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US008746026B2

(12) United States Patent (10) Patent N0.: US 8,746,026 B2


Bruhin (45) Date of Patent: Jun. 10, 2014

(54) METHOD FOR DETERMINING THE (56) References Cited


QUALITY OF A CRIMPED CONNECTION
BETWEEN A CONDUCTOR AND A CONTACT U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS

6,212,924 B1* 4/2001 Meisser ....................... .. 72/21.4


(75) Inventor: Leo Bruhin,Luceme (CH) 6,418,769
6,819,116 B1*
B2* 11/2004
7/2002 Ishibashiet
Schreiner .........
a1. ............
.. .. 324/538

(73) Assignee: Komax Holding AG, Dierikon (CH)


FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
(*) Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this DE 4014221 A1 11/1990
patent is extended or adjusted under 35 EP 0 460 441 A1 12/1991
U.S.C. 154(b) by 755 days. EP 0 902 509 A1 3/1999
EP 1071 174 A2 1/2001

(21) App1.No.: 12/556,661 * cited by examiner


Primary Examiner * Shelley Self
(22) Filed: Sep. 10, 2009 Assistant Examiner * MattheW G Katcoff
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm * Fraser Clemens Martin &
(65) Prior Publication Data Miller LLC; William J. Clemens
US 2010/0139351 A1 Jun. 10, 2010 (57) ABSTRACT
A method for determining the quality of a crimped connec
(30) Foreign Application Priority Data tion between a conductor and a contact includes operating a
crimping device to exert a crimping force on the conductor
Oct. 2, 2008 (EP) ................................... .. 08165675 and the contact. From the crimping force curve that occurs
during the crimping, a normalized force-distance crimping
force curve is derived and a compression area is determined
(51) Int. Cl. Which lies under a reference crimping force curve. The crimp
B21C 51/00 (2006.01) ing force curve and the reference crimping force curve are
(52) US. Cl. subdivided into several zones, the subdivision taking place
USPC ......................................................... .. 72/201 under consideration of the size of the compression area. A
further area that lies under the crimping force curve is deter
(58) Field of Classi?cation Search
mined and used to infer the quality of the crimped connection.
USPC .......... .. 72/20.1*21.6; 29/40708, 56445648,
A device for performing the method is provided.
29/33 M, 751, 863; 324/538
See application ?le for complete search history. 10 Claims, 8 Drawing Sheets
US. Patent Jun. 10, 2014 Sheet 1 0f8 US 8,746,026 B2

Fig. 1
(PRIOR ART)

Fig. 2
(PRIOR ART)
1

Fig. 3
(PRIOR ART)

11
US. Patent Jun. 10, 2014 Sheet 2 0f8 US 8,746,026 B2

Fig. 4
(PRIOR ART)

Fig. 6a
(PRIOR ART)

Fig. 5
(PRiOR ART)

Fig. 6b
(PRIOR ART)
US. Patent Jun. 10, 2014 Sheet 3 0f 8 US 8,746,026 B2
US. Patent Jun. 10, 2014 Sheet 4 0f8 US 8,746,026 B2

15 45
M
40 16
N
28 MOTOR {EEARBOXI
\ 48 CONTROLLER 19
ASp/
1.1.18
41
47 P I
e CONTROL
% UN."
42
[:1 1/
Fig. 8

15

40
,J
28 49 MOTOR
AB/J CONTROLLER 19 45

CONTROL
UNIT
US. Patent Jun. 10, 2014 Sheet 5 0f8 US 8,746,026 B2

Force

M Angle 8 Stroke 8

Fig. 1061 Fig. 10b


US. Patent Jun. 10, 2014 Sheet 6 0f8 US 8,746,026 B2

1=Fp

(D
8
2
"U
0)
.E
E
EO
z

_ D
CSIA 0
Stroke [mm]
- F

csiB = 2 a 172 6
2
.9
"U
(D
.E
To
E
O
2

Fig. 12 Stroke [mm]


US. Patent Jun. 10, 2014 Sheet 7 0f8 US 8,746,026 B2

1
K ..

csiC = (csiA ~ csiB) I 2 8


'0
0)
.?
E
EO
z

n .. . I 0

I csiA csiB 0
Fg- 13 Stroke [mm]

| I | F

(- ZiSO ->(- ch __>


1

0.8 8
J
0.6 8
.?
'6
0.4 E
0
2
WM 0-2
- . l i - . 0

1 0.8 0.6 0,4 0.2 0


Fig. 14 Stroke [mm]
US. Patent Jun. 10, 2014 Sheet 8 0f8 US 8,746,026 B2

4000 .l .
1+Ziso+
3000 -

"2.1a: 2000 -
E
o
LL

1000 -

0 I! | l ' e

_ 1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0


Flg' 15 Stroke [mm]

