Also referred to as wire harness assemblies, cable assemblies are an important component of several complicated electrical systems that most people are using each day. Electric cable assemblies are designed for organizing and protecting various electrical wires. This can ensure that workers can monitor the flow of the electricity and at the same time prevent the wires and cables from crossing each other.

Cable assemblies can also help in the production of larger components. To create an accurate design of cable assembly, it should follow the electrical and geometric requirements of the equipment where it will be used. Most industries use cable assemblies as an essential component of their end products. Some of these industries include appliance manufacturing, electronics, automotive, as well as industrial and construction equipment

Various Uses of Cable Assemblies

Cable assemblies are very useful to different industries. Within these industries, these cable assemblies can be used in different applications. Most often, they are used in aerospace, military, lighting, electronic, medical, transportation, and automotive. In cable assemblies, the whole bunch of wiring is protected by a sheath that is made up of durable materials including vinyl, rubber, or shrink-wrapped thermoplastic.

You can customize electronic cable assemblies according to your particular requirement. These assemblies are vital for the proper operation of various equipment and devices. You can either design a simple connection or a complex configuration with cable assemblies. There are several types of cable assemblies including low temp, high temp, coaxial, low voltage, high voltage, and many more. Multiple configurations of cable assemblies can be designed specifically for lighting, power, underwater, electrical, multi-conductor interface, connector-to-board, and so much more.

For Medical Purposes 

A cable assembly can have the smallest gauge to the largest one or may consist of two wires or more. As mentioned above, cable assemblies are designed for various industries including medical. For medical applications, innovative cable assemblies can be used for monitoring, testing, therapeutic, and various medical services. Each cable assembly is developed to adhere to its precise specifications that guarantee accuracy, consistency, and reliability.

For Military Requirements

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There is also a high demand for cable assemblies in the military. Cable assemblies that are manufactured for this specific industry are rugged to ensure that they can deal with the wear and tear as well as the harsh elements in the environment such as water, dirt, and sand. Aside from this, cable assemblies that are manufactured for military purposes are also ISO compliant. 

For Protection and Efficiency

Cable assemblies can help in protecting contractors and technicians from any potential danger of an electrical current. They can also protect materials that conduct electricity or materials that could be damaged by electricity. With the use of cable assemblies, electricians can easily trace electrical systems. 

These wire harnesses can keep all the wires highly organized. This can greatly help technicians in avoiding time-consuming analysis of all the components. Since the cables and wires are covered by sheaths, then they are completely protected. Cable assemblies can protect the wiring against wear and tear, damage, and harsh environmental elements.

Various Applications for Cable Assembly

There is a wide variety of applications where cable assemblies can be useful. The following are some of them:

  • Navigation Systems – Different types of vehicles such as taxis, fire trucks, police cars, and even private vehicles are all relying on cable assemblies for the efficient functionality of their navigation systems.
  • In-flight TV Screens – These entertainment systems that are installed on the headrests of every passenger seat on private and commercial airlines greatly rely on cable assemblies to guarantee that they can function well.
  • Flat Panel Displays – The popularity of flat panel display screens have grown tremendously since it was introduced in the 1990s. Now, they are widely used for industrial, commercial, and consumer purposes. Cable assemblies are an integral component of every flat panel display, from the display screens in the airplane’s cockpit to the television sets in your home.
  • Shock-Resistant Computers – Cable assemblies are essential parts of shock-resistant or ruggedized electronic applications. For instance, commercial and military ruggedized computers. 
  • Flight Simulators – As long as they meet the limited spacing requirements and performance standards, cable assemblies are vital for advanced flight simulators. It can permit commercial, military and even private pilots to enjoy the greatest experience of their flight training.

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Aside from the ones mentioned above, there are other applications that use cable assemblies including new house construction, drones/aerial vehicles, clean energy, automobile wiring, computers and electronics as well as outfits, clothing, and accessories that utilize LED lighting.

Advantages Of Cable Assemblies

With cable assemblies, end-users will be able to experience using applications that perform higher standards. There are a lot of advantages that customers and manufacturers can enjoy from using cable assemblies.

