Wire Processing Techniques span a number of assembly categories. In this posting we cover some of the processing methods used in assembling a communication cable.
We will focus on a few cable types that represent the wider variety of communications cable assemblies and share processing methods.
Coax cable generally has several layers including an outer jacket, woven metal shield and dielectric insulation over a center conductor. Most applications require two or three stage stripping. This wire is normally crimped into a round coaxial connector. Stripping specifications are specified by the connector manufacturer to match the connector. The connectors are loose piece and have a pin that is crimped to the center conductor and the housing is placed over the wire and crimped on. The trend of coaxial cable is consistent with other wire, that is the range is increasing. We are seeing micro coax cables and at the other end large cable such as LMR400 for large telecomm installations such as cell towers.
Wire Cut to Length.
As this wire is typically stripped in two or three stages in an offline process (see Wire Strip), wire is separately cut to length.
As mentioned above, this wire is normally stripped in two of three stages in a fixed strip length that is specified by the connector manufacturer. These multiple stages are processed using a programmable unit which can process multiple strips in sequence. Or separating the two or three processes onto separately adjusted stripping heads. See illustrations below.
Carpenter Model 74
Crimping coaxial connectors is also a two step process. A terminal is crimped to the center conductor. The connector housing is assembled over the wire and crimped to the insulation. The crimp is normally hex shaped. Hand or bench equipment for loose piece terminals is used to crimp both the center conductor and connector housing.
Automated processing of coaxial wire is possible for high volume applications.
RJ11 and RJ45 Cables
Cut and Strip
Cut and strip of RJ11 or RJ45 is possible. This wire is either flat (as pictured below) or round. Flat or radius blades are required to provide the desired nick and scrape free results.
Inner conductors and the outer jacket (round cable) can also be stripped stripped using rotary or blade style of wire strippers as illustrated below. Results are application dependent as some wire is irregular in shape.
Carpenter Model 72C
Carpenter Model 78
Modular plugs are loose piece and require a linear action crimp head to crimp (Insulation displacement) modular plugs. The crimp heads are designed to process all leads at one time. Crimping can be done on the CS300 as pictured above or a pneumatic powered crimper like the SSC below.
Cut and Strip
A cut and strip machine as described for the RJ11/45 wire above can also be used to remove the outer jacket of a multi-conductor wire. Radius blades may be required for some applications. For larger volume applications, wire processing machines are available where the outer jacket and inner conductors are processed at the same time.
In addition to the outer jacket stripping using a bench top rotary as described above, larger cross sections and longer strip lengths may require a heavy duty wire stripper as illustrated below.
Crimping can be loose piece using the CS300 or SSC as described above or reel form terminals on strip.
As shown by the above applications, there are cross over techniques to these three examples. And by extension, other similar communication wire types. Finding the proper mix of processing methods is important to optimize a specific customer requirement. And that requires a partner that has the broad application knowledge and connections to produce the desired result. WireProcess Specialties is that partner. We have the resources and partnerships you need. Connect Your Way to WireProcess Specialties.