Skip to content

Rethinking Blind Mate Connectors to Increase Reliability in Miniaturized Electronics Assembly

Banner Image ALT

What are Blind Mating Connectors?

Blind mating connectors are an essential part of many electronic devices and systems. They are used to connect two components without the need for soldering or other mechanical fastening methods and allow for easy replacement of damaged or worn-out parts.

They are often used in situations where space is limited or access is difficult, such as:

  • Aircraft systems
  • Military radar equipment
  • Wearable medical devices, 
  • Emergency disconnect systems
  • Consumer appliances
  • Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS)


How the H-Pin Cuts Costs and Increases Functionality

There will always be a balancing act between achieving maximum performance and offering high performance in the smallest possible form factor. But designers shouldn't have to sacrifice on either without understanding all possible solutions for the interconnects within the assembly. 

Plastronics reinvented the approach to blind mating. Our approach enables blind mating in geometries that are too small for traditional blind mating to be possible.


Blind Mating vs. Plastronics H-Pin Connectors

Traditional blind mate connectors achieve Connection through pin & socket mating with self-aligning features to help guide connectors into the correct mating position with the board. Pins must be the correct length, aligned, and precisely spaced to reduce the chance of connector damage and problematic errors during mating. However, in practical use, this connector requires an unpredictable force and undefined over-travel to ensure proper mating of each connector half.

Plastronics H-Pin connectors for blind mates utilize a single compression mounted connector for direct board-to-board, flex circuit-to-board, or wire-to-board interconnection. The H-Pin offers predictable connect and disconnect force and travel.

A true blind mate requires two connectors; the pins of the male section's pins fit into the female section's sockets. The two parts work together because of a physical connection. A traditional blind mate connector will always add height, component count, and complexity to an already dimensionally challenged application.

Blind mates with H-pin connectors uses only one of those connectors. We remove some traditionally used elements by making interconnects with a single connector. Building connectors with fewer components will make the end product smaller, more reliable, and less expensive while increasing connectivity, functionality, and usability. 

Plastronics makes building and using blind connectors in increasingly shrinking applications easy and less expensive.

It comes down to the size of internal components, component count, and their manufacturing process. Our extremely small H-Pin is produced through a cost-effective, fully-automated manufacturing process. It was custom-designed to increase performance, reduce costs, and provide trackable process controls. 



Reliable Electronics Require Reliable Components

A wire harness or flex circuit with a H-Pin connector for blind mating has an absolute known contact force on the board, allowing devices to possess a predictable disconnect.

For example, a sensor must stay on a patient while the battery pack and transmitter must be easily removed. Without the benefit of predictable disengagement, a patient wearing a blood glucose monitor could easily pull the sensor off their body while removing the data receiver from the sensor.

There is no room for error when creating products like the blood glucose sensor mentioned above. 

At Plastronics, we are called upon because even the smallest catalog connectors are too large for what electronics companies need to meet miniaturization demands. Custom pins (such as our patented H-Pin) and connectors (such as high-performance flex-to-board or board-to-board connectors) can be fabricated to particular, extremely small specifications. These custom interconnects can reduce the size of the application and/or increase connectivity within any space allocated.


Reliable Components Come from Reliable Manufacturing

Many companies are unaware that most catalog pins and connectors are made by different manufacturers and are only cataloged by vendors. These interconnects are often made in different lots – on different production lines. You're not getting the assurance of process, lot, and component control, which means device #1 may function differently than device #100.

Plastronics’ fully-automated manufacturing and testing processes eliminate human error. Our patented technology measures our small connectors and super small H-pins every step of the way, and they don't get tired. This saves product developers time, money, and reputation. 

Download the H-Pin Guide


We can make your electronic products smaller, faster, and more reliable

Whether your product needs to match perfectly with a socket in our current catalog or requires a custom product for your innovation, Plastronics has the technology and expertise to determine and deliver the right solution for you.

Plastronics has the ability to provide customers with individual pin solutions for connectors that they design themselves, OR custom connector assemblies we design in-house to meet their needs. After 40 years of experience, we know how to exceed the dimensional boundaries of connector fabrication and packaging. 

We understand what size, weight, power, and cost mean to you and know exactly how we can make your applications smaller, faster, and more reliable.

Plastronics has the application experience and available resources to help you optimize your next design.

Share this article