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Inbound marketing

Inbound Marketing with protocol 80

Falconer Electronics had the privilege of working with protocol 80 this past year. This program was made possible through a partnered effort with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Jamestown Community College. The program provided the guidance to kick-start a new Inbound Marketing initiative. The entire staff at protocol 80 far exceeded our expectations. Owners Josh Curcio and Donny Kemick along with their team are true experts in Inbound Marketing strategies.

Inbound marketingBeing a custom manufacturer since 1985, our company was built on personal relationships while making connections through word of mouth. Keys to our long-term success includes solving customer problems with high satisfaction levels.

Over 0ur 30+ year history, the world has changed drastically with technology and modern methods of communication. In particular, Inbound Marketing and social media. As with many manufacturers, our company was slow to adjust.

Our staff was eager and excited to jump into this project with protocol 80. Their team specializes in B2B Inbound Marketing. In particular, their expertise targets working with small manufacturers who struggle with digital marketing and social media engagement.

The team at protocol 80 also provided the necessary guidance to understand the entire customer purchasing process. Starting with creating a customer persona, walking through the buyer’s journey, mapping the sales process and maintaining customer engagement.

They educated our staff on identifying social media platforms that best suited our target market. This is extremely important for a company with digital immigrants targeting many digital immigrants. The protocol 80 team were helpful in communicating our company message as well as finding potential clients to engage.

New E-commerce Store 

Thanks to the new found tools and marketing ammunition that protocol 80 provided, it was decided to aggressively expand and diversify. This past year we launched a brand new e-commerce store which includes a proprietary product line of magnetic work lights, ground straps, LED flashing lights and commercial power strips.

Now businesses and consumers alike have the opportunity to purchase directly from the manufacturer. New customers include a Fortune 500 company (actually top 300) that is brightening their day with brand new magnetic spotlights. LED lights shipped to Puerto Rico after the horrible hurricane. Trouble lights shipped to John in Syracuse who loves to tinker in his garage. An industrial supplier now offering our Power Strips to government agencies. Also, we recently received an RFQ for tens of thousands of Ground Straps for a major manufacturer in the U.S.

Wire Harness Estimator 

Another big leap of faith for our company was launching the brand new Falconer Electronics Wire Harness Estimator. This program offers customers the ability to receive an estimate within minutes. This process used to take hours or even days.

This fantastic tool makes it simple and easy for new customers to gather pricing information. For example, a major solar company needed pricing and wire harnesses quickly. The Wire Harness Estimator allowed them to gather pricing fast and easy for their project. They are now a valued customer.

Blogging

Lastly, under the guidance from protocol 80, our company started blogging this past year. Being extremely tentative, we started slowly by blogging once a month. Then up to once a week. Now our goal is 6-8 blogs per month.

Our staff is thoroughly enjoying the process and we are having fun creating valuable content to connect with new customers. As a result, traffic to our website has increased dramatically (400% since November). Therefore, the increase in traffic brought numerous new leads and new sales started rolling in over the past few months.

A Big Thanks to protocol 80 

We truly feel this newfound strategy delivers an unlimited opportunity for Falconer Electronics. Therefore, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Josh Curcio, Ashley Wilson-Rew and the rest of the protocol 80 team. They provided the tools, knowledge, and resources to modernize our company.

Bottom line, we find p80 priceless. Especially facing increasingly intense global competition.

Let’s Connect

Thank you for reading our post on protocol 80. This post begins our blog series on B2B Marketing to support recent posts on New Product Development.

Also, please connect with us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

Wishing you an ELECTRIC DAY!

 

Electrical Engineer

Searching for an Electrical Engineer 

Last week we discussed “Building the Better Mouse Trap“. So let’s just say that you have a brilliant new product in mind. A solution that customers will love!

It’s now time to move forward with your exciting idea for developing a new product in electronics.

You know exactly how the product should work. This is going to completely disrupt the market.

You will be on Shark Tank soon pitching your new game changing product. You are going to make a fortune.

Electrical Engineer

Yet, one problem though. You lack an electrical engineering background.

Therefore, if you are not an Electrical Engineer, it would certainly help tremendously to connect with a worthy candidate. Especially an electrical engineer that you trust.

Where do you turn if you do not know an electrical engineer? Who are you going to call?

Do you hire a large firm? They may have significant resources but you find them really expensive.

Or would you prefer to find a small firm or even an individual consultant? Limited resources but possibly less expensive and more flexible.

You need someone that is experienced. Excited about your product. Trustworthy. Relentless. Deeply committed to your success.

Let’s explore several options to consider in your quest to find a high quality electrical engineer.

Volt Vision 

We are blessed to work closely with Steve French, LED specialist and President of electrical engineering firm Volt Vision. Steve has a dynamic background particularly working with LED lighting solutions.  It is a huge asset at Falconer Electronics having Steve as part of our team.

Steve is an expert in LED lighting and a fantastic musician as well. So his creative side combined with being an outstanding engineer makes a killer combination with LED lighting projects.

The Friends and Family Plan

Moving forward, if you do not have an existing relationship with an electrical engineer, start with your inner networking circle. Any friends, family, long lost relatives, college fraternity brothers or sorority sisters? Maybe someone from your soccer team 20 years ago? If not, let’s continue our search……..

Linking with an Electrical Engineer on LinkedIn 

Hopefully, you have a LinkedIn account. This is a great place to find professional connections. Especially in a specialized field such as an Electrical Engineer.

Just type “Electrical Engineer” or “Electrical Design Engineer” into the LinkedIn search box. You can search by:

  • People
  • Jobs
  • Content
  • Companies
  • Groups
  • Schools

LinkedIn is a powerful resource. For example, nearly 200,00 LinkedIn members belong to the LinkedIn Group Mechanical Design Engineers. Over 38,000 LinkedIn members have joined the Electrical Engineers Group.

Other Social Media 

If you find yourself still looking, jump on social media. Depending on the demographic or specialty that you are targeting, start with the platform that you are most active on:

Google Search 

Still no luck so far. You can turn to your trustworthy old friend, Google. If you just do a general search for “Electrical Engineer”, you are going to receive broad results. Having just conducted a search, it seems to be mainly job listings that turn up.

If you prefer someone local, type in your city in as well (Ex: Electrical Engineers in Boston).

Furthermore, you could type the specific type of engineer that you are searching. Ex: PCB engineer, energy systems, microelectronics, systems and controls, etc…

Local Business Networking Groups 

Do you belong to a local business networking group?

Chamber of Commerce

Local Networking Groups (Ex: BNI)

Small Business Development Center – The Small Business Development Center is also an excellent resource that can help out with your search.

Online Professional Freelance Websites

Lastly, there are numerous professional matchmaking websites to consider. All of these sites below offer connections to a wide variety of electrical engineers:

Electrical Engineer

 

Wrapping it Up 

Well, we wish you MASSIVE SUCCESS with your exciting new product.

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog on searching for an Electrical Engineer. Also check out our continued blog series on Developing a New Product in Electronics.

If you need information on a Wire Harness with your new product, click here for tips on outsourcing.

Let’s Connect

To learn more about Ground Straps and the Wire Harness Assembly process, please click on the links below:

For more info on electronics manufacturing, please connect with us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

Wire Harness Manufacturing

Wire Harness Manufacturing is our foundation. It’s in our blood. Dating all the way back to 1985. The Team at Falconer Electronics Inc. (FEI) takes tremendous pride in manufacturing amazing products for our customers. In addition, as a Custom Wire Harness Manufacturer, assembling and delivering superior products is our mission. Actually, we are wire harness geeks so we call it our Crusade.

Steps for Wire Harness Manufacturing Success

  1. Superior Quality
  2. Maintaining Impeccable Customer Scorecards
  3. Fast Turnaround Times
  4. Competitive Prices
  5. Highly Skilled and Seasoned Staff
  6. FREE Estimates (click here)
  7. High Productivity
  8. Agility and Flexibility
  9. Company Culture Dedicated to Customer Satisfaction
  10. Lastly, a Commitment to Safety

The Secret to Success

Our wire harness assemblies can be found all over the country. Especially in the following places:

  • As you walk around Walmart or Lowe’s, you will walk past our wire harnesses. They can be found in the commercial power strips and electrical retail fixture displays.
  • If you drove past a semi-truck today (or if one went flying past you). Our wires may have been waving to you.
  • Our wires are in some dentist offices (not during a root canal – we refuse to contribute to that type of pain).
  • If you rode on a train today. Our wires may also have been riding along with you.
  • Another example includes our proprietary line of magnetic work lights and trouble lights
  • ATM Machines
  • Heating Systems
  • Handicap Accessible Transport Vehicles
  • Furthermore, Electrical Signage at retail cash registers
  • Along with Much More…

Try Our Custom Wire Harness Estimator

Receive an Estimate Sent Directly to Your Email Within Seconds

Helpful Guide of Wire Harness Manufacturing Terms, Tools and Tips 

Are you new to the Wire Harness process? Our team created a helpful guide below.

