In manufacturing, performance is everything. A product must be able to function as intended, or it has failed. However, hazardous environments place increased demand on manufacturers, making it harder for a product to function due to extreme forces such as weather, dust, vibration, shock and moisture. 

At GTK, this influences our cable assembly design process, as we must be able to offer customers dependable assemblies that they can rely on. By taking each potential factor that may affect a cable in a harsh environment, we are able to provide solutions that ensure our assemblies are suitable for use in the most hazardous conditions.

This is a bespoke process that begins when a customer approaches us looking for a cabling solution that can fit their requirement. We begin by assessing their application and intended connectors, then our team designs a custom prototype and tweaks the design from there. This enables us to create cable assemblies that are protected against:

Chemical and Moisture Ingress

We select an overmould material which closely matches the cable jacket to create a firm bond between the two and ensure the entirety of the cable is protected. To ensure moisture does not enter the system, however, the cables must be tested once they are installed into the finished unit. At GTK, we work closely with our customers to offer reliable cable assemblies that, once mated can shut out moisture or spills, often using O-rings or gasket seals to ensure a completely watertight seal. 

Some chemicals can corrode cable jackets or overmoulds, in which case we would specify another material such as PU that can resist corrosion. 

Vibration and Pull Forces 

Many industrial or automotive applications feature machinery that is exposed to heavy vibration, which could dislodge cabling and impact operation. Overmoulds enclose all terminations within the mould, making a stable environment and so removing the likelihood of damage to these connections. This also protects against pull forces, and a strain and bend relief at the cable entry point spreads the load on the cable, making it less likely to be damaged by rough handling. 

Dust

Dust and mud can cause havoc to machinery and electronics, so our assemblies must also protect against solid matter ingress. The same overmoulds mentioned above will provide this protection against dust or any other solid matter that may affect performance. Ingress protection (IP) ratings consist of two numbers. One relates to solid objects such as dust and another to liquid. You will need an IP rating of 5* or more to protect against dust. See our ratings chart to learn more and to ensure your intended product is specified to the rating you need. 

Ensuring performance under pressure 

At GTK, we craft 99% of our cable assemblies as bespoke solutions to customer needs. If your product will be exposed to considerable forces or hazards, it is vital that you ensure every connection can withstand those forces, or your product may fail. Contact GTK today to see how we can help work together to design a solution that will withstand whatever conditions your product will be exposed to.

 

Tom Hennessey is one of our business managers for Cable Assemblies

Follow Tom on LinkedIn