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Connector and Cable Assembly Customization Options

Posted by Rick Regole on November 08, 2021 | Updated on November 8, 2021
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Custom1Scour the web for a reliable interconnect solutions provider, and you’re sure to turn up dozens of manufacturers, each with a catalog of turnkey solutions to meet your application needs. While many product lines offer the performance and reliability to align with your specifications, there are certain situations that warrant a customized connector and cable assembly solution — especially if standard parts fail to meet the demands of an application.

Customizing a connector and cable assembly gives product teams a variety of options for how to enhance the performance of a solution. However, the benefits go far beyond performance alone.

Benefits of a Customized Connector and Cable Assembly:

  • Increase product aesthetics/appeal
  • Improve safety profile
  • Lower product costs
  • Add value and ROI
  • Extend shelf life
  • Meet unique application demands
  • Ensure reliability
  • Improve user experience

Here are just some of the many ways product teams can modify elements of a connector and cable assembly to better suit their needs or build an interconnect solution from scratch.

Customizable Connector & Cable Assembly Elements

Mechanical Features

Design details that are specific to how cables and connectors are adjoined.

  • Pin sequence
  • Keying
  • Locking mechanisms
  • Backshells

Connector Shape & Orientation

The literal shape of the connector head, which can be customized to fit into tight spaces or unique device designs.

  • Circular connectors
  • Rectangular connectors
  • Straight overmold
  • Right angle overmold

Mount Styles

How a connector and cable assembly is affixed to a device (such as a computer or appliance).

  • Panel mount
  • Free-hanging mount
  • Board Mount

Coupling Styles

How one connector end mechanically joins with another connector end.

  • Quick connect (Plastic)
  • Snaplock
  • Threaded (Metal)
  • Bayonet
  • Push-pull

Terminal Bonds

The method used to adjoin a wire to a wire or a wire to a terminal.

  • Crimped
  • Soldered

Wire Gauge

The diameter of the wire, which determines the amount of electricity the wire can carry safely and the amount of resistance present in an electric circuit.

  • 10
  • 12
  • 14
  • 16
  • 18
  • 20
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 26
  • 28

Number of Contacts

The pins and sockets found on each connector end that fit together to complete an electrical connection.

  • 2 through 12
  • 14
  • 18
  • 20

Contact Materials

Typically a type of metal that determines the conductivity of the cable and connector and, thus, the strength of the electrical current.

  • Silver alloys
  • Gold
  • Platinum
  • Carbon
  • Niobium

Insulation Materials

Materials used to prevent an electrical current from coming into contact with other wires, equipment, or users.

  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
  • Polyethylene (PE)
  • Polypropylene (PP)
  • Polyurethane (PUR)
  • Chlorinated Polyethylene (CPE)
  • Nylon
  • Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR)
  • Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE)

Overmolding Materials

Materials used in an injection molding process to permanently combine a cable and connector into one single, seamless part.

  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
  • Polypropylene (PP)
  • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)
  • Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR)
  • Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU)
  • Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT)

Get the guide: Everything You Need to Know About Overmolded Cables.

Aesthetic Properties

Details that enhance the appearance, installation, and user experience of a connector and cable assembly.

  • Color
  • Ergonomics
  • Specialized packaging
  • Miniaturization

Performance Properties

Design elements that physically enhance how a connector and cable assembly performs in a specific environment or application.

  • Mechanical durability
  • Temperature extremes
  • Ruggedness/strength
  • Tamper proof
  • Water resistance
  • Chemical resistance

Limitless Design Options

Product teams have a ton of flexibility when determining the best solution for their project. In some cases, a fully customized connector and cable assembly is best. In other situations, teams can save time and money by re-engineering an existing product. Either way, the best approach is to work with a cable and connector manufacturer with in-house engineering capabilities.

Buyer's Guide iCONN Systems

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