0.4 a)
0.3
6 fc.a pc'8

iQ. 0.2
()_1 A f/ \
Fig. 16a 0 -MCL
| 43me
.r 0|
Rmc[%mc]
0.4
US 8,746,026 B2
1 2
METHOD FOR DETERMINING THE sectional areas of the conductor (WCS) and of the contact part
QUALITY OF A CRIMPED CONNECTION (TCS) before deformation, see FIG. 6b, according to the
BETWEEN A CONDUCTOR AND A CONTACT formula:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION


CCS
-100%
The invention relates to a method for determining the qual
ity of a crimped connection between a conductor and a con
tact wherein a crimping device produces a crimping force by A quality goal is to attain a certain Crimp Compression
means of which the contact is electrically and mechanically Ratio (CCR) irrespective of whichever conductor cross-sec
unreleasably connectable with the conductor. tion is processed. This is achieved by the corresponding crimp
height being speci?ed for each conductor cross-section.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The conductor crimp must enclose all of the individual
strands. At the front end of the conductor crimp the individual
The term to crimp is internationally established and strands, depending on their cross section, must project by
de?ned in standards. In practice, however, terms such as about 0.5 mm and must not disappear into the crimp. In the
press, squeeze, stamp, or apply are also used. window that is situated between the conductor crimp and the
Crimping is to be understood as the creation of an unreleas insulation crimp, the conductor and the conductor insulation
able electrical and mechanical connection between a conduc 20 must be visible. The insulating crimp must surround the insu
tor and a contact. In the crimping operation, the material of lation without penetrating into the latter.
the crimp contact and of the conductor that are to be con Important criteria for the appraisal of a crimped connection
nected is plastically, permanently deformed. When this are the crimp form, the crimp height as a measure of the
occurs, poorly conducting surface layers, if present, are bro Crimp Compression Ratio, and the conductor pull-out
ken open, which favors the electrical conductivities. A correct 25 strength. However, these criteria are only suitable when set
crimping also prevents the penetration of corrosive media ting up the crimping machine and for random sampling dur
even under dif?cult operating conditions such as change of ing production. To satisfy the present-day quality require
temperature or vibration. ments for all crimped connections, means must be available
The goal of crimping is to create a good mechanical and which, during the crimping operation, can record, analyze,
electrical connection which remains qualitatively unchanged 30 and save crimping data about each crimped connection and
in the long term. in?uence results-oriented machine data. For the appraisal of
For the purpose of crimping, use is made of contact-spe the crimped connection (without mechanical destruction of
ci?c crimping tools with a stationary crimping anvil below the crimped connection) the crimping force is placed in rela
and a vertically displaceable crimping stamp above (see FIG. tion to the crimping distance or the crimping time. With
1 to FIG. 3). Mounted in the crimping tool are the crimping 35 corresponding analysis of the crimping data, the quality of a
stamp for the conductor crimp and the crimping stamp for the crimped connection can be reliably appraised.
insulation crimp, which usually by means of notched disks A method or device for appraisal of the quality of a crimped
with different height cams can be set independently of each connection must detect crimp faults such as incorrect insula
other in the vertical direction to the conductor diameter or the tion crimp height, incorrect conductor crimp height, omitted
insulation diameter respectively. These settings directly 40 strands in the conductor crimp, incorrect or no stripped insu
affect the quality of the crimped connection. lation length, incorrect insertion depth, or strands cut off
In the case of open crimp contacts (see FIG. 4 and FIG. 5), during insulation- stripping, and generate corresponding error
feeding of the wire takes place above the contact. Usually, the messages.
previously insulation-stripped conductor is correctly posi Prior Art
tioned by machines for the crimping operation simulta 45 From European patent application EP 0 460 441 a method
neously in the radial and the axial direction. Through the has become known for the detection of missing strands, or of
downward movement of the crimping stamp, ?rst the conduc crimped-in conductor insulation, in a crimped connection by
tor is lowered by means of a mechanism into the upwardly reference to the pattern of the crimping force. During a crimp
opened conductor and insulation-crimp claws, after which the ing operation, value pairs consisting of crimping force and
crimping operation per se begins, with deformation of the 50 position of the crimping stamp are measured and saved. The
lugs corresponding to the forms of the crimping stamps.After value pairs that are measured during the creation of a crimped
the stroke of the crimping stamp, the crimp has the desired connection give the pattern of crimping force of the crimping
