Category Archives: Coil Cords

The Many Uses of the Humble Curly Cord

The Many Uses of the Humble Curly Cord 

When we think of a curly cord, our minds usually go straight to the spiral apparatuses that tether corded telephone handsets. But you might find it surprising to learn just how many applications and industries this humble cord has made its way into. From military, to industrial, medical, and so many applications in between, the curly cord has made a name for itself as a brilliant utility. Read on as we explore how this simple, unpretentious concept carries out some of life’s greatest missions.

In a land of cordless, what’s the need for curly cords?

With so many of today’s gadgets “cutting the cord,” you might wonder how a curly cord could continue to prove useful. The truth is, wireless applications just aren’t as stable as a corded one. Have you ever noticed how much faster your internet is when you plug directly into your internet router? This is because the medium being transferred, whether that’s power, signal, data, or a mix thereof, is made in a dedicated line, rather than being “broadcast”, so there’s much less data/power/signal loss with a fully-corded connection. Below we’ll look at just some of the many varied applications where having a dedicated line, and also one that is free of obstruction, is still critical.

One Concept, Endless Applications

From car parts to medical devices, the curly cord continues to provide a safe, efficient way to manage the cord fray today’s electronics designs demand.  

  • Refrigerators: providing crucial internal wiring for fridges and other appliances to remain space efficient in a confined area.
  • Telephones: one of the most notable applications, curly cords provide a safe tether for headsets and allow for stretch before returning to a shorter length when the set is cradled.
  • Microphones/Speakers: helping vocalists avoid tying themselves up as they perambulate their respective stages. 
  • Cell Phone Chargers: providing a space efficient means to charge this now-vital life tool.
  • HDMI: allowing for the consumer to plug every device known to man with ease and efficiency into the rear of their television sets.  
  • Data/Network: USB, ethernets, and other data cords all running side-by-side without a rat’s nest of cords occurring as a result.
  • Medical Sensors: within the medical field, curly cords serve a monumental purpose in providing a safe way to manage the “pull” of a device such as a scanner attached to a patient. The cord allows  for weight distribution while still giving the patient and medical staff leeway in movement, all while staying out of the way when accessibility is needed.
  • Steering Wheels: for automotive and boating, you need special ranges of curly cords for different toggle switches and relays. 
  • Communication/Radios: police, fire/rescue, and others using handheld radios rely on the curly cord for keeping the microphone secure and out of the way, yet mobile.

Non-Electrical Lanyards/Tethers

Curly cords have endless applications in the non-electric field, as well. And here you thought curly cords were limited to data, electric, and signals. Think lanyards for identification badges, a secure tether for a police officer’s sidearm, or anti-theft security devices attached to phones at the mall. These are just some of the many different uses for non-electric curly cords. 

How are Curly Cords Made?

Every cord is made using different processes depending on the utility of that particular cord. For those wanting to see the process first hand, we have a cool video of a worker at our production facility in China making a quill cord by hand. For this process, a worker inserts a piece of rod into a specially-designed motor and then secures a length of cord with clamps to one end of the rod. Using a foot pedal to activate the motor spinning, the worker tightly wraps the cord down the length of the rod, to whatever specifications are needed for that job. A quick clamp and snip on the finished side and the cord-wrapped rod is placed in a rack ready to be sent to the oven to bake and be set. Sounds easy, but each cord is engineered to withstand the rigorous requirements set by its use. A certain type of cord may be required to achieve half a million extension/retractions without failure in order to be safe and efficient in its application. 

Advantages of Meridian Curly Cords

At Meridian, we design and manufacture cable assemblies. It’s all we’ve done for nearly three decades. One of our greatest advantages lies in our ability to custom design all types of different cords. We own our own production facilities both in the U.S. and in China to ensure we have the capability to provide our clients with the exact cords needed, wherever the application may be. From the first strand of copper through the final outer jacket, we engineer every step of our products with painstaking detail so that our products meet our clients’ most exacting requirements. When you’re ready to discuss your project’s cable needs, speak to one of our knowledgeable cable specialists to explore your options and find the perfect cable to meet your specifications.

