Consolidated Electronic Wire & Cable is proud to offer a wide selection of robust, top-quality cable and wiring harnesses. Designed to organize and streamline multi-wire systems in aerospace, automotive, medicine, telecommunications, commercial buildings, and even home electronic applications, cable and wiring harnesses can be customized to meet almost any specification.
Creating a custom cable that meets your unique application specifications can be a difficult task. There are a variety of elements that make up quality custom cables and many unique factors that must be considered.
Understanding Wire Harnesses
While many professionals refer to cable assemblies and wire harnesses interchangeably, these multi-wire (or multi-cable) arrangements can be crafted differently to serve different purposes for unique environments and applications.
Simply put, a wire harness is the exterior covering, or sheath, that protects an inner conductor or bundle of conductors. These inner components may already have sheaths for insulation and protection, or they may rely on the wire harness to create an ideal operational environment. Either way, the wire harness provides critical organization at the heart of a system, and does so with a simple, straightforward, low-cost design.
Our new eBook, Creating a Custom Cable, discusses the key questions to review with a custom-cable manufacturer in order to ensure the development of the best cable solution for your needs.
Custom Wire Harnesses
Wires and cables are indispensable tools for a wide range of today’s home and industrial systems, and harnesses allow technicians to create orderly, carefully fitted wiring solutions for any type of environment. Depending on the specific needs of an application, these harnesses can be built to accommodate systems up to 600 volts (UL) or 3000 volts (military), with high performance at temperatures ranging from -65 °C (-85 °F) to 250 °C (482 °F).
When evaluating a new cable or wire harness solution, remember to carefully consider the specific environment it will be used in and the temperature and conditions it will be exposed to. Evaluate all of the different cable types you may be able to use; custom wire and cable harnesses can be crafted with nearly limitless style and material options, including:
- Wire ties
- Insulation materials of all kinds
- Custom colors
- Heat-shrink coatings
- Custom labeling or barcoding
- Four-color ink stamping
- Individual tagging
- Independent circuit IDs
- Polypropylene, nylon, and paper fillers
- Custom shielding
In addition to ensuring optimal organization, a high-quality wire and cable harness will provide reliable insulation and protection for the conductors within. Harness materials should offer just the right fit for an application’s specific needs.
Some of the most common insulator materials include:
- PVC, or polyvinyl chloride
- SR-PVC, or semi-rigid polyvinyl chloride
- Cellular polyethylene
- EPDM, or ethylene propylene diene monomer
- TPE/TPR, thermoplastic elastomers
- PE, or polyethylene
- Both low- and high-density polyethylene (LPDE and HDPE)
- Cellular, or foam, polyethylene
- PU, or polyurethane, as well as polyurethane and nylon blends
- Low-smoke plenum copolymers
- Polypropylene (PP) and cellular (foam) polypropylene
- FEP, or fluorinated ethylene propylene
- TFE, or tetrafluoroethylene
- PTFE, or polytetrafluoroethylene
- ETFE Tefzel
- PVDF Kynar
- ECTFE Halar
- IRR/PVC, or irradiated polyvinyl chloride
- XLPE, or cross-linked polyethylene
Bearing in mind relevant industry standards and specifications such as IPC/WHMA-A-620, there are countless ways to develop a harness or assembly to meet the needs of a particular project. And with various options available for shielding, fillers, materials, identification, and style, the most efficient organizational solution for your project is simply a matter of strategic engineering.
At Consolidated, we’ve been helping clients develop these solutions for nearly 100 years. Our custom harnesses and assemblies can be found in a wide range of applications, including appliances, audio/video, aerospace, automotive applications, and medicine. All projects are supported by our state-of-the-art production facilities.
In addition to top-quality harnesses, we also offer braiding, wire crimping and terminations, custom-cut and shrink tubing, electronic wire and cable, power cords, and so much more. To learn more about our custom wire and cable harness solutions and discuss how we can help with your next project, check out our comprehensive eBook, “Creating a Custom Cable.”