Don't Put Off Your Cable Decision: Part 2
Another factor to consider with cables and wires is the amount of movement they may be exposed to. Many machines that contain moving parts contain wires that are constantly being moved within them. In addition, as more processes become automated over time, more machines are susceptible to cable failures. For this reason, understanding what exactly is expected from a cable through its lifetime can help prevent failures in systems.
Some companies have specific specialties. For example, there’s one manufacturer who is known for its flat cables. Contrary to the belief that round cables may be more reliable in linear motion applications, flat cables offer uninterrupted service and long-term flexibility in linear applications. Preferential axis bending can be overcome using the latest coating technologies. Halogen-free coatings are offered which are resistant to severe vibrations, extreme temperature fluctuations, mechanical stress, and different types of chemicals.
With that said, many devices are now being judged upon how “green” they are. One way to determine how green a cable may be is by the regulations it’s certified under. These include the RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) and REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals) as previously mentioned. Additionally, Europe's Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive is also in effect to regulate toxic chemicals in cables. While most of these regulations are considered in Europe, companies which may be exporting products from the U.S. must take these design constraints into consideration.
Overall, there are many things to consider when choosing cables for a system design. Choosing a cable at the right time in the design process can save time and costs that may result from choosing an unfit cable. Hence, next time taking part in an electrical system's design process, remember the cables and wires are the lifelines of the system. For reference, Alpha Wire offers a convenient feature or guiding users through a process of choosing the appropriate cables to fit your requirements.