3 Reasons to Use Custom Coil Cords

3 Reasons to Use Custom Coil Cords

Custom coil cords aren’t just for landline telephones anymore.

Custom coil cords are everywhere. They are used in many applications, from headsets and instrument cords in music studios to car chargers for your cell phone. Because of their incredible versatility, they also have many uses across a wide range of industries, including Telecommunications, Medical, and the Military.

Since it’s not practical to list out every single use for these types of cords, we’ve put together a list of the top three most common reasons you might choose to work with a manufacturer to create a coil cord instead of a standard cord.

Custom Coil Cords Are Designed for Durability

One of the main reasons to choose a curly cord over a straight cord is that you need it to be able to withstand being extended and retracted as a regular part of its daily function throughout the product’s life. This means that several measures are taken during the design process to ensure the final product is able to handle the additional stresses required of a coil cord. This could involve measure like including additional reinforcement near the connectors or choosing a more flexible conductor material.

Saving Space

The primary feature of a custom coil cord is its ability to extend and retract. One of the reasons this feature is desirable is a simple question of saving space. If a piece of equipment requires a cord with a long reach, that cord can be unwieldy when not in use. Straight cords that are wound into a coil near the equipment is not only a safety hazard, it can also lead to a shorter lifespan for the cord due to additional stresses like twisting and bending. Creating a custom coil cord can address both of these situations and many more.

Efficiency & Organization

Custom coil cords are able to increase efficiency because they can be designed to carry different types of signal. For example, it might make sense to create a single curly cord that carries both electricity and data for a specific piece of equipment. Working with a reputable custom cable assemblies manufacturer to create a coil cord that consolidates several types of wires will not only make your workspace more organized, it is also safer.


Due to their versatility, curly cords are all around us. These incredibly useful cords are used in a wide variety of ways because they are durable and convenient. As with other types of custom cables, it’s important to work with an experienced cable assemblies manufacturer when creating a custom coil cord. Meridian Cable has extensive experience designing, extruding, and coiling curly cords for many types of projects. No matter what the intended function for your custom cable, our team takes the time to understand all of your requirements to make sure we create a finished product that meets your needs.

When you’re ready to get started on your next custom coil cord project, contact us at Meridian Cable Assemblies. We look forward to talking with you.

Talking Materials with a Coil Cord Manufacturer

Talking Materials with a Coil Cord Manufacturer

The right materials can make or break the function of a custom coil cord.

A coil cord manufacturer does more to create a custom coil cord than just curl a straight cord into a spiral. Because they are meant to extend and retract, materials must be somewhat flexible in addition to the technical requirements dictated by the application. With the number of materials available, it’s difficult to choose the right one. Working with a cable assembly manufacturer can help you take the guesswork out of selecting materials that meet the needs of your project.

Conductors Used by a Coil Cord Manufacturer

At its simplest, a custom coil cord has the same basic structure as a standard straight cord: a conductor and some form of insulation and jacketing. The conductors are mostly metals like copper, tinned copper, and – in very special cases – alloys or composites can be used. However, unless you’re launching a satellite, running cable for the power grid, or implanting a gizmo into a human body, basic copper is what will be used.

Copper conductors (or stranding) start life as a rock. Then with the help of a lot of energy, they end up as a rod about the size of a Sharpie®, which is way too big for a coil cord. The majority of copper falls into two groups: those that contain oxygen and those that don’t. Copper with oxygen has improved abrasion and corrosion resistance so it is mostly used in power distribution and transmission. Copper without oxygen is more resistant to embrittlement which can occur when the Sharpie® is reduced to the size of a human hair. So oxygen-free copper is used extensively in cables that need to flex. Coil cords flex a lot, so most conductors or stranding used in them are made from oxygen-free copper. Copper with oxygen can be used to make coil cords, but, even though it’s lower in cost, Meridian will never use it because it fails much more quickly.

Once the copper stranding is the right size, the next step is to decide if it should be plated or not. Below are some choices for plating.

