Category Archives: Cable Harness

Steps Toward Choosing the Right Custom Cable Assemblies

how your Cable Manufacturing partner produces cables and assemblies

Gain an understanding of how your Cable Manufacturing partner produces cables and assemblies to meet your needs.

Highly technical products require highly technical solutions and tooling only available from a team with quality cable manufacturing capabilities. To avoid working with a low-quality product, it’s important to understand the wiring options that are available to you and how you can utilize them as effectively as possible. One of the first things that must be determined is whether or not you need a cable, a wire, or a custom cable assembly.

Choosing between these products is not nearly as simple as it sounds and will depend almost entirely on your product’s intended functionality. One of the most popular products available is custom cable assemblies. These products are popular because of their various uses and durable nature. Instead of having one thin wire or strand of cable, these custom assemblies are capable of housing several different types of wiring. This is ideal for products that need to reliably transport several different types of signals ranging from data in the telecommunications industry to signals in the medical industry.

Cable Manufacturing
Cable Manufacturing

Because custom cable assemblies can transport multiple signals using the same basic infrastructure, they are an excellent option for busy industries where time is vital. Instead of having to find, unroll, and connect multiple wires – a cable assembly can house all of the necessary connectors and different types of cabling in one. This benefits most industries as tediously rolling and unrolling cables is a time-consuming hassle. While it may simply be an inconvenience to some, the time saved using a single organized wiring system can be major in the medical industry where seconds count. Because of this, it’s important that your manufacturer’s designs are able to meet the specific needs that your product’s custom cable requires.

There’s more to it than designing cabling custom made for a single product and the types of data and signal that it must transport. Another important factor that must be considered during the production process is how the cable assemblies’ wiring will hold up to a variety of conditions. The wire’s insulator is perhaps the most important factor in ensuring a product’s durability. Some popular insulators to consider and ask your manufacturer about include:

  • Polypropylene – This is a great choice for a cabling assembly that will be stored within another product and will not need to be bent or coiled. This is because it is a rather stiff material that is not effective for products that require extreme heat resistance.
  • Chlorinated Polyethylene – This is a more cost effective and versatile option for protecting assemblies’ wiring, as it is resistant to many different types of chemicals and their corrosive properties.
  • Thermoplastic Vulcanizate – This is an effective insulator for coating a product’s wires as well. Its ability to resist weathering and chemical corrosion are among its major benefits.

These are just a few of the materials that can benefit your cable assembly, add to its life span and make it more efficient for your team to use. There’s an array of products and designs out there that can benefit your product and make it more efficient. Because of this, it’s important to build a strong relationship with your manufacturer and to feel comfortable asking questions about the design and cable manufacturing choices being made.

For more information about assembly cabling and examples of how we have helped our customers design, manufacture, and service their cables’ wiring – contact the Meridian team today!  

 

Choosing the Right Components for your Wire Harness

Choosing the Right Components for your Wire Harness

How do you convey to your manufacturers and designers the features that are most important to the success of your wire harness? If you’re not working with a manufacturer that has years of experience in a variety of fields, it can be tough to ensure that they have a full grasp of the wide array of conditions that your product needs to be able to function and work efficiently while including the right components for your wire harness. To help you do this, it’s important to assess which conditions and factors must be taken into consideration when crafting wire harnesses.

Wire Harness Components
Wire Harness Components

How does the location of the wire harness factor into its development?

An important first step is to consider the location that your Wire Harness will likely be in:

  • Will this product be indoors or outdoors?
  • Will the wires and cables used be exposed or housed within a product?
  • What kind of temperatures do you expect the product to be in? Is it likely to be extremely hot or cold?
  • Will the wiring be pulled on or bent? Will a coil cord be useful so that the product can stretch and retract neatly?
  • Are chemicals, water, or other wires expected to be near this product?

This is a useful set of questions to begin considering when conveying your product’s needs and specifications to a design team. There are extensive lists of industry standards and guidelines to follow when determining the best type of wiring to utilize and these are just a few of the factors to consider in this process. For this reason, as well as safety concerns, it’s important that you work with a manufacturer who is familiar with both national and international standards depending on the scope of your product’s market.

