Wiring Harness News WHN Nov-Dec 2018

• Wire Wisdom • Octoberfest • WHMA - Wired In • Profile of Entrepreneur • Amazing Race Continues • The Case of the Rusty Sensor • How Private Labels Can Benefit Your Business • Wire Labeling: Making the Case for Print Automation November December 2018 Automatic Coax & Cable By Joe Tito Wiring Harness News ______________________________ Humble beginnings. That’s a recur- ring theme in the Wire Harness News Company Profiles. This installment is certainly no different as we highlight Automatic Coax & Cable in Sanford, FL. I met with Gary Martinet on a re- cent hot September day. Gary, along with his wife Glenda, own and man- age the business, and Gary shared their story of happenstance. Back in 1986, Gary was selling me- chanical screw machine parts. He had played on the University of Central Florida golf team and was teaching golf on the side. One of his students was also a friend and local business owner. One day he asked him, “Mike, what’s your biggest headache - what do you lack in good supply?” Mike quickly replied that he had no reli- able local source for cable assem- blies. Gary wasn’t quite sure what he meant by ‘cable assemblies’ but he plugged that in the back of his mind. A few months later, Gary was cruising local garage sales looking for toys for his kids. He came up dry, but as he was walking away from his last stop, something caught his eye. In the back of the garage were sev- eral pieces of equipment, all nicely covered. He asked the owner what it was and she told him it was wire and cable assembly equipment. She and her husband had moved the equip- ment with them from California, and had intended to set up a cable assem- bly business in Central Florida. “Well the light went off right there. I asked her what happened, and she said that her husband had passed away.” Gary thought with her knowledge and his efforts, they could perhaps start a business together, but she declined saying she would rather just sell the equipment. “I asked her how much she would want for it. I knew I had $1,500 in the bank, and she said she would probably take $1,400.” He ran home and told his wife not to write any checks because they only had $100 in the bank. “I honestly don’t re- Assembly on one of the original Molex presses. member what she said, but she didn’t throw anything at me, and we are still together after 45 years.” Gary and some of his buddies loaded up the equipment and took it to his garage. “I looked at it and said, ‘now what?’ I mean, I didn’t have a clue.” With no manuals, all he could do was contact the manufacturer. “One of the pieces of equipment said ‘Eubanks’ so I dialed information, spoke with the manufacturer and got the number for a rep in Tampa.” For $25, he got a manual, some hands-on training, and some spacer blocks he would need to make the cables for his friend, Mike. Gary heard about a cable assembly house that had closed, and managed to track down and hire a couple of _____________ Continued on page 29 Not Your Father’s Flat Cable Innovative designs make flat cables strong candidates for round cable replacement F lat cable has been around for about 60 years. Cicoil invented the ribbon cable for IBM computers in 1956 (Figure 1). Over the decades, it has been a favorite in high-end computing, mili- tary and aerospace, robotics and mo- tion control devices. Its advantages include superior flexibility, electronic noise abatement, and packaging ef- ficiency. The limiting factor over this time has been the need for unique termination techniques—prepping for connectors has largely required hand work. Later in this article a new type of flat cable will be introduced that promises to overcome many of these production logistics issues. It was developed by Cicoil Corporation and it opens the potential for engi- neers to capitalize on flat cable ad- vantages, while utilizing the common cable prep tools and automated pro- cesses currently in use with round cables. But first, let’s take a look at some of the reasons flat cable should be considered in the design phase. Ten top reasons to use flat cables. 1. Reliability – The simplicity of flat cable with its parallel con- ductor geometry eliminates many Figure 1: Early ribbon cables in IBM computers circa 1956 of the common sources of wiring errors and malfunctions. Conduc- tors are registered one-to-one with the terminating connector or board so proper contact assign- ment is almost automatic. 2. Weight reduction – The use of flat cable often eliminates much of the conventional wire weight. Such things as redundant insu- lating materials, fillers and tapes are unnecessary. In addition, the composite flat cable construction is mechanically strong enough to eliminate the need to include large conductors for strength. The copper cross-section can thus be reduced to only that necessary to carry current loads or to satisfy voltage drop requirements. 3. Space efficiency – Elimina- tion of unnecessary insulation, fillers, and tapes reduces the bulk and physical volume of flat cables. _____________ Continued on page 21