Cable Assembly vs Wire Harness: What’s the Difference?

Cable assembly and wire harness are sometimes confused with each other for being the exact same thing. This confusion is understandable as many professionals can use multiple products that do around the same basic functions interchangeably. Even though this can be the case, these two products are different from one another.

Cable Assembly vs Wire Harness

Before discussing the difference between the two systems, it’s important to determine what a cable is and what a wire is. A cable is often two or more wires that run together to a system. They are usually bound together, which is why they tend to look like a bunch of wires. A wire is a single strand of material that conducts electricity. Harness assemblies manufacturer usually make these out of aluminium or copper.

Cable Assembly

Cable assemblies are a group of cables or wires that are wrapped in an outer layer of a different product to keep the cables together. The purpose of cable assemblies is to keep wires and cables organized. These cable assemblies usually serve a similar function to wire harnesses, but are designed for completely different environments. Most of the time, they are made from heavy-duty materials like vinyl, thermoplastic rubber, or shrink-wrapped thermoplastic.

The key difference between cable assembly and wire harness are the environmental factors. Cable harness manufacturers tend to make cable assemblies more durable to encounter tougher environments. Cable assemblies come in several shapes and sizes. The protective outer layer is usually built to shield the interior wires from moisture, friction, heat, compression, and any other hazards that might become available. Cable assemblies may be the more expensive option, but they will keep the product protected in the most extreme conditions.

Wire Harness

Wire harnesses are more of a basic exterior coating that covers the smaller wires and cables inside. The purpose of wire harnesses is to bundle up cables and wires that are already protected by an outer layer. This essentially means that if you were to open a wire harness, you would see numerous cables with their own covers as opposed to one single wire. Wire harness manufacturers have been making wire harnesses out of thermoplastic and thermoset material for years. These materials will help protect the wires from environmental conditions.

Wire harnesses are the lowest priced electrical solution for keeping your electrical systems neatly arranged. When you bundle wires or cables together, you’re creating a neatly organized area that is easier to work with in the future. Since wire harnesses cost less, they are only used as an organizational tool and for mildly protecting wires and cables from certain weather conditions. With Star Engineering, you’ll get both options at great prices and assistance along the way to help you find the best fit.

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