The Wire Harness Manufacturing Guide includes:

  • Wire Harness Terms
  • Tools
  • Tips of the Trade

Additionally, the list below includes a number of Wire Harness Manufacturing Terms and definitions.

Wire Harness Manufacturing IPC/WHMA-A-620 Standard 

All of the Wire Harness Manufacturing Terms below are from the IPC/WHMA-A-620. This serves as an industry standard. Therefore, providing criteria for commonly used wire harness assemblies.  Consequently, the standard sets a “collection of visual Quality Acceptability Requirements for Cable, Wire and Harness Assemblies.”

To learn more about the IPC/WHMA-A-620, click here.

Wire Harness Manufacturing Terms and Definitions

American Wire Gage (AWG)

A standard system for designating wire diameter. Primarily used in the U.S.

Bellmouth

The raised portion at the front and/or back of the wire barrel crimp that provides a gradual entrance and exit for the wire strands without causing damage.

Birdcaging

Wire Strands that have separated from the normal lay of the wire.

Braid

Woven bare metallic or tinned copper wire used as shielding for wires and cables and as ground wire for batteries or heavy industrial equipment. Also, a woven fibrous protective outer covering over a conductor or cable.

Cable

A group of individually insulated conductors in the twisted or parallel configuration under a common sheath.

Cable Assembly

A cable with plugs or connectors attached.

Conductor

An uninsulated wire or the conductor of an insulated wire suitable for carrying electrical current.

Conduit

A tube in which insulated wires and cables are passed.

Connector

A device used to physically and electrically join two or more conductors.

Contact

The conducting part of a connector that acts with another such part to complete or break a circuit.

Continuity

A continuous path for the flow of current in an electrical circuit.

Crimp

Final configuration of a terminal barrel formed by the compression of terminal barrel and wire.

Crimp Height

The measurement of the overall wire barrel height after crimping the terminal.

Current

Total current is the combination of resistive and capacitive currents. Resistive current is present in both AC and DC DWV tests. Additionally, the capacitive current is present only with fluctuations in applied voltage (Ex: AC testing).

Dielectric

Any insulating medium that intervenes between two conductors.

Double Crimp

The process of two or more mechanical crimping operations on the same location in a single terminal.

Ferrule

A short tube. Used to make solderless connections to shielded or coaxial cable. Also, a terminal crimped onto the stranded wire to allow insertion into terminal blocks.

Grommet

A rubber seal used on the cable side of multiple contact connector to seal the connector against moisture, dirt or air.

Harness

A group of wire and cables, usually made with breakouts. Furthermore, with a rubber or plastic sheath tie them together. A harness also provides interconnection of an electric circuit.

Insulation

A material that offers high electrical resistance making it suitable for covering components, terminals, and wires. This material also helps to prevent the possible future contact of adjacent conductors and a resulting short circuit.

Insulation Crimp

Area of a terminal, splice or contact formed around the insulation of the wire.

Jacket

An outer covering, usually nonmetallic, mainly used for protection against the environment.

Lanyard

A device attached to certain connectors that permit uncoupling and separation of connector halves by a pull on a wire or cable.

Multiple-Conductor Cable

A combination of two or more conductors cabled together and insulated from one another and from sheath or armor where used.

Polarization

A mechanical arrangement of inserts and/or shell configuration that prohibits the mating of mismatched plugs and receptacles.

RF Connector

Connector used for connecting or terminating coaxial cable.

Ribbon Cable

A flat cable of individually insulated conductors lying parallel and held together by means of adhesive film laminate.

Strain Relief 

A technique or item which reduces the transmission of mechanical stresses to the conductor termination.

Stress Relief

A predetermined amount of slack to relieve tension in component or lead wires.

Terminal 

A device designed to terminate a conductor that is to be affixed to a post, stud, chassis, another conductor, etc., to establish an electrical connection. Some types of terminals include ring, tongue, spade, flag, hook, blade, quick-connect, offset and flagged.

Tubing

A tube of extruded non-supported plastic or metallic material.

Wire

Slender rod or filament of drawn metal.

Wire Diameter

The overall conductor plus insulation thickness.

Types of Wire Terminals 

The definition of a terminal is:

A device designed to terminate a conductor that is to be affixed to a post, stud, chassis, another tongue, etc., to establish an electrical connection.

Wire Terminals come in many different shapes and sizes. This is due to the size of the wire and screw. Also, there are several types of terminals.

Wire Harness Manufacturing Terminals Include:

  • Ring
  • Spade
  • Hook
  • Quick-disconnect
  • Bullet
  • Butt terminals
  • Flagged

Wire terminals are available in insulated and non-insulated. The insulation provides a protective cover. Therefore, serving as a non-conductor. Furthermore, the type of project that is being done will determine if you need insulated or non-insulated terminals.

The insulation spares the wire from water and moisture as well. Also, it protects against extreme heat or cold. Wire insulation is typically available in vinyl, nylon and heat shrink.  Non-insulated terminals provide much more economic value with its low cost. Also, they are commonly used when extra protection is unnecessary.

When purchasing various Types of Wire Terminals, make sure that your purchase meets industry standards as well as project requirements.

Wire Terminals

Ring Terminals

Types of Wire Insulation

A ring terminal is a round-ended terminal that easily allows a screw or stud to be attached. Ring terminals also called ring connectors, come in various sizes. It is crucial that the ring terminal is compatible with the wire gauge and stud size. Ring Terminals are either crimped or soldered to the wire. Available in insulated or non-insulated.

 

Spade Terminals

Spade Terminals are also called spade connectors or fork terminals due to the shape of the terminal. A spade terminal is available in various sizes depending on the gauge of the wire and stud size. Additionally, the open-ended spade terminal is convenient to use allowing easy attachment or removal from the screw. Especially for wire harness projects that are tight on space for installation. They are also available in insulated or non-insulated.

 

Hook Terminals

Similar to the Spade Terminal, Hook Terminals are convenient to use with an open end (imagine a tiny version of Captain Hook). These terminals are produced as insulated or non-insulated. Hook Terminals offer a simplistic yet durable connection for a variety of projects.

 

 

Quick-Disconnect Terminals

A quick-disconnect terminal provides convenient and reliable usage while also offering an easy connect and disconnect between two wires. They are commonly found in auto, industrial and consumer products. Products can be insulated or non-insulated. Quick-Disconnect Terminals additionally deliver a stable and durable connection.

 

Bullet Terminals

Types of Wire Terminals

Bullet Terminals (also called bullet terminals) make an easy, reliable and secure connection. It is simple to disconnect as well. Bullet terminals also connect with the male and open-ended round female connectors creating a high-quality connection. Therefore, the connection with bullet terminals helps prevent corrosion and other potentially harmful materials from entering a wire harness.

 

Butt Terminals

A Butt Terminal connects or terminates single or multiple wires. Butt Terminals help prevent abrasion and cutting. Additionally, this extra protection helps keep out moisture, corrosion, and other negative elements. Butt Terminals serve as a simple solution to extend wires due to the ability to mate and connect wires. Simply install each wire on the open end of the connector, then crimp both ends of the terminal to secure the connection.

 

Flagged Terminals 

Flag Terminals also called flag connectors to offer a convenient and secure connection. Flag terminals work well in tight spaces as well as when a quick-disconnect is too large. Provides a quick and easy connection and disconnect. Also available in insulated and non-insulated.

 

Wire Insulation

Wires can be found… seems like… everywhere. Any electrical product that demands a current flowing will typically require a wire (or cable). Even when you hear something is “wireless”. In this instance wires power the device sending a signal. Electricity traveling through wires bring each of us tremendous joy and pleasure.

Examples of electronics containing wires:

  • Computers
  • Internet routers
  • Also, music players (MP3 and iPods)
  • Communication devices (Cell Phones)
  • Vehicles
  • Appliances

Actually, can you imagine surviving a single day without electricity? Well, in the early stages, electricity did not travel so safely through wires. Thankfully electricity travels safe and sound through wires protected with wire insulation.

Wire Insulation

The explosive growth of electrical products well over a century ago drastically increased the use of wires carrying electricity. Unfortunately, uncovered or exposed wires were responsible for dangerous situations.

