Cable Technology Blog
Many electric vehicles (EV) in agricultural, construction and other specialized applications are using sophisticated, high-voltage electronics to provide greater functionality. The cables at the heart of these systems must be up to the task. They must be able to support higher voltages, withstand harsh conditions and endure rigorous testing to meet various regulatory requirements.
In many systems, variable frequency drives (VFDs) are an obvious choice for providing effective motor speed control. However, the same characteristics that make VFDs attractive also prohibit the use of conventional cables. Without a cable constructed specifically for VFD applications, equipment will be prone to various threats that can lead to premature failure. That’s why it’s important to have a basic understanding of VFD drives, the challenges they can pose to cables and the construction elements to look for when selecting cables for VFD applications.
To be productive in today’s agricultural industry, you need more than fast, efficient machines. You must also have a robust communication infrastructure that connects numerous sensors, cameras, displays, complex electronics, control systems and software in order to collect and transmit data to help maximize yields. That means machines and components will require higher bandwidth and plug-and-play interoperability across various manufacturers, thereby placing high demands on communication interfaces and bus systems.
If you plan to connect cables to equipment in an environment prone to explosions, you’ll need the right cable glands to protect those connections. But when you look at a datasheet for an explosion-proof cable gland, you’ll find logos indicating compliance to various directives and regulations. It can be hard to decipher which approvals are essential for your application. This blog post offers an overview of the various approvals for explosion-proof cable glands and how to tell the differences among them. Use this summary as a starting point to select explosion-proof cable glands.
There's a growing digital transformation occurring in manufacturing sectors as legacy systems give way to intelligent automation technologies. Once monitored and analyzed, sensor-based data from robots and other machines can determine responsive actions. Not only will robots share more information, they will also adapt to changing conditions via artificial intelligence. The industrial Ethernet will also continue to evolve as part of the manufacturing sector's digital transformation efforts.
Wires and cables enable new technologies that boost efficiency and capacity in waste management equipment and processes. For example, many common waste collection and sorting tasks used in recycling operations are increasingly performed by robots. These systems often include sensors, image recognition and other monitoring devices as part of a modern industrial network. That means they require robust communications and control cables that can perform in the harsh conditions typically found in recycling facilities.
As food and beverage processors look to optimize their production and efficiency, cables are becoming increasingly integral to the technology advances that make streamlining possible. Automated food manufacturing equipment requires a full range of cables that can operate reliably under repeated bending and flexing. And, the cables must stand up to the food industry’s ever-present humidity, chemicals, bacteria buildup and high temperatures.
In the ever-changing automotive industry, you must be able to adapt to many challenges like increasing electric and hybrid vehicle adoption, changing production volumes, new state-of-the-art features, mass customization and localized manufacturing — to name a few. To succeed, your operation must have the flexibility to build or change over assembly lines quickly.
Semiconductor manufacturers face many challenges, including the shrinking size and increasing complexity of chips, the need to improve efficiency and reduce costs and — most recently — supply shortages. As foundries continually upgrade equipment and processes to meet these demands, the cables that connect to fast-moving automated machines must be up to the task.
Modern railways incorporate a wide range of electronic systems to run trains reliably and keep passengers and personnel safe throughout their networks. Because urban railways transport large volumes of people, sometimes within tight confines, the cables at the heart of these systems must satisfy stringent fire safety standards, including NFPA 130 and EN 45545-2.
This June marks our 75th anniversary of providing machine designers in a variety of industries with quality products and custom solutions. What began in a small garage in Süchteln, Germany is now a global leader in cable manufacturing with 550 employees in over 100 countries.
Halogen-free cables prevent toxins from harming people or equipment when exposed to fire. Thanks to their efficacy, along with the increase in global fire regulations, these cables are gaining popularity across many industries. With so many markets now requiring halogen-free cables, selecting the ideal cable for your application can be difficult. That’s why it’s important to partner with a company that has a broad range of halogen-free cables, along with the expertise to satisfy any application requirement.
For a machine to do its job effectively, you must choose the motor that best meets your needs. Oftentimes, that means having to choose between the precise positioning provided by servo motors or the power delivery capabilities of VFD motors. Once you’ve made your choice, you'll need the right cable to transmit power or signals between your motor and control components.
