One of the many customizable cable assemblies that Meridian Cable manufactures are flat ribbon cable assemblies. Flat ribbon cable assemblies are extremely useful cable groupings that are both efficient and cost-effective. Found in many forms of devices, flat ribbon cable assemblies are versatile and capable. Also known as flat cable assemblies, planar assemblies, and flat cable assemblies, flat ribbon cable assemblies go by a lot of names.

As a leading manufacturer of custom flat ribbon cable assemblies, Meridian creates unique cable assemblies to meet the needs of your project. We build highly-functioning flat ribbon cable assemblies from the wire out with the highest quality materials.

What are Flat Ribbon Cable Assemblies?

Like many things, flat ribbon cable assemblies get their name from their appearance. As a series of conductors or wires running parallel to one another, the effect is a flat line in a ribbon-like shape. Flat ribbon cable assemblies are rectangular-shaped which gives them added flexibility to be used in smaller places, like computers and printers. This formation resembles a strand of ribbon and thus, the name flat ribbon cable assemblies.

As opposed to a cable in which the wires are in a spiral formation and create a round cable, flat ribbon cable assemblies are, well, flat. This configuration has many practical benefits as well as transmission benefits. With multiple industries in which flat ribbon cable assemblies are utilized, they can be found in nearly every electrical device and machinery.

The unique design of flat ribbon cable assemblies allows them to be utilized in smaller devices with multiple connection points. This can be extremely useful for complex instruments that require several signals, data transfers, or sources of power. These versatile powerhouse cable assemblies are an incredible work of engineering.

colorful ribbon cables

Building a Custom Flat Ribbon Cable Assembly

Here at Meridian Cable, our engineering and design teams build completely customizable flat ribbon cable assemblies for the conductor up. Creating these capable cable assemblies requires years of experience, quality materials, and thorough auditing of our product and process for quality assurance.

Though there are several thousand smaller steps that constitute the creation of a custom flat ribbon cable assembly, the in-house engineers of Meridian work through every process with precision and intentional attention to detail.

Some of the steps that go into creating a custom flat ribbon cable assembly include:

The design phase

This is a crucial stage in which the Meridian engineers work with our clients to determine the project's necessities. During the design phase of production, our team will unpack every detail of the project specificities to create a tailor-made flat ribbon cable assembly solution. We take our time to get it just right for our clients so the cable assemblies they receive are exactly what they need and no less.

With cutting-edge CAD design technology, we build the perfect configuration of wires and conductors, connectors, terminators, and all other components. This creation process builds a digital design of the custom flat ribbon cable to ensure it is correct before going into physical production.

The prototyping phase

As the name suggests, the prototyping phase is where we create a small batch of the custom cable assemblies from the design phase. This is a key operation for quality control testing, functionality inspections, and overall satisfaction with the product. We put each prototype through rigorous tests to ensure safety, durability, and dependability.

During the prototyping phase, the engineering and design teams will also work to calibrate our equipment to enable efficient mass production. This means that once the prototype is approved, we are prepared to produce the greater volumes of the custom flat ribbon cable assemblies.

The volume production phase

Once the design and prototyping are complete, we are ready to begin producing large volumes of the custom flat cable assemblies. With decades of experience and over 5,000 options of building materials, this phase of production is both efficient and repeatable.

We are constantly working to improve our process to build custom cable assemblies. Our heart is to continuously improve ourselves and our facilities to be more expedient, higher-quality producers, and better manufacturers. We pride ourselves on our ability to produce a completely custom product at a surprisingly fast pace.

The real-world testing phase

Our dedication to quality does not end with production. We further examine the custom flat ribbon cable assemblies in our Advanced Life Testing lab. Here is where we thoroughly put the cable assemblies through the wringer with a series of controlled testing in simulations of harsh conditions.

We understand that most of our cables are going to be put to use in tough working conditions and require dependable resilience. We hold our cable assemblies to the highest standards and strive to create true quality in our products.

The finished product

The result of the extensive design process, thorough prototyping, and relentless testing that we put our cable assemblies through, is a high-quality and dependable custom flat ribbon cable assembly. We do not cut corners and take our time to ensure that our product is reliable. Because we know that our cable assemblies are going to be utilized in potentially life-saving equipment, we set the bar at the highest level. Our team of engineers, designers, and manufacturers take their work very seriously and are always learning how we can improve.

Applications for Flat Ribbon Cable Assemblies

Though you can find flat ribbon cable assemblies in nearly every electronic device, they are frequently used in computers because of their folding capabilities. Because the wires or conductors are laid out parallel to one another and not spiraled, they can be nearly folded in half or manipulated into waves. This enables flat ribbon cable assemblies to be utilized in all kinds of technology and machinery.

