How to Custom Cable Assembly: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

Custom cable assembly is useful when it comes to some projects. Custom cable assembly makes it easy to get the exact match for your project. It is not so with standard cable assembly. Also, a custom cable assembly shows your brand. More so, it shows how unique your project is to people.

A cable assembly
A cable assembly

Hence, we shall look at some FAQs on the custom cable assembly. We shall provide a guide in this article to help you in the process of getting one. 

1.What is Cable Assembly?

Cable assembly consists of cables and connectors all put together to work as a single unit. Also, the cable assembly has another name. It is called a cable harness. Generally, they function well with complex systems such as computers, medical devices, airplanes, and more.

Cable Assembly Applications

Applications of cables assembly include the following;

Flat-panel displays

One of the places you can find cable assemblies in use is in Flat-panel displays. Examples of such are ATMs, display screens, gas pumps, and airplane dashboard.

In-flight entertainment systems

Another important use of cable assemblies is in airplanes—the display screens in jets run with cable assemblies’ help. Also, cable assemblies are useful to display screens at the headrest of passengers’ seats.

Navigation systems

Today, new vehicles come with screens on their dashboards and back seats, GPRS screens (Google Maps). It is such screens that strongly depend on cable assemblies.

Flight Simulators

A flight simulator is a device that allows pilots to experience real working conditions. In such devices, some screens show events around them. These screens are called display screens. It is such screens that need cable assembly to perform fast. Hence, cable assembly in flight simulators is useful in sending data in real-time to display screens. 

 

Display Screens of a Jet
Display Screens of a Jet

Military and commercial ruggedized computers: Because cable assemblies have a sheath and are shock-resistant, they are useful in developing some military computers.

2.What are the Current Cable Assembly Technologies?

Some of the technologies used to make cable assembly today are numerous. We will consider some in this article. They are:

2.1 Cutting to a length

Cutting cables to the right length is vital. This technology helps to cut cables. Previously, this cutting process used to be manual. The producer measures the right length and cuts it with a sharp tool. This practice usually comes with many errors from humans, and it affects the length of the cable. But today, there are advanced tools and measure the length of a cable with so much accuracy. These tools ensure that human errors will not affect the desired length. Also, as part of the measuring and cutting tools with high accuracy are laser stripping and in-phase length.

2.2 Crimping

Crimping is the process of joining two or more pieces of metal together. Also, in this process, one or both materials will be deformed. We can find this technique useful in many electrical firms. Also, this technique ensures that connectors are tight and secure with cables.

Cable assembly displaying a connector
Cable assembly displaying a connector

2.3 Soldering, induction, stamp, and hot bar soldering

Cable assemblies that require a fixed and lasting connection with connectors use this tech. Soldering is joining materials together. Here it involves putting a melt in the joint to secure contact. Also, hot bar soldering involves heat. However, the items already have solder on them.  Generally, these technologies require that you use high temperatures to achieve a firm contact.

2.4 Insulation displacement

Insulation displacement is a process of making contact with a connector without exposing it to the terminal. The connectors make contact with the terminal directly. They can do this by inserting sharpened blades through the coating to make contact. With this technology, there will be no need to strip the coated cables.

2.5 Ultrasonic welding

A process for joining materials of different types is another technology we use. It is a process that uses high-frequency ultrasonic acoustic vibration and pressure to join materials together. It is mostly useful in joining plastics. 

The ultrasonic welding takes four stages to complete the process. Phase one requires you to place the horn over the substrate. After which, you can apply pressure and vibration. This setup will cause the temperature of the substrate to increase. Hence, it will melt the material. This melt will then follow into the joint.

In the second phase, the rate at which the material melts increases. This phase allowed the molten melt to cover the joint surface fully. The third phase is about keeping the temperature constant. It ensures that the melting continues at a steady rate to ensure even thickness of the joint. 

Lastly, the holding phase is phase four. At this stage, a uniform thickness and good coverage at the welded joint. The setup is kept in place to allow the weld to cool down and solidifies. 

2.6 Casting using hot melt technology

Most of the technologies we explained in this article involve high temperatures. However, some items do not require such high temperatures for joining. Hence, producers use this technology to join items that do not require high temperatures. 

Casting using hot melt technology requires using adhesives. More like hot glue is used to achieve this joint. An example of the frail joints is some electronic IC on printed circuit boards.

2.7 Extrusion using injection molding technology

Extrusion is an industrial process of creating objects of a specific cross-sectional area. In practice, there is a pre-set shape that the producer wants to achieve. This shape is a die. Then, the raw material will push through this die. 

