Cables are a vital component in many industries today, from aerospace to transport and telecommunications. We use them every day in our business and personal lives. But have you ever stopped to think about what a cable goes through on its journey from raw materials to final product? This is a long journey that ensures that the ultimate product is as effective as it can possibly be.
What are cables?
Most of us have seen a cable, whether that is connecting a home appliance to a plug or under the hood of a car. There are a wide variety of different cables out there to suit the broad spectrum of uses, from cables that lay on the sea bed to those that appear in a domestic environment. The general definition of a cable is simply a bundle of individual wires. This bundle has usually been covered in an insulating material that is designed to both protect it and keep it together. Round cables are the most common types of cables that exist – but cables can also be flat. Flat cables tend to be the choice for mechanical movements, such as in trolleys, because they react more flexibly to movement.
What journey do cables take?
- The early stages. Before raw materials are even sourced for cables, the first step is to look at what the customer wants and to start creating designs and drawings based on a specification. This is the part of the process that looks at the raw materials that will be used during manufacturing and how best to create a cable that meets a customer’s needs, both when it comes to how the cable will perform and also the cost and production time requirements.
- Pre-production. Once a customer has asked various questions, decided on a specification and placed an order, the next stage is pre-production. This is where raw materials will be sourced for the cable and where the production processes that are going to be required will be identified and put in place.
- Cable cutting and stripping. When the cable first goes into the manufacturing process this begins with cutting and stripping. These processes may be handled manually or they may be done by equipment, for example by a semi-automatic stripping and crimping machine or using semi-automatic wire stripping. The final stage in the basic manufacturing process for cables is soldering.
- Testing and quality checking. Before cables can go anywhere they need to be tested. This is a vital part of the process, one that ensures that the cable meets its specification – and also the required industry standards. Testing and quality checking will ensure that the cable is high quality and that it is going to be suitable for the environment in which it will need to operate.
- The very last stage in the journey of cable manufacturing is where the cable is shipped out to the client.
Cable manufacturing is a long and detailed process that ensures the final product always lives up to expectations. At GEM Cable we are AS9100D & BS EN ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001-2015 certified UK manufacturers of bespoke cable assemblies, control boxes, harnesses, wiring looms, panels, fibre optic products and total network solutions.