An Electrical Cable Assembly, according to the most frequently provided definition of the term, is a string of wires or cables which are used for the purpose of transmitting energy (in the form of operating currents) and also transmitting signals and information. The construction of an Electrical Cable Assembly involves (in the most basic terms) the cables being bound or fixed together by clamps, cable lacing, electrical tape, cable ties, a weave of extruded yarn, or even a combination of any of the above materials used for binding.
As is the case with many processes in modern industry, there are some aspects of the creation of Electrical Cable Assemblies that can be automated. However, unlike most industrial production processes, machine automated tools can only be used in the construction of Electrical Cable Assemblies for pre-production tasks such as using a specialised cutting machine to cut individual wires to desired and required lengths; crimping terminals onto one or both sides of the wires; using a soldering machine to solder the ends of the wires; twisting the wires into a required position or shape; and the partial plugging of wires pre-fitted with terminals into their connector housings.
However, although these parts of the process of creating Electrical Cable Assemblies can be done by machines, the vast part of the construction process is still carried out manually by hand and is likely to remain so for many years to come as the rest of the process incorporates several intricate and different processes. Such processes, such as the routing of individual wires through sleeves; the crimping (the term given to the joining of two pieces of metal) of terminals onto wires; the fastening of strands with clamps, tape and cable ties; and the insertion of one sleeve into another all require the intervention of a human and therefore are not able to be automated.
Electrical Cable Assemblies are arguably most commonly utilised in construction machinery and also in automobiles since these assemblies are able to provide many ultimately beneficial advantages over the use of loose wires and cables. For example, in the case of spacecraft, aircraft and automobiles, there are lengths of wires exceeding several kilometers in length. However, when these considerable collections of wires are bound together, into a single Electrical Cable Assembly for example, they can be effectively secured against any potential adverse effects from the moisture, vibrations and abrasions which would otherwise prove harmful to them.