Cable assemblies comprise the most important part of any electronic application. Hence, it is important to choose the right cable assembly. When designing or buying custom cable assemblies, it is essential that all possible scenarios and working conditions be thought of prior to placing an order. This will allow you to choose a cable assembly that is the perfect fit and works at maximum efficiency.
Placing the Right Order
The following factors should be taken into consideration when placing an order:
The design of the device should be able to accommodate the cable assembly. Hence, space considerations are the primary factors to deciding on the type of cable assembly to be customized.
The power and the signal required in the machine have to be decided on as well. These are two different factors that should be considered to ensure that the machine functions in accordance with user requirements.
The environment of the application makes a difference to the exterior of the assembly as well as the configuration. Dust, moisture, heat, and pressure are some of the factors to be considered. In terms of the environment, the application and nature of the work has to be considered as well. For example, if the application is going to be in perpetual motion and experiencing vibrations, provisions will have to be made accordingly.
Shielding of cables should also be made available in accordance with the strength of the FR signals, and AC and DC power. You must consider the amplitude of the above mentioned factors in both power as well as signal cables and wires.
Having a clear picture of your requirements before approaching a custom cable assembly manufacturer will allow you to get the product that is closest to your actual need. If it is not decided beforehand, it could lead to confusion, or worse, placement of the wrong order. Once you have decided on your requirement, your service provider will be able to provide suggestions that will help in improving the overall product.
The medical industry requires specialized cable assemblies to manufacture devices and equipment of several types. They are an indispensable component used in the assembly of diagnostic equipment and imaging systems to sophisticated surgical robots. They are available in a wide range of specifications for applications across several areas of the health care industry.
This blog is meant to familiarize you with the four major areas where medical grade cable assemblies are indispensable.
Applications of Medical Grade Cable Assemblies
The below listed are the 4 key medical areas where cable assemblies are extensively used.
Area – Surgical
Applications – Video Endoscopy, Electrosurgical Unit, Surgical Robots, Electrosurgical Unit, Medical Ventilators, Anesthetic Machines, Electro Thermal Bipolar Vessel Sealing, Circulatory Assist Devices, Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVAD), Defibrillators, Power Hand Instruments, and Arthroscopic Shaver System.
Area – Imaging
Applications – MRI and Cardiac MRI Equipment, CT Scanning Unit, X-ray System , Ultrasound Unit, Obstetric and Maternal Fetal Ultrasound Equipment, Bone Densitometry or DXA, Fluoroscopy, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and Digital Mammography.
Applications – ECG, Oxygen measurement, Temperature Measurement, and Blood Pressure Monitoring, among several others.
Medical Grade Cable Assemblies Tailored to your Applications
These days, medical device manufacturers prefer customized cable assemblies so that the final assembly fits their applications perfectly. However, ensure that you are providing the exact specifications to the manufacturer when stipulating requirements.
For specialized medical applications, cable assemblies can be customized to incorporate the following:
Non-toxic and irritant-free cables
Color-coding for polarization
Smaller bend radius
Low surface friction
Medical cable assemblies are built to last to resist frequent wash-downs using mild cleaning agents or industrial sterilization solutions. Also, they are superbly engineered to resist chemicals, radiation, vibration, high pressures, humidity, and variable temperatures. In addition, they can withstand corrosion, moisture, UV light, abrasion, impact and more.
Aerospace grade cables are utilized to support critical applications in several industries. They are designed to withstand demanding application conditions. Custom aerospace grade cable assembly can be used in applications that require the cables to be manufactured to a certain standard. These cables are used in extreme environments. Durable materials are used to manufacture these cables to increase their resilience to unfavorable factors.
Custom cable assemblies for the Aerospace industries consist of fiber optic cable assemblies, space cables, and other aerospace grade cable assemblies. Aerospace fiber optic cables are extremely tough in nature. These cables are used in applications where the wear and tear of the cables is extremely high. Custom fiber optic cables can be used to ensure that the unique requirements of the applications are met.
Testing of Custom Cable Assembly for Aerospace Industries
Space cables used in critical applications are manufactured with extreme attention to detail. Once manufactured, these cable assemblies are tested rigorously. The quality of the raw materials and manufacturing process are tested. In terms of functionality, the products are tested to ensure reliable operation. This ensures that all the cable assemblies for aerospace industry are flawless in quality and operation.
You should opt for aerospace cable assemblies if your application environment or operation is demanding in nature. If standard cable assemblies are unable to handle the stress posed by the application or its environment, you will benefit from using aerospace grade cable assemblies. Irrespective of standard or unique requirements, speak to your aerospace cable assembly manufacturer to find the best suited product for your application.