Bare Copper Conductors copper conductors

Copper without any type of plating is an inexpensive conductor material that can be a good choice if time and cost are considerations. However, this type of conductor is susceptible to corrosion and oxidation, which can hinder the connectivity. Since it is not as likely to corrode or oxidize, plated bare copper is more flexible. However, this type of copper is also harder to process after being made into a wire. Since it is bare, and oxygen is almost everywhere on Earth, this type of conductor oxidizes. An oxide layer on copper greatly reduces its conductivity and ability to bond with solder. So while bare copper can be used, and is more flexible, its service life is much shorter. If cost overrides quality/longevity in your application, then bare copper is an option, but the part will have a much shorter life, and that “life” starts the moment it leaves the wire drawing facility.

Plated/Coated Copper Conductors

Coating a copper conductor with a thin layer of “stuff” can offer additional benefits. However, it is also more expensive since it adds an extra step and more material is used. The most common coating on copper stranding is tin. This means the vast majority of copper conductors used in the electronics/telecommunications industry are tinned. Adding tin on top of the copper increases stiffness slightly but vastly improves its resistance to oxidation and corrosion. This improves the life of the resulting conductor greatly and makes processing much easier. The additional protection is especially useful in cables that are used near saltwater or are immediately exposed to air and not covered by some material.

Copper can be coated with other metals besides tin. For serious applications these coatings can be either silver or gold among others. Obviously these can add significant cost, but for some applications they are mandatory. Many medical, aerospace and military applications must have stranding with these types of plating since failure is not an option and extremely long life is required.

Aluminum Alloy Conductors

Aluminum alloys only have about 61% of the conductivity of copper, but they are less expensive and significantly lighter. In general, aluminum has greater endurance fatigue (ability to be bent back and forth without breaking) than copper. So based on its great fatigue resistance, one would think it would be a great choice for a coil cord. However, as noted, aluminum is much less conductive than copper. This is okay if you’re pumping kilowatts of power across a grid, but in most applications, this decrease in conductivity means too much loss of signal or power to make it a good choice for most coil cords.

Coil Cord Jacketing Material

Cable jacketing in a coil cord has two key roles: protection and memory. The jacketing protects the conductors from moisture, flame, chemicals, and other environmental factors. It’s also what gives a coil cord memory and makes it act like a spring. Copper is a “lazy” metal, meaning unlike spring metals, it is perfectly happy to stay where it’s put once bent. So, the jacketing is used to offset the copper’s desire to stay put. 

Coil cords have jacketing on the individual inner conductors and then an outer jacketing that covers all of those the inner conductors together. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polypropylene (PP), and polyethylene (PE) are all good options for inner jacketing material. While PP and PE are a little more expensive, they allow conductors more movement which enhances the cord’s retractability. For coil cords that require high retracting performance, the jacketing on the inner conductors can be polyurethane (PU), thermoplastic rubber (TPR), or thermoplastic elastomer (TPE).

The outer jacket of a coil cord is a little more important since it is the first line of defense from environmental hazards and adds the most to the coil cord’s ability to extend/retract over many cycles. Materials commonly used by coil cable manufacturers include high-elastic PVC, PU, TPR, and (TPE). Each of these has strengths and weaknesses that should be evaluated carefully for the best performance.


A reputable coil cable manufacturer is an indispensable resource when choosing materials for your custom coil cable solution. Make sure you communicate all the requirements for the cable as well as any time or budgetary constraints. The design team should be able to make recommendations for materials that meet your needs while taking advantage of the unique properties of coil cords.

When you’re ready to discuss your next custom coil cord project, contact the team at Meridian Cable Assemblies. We look forward to hearing from you.


3 Key Custom Coil Cord Features

3 Key Custom Coil Cord Features

Designing a custom coil cord is a breeze when you, and your wire and cable manufacturer are speaking the same language.

When designing a custom coil cord, you have the opportunity to create a finished product that is perfectly matched to the needs of your equipment. But how do you know what information your wire and cable manufacturer needs to get started?

