The 7 Essential Elements of Custom Cable Assemblies

No matter what type of electronics product you are designing or building, getting your wiring needs met with an off-the-shelf option can often be more work than you would anticipate. More often than not, it pays to have an expert in custom cable assemblies walk you through the plethora of options that will be available to you. Here are some of the essential elements of a custom cable assembly.

1. Conductors – the core of the wire is the conductor, and is usually composed of copper wire, or copper wire that has been plated with silver for signal optimization. Copper wire has been in use since the 19th century and remains one of the most common conductive materials used, but is hardly the only option.

2. Insulation – The next layer of a cable assembly is the insulation, and it is a vital component of the wire. It is composed entirely of non-conductive material to prevent your electronic signals from being lost due to leakage, and protect the wire from environmental factors such as moisture and extreme temperatures. You can choose from PVC or a variety of different composite materials.

3. Shielding – A lesser-known component of wiring goods, shielding is used to protect your wire’s signal integrity from external electrical phenomena, meaning it limits interference, static, and other forms of noise. Often, aluminum foil, mylar, or spiral-braided wire will be used for the shielding.

4. Jacketing – The outer-most layer of any wire is known as the jacket and serves primarily to protect the wire from water and other liquid spills, humidity, pressure, sand, and nearly any other environmental force you can think of. Some of the materials used in shielding, such as the braided wire, is used as the jacketing material. Other times, a PVC or plastic-composite will be used.

5. Connectors – After you have made all of these choices about the wire itself, you will need to know how you will connect the wire to its initial and terminal ports. The options for connectors are largely driven by their intended use. Coaxial is a common choice amongst cable and television applications, other times you may need some iteration of a USB, or even soldered directly to your product.

6. Length and Gauge – The term gauge refers to thickness, and in most cases, the load capacity of a wire. For instance the higher the gauge of the wire, the larger a signal it can accommodate.

7. Inventory Options – Designing the cable assembly itself is often the easy part. However, one of the most important considerations you can make is how you will receive your products. Your cable assemblies should arrive at your production floor with as few barriers to installation as possible. Custom inventory options make this possible.

From custom labeling of wire harnesses, to training of your workforce on installation, to a dedicated account manager, a custom cable assembly provider can help optimize your wiring experience. For more information contact us at today!