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Story 125 – 1950 – Quality Products

Triumph of a beneficial technology

Copper alloy connectors revolutionise home automation

From 1950 onwards, "white goods", i.e. large household appliances such as washing machines or refrigerators, became rapidly popular. This was also due to the fact that they could be produced more and more efficiently thanks to low-cost and robust copper alloy connectors from Wieland.

In the trade, "white goods" are large household appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers or cookers, which are usually clad in white sheet metal. Formerly made of enamel, today made of powder-coated sheet metal, the white colour symbolising purity and cleanliness.

This has always been an important criterion, especially since large electrically powered appliances entered private households on a large scale from the early 1950s. Washing machines in particular quickly became very popular because they drastically reduced the time required for laundry care. In many small steps, these and other "white goods" have been constantly developed further. In the 1960s and 1970s, the practical household helpers became mass-produced goods through rational, large-scale industrial production. On the other hand, the trend - especially in washing machines – was towards fully automatic appliances with a large number of sensors, connections and electric drives.

The design was also changing: while screw-type luster terminals were previously used for electrical contacts, new, much cheaper and simpler plug contacts – commonly known as cable lugs – are now being used. Often also referred to as "FastOn", they allow the electrical components to be quickly mounted – and easily replaced in the event of repairs – while ensuring good power transmission.

The cable lugs are manufactured from simple brass strips by stamping and forming, and are connected to the electrical supply line by so-called crimping.

The great advantage of brass cable lugs is their excellent cost-benefit ratio. Favourable in manufacture, they have high elastic and resilient properties and relatively good electrical conductivity. For some time now, measures and modern, highly integrated microelectronics have also led to the increasing use of smaller connectors made of highly conductive copper materials in "white goods". Nevertheless, for decades the good old cable lugs made of simple brass strips as standardized mass-produced goods did much to make washing machines and dryers, ovens and dishwashers, but also other household appliances affordable, thus making work significantly easier in practically every household.

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Strip and sheets for connectors

For decades, cable lugs made of brass strips were an integral part of household appliances and cable harnesses as an inexpensive mass product that was and easy and reliable to use.