Hirose Electric has filed a patent for a connector assembly method. The method involves connecting an external connector fixed to a case of equipment and an internal connector on an internal substrate in the case. The external connector includes a lead that extends inward of the case and a support portion that supports the base end of the lead. The method includes inserting the tip end of the lead into a socket opening of the internal connector, bringing the socket opening and the tip end of the lead closer to each other. The lead is formed in a straight shape. GlobalData’s report on Hirose Electric gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on Hirose Electric, dustproof electric connectors was a key innovation area identified from patents. Hirose Electric's grant share as of September 2023 was 52%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Connector assembly method for connecting external and internal connectors

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Hirose Electric Co Ltd

A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230275370A1) describes a connector assembly method for equipment. The method involves fixing an external connector to a case and connecting it to an internal connector on an internal substrate within the case. The external connector includes a housing and a lead that extends inward. The lead is supported by a protruding support portion within the case. The internal connector has a socket opening with a contact terminal. The method includes inserting the tip end of the lead into the socket opening, bringing the socket opening and the lead closer together. The lead is straight in shape.

The patent also describes an in-vehicle equipment assembly method using the same connector assembly. In this method, the external connector is fixed to a case, and the internal substrate is placed within the case. The tip end of the lead is inserted into the socket opening, bringing them closer together. The lead is straight in shape. The internal connector is a floating connector, and a movable housing is supported in a floating state within a fixed housing on the internal substrate through a floating spring.

The socket opening in the internal connector can have clip-shaped terminals as contact terminals. A guide surface is formed towards the socket opening to guide the tip end of the lead. The lead can be inserted into the socket opening by causing the socket opening of the internal connector to approach the tip end of the lead after the external connector has been fixed to the case. The external connector can be fixed to a side wall of the case, with the tip end of the lead facing up, and the socket opening of the internal connector can approach the tip end of the lead from above.

The connector assembly can include multiple leads and multiple socket openings, with contact terminals provided in each socket opening. The housing of the external connector can be made of a resin, and a waterproof seal can be provided at the periphery of the support portion to ensure a liquid-tight seal between the case and the housing.

Overall, this patent describes a connector assembly method and related equipment for connecting external and internal connectors in a case, particularly for in-vehicle applications. The method and assembly provide a secure and efficient connection between the connectors, with various features to ensure proper alignment and sealing.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.