How do outdoor and indoor Wire Harnesses vary?

If your product is intended for outdoor use, you’ll likely be in the market for a thicker set of cables. This will likely require the use of a cable assembly, as they are more durable and have several layers of insulation to stand up to wear-and-tear. This will also be more effective if you need to cover larger distances. These cables are typically insulated by heavy-duty materials, such as shrink-wrapped thermoplastic, thermoplastic rubber, or vinyl.

If your product is intended for indoor use, a wire harness will likely be the best option, assuming the product will not be exposed to any harsh conditions or liquids. Wire harnesses are also ideal in situations that require a cost effective solution for transporting electricity or a signal over a shorter distance due to their smaller size and carrying capacity.

Another factor to consider is whether or not the harness will be housed in another product. If so, you’ll need to consider the functionality of the product it’s going into. Does this product have several moving parts that could alter its temperature, is there a chance that the product could leak or malfunction in a way that may cause the harness to get wet or be introduced to chemicals? Using a manufacturer that creates and tests prototypes during the production process will allow designers to foresee and prevent errors before production begins on a large scale.

Materials to combat temperature restrictions  on Wire Harnesses

For cold conditions, coatings that will not become brittle or rigid as a result of the cool climate should be considered. These products should be able to expand and contract as they move in and out of frigid temperatures. Ask your manufacturer to see the product specifications and certifications laid out by bodies such as UL.

For extremely hot conditions, you’ll need to discuss with your manufacturer what types of temperatures the rest of the product could potentially reach and determine the heat tolerance that your wire harness will require to meet safety standards and specifications.

Quality Wire Harness Manufacturing
Quality Wire Harness Manufacturing

Elements to keep in mind when discussing materials suited to extreme temperatures include:

  • Conductor Insulation
  • Wraps
  • Jacket

Type of Conductor  

The conductor is what your signal or current will actually be transmitted through. The type of conductor used must be suitable to withstand certain conditions without overheating or corroding. Some things to consider when discussing conductors are:

  • The voltage or bandwidth that the conductor needs to be able to carry without exceeding its carrying capacity and potentially overheating or becoming attenuated.
  • The type of metal and coatings used. Copper is one of the most common conductors due to its high conductivity. But, copper is very prone to corrosion, making it important to determine what your wire will be exposed to and the appropriate coatings needed to combat this.

Other Elements to Consider when Choosing the Right Wire Harness Components

Aside from these basic elements, there are a variety of additional features that may add additional functionality to your wire harness including:

  • Terminals: this is the point at which the wire ends, it may be connected to another component or capped off depending on its use and location.
  • Connectors: there are a variety of connectors used to marry different wires together. Some of these are permanently affixed to the system, while others are removable for products that are likely to be portable or require interchangeable parts.
  • Strain Relief: this is a system designed to throttle currents as they reach the terminal, this is intended to prolong the life of the terminal.
  • Grommets: utilizing grommets will keep wires secure and in their proper place. Grommets help to maintain an organized system and will make installation and any maintenance on the product more efficient.  

Choosing the right components for your product’s wire harness is vital to ensuring that you have a product that will meet your unique design standards and run efficiently. Entrusting your product with a manufacturer that has experience and an understanding of a variety of fields will make the process much easier. Additionally, it’s important that you choose a manufacturer who is willing to gain an understanding of your product’s individual needs and specifications. 

Ways to Effectively Protect Your Cable Harness Assembly

We often think of cable harness assemblies as protective pieces of equipment, which they are, but we usually don’t consider how that protection may also need to be shielded from outside stimulus. The right cable harness assembly will protect wires and other important cables, as well as keep them organized, but you should take steps to keep them out of harm’s way. Here are some simple steps and tactics you can use to keep your cable harness assemblies out of harm’s way, and keep them performing their crucial function uninhibited.cable harness

When it comes to cable protection, there is one tried and tested route that can actually improve their lifespan and effectiveness: enclosures. There are three major kinds, each with their own benefits. Here is some information on each to help you decide which kind of cable harness assembly enclosure you need:

  1. Snap Together Enclosures

The snap together enclosure is your most basic form of enclosure. It’s the perfect balance of strength and accessibility, letting you snap it together and apart again as it needs changing or servicing. If your cable harness assembly will need to be frequently serviced or altered, the snap together enclosure is your best bet. It will provide professionals with quick access and will stay strong when it needs to be working.

