Design Engineering for the Automotive Industry

Using FEA, Kx helped iterate through a series of design changes to determine a configuration which meets manufacturing requirements while maintaining part functionality and desired part life.

Electrical Connector Housing Case Study

Changes to the design of this electrical connector housing by manufacturing engineers caused parts to break in the field.

In order to get more plastic to the tip of the housing during the injection molding process, the manufacturing engineers added runners to the bottom of the lip. These runners increased the cross-sectional area allowing more plastic to make its way to the tip.

However, these “runners” also impacted the structural integrity of the lip acting like stiffening ribs. Adding these ribs moved the peak stress to a new location and parts began failing due to this localized added stiffness. The snapping action of the housing was also detrimentally impacted by the introduction of the ribs.

A design change was needed that…

    • Allowed plastic to reach the tip of the lip
    • Would not adversely effect the function of the housing
    • Minimized field failures

Kx worked with the customer’s product development and manufacturing engineering team in an iterative design process to meet these objectives.

In the end, a design was defined that reduced the stress in the housing while allowing more plastic to reach the tip. In fact, we were able to utilize the current mold with some modifications, therefore, achieving a superior design with minimal manufacturing changes.