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  • Cable assembly design - who does it?

    Discussion in 'The main mechanical design forum' started by StuartKelly, Jan 31, 2011.

    1. StuartKelly

      StuartKelly Member

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      I'm (still) looking for examples of good practice in cable design.

      Problems I've seen now and again:
      - Mechanical design engineers feel it's not really their responsibility.
      - Electronic design engineers feel it's not really their responsibility.
      - Cables take up more space in reality than in CAD.
      - Creating fully specified cable assembly drawings in 3D CAD is time consuming and not very exciting.

      If you have any good ideas, links or examples of how it should be done (in organisations large or small), I'd be very interested to hear them and discuss some more.
       
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    3. GarethW

      GarethW Chief Clicker Staff Member

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      Cables - nobody really wants them! You're quite right.

      I just usually just bite the bullet and get on with them, to be honest.

      I can't think of any resources to recommend. I usually try to deal with our in-house electronic engineer and the external supplier to work up a drawing.
       
    4. JohnS

      JohnS Member

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      Hello Stuart

      Well, with a few decades working in the electronics product design sector it's always been my experience that the Product (Mech) Designer is responsible for the specification of cable assemblies, obviously working closely on the elec specs with electronics design staff.

      Cable assembly design is not the most scintillating of design tasks, but it has to be done and done accurately! I guess I've probably specified a good few hundred cables over the years. 3D has certainly made things easier, but this there's still quite a bit of back-end 2D drawing work needed to complete the specification. (This 2D back-end stuff has still to be truly automated within the CAD app environment.) Related to the 3D side, the provision of accurate 3D connector models from the majority interconnect manufacturers is a great help.

      I cannot really comment on "Cables take up more space in reality than in CAD" as I've always added about +5% to the design length to accommodate manufacturing tolerances - it's better to have a cable that's slightly too long than too short! :)

      For RF Coax cable assemblies I've found the 'Cabulator Online Configurator' facility available at http://www.gigatronix.co.uk/ is a very useful way to derive a cable spec and also source RF cable assemblies.

      A generic cable spec drawing which defines a family of cable 'connector end' variants can also save time and avoid the need to create individual dwgs for each assembly.

      In terms of the design and specification of complex cable assembly harnesses/bundles, I know of one company which specialises in this area by providing advanced 3D routing services. See - http://www.virtual-interconnect.co.uk/

      Hope this is of interest.

      Best Regards, John

      (Despite 3D/2D CAD you can still really 'mess up' with connector pin orientation and multiple ribbon cable folds!! - been there, done that.)
       
    5. valleyboy

      valleyboy New Member

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      I work for a company that designs and manufactures interconnect products. We have found that there is no real need for 3D modelling of cable assemblies for two reasons 1)We tend to take measurements from the vehicle/system that they are intended to be used on, then produce a real life 'first article' and trial fit that to the vehicle before making any adjustments and releasing for production 2)Our company is a cheap skate who never invests any serious money in new technology.

      We do however use a harness design package from Tyco Electronics called Harnware but this is specifically tailored for military style cable assemblies and uses Tyco products to build the assy so is a little restricted. They also offer software called HarnViz which bolts onto Harnware and converts 2D designs into 1:1 3D models.

      For very complicated harnesses, sometimes with in excess of 200 connectors (some of which contain 100 contacts) we tend to produce 1:1 scale Autocad drawing and print this 1:1 and use as a templated (peg board).

      Of course, none of the above is of much use if you are not a cable assembly manufacturer.
       
    6. Rfkiki

      Rfkiki New Member

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      Hi,

      I am from China,and worked in Rfsupplier company.
      I think the drawing of the RF cable assembly design is the duty of the Designer colleague,
      Thouhgt drawing is time consuming !

      See you later :D
      Rfkiki-Come from Rfsupplier.com
       
    7. Arbyter

      Arbyter New Member

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      I'm working in the company of FLECONN. Our engineers can design overmolded cable assembly, cable harness assembly, RF coaxial cable assembly. If you have any questions, pls feel free to contact me. I'll let our engineer solve your problems.
      Arbyter Qing
       
    8. jawlong

      jawlong Member

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      The cable assembly designing is very difficult & riskful task. On our country there are some cable manufacturing companies like Peter's Technology who is popular in Cable assembly designing & manufacturing.
       

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