1990s to Now
This year marks the 100th anniversary of ITT’s Cannon brand of connectors. In our final installment of this iconic brand’s history, we highlight how Cannon solutions have become integral components in today’s increasingly smart products.
Products are getting smarter by the day. People around the world now take it for granted that Rovers drive on Mars and cars here on Earth will soon drive themselves.
As these advances have progressed over the last few decades our Cannon products have continued to power the “brains” operating once-unimaginable technologies.
Throughout our history our Cannon Brand has continued to be pioneering and at the front of exciting developments.
During the 1990s Communication and Information technology was evolving rapidly and Cannon was busy connecting the voices of the world through telecommunications and computing, setting the scene for an intense period of technology breakthroughs, working with global computing and telecommunication partners such as IBM, Compaq and Motorola.
In addition to breaking into new markets ITT Cannon continued to innovate in its more traditional areas of flight and space. Revolutionary fiber optic connectors were designed into Boeing’s 777 PlaneNet to improve onboard data communication, creating the first fiber optic network installed on commercial planes. NASA formally awarded ITT Cannon with several International Space Station contracts totaling up to $8m. All of the components for the International Space Station, a microgravity laboratory which orbits Earth every 90 minutes, were custom designed for the program with Cannon supplying 70-80% of all the connectors on board the Space Station.
At the turn of the millennium, the Internet became part of our everyday lives. People expected to be connected no matter where they were or what they were doing, and Cannon connectors helped enable this new network in different ways.
On commercial and military planes, our Cannon Quadrax contact – with four signal pins providing a single, reliable Ethernet port – was used for in-flight entertainment systems, aircraft data networks and plane support systems. In cars, our Fakra connector helped provide drivers with Internet access, GPS technology, Bluetooth and more.
And then came the rise of smartphones, which let us put the power of the Internet into our pocket. In the late 2000s, ITT Cannon’s Universal Contacts –very small but highly reliable– were designed into the Apple iPhone 3 and the Motorola smartphone.
During the last decade we have continued to design connectors that are lighter, smaller and increasingly more powerful, while maintaining our values of producing highly engineered, robust, reliable and long lasting products. Curiosity, a car-sized robotic rover designed with custom Cannon connectors, raced through space at 12,000 miles an hour to arrive on Mars in August 2012. Today, those same customized Cannon interconnects are helping power the Curiosity on its slow, scientific crawl – one-tenth of a mile a day – as it studies the Red Planet to see if it is suitable for life.
Cannon has been involved in the electric vehicle (EV) evolution since it produced its first electric car charging connector nearly 20 years ago and with global sales of plug-in electric cars and vans passing the 1 million mark last year Cannon has started making significant inroads into this new marketplace.
In the medical market Cannon is expanding out of its traditional imaging sector into diagnostics and other medical devices, delivering customized high pin count solutions so that vital information can be provided accurately and timely to those whose mission is to help improve lives.
Future innovations are already in place with wearable technology, where soldiers can be “wired in” to their communications networks, without behind weighed down by having to carry unnecessary technologies, or worried about snagging wires as they crawl on the ground.
In addition customers are delighted by the innovative design of our highly engineered K-Lock Ultra High Vibration connector, which can withstand up to 100 G-forces of shock and 2,000 Hertz of vibration. It drastically reduces the risk of decoupling and ensures uninterrupted electrical connectivity for space launch vehicles, high-speed trains, ships and aircraft that operate in extremely harsh environments.
As our customers test, revamp, discover and rethink – in ways we have foreseen and others we never imagined – our 100 years of connector experience and iconic Cannon brand will be a fundamental corner stone for our business helping us to continue to adapt, stay ahead of the curve and connect to the future.
To learn more, click here to view a video called "A Century of Amazing Connections.”