Furthermore, exposed wires led to electrical shocks or fire. However, the addition of a non-conductive cover was a brilliant move to protect and strengthen wires. The application of Wire Insulation protects wires greatly reducing potential hazards and threats.

You can take a look at wire insulation in the 19th century.

Check out this cool video on porcelain insulators. Thanks to Thomas Edison Tech Center.

 Wire Insulation Evolution

Due to increasing demand, electrical products require a solution to protect wires. The solution is affordable and efficient. Also, with the early growth in popularity, wire harness assembly has become necessary. It is much more efficient in harnessing loose wires. This is opposed to a “free for all”. Especially for electrical consumer goods and the auto industry. Both of which have exploded since the early 20th century.

Insulation serves as a non-conductor. The Insulation also separates and protects wires within a wire harness assembly. Especially since it is a nasty world out there with many detrimental elements that can cause harm to non-insulted wires.

To save the day, an insulated jacket protects each wire from the elements keeping the wire cozy and safe. Like insulated terminals, wire insulation also protects from moisture and extreme temperatures.

Thankfully wire insulation today is much more efficient. It is also, effective and affordable.  For example, thermoplastic high heat-resistant nylon coated wire (THHN wire) is low in cost. It is also lightweight. Due to these factors, it is an extremely popular wire insulation option.

Now that you know all about terminals and wires you need to know how they come together to create a wire harness.

Crimping Tools

We have over 30 years of wire harness manufacturing experience. Also, we here at Falconer Electronics have accumulated an impressive arsenal of crimping tools. When crimping wires and cables for our customers we have to utilize the proper tools. These allow our team to execute jobs with accuracy and efficiency. As well as, in a safe manner.

Many projects require crimping wires by hand. When producing wire assemblies for prototypes and small volume runs, handheld crimping tools sure come in…well… handy.

It is extremely important to look over the entire assembly when selecting the proper tool. For example, a basic pliers-style crimp tool can fit various wires, connectors, and terminals. Also, matching the right size tool is imperative when terminating wires.

A great brand is Molex. They are a global leader in the manufacturing of high-quality electrical tools. They are also a leader in components and other equipment. Falconer Electronics hax relied on Molex for many years. We trust their products.

The team at Molex declares they solve challenges “through our collaborative process, we take a multi-dimensional approach that brings together engineers, product designers, and manufacturers to ensure the design cycle is smooth and seamless.”

Below is one of the “Bad Boys” from Molex that our team loves to use when tackling tough projects:

Pneumatic Crimping Tool

Not interested in crimping wires by hand? Or do you have a large amount to crimp? No problem. Pneumatic crimping tools are extremely beneficial and efficient. Additionally, a pneumatic tool allows you to work hands-free due to air power. These tools are also fast and accurate. All qualities that will drastically increase your production.

We recently welcomed a new addition to our team. The Pneumatic Crimping Press pictured below. The “Plug’n Play” Pneumatic Press looks fierce, doesn’t it? It is ready and raring to CRIMP!! Especially ideal for wires requiring interchangeable crimping dies:

Tips for Successful Wire Harness Manufacturing 

  • The crimp does not break the insulation.
  • Also, the crimp fully wraps around and supports insulation (also cannot expose an opening greater than 45 degrees).
  • Insulation does not have puncturing to the point where tabs penetrate the wires.
  • Crimp tabs are in contact with the top of the insulation.
  • Insulation is flush with the crimped wire.
  • Additionally, identifying damaged insulation that reveals wires.
  • The wire, connector, assembly process, as well as insulation, are all compatible.

Wire Harness Manufacturing: Crimping Wires Do’s & Don’ts

The IPC/WHMA-A-620  standard provides the necessary guidance on crimping wires. Consequently, this standard shows what is acceptable along with what is considered defective. Here are a few examples of Do’s and Don’ts:

Do’s

  • Insulation crimp tabs fully wrap and support insulation
  • Additionally, the insulation fully enters and extends past the insulation crimp tabs
  • Wires must be in solid working condition – also cannot have scrapes, nicks, severing or other damages
  • The connector retains the wires
  • Center the crimp indent
  • Insulation crimp must provide a minimum side report of 180 degrees

Don’ts

  • Wires should not have deformities- Flattening untwisting, buckling, or kinking
  • Insulation should not show any signs of pinching, pulling, fraying, discoloration, or charring
  • Also, the insulation crimp needs to fully support and wrap insulation without causing any damage or breaking the insulation
  • No broken insulation- This can expose wires causing safety issues and potential hazards
  • Wire not secured by crimp
  • Contact has visible cracks and fractures
  • Also, no Birdcaging – Wire Separation

These are just a handful of the requirements.

To learn more about the Wire Harness Manufacturer’s Association and A-620 Standards, please click here.

Wire Harness Manufacturing Quality Control  

Wire Harness Quality Control is paramount at Falconer Electronics. We perform testing on cables and wire harness assemblies for every order. Therefore, quality control strongly impacts the bottom line with the wire harness assembly process. Also, our well-guided wire harness quality control and a solid test system prevents unnecessary errors, stress and lost profits.

High accuracy during the assembly process is the key to maintaining competitive pricing and reliability. We take every step to ensure accuracy at the time of assembling and producing the wires. Instituting a strict wire harness quality control system during production brings significant benefits to our customers.

Wire Harness Manufacturing Testing Check List

Safety First! Wire Harness Testing requires extreme caution. This is due to it involving live wires. Unfortunately, electric shock and burns can turn a great day into a really bad day quickly. It is mandatory to use personal protective equipment on the job such as safety glasses when testing a wire assembly.

When performing Wire Harness Testing, our quality control department strictly follows the IPC/WHMA-A-620 Standard. Most importantly, this standard is a collection of visual Quality Acceptability Requirements for Cable as well as Wire and Harness Assemblies.

Wire Harness Manufacturing Checklist for Testing Wires:

  1. Accurate Labeling
  2. Check for Damaged Insulation or Defective Wires
  3. Continuity
  4. Correct Wire Gauge
  5. Also, Check for Proper Crimps
  6. Free of Moisture and Corrosion
  7. Optimum Wire Placement Within Connectors
  8. Pull Test
  9. Test for Broken Wires
  10. Finally, Test for Shorts

Deming Values for Continual Improvement

Going old school, we are big fans of 20th-century management guru Dr. Deming. Dr. W. Edwards Deming created 14 points for management with a quest for continual improvement. Especially since Dr. Deming is credited with being the master of quality improvement. Particularly with his work in Japan during the 1950’s.

The Deming Institute continues the incredible legacy of Dr. Deming.

Furthermore, one of the core values at the Deming Institute states:

We are dedicated to the Deming philosophy and the belief that working together, with humility, we can make a difference in the quality of life for everyone.

This is a truly inspiring message!

According to Dr. Deming, implementing the 14 points is a philosophical way of conducting business with an unwavering quest for continual improvement. In addition, new tactics and behaviors become habits. Furthermore, those habits eventually form into the core beliefs and culture of a company.

In particular, two interesting points from Dr. Deming’s 14 points that help drive our wire harness quality control:

1. Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive and to stay in business, and as a result to provide jobs.

5. Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly decrease costs.

Consequences when continual improvement and quality are NOT the top priority:

  • High defect rates
  • Underutilized equipment
  • Poor productivity
  • Poor inventory management
  • Safety concerns
  • Finally, low morale with employees

Dr. W. Edwards Deming

Wrapping it Up 

In conclusion, at Falconer Electronics, Wire Harness Manufacturing runs through our veins. Consequently, having built literally millions of Wire Harnesses over the past 30 years, many of our employees say they could build a wire harness in their sleep. (Is that why they started bringing their pillows to work?)

On a serious note, Wire Harness Manufacturing drives our business. Furthermore, delivering consistent and high-quality Wire Harness Assemblies contributes greatly to our successful long-term customer relationships dating back to 1985.

Thank you for reading our post on Wire Harness Manufacturing Terms, Tools, and Tips of the Trade.

Also, for more information on Wire Harness Manufacturing, click here:

For additional information click on the links below:

Lastly, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest for more electronic info.

 

 

Do you know the similarities between cables and wires? Wires and cables are very similar in nature and they can have similar purposes.

The Main Similarities

The main similarities between cables and wires are that they both conduct electrical currents. Wires are the components of a cable. Multiple wires make up a single cable. Also, a single wire and a single cable both can have insulation or insulative jackets. However, a cable has an outer jacket while the single wires inside have their jackets as well. The differences in insulation can determine the different uses of a wire and cable.

