Find an EMS | Connecting OEM and EMS providers;

An Introduction to Electronic Cable and Harness Assemblies

March 17,2021


Cables and wire harnesses are used in a variety of different electronic devices to supply power. Both of them are very commonly used, and it’s entirely possible that you’ve heard them used as synonyms to each other, though that would be inaccurate.

There are differences between cable and harness assembly, more than most would think. Their applications, usage, and design are all quite different. In this blog, we’ll explore these differences and where the similarities in each’s application ends.

cable harness assembly at EMS provider

Cable Assembly

The basic design of a cable assembly is that they’re multiple wire cables that have been bound inside of a single cable strand together. Each individual wire strand has an insulating cover around it, and the bundled-up cables have another external layer of the insulating sheath on top of it too.

This design adds sturdiness to the cable assembly and makes it a good option for outdoor usage or usage in places that might have a lot of wear and tear. The cable assemblies are also great for handling large amounts of current passing through them without shorting out. The design can be adjusted according to size and environment, and the cables may be color coordinated to make it easy for electricians to work with them.

Cable harness

Wire Harness

Wire harnesses are much simpler than cable assemblies. Essentially, it’s multiple wires wrapped together to prevent them from scattering around an area. The wires are not bound together to make a singular cable strand that has multiple smaller cables inside. They’re simply wrapped together as individual wires. Even a couple of zip ties holding the wires together essentially counts as a harness.

The idea is that you can remove individual wires from the harness, or you can have them all leading the same place. The insulating sheath is also not there for protective purposes or sturdiness, but rather just to group them together.

Which is Better?

Which is better depends entirely on the usage you have for the assembly or harness. For indoor usage, the wire harness works pretty well. Most indoor everyday use items do not need high electrical input and do require wire movement. For outdoor and heavy equipment, cable assemblies are ideal as they can work on lots of electricity and rough conditions.

For any OEM, having the right wire assembly is a necessary consideration. Make sure you work with the right contract electronics manufacturers who know what they are doing using our Find an EMS platform. Get in touch for a search engine specifically for OEMs to connect with electronics design services and electronics assembly services.

Share This Post