New generation of quick connectors 14 January 2013

NORMA Group, a global solution provider of engineered joining technology, has introduced the NORMAQUICK TWIST III – a new generation quick connector. We spoke to Patrik Lewcun, project manager application engineering (fluid) at NORMA Group, about the latest development and the importance of innovation.

NORMA Group’s strategy is ‘customer value through innovation’. Why does the group place innovation at the heart of its business?
“For us innovation is a measurement of success according to our strategy. We consider ourselves to be technology leaders for engineered joining technology and through the quality of our product groups, and the constant innovation of different solutions, we are able to keep our commitment to our customers’ of answering all their connecting needs for a variety of systems.

NORMA Group’s commitment to innovative solutions is underlined by it currently having over 250 patents, with a further 100+ patents pending.”

What made you decide to create a new generation of quick connectors?
“The new generation of NORMAQUICK TWIST III came about due to industry need. It was the necessity to produce something innovative to solve issues concerning space requirements, as well as the increasing requirements for temperature resistance and mechanical properties.

There are three versions of the TWIST III – standard applications, high temperature applications, and those for welding with flexible ducts.

The NORMAQUICK TWIST III is a very innovative product that is unique in a lot of aspects. It took us 3 - 5 years to develop and achieve the specifications requirements that NORMA Group was aiming to achieve.

The TWIST III is a ‘push and seal’ quick connector, meaning that no secondary locking is required. The TWIST III can be used on different materials and designs to accommodate the different needs of applications in a variety of industries. It has good mechanical performance such as absorbing mechanical loads and movements, and the materials used also have good temperature properties, as well as hydrolysis properties.”

What are the main features of the NORMAQUICK TWIST III?
“The principal of the NORMAQUICK TWIST III is that it can be used for any type of application where quick connectors are currently used or where there is a possibility of quick connectors being used in the future.

Currently NORMA Group brand quick connectors are being used in water management systems, fuel management systems, cooling systems, as well as charged air systems.

The charged air systems are mainly in automotive applications, with the NORMAQUICK TWIST III available in sizes from 45mm up to 80mm. It can be used with elastomer hoses, as well as other plastic ducts when working with welded configurations. It can also be welded onto different adapters and sensors.

The main features of the TWIST III are that it is extremely short (only 21.5mm spigot length) for a quick connector and that it does not require any positioning on the spigot to function properly. The smaller that we can make products, without compromising the performance, the better suited it becomes for the application.

To remove the TWIST III the user simply twists the connector – its symmetrical design means that it can be opened from any direction, as well as being re-tightened in any position. This makes it ideal for applications where space is at a premium, such as in the automotive industry where the available space in the engine compartment is becoming less and less each year.

The TWIST III can be easily assembled, safely and securely disassembled, and quickly re-assembled without any loss of performance in the components.”

How has the NORMAQUICK TWIST III been accepted into the market?
“The TWIST III has been accepted well into the market. It is already being used in some commercial applications where it is supplied in nylon material or PBT.

So far charged air applications are the main area where it has been used. It has been well received due to its low ergonomic requirements such as low assemble effort. Our customers also like that fact it's so small, but keeps the necessary mechanical strength.”

What future plans do you have for the NORMAQUICK TWIST III and quick connectors in general?
“The main activity for the TWIST III is that we are planning to finalise our designs and to focus on offering smaller sizes. We currently offer sizes from 45mm – 80mm. However, we are looking at using this quick connector for other applications, where smaller sizes down to 10mm are necessary. We are also looking at going up in size as well, past 80mm and up to 100mm.

As for quick connectors in general, we are constantly in the process of developing, together with our customers, new solutions that will fulfil our customers future requirements.”

What is currently driving the light-weighting trend in vehicles?
“I believe that the main driving force is environmental awareness and the constantly increasing requirements for less carbon emissions. Lighter vehicles mean less fuel consumption, which in turn means lower carbon emissions.

Light-weighting is something that we at NORMA Group take into consideration when designing solutions. Our research and development teams work together, from all over the world, to consistently optimise our products as much as possible to save as much weight as we can. 

The important thing when designing a new solution is that you always have future requirements and potential standards in mind, to make sure that when they are implemented the products are already suitable.”

Claire Aldridge Deputy Editor t: +44 (0) 1727 743 889

Having joined the magazine in 2012, Claire developed her knowledge of the industry through the numerous company visits, exhibitions and conferences she attended both in the UK and abroad.

Claire prides herself on keeping readers well informed and up to date with the latest industry news.