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Eaton offering specialized high-power lock box power connectors for vehicles

Eaton’s eMobility business is now offering specialized high-power lock box (HPLB) power connectors for use in current and future electrified and internal combustion vehicle solutions. The HPLB connectors, a component of eMobility’s Power Connections portfolio, offer a space-saving profile, superior performance, cost savings and reduced manufacturing complexity.

The HPLB connectors were designed and developed by Royal Power Solutions, a leading manufacturer of high-precision electrical connectivity components that Eaton acquired in 2022.

Eaton recommends use of sealed connection systems to meet reliability and durability requirements. Additionally, we’ve designed our HPLB terminal system for high-current and high-temperature applications, up to 500 amps and 125 degrees Celsius, respectively.

—Chris Mancuso, general manager, Power Connections, Eaton


Eaton’s specialized high-power lock box (HPLB) terminal system forms a connection in a unique way that provides improved contact force throughout the component’s service life.

Traditionally, eyelet terminals within vehicle electrical components are not sealed, potentially exposing them to road spray and salt, which accelerates terminal galvanic corrosion. Corrosion can mitigate the power flow, leading to system failure.

The fully sealed HPLB connectors are also resistant to severe vibration and deliver a component service life that meets USCAR Safety Performance Requirements.

Eaton’s HPLB terminal system forms a connection in a unique way that provides improved contact force throughout the component’s service life. Unlike traditional box and blade terminals, the connectors use Power Connections’ Connector Positive locks, which utilize an “inside-out” contact system with internal spring pressure and multiple contact points.

The configuration provides a stronger connection than that of conventional box-and-blade connectors where the female terminal spring squeezes the male blade, which loosen when exposed to heat and vibration, resulting in a loss of power flow continuity and the possibility of corrosion.

Power connectors, while a small component, are a critical design element to meet product performance and durability requirements. Commercial fleet operators not only expect but require that all vehicle systems have a service life of at least 10 years.

—Chris Mancuso

The unique connection also reduces heat radiating from the connection points by an average of six degrees Fahrenheit per contact. Many modern vehicles have up to 120 such contact points, so leveraging HPLB connectors leads to temperature mitigation and improved vehicle performance.

Traditionally, eyelet terminals are manually connected by a production line worker wearing two sets of gloves for protection against high voltage and an air gun to tighten small nuts. If the connection is not precise every time it can result in a disruption in power flow. If the operator accidentally drops a nut into the component’s inner workings, it can short circuit the entire unit.

The HPLB connectors can be installed by a “pick-and-place” robot, allowing for precise and safe connections every time. Additionally, the HPLB sits flush, unlike traditional connector terminals, reducing space requirements within the vehicle.

Our HPLB terminal connectors not only lower temperature, but provide extra current carrying capacity. So, they are half the size and carry twice the current, and in some applications up to three times the current.

—Chris Mancuso


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