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Flat Cable Assembly : The Ribbon Unravelled

The ribbon-shaped design of thin parallel wires insulated with specially designed outer jackets offers flexibility and durability in applications that require constant movement or in situations where space needs to be conserved.

Flat Cable Assembly Traditionally ribbon cables have been used to interface storage drives such as hard drives and CD ROM drives inside computers. Requirements for ribbon cables has since evolved into more high tech applications in the scientific instruments, aerospace, military & security equipment and medical devices.

Choosing Ribbon Cable

Whatever your industry or requirements for ribbon cable, there are a few points to consider :  

  • Pitch: Pitch refers to the spacing of the conductors contained within your ribbon cable. Common pitches are between 0.5 mm and 2.5 mm, but the spacing will depend on your exact ribbon cable requirements.
  • Extreme Temperatures: Standard ribbon cable will operate in normal temperatures, but if you need ribbon cable to operate seamlessly in extreme temperatures, you may need to consider protecting the cable.
  • Flexibility: Standard ribbon cable is extremely flexible.
  • Longevity: As with most electrical components it is always advisable to choose ribbon cable that has been thoroughly tested and rated for a long life cycle.

Ribbon Cable Connectors: What you Need to Know

Another crucial point to consider when looking at ribbon cable is the different types of connectors available. If your ribbon cable assembly is custom built it will need to conform to the relevant connector type in order to work effectively.

Popular types of connectors available suitable for ribbon cable include:

  • D-Subminiature Connector: This type of connector is typically used for serial ports and printer ports.
  • DIN41612 connector: An example of where this type of connector is used is on Eurocard buses.
  • PCB transition headers: This type of connector has two rows of pins, it is designed with the intention of it been soldered directly onto a PCB.

Outsourcing Ribbon Assembly to the Experts

By outsourcing your cable assemby, manufacturers can benefit from cost effective in-depth expertise and experience to build your custom designed ribbon cable assembly.

Hunter Cable Assembly Ltd, has been manufacturing cable assemblies for over 30 years and with production facilities in the UK and is able to provide a complete service from design, drawing, prototyping through to full production volume.

Visit our Ribbon Cable Page or call us on 01189 325 120 to discuss your ribbon assembly requirements.