Choosing between a wire harness and a cable assembly? If you’re like most contractors & manufacturers related to industries who rely on them, it’s likely that you use the terms interchangeably. But is this problematic?
That depends. For example, when one sees a grouping of cables or wires together that need replacing or updating, what term should be used with the manufacturing partner responsible for delivering the right product? If these cables and wires have damage to their protective covering, should the covering be referred to as jacketing, a sleeve, or sheathing? Once the language of materials is scrutinized, it becomes pretty clear that there has to be greater consistency in used terminology across the board.
So, the big question in all of this is clear: what’s the difference between a cable assembly & a wire harness?
A good place to start is the actual build of these two items. Cable assemblies tend to be characterized as being incredibly durable & structured in such a way as to protect the wires & cables that run through them. They tend to be the go-to solution for facilities where environmental conditions can cause greater wear & tear. High heat, pronounced vibrations, dirt/dust, and moisture are just some of what cable assemblies can tolerate due to their sturdier construction.
Wire harnesses, on the other hand, are more of an organizational tool for individual wires & cables. The idea behind them is simplicity & ease of connectivity for the end user. The grouping materials with which the wire harness are assembled can vary quite a bit based on the needs of the client. In some ways, consumers have created their own version of a wire harness when installing home A.V. equipment, for example. The simple act of using a twist-tie or rubber band to group cables can technically be seen as a makeshift wire harness used to keep things behind your television tidy.
While machinery that employs both wire harnesses & cable assemblies is often thought of as being indoors, there is a plethora of physical capital companies depend on that is exposed to some form of the elements. It’s here that the variations between cable assemblies & wire harnesses come further into focus. Cable assemblies are probably better suited for these types of applications while wire harnesses may be a better bet for indoor use.
That said, it is important to note that the wire harness & cable assembly debate should not be limited to discussion of where each falls on a durability scale. Many industries will argue that a wire harness, with a well-curated construction including top-notch connectors, grommets, terminals, and stout strain relief, can be a formative build element for certain applications.
At the end of the day, however, it all comes down to working with the right manufacturing partner. Whether it’s a wire harness or cable assembly that is best suited for a project, the design & engineering team from a prospective manufacturer will work with your personnel to gain a full understanding of the project at hand. Specs will be hammered out, as will a determination on long-term goals for your company. Being able to provide an ideal tech solution involves addressing short-term needs while also keeping an eye on future needs & changes in a given industry.
Stellar cable assembly from Chicago has a further reach than you’d think. With international locations in Mexico & China, quality interconnect solutions from LoDan Electronics, Inc. is depended upon all over the world. Contact us today to learn more.