ERNI Press-fit Zone Fits Well with Automotive Electronics

5/17/2004 - Electronic components are an increasingly high percentage of parts that make up a car. As a result, the number of breakdowns due to electronics failure is also on the rise. Thus, companies that manufacture electronic control units have been looking for ways to improve quality while cutting costs.

Adopting press-fit
This is one reason that electrical contacts with the ERNI press-fit zone are being used increasingly in automotive applications. They are being used, in particular, in the sensor-control-unit housings for airbags and Electronic Stability Programs (ESPs). The basic process employs a technique that is already used widely - insert molding (overmolding) of electrical contacts. Here, several contacts - more or less as a stamped grid - are inserted into the injection-molding machine. When finished, the hybrid component can then be used immediately in final assembly.

Two essential aspects account for the high level of acceptance that ERNI´s modules with press-fit contacts enjoy in the automotive industry. One, the sensor interface does not require an additional insulating body. Two, the press-fit technique makes it possible to complete assembly more rapidly and inexpensively. Contacting and assembly of the printed circuit boards - which previously required at least two work steps - can now be accomplished simultaneously in a single operation.

Reliability is proven
What´s more, the ERNI press-fit zone, with proven reliability in many applications for over 15 years, ensures reliable electrical contact over the life of the control unit. The resilient press-fit zone also absorbs tension caused by disparate thermal expansion among the connected parts, thus protecting against the formation of cracks on the contact points - a problem that can occur with soldered connections.

ERNI ERNI Elektroapparate GmbH, a German member company of the international ERNI Holding Group, was established in 1956 and is headquartered in Adelberg. ERNI develops and manufactures a wide variety of connectors for backplane and printed circuit board applications. The system technology business unit develops and produces customer-specific printed circuit board systems and backplanes. ERNI is a globally active enterprise with branch offices in Europe, North America and Asia. ERNI products are also marketed via a network of representatives and leading distributors. Further information is available at

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