From advances in sensors and connector systems to the latest on application tooling, three Google Hangouts from the 2015 Battery Show produced some interesting dialogue among experts from TE Connectivity (TE) on technologies aimed at future vehicles.
TE plugs in at the 2015 Battery Show. In a series of Google Hangouts, broadcast live from the show floor, Steve Rohr, director of technology strategy for TE's Transportation Solutions unit, talked with Ajay Bhargava, TE’s senior manager in its Hybrid and Electric Mobility Solutions (HEMS) unit, Mike Emenheiser, industry manager in the company’s Application Tooling group and Scott Phillips, senior manager at TE Automotive Sensors.
Sensing the Future
Expected to grow
NOVI, Mich. – From the engine to the transmission to the rear bumper, cars and light trucks on the road today have an average of 55 sensors built into them that serve to do everything from protect drivers during hazardous conditions to monitoring engine performance and emissions.
And that number, said Scott Phillips, senior manager at TE Automotive Sensors, is likely to grow to 65 sensors by the 2020 model year as automakers design vehicles aimed at being safer, more fuel efficient, less polluting, and better able to communicate critical information to drivers.
‘’When you talk about automotive sensors, TE is extremely excited about it,’’ said Phillips in a live Google Hangout from the company’s booth at The Battery Show 2015. ‘’We’re making heavy investments in that space. We really see this space growing.’’
Phillips spoke with Steve Rohr, director of technology strategy for TE's Transportation Solutions unit, in one of three hangouts conducted from the show floor. Rohr also interviewed Ajay Bhargava, TE’s senior manager in its Hybrid and Electric Mobility Solutions (HEMS) unit, and Mike Emenheiser, industry manager in the company’s Application Tooling group.
In automotive batteries, Phillips said much of TE’s focus has been on monitoring conditions that impact battery lifespan and vehicle range.
‘’When you talk about the battery and battery management, the key thing is determining the state of health and the state of charge of the battery,’’ Phillips said. “Sensors play a critical part in calculating that.’’
TE’s broad portfolio of sensor technologies includes measurement for position, pressure, temperature, humidity, force, flow, vibration, liquid level, ultrasonic and beyond.
With the acquisitions of Measurement Specialties, global designers and manufacturers of sensors and sensor-based systems, and American Sensor Technologies (AST) Inc., specialists in sensors for high performance and harsh environments, TE offers an unmatched portfolio of intelligent, efficient and high-performing sensor solutions.
‘’What this really does for us is TE Connectivity owns the whole space now,’’ said Phillips. ‘’We are fully integrated, providing the sensing element all the way out to the wire. And in harsh environments, we’re a partner you can rely on to make sure that connection is solid.’’
Protecting the flow of power
The Battery Show, held over three days in the Detroit suburb of Novi, is a showcase for the latest advancements in battery technology. It’s attended by technical leaders, scientists, engineers, project leaders, buyers and senior executives from companies around the world.
Chad Taylor, senior manager for business development for TE’s Hybrid and Electric Mobility Solutions group, said the show provides the company with an important opportunity to communicate with the industry and potential customers.
''The Battery Show allows us to give people a different perspective on TE,'' Taylor said after the event. ''They may only see us as a connector company. This allows them to understand the great things we are doing in battery connections and protection and also what we are doing with sensor products.''
In his hangout with Rohr, Bhargava said TE’s work in hybrid and electric vehicle applications was done with an eye toward creating products to span industry needs. ‘’We have developed a portfolio that will go from low current to high current,’’ he told Rohr. ‘’It could be in a small vehicle or it could be a bus.’’
Moreover, Bhargava said TE has the ability to quickly deliver its products to customers through its global manufacturing operations, which includes plants in North America, China, Japan, South Korea and Europe.
TE provides a complete line of connectors, relays, harnesses, contactors and disconnects to safely connect and protect the flow of data and power around your hybrid or electric vehicle. TE‘s automotive products have been proven in light and heavy-duty vehicles and its technologies leverage decades of experience with high-voltage generation.
‘’We in this industry tend to innovate,’’ Bhargava said. ‘’We just can’t sit still. That’s what’s going to drive the excitement as we move down the road. ‘’
At the Battery Show, TE showcased a number of its HEMS and sensor products, including low, medium and high current connector systems, reluctance resolvers, service disconnects and humidity and temperature sensors.
''From a TE perspective we have broken the space up,'' said Bhargava . ''There is infrastructure, connectors, battery management and battery charging. In all four of those spaces TE is investing for the future.''
Every Ounce Counts
'Tools to get the job done'
Rohr and Emenheiser, from Application Tooling, talked about TE’s work with aluminum and its LITEALUM crimp product. LITEALUM wire crimp termination technology represents newly released technology that is a durable fully automatic solution.
‘’Aluminum is a way to reduce the cost and the weight of a vehicle,’’ Emenheiser said. ‘’That’s the main driver. Every pound we can take out of a vehicle means lifelong savings in fuel economy and a reduction in emissions.’’
From the TE booth, Emenheiser demonstrated the LITEALUM crimping technology at the show. He used a TE 5K Terminator with Stripping module and TE's OCEAN Applicator to crimp LITEALUM terminals onto 2.5mm squared aluminum wire.
There are two key advantages in using aluminum: lower material costs and considerably less mass than copper. If aluminum wiring is used, a wiring harness in a mid-sized vehicle can shed two to three kilograms of weight. This also saves on fuel consumption and cuts polluting emissions. Aluminum can also score points in cars and trucks with alternative drive trains, like hybrid and electric vehicles, by helping extend the range of travel possible in electric driving mode.
‘’Whenever the product side creates a new solution - that has to be crimped or applied to the customer's application - the tooling group provides the mechanisms or tools to get the job done properly with a quality solution,’’ Emenheiser told Rohr.
TE has a long legacy of pioneering wire harness production and printed circuit board processing. From crimping a terminal onto a wire or pressing a connector onto a board, TE offers a full range of equipment optimized for your production needs and budget. Its equipment and services are designed to maximize production uptime, extend tooling life, and minimize manufacturing waste.
''The Battery Show is important to TE Application Tooling because it allows us to demonstrate the TE value proposition,'' Emenheiser said later. ''TE is not just a connector manufacturer. TE really offers a highly engineered solution and partnership. The terminals, the connector housing, and the application tooling are all important parts to the final quality and performance of the product. Utilizing a third-party for application tooling is often the cause of poor performance and/or premature failure.''