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Understanding Molded Cable Assemblies

April 5, 2021 10:23 AM

Most connectors can be “field terminated” by an OEM without special tooling. So why consider an overmolded cable assembly? Many engineers have found that molded cable assemblies offer several benefits and are feasible for most applications, even if the volumes are low. In this article, Switchcraft/Conxall will break down some of these benefits.

Superior Water Resistance

Most sealed circular connector designs feature o-rings and coupling mechanisms to ensure a watertight seal between connectors. This can protect the inside of an enclosure, but it does not protect the connector itself since water can enter from the rear of the connector, causing a failure. Though many field-terminated connectors do provide a watertight seal on the rear of the connector, actually achieving this seal depends on proper cable selection and installation. A molded cable assembly, on the other hand, creates a permanent seal between the overmold and the connector and cable jacket. Techniques employed by Switchcraft/Conxall such as the use of a premold and appropriately sized mold shut-offs can typically accommodate a greater variety of cables.

Superior Flex Relief and Strain Relief

One of the most common points of failure for cable assemblies is intermittence due to damage to wiring, especially near the point where a connector is terminated. This can be due to frequent bending of the cable or strain from pulling on the cable. A molded cable assembly is the ideal way to combat both of these issues: the overmold provides additional strain relief and a flex relief can be incorporated into the mold, preventing extreme bends.

Superior Tamper Resistance

Many field installable connectors feature screw-on backshells for easy installation, however this also makes it easy to tamper with in the field. A molded cable assembly is permanently sealed and cannot easily be taken apart.

Cleaner Appearance

One of the major reasons customers choose a molded cable assembly is the clean, finished appearance. A field terminated cable assembly may not provide the same sleek, finished appearance of a molded cable assembly. It may even be possible to have the OEM’s logo molded into a factory molded cable assembly

Cost and Minimum

The biggest reason many OEMs choose not to use a molded cable assembly is the tooling cost. Every connector requires specially designed tooling. However Switchcraft/ Conxall have tooling available for their connectors and can offer factory molded cable assemblies without any tooling cost. In the case of and their US-based factories with a flexible manufacturing environment allow custom molded cable assemblies in quantities as low as 100pcs.

About Switchcraft/ Conxall

In addition to low minimums which typically do not require NRE, Switchcraft/ Conxall has a skilled team of engineers to support customers in areas such as material selection and help with common design issues. They can provide a finished cable assembly, including purchasing and terminating power supplies and connectors from other manufacturers on the opposite end of the cable. Visit to learn more or contacts for help with your project today.

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