Flat Cable Harness For Vehicle

Mr Antti Backman, Chief Design Officer, New Cable Corporation writes about the effect Flat Cable Harness has on radio controlled vehicles:

“I have played around with radio controlled (RC) vehicles for few tens of years. For a long time I thought that these cars, tanks and aeroplanes are crappy; brushed electric motors and small combustion motors combined to Megahertz frequency range radio controls with modest transmission power. Within last ten years I have had to change my opinion on these devices, that have turned to magnificent pieces of gadgets and I love those.

Technology development has brought brushless motors and lithium-polymer batteries along with powerful Gigahertz frequency range radio controls to these devices. One thing has still been bothering me. The cables and the connectors. Especially the connectors have been annoying as the high amperage cables require sufficient connection. These connectors tend to be very bulky and difficult to use. One problematic thing with these cables and connectors is the heat generated by the high amperage. The cooling after the usage is also very slow.

When we introduced Shielded Flat Flexible Cables (SFFC) in 2016 we had plans to use those not only in automation electronics but also in vehicles. The last two years have been more than hectic, I have bought drones and learned how to fly with them. While assembling the drones I noted that it would be quite cool to use SFFC also on flying things. I had already “flattened” one RC car and the second one was even more integrated in terms of cable harnesses.

The first “flattened” car on the left. The individual flat cables are pushing maximum 120 amperes through. These cars were presented at IDTechEx Berlin 2018

The “more flattened” RC car was introduced to premium car manufacturers during the late autumn. I was quite happy to learn how the engineers and the designers were surprised about the weight difference the two RC car cabling had (we had also the “stock” car with round cables with us). The round cable set weighted 25 grams and our custom made flat harness 2 grams. We gave the opportunity for the designers and the engineers to drive these cars and after each “race” I noted the long lasting heat from the round cable car.

Here is the “more flattened” RC car. On the left are the removed round cables that weigh 25 grams and in the forefront the the flat cable harness that weigh 2 grams. The motor cabling is separate just to show what are the possibilities with flat cables. Flat connectors (green) can be seen on the car.

I have to admit that I am very thrilled from that late autumn event. In real size vehicles our cables really make the difference. It seems that we are going to save the world, one cable at a time.

Mr Antti Backman, Chief Design Officer, New Cable Corporation

P.S. Modern Megahertz radios are actually very nice, thanks to softwares and transmission power. Huge distances. ;-)”

7 Layers of Flat

As we demonstrate our Shielded Flat Flexible Cable (SFFC) to potential customers, we almost always hear the same questions. How can a cable this flat have have all the advantages and efficiency it is claimed to have? How do all the qualities fit in just 0.173 mm?

We decided to open up the structure in more details to give you a better understanding of our amazing product.

In a search for the optimal structure we have tried several paths. However, throughout the process the main requirements have been same:

  • High signal to noise ratio
  • High power carrying capacity
  • Flexibility
  • High EMI protection

The thickness of our SFFC was not always that important, but there is a definite relationship between flexibility and thickness. When you need flexibility, the cable needs to be thin.

All the 7 layers in our SFFC have a functional purpose. The outer coatings protect the cable from harsh usage environments and conditions. Shielding is used for EMI protection. The insulator controls the distance between signal traces and shielding. The conductor material is chosen in regard to conductivity and flexibility.

Other relevant reasons for the selection of the materials:

  • Manufacturing process needs to be controllable
  • Pricing of the materials needs to be stable
  • Materials need to have predictable life-time
  • SFFC and the materials need to be compatible with existing applications (and connectors)
  • Layer structure has to be lightweight
  • We wish to reduce the amount of plastics used

SFFC reference connector is Hirose FH12 -series. Stay also tuned for our own connector, which will be launched on early 2019.

Superior Resource Efficiency with SFFC – Shielded Flat Flexible Cable

The use of plastics in under revolution – this non-degradable material manufactured from oil has faced and will continue to face even stronger demands to be traded into more environmentally friendly materials. For the plastics used, its recyclability will play a major role.

Environmental concerns are growing in importance and as any modern responsible business, New Cable Corporation has committed to create solutions that represent not only the best technology but also actively reduce the burden caused for the environment.

In comparing the traditional Round Cable and New Cable Corporations SFFC cable, the savings in materials, weight and space usage are concrete.

With its new Shielded Flat Flexible Cable – standard industrial cable product, New Cable Corporation has been able to reduce the use of plastics by 98% and total materials by 92% in comparison to traditional round cables of the same capacity. Whereas a traditional round cable weights 90g per meter, our SFFT weighs 6,7 g/ meter. 

Shielded Flat Flexible Cables are now for sale. In addition to standard cables, New Cable Corporation also customizes OEM solutions for any needs your product development might have for cables.

Do you use cables in your products? Join the plastic revolution with us by contacting sales@newcablecorporation.com.