Precision Gives TE Connectivity a Performance Advantage
Few companies appreciate precision machining as much as TE Connectivity Ltd (formerly Tyco Electronics Ltd), the world’s largest manufacturer of passive component electronics based on “interconnect technology.”
TE Connectivity manufactures over 500,000 precision-engineered products (including connectors, relays, circuit breakers, and active and passive fiber optic components) across many industries, including consumer electronics, energy and healthcare, automotive, and aerospace and communications networks. TE and its 100,000 employees are committed to infusing every product or service they provide with a performance advantage.
Measuring Performance in Millimeters
For TE, performance advantages are measured in millimeters. Case in point, creating one of TE’s signature technologies – the tiny holes drilled into plastic sheets to make sockets for connecting computer chips to circuit boards.
“Our company provides an interconnect solution between computer chips and circuit boards,” says Steve, a senior planner and buyer for TE Connectivity. “Unlike most interconnect solutions, TE’s do not require soldering; engineers like that.”
TE’s solution involves injecting a silver polymer into a tiny socket hole to create an electrical connection. Beginning in 1998, when TE Connectivity was still known as Tyco, to insure the requisite level of precision (known as “tight tolerance” among engineers), it turned to QC Precision Machining for its MPI manufacturing.
“Our products require staying within an exacting specification, down to thousandths of a millimeter;” says Catherine, a prototyping specialist at TE. “QC Precision Machining gives us that tight tolerance.”
Typically, QC Precision Machining is called on to drill 5 mm-thick plastic sheets to accommodate the TE sockets. The plastic is the insulator or the carrier of the silver mix. QC Precision Machining also drills or routs thicker materials (usually plastics 9-13 mm thick) for accompanying parts, such as stops.
Partnering for More than 20 Years
TE’s working partnership with QC Precision Machining is now in its second decade and is going strong.
“QC Precision Machining differs from most other suppliers in terms of flexibility,” Steve says. “They provide tight-tolerance products in short lead time that are high quality and have good repeatability.”
That’s the main reason that Catherine places between 15 and 20 orders with QC Precision Machining every few weeks.
“QC Precision Machining is great: they provide precision parts and they work well with our engineers.”