pressed form (see FIG. 5), which again depends on the contact operation with the crimping force depending on the position
sheet metal that is used, the conductor cross-section, the of the crimping stamp. The section of the curve with sharply
copper of the conductor, and the insulation stripping. With 55 increasing force is linearized and a point is determined from
closed contacts, after being radially aligned the conductor the mean of the minimum and the maximum crimping force.
must be inserted axially into the crimping area of the contact, The point is compared with a reference value. If the point lies
which has the shape of a tube. within a prede?ned deviation from the reference value, the
A cross-sectional view of a faultlessly executed crimped crimped connection is of acceptable quality. When analyzing
contact shows the originally individual round strands of the 60 the pattern of the crimping force of the crimping operation,
conductor pressed compactly against each other into poly the maximum crimping force is also considered. If the maxi
gons. In the crimp area of the contact, the inner surface shows mum crimping force deviates excessively from a reference
deformations of the contact points of the individual strands. value, the crimped connection is rejected as unusable. The
An important parameter for the degree of pressing of the point in the section of the curve with sharply increasing force,
conductor crimp is the Crimp Compression Ratio (OCR), 65 and the maximum crimping force, provide information about
de?ned as the ratio of the cross-sectional area of the crimped missing strands or about crimped-in conductor insulation in
conductor crimp (CCS), see FIG. 6a, to the sum of the cross the crimped connection.
US 8,746,026 B2
3 4
In a normal commercially available crimping press, during art from the following detailed description of a preferred
the crimping operation a force sensor registers the force, embodiment when considered in the light of the accompany
which is saved in digital form as a force-dependent curve ing drawings in which:
pattern. This is compared with a reference curve. Depending FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a wire and a contact before
on the magnitude of the deviation from the reference, the type crimping;
of crimping fault is determined. FIG. 2 shows the wire and the contact during crimping;
Disadvantageous with this method is that, despite great FIG. 3 shows the wire and the contact after crimping;
outlay for computing, saving, and calculation, no meaningful FIG. 4 shows a crimped connection between the conductor
statement about the quality of the crimped connection is
possible. and a contact;
Also known from prior art European EP 0 902 509 B1 is a FIG. 5 shows the crimped connection of FIG. 4, in cross
crimping device having a crimping stamp with which a con section;
tact can be connected with a conductor. The crimping device FIG. 6a shows a contact and a conductor before crimping,
includes a force sensor which is arranged above the crimping in cross section;
stamp to determine the crimping force. FIG. 6b shows the contact and the conductor after crimp
To determine the quality of the crimped connection, the ing, in cross section;
crimping force curve is plotted and subdivided into several FIG. 7 shows a crimping press according to the invention in
zones. To determine the width of the ?rst and of the second a perspective view;
zone, the width of the fourth zone is multiplied by a factor FIG. 8 shows a block diagram of a ?rst embodiment of a
between 0 and 2. The highest point on the reference crimping control according to the invention together with a part of the
force curve is normalized to 100%. The width of the third 20 crimping press;
zone is then determined through the two 90% points on the FIG. 9 shows a block diagram of a second embodiment of
reference crimping force curve. the control together with a part of the crimping press;
FIG. 1011 shows a force-angle curve which was recorded
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION with the control according to FIG. 9;
25 FIG. 10b shows a force-distance curve transformed from
It is here that the invention sets out to provide a remedy. An
the force-angle curve according to FIG. 1011;
objective of the invention is to propose a method and a device
in which the aforesaid disadvantages are avoided and which FIG. 11 is a diagram which shows the pattern of, the crimp
results in an improved quality assurance. ing force, normalized to 1, in relation to the distance with a
The object is ful?lled by a method for determining the parameter csiA which indicates the beginning of the com
quality of a crimped connection between a conductor and a 30 pression phase;
contact, in which, by means of a crimping device, a crimping FIG. 12 shows the same pattern of the crimping force as in
force is exerted on the conductor and the contact, in which the FIG. 11, but with a parameter csiB, which indicates the width
crimping force curve that occurs during the crimping is deter of the decompression phase;
mined, in which a compression surface that lies under a FIG. 13 shows the same pattern of the crimping force as in
reference crimping force curve is determined, in which the 35 FIG. 1 1, but with a parameter csiC, which indicates the area of
crimping force curve and the reference crimping force curve the compression;
