"Crimp-snap" connectors have evolved into the insulation displacement connections (IDC) known as Rast 5 and Rast 2.5 (raster anschluss steck technik or pitch-connection plug technology), with contacts spaced on 5 and 2.5-mm centerlines, respectively. Originally developed by appliance makers in Germany, Rast is headed to the U.S. with the Macromodul header from Lumberg USA, Midlothian, Va. (www.lumbergusa.com).
The connectors have several advantages. Like in other IDC connectors, the contact blades cut through insulation to make electrical connections, eliminating crimping and stripping. And different blade heights make it possible to determine which electrical contacts will be made first and which will be broken when two connectors are put together or taken apart. The center of each section is keyed to simplify and streamline installation, and color coding eliminates most installation errors. The plastic connectors withstand temperatures to 250°F, which meets most appliance applications. Versions with current capacity of up to 25 A are also available, letting Rast connectors be used in a wide ranges of products, including stoves, ranges, refrigerators and HVAC systems.