Cables Cables

As stated previously, cables consist of multiple wires. There are cables that have the wires twisted to hold them together. There are also some that have the separate wires encased in an insulated jacket. This jacket doesn’t just hold the internal wires together but it also protects the internal wires from the elements. Cables can also contain numerous insulated wires. There is an extra level of protection when individual wires within a cable have their own insulation.  There is protection from corrosion and friction amongst individual wires due to the extra insulation.

Wires 

Solid and stranded are the two types of wires. Many individual strands of wire twisted together make up stranded wires. These strands can be very fine or larger depending on the application. Generally, the more strands and the smaller the strands the more flexible the wire is. Solid wire is just that, one strand of copper drawn to the appropriate gauge size. Also, wires can either be insulated or non-insulated. Insulted wires are less likely to have corrosion or the added issue of contact between non-insulated wires. A number of different applications use non-insulated wires. These applications include places where electrical wiring, armature wire, and magnet wire are needed. Non-insulated wiring is different from the insulated wire. This is due to it not being plated or coated with anything.

To learn more about Wire Harnesses Assembly click here! Free wire harness estimates are also available.

For more information on wires go to our blog!

You can also get great DIY ideas on our Facebook page! For more info on electronics manufacturing, please connect with us on TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

Wire Gauge

How to Choose the Best Wire Gauge for Your Project

Have you been looking into a wiring project? Do you know what gauge of wire is best suited for your needs? Our tips can help you in the choosing process of wires!

**Always have electrical projects looked over by professionals before any installation or use to prevent injury or fire**

How to Choose the Best Wire Gauge for Your Project

1: What type of project are you doing?

There are many different types of wiring projects. Depending on whether you are working on home wiring or building your own robot, there is a difference between what type of wire is required. For example, some projects include:

  • Home wiring
  • Robotics
  • Computers
  • Vehicles

2: How much space do you need for wiring?

To begin with different housings for different projects will vary in size. Due to the wire size, the space needed to house them will vary. If you think about a light switch, some have a single switch and therefore only need enough room for the wires of that one switch. However, there are light switches that have multiple switches. Therefore, the space required for the wiring of a multi-switch receptacle is larger than that of a single switch receptacle. In order to do a job properly, you need to be aware of how much space you have to work with and really need. If you are working on home wiring that requires a larger current as opposed to a robot that requires less current the space needed is different because the wire size will be different.

3: How are wire gauges calculated?

Especially relevant is the fact that as wire increases in physical width, the gauge of that wire will decrease in numerical value. While this does seem backward it’s really not. Due to the wire drawing process, the number of operations that it takes to get it to that physical size is the numerical gauge of a wire. As a result, gauges are larger or smaller than the physical size.

Wire Gauge

4: What are large and small gauged wires used for?

There are also many different gauges of wire. Consequently, they have many different uses.

Uses for some smaller gauges (larger physical sizes) of wire:

  • Electrical lines (like those you see outside attached to power lines)
  • Heavy duty automobiles like trains, larger armored trucks
  • Home wiring

Uses for some larger gauges (smaller physical sizes of wire):

  • Computers
  • Radios
  • Phones
  • GPS
  • Mp3 player

5: How much amperage do you require?

There are different factors that determine the required amount of amperage:

  • Amperage= Wattage/Volts
  • What current do you need for your project
  • Where the wire is going
  • Where the wire is coming from

In addition to these tips you can learn more about wire gauges by looking back to our previous blog Why Do Wire Gauge Sizes Seem To Work Backwards?

In conclusion, the chart below will be helpful in deciding which wire is appropriate for your specific job.

AWG Cable/ Conductor Size Chart

AWG  Diameter 
[inches]
 Diameter 
[mm]
Area
[mm2]
Resistance
[Ohms / 1000 ft]
Resistance
[Ohms / km]
 Max Current 
[Amperes]
Max Frequency
for 100% skin depth
 0000 (4/0) 0.46 11.684 107 0.049 0.16072 302 125 Hz
000 (3/0) 0.4096 10.40384 85 0.0618 0.202704 239 160 Hz
00 (2/0) 0.3648 9.26592 67.4 0.0779 0.255512 190 200 Hz
0 (1/0) 0.3249 8.25246 53.5 0.0983 0.322424 150 250 Hz
1 0.2893 7.34822 42.4 0.1239 0.406392 119 325 Hz
2 0.2576 6.54304 33.6 0.1563 0.512664 94 410 Hz
3 0.2294 5.82676 26.7 0.197 0.64616 75 500 Hz
4 0.2043 5.18922 21.2 0.2485 0.81508 60 650 Hz
5 0.1819 4.62026 16.8 0.3133 1.027624 47 810 Hz
6 0.162 4.1148 13.3 0.3951 1.295928 37 1100 Hz
7 0.1443 3.66522 10.5 0.4982 1.634096 30 1300 Hz
8 0.1285 3.2639 8.37 0.6282 2.060496 24 1650 Hz
9 0.1144 2.90576 6.63 0.7921 2.598088 19 2050 Hz
10 0.1019 2.58826 5.26 0.9989 3.276392 15 2600 Hz
11 0.0907 2.30378 4.17 1.26 4.1328 12 3200 Hz
12 0.0808 2.05232 3.31 1.588 5.20864 9.3 4150 Hz
13 0.072 1.8288 2.62 2.003 6.56984 7.4 5300 Hz
14 0.0641 1.62814 2.08 2.525 8.282 5.9 6700 Hz
15 0.0571 1.45034 1.65 3.184 10.44352 4.7 8250 Hz
16 0.0508 1.29032 1.31 4.016 13.17248 3.7 11 k Hz
17 0.0453 1.15062 1.04 5.064 16.60992 2.9 13 k Hz
18 0.0403 1.02362 0.823 6.385 20.9428 2.3 17 kHz
19 0.0359 0.91186 0.653 8.051 26.40728 1.8 21 kHz
20 0.032 0.8128 0.518 10.15 33.292 1.5 27 kHz
21 0.0285 0.7239 0.41 12.8 41.984 1.2 33 kHz
22 0.0254 0.64516 0.326 16.14 52.9392 0.92 42 kHz
23 0.0226 0.57404 0.258 20.36 66.7808 0.729 53 kHz
24 0.0201 0.51054 0.205 25.67 84.1976 0.577 68 kHz
25 0.0179 0.45466 0.162 32.37 106.1736 0.457 85 kHz
26 0.0159 0.40386 0.129 40.81 133.8568 0.361 107 kHz
27 0.0142 0.36068 0.102 51.47 168.8216 0.288 130 kHz
28 0.0126 0.32004 0.081 64.9 212.872 0.226 170 kHz
29 0.0113 0.28702 0.0642 81.83 268.4024 0.182 210 kHz
30 0.01 0.254 0.0509 103.2 338.496 0.142 270 kHz
31 0.0089 0.22606 0.0404 130.1 426.728 0.113 340 kHz
32 0.008 0.2032 0.032 164.1 538.248 0.091 430 kHz
33 0.0071 0.18034 0.0254 206.9 678.632 0.072 540 kHz
34 0.0063 0.16002 0.0201 260.9 855.752 0.056 690 kHz
35 0.0056 0.14224 0.016 329 1079.12 0.044 870 kHz
36 0.005 0.127 0.0127 414.8 1360 0.035 1100 kHz
37 0.0045 0.1143 0.01 523.1 1715 0.0289 1350 kHz
38 0.004 0.1016 0.00797 659.6 2163 0.0228 1750 kHz
39 0.0035 0.0889 0.00632 831.8 2728 0.0175 2250 kHz
40 0.0031 0.07874  0.00501 1049 3440 0.0137 2900 kHz
Helpful Connections

If you are interested in designing your own wire harnesses check out our new Wire Harness Estimator to get a quote!

For additional information before you get started check out our blog on The Wire Harness Estimator Components Defined.

You can also learn more about our pre-designed wire harnesses by checking out our Wire Harness Page!

Also, check out ElectricalSchool.org for a glossary of electrical terms.

Lastly, let’s get social. Please connect on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

**Always have electrical projects looked over by professionals before any installation or use to prevent injury or fire**   

Never bet against a company dedicated to creating a Positive Work Environment. A deep commitment to innovation combined with maintaining a healthy entrepreneurial spirit are driving forces that can enable a small business to achieve great heights. Having fun while at work makes an enthusiastic workplace and a dynamic team.

