We started selling wire and cable products over 25 years ago and customers have been asking us to cut, strip or crimp wire since the day we opened. Aside from electrical installations, it seems almost obvious that a spool of wire is going to eventually be cut to a certain length for an application. So we started letting our customers know upfront that we’ll cut, strip, crimp, solder, twist and assemble their finished product.
In the picture to the left you’ll see UL1015 PVC wire cut to about 6 inches. It’s an 18 AWG flexible hookup wire used in electronics and appliances that you can buy on our website. The red insulated flag terminal is crimped with a hand tool piece by piece and set up to fit the customer’s application. The opposite end is semi-stripped, leaving the extra piece of insulation on the wire to stop the copper strands from fraying during the shipping process. If the insulation is removed completely before shipping the product we’ll typically “tin dip” the ends in solder to hold all of the copper strands together as one.
Due to the high volume of this particular part we decided to automate the process a bit more. We bought the red insulated terminals on a reel that feeds into a crimping press with a foot pedal crimping process. The assembler inserts the wire into the terminal, presses the foot pedal for a secure connection and the crimping press automatically slides the next terminal into position. The process is about 4-5 times faster than crimping by hand, but much more expensive.
WesBell completes “in-process” quality checks after each part of the process is complete, along with a final inspection of the entire assembly. For instance, once the wire is cut and stripped on the wire cutting machine, 5% of the pieces are measured for accurate lengths. If one or more pieces do not meet the tolerance specified another lot will need to be measured and so on. Otherwise, if everything matches the data sheet, the parts move to the next step in the process.
Written by: WesBell Electronics