Every coiled cord has three main sections—coil diameter, retracted and extended lengths, and tangents—you can use to clearly specify the physical shape of your cord. Understanding the specifications of these three sections and what they are can help you and your cable manufacturer stay on the same page during the design process.

Putting the Coil in a Custom Coil Cord

It may seem obvious, but the coiled section of a custom coil cord is its most important physical feature. Without the coil, it’s just a regular straight cord, so it’s important to make sure you clearly communicate what you need from the coils. One of the most important features to communicate is the coil diameter. By subtracting the diameter of the raw cable from the outside coil diameter, we get a mean diameter that represents the center line of the raw cable. This is important, because the larger a coil’s “circle” is the more raw cable is used.

Retracted & Extended Lengths

The retracted length of a custom coil cord is the measurement of the cord when it is not stretched. Most of the time, a cable manufacturer uses the retracted length as the primary way to specify how long the coiled section is.

The extended length of a custom coil cord is how long it is when stretched to its maximum operational length. While this isn’t the primary measurement that is used to identify the coiled section of the cord, it is useful to understand how far the cord needs to extend. In some cases, however, the extended length is the primary consideration for the cord and should be clearly communicated.

Going Off on a Tangent

While the coiled part of the cord tends to get the most attention, the straight sections at each end (or tangents) are also key features that affect the overall function of the finished cord. There are two different types of tangents that are used on custom coil cords: axial and perpendicular. An axial tangent exits the coiled section of the cord along the center line, which allows them to stretch in line with the cable. Alternately, perpendicular tangents exit perpendicular to the coiled section, meaning they exit the final coil at a 90-degree angle. Coiled cords with this type of tangent are easier to manufacture, and are therefore more common.


Working with an experienced wire and cable manufacturer is the best way to ensure your finished custom coil cord meets the needs of your equipment without busting your budget. You can get your projects started on the right foot by describing the basic cable you need with the coil diameter, retracted and extended lengths, and tangent type. When you’re ready to talk about your next custom coil cord, get in touch with Meridian Cable. We are happy to answer all of your questions.

Custom Coil Cord Longevity

Custom Coil Cord Longevity

How many cycles can a custom coil cord handle? How long will it last?

When designing a custom coil cord, we get asked questions like this all the time. Of course it depends on the coil cord and the operating environment, but we can assure you the answer is between one and a few million.

All kidding aside, we’ve put together a short guide to let you know where in that range your coil cord might fall.

Single-Cycle Custom Coil Cords

Let’s take the low end of the range first. You would think a coil cord that could only handle one cycle would be useless, but there is actually a good case for creating a single-cycle product. Let’s say you have a piece of equipment that comes in different sizes or configurations. The same power/control system is used on each unit, but the cables needed to connect everything need to vary by length. If you don’t want to wire everything yourself you need to buy a cable assembly for each different configuration, or you can buy one coil cord that can stretch to fit all the configurations. Now this coil cord doesn’t need to retract so it can be made with entirely different materials, which helps keep costs down without sacrificing electrical performance.

High-Cycle Coil Cordscustom coil cords

The high side of the range is over a million cycles. At Meridian, we have several different machines we use to test the cycling capability of the custom coil cords we design and manufacture. We have tested several different designs to over one million cycles, with the highest being 1,087,213 cycles. Interestingly enough, when we recorded that number, the test was stopped not because the coil cord failed, but because we had to test other coil cords and couldn’t leave it on the machine any longer.

Designing the Right Custom Coil Cord

What makes a custom coil cord last a long time? Design, fabrication, and environment. The higher the cycle count requirement, the more the design must differ— especially when it comes to materials. For low-cycle coil cords, the stranding diameter can be larger and the plastics can have a lower elasticity, which generally means a lower cost product. For high-cycle coil cords, the stranding needs to be very small and the plastics highly elastic. Also, the fabrication becomes very important. Not only is the custom coil cord extending and retracting, but all the components are twisting and untwisting. When cable is extruded, everything from the individual strands to the conductor bundle is twisted. How all this twisting is done has a big impact on how the coil cord performs.