are subdivided into several zones, the subdivision taking FIG. 14 shows a pattern of the crimping force which is
place under consideration of the size of the compression subdivided into two analysis zones, Ziso and ch;
surface, and in which at least one further area that lies under FIG. 15 shows the force-distance pattern for a faultless
the crimping force curve is determined, the area being a 40 reference crimp R, a faulty crimp C1 with 10% missing
measure for the quality of the crimping connection. strands, and a faulty crimp C2 with crimped-in insulation;
In addition, the object is ful?lled by a device for execution FIG. 1611 shows a distribution density function for the case
of the method with a crimping stamp, with a linear sensor to that the weighting factors S1, S2, and S3 are equally large;
register the position of the crimping stamp, with a force and
sensor to register the crimping force, and with an analyzer 45 FIG. 16b shows a distribution density function for the case
unit, which is connected with the linear sensor and the force
sensor and embodied and operable in such manner that with it
that the weighting factors S1, S2, and S3 were optimally
the quality of a crimped connection is determinable. selected so that the scatter of the Rmc values is minimal.
The crimping device for crimping a conductor and a con
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED
tact, in accordance with the invention, includes a crimping
stamp, with a linear sensor to register the position of the 50 EMBODIMENT
crimping stamp, with a force sensor to register the crimping
force, and with an analyzer unit, which is connected with the The following detailed description and appended drawings
linear sensor and the force sensor and embodied and operable describe and illustrate various exemplary embodiments of the
in such manner that with it the quality of a crimped connec invention. The description and drawings serve to enable one
tion is determinable. 55 skilled in the art to make and use the invention, and are not
The advantages obtained from the invention are essentially intended to limit the scope of the invention in any manner. In
to be seen in that, with the improved discrimination of the respect of the methods disclosed, the steps presented are
faults, an increase in quality is possible, that with the more exemplary in nature, and thus, the order of the steps is not
sensitive fault diagnosis fewer rejects occur, and that conse necessary or critical.
quential faults, for example a breakdown of a passenger car Ways of Executing the Invention
due to a loose connection in a plugged connection, are FIGS. 1 to 3 show a crimping operation in which the end of
avoided. a wire 1, out of which a portion of conductor projects, is
connected with a contact 2. An open crimp zone 3 of the
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS contact 2 has a ?rst double lug 4 for the insulation crimp 5 and
65 a second double lug 6 for a conductor crimp 7. FIG. 1 shows
The above, as well as other advantages of the present crimping stamps 8, 9 in the upper dead-point position. The
invention, will become readily apparent to those skilled in the end of the conductor insulation lies in the ?rst double lug 4,
US 8,746,026 B2
5 6
and the stripped-wire section lies in the second double lug 6. a charge q that is proportional to the force F. The proportion
As shown in FIG. 2, when the crimping stamps 8, 9 are ality factor is the charging constant k. A capacitor 43 with
lowered, the double lugs 4, 6 are pressed against each other by capacity C is connected in parallel with the force sensor 23.1
means of wedge-shaped notches 10, which are located in the and, together with a succeeding voltage ampli?er 46, forms a
crimping stamps 8, 9. An anvil 9.1 serves as support. A con charging ampli?er. The output voltage u on the output of the
cave upper end of the notch 10 gives the double lug 4, 6, charging ampli?er is found from the formula
together with the conductor insulation 11 or the conductor
respectively, its ?nal form. FIG. 3 shows the ?nished crimped
connection with the insulating crimp 5, in which the ?rst 14:
double lug 4 is pressed around the conductor insulation 11,
and with the conductor crimp 7, in which the second double
lug 6 is pressed around the conductor. where g is the ampli?cation factor of the voltage ampli?er 46.
FIG. 4 shows a faultless crimped connection in which, in a In addition, a discharging switch 44 is provided which
window 13, the insulation 11 of the wire 1 and the individual discharges the charge of the capacitor 43 before each crimp
strands of the conductor 12 are visible. At the contact end of ing cycle. An analog-digital converter 47 which is connected
the conductor crimp 7, the individual strands are again vis after the charging ampli?er digitalizes the output voltage u,
ible. which represents the utilized force F, synchronous with the
FIG. 5 shows a good crimped connection 7 in cross section. position impulses 48 that are supplied by the linear sensor 20.
Depending on the stroke of the crimping stamps 8, 9, the From the digitalized force F and the position impulses 48, the
crimp 7 has the desired pressed form with a crimp height CH 20 force-distance curve of the crimping operation is formed. A
