Our cable assembly wheelhouse — and what we don’t do


No custom cable supplier can take every type of order and run with them all successfully. Different types of cables require vastly different equipment, labor and business models to produce efficiently.

While we’ve never balked at a challenge, that’s found us working outside our comfort zone here and there, fighting to deliver a high-quality product at a reasonable price when it’s not feasible. We’ve learned what work we’re not fit for from experience.

It’s not worth your time or ours for us to pretend we’re the ideal supplier for every application under the sun. We’re not. And passing on projects that expose our weaknesses helps us focus on our strengths.

Where we excel

We’ve built our business to produce custom cables that our customers install into pieces of equipment. Power cabling and internal circuit board interfacing assemblies make up the bulk of our best work.

These cable assemblies can vary widely — discrete wire assemblies, coax, ribbon, et cetera — but we’re fully tooled for an extensive array of cable assembly types.

Most internal cabling for high-value equipment requires a custom touch. Sometimes that means building a cable from scratch with a spool of wire and some connectors. Sometimes that means outfitting a standard power block with military-grade connectors. And since we have a broad range of skills, we make a strong partner for manufacturers who need multiple different types of cable assembly.

Usually we start with one, and as the quality of our work makes an impact, we receive more and more different projects. After a few years, a manufacturer that used four different custom cable suppliers now sends all their projects to Multi-Tek, simplifying and strengthening their supply chain.

What we don’t do — and why

We don’t sell raw feet of cable because we don’t have the specialized equipment for winding the wire or extruding the jacket, and we don’t act as a distributor reselling other folks’ products. We aren’t built to compete with the sensible off-the-shelf options already on the market.

We supply custom cable. Even within that field, there’s some specialization that we just aren’t built for.

cable experts at work

Overmolded assemblies

Anyone who’s charged their phone is familiar with overmolding. Basically, a piece of injection molded strain relief covers and supports the cable’s connector. This plastic helps the cable survive thousands of mating cycles.

The most common examples of overmolding fall out of our wheelhouse not because of the nature of overmolding itself, but because they are typically commodity cables found ready-to-order in plenty of inventories worldwide. However, we do see requests for custom cables that feature overmolding.

There are certain cases where overmolded assemblies are beneficial to an end user in a lower-volume, custom environment. And there are also custom suppliers who specialize in overmolded assemblies. But extreme tooling costs accompany overmolded assemblies, since the manufacturer needs to design and cast molds for that specific cable.

In some cases, we see requests for overmolding where backshell strain relief would prove more sensible. A backshell is installable behind a connector, and it provides similar (though not quite as robust) strain relief without requiring additional tooling costs.

If your part really needs to withstand thousands of mating cycles, we may recommend you stick with overmolding. But we’d point you in the direction of a better-fit supplier.

Wire harnesses with intricate layouts

Not all wire harnesses are created equal, and some wire harness projects need uniquely outfitted facilities for efficient production. Wire harnesses differ from cable assemblies by requiring advanced layouts as part of their manufacturing process.

wire harness mfg equipment
Specialized wire harness producers use equipment dedicated to expediting the labor-intensive routing process.

While Multi-Tek handles some straightforward wire harnesses well, efficient production of the more complex harnesses requires dedicated harness assembly lines that we just don’t have at our facility. If you need a complex wire harness produced at scale, we recommend you look elsewhere.

wire harness at MTI

Wiring kits

When a company manufactures and wires a control panel, they need to connect many separate wires into a cabinet or panel. To make this production simpler and more efficient, control panel manufacturers use wiring kits.

A wiring kit is a set of all the different wires needed for a control panel, each individually labeled but delivered together, in a single package. That way the builder can open that package and assemble the panel simply.

At high production volumes, there is equipment designed specifically for producing those kits. All the user needs to do is input their spec data, and the machine can cut, strip, label and bundle all the wires in a kit together. But this equipment is prohibitively expensive unless a manufacturer runs the machine constantly to produce incredibly high volumes.

Since Multi-Tek doesn’t specialize in wiring kits, we don’t operate the equipment needed to produce them at scale. Even at low volumes, we couldn’t produce a wiring kit any faster than our customers could on their own, so outsourcing just wouldn’t make sense.

High-frequency cables

High-frequency cables send radio signals in the gigahertz range, and they’re used primarily for military and satellite communications. While we have all the tools we’d need to build high-frequency cables, we’re missing an important piece of the puzzle: frequency sweep testing equipment to ensure cable performance.

A frequency sweep test sends a signal across the entire breadth of whatever electromagnetic spectrum the cable is designed to perform at and tests that signal for loss. At Multi-Tek, we can’t perform frequency sweep testing, so we don’t produce high-frequency cables.

We pass on high-frequency cable projects to double down on one of the core tenets of our business: guaranteeing 100% functional cable. Until we develop the requisite testing capabilities for high-frequency cable quality control, we’ll continue to prioritize work in our wheelhouse.

cable assembly quality control check

Our emphasis on quality control

Quality control is a crucial piece of what we do. For OEMs selling capital equipment, trustworthy cable performance is non-negotiable. And diligent product testing, along with consistent fidelity to design, delivers 100% functional cable.

Cable drawings aren’t instruction manuals, and an assembler can often interpret a cable drawing in multiple ways. We’ve built an internal system to ensure version control across design changes and equip every assembler in our facility with the same detailed instructions for interpreting a cable design.

Because of this, we excel in applications where cable failure is unacceptable or, at the very least, costly.

Think we’re a good fit for your next cable assembly?

If your product can’t afford more bad cables, and your business can’t afford more bad service, request a quote to see if we can help. We’re UL-certified, ISO 9001-registered and committed to maintaining our 99.8% documented on-time delivery record.

If you’re unsure whether your project is in our bag, we’re happy to look at drawings and learn more about your application. We love to talk shop and specs.