Is the weather getting worse, or is it a cost reduction?
Earlier in the year we were approached by a manufacturer of industrial and transport monitoring systems who were encountering problems with protecting their equipment having found water inside a number of installations after severe storms.
This OEM was becoming increasingly concerned about the field failures of some critical modules, the problem was eventually traced to moisture ingress through the antenna connection, the IP68 rated RF connector mounted on the outside of the casing was allowing water to penetrate into the electronics within the box. The equipment in question had been in production for some years however failures had increased more recently.
The supplier of the defective part was contacted to discuss the problem but refused to accept that it was the RF connector at fault saying that there must be a problem with the design of the casing seals and the increase in failures was probably due to an increase in the number of storms and severe weather events!
A thorough investigation of the other seals and components affecting the integrity of the case was carried out and no other failures were found. The supplier of the RF connector in question was again approached with the evidence, but still refused to accept it was their problem.
Feeling that the problem was not being taken seriously by this leading multinational connector supplier, the OEM approached COAX Connectors Ltd., for help. COAX have a selection of IP68 sealed RF connectors and a UK based product development team who can investigate and provide solutions in cases like this.
Realising the urgency of this case and the need to provide a reliable solution before too many more of these modules were produced, COAX Connectors designed a new connector for the application. In conjunction with the OEM, tests were carried out to confirm that new part was reliable and would protect the electronics in the module.
Interested in why the original parts were failing, COAX carried out an investigation and found that the material used had been changed, probably to reduce cost, and was clearly not tested fully before being introduced.
Now the OEM in question has completely lost faith in their original supplier, not only with their product integrity, but also with their customer service and ability to respond when a problem occurs, so are gradually migrating all their RF connectors to COAX Connectors Ltd., who they feel act professionally and as a true partner in the supply chain.