Cable looms save time and money

October 27, 2016

Custom cable looms“Cable looms offer a number of significant advantages over discrete cable assemblies and are used widely in a variety of vertical markets including automotive, aerospace and defence, security, instrumentation and medical electronics,” states Chas Shale, Business Manager for cable assemblies at GTK.

Ease of installation is one of the primary benefits of using cable looms. In equipment where multiple connections are required to a number of different components, cable looms can be produced that can “drop into” the equipment and be routed between the components whilst holding a fixed shape. A typical example of this is the cable looms used in automotive equipment.

Cable looms can be very complex, and need to be precision manufactured to exact dimensional tolerances to fit into tight spaces. They can also be manufactured using a variety of different cable sheaths and dressings to meet the specific performance requirements of the equipment and its end application. The choice of dressing material is critical and a variety of different technologies can be deployed, such as zip tie, heatshrink, tape and lacing cords. These all have different mechanical properties in terms of durability and temperature tolerance. An example of this is fibreglass sleeving, which is ideal for aerospace applications as it can tolerate extremely high temperatures.

Chas stated, “Cable looms have been used for many years and are probably considered an old technology, but for certain applications they are still the preferred choice because of their ease of fitment and routing. A real-world example of this is one of our customers in the medical electronics market who was individually placing over 20 cable assemblies into their equipment. GTK recommended using a cable loom comprising all the cable assemblies in one. This is now what they use and it has saved them 90 minutes per unit in assembly time. They also have the added reassurance that the entire loom has been fully tested by us prior to delivery.”

Fitment of cable looms is critical and GTK uses loom boards to build and ensure that the products are manufactured to the correct dimensional specification. Diagnostic loom boards can also be used for full functional testing of the looms when required.

GTK can manufacture prototypes for customers and offers a FastTrack service to customers from its UK manufacturing facility, providing prototype looms in less than five days from order, subject to component availability.

GTK appreciates the need for the highest manufacturing quality standards. In addition to its ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 approvals, the UK manufacturing facility is AS9100C accredited, meaning that it offers both complete traceability on all components used and operates an integrated quality system that incorporates risk management and process control. This level of approval means the company can easily supply the aerospace, defence and security markets, providing customers with the added reassurance of UK-eyes only manufacturing and end-to-end quality and production processes.

Find out more about our custom cable looms. 


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