In order to provide customers with detailed information about our always-expanding lineup of products, we continually update our catalog with new pages and make them easy to access on our website — www.sabcable.com. In addition to information about our newest power, control and data cables and accessories, our updated catalogs feature at-a-glance selection charts and tables to take the guesswork out of product selection. In Part 1 of this blog series, we summarized several of SAB’s product categories with links to their corresponding catalog pages. Here’s Part 2 of our overview:
At SAB North America, we’re the only source of power, control and data cables and accessories you need. Whether you shop our catalog or our website, we have products for most any market sector and application. For example, SAB manufactures quality, reliable cable products for automated systems, transportation, food and beverage, energy, transportation or medical, to name just a few industries we serve.
The waste disposal industry features an extensive range of equipment to sort, transport, treat, incinerate or otherwise dispose of unwanted materials. Each machine has its own cabling and temperature measurement requirements. While the equipment varies in function and component needs across the industry, the cables and sensors typically share one requirement: reliability in harsh environments. For these reasons, it can be hard to find a single source of cables and temperature sensors with the reliability the industry demands.
No matter the industry, sensors are essential components used in monitoring and control systems that drive important processes. For many applications — especially those in which distance, signal response and interference are primary concerns — cables are an ideal method for transmitting those signals. Because sensors come in a variety of types and are used across many applications, there’s no one-size-fits-all cable to meet every need.
The transportation industry presents some of the most challenging and unique requirements for cables. In addition to handling greater connectivity, the cables must withstand harsh conditions and meet strict fire safety standards. At SAB, we’re well-known for our flexible cables used in demanding industrial automated environments. At the same time, we’re equally adept at meeting the wide range of requirements for the brerse transportation sector.
In today’s smart, automated factories, the deadlines for machine building and installation can be ambitious. And if you’re installing cables for variable speed drive (VFD) systems used in conveyors, assembly lines or processing equipment, you may be under extra pressure to build the system quickly. Despite these challenges, you can’t afford to take shortcuts during installation. Here are seven details to remember to ensure a smooth installation process, as well as optimal machine performance and uptime:
As more vehicles rely on electric motors to meet clean energy goals, the traditional 12-volt drive system is giving way to motors that require hundreds of volts. Within these high-voltage systems, sensors measure temperatures and changes to materials. And, non-electrical signals need to be converted into electrical signals using field busses. Designers must make sure the cables and connectors used to measure conditions in electric vehicles (EV) and e-mobility systems can handle the high voltages while keeping vehicle test personnel and operators safe.
Facilities that produce semiconductor components and equipment, as well as biological, medical or food products, must regularly filter and monitor the air to ensure their cleanrooms comply with international standards. These standards regulate the dispersion of micrometer-sized particles. The cables used in automated systems within cleanrooms must be able to withstand the rigors of repetitive or complex motion, and their flexing and torsion can’t discharge any particles. Additionally, the cable materials can’t influence product cleanliness.
It’s no secret that SAB’s website — www.sabcable.com — is a quick, easy and comprehensive resource for evaluating, selecting and ordering the right cable. With a wide range of cable products and all the information engineers and systems designers need about cables in one place, it’s pretty hard to beat. However, buying and specifying cables also involves another important step: choosing accessories that can ensure secure cable connections and provide enhanced protection against a variety of conditions.
Engineers that design advanced, motion-intensive automated systems across a variety of industries have come to rely on flexible cables to deliver control, power, data and signals in challenging applications. While many cable suppliers offer designers a host of standard products, finding the cable that meets your exact requirements while also addressing tough conditions is seldom easy. In automated environments where uptime is everything, it’s critical to work with a supplier that can provide innovative specialty cable products—and deliver them fast.
Material handling operations have to be nimble in getting goods to consumers and end users. For example, warehouses are increasingly becoming more modular in nature, enabling them to change over and reconfigure quickly. As material handling operations adapt and change, they need flexible, reliable cables that can take a beating in harsh industrial environments.
At SAB, we provide quality, customizable cables to satisfy a broad range of material handling equipment types like robots and automated systems, mobile cranes, lifting trucks and festoon systems.
When you need a cable, there’s a good chance it will have to stand up to harsh conditions. From frequent bending and flexing in moving automated machinery to exposure to liquids and temperature extremes, there are many potential causes of cable failure that can lead to equipment downtime and lost productivity. That’s why your cable selection considerations should include your supplier’s testing capabilities. When you partner with a cable manufacturer whose products are tested extensively, your cables will provide a longer service life to keep your equipment running.
