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Thomas & Betts Develops Single-Pin Airbag Connector As Worldwide Automotive Standard.

MEMPHIS, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 23, 1997--

Compact orientationless squib connector simplifies airbag


Thomas & Betts (NYSE:TNB) Automotive Division has developed a compact, easy-to-install, single-pin airbag connector with potential for sales of more than 100 million units worldwide annually. This innovative connector system is being proposed by the company as a worldwide automotive standard.

Its compact size and special installation and retention features make the squib connector the right product for driver, passenger and side-impact airbags, as well as other pyrotechnic-initiated devices such as seat belt pretensioners, said Roy Burton, president of Thomas & Betts Electronics OEM Group. The squib connector allows for easier airbag assembly installation in tight spaces, especially where vehicle assembly operators must do this without visual feedback.

The squib connector and the interface with the mating airbag initiator were developed in partnership with Special Devices Inc., a major supplier of pyrotechnic initiators for airbag inflator mechanisms. The connector is designed to comply with industry-standard USCAR (United States Council for Automotive Research) EWCAP (Electrical Wiring Component Applications Partnership) connector specifications.

Similar in concept to a coaxial connector found on TVs and VCRs, a gold-plated contact is made over a centered pin. The second circuit is made at the grounding plate at the base of the squib, with its contact surface available across 360 degrees of rotation during installation. The connector permits electronic diagnostics of the interface mating and locking, and the connector allows the airbag assembly to be safely unmated from the pyrotechnic device.

The squib connector is being prototyped, with parts in quantity for customer sampling expected in first quarter 1998. Thomas & Betts anticipates a model year 2000 production introduction.

The Thomas & Betts Automotive Division is one of the automotive industry's leading suppliers of wiring harnesses, power distribution systems and specialized automotive interconnects, such as high-density sealed I/O connectors, providing complete automotive interconnect solutions on a global basis to major auto makers worldwide.

Headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., Thomas & Betts Corp. is a leading producer of connectors and components for worldwide electrical and electronics markets, with 78 manufacturing and distribution facilities. The company is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:TNB).

For more information about Thomas & Betts products, call 1-800/344-4744 or your local Thomas & Betts distributor; or contact: Thomas & Betts, Electronics Group, 1555 Lynnfield Road, Memphis, Tenn. 38119 or via e-mail at .

CONTACT: Thomas & Betts Corp., Memphis

Renee Dodea, 901/682-8221, ext. 3504


BtB Marketing Communications

Robin Boettcher, 919/872-8172


Thomas & Betts Automotive Division, Clinton Twp.



Special Devices Inc., Newhall

David M. Forman, 805/259-0753.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 23, 1997
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