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Breaking Down The Essential Elements of a Wire Harness

by Rocky C Rhodes

posted in Business

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Whether you are aware of it or not, the entire technological world around you is powered by a technology known as a wire harness. Although fairly simple in construction, a cable harness (sometimes known as a cable assembly) transmits power and information at lightning fast speeds to give you access to the Internet and telephone networks, keep assembly lines and specialized medical equipment functioning correctly, and even provides power to the various electrical components of your car.
To help you imagine why this type of technology is so beneficial, take a look under the hood of your car. You will see various wires and cables snaking about the engine compartment, going in and between various crevices and around the engine manifold. You will likely notice that these cables are pinned or held down by various clips and routers, or may even have extra insulation from heat around certain parts of the engine.
The totality of these wires, their connections, clips, and routers, as well as their insulating materials are known as the wire harness, and they have a tremendous advantage over loose wires. For instance, a commercial jet has so much and so many wires on board that it takes an entire year to wire the aircraft, and if laid end to end, the wires would stretch for several miles.
Binding the individual wires into a dedicated harness has a myriad of benefits. For one, the cables are secured to the body of the vehicle to protect it from shock and vibrations, abrasions or heat, and even moisture. Usually the wires will also be bundled into a flame retardant outer sleeve to reduce any chance of an electrical fire.
Additionally, using the harness as a scaffolding to direct the wires around the engine and where they need to go helps optimize space, and prevents the risk of a short, should the wires become too hot. Finally, this method provides a handy way to identify and repair parts of the wiring quickly, without having to sort through loose bundles of wire.
On modern wire harnesses, installation is also made easier. In the past a technician would have to connect and solder the end of each wire into its terminal connection point. In today's harness, these wires come pre-bundled into one easy to install connector. This has dropped installation times and makes the process highly standardized, thus improving any production process.
If you have a need for wire harnesses, whether it be to help prototype and launch your next electronic product idea, or for hobby purposes, you can have harnesses custom designed to meet your needs. When first meeting with a cable assembly manufacturer, you will be assigned an account manager, usually a wiring technician or engineer that will analyze the requirements of your project and custom design a solution to meet your exact needs.
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