Meridian Cable has the capabilities to custom design, extrude and manufacture all types of coil cords or coiled cables. This includes coil cords with retracted lengths from 2 inches to 4 feet, in diameters from 1/3 of an inch to 5 inches, and with conductor ranges from 10 to 34 gauge. Because we extrude our own materials, there is no limit to what we can manufacture. Our best in class coil cords are used worldwide in a broad range of applications. We work together with our customers to find the coil cord solution that fits their criteria. Whether you are looking for a coil cord or coiled cable with an expanded length of 20 feet with two-conductors and a PVC-jacket or a coiled cord with 10 conductors, a coaxial cable and a polyurethane jacket, you will find it at Meridian Cable. Contact us today to let us know how we can help you.
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Custom Coil Cord FAQs
Meridian Custom Coil Cords
The humble coil, or curly, cord often gets overlooked as a vital piece of equipment in today’s wire-free society. However, this spiral of coiled cable can be found on nearly every major highway, in most, if not all, Fortune 500 companies. As well as hospitals, auto assembly lines, police and fire rescue, and just about any other place you can imagine. That’s because this simple design allows for the best in compact, efficient wire-wrangling in an incredible array of applications. We’ll explore some of the more frequently asked questions we’ve received as a custom coil cords manufacturer.
You probably didn’t think that one of the main reasons to choose a curly cord over straight is in its inherent durability. Coiled cords are meant to be able to be extended and retracted hundreds of thousands of times without breaking. This durability places them on the front lines of some really vital applications like with first responders, military, and industrial production. Next, curly cords afford a space-saving design. With the increasing complexity of today's electrical systems, space constraints require parts that can be utilized efficiently while taking up the least amount of space possible. Lastly, curly cords provide efficiency and organization in design because they can carry many different types of signal simultaneously - like power and data within the same system. This saves space in a tight environment and makes the transmission of data and/or electricity far more efficient than having multiple cables.
At its most basic, inside a curly cord you’ll find a conductor like aluminum, copper, or a precious metal encased in a jacket that’s been spiralized to be extra-flexible and acts as an insulator and protector from the environment. Depending on the application, a variety of additional conductors, fillers, cables, and shieldings will make up the interior of the coiled cable until a cross-section looks something like a kaleidoscope.
Each curly cord we manufacture is a little different depending on the specifications provided to us by the client and the application where the cord will be deployed. A variety of different size conductors, fillers, and other materials make up the inside of all cables. But the process for creating a coil cord has to take into account the need for flexibility, which in turn, necessitates mitigating friction within the cord and utilizing durable materials. If you’re super curious and want to see the process first hand, we’ve put together a video of a worker at our production facility in Tanggu, China hand-making a coil cord.
The process for this type of coiled cord is pretty straightforward. The worker will insert a piece of rod into a special motor and then tightly secure the cord to the rod with powerful clamps. A foot pedal activates the motor which spins the rod and allows the worker to tightly wrap the cord around the rod. The wrapped rod is then sent to a special oven to be “cured”. After a short time setting in the oven you have a flexible, durable curly cord ready to stretched and retracted hundreds of thousands of times.
How wide is your imagination? Curly cords have a seemingly endless variety of applications. If you look around your home, you’ll probably see a dozen examples you never gave a second thought to - all made possible with the ubiquitous coiled cord. From the internal wiring for refrigerators, telephone cords, speakers, cell phone chargers, HDMI cords, and data/network cords, curly cords afford a durable space-saving solution to taming the electrical, signal, and data needs of the electronics all around us.
Even in non-electrical applications, the coiled cord’s advantages are felt - think the lanyard for your name badge at work or the security devices attached to cell phones at the mall.
Coiled cords can be made of a wide variety of different materials depending on where and how the cord will be used. PU, PTEE, TPR, SVP and PVC are some of the more common engineered materials used in coil cord design. Meridian’s engineers also can incorporate UV inhibitors into the jacketing material if a coiled cable is destined for use outdoors. We also have the ability to use super-strong materials like Kevlar and steel if a cord needs a special blend of flexibility and extra strength or cut-resistance built in. Cords can be engineered to resist friction, caustic chemicals, ozone, moisture, and just about anything else mother nature can throw at it. Coiled cords are engineered to the exact specifications needed for the application and the environment.
Our brilliant design team builds coiled cables from the inside out, carefully choosing conductors, wires, cables, insulators, fillers, and sheathings to match our client’s needs.
At Meridian, we take quality seriously. Our ongoing commitment to Quality Assurance and Quality Control is what’s earned us ISO 9001:2015 certification. To test our components we use automated testing machines and sometimes even have to create custom machines from scratch when the product is one-of-a-kind. Curly cords need to be stretched and retracted hundreds of thousands of times without breaking, so that’s exactly what we during product trials. For some cords, if they don’t last 500,000 extensions/retraction cycles, it’s back to the drawing board. We’ll usually create a few different iterations of a coiled cable design, utilizing different materials so we can test the products simultaneously to see which perform most inline with our client’s design parameters. For one tricky medical application, we ended up creating 14 different prototypes to test which combination would meet a tough set of parameters.
Absolutely. One of Meridian’s greatest strengths lie in its ability to scale production with incredibly short lead times and some of the fastest turnaround times in the industry. With this, we rarely go into full-production without creating small batches of prototypes for testing and QA/QC. Depending on the project, we’ll fit a coiled cable with a myriad of different connectors to perfectly suit its intended application - some connectors may be used for hooking up to signal, power, or even high-speed data sources. Each product that rolls off the assembly line is tested to ensure the end-user can quickly and easily integrate the product in their overall system.
The retracted length is how long the curly cord is when not extended. This is important for both form and function. If a police officer’s radio cord were too long when not in use, it would get in the way of everything he tried to do; however, it also needs to have the appropriate extension link to be able to be used properly. In a medical setting, the length can help determine how much strain the cord has on each end of the connection. For specific applications, this strain may need to be minimalized by cord’s length and design. At Meridian, we can create coiled cords with a retracted length as short as two inches to as long as four feet or more.
Absolutely, engineering custom coil cords, cable assemblies, molded components, and wiring harnesses is all we’ve done for nearly 30 years. Inhouse, we produce more than 70% of the components of every product that we sell. While we use UL-certified cables and wires, our design staff can tweak each component of an assembly to meet the exact specifications needed for the project, all while maintaining UL-certification on the final product. Our engineers love solving our clients’ complex problems. If you have a seemingly-impossible set of design parameters, bring them our way and let our team create the perfect custom coiled cable to meet your needs.
The best advantage we bring to clients is lower overall cost. Our custom designs usually save our clients money in the long run because it helps cut sourcing costs, production time, and reduces the chances for defects. By utilizing an established custom coil cord manufacturer like Meridian, you get the exact product to meet your project’s specifications instead of trying to figure out how to implement a generic, mass-produced, one-size-fits-all design into your system. Having a custom cable manufacturer means your project receives a manufacturing schedule so you know exactly when the product will be ready to be utilized and can allocate resources accordingly. Finally, by using UL-certified wires and cables and instituting a rigorous QA/QC process, our clients know that each product that rolls off our lines has been tested and retested for continuity, integrity, polarity, and functionality — reducing downtime and what can be incredible costs therein from a failed component.