The words “cable assembly” and “wire harness” are often used interchangeably. In fact, the terms “cable” and “wire” are also used interchangeably. But, this is only for a layman. For professionals and those knowing about the technicality of these components, all these terms have individual meaning and importance; and they all are different from the other. Although they all are used to transfer electricity between different locations, they all are different, and have a distinct purpose. And, the success of your application and electrical appliance depends on choosing the right cable/wire and cable assembly/wire harness, based on the specifications of the application to be used in. Now, if you are confused and don’t know these are different, we are here to help you understand the difference so that you can make the right choice.
A cable is a set of two or more conductors wrapped in a single jacket. Generally, a cable consists of a positive wire that carries electric current, a neutral wire that completes the electrical loop, and a grounding wire. Cable assemblies are groups of such cables that have an exterior covering, but while being encased in an extremely durable sheath made of shrink-wrapped thermoplastic, rubber, or vinyl. These cable assemblies protect the cables within against outside stimuli, keep the electrical systems organized and easy to navigate, while also protecting the cables against wear and tear, and other harsh environmental conditions. Thus, these assemblies can be used in applications that face even the harshest of environments. In fact, cable assemblies are designed to address logistical challenges like moisture, friction, fire, extreme temperatures, exposure to chemicals, etc. Because of this customization, cable assemblies can be ordered in a variety of shapes, colours, and sizes.
A wire is a single component made of copper or aluminum that acts as a conductor. Wires are low resistance and low cost, and are measured by gauge. Smaller the gauge, thicker the wire; and thicker the wire, higher the risk of damage in case of a burned fuse. Now, a wire harness is a collection of multiple wires, each having an individual single layer of exterior covering, which is made from a thermoset or thermoplastic material. This outer covering protects the wire within against outside stimuli, and keeps the electrical system organized and easy to navigate through. Such wire harnesses are used in lesser harsh environments; for example, inside a housing unit, like a remote control.
If you are still confused, you can always get in touch with professional cable assembly manufacturers in Germany, like Miracle Electronics, who can help you understand the difference, while helping you know which is the better component to be used within your application. Here, you can get ready made cables, harnesses, and assemblies available in various types like EMI shielded, flat, RF, ribbon, power cable, airborne, military looms, and many others. In addition, you can also have these components customized in a way that they meet all your project requirements.