I'm designing a board for an industrial product that has a lifetime of more than 20 years, the product housing is sealed. which is better for ultrasonic transceivers connection to the board, to use connectors or solder the sensor wires directly to pads on the board?

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    \$\begingroup\$ For minimum cost in a sealed product (no maintenance issues), solder the wires and use a dollop of some sort of glue to provide strain relief. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Tweed Oct 24 '17 at 14:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ DON'T FORGET TO REMOVE FLUX RESIDUE! Regardless of whether you solder the wires directly to the board or if you use connectors, flux residue can eat away at the connections over the long term and can cause corrosion and damage to the boards. For long-life products it is critical that the entire board is EXTREMELY CLEAN and free of ANY flux residue \$\endgroup\$ – DerStrom8 Oct 24 '17 at 17:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ Do the ultrasonic transducers have a 20 year life as well? Are they exposed to the elements or dust/dirt? If anything needs to be replaced, it is better to use connectors than direct solder connections. \$\endgroup\$ – Ron Beyer Oct 24 '17 at 18:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you are soldering the wires directly its better to feed them through one or more unplated holes in the PCB and solder them flat against the board to large pads. More PCB area and labor but much more tolerant to handling before being assembled into the housing. Wires stuck into holes in the pcb and soldered are unsuitable for industrial designs \$\endgroup\$ – Spehro Pefhany Oct 26 '17 at 9:32

The answer is... it depends.

If there is any danger the connector may vibrate loose or otherwise corrode and lose contact, definitely go with a soldered connection.

Since the product is sealed, then, on the face of it, soldered seems like the cheaper choice.

However, you need to factor in assembly/labor costs. If your wiring harness is mass produced it will probably be cheaper to include crimped connectors on the harness rather than have someone solder and strain relief the wires to the board.

In a well designed product, the internal wiring is built on it's own on a jig as a harness and simply dropped into the box and affixed with tie-wraps or clips and quickly attached to where it needs to go.

enter image description here

Which method is ultimately cheaper in your application, is, of course, in your wheelhouse, and can not be answered here.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Fantastic image \$\endgroup\$ – sww1235 Oct 24 '17 at 18:17

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