Keeps Everyone Safe

Cable assemblies are essential for the safe integration of electrical wires to avoid causing potential hazards. These cable assemblies can keep the wires well-organized, and at the same time, they can protect the wires or cables from any outside elements.

Optimize Space

With the help of cable assemblies, manufacturers will be able to maximize the space on the interior part of the electronics, providing more room for other essential elements. Regardless of if you require more space or not, cable assemblies can still help in reducing the clutter which is brought about by these individual loose cables.

Improves Service Life

By using wire harnesses, wires and cables will not get bent or tangled. Additionally, it can prevent the wiring from being exposed to harmful environmental elements. Ultimately, this can improve the life of the cables.

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Can Be Customized

Most often, cable assemblies will be customized so they can be capable of supporting the unique functions of products. Cable assemblies that provide extremely customized solutions can offer accurate design specifications, in contrast to using those off-the-shelf products.

The Manufacturing Process for Cable Assembly 

The following are the four unique stages of the cable assembly manufacturing process.

Stage One: Creating the Design

When designing cable assemblies, engineers should consider the typical electrical problems that end products might encounter each day. Having a customized design on every electronic component can help in optimizing the functionality of the product and increase its service life.

Stage Two: Prototype the Cable Assembly 

By making a prototype of the wire harness, engineers will be able to test their design before they enter the mass production stage. This can help in preventing material/product waste as well as avoid costly design changes. 

Stage Three: Production and Assembly

Since every cable assembly will be customized based on its usage, the assembly and the production process will likely differ according to the size, type, and predetermined purpose. Generally, there are three steps in the assembly and production stage:

  • Cutting and Termination of Wire – Using a wire cutting machine can guarantee that the wires have the precise length for the intended product and the terminations are done appropriately with the right strength.
  • Connecting The Wires – Wire ends are peeled at the center to connect terminals. This can permit the wire to be linked to the housings, or modules that are capable of connecting to the equipment it is driving.
  • Assembly of Wires – With the use of an assembly board or a workbench, the wires will be grouped together into their precise harness.

Stage Four: Testing of the Product

The wires inside the cable assembly should be tested for electrical safety. This can guarantee that it is reliable and functional. Furthermore, it should be checked if the layout is correctly done on the equipment.

How To Choose Cable Assemblies

Cable assemblies are composed of a group of cables or wires merged together into one unit with at least one connector on one side. Cable assemblies can be used for connecting various types of devices and equipment. Depending on the application, the wire configuration and the connectors may vary. When choosing cable assemblies, it is very important to consider the application and type configurations.

Generally, cable assemblies are recognized by their receptacles and plugs that are found on their tips. The connectors will likely depend on the application for which cable assemblies were intended for. The electrical specifications, dimensions, certifications, and approvals of the cables will be determined based on their application.

Most suppliers provide cable assemblies for telecommunications, radio frequency (RF), audio/video (A/V), imaging, and automotive applications. Additionally, there are also cable assemblies designed for instrumentation systems, local area networks, personal computers, and industrial control applications. Some types of cable assemblies that are suited for different applications include cable extenders, patch cords, and cordage.

Different Types of Cable Assembly

Cable assemblies can be grouped according to their applications.

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  • Battery cables are intended for connecting batteries.
  • Audio/Visual (A/V) cables are designed for connecting audio and video equipment to display screens or computers. Some examples of A/V cables are VGA, RGB, and DVI.
  • General communication cables are responsible for transmitting data and networking between controllers, computers, and other devices. 
  • Computer cables can help in connecting monitors, printers, hard drives, and other peripheral devices to a desktop computer. 
  • Telecommunications cables can be used as replacement or extension cables for telephones and handsets.
  • Patch Cords/Patch Cables can either be optical or electrical cables that are designed for connecting two or more devices. 

SEI offers affordable RF and microwave products including cable assemblies, connectors, adapters, antennas, isolators, circulators, etc. For more information about our products, you may call us at [email protected].