A Positive Work Environment Increases Productivity 

According to the Harvard Business Review, a Positive Work Environment is more productive. In the article, “Proof That Positive Work Cultures Are More Productive“, the authors share that work stress significantly reduces the health and productivity of employees. Absenteeism, disengagement, and lack of loyalty all dramatically increase costs and hurt the bottom line. 

Deliberate actions allow a company to create a dynamic culture, which includes ambition, competitiveness, creativity, flexibility, enthusiasm, and initiative. Combining these efforts with the ability to take risks and bear responsibility is a winning formula. Many large companies founded by visionary leaders begin as a start-up enterprise and eventually evolve into an industry powerhouse.

Positive Work Environment

 Southwest Airlines Positively Outrageous 

Ever fly on Southwest Airlines and have a stewardess serenade the audience while giving out the flight instructions? Southwest Airlines has produced 40 straight years of profits in an industry that continuously suffers massive financial losses and has been littered with bankruptcies over the years.

Southwest lives by a daily mantra to never accept status quo tracing back to its founder, Herb Kelleher. He pointed out that it is extremely difficult for a competitor to imitate a company’s success. According to an article in Forbes, Kelleher states,“They can buy all the physical things. The things you can’t buy are dedication, devotion, loyalty—the feeling that you are participating in a crusade”.

Whistle While You Work  

Taking a tour of Falconer Electronics displays hard working Americans dedicated to producing high-quality commercial outlet stripsprinted circuit boards, and wire harnesses. You will hear machines running, trucks rumbling, computers cranking and other sounds of great products being produced.

More importantly, you will hear lots of laughter. Our team has a wicked sense of humor. You can always hear someone laughing over something hysterical. Either a goofy event that occurred over the weekend with a friend or family member. A crazy pet story brings a good laugh as well around here. Work hard and laughing harder is our mantra!

Our office is located near Wegmans Food Markets which provides an excellent role model for small businesses. Fortune ranked Wegmans as the #2 Best Companies to Work For in 2017. This year marks the 20th straight year landing on the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list. Wegmans institutes a thriving Positive Work Environment that combines fun with professionalism to deliver outstanding customer service. This winning formula proves hugely successful and profitable with Wegmans celebrating 100 years in business. 
 
Thank you for reading our post on a Positive Work Environment.
 
Please connect on FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedIn, and Pinterest for more electronic info.

Outsourcing manufacturing operations can deliver tremendous benefits to your business. Unfortunately, there are many risks attached as well. Today we continue discussions by addressing Discreet Questions to Determine Character Compatibility and Financial Viability. Asking tough questions will help narrow down your selection process. 

This post is Part 5 of our series on Outsourcing Custom Manufacturing Operations. In particular, Outsourcing Wire Harness Manufacturing Processes.

Previous topics have included: 

Outsource Your Wire Harness Assembly Process – Part 1

Selecting a Wire Harness Manufacturer – Part 2

How to Find a New Wire Harness Manufacturer – Part 3

Interviewing a Wire Harness Manufacturer – Part 4 

Discreet Questions Can Save You Down the Road 

So you have entered the interview process to select a new custom manufacturer to partner with. Now you are digging deeper in the due diligence process to see who is exactly the best fit. 

Financial stability is certainly one of your absolute top concerns. If you are both small businesses, discovering actual financial figures or intimate information may be difficult to obtain. Even though this is crucial, especially if the project or product represents a significant portion of your sales. 

So what steps or strategies can you take to discover the financial viability of this new prospect?

Below are a number of discreet questions that you could ask that would potentially reveal any red flags for you. 

Discreet Questions

Prior Outsourcing Experience – That Ended Poorly 

This blog is being written from a poor previous experience with outsourcing services to a fulfillment center. There were many warning signs. Actually, what is above warning signs? Shots fired across the bow? 

We would pay the company tens of thousands of dollars each month which was paid on our credit card. On two separate occasions, the company ran our credit card twice, on the same day. The first time seemed like a simple mistake. “Oops, our credit card processor must have processed the card twice. So sorry. We will issue a refund.” Which they eventually did, many days later. 

The second time, same excuse but now had our team gravely concerned. To make matters worse, it was discovered that the property and liability insurance had not been paid. Needless to say, the relationship ended very poorly. We moved out at a huge expense. The fulfillment center went out of business so after. Even though we thankfully dodged a major disaster, this was a painful and expensive lesson. 

Important Questions to Ask Yourself 

Here are a few questions to ask yourself through this process: 

  • Does the company represent itself well? 
  • Do you have similar goals and a common business philosophy?
  • Is this a team of people with integrity that you can trust impeccably? 
  • Is this a partner that is committed to your profitability and success or are you another opportunity for the owner to support a lavish lifestyle? 
Discreet Questions to Determine Character Compatibility and Financial Viability 

Here are a number of discreet questions to consider to help determine the financial viability of the company as well as the character level of ownership:

  1. Strike up a conversation on hobbies. Do they have expensive hobbies: Golf at Pebble Beach, mountain climbing the Himalayas, scuba diving off the Thailand, flying a helicopter, Yacht, own a collection of Ferrari’s, etc… you get the point. 
  2. Find out the type of car they drive. “My spouse is looking for a new car. What type of car do you drive or recommend?”
  3. If you live near the prospect, casually ask what neighborhood they live in. Sorry to get overly “stalkerish”, find out their neighborhood and drive by or if you are not nearby look up on Google. This will let you know their lifestyle.
  4. Ask for bank references 
  5. ……business references 
  6. ……character references
  7. ……customer references
  8. Google the owner to discover any past felonies, convictions or other bad news. 
  9. Check their Facebook page – see what they do in their personal time. 
  10. Check other social media – Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and Pinterest.
  11. Look for Videos on YouTube.
  12. Check mutual connections on LinkedIn. 
  13. Seek out mutual professional connections and casually start asking around for any character concerns.  
  14. Take a physical tour of the company and facility – look for any warning signs.
  15. Meet with company supervisors.
  16. Casually speak with as many employees as possible to get a gauge on the owner/management and conditions of the company.
  17. Look for matching or mismatched priorities – expensive office furniture, overstaffed, excessive non-business essentials (foosball table, games, kegs, etc).
  18. Get a gauge on morale at the company.
  19. Does the owner wear an expensive wardrobe or jewelry?
  20. Last, ask the owner for an opportunity to have a mutual meeting with their accountant to view audited financials. Even offer to have the meeting at your expense. 

Going the extra mile with your due diligence process will save you a tremendous amount of grief and frustration down the road. 

For more info on electronics manufacturing, please connect on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

New Wire Harness Manufacturer

Trying to Find a New Wire Harness Manufacturer? You have landed on the right place. As a Custom Wire Harness Manufacturer since 1985, our team at Falconer Electronics has worked with hundreds of customers ranging from many different industries. 

This blog post continues our series on maximizing the due diligence process when searching for a new custom manufacturer to outsource production. In particular, partnering with a New Wire Harness Manufacturer. Each week we are providing a helpful step by step process to provide guidance with your search. 

Previous posts include: 

Outsource Your Wire Harness Assembly Process – Part 1

Selecting a Wire Harness Manufacturer – Part 2

This week we discuss the process of discovering a New Wire Harness Manufacturer. 

How to Find a New Wire Harness Manufacturer? 

Partnering with to a New Wire Harness Manufacturer would be extremely beneficial for your company. Once you have decided to outsource your Wire Harness Assembly process, now the search begins. 

Unless you already have a candidate in mind, most likely you will kick start the process by relying on connections within your network. A great place to start includes the list below: 

  1. Vendors
  2. Suppliers
  3. Customers
  4. Chamber of Commerce or other local connections and business organizations 
  5. Trade Associations

If you lack successful connections going this route, no fear. Call on your dear friend Google. Conducting a few Google searches will show you local and national Wire Harness Manufacturing companies. 

Is geography a critical factor? For example, if you were looking for a supplier of wooden pallets, you need somebody extremely close otherwise shipping costs would be brutal and cost prohibitive. 

With a Wire Harness Assembly, shipping costs are not prohibitive and detrimental. Partnering with the right company in another part of the country can still be an effective relationship. 

Once you have discovered a worthy prospect, begin conducting company research to see if this is a good fit for you. 

Check Out the Company Website:

  1. First, explore the company website. Does the website represent the company as a partner that you can trust?
  2. Does the company reveal itself having the staff, tools, resources, and ability to tackle your project?
  3. Do they serve your industry?
  4. Do they have the experience and expertise to take on your project? 
  5. Proximity? Do they need to be within a certain distance of your facility? 

