Archive for April 2016

Terminal Cross Sectioning: Taking a Peak Inside

Terminal Cross Sectioning is a quality validation technique that is not new to Wire Processing. The use of cross sectioning has broadened over the past few years and cross section systems are now appearing outside of the quality lab and on the factory floor. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years. Cross section labs are expected to be as commonplace as a pull tester in most processing facilities.

In the past, quality tests of a terminal crimp were performed by only a pull tester and being a destructive test, it was a first off and spot in process inspection.  But it certainly did not take into account the inherent process variation of the crimp process itself. Later on as electrical performance demands increased, it was necessary to improve the quality inspection processes. At the same time, crimp design advanced and no longer was just pull test sufficient. Enter crimp compression.  Crimp compression standards were a result of studies into crimping and it was determined that a predictable percentage of crimp compression was needed to assure optimal electrical performance. Crimp Height is based on optimum compression of the wire during the crimp process.

With Cross Section analysis, we can now peak inside the crimp. This cross section analysis provides us with a great amount of detail into not only the materials (wire and terminals), but how they are crimped together.  Information that is used for documentation and archival purposes.  An important aspect of cross section analysis is process improvement. Some of the measurements available from cross sectioning a crimp include:

  • Crimp Height
  • Crimp Width
  • Crimp Compression
  • Crimp Height to Crimp Width ratio
  • Capability Studies including crimp height.

Process Improvement is a necessary component of any company who wishes to reduce their processing costs (material waste and processing time) as well as improving overall productivity. Cross Section analysis can be a valuable tool in process improvement. For example, crimp monitor alarms. Crimp monitors signal an alarm when an element of crimp quality causes excess variation.  Often the suspect parts appear normal and acceptable. Production continues. Later on another alarm occurs.  Same condition.  Parameters are opened up and production continues without alarms. But the underlying problem still exists. Once this cycle starts, the monitoring system becomes less sensitive and at some point only gross errors can be detected.  And the risk of accepting defective parts also increases.

Cross Sectioning a crimp offers one way of detecting an issue that could be quickly assessed and a resolution put in place. See the illustrations below.

cross section (110)

Crimp wings touching crimp floor.

cross section (130)

Uncompressed strands and uneven strand distribution.

These are two examples of conditions which can cause variation which a crimp monitor interprets as a defect. Which can affect electrical performance.

Embracing Cross Section Analysis as a critical validation tool is important for companies in the future. Costs have come down to the point where most companies can justify a base system for plant deployment. The WPS Cross Section Service is another way to get your analysis completed while working out the deployment of system for internal use.

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Global Technology Partners in Focus: Appltek Technologies.

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Continuing with our Global Technology Partners in Focus series, I am pleased to introduce Applitek Technologies Inc.   Applitek supply crimping solutions for strip form terminals mounted to reels.  At WPS we believe in longevity in business relationships.  There are no short cuts in establishing long trusted relationships.  Our partner associations span over three decades in some cases.  Applitek has been a trusted partner of WPS for over 15 years.  Our connection to the owners of Applitek go back further than that.  I am pleased to present the founding President of Applitek Tecnologies, Bruce Getchell.

WPS: Thank you for spending some time with us today Bruce.  To get started, how long has it been since you founded Applitek Technologies?

BG: Applitek was founded 27 years ago

WPS: Describe the business conditions when you started Applitek?

BG:  Every terminal company had their own format for applicators and presses.  We saw a need to offer a standardized format so companies could use common presses.  As an independent manufacturer we would tool our applicators for any brand of terminals.

WPS: Can you compare the business conditions back then with what we see today?

BG:  Companies back when we started had very limited choices when purchasing applicators.  Today they have numerous choices’ due to the accepted mini die format.


WPS: Do you have customers who have been with you for a long time?

BG:  We still have customers with us from the start of the company.

WPS: Do they value your longevity in this business?

BG:  I believe they do.  Many long term relationships and friends have developed from the start of Applitek.  Having been involved in the terminal manufacturing business 15 years prior to the start of Applitek many of those relationships have continued with us.  Some of our customers I have known for over 35 years.

WPS: As a third party applicator supplier, do you meet the OEM specifications for crimp tool design and crimp height specs?

BG:  Yes we do.

WPS: Can you supply a complete solution including crimping presses?

BG:  Applitek supplies a number of presses in tonnage capacity and price range to complement our applicator supply.  This also includes stripper-crimper modules.


On behalf of WireProcess Specialties and our customers, thank you for your long term service to the Wire Processing industry. For your vision and pioneering spirit when applicator supply was considerably different from what it is today. We value our business partnership and look forward to many years of service to our valued customers.

BG: We would like to offer our Thanks and appreciation to all our customer that have made our Company successful over the years. Please visit our website to see more.

WPS is proud to be associated with companies like Applitek, true partners in helping our customers improve their production efficiency and reduce their processing costs. Connect Your Way to WPS to start see how we can support your organization.