Connector design is a fine art, not least when safely combining fluids and electricity. The challenge: develop an intuitive and easy to use connector to join the umbilical supply line to both the weedsprayer's lance and backpack unit.

The device must be quickly applied and locked using a gloved hand with no leakage over the electrical connectors.

By employing a low powered control system throughout we addressed the inherent safety issues. Working closely with existing technology suppliers to integrate proven electronic and fluid technologies where possible, we significantly reduced development risk. Through progressive working prototypes we all but eliminated seepage by minimising the volume of liquid available for escape at any one time as the connector is disengaged. Regular cost reviews and value engineering sessions encouraged us to examine the number, complexity and standardisation of parts, driving down manufacturing cost and minimising assembly times.

Assembled cross section showing all parts in context
Exploded view of the connector area
Exploded view of the connector area

Now in full scale production and protecting commercial premises from weeds worldwide. The connector design passed all relevant safety standards and approval ratings. The umbilical cable helped ease user fatigue by removing components from the lance and repositioning them in the backpack.

Weedkiller being demonstrated at trade show
Detail of Female connector
Detail of Male connector
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