and a crimp width CW. control unit 42 handles the storage and analysis of the force
FIG. 6a shows a contact and a conductor, before crimping, distance curve.
in cross section. FIG. 9 shows an alternative embodiment of the control 28.
FIG. 6b shows the contact and the conductor, after crimp This differs from the embodiment according to FIG. 8, ?rstly
ing, in cross section. 25 in that the angle sensor 45 registers the angle of rotation e of
FIG. 7 shows a possible embodiment of a crimping press in the shaft 19 and for this purpose is in contact with the shaft. It
a perspective view. The crimping press includes a stand 14, differs from the embodiment according to FIG. 8 secondly in
which in FIG. 7 is shown partly broken away. Arranged on the that the position of the slide 22 is not registered by the linear
stand 14 is a motor 15 with a gearbox 16.Also arranged on the sensor 20 (FIG. 8) but by the angle sensor 45. With the aid of
stand 14 are ?rst guides 17 on which a ram 18 is guided. A 30
a corresponding converter 50, the angle 6 that is supplied by
shaft 19 that is driven by the gearbox 16 has at one end an the angle sensor 45 is transformed into a stroke s. From the
eccentric pin. The ram 18 comprises a slide 22, which is digitalized force F, and the thus determined distance s, the
guided in the ?rst guides 17, and a tool holder 23 with force force-distance curve of the crimping operation is then
sensor 23 .1. The slide 22 is loosely connected with the eccen formed.
tric pin, whereby the rotational movement of the eccentric pin 35 FIG. 1011 shows the force-angle curve which is scanned at
is transformed into a linear movement of the slide 22. The constant angular steps of A6. The 180 point on the abscissa
position of the slide 22, and hence of the ram 18, is registered with the angle 6 forms the lower dead point of the ram 18. At
with a linear sensor 20. The maximum stroke of the slide 22 this point the force is at its maximum. With the formula
is determined by the upper dead point and the lower dead
point of the eccentric pin 21 (FIGS. 8 and 9). The tool holder 40
23 usually actuates the crimping tool 8, 9 (FIG. 1) which, the crimping distance s is calculated from the angle 6. In the
together with an anvil 9.1 that forms part of the crimping tool, formula, r is the distance between the eccentric pin 21 and
produces the crimped connection. the center of the shaft 19.
FIG. 8 shows in a ?rst block circuit diagram a ?rst embodi FIG. 10b shows the force-distance curve that is derived
ment of a control 28 together with parts of the crimping press 45 with this formula from the measured force-angle curve (FIG.
that is shown in FIG. 7. The control 28 is embodied as a 10a). The force-distance curve is divided into a compression
control loop and serves to control the crimping press. The phase K and a decompression phase DK. In the diagrams
control loop contains a motor controller 40, the motor 15, and shown in FIGS. 10b to 15, the zero point is located to the right
an angle sensor 45 for registration of the angle of rotation of on the x axis.
the motor shaft. The crimping movement for a stroke is regu 50 Crimp Signature
lated according to a prede?ned velocity-angle pro?le of the FIG. 11 shows a diagram in which the pattern of the crimp
motor controller 40. The rotational movement is transferred ing force is displayed depending on the distance. This pattern
from the motor 15 to the gearbox 16 and then to the shaft 19, is also referred to as a crimp signature. Shown on the x axis
on one end of which the eccentric pin 21 is arranged. The is the crimping distance that the slide 22 of the ram 18 travels.
eccentric pin 21 sets the slide 22 of the ram 18 in linear 55 The crimping distance is also referred to as the stroke.
motion. Entered on the y axis is the force normalized to l . The force
The position of the slide 22 of the ram 18 is registered by axis is normalized because then the force sensor 23 .1 (FIG. 7)
the linear sensor 20. The linear sensor 20 comprises a scale need not be calibrated. It is thus suf?cient if the force sensor
with equidistantly (separation As) arranged position mark 23.1 supplies a signal which is proportional to the exerted
ings which are applied to the slide 22 of the ram 18. In 60 force F but not scaled absolutely. Normalization of the force
addition, the linear sensor 20 contains a stationary reading axis allows the use of an inexpensive uncalibrated force sen
head. The linear sensor 20 generates an electrical voltage sor 23.1.
impulse 48 whenever one of the position markings passes the The crimping distance can be derived from the position
reading head. signal 48 that is generated, by the linear sensor 20.
The force sensor 23.1 measures the force F that is used 65 If the crimping press has no linear sensor 20, the crimping
during the crimping operation for the deformation. The force distance can be derived from the angle of rotation e of the
sensor 23.1 is based on the piezoelectric effect and generates shaft (eccentric axis) 19. For this purpose, the angle of rota
US 8,746,026 B2
7 8
tion 6 is measured with the angle sensor 45 and transformed CH causes an identically large change AcsiC of the Crimp
into a distance with the converter 50. Signature Index csiC with reversed sign. Hence the formula
With the aid of the formula applies:
AcsiCIACH

