This week’s EYE ON NPI is keeping things easy, with an innovative new approach to flex connectors: introducing the One-Touch series of push-button FPC connectors from Molex! (link) Molex’s connectors have a visible release button that allows for easy release operation. An innovation that will keep assembly and maintenance of flex connectors safe and easy.
We use flex cables a lot in our electronic design. (Flex Cables) They are inexpensive, slim, durable, and easy to use. The connectors are likewise, inexpensive and un-intrusive. If you want to pass 20 to 50 (ish) contacts from one place to another, an FPC is going to be the way to go, no crimping, no housings, all pick & place friendly. Nearly all of our displays use flex connectors on em, which means the boards we have on the other side have an FPC connector. We tend to use either ‘push/pull’ connectors, these tend to have top-contacts. (Top Contacts) Or we use flip-top connectors, these tend to have the contacts on the bottom. (Bottom Contacts)
These work great… almost all of the time. But once in a while, the little ears on the side of the connector come loose. Or sometimes they break off! And if the little insert breaks at one of the small hinge pieces, the whole connector needs to be replaced. And these connectors are really annoying to rework. Sometimes we just scrap the whole board because its so difficult to repair.
That’s why we really liked the look of the One-Touch FPC connectors from Molex (One-Touch FPC connectors) when we saw them pop up on the Digi-Key new products page (https://www.digikey.com/en/new-products). No yanking, twisting or pulling. They work just like other FPC connectors you’re used to, with similar footprints and both right-angle (Right Angle) and vertical style available. (Vertical Style) FPC’s can be inserted and will auto-lock in place. To remove, press on the button and remove the FPC. They are rated for 20 insertion and removal cycles, which should let the board make it through quite a few maintenance/rework/repair cycles!
The Molex One-Touch FPC connectors are available in a few of the most popular sizes from 10 to 40 pins, in 0.5mm pitch (Molex One-Touch FPC connectors) and will make a very nice upgrade for your next product design where you’ve seen a history of broken or damaged FPC connectors. In stock at Digi-Key right now, you can order samples of your desired One Touch connectors tonight (One Touch connectors) and receive them tomorrow!