In today’s railways, various electronic systems are critical to maintain safe train operation and provide passenger amenities. Not only must the data and control cables that support these systems address present and future needs as railways continually modernize, but they must also meet European Union fire safety standards.
European Union regulations protect train passengers and personnel from smoke and fumes that can spread during an onboard fire. These regulations extend to cables, so it’s important to work with a manufacturer that offers cable products with the proper insulation and jacketing materials, as well as the capability to develop completely new materials for compliance.
When it comes to cables for food and beverage manufacturing, humidity, moisture and chemical resistance are likely the first factors that come to mind when specifying a cable. While you can find many cables that satisfy those requirements, cables for the food and beverage industry must also support demanding automation and process control needs across a wide range of applications. That’s why it pays to work with a cable manufacturer that has a comprehensive lineup of products that can address a broad range of food and beverage industry applications and requirements.
When it comes to connecting automated equipment, industrial network designers have a lot to worry about. As production equipment connects to the rest of the enterprise and to the Cloud, the list of challenges grows longer. It includes demands for higher data transmission speeds, managing a complexity of protocols, establishing real-time communication and running bulky cables long distances across the factory floor. On top of these challenges, cables must be able to endure harsh conditions without fail.
When designing a robotic or automated system with continuous, repetitive motion, you want to get as much cycle life as possible from your cables. Early cable wear or replacement causes unwanted machine downtime, lost productivity and can hurt your bottom line.
One way to avoid this downtime is to use a flexible cable that can stand up to the application’s motion requirements. For example, continuous flex and torsion cables are flexible options that have different design elements, enabling them to perform reliably in cable track or robotic installations. At SAB, we have a full testing lab to ensure their performance.
When selecting a cable for use in high temperatures and harsh environments, you need to be sure it can take the heat. Extreme heat is prevalent across many applications such as steelmaking equipment, rolling mills and foundries or in glass and ceramic treatment. At SAB, we manufacture a broad range of high-temperature cables using a proprietary silicone rubber-based material called Besilen®. Characterized by good electrical properties and permanent flexibility, the cables are designed to perform in conditions with high, unsteady ambient temperatures and cold temperatures.
Compared to traditional wiring methods, tray cables are a popular choice for running power and control cables across manufacturing facilities—and for good reason. In addition to standing up to a variety of operating conditions, tray cables are flexible, durable and easy to install.
Here’s a quick look at their benefits:
Reliable control signal wiring is critical in today’s demanding industrial and automated manufacturing environments. However, conveyors, control panels and assembly and production lines can impose stress on cables, while tight equipment configurations make cable routing and installation difficult. SAB manufactures a broad range of flexible control cables designed to be pliable to work around tight bends and simplify wiring, all while standing up to harsh industrial conditions.
SAB North America is known for its high-quality customizable cables. Meeting specialized connectivity needs is the heart of what we do, and it begins with an extensive lineup of standard flexible cables and wires as well as cable harnesses and accessories. This broad product line along with our commitment to customer service ensures all your cable needs will be met.
SAB North America (NA) understands that the COVID-19 outbreak has cast uncertainty on a global scale. Our management team has been constantly monitoring the crisis and is taking every measure possible to maintain the health and safety of our workforce as we continue to serve our valued customers. Current measures include:
- Frequent cleaning and sterilizations of our locations.
- Retaining a small staff in our Fairfield, New Jersey office to address critical needs.
- Prohibiting non-employees from entering our facilities.
- Suspending in-person sales calls.