Flat Ribbon Cable Assemblies in Computers

Within every computer, flat ribbon cable assemblies exist in some form or another. Within personal computers, flat ribbon cable assemblies are used to the disk drive and/or the hard drive to the motherboard. This interconnectivity is made possible by the multiple conductors that flat ribbon cable assemblies. Typically, the more complex the drive that is being connected to the motherboard, the more wires/conductors are necessary for the flat cable assembly.

One of the benefits that the design of flat ribbon cable assemblies provides in computer utilization is their ability to terminate quickly. This allows the computer operating system to end a task or program rapidly. Because of the multiple and simultaneous connections, flat ribbon cable assemblies can allow the computer processors to function with expediency when transferring commands.

Military Applications for Flat Ribbon Cable Assemblies

Because they are so adaptable in their capabilities and design, flat ribbon cable assemblies can have several advantages for military technology. Found in everything from drone operating systems to robotic and autonomous solutions, flat ribbon cable assemblies are an essential component of modern military technology.

Just as in the medical field, flat ribbon cables in the military application need to be made to the most exacting details. With important functions, equipment, and technology, the interconnective components must be built to rigorous standards. Meridian Cable creates military-grade cable assemblies and thoroughly tests them to ensure their quality.

Flat Ribbon Cable Assemblies in Medical Equipment

In the medical field, many pieces of equipment utilize flat ribbon cable assemblies for interconnectivity and processing. You may find these versatile cable assemblies on the inside of a heart monitor, ultrasound machine, or any number of other life-saving equipment.

The flat ribbon cable assemblies used in the medical arena need to be reliable and precise in their construction. Because they operate within several machines that can literally be the difference between life and death, medical flat ribbon cable assemblies must be held to the highest standard.

Industrial Applications for Flat Ribbon Cable Assemblies

With industrial manufacturing being such a massive and varied field, there are nearly infinite possible utilizations for flat ribbon cable assemblies. Some industrial equipment that makes use of flat ribbon cable assemblies are industrial control boards, automated packaging machines, or cutting machines similar to what Meridian cable uses to cut its wire harnesses.

Industrial flat ribbon cable assemblies need to be made to hold up in a variety of conditions and still function properly. This requires materials that may need to come into contact with high temperatures, varying levels of moisture, industrial chemicals, and other common hazards within industrial facilities.

Because of the natural potential for harsh conditions in an industrial environment, the cable assemblies within the machinery must be built to endure. This means using quality materials that can withstand the stressors of less ideal conditions.

Find more info on the manufacturing and applications of custom flat ribbon cables on our blog.

Flat Ribbon Cable Assemblies FAQs

Will Meridian Cable help my company design a flat ribbon cable assembly?

Certainly! Our team of in-house design engineers will help design and create the ideal custom flat ribbon cable assemblies for your needs. We work with you through every step of the process to ensure your satisfaction and the quality of your cable solution. 


The design phase of production is a crucial part of creating flat ribbon cable assemblies. During this portion of the process, our team will take the time to understand your unique cable needs and begin designing a custom solution. We draft a digital design of your flat ribbon cable assemblies from the design stage and run preliminary screening tests to ensure it meets your needs. Because of the importance of the design stage, our engineers work directly with you throughout the entire process.

What are the benefits of using flat ribbon cable assemblies?

Flat ribbon cable assemblies have a lot to offer in terms of benefits and capacity. For one, a flat ribbon cable has the ability to mass terminate, meaning it can connect to multiple ports/connections at once. In contrast with a round cable assembly, in which there can only be one termination per port, flat ribbon cable assemblies have multiple terminations in a linear structure. 


Flat ribbon cables can be built to correspond with any number of different port configurations. This flexibility gives flat cables the ability to be custom designed to suit the specific needs of equipment and function. Their unique design lends itself to a wide range of applications and industrial processes. One of the most common benefits of a flat ribbon cable assembly is that its structure can fit in small spaces like a computer. This allows them to be used in nearly every industry that uses technology.

What is the difference between a cable and a ribbon cable?

Traditional cable assemblies are composed of cables that are generally rounded and have a spiral interior structure. Flat ribbon cables, however, have the conductors structured linearly so that they are side-by-side to form a flat structure. This design allows flat ribbon cables to fold into smaller spaces and have multiple terminations at each end. Practically, flat ribbon cables have a lot to offer in terms of flexibility and adaptability to a plethora of applications. 


The unique linear design of flat ribbon cables can be configured into the ideal solution for custom equipment. Their design often works better in computers than a standard cable because of the flat ribbon cable’s flexibility.

Why should I choose Meridian Cable to build my cable solutions?

Having been in the cable production business for several decades, we understand that there are numerous cable manufacturers out there. While you certainly could purchase from any old cable production company, you may not be getting the solution your unique situation demands. When you buy an off-the-shelf cable solution, it is going to be a generic cable that may or may not do what you need. 


