Flat ribbon cables

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Flat ribbon cables

Ribbon cable from CiS in high quality design

Flat ribbon cables are often used in electrical engineering. We will show you how this cable form is composed and in which industries they are used.

What is a ribbon cable?

A flat ribbon cable is a multicore cable in which, in contrast to the conventional round cable, the individual cores are arranged in a plane parallel, next to each other. The spacing (pitch) of the individual cores can vary from 0.0mm to 2.54mm, depending on the conductor cross-section. The most common pitch is 1.27 mm.

The number of cores in a ribbon cable varies from 6 to 96 cores.

For easy connection of a ribbon cable, the individual cores each have a color code that is specified by DIN IEC 62. The specified color sequence repeats after every 10 cores, depending on the number of cores. Simple versions have a standard gray tone.

Application of ribbon cables

Ribbon cables are generally used in the industry and IT sector. They are used where a fast, space-saving and simple connection of electronic components is required. These include, for example, computers, cables in telecommunications or devices that control machines. They are often used as multi-pin connections for printed circuit boards and other internal electrical assemblies.

Overview of the application areas of ribbon cables

  •  Automotive industry
  •  Mechanical engineering/automation
  • communications engineering
  • medical technology
  • household appliances
  • consumer electronics

Advantages of flat cables

Flat cables with connectors are space-saving electrical connections of electrical components. Therefore, they are particularly suitable for installation in enclosures or closed rooms. Their bendable property allows them to be adapted for use in any environment. Round cables, on the other hand, are space-consuming. Parallel ribbon cables with multiple strands are ideal for simple plug-in connections. The parallel position of the individual strands allows the cables to be contacted simply, without splicing, using a connector without the need for soldering and stripping.

Customized flat cables and solutions from professional cable assemblers

Copper and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are most commonly used to make flat cables. Copper cables are covered with a core sheath, which also serves as an outer sheath.

Upon request, we also offer shielded and extra-sheathed variants. The cutting is done by machine and accurate to the millimeter. In order to connect the flat ribbon cables with the respective flat ribbon connectors, we use the common cut-clamp technique. In this process, the flat cable line is inserted into a connector, with appropriately arranged insulation displacement contacts, and crimped with special pliers or a crimping tool in a single operation. This means that all cores are simultaneously contacted gas-tight with the contacts of the connector. As a rule, we use standardized Sub-D plugs or plugs according to DIN 41651.

Have you planned a demanding project in the field of electronics? As a manufacturer of flat ribbon cables, we take over the assembly on the basis of your individual wishes. Here we take care of the planning, the purchase of the cables by the meter as well as the careful final inspection.

Experience in the production of flat ribbon cables

As a professional cable assembler, we offer customized cable solutions that are manufactured using professional processing techniques. The processing of different types of flat ribbon cables includes cutting and stripping of the cable ends as well as punching and splicing. We assemble all flat ribbon cable connectors available on the market.

Would you like a standard version? Then the production is usually done by machine. For individual solutions, we plan and design the suitable cables for you in advance. We use both mechanical and manual processes to carefully produce the complex assembly.

Assembling ribbon cables: This is how it works

The cut-and-clamp technique makes it possible to connect cables with D-Sub connectors or other connectors without stripping the insulation. The connection contacts of the connectors are specially designed for the flat cables. In order not to have to strip each strand individually, The advantage of using FBK and insulation displacement connectors is that otherwise time-consuming preparatory work such as stripping, splicing and soldering the wire ends to the connector contacts is no longer necessary.

There are also individual solutions for flat ribbon connectors, which are manufactured according to the cable. The specifications vary and are related to criteria such as current strength, voltage force or protection against external influences. We will gladly assemble your desired connectors depending on your requirements.

Twinax ribbon cable from CiS

A special feature is the Twinax cable assembled by CiS and developed by the manufacturer 3M. It is particularly suitable for transmitting high-frequency signals. The high-performance Twinax ribbon cable has special properties. It is thin, flat, foldable and longitudinally shielded. With CiS you will find one of the few cable assemblers worldwide who are able to process these innovative cables. In Europe, we are currently the only cable assemblers on the market offering this technology.

Special forms of cable connections

A special form is the flat round cable, where a flat ribbon cable or a flat twisted pair cable is rolled up and covered with a round outer jacket. To connect to an insulation displacement connector, the cable ends are stripped, the flat cable end is uncoiled and connected to the insulation displacement connector with a plug.  On request, these round flat cables are also available shielded.

In addition, twisted-pair cable variants exist. In the so-called twisted pair cables, two adjacent wires are twisted together. In this case, the ribbon cable is divided alternately into twisted and parallel core sections. With this technique it is possible to avoid unwanted interference between independent signals.

CiS assembles all common and special forms of flat cables. Would you like to learn more? For further information please contact our technical consultants.