The cable assembly—it’s one of the most critical parts of any electrical product. When a manufacturer is designing a given product, they have to ensure that they create a wire assembly using Wire Harness Components that fit the particular needs of the product. In other words, when designing a product, a manufacturer has to pick the correct components for the product’s particular wire assembly. If the manufacturer chooses the wrong kind of insulation or shielding for the wire or cable assembly, then the product itself may not function properly. Here are a few key points to remember when choosing components for your wire harness.
Wire Harness Components
Wire Harness Conductors
When choosing Wire Harness Components, it’s critical to make a decision regarding conductor types. There are plenty of options available. For example, copper is a popular choice, since it’s extremely conductive. However, bare copper can corrode easily, so you may want to pick a copper conductor that’s mixed with other alloys or chemicals to help slow down corrosion. Additionally, copper conductors can also be mixed with steel or other alloys (such as zirconium) to help to increase the conductor’s overall strength.
The Primary Insulation of Your Wire Harness
Products designed to function within an extreme temperature range require cable assemblies with specially designed insulation. For example, there are a number of materials that can help a cable assembly to withstand temperatures ranging from negative 65 degrees Celsius all the way up to 200 degrees Celsius. Products designed to withstand the elements will require cable assemblies with robust insulation, but if you’re product is meant to be more of a household item, then it probably doesn’t need to be designed to withstand intense temperatures.
Need Twisted Cables in Your Wire Harness?
Some cable assemblies are twisted together, and others aren’t. So when should you choose a cable assembly with twisted cables? Well, twisted cables are primarily used for telecommunications. When the cables are twisted together, it prevents noises from traveling down a cable (in this case voices) and bleeding into the partner cable. Manufacturers can also use a shielding material, such as metalized foil, to help prevent this noise bleeding from occurring.
Wire Harness Outer Sheaths
Once you’ve constructed the physical cable, you’re going to need an outer sheath to protect the cable’s core. Typically, the sheath is designed to be fire retardant, and it’s also designed to withstand a range of temperatures. Outer jackets can be tough and ridged, or they can be thin and flexible. Basically, you should choose a sheath that fits the given product: if you have a product that’s designed to be outdoors in direct sunlight, then you’re going to want a sheath that can protect the cable core from the elements. If you have a product that’s meant to be indoors, then a tough-as-nails sheath is probably overkill.
Wire Harness Connectors
There are, of course, a plethora of connectors currently available on the market. Choosing the right connector all depends on the type and speed of the signal that will travel through your cable assembly once it’s complete. For example, if electricity will be sent directly through the assembly, then you probably should go with a crimp-type connector. Planning on using a high-speed signal with the cable assembly? Then you may need to purchase a solder or welder-type connection for your assembly.
Safety Certification of Your Wire Harness
This is an absolute must: you must ensure that you apply for a safety certification for your cable. Safety certifications often vary by country, so if you’re planning on marketing this product in multiple countries, then it’s critical that you ensure that your cable meets all of the safety standards of each country where the cable will be sold.
Choosing the right components for your cable assembly might sound difficult, but if you make sure to take all of your product’s specific needs into account, it shouldn’t be too challenging to craft the perfect cable assembly for your product.