Only Connect: Alternative generic connectors

Welcome to another post in the series by Nick Locke, of Nicab Ltd, who has over 15 years experience in the electronics manufacturing industry specialising in interconnection cable assembly.
Something we get asked a lot is what we think of copy or generic connectors. In other words, connectors that are direct copies of branded connectors such as Molex, Tyco, JST and many more.

For many people looking to reduce costs generic connects often enable you to make savings anywhere between 30-50%.

Greater availability: the generic connectors generally do not have the same supply issues that mainstream manufacturers sometimes have so you are still able to maintain production.

Less susceptible to change: surprisingly enough, branded manufactures do like to introduce design changes to their products without letting you know, often cosmetic, sometimes physical. With generic connectors there is usually little or no design input so the design is very unlikely to change.

Some people like buying generics simply because they don't like paying what they consider to be over the top prices just for the label, just like in fashion.

Never wanting to show bias I do have to defend the branded connectors and while there are good reasons to buy generic the most powerful defence is design.

Part of the true cost of the connectors from brands is the R & D that goes into them. A great example of this is the 2.54MM pitch KK Connector from Molex. We call it industry standard. There are plenty of other 2.54MM pitch generic versions however, Molex was first.  All the costs for producing the newest innovation driving electronics smaller can only come from the premium price we pay for the branded connectors.

The choices are many, however. As usual, your expert cable assembly company will help you make the best decision for you. I personally believe that in this area as long as the generic connectors do not infringe on any IP or pertinent and is legal then the answer is what is best for you

In other words what is right for you is not necessarily right for someone else so get expert advice. After all, it's what we, the experts, are here for!

Previous Only Connect entries:

* Only Connect: On D-Type connectors

* Only Connect: UL markings

* Only Connect: Quality of workmanship and value of UK Manufactured

* Only Connect: 3M Twin Axial Cable

* Only Connect: Workshop tools and cool, cute videos

* Only Connect: Guitar wiring

* Only Connect: NASA-standard quality

* Only Connect: Requirements & Acceptance for Cable & Wire Harness Assemblies

* Only Connect: CCA Conductors in Ethernet Cables

* Only Connect: Good design and the IEC Connector

* Only Connect: Identifying greener manufacturers (Going Green #9)

* Only Connect: New product design - InfiniBand CXP 12x QDR standard

* Only Connect: HDMI Connections a simple guide

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