As custom manufactured cable assemblies have grown in complexity, it has become far more common to see various electronics integrated directly into the finished design. The inclusion of electronics into a cable assembly design can consist of adding a switch, PCB, LED, or a multitude of other components. Once added, these components offer a much higher level of sophistication to the cable assembly while allowing the included electronics the ability to withstand a much more rugged working environment.
EMI (electromagnetic interference) and RFI (radio-frequency interference) are disturbances generated by external sources that impact a cable assembly by degrading the assembly's performance or completely preventing it from functioning. These disturbances can cause problems ranging from an increase in error rates of the signal being transmitted through the assembly to total loss of any electronically readable signal.
When dealing with requests for custom manufactured custom assemblies, the question that frequently comes up is, "why should a jacketed cable be used in an assembly?" The answer to that question can be determined by looking at three key areas: environment, safety, and cosmetics.
Manufacturing cable assemblies used in precision medical device applications requires rigorous demands just to meet the industry standard. When dealing with these specific applications, failure is not an option. Envision applications used in a medical environment. You must limit the possibility of failure for users in the field. Even something as mundane as cable sterilization can potentially cause the cable to fail and/or cause issues for the user(s).
We’ve received custom cable assembly requests on a hand-drawn dinner napkin, 8x11 pieces of paper, and even old photos. Regardless of the format, once the request is received it is drawn into a basic design which is sent to our engineering team. We need to have the requested cable assembly design in a particular format in order to be able to manufacture the request appropriately. Otherwise our facility would not be able to understand dimensions, etc., correctly. An official manufacturing ready design drawing would then be returned to you.
Navigating through the complex cable industry can be both difficult and time consuming. This is especially true if, for whatever reason, you have to change your cable assembly manufacturers. This blog post is intended to give you a perspective of what to expect if you find yourself in the need of switching an existing cable assembly design to a new supplier.
Cable Assemblies can be used in almost any environment, but some environments pose specific challenges that need to be individually addressed. One such environment is when a cable assembly is installed in areas highly susceptible to rodent damage. Installations requiring rodent protection can include any outdoor application, indoor industrial installations, residential applications, food/grain storage areas, or any area that offers shelter and food for rodents.
When developing an overmold tool for a custom cable assembly, consideration needs to be given to the tactile features of the finished part. There are several areas that constitute these considerations, including the desired finish of the end part as well as the precision of the molding tool itself. The choices you make in physical features may seem insignificant, but the touch, feel, and appearance can have a real impact on the final cable assembly.
Ribbon cable assemblies, also known as flat ribbon cable assemblies or planar cable assemblies, are assemblies utilizing multiple wires and typically IDC (insulation displacement connector) terminations. The cables used in this type of assembly are prepared by laying conducting wires flat and parallel to each other, resulting in a product that is wide and flat, resembling a ribbon.
Substituting cable assembly connectors can be a double edged sword. Substitution may be able to provide a less expensive cable assembly. However, it may also create problems with the interface if the substitution is not done correctly or is done with a connector of inferior quality.