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ODU – not your average connector company

23 April 2020
Notably, since 2002, ODU have supplied more than 100,000 helmet connectors for use on the UK Bowman military communications programme, without a single reported connector failure.
As a 'problem-solving' connector manufacturer, ODU enjoys single-source status with over 100 of the worlds top manufacturing companies. Why is that? Because, not only do they have expertise, but they work hard at being a flexible and innovative supplier. 
In the UK, ODU are probably best known for their miniature military push-pull connectors. 
The AMC® [Advanced Military Connector] series was originally developed to meet the ever-demanding needs of the many international Future Soldier programmes, intended to equip the average ground-based combat soldier with an integrated set of high-technology equipment, linked to an array of battlefield information resources. 
Now this range of rugged connectors has recently been expanded to offer high performance data transmission, high band-width, high reliability and easy handling in harsh environments.
Already used extensively in soldier communications systems that require both significant weight and space reduction, AMC® high speed connectors have been further developed to offer high performance data transmission - in sizes that are typically one-third smaller than and lighter than using MIL housings with commercial inserts. 
The AMC® range includes numerous high-density signal configurations, with transfer rates up to 14Gbit, and versions for combined signal & power up to 15A - in a very compact package.
Performance characteristics: 5,000 mating cycles, push-pull or break-away function for maximum safety, watertight to IP 68 / IP 69, optimised mechanical & colour coding, highly reliable 360° shielding, operating temperature of -51°C to +125°C, salt spray resistance. 
ODU has set-up a new dedicated website for these connectors, so for more information go to
But it’s not just technology for the military
Although ODU undoubtedly established it’s pedigree in the military market, it has not been slow to transfer technology and lessons-learned and now supplies connector solutions to many other markets, such as medical equipment, instrumentation, factory automation & robotics etc.  
ODU have used their experience to develop into a true ‘problem-solving’ connector manufacturer, working closely with their OEM customers to develop both connectors and packaging, so as to provide cost-effective solutions to the problems of modern-day electronics.
The word ‘partnership’ appears in most management presentations about the supply-chain these days, but if actually put into practice in this scenario, it really can make a difference and provide a measurable return-on-investment.                  
As suppliers, given the complete picture, we can better understand our role in meeting your technology requirements, both now and in the future.
But, better than that, given the opportunity, we can usually come up with proposals that will add immediate value to both businesses.
The shared objective being more supply-chain responsibility and profit for us, with reduced overall costs and more profit for yourselves – that’s a true partnership.            
So how does this work? Let’s look at a couple of examples.
This connector, with 6 contact positions, consists of just one moulded part – incorporating housing, strain relief, bend protection and sealing. Result: Space envelope reduced by 50% and installed cost reduced by 75%


First case – a medical equipment manufacturer needed a connector, in fairly large quantities, that was sealed and had ‘snatch’ capability - of course, it also needed to be both smaller and more economical than anything else that they had come across!

They were originally looking at standard push-pull medical connectors, such as the ODU Medi-Snap, which allows for various insulators and has 2 to14 contacts.
But even this standard push-pull medical connector was seen as too large and too expensive – it quickly became clear that the answer was to develop a customized connector for their application. 
Result: Technical problems solved and assembly time minimised, resulting in considerable cost savings.
Second case - a major test equipment manufacturer had encountered technical and quality  problems whilst trying to take substantial costs out of a new design, which needed bulk-head connectors to handle mixed-signals.
The solution was for us to provide two sub-assemblies for the equipment, each incorporating a custom insert for a standard push-pull connector.
This insert has two central coax contacts, with flying leads, to handle high-frequency signals and a further 16 signal contacts mounted onto a small PCB, with a section of flex-foil ending in an SMT connector to the main PCB.
In both of these examples, it was the experience and expertise of ODU design engineers which produced a cost-effective solution for the customer.
However, ideas such as these can only come about if we sit down as equal partners.
Suppliers such as ourselves are experts in what we do, as such we are a resource that should be more fully utilised in these lean times – so, if you are faced with a connector or packaging  problem, then why not talk to us?
tel: 0330 002 0640
Industry Connections: ODU UK Ltd

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