Modern, automated greenhouse equipment can help indoor farmers manage and maintain productive crops. However, implementing the associated power, control and networking infrastructure in a greenhouse can present its own challenges. Whether you’re looking to make systems smarter, automate processes, install advanced lighting, lower energy costs or simply boost efficiency, you will need cable that satisfies the application needs and can stand up to greenhouse conditions. When selecting wire and cable for your indoor growing application, be sure to keep the following factors in mind:
As high-resolution camera and 3D imaging technologies give rise to more effective medical diagnoses and treatments, communicating those high-quality images and data also creates greater bandwidth needs across networks. While imaging technology offers great promise, designers are tasked with finding cables with fast transmission speeds while satisfying inherent medical equipment demands such as:
Boarding bridges incorporate a host of mechanical and hydraulic systems to raise, lower, extend or rotate the bridge into position when connecting an airport terminal to a docked airplane. And all of these systems require a specialized cabling infrastructure that can reliably transfer power, signals and data. Because boarding bridges operate in challenging conditions that can affect cable performance, be sure to keep the following in mind:
When patients’ lives and well-being depend on your devices, your cables must maintain reliable connections amidst threats like frequent cleaning, disinfection and handling as well as be able to withstand abrasion, shock, impact and tampering. Overmolded cables have become an attractive choice for the medical industry thanks to their reliability, easy implementation and customization options.
Most wires and cables use halogen-based insulation materials in order to resist heat and keep costs low. When halogens burn, however, they react with hydrogen to emit toxic or corrosive gases and dark smoke. These conditions can present serious, and sometimes deadly, health and safety risks especially where airflow is limited. In order to mitigate these risks, wire and cable vendors have developed low-smoke halogen-free cables.
Cable glands are indispensable for protecting wire and cable terminations against unwanted disconnections or damage in machines and control cabinets. Because different cable glands accommodate different cables, materials or application needs, choosing the right one can be difficult. This blog will cover various cable glands and their benefits so you may choose the best one for your application. As you begin, be sure to identify the following factors during the selection process:
If you are considering tray cables, it’s a safe bet that they’re going into a demanding operating environment. Sorting through the different characteristics of tray cables to suit your power, control or signal application can be difficult. This blog post will review some important aspects of tray cable selection so you’ll be able to specify the right tray cable for the job.
As industrial automation gives rise to increased productivity on the factory floor, motorized equipment and robotic arms must keep pace by operating at higher speed and performing more complex motions. Whether you need to supply power, transmit control signals or maintain communications to fast-moving equipment – especially to machines that constantly bend or twist – continuous flex cables can help meet the IoT’s demands for speed, flexibility, reliability and long life.
When you need to detect a temperature in your system, not only must you weigh various tradeoffs between temperature sensors, you must also be sure you have the right cable for data handling and to ensure accurate measurements. SAB North America has expertise in thermocouples, resistance thermometers and the cabling you need to build an optimal assembly. We’re well-positioned to answer cabling questions that pertain to your temperature measurement needs. Here is a sample of some of the questions we often answer:
Machine designers who choose VFD cables for their motor-driven systems want to be sure their drive is reliable in order to take full advantage of the precision and energy savings VFDs can offer. Because VFDs produce unbalanced three-phase vector sums that give rise to various unwanted paths to earth, VFD cables must be shielded and properly grounded.
Cables cannot compromise patient lives and safety, and they must also withstand cleaning, disinfection or handling and earn agency certifications. Therefore, medical equipment OEMs must have complete certainty that the cables they choose are suitable for their design. SAB North America provides a wide variety of safe, reliable cables for use in medical laboratory, operating room and monitoring environments, including the new SABmed line of cable compounds.
Machine designers who want to take advantage of the precision and energy efficiency offered by variable frequency drives (VFDs) need to make sure the cable that connects the drive to the motor performs reliably. Choosing a poorly constructed VFD cable can hinder a machine’s performance, or the cable may break down and compromise safety.
When your machine requires high-quality wire and cable, there are many standard products to fit the bill. But since no two applications are alike, you may naturally have specific needs that require more than just a standard cable. That’s why the cable supplier you choose should have the capability, expertise and materials to create cables that ideally match the needs of your specific application.
High-speed data exchange has become the cornerstone of factory automation as manufacturers harness real-time information to improve efficiencies and processes. Networking the “smart factory” takes robust Ethernet cables that can stand up to repetitive motion of robotic arms and other moving equipment — or even, mobile applications like rail cars. But unlike static cables typically found in building infrastructures, industrial Ethernet cables must endure inhospitable conditions and mechanical stresses.
SAB tray cables and flexible motor supply cables have achieved the UL WTTC approval in accordance with UL subject 2277.
SAB North America announced that its full line of tray cables and flexible motor supply cables are approved by Underwriters Laboratories as Wind Turbine Tray Cables with 1000 volt rating and operating temperature designed to meet the UL WTTC subject 2277 standard.