We have been having some issues with the 10-way IDC connectors, and our findings may be useful to others.
We started getting returns from the field with intermittent connections, for the first few it was put down to a bad crimp, a broken core in the ribbon cable, or perhaps a bad solder joint on the SMT part, and they were just replaced. However as more came in with the same problem, we had to establish just where the failure was.
It appears that although the two plastic parts mate securely, if the ribbon cable is moved then the metal “socket” parts that pierce the ribbon and connect with the individual wires also move slightly within the plastic housing.
Over time this movement seems to weaken the socket’s spring force against the mating pin, resulting in an intermittent connection.
In our case there can be a slight (only a few degrees) movement of the ribbon relative to the PCB every time a reading is taken. With perhaps 12,000 readings a day, this can add up to millions of readings over a few months.
I don’t know if anyone else has seen this effect, it is possible that vibration could also cause it, if of sufficient magnitude to take the connector spring outside its elastic limit.
I designed a simple strain relief clip and printed a few out on the 3D printer, we are now going to field-test and see if that overcomes the problem for us.