One of the most common components used in electrical circuits is that of the resistor. Resistors come in many shapes and sizes, but understanding resistance and the purpose of resistors is critical to ensure the success of your final product.

Resistors have something called ‘values’ and this is determined by the coloured rings or ‘codes’ that appear on the body of the resistor. Being able to read a resistor means that you can factor the amount of resistance your product needs quicker and much easier.

There are three types of common resistors:

  1. 4-band colour with 1 tolerance colour band
  2. 5 band colour with 1 tolerance band
  3. 5 band colour with 1 tolerance and 1 reliability band


Courtesy of  

As you can see in the picture the first three bands in the picture are ‘DIGITS’.  The first two being brown and the third being black. That means the resistor has a value of 1,1,0. The fourth band which is a ‘MULTIPLIER’ is red, meaning you need to multiply the previous three digits by 100. 1,1,0 x 100 [using the three 000’s] means the resistor has a value of 11,000 ohms.




ed as a means to improve connection between a terminal and a wire or cable, crimping technologies have revolutionised the wire and cable manufacturing market, with many companies opting to include this procedure in their daily business.

Where connecting and joining wires used to be simply soldered terminations, it is now perceived that crimping methods are the correct technique to use when terminating wires or cables.

Using both automatic and manual processes, and using both insulated and uninsulated components; the importance of quality crimping is vital to ensure that a product does not ‘short’ or fault during electrical installation.

So why is crimping the best choice?

  • EFFICIENT: It is a time-saving exercise; instead of painstakingly terminating all wires by hand, the use of automated crimping methods is a much improved method of efficiency and also with the correct set-up ensures that all wires/cables are produced to the same quality.
  • CHEAP: Terminals are often very cheap to buy and also if there happens to be a problem with some of the crimps, they are very easy to repair or replace.
  • CONVENIENT: Crimps and crimping materials are extremely easy to get hold of. There are literally thousands of places to source crimps and crimping equipment.
  • PERFORMANCE: Crimps are put through rigorous testing process before you [the customer] receives them, meaning that you can rely on their performance for final installation.

I hope this post has been helpful, and don’t forget we want to hear your views and comments, so please get in touch.crimp



When considering various engineering projects and electrical applications, it is safe to say that you are going to be using some sort of electrical wire.  When choosing your wire of choice, it is therefore important to know how to determine the size of wire you require.

But where to begin? When choosing wire all sizes are determined by the American Wire Gauge scale or AWG for short. This defines a wire size based on a set of wire cross-sectional areas. The different gauges are used to determine the amount of current available to pass through the wire.

The important thing to remember is that the larger the diameter of the wire, the more current the wire can handle, but the lower the gauge size.

Choosing the correct electrical wire gauge is critical because using underrated wire creates a fire hazard and can cause repetitive and annoying circuit breaker trips

At Express Assemblies Ltd we generally handle standard wire gauges ranging from 2AWG to 24AWG, but can cut cable up to 30AWG. This clearly shows that we are very flexible in our manufacturing process and adapt to a diverse range of requirements.

0.25mm 24
0.5mm 22
0.75mm 20
1.0mm 18
1.5mm 16
2.5mm 14
4.0mm 12
6.0mm 10
10.0mm 8
16.0mm 6
25.0mm 4
35.0mm 2-3


as reported in this month’s Assembly Magazine,” a new generation of robots are redefining man-machine interaction and rewriting the way that automation can be used in manufacturing environments. Collaborative robots can perform a variety of repetitive assembly tasks—all while safely and intelligently working next to people without the need for traditional safety barriers; soon there will be no need for humans on the manufacturing line”.

This is an interesting point. Can OEM’s operate without direct human interaction and can manufacturing processes simply be left to robotic machines and automated techniques.

Since robots first started appearing in factories 50 years ago, research suggests that robots have been put in place to deliver 100% perfection and eliminate human error. All very well in theory, but in practice, a working relationship is built on communication face to face with a customer and supplier.

No matter how sophisticated the machine we are talking about, there will always be a need for the human touch in manufacturing plants and assembly factories. I understand the benefits of using autonomous measures: cost effectiveness in the future, improvements in accuracy and efficiency and a more thorough and detailed analysis of work procedure, but if the assembly process becomes entirely ‘robotic’ then working practice becomes flawed.

What if the machines break down, how do they repair if there is no need for human contact?

With the machines now commercially available, it seems the only reason that a company would use these robots is purely technology-driven. Robotics will definitely have a massive part in our lives in the future, but I cannot help thinking what a sad day it will be when man gets replaced with machine!man-v-machine



Wire and cable routing is a significant point of product design and specification and one that is often overlooked. Choosing the right route for your wires and cables not only improves the aesthetic appeal of the product but also improves system performance and product maintenance.

Good routing allows for a longer product shelf-life, ease of assembly solutions and provides an improved solution to repairing and maintaining routes for access around cables.

Most products connect a variety of components together to make the complete product. Connecting a PCB, switches, relays, motors, and other components together often includes a number of cables that must be positioned to allow for final assembly at a minimum for the product to work and be visually appealing.

Choosing Express Assemblies Ltd: The ‘Ideal Route’

At Express Assemblies Ltd, we are often asked to help customers with the routing of their wires and cables. With a number of ‘routing’ measures, the company ensures to meet all project demands and offers a number of solutions, to what for some can cause a real headache and lead to complete project redesigns.

