Machinery abounds with a litany of components, the likes of which can look a bit alien to the layperson. Perhaps the most visually impactful component that one may encounter are ribbon cables. As the name would suggest, ribbon cables look like flat, often rainbow-colored candy strips capped at the end with connectors. Though visually of great interest, ribbon cables have been an integral part of the electronics world. What’s more, even as technology has evolved, ribbon cable remain a standard component.

What Are Ribbon Cables Exactly?

Sometimes called flat, flat ribbon, and/or planar cables, ribbon cables are called upon to transmit both power and data. Their construction makes them ideal for internal connections. Their build is lighter, thinner, and less rigid, allowing easier physical manipulation as compared to other types of cable. It should also be noted that even with their characteristically unique flat construction, options abound for variations for a particular application.

Major Advantages

While modern technology advances & components get smaller, the construction of ribbon cables remain critical for one important reason — consistency across basic electrical characteristics. Also, because of their flexible nature, there is a reduced risk of wiring & connecting mistakes to take place when compared to other cabling options.
The look, feel, and physical make-up of ribbon cables make them ideal for the following:

  • Connectivity in Limited Space
  • Hard Drives
  • Robotics (also, pick and place equipment)
  • Electronics
  • Test & Measuring Equipment (e.g., aerospace, medical, military)
    Regarding the colors associated with ribbon cables, they are color-coded for ease of installation & monitoring. Everything from conductors, conductor plating, stranding, and wire gauge (e.g., AWG) can be specified when ordering cables. High on the list of priorities when ordering is ribbon cables is specifying application & environment.
    Ribbon cables have become the quintessential electronics component when operating within tight spaces. But their diverse functionality makes them an ideal choice when having to customize transmission and connection needs. However, because they are widely utilized, ribbon cables can be found through a plethora of companies, especially if these industries are based in electronic or electromechanical infrastructures . As one might imagine, not all ribbon cables are the same. This is an especially important factor to be keenly aware of because ribbon cables are usually encased inside of equipment & machinery. This means that they are not usually seen, so confidence in their functionality is vital.

    Don’t Settle on Quality

    This is why the biggest factor in determining the quality of a ribbon cable is the experience & reputation of the manufacturer. Working with the right manufacturing partner is crucial to ending up with a final product that will work for a particular application. It also lays the groundwork for future upgrades as needs change. And as everyone knows, technology waits for no one. Having a leg up on the future is always a step in the right direction.
    Industries the world over have depended on ribbon cables from Chicago to keep business moving forward. Click here to learn more about why LoDan Electronics, Inc. has been a go-to interconnect solution for almost six decades.