From the values csiC and csiB a further Crimp Signature


Index csiD is calculated:

a parameter csiA can be determined which serves as measure


for commencement of the compression phase K. The com
pression phase begins where the lugs 6 touch the conductor
12. Hereinafter, the parameter csiA is also referred to as
Crimp Signature Index csiA. The Crimp Signature Index csiD can be used to detect a
In the formula, A is an area which in the compression phase fault when setting up the crimping device. In particular, with
lies under the crimping force curve, starts at a normalized the Crimp Signature Index csiD it can be detected whether the
force of ly, and extends as far as the peak force FpII. conductor was suf?ciently stripped of insulation.
Hereinafter, the area A is also referred to as compression From the values csiB and csiC a further Crimp Signature
area. y is a constant which is advantageously selected so that Index csiE is calculated:
its value lies in the area of the constantly increasing force. In
20 csiEIcsiB-csiC
the present example y:0.5.
FIG. 12 shows the same pattern of the crimping force as in The Crimp Signature Index csiE is proportional to the
FIG. 11, but with a parameter csiB which characterizes the compression work of the crimping operation, and is hence
width of the decompression phase. also proportional to the Crimp Compression Ratio CCR:
With the aid of the formula
25

The Crimp Signature Index csiE can also be used to detect


a fault when setting up the crimping device. In particular, the
Crimp Signature Index csiE can be used to verify whether the
30 set crimp height CH, and the set wire cross section, match the
a parameter csiB as measure for the width of the decompres speci?cations.
sion phase DK can be determined. The decompression phase Determination of the Analysis Zones
DK begins after the eccentric pin 21 has reached the lower Described hereinafter by reference to FIG. 14 is how from
dead point and ends when the crimping stamp 8, 9 is removed the crimping force curve the analysis zones Ziso and ch are
from the contact 2. Hereinafter, the parameter or value csiB is 35 determined. The analysis zone ch is further subdivided into
also referred to as Crimp Signature Index csiB. N subzones Z1, Z2, . . . , Zi, . . . , ZN, for N>2. In the
In the formula, B is the size of the area which in the following explanations, N is set to 3. FIG. 14 shows a ?rst
decompression phase DK lies below the crimping force crimping force curve R for a reference crimp which is here
curve. Hereinafter, the area B is also referred to as decom inafter referred to as Reference Crimping Force Curve R. In
pression area. Advantageously, the value of the constant y 40 addition, FIG. 14 shows a second crimping force curve E,
lies in the area of the constant decline in force, and in the whose pattern is typical for a void crimp. Both crimping force
present example is 0.8. curves R and E have the same analysis zones Ziso and ch.
If, for example, for the constant y the value y:0.8 is The analysis zone ch is additionally subdivided into three
selected, the area B begins at a normalized force of ly:0.2 subzones Z1, Z2, and Z3.
and extends to the peak force Fp:l. 45 The analysis zone Ziso is used to detect the crimp fault
The formula applies Insulation in Crimp. The analysis zone ch is used to
detect the crimp fault Missing Strands.
Fp[N]:csiB[m]-k[N/m] To detect the crimp fault Missing Strands, it is advanta
geous for the analysis zone ch to cover that section of the
where k is a constant
50 crimping force curve in which the compression of the strands
Since the Crimp Signature Index csiB is proportional to the takes place. However, the analysis zone ch should not be
peak force Fp, the formula applies situated before this compression area, because otherwise
unnecessary noise components will be analyzed. For this
reason, the zone widths are de?ned by reference to the Crimp
From the values csiA and csiB a further Crimp Signature 55 Signature Index csiA which, as stated above, indicates the
Index csiC is calculated: start of the compression phase.
The analysis zone ch is calculated as follows:

60 where W is a parameter which lies in the range from W:0.5


to 2.0 and for which the standard value is W:l.
As shown in FIG. 13, the Crimp Signature Index csiC The subzones Z1, Z2, and Z3 are determined as follows:
corresponds to the area of the triangle with the base line csiA
csiB and the height 1. This area is identical to the compres
sion surface of the crimp signature. The analysis zone Ziso is determined as follows:
The Crimp Signature Index csiC can be used to monitor the
crimp height CH. A small change ACH in the crimp height Ziso :ch/3
US 8,746,026 B2
10
Monitoring of the Crimp Height During Active Production The scaling factor ScaleFactorRmc serves to scale the
The crimp height is monitored with the Crimp Signature value Rmc, so that Rmc corresponds to the relative proportion
Index csiC. For this purpose, the Crimp Signature Index csiC of missing strands.
during a crimping operation is determined and compared with To determine the scaling factor ScaleFacorRmc, a faulty
a tolerance value chTol. crimp with a de?ned proportion mc % of missing strands is
For the case that the crimp height, and thus the Crimp executed. If, for example, 2 of 19 strands are missing, the
Signature Index csiC, of the crimp that is currently to be value mc is given by mc:2/19*100:10.5%. If, for example, a
examined deviates too far from the reference crimp height, or void crimp is executed, in other words a contact is crimped
in other words exceeds the tolerance value chTol, the produc without conductor, the value mc is given by mc:1/
1*100:100%. The scaling factor ScaleFacorRmc is now
tion is switched off, which means that no further crimpings
determined in such manner that the result of this faulty crimp
are executed.
RmcImc %.
Crimp Fault Missing Strands For the case that the result Rmc for the crimp that is cur
With the solution according to the invention, it can be rently to be examined exceeds the fault limitiBLMC, the
detected whether, and also how many, strands of a conductor production is, for example, switched off, i.e. no further crimp
12 (FIG. 4) were not crimped during the crimping. FIG. 15 ings are executed. However, instead of this, the crimp can be
shows a typical force-distance pattern R for a faultless crimp designated as reject without the production being stopped.
and a typical force-distance pattern C1 for a faultless crimp To determine the fault limit BLMC, several crimps are
with 10% missing strands. executed. Then, from the good crimps, the standard deviation
For the detection of faults, ?rst a value Rmc, which gives 20 std(Rmc) of the Rmc results is calculated. Further, the
the relative proportion of missing strands, and which is here required proportion of missing strands in percent is speci?ed
inafter also referred to as result, is calculated as follows: with the value MCL. If, as value of MCL, for example,
MCL:10% is speci?ed, this means that the system should
detect 10% missing strands with certainty. The calculation of
N 25 the fault limit BLMC is now as follows:
Rmc = ScaleFaclorRmc- 2 Si- Ri
[:1

where the factor a has, for example, the value 3.