We’ve been in this business long enough to know that a one-size-fits-all approach should not apply to cables. We create a custom flat ribbon cable solution from the design up, meaning it is always exactly what’s required to solve the task at hand. We work with our clients to build the ideal solution to the most exacting detail. When you choose Meridian Cable, you get our custom design process, our years of experience, and our top-notch quality cable solutions. You can trust our team with any of your flat ribbon cable needs.

What is the purpose of insulation in flat ribbon cable assemblies?

Insulation serves a very important role in the function of a flat ribbon cable. The conductor on the inside of each cable transfers high amounts of data and electricity in pulses. While these electrical pulses are often low voltage, they need to be contained within the cable to properly function and avoid loose electricity in the area surrounding the cable. The insulation in a flat ribbon cable keeps the electricity flowing through the conductor and allows the cable to transfer data and power correctly and safely. 


During the design phase, you can choose from different insulators that will best suit the purpose of your cable solution. Getting the appropriate materials for the job is important with an important component like insulation.

What are UL-Certified cables?

UL-Certification is the gold standard within the cable industry. Underwriters’ Laboratories (UL) has developed a multi-level certification standard by which cables are measured for quality and reliability. This rigorous certification means that the cables, components, and manufacturing processes are all of the highest ethical and industrial standards. In other words, a UL-Certified cable is one that has been built and tested to ensure that it meets qualification standards for safety, integrity, functionality, and reliability. 

Meridian Cable is proud to say that we offer UL-Certified cable assemblies, wire harnesses, flat ribbon cable assemblies, and more. You can trust that when we make your cable solution, it will be crafted and vetted to the highest standards and most precise detail. With a UL certification, you can rest easy knowing that your cable solution is both capable and well-made.

Where are Meridian’s cables manufactured?

Meridian Cable has multiple facilities where we manufacture our cable solutions. Over the course of several decades, we have grown our business to be a world leader in cable manufacturing. Between our first facility in Tanggu, China to our US-based facility in St. Augustine, Florida, we supply the world with custom cable assemblies and more. 

In 1999, we had to make the difficult decision to close our facility in the United States. However, just a few years later, business was booming, and we were able to bring our manufacturing back to the USA. Now, in our 7,000-square-foot advanced manufacturing facility in Florida, we are able to provide jobs to our community in the areas of St. Augustine. With facilities literally around the world, we are able to deliver the perfect solution no matter where our clients need us.

Is there a warranty for flat ribbon cable assemblies?

When you purchase a custom cable solution, it likely represents a significant investment for your business. Meridian Cable stands behind every product we manufacture. Our in-house engineering team designs every cable to the most precise detail, so it is exactly what you need. Standing behind our work, we offer a complete, one-year warranty on the manufacturing and components. 


When you choose Meridian Cable for your flat ribbon cable solutions, your investment is well-founded. We manufacture our cables to the highest standards and hold to rigorous, UL-Certified qualifications and several internationally-recognized certifications. If that were not enough, you can always trust in our several decades-worth of experience and our outstanding team of experts. We only hire the best of the best for engineering, manufacturing, and design. We take our business seriously and expect our products to be top-notch.

Can I test my flat ribbon cable assemblies before they are mass-produced?

Certainly. As part of our stringent testing process, we can create a prototype to ensure that the solution works well for your equipment. This will give you a tangible representation of the design and the larger order that is yet to be produced. 


With every one of the flat ribbon cable assemblies that we manufacture, we perform intense testing, reworking, and configuring. If there is an issue with the prototype, we can go back to the drawing board and redesign a viable solution. We do this to be certain that our cables are the ideal solution and will be precisely what your equipment needs. 

How does Meridian Cable assure the quality of its flat ribbon cable assemblies?

Over the past several decades, we have become proficient at designing and producing our cable solutions. With our experience in the industry, we have developed intense testing procedures to guarantee the top-notch quality of our flat ribbon cable assemblies. Each cable we produce will undergo a myriad of stress tests, manufacturing inspections, and practical functionality tests to ensure that it is upheld to UL-Certified standards.


Even by the time the prototype is developed, our flat ribbon cable assemblies have been subjected to virtual testing to ensure it will function in simulations. This testing helps us ensure the design of your cable solution has the highest probability for success before we even start the physical manufacturing. We want to do everything we can to provide dependable cable solutions of the highest industry standards.

What industries use flat ribbon cable assemblies?

Because flat ribbon cables are often used in computers, their applications are virtually limitless. In our multiple decades of experience in the cable production industry, we have made flat ribbon cables for a range of businesses. We have created thousands of flat ribbon cables for the medical sector, military, telecommunications, and industrial production. 


One of the beauties of flat ribbon cable assemblies is that they can be found anywhere in some capacity. Their flexible design makes them a valuable cable option for every industry imaginable.

Let Meridian Tailor Make a Flat Ribbon Cable Solution for You

Meridian Cable has been a leader in building custom cable solutions for decades and has the skills, experience, and quality you are looking for. Our team will work directly with you to build the perfect cable solution. Contact our team to get started today.