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Wiring Loom History Fact File

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An example of a SIC Ltd wiring loom board

Wiring Loom History Fact File

Wire looms are a key component of our business here at SIC. And, while we, and our clients, interchange the terms we use to describe a loom / cable assembly / wiring harness…for some the terminology alone can be a tad confusing.

So, in celebration of the wiring loom (and, to make things a little simpler) we’ve compiled a bit of a fact sheet about wiring looms. We hope you find it interesting.

What is a wiring loom?

A wire loom or wiring harness or cable assembly is a collection of wires and cables that distribute electrical signals in the most efficient way possible. The cables and wires are linked together using straps, cable ties, sleeves, electrical tape, conduit, and weave.

History of wiring looms

Wire Looms were created to offer a solution to the ever-increasing amounts of cables that manufactures were using to connect electrical components in their products.

The automobile sectors were early adopters of wire looms. Vehicles builds pre 1920s were originally designed using individual cables that were exposed within the engine bays, these cables were subject to wear and tear making it a costly expense to the customer to replace.

Engineers found that binding the many wires and cables into a wire loom allowed the wires and cables to be better secured against the adverse effects of vibrations, abrasions, and moisture.

The Aerospace industries were also using masses of single wires in their aircraft builds that would stretch over several kilometers if fully extended. By combining the wires into large scale looms it allowed for a more cost effective build and a safer aeroplane.

The 1920s also saw a boom in electrical household goods; steam powered products were being replaced in many homes by electrical white goods – washing machines, Irons, fridges, vacuum cleaners all designed using many small components and connected by complex individual wiring systems. Manufacturing these products for mass production was often a timely and a costly process and by introducing pre-assembled wiring looms, manufacturers offered a timelier more cost effective build.

As technology advanced the need for more bespoke wiring solutions were required for technology such as telephones, televisions, film projectors and gramophones in the 1930s. Wiring loom designs needed to be greatly reduced in size and weight to accommodate these compact builds.

By the 1940s, military technology had advanced and electronic components were now standard fittings in designs of tanks, fighter planes, warships and field communication devices. Military assembly lines were hastily assembled with the demand on speed of production.

The 1950s saw growth in the manufacturing of electric heat, air conditioning, water heating, and cooling systems. Heating and cooling elements were housed together with accompanying components in full box build assemblies. The potential for electrical corrosion was great in these types of builds so wiring looms had to be designed to precision using protective shielding and terminals to eliminate any possible hazard.

History of SIC

SIC (or Swansea Industrial Components as it was then known) started suppling electronic manufacturers with electrical wiring looms in the early 60’s. Originally, we produced wiring harnesses and cable assemblies for the white goods and gaming sectors, soon expanding and diversifying our manufacturing capabilities into new product applications and new sectors.

Today we produce a variety of looms ranging from 25 millimeter interface connections to large-scale 25 meter trailer wiring looms. And, while the technology, equipment and processes we use have evolved over the past 50 years, our ethos of manufacturing excellence has remained the same. So too has our commitment to finding a fit-for-purpose manufacturing solution to ensure total customer satisfaction.

So, whether it’s a specialist clean area facility for the medical profession or a dedicated factory unit for complete machine box builds, we have the infrastructure in place to give our clients exactly the manufacturing support they need.

Today SIC serves over 450 customers across 24 sectors in the UK and worldwide. We manufacture wiring harnesses, cable assemblies and wiring looms – in addition to panel wiring, box builds and full machine builds – for a variety of market leaders in a wide array of industries, including aerospace, automotive, HVAC, leisure, medical, transport, catering, industrial, and gaming.

If you would like to find out more about SIC Wiring looms or would like a FREE Quote for your company then please contact our sales engineering team they will be happy to help.

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