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Press-fit Technology for Connectors for the Automotive Industry

Press-fit Technology: How it works

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Press-fit Technology
An electrical connection between opposite layers of the PCB is created by pressing a connector pin into a contacted PCB hole in press-fit technology.


Press-fit is based on a simple principle.
The press-fit zone of a contact pin has a larger diagonal cross-section than the metallized PCB hole. The deformation that occurs during press-in is mitigated by the flexible zone on the contact pin. The PCB sleeve is therefore only deformed to a very small extent. During press-fitting, a cold weld is formed between the contact pin and the metallized PCB hole: a gas-tight, corrosion-resistant, low-resistive mechanical connection with good electrical conductivity. It remains contact-safe and stable even under very high mechanical and thermal loads, such as vibration, bending, and severe temperature changes.
We recommend in-process monitoring during the press-fitting process: force-displacement and camera monitoring allow the joint to be assessed.
In addition to tried and proven press-fit technology featuring our Tcom press® press-fit zone, ept offers many other types of termination technology products. Soldered connections, THR, SMT – we offer a suitable solution for every application.

Press-fit Technology: Things to keep in mind

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Conducting Paths Press-fit
Press-fit technology is easy to handle if the specification is adhered to. There are four parameters to pay attention to here: the drilling diameter and the diameter of the metallized press-fit hole, the thickness of the copper sleeve in the press-fit hole, and the PCB surface.

If both SMD components and press-fit connectors are to be accommodated on a printed circuit board, a determined sequence must be observed:
the components with solder connections must be mounted first. Once all components have been soldered onto the PCB using an appropriate process, the press-fit connections can be mounted. This order is important: reversing the process sequence would mean a high thermal load on the press-fit connections. This would lead to subsequent (uncontrolled) soldering of the press-fit zone, which would no longer guarantee an intact gas-tight zone.

In addition, the correct distance to the PCB edge and to sensitive electronic components (such as ceramic components) as well as the connections of the conducting paths must be observed. Maintaining the minimum distance prevents the PCB material or electronic components from being damaged due to the force effect of the press-fit zone and the layers of the PCB from being destroyed.

Press-fit Technology: Benefits

  • Connection technology with the greatest robustness and reliability
  • Durability
  • Gas-tight connection
  • High retention forces
  • No soldering defects, flux residues, or similar
  • No additional cleaning necessary
  • Can be recycled by simply pressing out
  • Efficient and cost-effective placement process

Press-fit Technology: ept offering for the automotive industry

We manufacture several billion contacts each year for various sectors and applications in the automotive industry. Our press-in zones consist of strip thicknesses ranging from 0.2 to 1.2 mm for hole diameters ranging from 0.56 to 2.0 mm or entirely according to your requirements.

Press-fit Technology: Applications

The extremely robust properties of the press-fit connectors means they can be used for applications where high safety or high mechanical robustness is required.
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ept Connector in the Vehicle

Overview of all Applications >>

This is what you can rely on with ept

Early Error Prevention

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We work using an FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis) to ensure defects are prevented from an early stage – no matter whether in feasibility analysis, production of operating equipment, or prototyping.

High-Quality Project Management

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Our experienced employees are your partners from the idea stage to the finished product and will provide you with active support and extensive expertise in accordance with the specifications of IATF 16949 (ADQP) from project definition to project implementation, right through until the project is complete. We channel our knowledge and experience into the advice and support we provide regarding product development.

High-Level of Development Expertise

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In its nearly 50 years of history, the company’s success has largely depended on in-house product development. ept has been convincing the automotive industry with a robust connection technology for many years thanks to the in-house developed and established Tcom press® press-fit technology, meeting all the requirements of automotive electronics for the connectors.

We are ept and that is what we stand for

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"As a family business, ept has managed to become a global player."
Ulrich Stanke, Key Account Manager at ept
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"Quality and reliability are always worth it!"
Reinhard Steiner, Global Account Manager at ept
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"Connectors from ept are installed in every second car, worldwide!"
Ramona Wagner, Internal Sales at ept
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