to a circular connector provider with in-house customization capabilities like Amerline? Learn more about building the business case for consolidating suppliers and what else to consider in that decision.

Build your case for switching connector providers