Motorized Vehicle Division of electromechanical connector maker FCI has made available a new simplified connector for automotive airbags and other safety restraint systems (SRS) inside cars and other airbag fitted vehicles. In this new connector, FCI has integrated the grounding element within the connector of its ESD (Electro Static Discharge) squib connector. FCI says this is the first such commercially available airbag connector integrating grounding element within the connector itself.
As per FCI, the advantage to car volume-car manufacturers are, improvements in the cost-efficiency of airbag assembly on the production line, and a simplified cabling architecture.
FCI, with a market share of 30% in airbag connectors is a long time supplier of air bag interconnects with the introduction of original 10mm to 11mm diameter connectors to the latest development towards the AK-2 squib interface. FCI claims several firsts in this product line, which include 11 mm diameter ignitor pocket, allowing better control of the squib mating process and the introduction of various connector codings, as well as the ScoopProof ("Kojiri Safe") 11mm AK-2 interface.
Geographical trend analysis by FCI in using airbags in cars:
Across the world, the market for airbags and other safety restraint systems is made up of a number of distinct geographic regions, each with its own characteristics and requirements. North America was the first to see the introduction of the airbag in a mass production car, back in the 1970s. However, it was not until the 1980s that they became widespread. The western European market, in contrast, was relatively slow to adopt the airbag. Despite this, from the 1990s onwards, their use in Europe has grown rapidly. In particular, the increased focus on the safety of vehicle occupants has seen a proliferation in the number of airbags fitted, even to low cost, entry level models. Typically these now include multiple passenger, side, curtain and knee bags, to the point that their use is now more prevalent than in North America. For example, up to 24 airbags can now be found in luxury car models in Western Europe.
From the beginning of the 21st century, major new automotive markets have emerged. The fastest growth in car sales is now occurring in countries such as Brazil, China and India. However, within such developing markets, the priority is still on minimizing the purchase price of the vehicle. With safety lower on the agenda, these countries typically lag some ten years behind Europe in the use of airbags.