Marking and identifying the components of wire assemblies properly is an important step in the manufacturing process. Proper identification ensures that the product reaches the required certifications, while providing practical information to the manufacturer and customer about each component of the assembly. Different types of identifying techniques, including laser marking, heat-shrinkable labels, wrap markers, and printing, all offer various options for the manufacturer to meet the client’s needs.
Laser marking is a mechanical process in which information can be placed on the wire jacketing itself as the wires are being processed. Laser marking is often done for military and aerospace applications, and must fit certain specifications. This method creates a durable and uniform label in which markings can be made along the entire length of the assembly.
Heat-shrinkable markers are a common method of identification. These sleeves, typically made of Polyolefin, can be pulled over the cable bundle and then shrunk to fit the product perfectly once heat is applied. These markers come in a variety of colors and sizes, and often feature more legible identification. Heat-shrinkable sleeves are frequently used in the manufacturing process to ensure that the assembly is installed in a proper manner.
Wrap labels are one marking method that allows lots of information to be provided in a small space. The information is printed on the wrap label then the label is applied to the cable bundle. Finally, a clear layer of protection is applied on top. Wrap labels are often used to supply instructions in the assembly process, including information on connector designation, the serial number of the product, and the cage code.
Lastly, direct marking with inkjet or epoxy printing is a method that offers excellent staying power. In inkjet printing, a printing machine takes the product in, scans the desired placement area, and distributes UV-curable ink onto the product. Similarly, epoxy printing is the application of a 2-part epoxy ink onto the product. This method offers excellent durability, and is typically used on rigid surfaces like connectors. A similar style is pad printing, in which epoxy ink is stamped onto the product. This type of printing provides exceptional detail, as well as resilience and durability.
Marking and identification methods go a long way in ensuring that each product is of the highest quality, meets necessary specifications, and comes from a reputable manufacturer. Properly identifying each component of an assembly is important, because in this industry, building reliable products is important. Making sure that components are uniquely and properly marked maintains traceability and certification. A well-marked and identified assembly is a key element of a quality assembly.
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