Good Vibrations: The Value of Testing CV Connectors to 80G

Addressing potentially costly issues such as loose terminals and push outs demands rigorous validation

For virtually any commercial vehicle (CV) owner or operator, uptime is everything. Above all else, the truck must keep running. A commercial vehicle is a business investment, one that only makes a return when it’s on the road, pure and simple.

However, whilst reliability is clearly key, delivering it is far from easy. Compared to an automotive design, the working life of a potentially critical component such as a CV connector is likely to be far longer, and the operating environment much more harsh. 

In particular, CV applications are characterized by extremes of temperature and vibration, creating some serious challenges for connection systems throughout the vehicle. The expansion and contraction caused by widely fluctuating temperatures, combined with the vibration generated by engine, chassis and road surface, will soon expose any weakness. What’s more, every element of a vehicle’s power and data architecture is ultimately dependent on the integrity of the connectors that support it. That’s why issues such as loose terminals and push outs can represent such a major headache for OEMs and their customers. In the worst-case scenario, a single failed connection can see a truck forced off the road, potentially costing the operator time, money and a damaged reputation. 

All of which explains why, at Aptiv, we choose to subject many of our new CV connectors to 40G vibration tests as standard. And to put that figure into perspective, the force of 5G is typically the point at which an aerobatic or fighter pilot will start to lose consciousness during a tight, high speed manoeuvre. Some of our specialized systems can withstand 80G. To inflict this remarkable level of punishment on our products, we use an advanced testing rig that is one of only a handful of its type, anywhere in the world. 

At Aptiv, we do more than offer a comprehensive range of connector solutions for CV OEMs. We also validate them to the most exacting standards imaginable, including vibration levels typically two or three times higher than an equivalent automotive product. So, wherever Aptiv connectors are used in a commercial vehicle, and no matter how rough the ride, smooth running is something that can always be relied on.