Browse Prior Art Database

Programmable Manual Cable Assembly Board

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000035003D
Original Publication Date: 1989-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-28
Document File: 4 page(s) / 74K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Cioffi, JM: AUTHOR [+5]

Abstract

The assembly board described here provides for an easily reconfigurable board with the necessary fixtures compatible with the manual assembly of discrete leads into a harness cable. The reconfigurable or programmable board assembly is designed to be a part of a computer- controlled process. On the basis of the cable design geometry, the computer will calculate the required board location of all fixtures needed to assemble that cable. Then this board set-up and related assembly instructions will be conveyed to the assembly operator for implementation. The programmable manual cable assembly board 1 basically consists of a planar surface with a multiplicity of holes 2 in a fixed grid pattern. The assembly fixtures plug into the proper holes for a given cable.

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Programmable Manual Cable Assembly Board

The assembly board described here provides for an easily reconfigurable board with the necessary fixtures compatible with the manual assembly of discrete leads into a harness cable. The reconfigurable or programmable board assembly is designed to be a part of a computer- controlled process. On the basis of the cable design geometry, the computer will calculate the required board location of all fixtures needed to assemble that cable. Then this board set-up and related assembly instructions will be conveyed to the assembly operator for implementation. The programmable manual cable assembly board 1 basically consists of a planar surface with a multiplicity of holes 2 in a fixed grid pattern. The assembly fixtures plug into the proper holes for a given cable. Fixture placement is given by a graphic overlay 3 that is generated by system software from cable data. Cut-to-length, predetermined leads 4 are routed on the board according to path data appearing on the overlay 3 and supplementary lead data (from-to list) provided by printout from a local terminal. Connectorization is done on the board. Cable ties 5 are applied at locations designated on the overlay to bundle the leads, or nylon lacing cord may also be used. The cable is then removed from the board for finishing operations. The board may be easily set-up for a different cable, or additional identical cables may be made from the existing set-up. The buildboard consists of a perforated sheet mounted in a supporting frame that is attached to a height-adjustable positioning table 6. The perforation pattern used is a 45-degree staggered hole pattern. When combined with the board hardware, the staggered pattern produces a unique cable assembly system with effective grid resolution that gives excellent cable dimensional resolution. The assembly fixtures serve to route and constrain the leads 4 into a bundle 7, and they serve to hold lead ends and connectors. Three categories of fixtures are used: 1) Pegs 8 - lead routing, constraining 2) Wireholders 9 - lead end holding

3) Connector holders 10 All fixtures are held on the board with a snap-fit, expanding plug retainer ("Nylatch" by the Hartwell Corporation, Placentia, Calif.). The peg 8 is a one-piece design that incorporates two upright posts from a curved bottom that are covered by two flexible fingers 11 touching in the middle. The fingers act as a wire trap during routing. The uprights are stiff to aid in the formation of bends and corners in the cable. The cavity formed by the curved bottom, uprights and fingers constrains the leads and tends to form a wire bundle. The peg is mounted on its base so that the attachment points (nylatches) are asymmetric with respect to the uprights. This asymmetry matches the asymmetry of the staggered grid 2 so that only one peg need be used to address all grid points on the board (a symmetrical base would require two peg types). The side profile of the pe...