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Cable Technology Blog

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.

The laying of cables in cable track has to be done carefully. SAB recommends following these guidelines for installing continuous flex cables into a cable track:

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.

     
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