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17 September, 2021

Tool-free connectors are `50% faster than screws`

23 April, 2008

The Italian connector specialist, Ilme has developed a new type of tool-free connector which, it claims, is 50% quicker to wire than screw connectors and 20% faster than spring connectors. Called Squich, the patented connector can secure wires with cross-sections up to 2.5mm2, with or without ferrules.

Ilme Squich connector

The connector blocks (shown above) are supplied with actuator buttons already opened, ready for clamping. The wires are inserted into holes next to the buttons which are simply pushed down until they are flush with the connector body. Completed connections are easy to see because the orange-coloured buttons contrast with the beige connector body.

Ilme Squich digram

The maximum current that the connector can carry depends on the size of the wire, the ambient temperature, and the number of poles in a connector block. Current capacities of more than 20A can be achieved with 2.5mm2 wires operating in temperatures of around 20°C.

To release a connection, a screwdriver is inserted into a slot and rotated slightly, lifting the button and freeing the wire. The connectors are designed to work for more than 500 cycles.

Keith Hogan, Ilme UK’s managing director, believes that the new design is "going to change the concept of connectors". He points out that the tool-free design avoids the danger of over-tightening terminal screws with a screwdriver, and damaging the screw. "Every connection is perfect," he says.

The new connectors are available in various configurations from 6–24 poles, with 32- and 48-pole versions being planned.

Hogan says that the connectors will be more costly than conventional screw or clamp terminals but, in many applications, the extra cost will be recouped through time savings. Ilme is not planning to licence or badge the technology.

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