where ScaleFactorRmc is a scaling factor, Si is the weighting FIGS. 16a and 16b explain these interrelationships. With
factor for the subzone Zi, and Ri is the relative area difference 30 the value MCL, the percentage proportion of missing strands
for the subzone Zi. is speci?ed that should be detected with certainty. Shown in
The value Rmc is then compared with a fault limit value FIG. 16a is a ?rst distribution density function of the value of
BLMC. The fault limit value BLMC is also referred to as Rmc. FIG. 16b shows a second distribution density function
fault limit. of Rmc. In the distribution density functions shown in FIGS.
35 16a and 16b, the variable Rmc is entered on the x axis. Shown
The relative area difference Ri of a subzone Zi is calculated
on the y axis is the relative frequency p(Rmc) with which the
according to the following formula:
variable Rmc displays a speci?ed value. The distribution
density function of Rmc has its maximum at the mean value
of Rmc. The width of the distribution density function is
40 de?ned by the scatter of Rmc, expressed as the standard
deviation std(Rmc). In FIGS. 16a and 16b, the distribution
density functions of the Rmc values of the faultless crimps are
designated with pc.a and pc.b respectively. The distribution
density functions of the Rmc values with MCL mc % missing
where f is the area that lies under the crimping force curve in
45 strands are designated in FIGS. 16a and 16b with fc.a and fc.b
the subzone Zi, and fRef is the reference area, which lies
under the reference crimping force curve in the subzone Zi.
respectively.
For the distribution density functions fc.a and pc.a accord
The relative area difference Ri is thus the difference
ing to FIG. 1611, the weighting factors Si are of equal magni
between the area f, which lies under the crimping force curve
tude. It can be seen that the discrimination4expressed as the
in the subzone Zi, and the reference area fRef, which lies
50 fault limit BLMCifor the fault detection based on the wide
under the reference crimping force curve in the subzone Zi,
scatter of the Rmc values is insuf?cient. Although the Rmc
divided by this reference area rRef.
values of the faulty crimps (see distribution density function
The scatter of the value Rmc is reduced, and hence the
discrimination for the detection of crimp faults is improved, if fc.a) are all smaller than the fault limitiBLMC, so that the
faulty crimps are detected, some of the Rmc values of the
the weighting factors Si are determined corresponding to the
relevance of the respective relative area difference Ri. The
55 faulty crimps (see distribution density function pc.a) are also
smaller than the fault limitiBLMC and are thus erroneously
weighting factors Si are calculated according to the following
classi?ed as faulty.
formula:
FIG. 16b shows the case in which the weighting factors, as
described above, were determined according to the relevance
60 of the relative area differences Ri. The scatter of the Rmc
Ri(ec)
values is smaller, and the two probability densities pc.b and
fc.b do not overlap each other. Su?icient discrimination is
hence given. The faulty crimps are classi?ed as bad, and the
where Ri(ec) is the relative area difference of the subzone Zi faultless crimps as good.
for a void crimp ec and std(Ri) is the standard deviation of 65 Crimp Fault Insulation in the Crimp
Ri, determined over a relatively large number of faultless A further possible fault when crimping can be that between
crimps. the contact 2 (FIG. 4) and the conductor 12 there is still a
US 8,746,026 B2
11 12
greater or lesser amount of insulation material 11. In FIG. 15, 3 Crimp zone
in addition to the typical force-distance pattern for a faultless 4 Double lug
crimp R, a typical force-distance pattern for a faulty crimp 5 Insulation crimp
with crimped-in insulation C2 is also shown. 6 Double lug
To identify a crimp with crimped-in insulation as being 7 Conductor crimp
faulty, the relative area difference Riso from the zone Ziso is 8 Crimping stamp
compared with a limit value BLISO. The limit value BLISO 9 Crimping stamp
is also designated as fault limit. 9.1 Anvil
The relative area difference Riso is calculated as follows: 10 Notch
11 Conductor insulation
12 Conductor
_ fiso fRefiso Afiso
R150 = 6 = _ 13 Window
fRefzso fRefzso 14 Stand
15 Motor
The relative area difference Riso is thus the difference 16 Gearbox
between the area ?so, which lies under the crimping force 17 Guide
curve C2 in the analysis zone Ziso, and under the reference 18 Ram
area fRe?so, which lies under the reference crimping force 19 Shaft
curve R in the zone Ziso, divided by this reference area 20 Linear measurement system
rRe?so. 20 21 Eccentric pin
For the case that the relative area difference Riso for the 22 Slide
crimp that is currently to be tested exceeds the area limit value 23 Tool holder
BLISO, the crimp is, for example, designated as reject. 23.1 Force sensor
To determine the fault limit BLiSO, several crimpings are 28 Control
executed. From the good crimpings, the fault limit BLISO is 25 40 Motor controller
then statistically calculated.
41 Control unit
Determination of the Process Parameter
Before a crimped connection can be processed for the ?rst 42 External computer
time, the process parameters must ?rst be determined. These, 43 Capacitor
are then saved in a database and can be called up each time for 44 Discharging switch
the production of the corresponding crimped connection. The 30 45 Angle sensor
process parameters include: 46 Voltage ampli?er
The Crimp Signature Indices csiA0, csiB0, csiC0, csiD0, 47 Analog-digital converter
and csiE0; 48 Impulse sequence of the distance increments
The fault limits BLMC and BLISO; 49 Impulse sequence of the angle increments
The weighting factors S1, S2, and S3; 35 50 Angle-to-distance transformation unit
The scaling factor ScaleFactorRmc. A Area
Set-up of the Crimping Process B Area
When setting up the crimping process on the automatic BLMC Fault limit value
crimping machine, it must be ensured that the crimped con C Capacity
