How the Acquisition of Plastronics Strengthens Smiths Interconnect

How the Acquisition of Plastronics Strengthens Smiths Interconnect

Smiths Interconnect, a leading provider of electronic components, has recently announced its acquisition of Plastronics. This acquisition marks a significant step forward for Smiths Interconnect as it seeks to expand its product portfolio and offer more comprehensive solutions to its customers.

The acquisition of Plastronics Strengthens Smiths Interconnect's product portfolio.

With over 40 years of industry experience, Plastronics brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in socket design and manufacturing. Plastronics' patented technology combines plastic molding and electronics to create socket solutions that are more durable, cost-effective, and smaller in size than traditional socket solutions. This technology has the potential to revolutionize the industry and provide significant benefits to customers in a wide range of electronic applications.

The acquisition of Plastronics strengthens Smiths Interconnect's position in the market and enhances its ability to offer innovative solutions to its customers. Adding Plastronics's socket products to Smiths Interconnect's portfolio complements its existing product offerings and allows the company to provide more comprehensive solutions to its customers.

The future is bright for Smiths Interconnect and Plastronics as they work together to drive innovation and provide high-quality, reliable solutions to the electronic industry. With their combined expertise and resources, they are poised to lead the way in socket design and manufacturing, delivering cutting-edge solutions to meet the evolving needs of the industry.

Long-lasting components come from a fully automated, high-volume manufacturing process.

At the heart of Plastronics' technology is the H-Pin contact, providing the mechanical and electrical benefits of a traditional barreled spring probe with the cost savings and process control of a fully automated stamping and assembly manufacturing, thus reducing the cost of testing. By acquiring Plastronics, Smiths Interconnect gains access to this innovative technology, which can be incorporated into its own products to enhance their performance and durability.

The H-Pin is unique because it transforms from raw material to insertion into the plastic insulator in a fully automated environment without human intervention. This process ensures the highest product quality, with productivity that cannot be achieved with traditional spring probe manufacturing methods.

The H-Pin is a stamped spring probe pin made from the assembly of three components: two beryllium copper stampings and one stainless steel wound spring. The design flexibility and proven manufacturing process result in electrical contact with superior performance, creating affordable solutions for new electro-mechanical interface designs with short lead times. 

  • The stamping process provides reliable and repeatable flat surface profiles, which have proven stable low contact resistance, unmatched current carrying capacity, and exceptional signal integrity per probe.
  • The stainless-steel spring provides mechanical cycle life, shock and vibration endurance, and operating temperature well above 220°C.

The H-Pin technology is particularly beneficial to customers producing high-performance electronic applications that require a high level of reliability and durability. Implementing a fully automated manufacturing process is vital to reducing costs without compromising design or performance. At the same time, it provides the peace of mind of quality and reliability that can only come from fully automated production and in-line optical quality inspection. 

Plastronics’ product range

Plastronics' innovative product range, including sockets, adapters, and burn-in test sockets, offer unique benefits to the electronic industry, from enhanced durability to improved electrical performance.

QFN Sockets

With the world's largest Quad-Flat No-Leads (QFN )catalog, Plastronics has led in designing and developing socket solutions for the newest QFN packages. These sockets offer a modular design in a small outline to meet the many application requirements.

The Open Top QFN socket allows for convenient package loading and unloading with options for many of the same pin count designs as their clamshell counterparts.  The H-Pin QFN sockets provide maximum performance with the most cost-effective, high-performance pin on the market.

BGA Sockets

The Ball Grid Array (BGA) socket platform takes advantage of the H-Pin to provide a pure vertical contact system that meets all BGA design challenges at an enabling cost. BGA sockets with the H-Pin provide a high-performance socket that reduces the test cost for burn-in operations. 

The BGA platform serves package sizes from 6.0mm X 6.0mm to the industry's largest packages produced today.

LGA Sockets

The Land Grid Array (LGA) sockets use the H-Pin to provide a high-performance test socket that reduces the cost of testing for all burn-in operations. These LGA sockets meet the power, temperature and signal performance needs of the higher density, larger package outline, and sometimes mix-pitch LGA designs. 

The LGA platform serves package sizes from 2.0mm X 2.0mm to the largest packages being produced today.

Custom Sockets

Plastronics' socket designs range from off-the-shelf sockets ready for immediate delivery to semi-custom sockets utilizing universal components, custom test sockets, and electro-mechanical fixtures. Plastronics' in-house tool and mold facility, machine shop, and the versatility of the H-Pin with universal socket components give customers quick and reliable sockets for a wide array of applications, including: 

  • Mixed Pitch 
  • Power Integrity 
  • Large package sizes 
  • High temperature  
  • Fully configurable for any application


For customers who want the convenience of an integrated pin-in-plastic insert solution, Plastronics offers three contactor insert product lines. The pin insert is a fully assembled and tested interface that is either machined or molded plastic plate assembly, ready for standalone use or insertion into universal socket housing. 

Designed to specification for drop-in use, the inserts program is ideal for customers already taking advantage of Plastronics' universal clamping set, those using their own clamping mechanism, or for board-to-board interface applications.

View Catalog


Plastronics custom connectors are ideal for customers who realize the value of the H-Pin and want the convenience of in-house design and manufacturing for small numbers of custom connector solutions. 

Combining the H-Pin stamped spring probe with in-house machine shop provides reliable solutions for small-run production and pilot production support. 

H-Pin custom connectors are best suited for various vertical connectors, fixtures and other custom applications.

Plastronics' Capabilities

Plastronics' cutting-edge technology and expertise in socket design and manufacturing benefits Smiths Interconnect by allowing for more comprehensive solutions for their customers. This technology provides enhanced durability, improved electrical performance, and greater design flexibility, all of which benefit Smiths Interconnect. By acquiring Plastronics, Smiths Interconnect gains access to a comprehensive range of socket solutions and strengthens its ability to offer innovative, new solutions to its customers.

What Plastronics brings to Smiths Interconnect: 

  • Engineering Expertise & Experience Specialized engineering expertise in delivering solutions for real-world applications, focused on burn-in test sockets to ensure out-of-the-box performance and quality. 
  • In-house Capabilities Vertically integrated manufacturing process with automated quality control, tooling, stamping, machining, and pin assembly, thereby reducing the cost of testing for each supplied solution. 
  • Cost Effective, Fast Delivery Semi-custom delivery methodology, combined with a range of manufacturing practices, enables ultra-fast delivery and unparalleled value for our customers. 
  • Flexibility & Global Reach The global footprint offers unprecedented flexibility and responsiveness for semiconductor companies, circuit board manufacturers, and burn-in service providers worldwide. 
  • Testing Reliability More than 40 years of success meeting customers' performance, delivery and budget requirements.
  • Innovation & Future Focus With more than 50 patents and industry-driven new product development, we support current and future customer needs and ensure solutions are ready to meet market challenges.

Plastronics socket solutions offer several advantages over traditional ones, including higher pin counts, greater design flexibility, reduced manufacturing time, improved electrical performance, and environmental friendliness.

Whether your package matches a socket in our current catalog or requires a custom product for your innovation, Plastronics has the technology and the expertise to determine and deliver the right solution for you.

Ready to talk through your application needs? Schedule a quick consultation. Nothing is too extreme for us. Components you thought were small and fast can become smaller, faster, and better.

Start the process today!

New call-to-action