Cable and connection technology specialist LAPP says even though choosing the best cable for an industrial application is one of the most critical design decisions of any complex automated system, it is often an afterthought.

“As the lifeblood of the system, cables and wires are vital to transmitting power and sending control signals and data across wide expanses in a timely and reliable manner.

“Especially in highly dynamic applications, several factors should be considered when choosing the right cable – durability, reduced weight, a small minimum bending radius and the ability to fit within tight spaces,” LAPP said.

Many of today’s automated production environments must meet rigorous productivity benchmarks. The type of load also needs to be considered.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) dominates the cable insulation market, although other materials are also used, such as thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), polyurethane (PUR) and polypropylene (PP).

Each material has unique features that makes it suitable for different types of cables.

PVC offers relatively high mechanical firmness, good insulation resistance and flexibility at a reasonable price. In comparison, ether-based PUR guarantees microbe resistance and features high abrasion resistance, tensile strength, stability against certain oils and good flexibility.

Many factors must be considered to guarantee that individual components are perfectly matched in a complete cable assembly, not only materials, construction, and cable production methods, but also interaction with other system components, especially the cable chain. For food and beverage manufacturers, LAPP has the range and expertise.

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