Check out their Social Media:

  1. Is the company active on social media and communicating their culture?
  2. Does it fit with yours?
  3. Does the company provide helpful tips?
  4. Communicate the company mission? Does the mission fit with yours? 
  5. Can you easily submit a drawing of your wire harness assembly? 
  6. When you contact them, do you receive a quick response? 

Below are a few questions to consider asking: 

  1. Types of customers – What industry does the company target? Do they understand your needs? Can they speak your language? Do you feel a chemistry and kindred spirit with this company? Do they have the flexibility to speed up when during your busier times? Can they adjust to varying seasonal demands? 
  2. Vendor relationships – Do they have outstanding vendor relationships? Do they have purchasing power? Are they willing to negotiate and fight for the lowest cost on product for you? Do they have strong cash flow and pay their bills on time so there are no delays in purchasing your product? 

New Wire Harness Manufacturer

Next week with our series on selecting a New Wire Harness Manufacturer to partner with, we will dig further into questions that you can ask during the interview process. 

For more info on electronics manufacturing, please connect on FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Is it Time to Outsource Your Wire Harness Assembly Process? 

“Should we begin outsourcing our Wire Harness Assembly Process?”

This a common question our new customers typically ask themselves before reaching out to us.

Many times in life, if the question crosses your mind, then odds are it is time to act.

For example, is it time to discard those old ratty sneakers that offend everyone around you? Most likely it is time to let go.

Do you eat the leftover seafood from Monday night – on Saturday? Probably not a good idea.

You question if you are too old or if it is still cool to wear your KC and the Sunshine Band t-shirt – Duran Duran – New Kids on the Block – or whatever generation you are from. Then it might be time to hang it up.  Actually, that is a bad example. It is never time to grow up. Anyway…..

Wire Harness Assembly Process

If you have been asking yourself if it is time to outsource your Wire Harness Assembly Process, odds are the time has arrived. At the very least, it certainly doesn’t hurt to investigate further.

Start by identifying what event occurred or how this question arrived. Understanding when, how and why this became an internal burden is an important step.

What hold ups, hang ups, pull downs, drag downs, hiccups, throw ups, headaches, heartaches, belly aches, or pain in the “you know what” has occurred. Think about the moment where you thought to yourself, “there must be a better way”.

Start With Performing an Internal SWOT 

Start with a SWOT on your internal Wire Harness Assembly process. What are the company strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats? Especially if you keep this process in-house.

Do the same procedure and create a SWOT if you were to outsource your Wire Harness Assembly Process.

The next question becomes, “Who can solve this problem so we can focus on our core business”?

A key to building a successful business is partnering with experts in a given field. Successful companies exist by solving a problem. Solving a problem requires developing an area of expertise. A proficiency that stands above the competition.

Partnering with Seasoned Professionals 

You need to partner with a company that thrives and works relentlessly to gain a competitive advantage. Also, one that creates economies of scale for you. Most importantly, a solution so tremendous that it just doesn’t make sense to perform these tasks on your own anymore.

Can you change the oil in your car in less than 30 minutes? Is your time worth more than the price to have a quick stop oil change shop (Ex: JiffyLube) perform the task?

As a business owner or manager, you hire professionals to strengthen your business and protect your assets. This list includes hiring an accountant, attorney, or insurance broker who have invested the time and energy to educate themselves on business law, tax codes or proper insurance policies. You rely heavily on these individuals to help you make critical business decisions. Surrounding yourself with highly trained and qualified professionals has the potential to pay huge dividends.

Outsourcing certain tasks within the manufacturing process offer similar benefits. Teaming up with an all-star team creates a winning formula allowing you to maximize profits while minimizing risks.

This post kicks off an eight part series on Outsourcing Your Wire Harness Assembly Process. We will weigh in on the due diligence and selection process as well as many other strategies and helpful tips.

For more info on electronics manufacturing, please connect on FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

 

Wire Insulation Types

Wire Insulation Types

One of the key components of a wire is its insulation. However, there is a number of factors that come into play. Things such as stability and long life, dielectric properties, resistance to high temperature, resistance to moisture, mechanical strength, and flexibility. There are also so many different wire insulation types.

Furthermore, there is no single insulation that is ideal in every one of these areas. However, there are many key Types of Wire Insulation. Polyvinyl Chloride, Fluorinated Ethylene-Propylene, Polyethylene, Nylon, also Thermoplastic Rubber. Furthermore, each of these is a major insulator for wire containing electricity.

Key Types of Wire Insulation

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC):

Found in all of the major types of wire and cable.

Examples include:

  • Low voltage building wire insulation and jacketing
  • Low and medium voltage equipment cable jacketing
  • Also, control cable jacketing
  • Indoor telecommunications cable
  • Automotive wire
  • Finally, flexible Cords

 

 

 

 

 

It is a flame and abrasion resistant material. Which is specially compounded for general-purpose applications. Therefore, resisting flames, oil, ozone, sunlight, and most solvents.

Fluorinated ethylene-propylene (FEP): 

This is a melt-processible copolymer made of tetrafluoroethylene and hexafluoropropylene. Also, FEP has dielectric properties in addition to chemical inertness, heat resistance, weather resistance, as well as being tough and flexible.

Polyethylene:

Is lightweight, water-resistant, and chemically inert

 Different types of polyethylene:
  • Low-density (LDPE)
  • Linear low-density (LLDPE)
  • Medium-density (MDPE)
  • High-density (HDPE)
  • Chlorinated polyethylene (CPE)
  • Cross-linkable polyethylene (XLPE).

Polyethylene’s low dielectric constant allows for low capacitance and low electrical loss. Therefore, making it an ideal choice for audio, radio frequency, and high voltage applications.

Nylon:

Is a very flexible wire insulation. Also, it is usually extruded over softer insulation compounds.

Several Key Components:
  • Tough
  • Strong abrasion
  • Additionally, chemical resistance

Thermoplastic Rubber:

Has the ability to stretch to moderate elongations and return to its near original shape. Therefore, creating a longer life and better physical range than other materials

 Properties of Thermoplastic Rubber:
  • Higher processing speeds
  • Wider usable temperature range
  • In addition to, excellent heat, weather, and age resistance without curing.

Helpful Information and Connections

Thank you for reading our blog post on the various Wire Insulation Types.

To learn more about Ground Straps and the Wire Harness Assembly process, please click on the links below:

You can also, check out our blog series on soldering printed circuit boards if you are a circuit board junkie!

Lastly, let’s get social! Please connect on FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedIn, and Pinterest for more electronic info.

Source:

https://www.osha.gov/

Wire Harness Assembly

A Helpful List of Wire Harness Terms 

The list below includes a number of Wire Harness Terms and definitions. Many of our customers are new to outsourcing their wire harness assemblies. Hopefully, you will find these Wire Harness Terms helpful, particularly if this is all new to you.

Wire Harness IPC/WHMA-A-620 Standard 

All of the Wire Harness Terms below are from the IPC/WHMA-A-620 which is an industry standard that provides criteria for commonly used wire harness assemblies.  The standard sets a “collection of visual Quality Acceptability Requirements for Cable, Wire and Harness Assemblies.” To learn more about the IPC/WHMA-A-620, click here:  http://www.ipc.org/ContentPage.aspx?pageid=IPC-WHMA-A-620

Wire Harness Terms and Definitions

American Wire Gage (AWG) – A standard system for designating wire diameter. Primarily used in the U.S.

Bellmouth – The raised portion at the front and/or back of the wire barrel crimp that provides a gradual entrance and exit for the wire strands without causing damage.

Braid – Woven bare metallic or tinned copper wire used as shielding for wires and cables and as ground wire for batteries or heavy industrial equipment. Also, a woven fibrous protective outer covering over a conductor or cable.

Cable – A group of individually insulated conductors in twisted or parallel configuration under a common sheath.

Cable Assembly – A cable with plugs or connectors attached.

Coaxial Cable – A cable consisting of two cylindrical conductors with a common axis separated by a dielectric.

Conductor – An uninsulated wire or the conductor of an insulated wire suitable for carrying electrical current.

Conduit – A tube in which insulated wires and cables are passed.

Connector – A device used to physically and electrically join two or more conductors.

Contact – The conducting part of a connector that acts with another such part to complete or break a circuit.

Crimp – Final configuration of a terminal barrel formed by the compression of terminal barrel and wire.

Crimp Height – The measurement of the overall wire barrel height after crimping the terminal.

Dielectric – Any insulating medium that intervenes between two conductors.

Double Crimp – The process of two or more mechanical crimping operations on the same location in a single terminal.

