Unless one works within an industry in which a cable assembly plays a major role, the how & why of their manufacturing is a relative mystery. More often than not, the only interaction had with a cable assembly is as an end user, though by that time, the cable assembly is out of sight & ultimately out of mind.
Given the usually intense attention that consumers give over the most mundane of products, it is interesting that so little attention gets paid to understanding how a cable assembly comes to be, even by industries who depend on their quality to keep all other processes moving along without interruption. As such, here is a basic breakdown of the cable assembly process:
It all starts with numbers. This means physical measurements, tolerances, attention to standard points of measure (e.g., bearing point, center, end), and understanding the type of application for which the cable assembly is needed. It is also important to breakdown specs of surrounding components, the environment to which the cable assembly will be exposed, and any other pertinent info that will aid in designing the ideal assembly.
Blueprints for Success
The design stage pits client personnel with intimate knowledge of the cable assembly operations, as well as the manufacturer’s engineering team. The goal is to put together a design that factors in all of the provided specs from the client so that final installation nets better overall efficiency and performance. This process is aided by state-of-the-art technology that allows designs to go through simulations so as to test design ideas even before physical prototyping begins.
The design stage is also important because details can be hammered out about the types of materials to be used in the final product, namely whether there may be issues with supply chain hiccups. It does no one any good to design a product whose components have a staggering lead time.
Getting Things Right
One element of the manufacturing process that does not get much notice is the testing stage. It is here that prototyping begins in earnest. Continual testing takes place, with attention paid to overall durability as well as making sure the assembly is working as desired.
Prototyping also allows manufacturers and clients to run through options when it comes to the physical materials best suited for the final version. For cable assemblies, things like cable extrusion, insulation, fill, wrap, shielding, as well as the use of ultrasonic welding & other building option exploration all become crucial elements to be focused in on. Of course, the most critical element of the build process, even in the latter stages, is the constant presence of testing and general quality control. The final product has to do the job for which is was designed, not to mention handle the environment in which it will be installed. What’s more, the final cable assembly must be able to meet regulatory standards at the local, state, and federal level (as applicable). It also has to last.
Finally, when it comes to the last stage of the cable assemble process, there is delivery of goods. This goes beyond simply shipping to a location. Depending on where the client is location, logistical questions have to be raised early in the manufacturing process. Important question to be answered include: does the manufacturer have multiple locations from which it can produce goods, thereby saving money on delivery & considerably reducing lead times? It, of course, is worth mention that working with a trusted name in cable assembly manufacturing helps make this entire process much easier.
Don’t trust your cable assembly work to just anyone. LoDan Electronics, Inc. of Illinois has been at the forefront of industry-leading interconnect solutions since 1967. Touch base with one of our experts today.