When it comes to the automotive industry, cable assemblies, otherwise known as wiring harnesses, are of paramount importance. As a customer of automotive cable assemblies, you might have several questions pertaining to these cable systems. This blog attempts to answer a few of the frequently asked questions.
General FAQs Answered!
The following are the general questions about the automotive wiring harness assemblies.
What are the challenges faced by automotive cable assembly manufacturers today?
Ans. Over the years, there have been several advancements in the design of electronic steering, satellite radio, infotainment systems, and Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) in vehicles. More the complexity of these elements, the higher are the demands for convoluted cable assemblies with several wires. However, the problem lies in insufficient packaging space to accommodate additional wiring. This calls for miniaturization of cables, and the entire cable systems. This in turn increases production cost, human labor, whilst consuming a lot of time in manufacturing.
Are there any regulations or standards pertaining to the design and manufacture of automotive cable assemblies?
Ans. Yes, there are.
Several regulatory authorities call for testing (temperature, vibration, and environmental tests) automotive cable assemblies to minimize the risk of failure. Generally, cable assembly manufacturers conform to the guidelines and recommendations of UL, RoHs, PPAP, SAE, and ISO when designing and manufacturing wire harness.
What are the important advancements happened in the automotive cable assembly manufacturing sector in the last few years?
Ans. As mentioned earlier in the post, miniaturization is the latest trend. Miniaturization has revolutionized the way wiring harnesses are designed and assembled. Manufacturing of miniaturized cable assemblies requires extreme care and an especially clean environment to manage crimping and insertion of terminals to connectors.
The other positive change is the widespread use of aluminum cables and terminals as an alternative to copper. Aluminum is found to be the best substitute to copper as it largely contributes in reducing CO2 emissions, whilst withstanding corrosion.
What are the important factors a designer must consider when producing cable assemblies?
Ans. There are several parameters a designer must pay close attention to when designing wiring harnesses. The temperature level of the application, weight reduction, compatibility of wires to accommodate higher temperatures, material cost, etc. are a few amongst the many factors.
When procuring cable assemblies, it is important that all your answers must be answered before placing an order. When in doubt, contact the manufacturers. Like so, you can gain important information that leads you towards informed selection.
Developing a custom electro mechanical assembly requires attention to detail. The process of designing may need to be perfected before the product goes for production. Those involved will have to ensure that the product is up to par when it is produced. This can be easily accomplished by developing prototypes and conducting thorough performance tests.
How to avoid Blunders?
2 Steps One Shouldn’t Skip when Developing an Electro Mechanical Assembly
The following steps will help you in producing a custom electro mechanical assembly that fits high standards of quality and operation:
Once the design is finalized, churning thousands and million copies of the same thing is extremely easy. At the same time, a small design mistake could end up costing the organization a lot in terms of time and money. Hence, a prototype should be developed initially. Once it is tested thoroughly and changes have been implemented, it should be sent for production.
The testing process ranges from visual to destructive tests. A custom electro mechanical assembly is tested thoroughly to ensure that it can handle the demands of an application. Initially, the prototype should be tested. This will allow the final product to be manufactured to excellent standards. Most custom electro mechanical assembly manufacturers will perform several tests once the products have been manufactured. Either a sample of the total products or all the products will be tested. Visual tests will be performed to check if all visible parts are in place. Then quality and functionality tests will be conducted. Simulated computer testing is performed to ensure a thorough testing process.
The above-mentioned processes are integral to the development of a reliable product. When products are being mass-produced, there could be some oversight in terms of design or manufacturing. Hence, creating a prototype and testing all custom electro mechanical assemblies will allow you to substantiate their reliability.
At Carr Mfg. Co., we get a number of first time clients who are interested in getting wire and cable harness assemblies designed for an application. We also get a number of enquiries from customers who are interested in our products, but do not have a lot of information on their design, operation, and benefits.To solve the queries of such customers, we are providing basic information about wire and cable harness assemblies in this post.
Wire Harness and Cable Assembly FAQs :
To ensure that the information is simple and easy to understand, we are providing the information in a question and answer format.
How many Wires comprise an Assembly? How are the Specifications Decided?
There is no general number of wires in an assembly. The wires are selected depending on the application and the various systems that the harness will be connected to. A simple system may require a cable assembly with five to seven wires. Larger assemblies may consist of more wires. The cables are selected based on the kind of data that they will be transmitting. The length, insulation material, wire size, and power capacity, are all decided based on the application.
What are the Benefits of Cable Assemblies?
The following points showcase the benefits of cable assemblies.
Security and Safety: The harness is constructed out of an insulated material. It ensures that the bundle will not flex, reducing the chances of abrasions and short circuiting.