When the material comes out from the other end, it will take the shape of the die. One of the reasons producers use this technology is that they can achieve complex shapes with it. Also, it is suitable when working with brittle materials. Examples of such materials include plastics.

3.What are the Industry Standards for Custom Cable Assembly?

Industry standards are control measures or requirements that producers must meet before their products can go into the market. It is these standards that ensure the safety of the users of the products. Some of the industry standards for custom cable assembly are:

Canadian Standards Association (CSA)

You may have seen some products having the tag “CSA Certified.” This label means that the Canadian Standards Association has approved such a product as safe for public use. As a firm in Canada, the CSA makes standards for most hookup wires on sale today. 

Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL)

As a not-for-profit firm, they test products on their safety and give out certification for that product. They test on cables and wire products in over seventy product categories using more than thirty safety standards. Hence, UL certified products are safe products to use.

Restriction of Hazardous Substances (ROHS)

This body limits the use of hazardous substances used in making electrical and electronics equipment. 

The United States Military Standard

Also, they are known as “MIL-STD” or “MIL-SPEC.”  The U.S Military Standard helps to achieve standard objectives by the U.S Department of Defense.

Military device display screens
Military device display screens

4. The Five Elements of Cable Assembly Design

In this chapter, we shall look at the five elements of the cable assembly design. They are: 

4.1 Specification

It is the first element to consider in cable assembly design. This element also involves the specific standards, cable measurements, use, and cost.

Cable with connector
Cable with connector

Hence, clients provide details of what they want in their cable assembly and expect the cable assembly to look. Also, it is normal to add extra measurements at this stage. However, doing so in excess might be increasing the overall cost of producing the cable.

4.2 Post-specification pieces of advice

At this second stage, the manufacturer advises on the previously received specification for the cable assembly. After reviews by experienced personnel, counsels given may differ from the initial design. This advice ensures that the assembly has an overall efficiency, especially for the project of its use. Hence, an initial excess specification may slow down the project, and as such, clients should avoid doing so. 

4.3 Design for Manufacture

Here a producer designs the product before producing it. However, they consider quality and cost when design. Sometimes clients can provide their drawings. These drawings show how they want their cable assembly to look. Then, the manufacturer reviews these drawings. As part of their review, they consider Design-for-manufacture. Hence, they can suggest changes to the clients where it would be useful.

Cable assembly drawing and manufacture
Cable assembly drawing and manufacture

It is needful to note that this advice is the overall performance of the cable assembly. However, producers are to stick with client specifications.

4.4 Prototyping 

In almost all projects that require manufacturing, this stage is vital. It is this stage that determines a project either for mass production or correction. After agreement on the designs, this stage starts. Here, the producer makes the cable assembly. He then sends it to the client for testing. The testing ensures that the cable assembly meets the specification of the project. Also, this stage shows how well a producer understands the design. 

4.5 Packaging 

Sometimes clients focus more on the design of the cable assemblies. They fail to consider how the packaging should look. Also, some producers will make packs that are excess and not useful. They do this to add to the overall cost. Other producers may add designs that do not represent your brand. Hence, clients are to consider this stage very well. More so, when it is not a single cable assembly but in bulk. 

Finished cable assembly
Finished cable assembly

5. Choose a Cable Assembly Manufacturer

Choosing a cable assembly producer is important. It is because the producer must understand your project and the designs to the firm for production. Also, the producer must be able to stick to design. There are cases where the producers make what they feel will be best for clients. Some do this without thinking of the satisfaction of their customer. Hence, it would be best if you thought about the producer before deciding on them.

Colored cable assembly
Colored cable assembly

As such, your custom cable assembly producer must stick to these standard bodies. Aside from the legal results of not sticking to the standards, such cable assemblies can damage the entire project.

CLOOM Tech will make and deliver custom cable assembly to your location. We also do it within a reasonable time. Also, you can reach CLOOM Tech for more information.

Conclusion:

Custom cable assemblies are useful in specific projects. It brings relief from the stress. Also, it helps remove the need to search for an assembly that will suit your project. Today, we see custom cable assemblies drawn, made, and sent to clients worldwide. Hence, doing a complex project is a lot more single and easy to use.  

CLOOM Tech offers the best customized and manufacturing services to suit your project. You can further reach out to us for more information or consultation.

Hey, I am John, General manager of Cloom and OurPCB.

I am a responsible, intelligent and experienced business professional with an extensive background in the electronics industry.

Reach me at sales@wiringo.com to get a quote for your projects.

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