RF connector process revolution - stamping sleeve

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The origin of connectors manufacturing was screw machining.  It produced various shapes and sizes of connectors, but was limited by manpower.  As technology advanced, die-casting replaced screw machining. 

Screw Machining
Photo courtesy: wikimedia Retrieved Jan 20, 2016 from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/88/Screw_making_machine

Die casting was for saving time and money since the original machining process took a long time and always came out a lot of waste material -- copper powder.  Die casting, however, were limited to high-fluidity metals and needed a large production volumeto become economical alternative. As a result, CNC machining was used.    

Die Casting
Photo courtesy: www.custompartnet.com Retrieved Jan 20, 2016 from http://www.custompartnet.com/wu/images/die-casting/hot-chamber-machine-open.png

CNC machine can produce various types of RF connectors with various metal materials.  The sleeve, however, a small component of a connector was not easy to be machined out. As a result, the manufacturing was not efficient and machined sleeves were thicker, less flexible and not assembled friendly. 

CNC Machining

Photo courtesy: http://www.rssmfg.com/ Retrieved Jan 20, 2016 from http://www.rssmfg.com/wp-content/gallery/capabilities/cnc-lathe-operations-2.jpg

Moreover, the price of RF connectors was relatively high.  A connector may cost $ 10 USD due to the difficulty of producing sleeve.  Despite the high price and complex procedures, the performance of connectors was not good enough.

Mr. Yen, a Taiwanese engineer was not satisfied with inefficient CNC machining so he decided to make a change.  With rich knowledge and experience, he  originated a new process which eliminated the disadvantage of machining.  He incorporated stamping into the manufacturing and produced the sleeve by stamping.  Then, the sleeves would be assembled with connectors.


Photo courtesy: www.mechnol.com Retrieved Jan 20, 2016 from http://www.mechnol.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Stamping.jpg

Stamping technology was able to produce thinner and flexible sleeves which could increase the performance.  Stamped sleeves were also assembled friendlywhich couldimprove production efficiency.  In addition to incorporating stampingtechnology, he built new auto production lines and assembling lines to multiply the production.                 

Stamped sleeve: The function of sleeves is locking the inserted pin and prevented transmission issue.

Although he successfully produced connectors with his method, he didn’t claimthis patent. He chose to keep this patent open and spread out the technology.  As more and more companies incorporated this technology, the market price ofRF connectors went lower.Thanks to his noble acting, the market prices of RF connectors went down from 10 USD to 1 USD.  Aside from price, the performance increased as well.  Customers now could enjoy the convenience of more affordable and enhanced connectors.  


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