‘Control Cables’ is a wonderful invention that silently played a major role in driving the industrial revolution to new heights. Falling between power cables and communication cables, control cables are a mix of both power cables and communication cables. As the name suggests, control cables are used to control an apparatus or system, essentially communicating the user’s idea to the other end of the system, only by passing power through itself. Control cables are widely used in a range of applications including telecommunications, motorcycles and of course industries. This post explores everything you need to know about industrial control cables, right from the ways they are manufactured by custom cable manufacturers to applications they are widely used, from types of industrial control cables to ways to choose them for specific applications.
Industrial Control Cables – An Introduction
Control cables that are designed to perform in industrial setups and assist in industrial production and management are known as industrial control cables. Automotive, oil and gas, telecommunications, construction, mining. the list goes on when one lists the number of industries that use these industrial control cables. Industrial control cables find most applications in operating complex apparatus that are either difficult to reach or difficult to be operated manually. Machines used in industrial processes are normally huge in size and require a lot of power. Hence, to control these machines or apparatus one needs a strong mechanism and lot of power which is made possible by custom cable assemblies. Not only are they beneficial in industrial processes, but also crucial for the functioning of a manufacturing or processing unit. This is because, when control cables fail to perform, big industries come to a stagnant pace and until repaired, failed control cables will force the industries to face losses of thousands of dollars every day.
Different Types of Industrial Control Cables
To broadly classify, there are three types of control cables namely SY control cables, CY control cables and YY control cables. With their Galvanized Steel Wire Braid (GSWB), SY control cables are used in industries like rail and transport, building and construction, high power transmission and other related industries where there is high mechanical stress. YY control cables on the contrary don’t have an additional mechanical protection and are suited for industries involving light mechanical stress. CY control cables have a tinned copper wire braid which provides protection against external electromagnetic influences. Torsion Cables for flexibility, Halogen Free Cables to avoid emission of toxic gases, Oil Resistant Cables for oil and gas industries, PVC & PUR control cables are few of the most popularly used industrial control cables.
How Are Industrial Control Cables Manufactured?
Industrial control cables primarily are made up of conductors, copper, aluminum and silver being the most commonly used conductors. These conductors are chosen considering various factors such as the output power, durability, emission of heat and so on. Copper conductors are the chosen conductors for those industrial control cables that are used in harsh work environments and must be resistant to natural phenomenon like oxidation. Silver, on the other hand, is a good conductor of heat & sound and aluminum conductors are easy to be soldered and do not rust easily. Apart from conductors, insulation is another important characteristic of control cables and as mentioned above, there are different types of control cables based on the type of the insulation alone.
Things to Consider While Choosing Industrial Control Cables
Choosing faulty and lower grade control cables can result in frequent downtime issues and greater losses as a result of the downtime. Hence, there are many factors one needs to consider while choosing industrial control cables and their cable assembly manufacturers, like the ones mentioned below.
1. Flexibility- If the industrial control cables are to be moved around a lot i.e. if the cables need to be flexible to bend, one needs to consider a continuous flex cable which can move constantly or flexible control cables which can bend during installation.
2. Power Output- Different control cables are made for different applications and power output is one of the most distinct and varying feature among control cables. Hence, before choosing the preferred industrial control cable, ensure the power output your operations require.
3. Insulation- Lastly, look for reliable and top-grade insulation as these cables carry a high amount of current and with faulty insulation, chances of electrocution, short circuits and other work related hazards are high.
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