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ATRON / Assemblies  / Cable Assemblies & Wire Harnesses: What is the Difference?

Cable Assemblies & Wire Harnesses: What is the Difference?

Many people think cable assemblies and wire harnesses are the same thing, but that is not the case. While, these products are similar in functionality theare two entirely different products. It is important to understand the difference so the best outcome for any given project can be achieved. 

Cables and Wires 

The first thing that should be noted is in the first word of each product cable and a wire.  A cable is two or more wires braided or bonded together. While a wire is just a single strand of conductive material, usually copper or aluminum. 


What is a Wire Harness 

Now that we know the difference between a cable and a wire. Let’s review what constitutes a wire harness. The most simple form of a wire harness is a well-organized combination of wires and cables with a covering or sheath.  The covering is designed to protect the wires and cables from the external environment, be it hot, cold, or wet conditions. 


Ultimately, a wire harness is a great low-cost solution for many electronics as it is ideal for creating reliable, organized internal connection for any given device. For a more complete break down on wire harnesses visit our main wire harness page. 


What is a Cable Assembly? 

While cable assemblies may be contained inside a wire harness, they often fly solo. Cable assemblies are usually designed to withstand the environment they will be used in; For example, some cable assemblies are exposed to excessive amounts of water. In such scenario a water-sealed cable would be used. This is usually accomplished through an overmolding process. 

Cable assemblies come in all shapes and sizes to suit any challenge, be it heat, friction, moisture, abrasion, compression, and or other obstacles. 


To learn more about cable assemblies visit Atron’s cable assemblies page.


The Difference 

In conclusion, the difference between cable assemblies and harnesses comes down to what you need. If you want a low-cost reliable solution to keep a complex system organized a wire harness is for you. On the other hand, if you need a reliable connection especially in particular hazardous conditions than a cable assembly is the way to go.

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