A wire harness assembly is a collection of wires and/or cables held together with conduit tubing, straps, or cable ties. Alternately known as cable harnesses or cable assemblies, they can send data and give power to the device or system they are connected to. The grouping of these wire provides an easier time to tell which single wires should be connected to which ends — it can still be helpful to label the wires anyway.
Identifying Individual Wire Harness Cables
Cable harness manufacturers label wires to convey different types of information. Types of labels include:
- Barcodes: there are many formats of barcodes available that can provide engineers with different information in a simple, scannable form.
- Text: wire harness manufacturers normally include date codes, ID numbers, and other similar information in the form of text so that engineers can find and understand the information quickly without having to look up any signals or scan barcodes.
- Certification codes: wire harness assemblies are labeled with these codes if they are to be used in UL-certified products.
There are many cases in which building a wire harness assembly composed of differently colored wires is enough for engineers to differentiate between them. Nonetheless, a color used by one business may have an entirely different meaning compared to the same color used by another. This can create problems if the bundle needs to be wired into the other business’ product. To prevent this kind of confusion, it is much safer for wire harness manufacturers to label their wire bundles with numbers, images, words, and barcodes.
Types of Wire Bundle Labels
There are a number of ways cable harness manufacturers may label a wire harness assembly. These methods vary depending on the intended use of the bundle. Commonly used labeling methods include:
- Thermal transfer self-laminating (THS) wraparound film labels: these labels are generally made from either polyester or vinyl. THS wraparound film labels have a specific area for printing information onto, as well as a clear tail that wraps around the wire bundle.
- Self-laminating laser printable film labels: these labels are a polyester, low-cost option with a UV-resistant coat. These labels can be used both indoors and outdoors.
- Thermal transfer printable heat shrink wire marker sleeves: These labels are used for military-grade projects. They provide extreme durability and long-lasting identification.
Manufacture and Label Your Wire Bundles in One Service
If you are a company looking to order a wire harness assembly, you could take steps to label it on your own. However, there are a number of advantages businesses gain by working with a manufacturer that can make and label the bundles for them. Allowing a manufacturer to make and label a harness is more efficient than having to process it twice, or hand it off to a third party. Changing a label’s format or content is also much easier when the original manufacturer is the one making the changes.
At Star Engineering, we provide a full-service assembly process that includes the labeling of your wire harness assembly. Cut down on time and cost by contacting Star Engineering today.