Ferrule – A short tube. Used to make solderless connections to shielded or coaxial cable. Also, a terminal crimped onto stranded wire to allow insertion into terminal blocks.

Grommet – A rubber seal used on the cable side of multiple contact connector to seal the connector against moisture, dirt or air.

Wire Harness terms

        Wire Harness at Falconer Electronics

Harness – A group of wire and cables, usually made with breakouts, which are tied together or pulled into a rubber or plastic sheath. A harness provides interconnection of an electric circuit.

Insulation – A material that offers high electrical resistance making it suitable for covering components, terminals, and wires to prevent the possible future contact of adjacent conductors resulting in a short circuit.

Insulation Crimp – Area of a terminal, splice or contact formed around the insulation of the wire.

Lanyard – A device attached to certain connectors that permit uncoupling and separation of connector halves by a pull on a wire or cable.

RF Connector – Connector used for connecting or terminating coaxial cable.

Ribbon Cable – A flat cable of individually insulated conductors lying parallel and held together by means of adhesive film laminate.

Strain Relief – A technique or item which reduces the transmission of mechanical stresses to the conductor termination.

Stress Relief – A predetermined amount of slack to relieve tension in component or lead wires.

Terminal – A device designed to terminate a conductor that is to be affixed to a post, stud, chassis, another conductor, etc., to establish an electrical connection. Some types of terminals include ring, tongue, spade, flag, hook, blade, quick-connect, offset and flanged.

Tubing – A tube of extruded non-supported plastic or metallic material.

Wire – Slender rod or filament of drawn metal.

Wire Diameter – The overall conductor plus insulation thickness.

To learn more about Ground Straps and the Wire Harness Assembly process, please click on the links below:

Also, if you are a circuit board junkie, check out our blog series on soldering printed circuit boards.

Lastly, let’s get social! Please connect on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest for more electronic info.

insulation

Twentieth Century Wire Insulation

Wire Insulation really took off in the twentieth century when changing technology became easier. Natural rubber compounds were typically used to insulate wires starting the twentieth century. In the 1930s, PVC insulation was developed. This was used more often starting in the 1940s.  PVC, Cresyl Phthalate, DEHP and other plastics replaced rubber as an insulator for wires and other parts starting in the 1950s.

Different Types of Twentieth Century Wires

Plastic or Nonmetallic Cable Insulated Electrical Wiring: Romex Cable Wiring

Insulation NMC or plastic-insulated wire or “Romex” has been in use in the U.S. since about 1926. Plastic NMC began replacing both rubber wire insulation and fabric-based wire insulation in the U.S. in the 1950’s. PVC here refers to plastics based on polyvinyl chloride. Plastic or thermoplastic nonmetallic cable still referred to by many electricians as “Romex” cable, has been in use since the 1960’s. In the U.S., Romex cable became widely used in new residential construction by 1970, completely replacing fabric-based wire insulation products. But in some large cities, electrical conduit was used rather than plastic NMC.

 

Knob & Tube Electrical Wiringinsulation

The earliest form of the electrical wiring system in buildings in the U.S. was knob and tube. Knob-and-tube wiring is supported with ceramic knobs and runs intermittently through ceramic tubes beneath framing and at locations where the wires intersect. This type of insulation diminished in North America by 1940 but continued to be installed as new work in some locations until about 1975. They become less common because of many problems including, the insulation that envelopes the wiring was a fire hazard. It tends to stretch and sag over time and they lack a grounding conductor. Grounding conductors reduce the chance of electrical fire and damage to sensitive equipment.

Fabric Covered NMC Electrical Wire Insulation

insulation           The exterior insulation on fabric-insulated NMC electrical wires is often black, silver, or white. The individual wires within the cable may be insulated in rubber or fabric-covered rubber. They may be insulated by plastic in later wiring products. The conductors are themselves covered by a variety of materials: fabric over rubber, rubber, and plastic.

 

Copper-Clad Aluminum Electrical Wiring

The photograph of copper-clad aluminum electrical wire shows the wiring insulationsheathing markings. This NMC or non-metallic-sheathed cable electrical wire was observed in a 1974 Edina MN townhouse and was connected to an FPE electrical panel. Unlike aluminum electrical wire used in branch circuits (a fire hazard), copper-clad aluminum wire performs about as well as copper wire and is considered safe for use in homes provided of course that the wiring has been correctly installed.

 

Aluminum Electrical Wiring Types

insulation         Typically, aluminum electrical branch circuit wiring was plastic-covered. Aluminum wiring has been studied since about 1945 and began appearing in homes in North American as early as 1965. In that year Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation began marketing KA-Flex solid-conductor aluminum wiring. Unless it has been properly repaired or replaced, aluminum wiring in homes or other buildings is a serious fire hazard.

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog post on wire insulation.

To learn more about Ground Straps and the Wire Harness Assembly process, please click on the links below:

Also, check out our blog posts on soldering printed circuit boards.

Lastly, let’s get social! Please connect on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest for more electronic info.

Sources:

https://www.nachi.org/conductor-types.htm

 

Insulation

Nineteenth Century Wire Insulation

Insulation

            The history of wire insulation starts in the nineteenth century. Insulators are used in electrical equipment to support and separate electrical conductors. An insulating material used in bulk to wrap electrical cables or other equipment is called insulation. 

The first electrical systems to make use of insulators were telegraph lines. This took place in the 1840s where glass served the primary insulator at the time. Also, plant products worked to wrap cables or hold wires. In 1844, Samuel F.B. Morse sent the first telegraph message. Consequently, he used a flat wood board beneath apparatus as an insulator to hold wires. The wire directly attached to a wooden pole delivered very poor results, especially during damp weather.

In 1893, Westinghouse developed a transmission line for the famous Niagara Falls to the Buffalo transmission. This was made out of porcelain insulators rated at 11,000 volts which were used temporarily until insulator technology was developed that could handle 22,000 volts.

Common types of Insulation for the Nineteenth Century.

Glass:

            Glass act as a conductor when exposed to humidity. It attracts to its surface vapors of the atmosphere. TheyInsulation form there a thin film of water, by which the electricity passes through. The types of insulators used for glass are glass unprotected by iron, glass protected by an iron covering, pine wood baked and soaked with shellac then having a piece of glass inserted. Also glazed porous earthenware, or baked clay, glass upon wooden pins, protected by a wooden shield, white flint, bone-rubber surrounding an iron hook, and the bone-rubber protected by an iron covering.

            The biggest objection to the use of the unprotected glass insulator is its great liability to fracture. The first glass insulators used in large quantities had an unthreaded pinhole. These pieces of glass were positioned on a tapered wooden pin, vertically extending upwards from the pole’s cross arm. Natural contraction and expansion of the wires tied to these “threadless insulators” resulted in insulators unseating from their pins, requiring manual resetting. The manufacturers of the glass insulator find it extremely difficult to increase the strength of the material by increasing its thickness. Mainly due to the account of the difficulty experienced in suitable annealing it. As a result, a slight scratch often causes the thicker insulator to fracture and become useless.

Ceramic/Porcelain:

            Porcelain insulators produced from clay, quartz or alumina and feldspar, and finally covered with a smooth glaze to shed water. Insulators made from porcelain rich in alumina are used where high mechanical strength is a criterion. Demand for master potters dramatically increased to create porcelain products due to the new electrical revolution of the 1880s. Simply changing to existing porcelain products was only a temporary solution, because the needs for even higher voltages came about in the 1890s. Chemists and material engineers helped design higher performance porcelain insulators with special coatings and designs. William Cermak, who came from Kasejovice, Czech, built a reputation for glass and porcelain pottery.  He developed the now famous “petticoated” insulator design offering a succession of ridges. One of his pioneering designs handled over 10,000 volts for the first time in history.

Wax and Oil:

Insulation

            In the 1880s, Edison used Trinidad asphaltum with linseed oil, beeswax, and paraffin to insulate copper wires mounted inside of iron pipes. Mainly used for durable underground power lines and made famous at the Pearl Street Station in NYC. Insulating Oil (Transformer Oil) – This petroleum product served as an electrical insulator and thermal conductor. Especially since it conducts heat away from hot transformer coils. Some capacitors also use insulator oil.

 

 

Source:

http://www.edisontechcenter.org/

Wire Harness Manufacturing

Wire Insulation

Wires can be found…..seems like….everywhere. Any electrical product that demands a current flowing will typically require a wire (or cable). Even when you hear something is “wireless”, wires power the device sending a signal. Electricity traveling through wires bring each of us tremendous joy and pleasure (computers, the internet, music, social media, communication, vehicles, transportation, appliances, etc..). Actually, can you imagine surviving a single day without electricity? Well, in the early stages, electricity did not travel so safely through wires. Thankfully electricity travels safe and sound through wires protected with wire insulation. 

