Making the Right Connection for Hybrid Vehicles
Fourstar recently completed a design for manufacturing (DFM) project with XL Hybrids that involved automotive electric connectors for use in hybrid vehicles. Fourstar was asked to help build connecting assemblies for XL Hybrids’ conversion kits.
Our customer uses energy storage solutions in its aftermarket hybrid-electric conversion kits for the automotive industry. This converts gasoline-dependent vehicles to hybrid gas/electric vehicles. The XL Hybrids system improves the gas mileage for large fleets, and it also saves on vehicle brake maintenance costs thanks to the system’s regenerative braking.
Prior to Fourstar acquiring the termination tooling, XL Hybrids purchased a standard cable with long flying leads and then cut down the cables to allow them to work in their application. This was more expensive and required them to purchase long lead time cables that were being built overseas.
The final assembly required 12 components. The high-voltage wiring for XL Hybrids includes two heavy AWG cables: a two conductor for the DC output from the battery to the inverter, and a three conductor for the AC current flowing from the inverter to drive the electric motor. These cables are orange in color for the safety of emergency personnel responding to an accident. They also have a 360-degree shield to prevent electrical interference from the high-voltage cables to any other wiring inside the vehicle.
Terminating these cables into the DC connectors that interface with the battery box requires specialized tooling. The wire processing also requires machinery that can handle the large wire AWG. As part of working with the customer to support these requirements, Fourstar has acquired the specialized tooling necessary to terminate the DC connector, and has employed our large AWG wire processing equipment to prepare the wire for connectorization.
Fourstar helped our customer address their DFM and assembly challenges with cost-effective solutions that reduced labor while increasing quality and performance. Now with all the tooling in place in Hudson MA, XL Hybrids can buy automotive electric connectors with cables made exactly to their specialized application, at a lower cost and with significantly less lead time. (If you are looking for this same capability, look up these part numbers: 9-2141154-1 and 1-2141154-1 2POS, 8MM HV, REC HSG, 90DEG, ASSY, SEALE.) In addition, Fourstar is able to support XL Hybrids in customizing each new application, by building working prototypes, with shortened lead times. In short, Fourstar provided U.S. access to automated manufacturing processes and delivered a final product solution at a very competitive price point.
Fourstar partners with leading companies to “find a better way” for time to market, new product introduction, and design for manufacturing (DFM) initiatives. We’d love to get the conversation started, so contact us today—perhaps we'll find a better way for you.