One of the most critical elements of producing a cable assembly or harness is the amount of testing that is done on the assembly/harness when it is completed in manufacturing. There are many ways how cable assemblies are tested and numerous levels of testing that can be done, but all of the testing has one goal in mind – to ensure that the assembly/harness will meet or exceed the specifications it was produced to. For the discussions of this post, the mentioning of an assembly will mean both a cable assembly and a wire harness.
One point that anyone involved with cable assemblies understands is that "every electronic or mechanical component will eventually reach the end of its life cycle". This blog post will define cable assembly obsolescence as the point in an assembly’s life cycle when it is either no longer in a usable state, meaning it is not functioning as it was designed, or there is no longer a use for the cable assembly due to technology changes.
A cable harness, which can be also known as a wire harness, cable assembly, wiring assembly, or wire loom, is a grouping of wires and/or cables that are used to transmit signals and to provide electrical power if needed. The wires and cables are joined together using straps, cable ties, cable lacing, tubing (either shrink tubing or non-shrink tubing), sleeving, electrical tape, conduit, braided extruded string, or any combination of these.
An overmolded cables are full assemblies that seamlessly combines the wire and the connector into a single part. The process of overmolding a cable entails injecting a molten material into a mold cavity which allows the material to conform to the shape of the mold cavity when cooled. The mold cavity can be built as a simple design with no markings or it can be built as a more complex design which could include a company name, corporate logo, flanges to be used as attachment points, or an extended strain relief area.