nection matches the speci?cations. It must in particular be 40 CCS Cross-sectional area of the conductor crimp
veri?ed whether the speci?ed wire cross section is processed, CH Crimp height
and whether the crimped connection has the speci?ed crimp csiA Crimp Signature Index
height CH. csiB Crimp Signature Index
Setting-up, with the subsequent automatic veri?cation, csiC Crimp Signature Index
can, for example, proceed as follows. In a ?rst step, the 45 csiD Crimp Signature Index
speci?ed crimp height CH is set as follows. After a ?rst crimp csiE Crimp Signature Index
is produced, the operating person measures the crimp height CW Crimp width
CH and adjusts the crimping tool. This is repeated until the C1 Crimping curve
crimp height CH lies within the tolerance. In a second step, C2 Crimping curve
the setup is veri?ed automatically. For this purpose, the cur 50 DK Decompression phase
rent Crimp Signature Index csiE is compared with the process E Crimping curve
parameter csiE0 that is stored in the database. If the difference F Crimping force
between csiE and csiE0 lies within the tolerance, i.e. the fc.a distribution density function
crimp height CH and the conductor cross section are in order, fc.b distribution density function
the production is released. 55 Fp Peak force
The foregoing description of the exemplary embodiments A?so area difference
according to the present invention serves only illustrative g Ampli?cation factor
purposes and not the purpose of restricting the invention. K Compression phase
Within the scope of the invention, various changes, combina MCL Missing strands value
tions of the embodiments, and modi?cations are possible 60 pc.a distribution density function
without exceeding the scope of the invention or its equiva pc.b distribution density function
lents. p(Rmc) relative frequency
q Charge
LIST OF REFERENCE NUMBERS R Reference crimp curve
65 Rmc Fault detection value
1 Wire s Stroke distance
2 Contact TCS Cross-sectional area of the contact
US 8,746,026 B2
13 14
u Output voltage 2. The method according to claim 1 wherein the compres
WCS Cross-sectional area of the conductor sion surface is determined under a section of the reference
Ziso Analysis zone crimping force curve in which the crimping force increases.
ch Analysis zone 3. The method according to claim 2 wherein a maximum
Z1 Subzone crimping force de?nes an upper end of the section.
Z2 Subzone 4. The method according to claim 1 wherein one of the pair
Z3 Subzone of parameter points (csiA) is a ?rst Crimp Signature Index
6 Angle (csiA) and is determined from the size of the compression
Ae Angular step surface.
5. The method according to claim 4 wherein the zones are
y Constant
In accordance with the provisions of the patent statutes, the
individually weighted.
6. The method according to claim 4 wherein from the
present invention has been described in what is considered to reference crimping force curve for each of the zones a refer
represent its preferred embodiment. However, it should be ence area is determined, from a respective crimping force
noted that the invention can be practiced otherwise than as curve for each of the zones an area is determined, therefrom
speci?cally illustrated and described without departing from area differences and therefrom in turn a total area difference
its spirit or scope. are determined, and based on the total area difference, deter
mining whether one or more strands of the conductor are
What is claimed is:
1. A method for determining the quality of a crimped missing.
connection between a conductor and a contact comprising the 7. The method according to claim 4 including determining,
20 from a reference crimping force curve, a size of the reference
steps of:
a. operating a crimping device to exert a crimping force on area in which in one of the zones lies under the reference
the conductor and the contact; crimping force curve, determining from the crimping force
b. determining a crimping force curve that occurs during curve, an area which lies in the zone under the crimping force
the crimping representing the crimping force exerted curve, determining from the reference area and the area, the
25 area difference, and determining, based on the area differ
versus a stroke distance of the crimping device;
c. determining a compression surface that lies under a ence, whether insulation material is present in the crimp
between the conductor and the contact.
reference crimping force curve, wherein the compres
sion surface corresponds with a triangular area (csiC) 8. The method according to claim 1 including determining
a decompression area that lies under the reference crimping
de?ned by a pair of parameter points (csiA, csiB) of a 30
base line disposed under the reference crimping force force curve, wherein the decompression area is determined
under a section of the reference crimping force curve in which
curve and along an axis representing the stroke distance,
and a point of peak force (Fp) disposed on an axis rep the crimping force declines.
resenting the crimping force exerted; 9. The method according to claim 1 including determining
d. subdividing into several adjacent zones the crimping one of the pair of parameter points (csiB) as a Crimp Signa
35
force curve and the reference crimping force curve along ture Index (csiB) under consideration of the decompression
area.
the compression surface, the subdivision taking place
under consideration of the size of the compression sur 10. The method according to claim 9 including determin
face; and ing another of the pair of parameter points (c siA) as a Crimp
e. determining at least one further area that lies under the Signature Index (csiA) under consideration of the compres
40 sion surface and wherein the another Crimp Signature Index
crimping force curve in a zone outside and adjacent to
the zones of the compression surface, the at least one (csiA) and the Crimp Signature Index (csiB) are used to infer
further area being a measure for the quality of the crimp a crimp height.
ing connection.