Cable Assembly 101: Everything You Need to Know about Optimal Connectivity

Cable assemblies are designed to create a path from one point or circuit to another. Each one may contain multiple wires and a whole range of components and terminations. It’s key to ensure that cable assemblies have been properly designed, depending on the application they are going to be used for. Various components will be more, or less, suitable for different environments, whether that is office space or outdoors. It’s also important to bear in mind what creates optimal connectivity – and what can negatively influence this too.

  • Corrosion and moisture. Obviously, these can have a big impact on cable assembly connectivity and it’s important to bear in mind the need for adjustments where these might be a factor. For example, plating can be used to provide corrosion resistance so that connectors are still optimally functioning even in environments that are extreme or hostile. Tin is one of the best options for this – other than in high temperature situations where silver or nickel may be best.
  • The right conductive material. It’s important to ensure that the right conductive material is being used to ensure optimal connectivity and there are some factors that will influence this. For example, if the priority is flexibility then the best option is a higher number of thinner strands of material. If the focus is on transmitting a signal then length and speed will be the key factors when choosing the right conductive material.
  • The need for insulation and sheathing. This is key for ensuring optimal connectivity and will depend on the environmental conditions in which the cable assembly is expected to perform. Materials that work for this tend to be thermoset or thermoplastic compositions, as these can provide insulation and sheathing for most environments. That might be, for example, exposure to fluids and chemicals, a harsh outdoor environment or whether there is constant, dynamic movement.
  • Shielding from electromagnetic interference. Where data transmission and communication is the desired application for a cable assembly, shielding can be built in to help avoid electromagnetic interference. Conductors can be wrapped to prevent this from happening and twisting pairs of cables or wires will work to shield from electromagnetic interference too. Braided shields and spiral shields are two of the options that are available for this purpose. The right one will be determined by frequency requirements.
  • Choice of connectors. Optimal connectivity obviously also requires using the right connectors. Here, the options will depend on the type and speed of the signal that is being transmitted. Some of the most popular options to ensure optimal connectivity include a crimp-type connector, or a soldered or welded connection.
  • The last factor to bear in mind is ensuring that the cable assembly is properly put together, with wires neat and presentable and strain relief at terminals.

From using the right conductive materials, to picking correct connectors, when it comes to optimal connectivity and cable assemblies, this is what you need to know. At GEM Cable we are AS9100D & BS EN ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001-2015 certified UK manufacturers of bespoke cable assembliescontrol boxesharnesseswiring loomspanelsfibre optic products and total network solutions.