How to Streamline the Development of Cable Assemblies
Electrical systems have undergone dramatic changes over the past several years, with designs becoming more complex in terms of both the components and mechanisms at work. These dynamics, paired with the use of systems in more rigorous environments, have made cable assemblies a prevalent solution across various industries.
By grouping cables together in a unified assembly, cable assemblies simplify electrical connectivity within systems, making it easier to install and maintain cables. All the while, these assemblies provide an added layer of protection for system cables against external variables like vibration, friction, strain and extreme temperatures. You can see these benefits play out in power transmission for medical imaging equipment, aircraft engines and military communication equipment, to name a few examples.
While actual cable assemblies tend to be simple in nature, the same can’t always be said for the process behind their development. Companies can find themselves in a situation where they have to vet and work with multiple vendors to develop a cable assembly — a scenario that tacks on production costs and creates longer lead times.
How Different Vendors Fit Into Cable Assembly Development
Cable assemblies are typically composed of a multi-conductor single piece of cable with a connector on each end. A vendor that provides cables for an assembly and handles its development may not be the same vendor that supplies the connectors. Companies often have to source a connector supplier to round out an assembly’s component needs.
From a logistics point of view, the need to manage one supplier for cable assemblies versus two naturally extends the production timeline. It could be a few days of wait time for the connectors to arrive before the cable assembly can be completed. Or, much worse, connectors could arrive only to find their configuration is not a perfect fit for the assembly and alternatives are needed, causing even longer delays in development.
From a cost perspective, more production downtime translates into fewer profits — but the longer bill of entries upfront also adds to the overall cable assembly cost. Having to purchase components separately for cable assemblies lends itself to more transactional costs, shipping fees and management expenses, among other variables. To put a price point on this, it’s estimated these individual component purchases can lead to 15-30% higher costs versus using a single-source provider for cable assemblies.
While connectors are a necessary building block for cable assemblies, there are also cases where additional processing is required. For instance, depending on the environment where a cable harness assembly is used, there may be a need for further protective measures like cable overmolding to withstand external variables. While vital to preventing damage from shock, vibrations or other forms of stress, overmolding is another step in the process that can require sourcing a new overmolding provider (work that can often happen overseas) and dealing with added costs and an even slower time to market.
Amerline Is Your One-Stop Shop for Cable Assemblies
At Amerline, circular connectors are the core of our business — but we also offer value-added services to best meet the needs of our customers. As part of these services, we have in-house capabilities to build cable assemblies and supply our proprietary AEC® connectors to utilize in the assemblies, allowing us to expedite production processes and save you time and money.
In addition, we also offer in-house overmolding capabilities. When cable assemblies aren’t robust enough on their own, our team can provide necessary strain relief and added protection against harsh environments. This saves you further steps in the cable assembly development process and saves you the cost of overseas overmolding, as well as any delays due to supply chain complications.
With years of experience developing cable assemblies designed and built for efficiency and performance, meeting the IPC/WHMA-A-620 quality standard, we ensure total customer satisfaction in our cable assembly solution. Learn how we can support your efforts.