  1. Screw Together Enclosures

This is one of the safest enclosure types, especially if the cable assembly is in a space that is accessible to people who shouldn’t touch it. By putting the harness into a screw together enclosure, access is more limited, making the enclosure more secure. But it’s also easily accessible by those who need such access, making it perfect for cable assemblies that need occasional servicing or changes.

  1. Ultrasonic Welding Enclosure

For the ultimate protection, you can turn to ultrasonic welding enclosures. These enclosures are designed to protect cables in any manner of conditions, including tampering. Essentially, the enclosure is sealed around your cable assembly, making it almost entirely inaccessible without breaking the enclosure. It’s designed for any cable assemblies that’s in a volatile environment, such as a place subject to potential water leakage, or where it needs to be enclosed at all times. By making them difficult to tamper with, these enclosures are often a favorite of safety officers, who can easily see if an enclosure is no longer safe to be in operation. Whether it’s for the best safety possible or because the enclosure needs to stand up to the elements, the ultrasonic welding enclosure is the strongest available option.

When it comes to protecting your cable harness assemblies, the best option is enclosures. These come in multiple varieties, each with their own strengths, and picking the right one depends on your needs. Meridian Cable Assemblies is dedicated to providing you with the best, strongest, and highest quality cable harness assemblies on the market. We can also help you figure out the best protection strategy based on your individual needs.

The Four Essential Functions of a Cable Harness

The cable harness is a simple idea that’s changed the way we build almost anything that has cables. By gathering up all the wires, whether they’re transmitting electricity or electrical signals, and putting them into a common place, engineers and designers have made some of the world’s most common, and most extraordinary, pieces of equipment more efficient and much easier to work with. Here are just a few different ways that cable harnesses are used in today’s world, from the auto shop to the stars.

1. Automobiles

Cars are short on space and big on cables. Stretched out, the many wires used in an average car can extend out for miles. It makes organization paramount, especially as cars become smaller, more compact, and are filled with more and more wires. Cables harnesses do a great job of keeping those loose wires all gathered up. This is especially important if they happen to be running by hot parts of the engine, which could lead to major electrical issues.

2. Audio Systems

It isn’t something many people think of when they turn on their car stereo, but audio systems use any number of electrical signals and electricity to play tunes. Those cords need to be properly organized and labelled so anyone working with them can hook them up to the right places. It keeps wires from getting crossed, from the wrong sounds going to the wrong speakers. Cable harnesses for audio equipment are often tiny and can contain multiple types of signals within each harness, which makes them even more convenient for building top of the line audio systems.

3. Airplanes

Taking on turbulence, engine vibration, and frequent safety inspections, cable harnesses are essential for keeping planes in the air. They once again help keep things organized, but they also help wires and cables stay still while the plane is in flight.

4. Rockets

If there was ever an invention that has miles and miles of extremely important and essential cables, it’s a spaceship. Cable harnesses have been an essential piece of any rocket since their inception. Rockets value space above almost anything else, with each and every inch being used for several functions. Considering repairs sometimes need to happen during very precarious circumstances in the vastness of space, organized wires can mean the difference between life and death. Rockets frequently use cable harnesses to keep everything in line. The harnesses are especially effective in zero gravity, where loose wires could become even more tangled and make repairs all but impossible.

The cable harness is one of those inventions that simply makes life easier. They keep wires organized, streamline electronics and machines, and make things infinitely easier to work with. Whether it’s sending an astronaut to the stars or listening to songs, getting the right kind of cable harness is essential. Be sure to check with Meridian Cable ( www.meridiancableassemblies.com ) to create the right cable solution to meet the performance requirements.