Cable Assembly Design always starts with the concept – driven by the need to connect point A to point B or in the case of a harness- possibly many points that need to be addressed to either send power, signal, or both from one place to another.
There are so many decisions that need to be made based on the amount of power the terminations and conductors need to handle, the speed of the signal that may be traveling through the wiring and sensitivity to electrical noise or the need to reduce emissions that may come from the cable. Then there are environmental factors if the assembly may be exposed to such as moisture, humidity, heat, or cold conditions.
Other factors that may influence the design are the stresses that the assembly may see during its useful life. Whether the connections will be mated and unmated just a few times or hundreds or thousands of times. The flexing the cable may undergo particularly if it is used in a device that requires constant movement, the radius of bend it will be required to make. Will the connectors or cable be put under strain such as pulling or crushing effects during its normal use.
Designs are also influenced by regulatory requirements such as Reach, RoHS or Conflict Minerals. Electrical regulations or flame ratings that need to be satisfied by UL, CSA or other agencies depending on how and where the assembly is used.
Technical Cable Applications has the engineering expertise to provide design assistance and a dedicated NPI/First article line to build prototypes/first articles to help prove that a design fits the application. Additionally, all TCA employees are trained and skilled in the application of IPC-A-620 cable assembly standards. The company is also certified for UL wire harness component certification.
Technical Cable Applications technical and engineering staff have the expertise to make recommendations for materials that fit an application, to help determine if they are cost effective, and can help determine if the components are readily available.
In future posts I am looking at addressing drawing requirements for cable assemblies, the elements that must be on a cable drawing to allow for a consistent build, the use of wiring tables to show the connections and some of the differences that should be taken into consideration from other types of mechanical drawings.