Put simply, the team at Meridian Cable can design a custom coil cord that is capable of cycling as many times as you need it to. By clearly defining the needs of your equipment and environment and performing appropriate testing, we can make sure the finished product is designed to be durable. Contact us when you are ready to discuss your next custom coil cord project.


Coil Cord Design: What Questions to Expect

Coil Cord Design: What Questions to Expect

Thinking through what you need before the coil cord design process starts can help you get the ideal cable for your equipment.

Custom coil cord design services allow you to get a final product that is a better match for your needs than an off-the shelf wire. But if you haven’t done some serious thinking about what you really need, you might not get the results you were looking for. Here are a few questions you can ask your team to get a coil cord that is truly customized to the requirements of your equipment.

In what environment will you be using the cords?

One of the first questions an engineer will ask during the coil cord design process is what environmental conditions the wire will need to withstand. Obviously, a cord used in a military or industrial environment has different requirements than one that would be used in a retail setting. Other questions could include: Will the cord be used inside or outside? Does it need to be able to withstand extreme heat or cold? Will the cord come into contact with moisture or oil? These are all conditions that can and should be taken into consideration when designing coil cords.

How long should the coil cords last?

A coil cord that lasts forever might seem like an ideal product, but if higher durability compromises function and/or makes it prohibitively expensive to produce it may not be worth it. In addition to durable jacketing material, there are other elements that can affect longevity. For example, choosing stranded wiring as a conductor can create a cord with a higher resistance to metal fatigue than a solid conductor. However, tinsel might be a better choice if you need flexibility but the finished wire can’t handle a high current capacity.

How dynamic are the coil cords during normal function?coil cord design

A coil cord can be designed with materials like steel, Kevlar, Spectra, or Teflon to make them virtually indestructible. That sounds great, but is that durability worth the added expense to produce for a cord that doesn’t require it? By clearly communicating your cord’s normal, everyday function, a coil cord design team can recommend materials that are the right balance of cost and physical properties for your equipment. A key question will be how many extension and retraction cycles the coil cord will experience in its life.


Custom coil cord design from a reputable cable manufacturer like Meridian Cable is a great way to get a cord that is perfectly tailored to your application. While there are many different elements to take into consideration when creating a custom coil cord, thinking through the questions above is a great way to prepare for initial discussions with the design team. When you are ready to discuss your project, please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.

Determining the Shape of a Custom Coil Cord

Determining the Shape of a Custom Coil Cord

The shape of a custom coil cord is one of the most important elements when designing this type of cable.

Custom coil cord is known for its flexibility, making it the perfect choice for applications that require a cable that can stretch and retract without putting additional stress on the wire. It has the ability to extend beyond the natural length at rest, which can be a real space-saving feature. These cords are flexible beyond simple extending and retracting in that they can also be pulled, bent, and twisted without experiencing the metal fatigue of a straight cable.

Coiled cable can be used to carry electrical currents as well as data and signal for telecommunications applications. This versatility makes coil cords ideal for use in environments that are often too rough for non-coiled cable. Coil cords are used in everything from equipment on industrial and construction sites to portable electronics, like sound equipment. With so many applications at so many different sizes, the shape of your custom coil cord is key to its successful performance.

Requirements Determine the Shape of Coiled Cable

If you’ve ever seen a telephone cord, you’ll recognize the shape of a coiled cable – curled in the middle with a section of straight cable at each end. While the specifications of the straight sections are important to the overall function of the cable, it is the coiled section that provides the cord with its unique benefits. The retracted length of the cord is how long it is at rest. This is the most common way to specify how long the cord should be. However, it is also necessary to communicate the full length the cord must extend to, so the engineers at your custom cable manufacturer are able to get a full understanding of the requirements of your cable.

The coil’s diameter is a key measurement when determining how far a custom coil cable should extend. In general, a coil with a larger outer diameter with stretch farther than a coil with a smaller outer diameter. When discussing your cable’s specifications with your cable manufacturer, retracted length, extended length, and outer coil diameter will provide a good starting place for the designer regarding the cable’s physical shape.

