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December 22, 2016

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Connector Manufacturers Connect to Sensors

There will be a natural synergy between sensors and connectors. Although the manufacturing process for connectors and sensors is quite different, both types of products create essential connections between the physical and digital worlds. Wherever sensors are being used, connectors are often close by. Market forecasts predict huge increases in sensor sales, a fact that has been noticed by several leading connector manufacturers.


Amphenol Advanced Sensors leverages its acquired manufacturing expertise and established customer relationships to design and build a variety of sensors to address applications in aerospace, automotive, healthcare, industrial, and pharmaceutical markets. Sensors are marketed under the product brands of Kaye, NovaSensor, Protimeter, Telaire, and Thermometrics. Device types include moisture meters, temperature sensors, MEMS pressure sensors, CO2 sensors, and humidity sensors.


Molex has entered the sensor market in three arenas. Its deep penetration in automotive connector markets makes automotive sensors a logical market choice. Products currently offered include air bag, airflow, pressure, radar, rollover, temperature, knock, parking, and tire pressure sensors. A second focus is on capacitive fluid-level sensors used in agriculture, fluid tanks, and medical liquid-level applications.


The Molex Soligie printed electronic sensor is a custom sensor solution in the form of a flat circuit assembly. Sensors can be built in a roll-to-roll process to achieve high-volume efficiency.


According to Amanda Mellencamp of TE Connectivity Investor Relations, TE has had in-house sensor manufacturing capability to support its extensive automotive business. In 2014 it began to increase sensor resources through acquisition of several companies including Measurement Specialties, American Sensor Technologies, and Jaquet Technology Group. These additions dramatically expanded its sensor product portfolio as well as reinforced its corporate focus on applications in harsh environments. TE has opened a high-tech sensor design and manufacturing center in Andover, Minn., with the intent of developing custom sensor solutions for customers across multiple industries.


The marriage of high-reliability connectors and sensors brings a new facet of connectivity to the interconnect manufacturing industry along with the prospect of increased sales growth.