Archive for August 2016

Crimp Force Monitors Do Not Solve Your Crimping Problems

There I said it. Let me repeat:

Crimp Force Monitors Do Not Solve your Quality Problems.

Now that it’s out there let’s back up a little. First of all, let me be crystal clear. Crimp Force Monitors (CFM) are an essential tool of a quality system for any company that is serious about providing quality wire assemblies. The ability to monitor your process with a crimp monitor is extremely valuable for a number of reasons which we will unpack in this article. But let’s put things into their proper perspective.

First of all, a crimp process that has excess variation exists that way with or without a CFM. A CFM does not resolve crimp problems but will provide plenty of notification to the operator of this condition. In the form of CFM alarms. It is what is done from this point that is critical.  If the tolerance is opened up to silence the alarms or (worse) the monitor is turned off, then the true value of the CFM is lost.

Second, a CFM works best with a process that is in control and shows little piece to piece variation. This provides sufficient room for detecting small defects in the crimp process. Excess variation adds “noise” to the detection process and a CFM will have a harder time in determining a defect or just normal process variation.

The video below is from the 2016 Electrical Wire Processing Technology Expo and the seminar co-sponsored by C&S Technologies and Applitek Technologies: Do You Really Know Your Crimp Process where we discuss the CFM Cycle, a scenario played out countless times as new CFM Technology is introduced.

So what value is a CFM in the crimping process?

First, real time monitoring is 100% effective in measuring the crimp process. Visual inspection is only 80% effective over time and 100% manual inspection is not practical. It also answers the question: “what is happening between the first off article inspection and spot in process inspection”.

Second, as a process analysis tool, a CFM is effective in improving the crimp process over time. This is done by analyzing the five elements of a terminal crimp. And improving each process. The direct effect is a process in greater control and able to detect smaller variation.

Finally, as part of an integrated network of processing machines, the CFM can feed valuable production quality data into a central database for archival and analysis. Also provide a level of production quality approval by preventing access to production equipment until quality measurements are within allowable parameters.

So the question is “Do you need a CFM equipped facility?” Consider the following and judge for yourself.

  • Pull test and crimp height measurements are a static and one-time check of quality parameters. As important as they are to production quality, they are not sufficient in of themselves. A CFM is one example of dynamic quality measurement in real time. Press Analysis is another example of dynamic measurement.
  • CFM’s remove subjective judgement of good or bad crimps from employees.
  • CFM’s monitor the whole crimp process and the associated elements.
  • Without crimp monitors, the risk of defective wire harnesses increases and the cost of rework (not to mention product liability) will exceed the initial investment of crimp monitor technology by a large margin. “It hasn’t happened to us so far” you may say. “We have crimped millions of parts over the years with no problem” is another one. The laws of probability will eventually catch up without effective dynamic crimp monitoring. Why take the risk?

Do not take the risk! Our Global Technology Partner: Crimping and Stamping Technologies is a global authority in the terminal crimp process. Connect Your Way to WPS for an analysis of your crimp quality requirements.

Global Technology Partners in Focus: Lakes Precision


We continue our Focus series with an interaction with long time partner Lakes Precision. Lakes has a long and proud history of serving the Global Wire Processing Industry with high quality replacement tooling for wire cutting and stripping machines as well as terminal applicators. I am pleased to present Rich Javenkoski VP of Sales for Lakes Precision.

WPS: Thank you for spending some time with us Rich. Give us a little background on the history of Lakes, how long Lakes has been serving their customers and where the headquarters is located.

RJ: Lakes Precision Inc as we know it today started in 1991. Using technology that allowed high production, high precision manufacturing we are able to meet the requirements of our customers. Not only in quality, but cost, and the high volume demands of global harness manufacturers. Lakes Precision has a sales and service office in El Paso TX for Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America. Our global network provides localized representation with the ability to stock inventory and needed technical assistance. With an ever changing global environment, our staff is dedicated to insuring we provide the highest quantity tooling to any global location.

WPS: Lakes has been associated with a number of OEM machine manufacturers over the years. Has this helped in the development of the Lakes blades?

RJ: Yes It helps in the sense that we understand the dimensional specifications needed for any OEM blade. We then can take that knowledge and transfer it in our manufacturing processes. Further this helps when developing custom products or unique blades not offered by the OEM’s. In some instances the OEM’s come to us for assistance in blade development.

WPS: And Lakes blades should be expected to perform as good as the OEM versions?

RJ: Our standard for blade life or cycles is to meet or exceed OEM standards. With our proprietary PVD coatings we have exceptional results in blade endurance.Lakes Blade

WPS: Do Lakes expand their library of blades as new machines are introduced?

RJ: Lakes Precision is constantly updating our catalogs of blades and accessories. The customer is the driving force in variations of existing blades and new OEM blades being placed in the market.

WPS: From our experience, OEM blade cutting surfaces are typically not covered with any additional coatings which can improve blade life. What blade coatings do Lakes offer to improve blade life even further.

RJ: As mentioned our in house PVD coating department is constantly looking at enhancing blade life. Any blade can be coated and typically titanium nitrite is the standard coating. We take it a step further with blends of various PVD targets and match those coatings to a particular blade application. I believe that we are unique to the industry with coating applications.

WPS: Do you see any trends in the type of blade used in production today. V blades are well known for uniform stripping across a wide range of wire gauges. But are they typically used or do companies opt to use radius style blades for a single wire size that provides stripping around the full circumference of the insulation?

RJ: Our blade development is driven by the wire industry. PVC coated, easy applications, your standard V style blade is by far the most popular. Thinner, smaller, lighter wire require tru-radius style blades. When customers are do high volume runs they prefer the flexibility of the V style blades. Of course we provide any style blade for any size wire.

Lakes TA-V


WPS: Lakes introduced crimp tools as another product offering. Can you describe this program?

RJ: Our crimp tool program is developing each and every day. Our engineering staff work directly with the customer to insure the correct applications. Again we have created PVD coatings that have shown enhanced tooling life while adding minimal coat to the tool.

Thank you for your time today Rich. WireProcess Specialties values our long association with Lakes in providing our customers with high quality replacement tooling for their processing machines.

Click the following links for more information on Lakes Precision, our Global Technology Partners Group , our growing Resources for Wire Processing, or our Services like Crimp Cross Sectioning. We would be happy to Connect with You.