ATV/UTV vehicles have been popular for years, both for off-road sport and as work vehicles. Their compact size, maneuverability and operational versatility have increased their use in many outdoor service areas such as landscape maintenance, construction and farming in addition to recreational use. Over time, a broad variety of peripheral equipment has been designed to add capabilities to the basic vehicles produced by OEMs. As these peripherals have evolved, the need for more electrical power and safe, reliable connections has increased significantly.
Until recently, motorsport PDM modules for standard and extra peripheral equipment were completely open, current conducting, threaded studs mounted to plastic bases. Multiple eyelet wire terminations were stacked on each stud and then a washer and bolt were used to tighten and complete the fastening process. This common design has proven to be a significant problem in many ways:
- The amount of torque that is required to keep stud/eyelet/washer/nut assemblies from loosening or falling apart is unpredictable. ATV/UTV owners seldom use torque wrenches when adding peripherals to their vehicles. The result is connection eyelets are frequently deformed and power transmission is unreliable when assemblies loosen or fall apart.
- This type of assembly is also mechanically unreliable. Shock and vibration can loosen the bolt that is supposed keep the eyelets secure on the stud, resulting in intermittent power transmission.
- Because the entire set of studs in a power distribution block is exposed to the environment, all parts of the assembly can easily become corroded from exposure to water and can easily short out.
- Poor connections pose a serious risk of power failures, fires, damaged peripheral components and warranty claims against dealers and OEMS.
These issues have led a top motorsport manufacturer to approach GEP to develop a PDM module that is safe, electrically and mechanically reliable and that eliminates the need for any end user assembly tools or skill.
GEP engineers went to work and reconceived the motorsport PDM module to meet IP67 compliance using industry standard power connector designs. The open screw studs were replaced with standard sockets so that a wide variety of peripherals could be plugged into a power distribution base without any tools or skills. This new design is able to reliably pass a higher current overall and to each individual peripheral as is required. The connection is sealed against dust, humidity and stable through a wide temperature range.
The new motorsport PDM module has had a great impact in the entire market – end users love the plug and play installation, while dealers have been relieved of significant customer support / complaint handling work load. And, the OEM has seen a significant decrease in warranty claims, as well as a boost in brand loyalty.
GEP understands power distribution and the challenges that it can bring. Today’s sophisticated electrical systems often present trials that cannot be satisfied with an off-the-shelf product. As your partner, GEP will design and develop a solution that meets your application needs. Contact GEP Power Products‘ knowledgeable sales staff with your project. Their creativity and practical experience can help improve functionality and quality while keeping costs in line.