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.
As a leading manufacturer of continuous flex cables for demanding industrial applications, SAB North America can provide expert answers to frequently asked questions, such as:
Not all flexible cables are true continuous flex cables. Some are flexible or torsion cables based on elements of their design. For continuous flex applications, cables should use the finest tinned or bare copper stranding. However, stranding selection should be application specific and determined by the cable manufacturer. SAB draws its own copper strand to meet certain flexing criteria.
Besides deciding on continuous flex, torsion or flexible cable, consider the number of conductors and materials used for conductor insulation, cable jacketing, the class of copper used in the conductors and any required industry or regional certifications. SAB North America offers an extensive selection of products on www.sabcable.com and can guide you through the selection process.
For continuous flex cable, bend radius is critical. A cable forced to bend at a smaller radius than the minimum specified can experience premature failure as insulation and conductors crack and as internal friction wears down protective insulation. Make sure the cable can handle the application’s voltage and current. Installation and operating environment also affect cable lifetime.
Some general guidelines to help avoid common installation problems:
- Use cable tracks to avoid mechanical damage. Multiple cables should be installed side-by-side and separated so they can freely flex to the smallest radius in their motion.
- Include strain relief at both ends of the cable.
- Make sure your installation is torsion-free. Unwind cables from reels before installation and take the cable off the manufacturer-supplied reel in loops.
Extremely high or low temperatures, contact with microbes, acids alkalis, salts, oils, solvents or moisture, or exposure to radiation, flame or abrasion may degrade the cable jacket if the wrong materials are chosen. SAB North America can help you choose the best jacket materials for your application.
SAB Cables Satisfy Your Application Needs
SAB North America can help you select and implement continuous flex cables that satisfy your application’s complex or high-speed motion requirements. Whether you need cables for heavy-duty power and control or ultra-sensitive data communications, our continuous flex cables withstand harsh operating conditions and offer long service life.
Click here for more information about SAB North America continuous flex cables.