A cable assembly is a grouping of cables or wires that transmits signals or electrical power. By binding the cables together, a cable assembly serves to avoid signal disruption that can be caused by vibration, abrasion, moisture, fire, or other malfunction (perhaps an electrical short).
Cable Assembly Defined
A cable assembly is built to increase the efficiency of a product. They can be created with any number of different casings – straps, cable ties, cable lacing, sleeves, electrical tape, conduit, a weave of extruded string, or a combination of the these elements.
If you are wondering how a cable assembly is designed, this is done according to geometric and electrical requirements. A diagram is created that is used in the preparation and assembly of the harness. Here are the steps taken:
- Wires are cut to length (using a machine)
- Wires are stripped to expose the metal core
- They are then assembled together with extra terminals or connectors housings
- The cable assembly bundle is then clamped onto an assembly board (or pin board)
- The finished cable assembly if fitted with protective sleeves, conduit, or yarn
Once these steps are taken, techs test the final cable assembly with a test board. There, they’ll check the electrical functionality using pre-programmed circuit diagrams to test the groups and individual harnesses. If it does not test well, they will disassemble it and start over.
Standard cable assembly lengths are common, but one can also find custom length, hermetically sealed, circuit box, flexible circuit, and coaxial cable assembly options.
These cable assembly types are formed from a variety of different materials, including copper and fiber optic. The copper formations can create cost concerns.
Cable Assembly Uses
Loose wires and cable are free to move. This can be good and bad! Cable Assembly protects wires and increases their efficiency. By binding them together, one is not only decreasing the amount of space they take up, they are also being protected from:
By eliminating the above risks, one is also reducing the risk for general malfunction. Cable assembly also reduces installation time, since the technician will only be working with one organized harness, not dozens of loose wires.
Cable assembly is important to everyday function, and is used in aerospace, telecom, medical, military connectors, and transit applications.