ZIF/LIF Fixture Overview

Our Zero Insertion Force (ZIF) Light Director™ guided assembly fixtures and Low Insertion Force (LIF), plug and play, electrical test interface fixtures are manufactured in partnership with Doyle Manufacturing.

Doyle blocks are CNC machined for the highest quality and accuracy and are available with a range of functionality: Pneumatic release lock blocks and electric solenoid release lock blocks for quality assurance; part presence detection for secondary locks, clips, etc.; step probes and push back switch probes for checking properly seated terminals, and light fibers for light-guided assembly.

All of these block functions can be monitored and controlled by CableEye software out-of-the-box automation capabilities and, if desired, may be supplemented with audible tones, visual tower lights and more. API integration with other equipment is also possible for electrical testing – LabVIEW and .NET libraries are available.

ZIF fixtures are assembled with light fibers rather than pogo pins and are used in conjunction with the Light Director™ light-guided assembly accessory.

Blocks can free-float, or be mounted individually on a harness board, on panels, or on CB-style boards. An array of QuickMount™ housings can be used if preferred. All fixtures ship with CableEye Connector Graphics Files for professional quality graphics display of connectors and cables.

The two types of fixtures can be placed next to each other so you can assemble on the Light Director block and then quickly move the UUT to the other for the electrical test. Or you can have them at entirely different stations on the production line:

First-Sided Pinning requires a single ZIF Light Director fixture.

Second-Sided Pinning requires a LIF fixture (or other style electrical test fixture) for the completed "First-Side" connector, and a Light Director ZIF fixture for the now-to-be-assembled "Second-Side" connector.

Final Test (Optional) requires two LIF, or other style, electrical test fixtures.

LIF Electrical Test Fixture

A LIF fixture, also referred to as an electrical test ‘block’, can be ordered for electrical test when connector pin-to-pin centers are spaced by 1.27 mm (0.05”) or greater. You will need to send a sample of the build connector with terminals if you order this type of fixture.

Examples of LIF style fixtures are shown in this tab.

Zero Insertion Force (ZIF) Light Director Fixture

Our default Light Director assembly fixture uses a ZIF fixture subassembly, also referred to as a Light Director ‘head’ or ‘block’. In addition to presenting an even brighter light to the assembler, it provides easier and more rapid connection and disconnection of the connector being assembled achieving even greater productivity. This type of fixture is available when connector pin-to-pin centers are spaced by 1.5 mm or greater. You will need to send a sample of the build connector if you order this type of fixture.

Examples of ZIF style fixtures are shown in this tab.

Original Light Director Fixture

Our original Light Director fixturing uses an actual mating connector. The method requires attachment of the build connector to the mating connector on the fixture whether by screwing or pushing one onto the other. We recommend this approach when pin-to-pin centers are spaced by less than 1.5 mm. You will need to supply the mating connector and a sample build connector if you order this type of fixture.

Examples of original style fixtures are shown in the next tab labelled "Light Director".

+1 978 266 2655

Example ZIF/LIF Fixtures

Keep scrolling for examples of a variety of LIF and ZIF fixtures made for a wide range of applications. Examples of free-floating (hand-held), CB board-mounted, and bench/panel/harness board-mountable blocks are shown.

1. This is an assembly and test system for a cable connectorized with 16-pin circular military connectors. It comprises a ZIF Light Director™ guided assembly fixture (LHS) and its LIF electrical test fixture (RHS) variant; each are mounted on a CB37A.

The ZIF assembly is used by itself for first-sided pinning, and with its LIF variant for second-sided pinning (click the button below for a time-lapsed video). In the final (optional) step, the ZIF assembly fixture is replaced with a second LIF electrical fixture, and the UUT is checked for continuity etc.

An optional probe plate has been integrated into the lock and release mechanism of the ZIF fixture.

2. Universal Light Director fixture for light-guided assembly of 212p, 158p, and 104p connectors destined for defense application.

Integrated with two Light Director CB38A boards and attached to 256 TP tester (low voltage system shown).

Fast ZIF connection and disconnection of connector to be assembled. Accurate assembly.

Application: Defense

3. This Light Director fixture is comprised of the CB37A subassembly and a hand-held ZIF block. The connector to be assembled is shown held in place ready for assembly.

Application: Aerospace

4. We use this LIF fixture to check pcbs.

Application: pcb

5. For this automotive application, the configuration allows the LIF electrical test fixture to mount to a harness board.

Application: Automotive

6. This hand-held ZIF block allows the customer to access a remote area within a motor. The connector to be assembled is shown attached to the block. A second LIF variant allows the customer to also perform second-sided pinning. With long flying leads, these fixture solutions reach an otherwise inaccessible work space within a large motor.

Application: Motor

7. Mounted directly to a CB8 board, this LIF block provides quick connection and disconnection while accomodating both an awkwardly shaped connector shell, and the need to test the shield.

The single pogo pin assigned to test the shield is clearly visible in the upper image. The middle image shows a connected sample connector.

The pin map is shown in the lower image. A pin map file is included with custom fixtures.


Application: Portable Radios

8. These LIF fixtures allow for quick connection, test, and disconnection of a medical cable fitted with connector collars. Note the unique 3D shape of the mating face shown in the top image and the rightmost fixture of the bottom image.

Application: Medical Device

9. These ZIF fixtures are configured for light-guided assembly of a pair of 40-pin circular connectors used in the automotive industry.

Application: Automotive

10. Assembled with a CB38A, this ZIF fixture is configured for light-guided assembly of a bulky, high pin count connector used in the automotive industry. It shows the fiber routing which is later hidden behind a shroud subassembly.

Application: Automotive