Interoffice memo

Date:      3/20/2004

To:         Darren Marsh

Cc:         Bill Jimenez, Jeff Tice, Jerry Clinton, Nick Virmani, Dave Rich,

From:     Richard Gobin

RE:         Omnetics Connector trip report

PN: A8485-001 Rev. F Omnetics Nano Connector.  PO: 40836

Omnetics Connector Corp.

7260 Commerce Circle East

Minneapolis, MN. 55432


I visited Omnetics Connector Corporation on Wednesday & Thursday, March 17 & 18, 2004 for the purpose of an on site Source Inspection, review of Omnetics updated corrected traveler and internal process review for DLC 0412, qty. 100 of the A8485-001 rev. F 37 pin male nano connector. This visit also included review of Omnetics Connector Corporation newly machined aluminum assembly bonding fixtures for the A8485 & A8486 part numbers, as well as a review & witness of the shear test digital force gauge set-up for the A8486 samples tested to destruction.

I meet early Wednesday morning with Omnetics Quality Manager, Darren Bentley to brief him on my planned agenda for my two day on site visit. This was my third visit to Omnetics Connector Corporation this year and again, I was granted permission to review the entire assembly build process from incoming receipt of product through final QA & shipping, including all relevent documentation.

My primary focus was to assure the internal manufacturing process is in control to an acceptable level and the LAT tracker team receives a reliable flight worthy nano connector. From my previous visit, see trip report dated March 6, 2004, I had rejected the current aluminum assembly fixtures for poor machining consistency which was the cause for product rejection during my Source Inspection due to mis alignment and bonding between the PPS insulator to the alum housing, resulting in an ~ 8-10 mil gap at mating.

Omnetics scrapped all four previous aluminum bonding assembly fixtures and had four new bonding fixtures machined from an outside machine shop ready for our next production run. I inspected all four new fixtures and had product bonded and cured, then performed 100% visual under 10X magnification.

The four new aluminum bonding fixtures had evidence of first article and drawing release. These new fixtures are a vast improvement to the previous fixtures Omnetics had utilized for previous flight production. These new bonding fixtures have the capacity of holding six (6) nano connectors per fixture during the epoxy bonding & cure process.

Six (6) connectors were pulled from the production lot from the new male bonding fixture for shear testing. The results proved to be positive: Ideal: > 40.0

Sample                      Force: lbs.

1.                                72.80

2.                                56.00

3.                                51.80

4.                                74.80

5.                                61.20

6.                                53.70  

Omnetics performed their shear testing on a calibrated 200lb Chatillon Model UTSM compression Digital Force Gauge. (calibration due 3-11-05).

Related to additional fixture issues, are four (4) new bonding fixtures for our redesigned A8486 PN. It was discovered @ SLAC QA, two weeks ago, during a 25 mate/demate test of five (5) connectors from the new design A8486 of the mate/demate to the A8485 PN that one of the five connectors had an alignment failure. Omnetics was notified of this failure. Omnetics stopped production of the 100 lot qty ready to ship and performed 100% alignment test on all 100 A8485 connectors. Thirty (30) connectors failed this alignment test. Omnetics found the root cause to be the A8586 aluminum fixture, per E-message from Omnnetics dated, March 8, 2004, “the problem lies with our fixturing to bond the male bodies into the alum housings. With the female fixtures, the contacts are located with respect to the nubs on the alum housing and are misaligned.”

The newly machined aluminum fixtures have been first articled and test production connectors have been built, assembled, bonded and inspected for acceptable alignment. I examined all four fixtures and found them to be acceptable. These fixtures have vertical slots and two pin circular holes to stabilize alignment in the X & Y axis. I believe these newly machined A8586 aluminum fixtures, future alignment issues will be eliminated.

Omnetics will provide photographs of both PN fixtures per my request which I will share with you for your review as I receive them.

Omnetics has corrected all production travelers to state: (operation step 9) “Place on fixture F0431 and oven cure at 250 F for 15 minutes.” (Hysol resin Epoxy RE-2039 & Hardener HD-3561). I had them also correct the qty of FLOCK (Cab-O-Sil) used during the 7-2 epoxy mix from “as needed” to “1 teaspoon”.

I reviewed Omnetics rejection data of our product. I found this to be acceptable. Omnetics currently utilizes an internal MRR (Material Rejection Report) which is retained in their QA dept.

As I stated in my previous report, dated March 6, 2004, Omnnetics uses Spec Plating Corp and Arrow Cryogenics for the re-anodizing and bead blasting. All alum shells and PPS insulators for the A8485 PN have been bead blasted and re-anodized and are in stock. However, the process is different for the alum shell, PN A8486. This aluminum shell will be bead blasted only on the contact surface interface between the PPS & alum body. This PN will be masked off during bead blasting and will NOT been sent back to Spec Plating Corp for re-anodizing.

Five samples connectors of the PN A8486 will be sent to Nick Virmani for qual testing due to the new design as soon as SLAC LAT receives the first production run of an anticipated 100 qty. Estimated ship date to Nick Virmani for qual testing is March 30, 2004. (Qual to Mil-Std-1344 method 1003 & 3002, Temp Cycling & Low Signal Level Contact Resistance).

Omnetics has the capacity to build 100 qty lot of both part numbers per week.



Omnetics travelers updated and corrected to capture epoxy cure temp/time of 250F/15 mins.

New Omnetics Alum bonding fixtures tested and found acceptable. Old fixtures scrapped.

No epoxy application or mix or cure changes.

Shear testing results acceptable. Results available from Omnetics.

Action: Tom Perry to complete shear testing of 5 A8485 connectors sent to him in February.

Action: Jeff Tice to forward 5 A8486 connectors to Nick Virmani for qual testing due to redesign.

Action: Omnetics to forward to Richard Gobin digital photos of new alum fixtures.

Action: Omnetics to assign fixture identification numbers to all flight fixtures for production runs and annotate these fixture numbers on travelers.



Richard Gobin