Wire Insulation

           Wire Insulation at Falconer Electronics

The explosive growth of electrical products over a century ago drastically increased the use of wires carrying electricity. Unfortunately, uncovered or exposed wires caused extremely dangerous situations. Exposed wires led to electrical shocks or fire. However, a brilliant move was made to protect and strengthen wires by adding a non-conductive cover. Applying Wire Insulation to protect wires greatly reduced potential hazards and threats. 

 Wire Insulation Evolution

Taking a look at wire insulation in the 19th century, here is a cool video on porcelain insulators that were used according to the Thomas Edison Tech Center:

Due to increasing demand, electrical products required an affordable and efficient solution to protect wires. Also with the early growth in popularity of wires, a wire harness assembly became necessary. It is much more efficient harnessing loose wires as opposed to allowing a free for all. Especially as electrical consumer goods and the auto industry exploded in the early 20th century.

Insulation serves as a non-conductor that separates and protects wires within a harness assembly. Especially since it is a nasty world out there with many detrimental elements that can cause harm to naked wires. To save the day, an insulated jacket protects each wire from detrimental elements keeping the wire cozy and safe. Insulation protects the wire from water and moisture as well as extreme heat or cold. 

Thankfully wire insulation today is much more efficient, effective and affordable.  For example, thermoplastic high heat-resistant nylon coated wire (THHN wire) is low cost, light weight, and an extremely popular wire insulation option.

To learn more about Ground Straps and the Wire Harness Assembly process, please click on the links below:

To learn about LED Lighting – click on the following blog posts: LED 101, The History of LEDs, Environmental Benefits Using LED Lighting, Falconer Electronics Produces LED Lighting, and Lighting with LEDs vs. Incandescent

Lastly, let’s get social. Please check out our Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest for more electronic info.

 

Wire Harness Manufacturing

Wire Harness Manufacturing Since 1985

Wire Harness Manufacturing is our foundation and in our bloodlines since 1985. The Team at Falconer Electronics, Inc (FEI) takes tremendous pride manufacturing amazing products for our customers. As a Custom Wire Harness Manufacturer, assembling and delivering superior product is our mission. Actually, we are wire harness geeks so we call it our Crusade.

FEI Steps for Wire Harness Manufacturing Success:

  1. Safety First!
  2. Awesome Customers
  3. Quality
  4. Speed
  5. Team Work

Our wire harness assemblies can be found all over the country on a daily basis:

  • As you walk around Walmart or Lowe’s, you will walk past our wire harnesses found in commercial power strips and electrical fixture displays.
  • If you drove past a semi truck today (or if one went flying past you), our wires may have been waving to you.
  • Our wires can be found in a dentist office – (not during a root canal – we refuse to contribute to that type of pain).
  • Your heating unit.
  • If you rode on a train today, our wires may have been also riding along with you.
  •  Also our proprietary line of work lights and trouble lights

Tips for Wire Harness Manufacturing 

With our “Wire Harness Wednesdays” blog posts, we share helpful information on what it takes to build a high-quality wire harness assembly. In previous posts, we recently discussed Crimping Wires, Crimping Tools, and Wire Harness Safety.

Most importantly we emphasize Quality and Accuracy. Especially since safety and customer satisfaction is an absolute top priority. As a result, our customers consistently provide near-perfect review scores.

Wire Harness Manufacturing

Wire Harness Manufacturing at Falconer Electronics

Tips for successful Wire Harness Manufacturing include:

  • It is important that the insulation fully enters and extends past the crimp tabs
  • Multiple wires inside the insulation must extend past the insulation crimp tabs
  • Crimp does not break the insulation
  • Crimp fully wraps around and supports insulation (also cannot expose an opening greater than 45 degrees)
  • Insulation not punctured to the point where tabs penetrate the conductor or wires
  • Crimp tabs contact with top of the insulation
  • Insulation flush with the crimped wire
  • Identify damaged insulation that reveals wires
  • Wire, connector, assembly process, as well as insulation, are all compatible

Next week look for our “Wire Harness Wednesday” blog post as we begin a series on Wire Insulation. The series includes the history and evolution since the 19th century up to today.

In addition, to learn about LED Lighting – click on the following blog posts: LED 101, The History of LEDs, Environmental Benefits Using LED Lighting, Falconer Electronics Produces LED Lighting, and  LEDs vs. Incandescent

Lastly, Check out our Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest for more electronic info.

Wiring Harness UL Traceability Program

The Wiring Harness UL Traceability Program allows manufacturers of finished goods to accept wiring harnesses manufactured off site or at a third party. Maintaining supply chain integrity while adhering to end user sourcing requirements is the key. UL offers a traceability program that determines components consistency due to UL requirements for compliance. This program helps to bring safer products to market since it follows UL standards. It also ensures the confidence that outsourced products are meeting safety standards and requirements.

Wiring Harness UL Traceability Program

Custom manufacturers are faced with many challenges. Being a part of the supply chain for an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) comes with a significant responsibility. Especially with electrical products. Manufacturers in the supply chain have a social responsibility to produce high quality and safe products. In turn, the Wiring Harness UL Traceability Program provides the OEM with confidence while mitigating the risks associated with the introduction of non-compliant cable into their products.

As a wire harness manufacturer for over 30 years, Falconer Electronics works closely with customers to ensure UL standards and requirements on electrical products and assemblies. Having obtained numerous UL listings for electronic products, the team at Falconer Electronics fully understands the rigorous process and necessary requirements. We also provide the necessary support and guidance that you need to successfully build your products.

UL Offers Three Traceability Programs

UL offers three options of traceability for wire and cable distributors and processors to ensure supply chain integrity:

  1. Certified Processed Wire and Respooled Wire
  2. Recognized Component Processed Wire and Respooled Wire
  3. Recognized Component Wiring Harnesses

UL requires minimal to no testing with obtaining certification and quick turnaround. Also UL clients have immediate use of standard labels.

For more information about the Wiring Harness UL Traceability Program, please click here:

http://industries.ul.com/blog/ul-traceability-programs-support-supply-chain-integrity-and-end-user-sourcing-requirements

To learn more about Ground Straps and the Wire Harness Assembly process, please click on the links below:

Let’s get social. Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest for more electronic info.

Crimping Tools

With over 30 years of wire harness assembly experience, Falconer Electronics has accumulated an impressive arsenal of crimping tools. When crimping wires and cables for our customers, utilizing the proper tools allows our team to execute jobs with accuracy and efficiency. Also in a safe manner. 

Wire harness safety is crucial. Even though we are commemorating May being National Electrical Safety Month, we focus on safety 12 months a year (check out our post on participating in the SHARP program). Using proper tools for crimping, measuring, inspecting and cutting wires are all key ingredients to our long term sustainability.

Many projects require crimping wires by hand. When producing wire assemblies for prototypes and small volume runs, handheld crimping tools sure come in…..handy. It is extremely important to look over the entire assembly when selecting the proper tool. For example, a basic pliers-style crimp tool can fit various wires, connectors and terminals. Of course matching the right size tool is imperative when terminating wires.

Molex is a global leader in manufacturing of high quality electrical tools, components and equipment. Falconer Electronics has relied on Molex for many years as a trusted source and supplier of crimping tools. The team at Molex declares they solve challenges “through our collaborative process, we take a multi-dimensional approach that brings together engineers, product designers and manufacturing to ensure the design cycle is smooth and seamless.” Below is one of the “Bad Boys” from Molex that our team loves to use when tackling tough projects:

Crimping Tools

         Crimping Tools at Falconer Electronics  

Pneumatic Crimping Tool

Not interested in crimping wires by hand? No problem. Pneumatic crimping tools are extremely beneficial and efficient. A pneumatic tool allows you to work hands-free being powered by air. Also these tools are fast, accurate and can drastically increase production.

We recently welcomed a new addition to our team. The Pneumatic Crimping Press pictured below is a “Plug’n Play” Pneumatic Press. Looks fierce doesn’t it? It is ready and raring to CRIMP!! Perfect for wires requiring interchangeable crimping dies:

Crimping Machine at Falconer Electronics

     Crimping Machine at Falconer Electronics

 

To learn more about Ground Straps and the Wire Harness Assembly process, please click on the links below:

You can also find us on Twitter and Google+. Continue to check out our blogs throughout every week this month for more information on Wire Harness Manufacturing!