It seems like a simple question, right — what is a cable assembly? In a world in which an array of industries uses variations on a theme (in this case, the cable assembly), defining what a cable assembly actually is should be fairly straightforward.
Unfortunately, even within industries and in the context of industry jargon, the terms ‘cable assembly’ and ‘wire harness’ are often used interchangeably. Considering the success of projects can come down to the pinpoint accuracy of their components, knowing one component from the other means everything.
Here is the basic breakdown of a cable assembly as compared to a wire harness:

  • a wire is distinctly a single conductor
  • a cable is a group of two or more conductors wrapped in what is referred to as a jacket
  • wires are usually broken down into either solid or solid varieties
  • wires carry electricity & telecommunication signals (cables also do this)
  • cables are more varied; can come in twisted pair, coaxial, fiber optic for example
    Cable assemblies are groups of wires or cables that are wrapped in a single jacket that can be made of a number of different materials. The main purpose of the exterior jacket is simple — protect what is inside from the outside. Depending on the application, the cable assembly will be exposed to any number of environmental conditions that could prove to be problematic. Excess dust, moisture, friction, and caustic materials can all impact the cables & wires contained within the assembly.
    Furthermore, should the assembly be compromised, the entire machinery/operation could face significant downtime. This is perhaps the greatest perk of a well-designed and well-built cable assembly. Downtime is the enemy of an efficient operation. As things grind to a halt, production stops and productivity falls behind. The longer there is a standstill, the more ‘catch-up’ will have to be done to get back online and on schedule.
    The efficiency that comes with cable assemblies is that a problem can be located, the affected component (in this case, the assembly) removed & replaced quickly, and productivity is affected in only a minimal way. This saves time, and more importantly, it is an incredible cost-saving way of operating.
    Of course, no cable assembly can come together in the right way without the right manufacturer behind it. Considerations have to be given for industry standards (both domestic and international as needed), the safety of onsite personnel, not to mention the ability to design, engineer, and deliver a final product that adheres to a client’s custom specifications. Furthermore, consultation with a cable assembly manufacturing partner MUST include conversations about the future. Whether it is plans for expansion, changes in technology, or streamlining processes, having the right component all depends on working with a manufacturing partner with the right experience & dedication to their client.
    LoDan Electronics, Inc. in Chicago has been an interconnect solutions juggernaut for nearly six decades. Call us today and see the difference our expertise can make for your next project.