Simple Installation: Wire harnesses eliminate the need to connect individual wires to their respective systems. Many application systems have existing cable assemblies. Hence, the newly installed wire harness simply needs to be linked with the existing one. Thus, no time is wasted in the wire installation process.
Reduced Wire Derangement: As the wires are bundles, the assembly reduces chances of wire cluttering. Also, the harness requires less space in terms of installation.
What is the General Lead Time for Cable Assembly Delivery?
Every cable manufacturer will offer a different delivery lead time. The delivery depends on a variety of factors, include material availability, production requirements, and inspection time. At Carr Mfg., we can typically deliver your products within two to four weeks.
What kind of Testing Procedures are Performed for Standard and Custom Assemblies?
Testing is performed during and after the manufacturing process. As the wire assemblies are being produced, the products and components are continually checked for aspects such as weld peel, overmolding, pull and wire retention forces.
Other testing procedures performed during and post manufacturing include:
Connector separation force testing
Mate and unmate cycle testing
What types of Cable Assembly Designs are Generally Offered by Manufacturers?
Cable assemblies can be designed in a variety of ways. Some of the common designs include:
Point-to-point Assemblies: This consists of terminal strips, which are used to create interconnections between two individual points.
Multi-Termination Type Assemblies: These consist of multiple fiber cables, which are pre-terminated. This means that connectors are added to each fiber cable before the assembly is created.
Ribbon Assemblies: Ribbon assemblies are named after the insulated wires, which are connected together to form a flat ribbon. Ribbon assemblies can be subcategorized into high-speed, shielded and jacketed non-PVC, split or multi-branch cable assemblies.
Radiation Tolerant Designs: These cable assemblies are designed to maintain their performance in applications with high amounts of radiation. Generally, radiation tolerant assemblies have a tolerance range from 5 to 200 Mrad.
Crush Resistant Designs: These assemblies can withstand immense amounts of pressure. You can find assemblies with the ability to withstand over 250 lbs. per inch.
These are some of the basic questions that first time customers need to know when procuring cable assemblies. Ensure that you have every query answered before you order a product. Clear knowledge of the products, its features and benefits, can help you make a wise decision.
The process of assembling box build assemblies is quite simple. It involves a Bill of Materials (BOM), the customer providing Gerber files, CAD design, assembly, and delivery. Many customers assume that once the Gerber files are handed over, the Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) provider will take care of the rest. There are certain points that need to be discussed before any of the above mentioned steps can take place.
Points to Discuss with your EMS Provider
If you are getting an electronic manufacturing services (EMS) provider to design and produce your box build assemblies, then there are certain points you need to consider.
Unambiguous Bill of Materials: The first point of discussion between the client and the EMS provider is the BOM. It is imperative that the BOM be clear in terms of the materials and components, which will be used to create the box build assembly. The BOM also needs to specify the materials that the provider will source, and those that the client will provide.
Define the Components: As each component will make a difference to the assembly and operation of the product, it is important that you specify certain components. Although the provider can source the large components, you can specify on smaller yet important materials. Examples of these would be adhesives, fasteners, heat shrink tubing, wires, etc. Defining such components can help you to maintain your costs, and ensure delivery of the product on the expected date.
Specify Characteristics: Aspects like finishes, weight, size, and tolerances are usually left to the freedom of the provider. However, if not properly specified these can lead to issues at the time of assembly and quality testing. Ensure that such aspects are also specified. Size and weight are also important points to consider for storage and handling purposes.
Provide CAD Layouts: This is an option for customers. There are many reasons why providing a CAD model will help move increase the entire process speed:
The designers do not need to visualize the product and its assembly.
It can include a drawing where all the components will be placed.
A customer’s personal design followed to the letter can ensure that the box build assembly is manufactured to industry compliances.
Many CAD software offer free drawing options.
Decide on the Build Method: You need to decide on the most optimum build method for the electrical systems. Consider methods like prepared cables, or point to point wiring, and create a schematic for the same. If possible, provide this in an electronic format as well.
Enquire about the Testing Methods: If possible, ask the EMS provider if he can perform specific tests to ensure that quality and efficiency of the product. You can specify functionality testing, electrical safety testing, etc. Also, you can find out from your service provider the best choice of tests for the assembly.
Request for Delivery Method: Depending on the type of box build assembly, you can specify the type of packaging and the mode of transport for delivery. You can ask for shrink wraps, or special boxes, or even pallets.
Outsourcing box build assemblies is a process that requires the customer and the EMS provider to work in unison. Providing the right information before any process is begun can help in the design, production, testing, and delivery of an assembly of world class quality.