Why not consider:

  • Wire or Cable Loom/Harness: A wiring loom or cable harness is a very useful solution to help with the routing of wires and cables. Harnesses and looms can be created in a number of ways from using off the shelf components to strategic placement of cable ties or electrical tape. The advantage of a proper cable harness is that all of the wires and cables share a common path through the product that can be easier to secure and protect the wires from damage, vibrations, and the environment. Also using a single-routing path is often a better use of space, the risk of wires shorting is reduced, and installation becomes simpler.
  • Cable Identification Methods: Using Express’ cable-identification methods such as single-character wire markers or heat-shrinkable labels offers an ideal way to trace and identify any wires and cables.
  • Wire and Cable Cut and Strip Length: As a wire cut and strip business, Express is very knowledgeable of the fact that the less wire you use [i.e. the length of wire] in your wiring routes, it offers a significant cost saving but also reduces opportunity for RF and EMI noise to get in and disrupt electronic pulses and signals.
  • Wire and Cable Types: With Express Assemblies stocking a wide variety of wire and cable types, we can also advise what types of wire and cable would be the best choice for your routing enquiries. The current a wire will carry as well as the voltage of the signal are two of the key wire selection factors that must be taken in to account.
  • Routing Channels: Express Assemblies offers a number of ‘routing channels’ that offer a flexible and adaptable approach for any wire and cable routing problem. Using tubing and sleeving, as well as a large range of cable management techniques, we can approve and apply our designs to most applications.
  • Fasteners and Fixings: With our extensive inventory of fasteners and fixings, we can provide an easy and quick installation approach to secure and fasten any wire or cable route.




ferrite bead is a passive electric component that suppresses high frequency noise in electronic circuits. It is a specific type of electronic choke. Ferrite beads employ the dissipation of high frequency currents in a ferrite ceramic to build high frequency noise suppression devices. Ferrite beads may also be called blocks, cores, rings, EMI filters, or chokes

Large ferrite beads are commonly seen on external cabling. Ferrite beads are one of the simplest and least expensive types of interference filters to install on pre-existing electronic cabling. For a simple ferrite ring, the wire is simply wrapped around the core through the centre. The introduction of the ferrite core around the wire increases the wire’s self-inductance, and thus still absorbs energy from noise in the wire.

Ferrite beads prevent interference in two directions: from a device or to a device meaning that the energy is either reflected back up the cable, or dissipated as low level heat.





No I’m not here to talk about that moderately successful ice skating film starring Will Ferrell, this post is all about the wire processing blade and its properties.

As published in this month’s Assembly Mag, the humble blade does not get much attention these days, yet the importance of it remains vital to the success of your wires and cables.

Choose the wrong blade and your wire can become feathered – where strands of wire have been cut out completely,  if the blade cuts too deep it can leave marks in the conductors or it may not strip the wire at all.

“For decades, manufacturers have relied on three types of blades to strip and cut wire: V, rotary and die. All blades are made of hardened tool steel, but each type is unique in design, function and capability”  1

So how do we know which blades to use for each wire and cable we use?

The first blade and for me the most common in cutting and stripping wires and cables is the V-Blades. Versatile and variable, these blades feature a 90-degree V configuration that provides good quality stripping and cutting of a wide range of wire sizes (26 to 10 AWG) and insulation types (PVC, Teflon, fiberglass)

V blades are used in sets (top and bottom) that bypass each other to cut wire. Stripping V blades penetrate the insulation at four points that, when connected, form a diamond 2. V-Blades should be the main choice of blade in most wire and cable processing applications.

Rotary blades, interestingly, are square, not round. Their name stems from the fact that the blades rotate around the insulation to strip it. With similar properties to the V-Blades, rotary tooling can cut up various sized wire and cable but at a much slower and less efficient pace. Interestingly, experts say these blades are not designed to cut wire. Instead they mark wire which is slightly thicker and rounder in shape.

Die blades are custom made to strip or cut a specific AWG wire. The most common die blade for stripping is the collinear radius (CL-R) type. It features a ground half circle at the center of its straight shear edge 3.

When a set of duplicate CL-R blades are closed around the wire, the circle’s radius matches the wire conductor exactly. This perfect fit produces precise stripping and clean shoulders without any conductor damage.

Die blades are often required for stripping tougher insulations, standard die blades strip 4 to 30 gauge wire, ground-edge blades strip 8 to 26 gauge wire and precision blades with guide strip 28 to 36 gauge wire.

So to conclude, the right blades are critical to your product’s success.

The most important consideration is the application range that it must process. Some applications only require a machine that can measure, cut to length, and strip one or both ends of a wire or cable. This is considered basic and can be done using a machine with a cutter head that can only accept one set of blades. In this case use the V-Blades.

With the rotary blades, “the rotary stripping head can be programmed to make incisions at any depth into the insulation, this design eliminates the need for changing blades (radius blades, die blades, etc.) when processing different wire or cable sizes. But the production rate is somewhat slower“4

The die blades should only be used when faced with cutting wire regularly that has tough insulation. It can cope with more material thickness that standard V-blades and rotary blades can’t.



1 =

2 = 

3 =  

4 =