Insulation Displacement Connectors (IDC) are probably the fastest way to terminate wires. IDCs were first used in the telecom industry on small, stranded wire. The process can quickly and efficiently terminate the hundreds of wires in large patch panels. There is no need to strip the wires when using IDC. IDC tools are inexpensive and virtually error-proof. There are no chemicals to deal with and no insulation slugs to clean up.
Crimping is the most commonly used method of wire termination, and is most efficient for high-volume wire termination. The terminations are fast, clean and mechanically strong.
For low volume or fieldwork, loose terminals are applied with a plethora of handheld and benchtop crimping devices. These devices come with interchangeable die sets to eliminate adjustments to the tool to ensure a good crimp.
Ultrasonic welding is being used to terminate Flat Flexible Cable (FFC). FFC is becoming popular - especially in the automotive industry. Ultrasonics can be used to weld FFC to another FFC, frets, connectors and even discrete wires. This process is suitable for critical applications, such as air bags or antilock braking systems, where a strong bond, low resistance and full-quality control are needed.