Fine-Tuning a Cable’s Performance

While you may be able to get pretty close to the final shape of your custom coil cable on your own, the cable’s construction and materials are best selected with the help of an experienced wire and cable manufacturer. Selecting specific fillers and jacketing materials can also add durability to the finished cord. Depending on how tough you need your cable to be, materials can include:custom coil cord

  • PU
  • PTEE
  • TPR
  • SVO
  • SJOW
  • Kevlar®
  • Spectra®
  • Teflon®

An expert cable manufacturer like Meridian Cable, learns everything they can about how your coil cable needs to function. This allows them to make the best recommendations on the materials and physical shape to ensure the finished cable meets the needs of your product or equipment. Rest assured that no matter what your application, a custom coil cord solution can be designed and produced to perfectly match your specifications.

Coil Cord Design Product Comparison

Coil Cord Design Product Comparison – SJOW, SVO, and TPR

Your guide to choosing materials for your product’s coil cords.

Coil Cord Design Product Comparison
Coil Cord Design Product Comparison

A Coil Cord Design Product Comparison allows you to choose materials for your product when comparing coiled cords and the jacketing required for them. It’s likely that you encountered a string of acronyms and had to make sense of them to decide which one would be ideal for your product and its industrial needs. Interpreting these differences and figuring out which material will be ideal for your product and its cabling requirements can be a challenge. We understand how difficult making this decision can be, so we crafted this post to help you to decipher these differences and choose the right type of wiring for your product. Here we’ll cover some of the more common types of cabling, the industries that each are commonly used in, the best type of application for these wires, and more.

Coil Cord Design Product Comparison: SJOW

SJOW indicates that the cable is a junior service cable. This type of cable can withstand up to 300 volts.The jacket will be oil resistant, which is beneficial if the product will be in a harsh work environment. This type of custom coil cord is non-permeable and ideal for environments where corrosive oils could hinder the cable’s functionality. The jacketing is also weather resistant and is rated for indoor and outdoor use. This combination of features makes this jacketing ideal for custom cable that will be used with small-scale machinery. The product’s low weight combined with its resistance to abrasions makes it ideal for use with portable products.

Coil Cord Design Product Comparison: SVO

This is a lighter duty vacuum cable and, as the name suggests, it is often used in household appliances. Up to 300 volts can be transmitted through this type of cabling though, so it is capable of handling quite a bit of power. Despite this, the product is best suited for smaller household machinery that is likely to encounter light household use. These cables are typically made of neoprene, so they can be useful for products that will encounter a broad range of temperatures. The use of neoprene means that the product is fairly resistant to UV rays and can handle everyday use.

Coil Cord Design Product Comparison: TPR

This type of thermoplastic rubber is durable and heat resistant, making it perfect for a product that will have to work effectively in a variety of temperatures. This plastic can also be colored easily, making it great for products that require a certain aesthetic. This capability is also beneficial for wiring that needs to be clearly differentiated for installation purposes. As with most plastics, this product is durable and can withstand wear and tear while remaining flexible.

These are just a few of the options to discuss with your cable designer during the design and manufacturing process. Custom cabling is an extremely difficult product to manufacture as a result of the geometry, vast knowledge of manufacturing materials, understanding of cabling machinery, and more that all go into producing quality cable. Because of this level of complexity, it’s often best to have cords designed for your product rather than hoping that off-the-shelf options will be suitable. With wires, cable cords, coil cords, and other vital components of your product – it’s often best to have an experienced designer guide your team through the design, production, and manufacturing process.  

Have Peace of Mind Knowing That You’ve Chosen a Quality Coil Cord Design

Choosing a Quality Coil Cord Design

Choosing a custom cable can be difficult, but understanding the design and manufacturing process can ease that burden, giving your team peace of mind knowing that they’ve produced a quality product with a Quality Coil Cord Design.

 Because a coiled cord’s quality can’t be determined visually, it can be tremendously difficult to determine which designers are capable of producing the highest quality product.

An experienced cable designer will be able to create a cord centered around your product’s specific needs and industry specifications. They will be able to walk you through the design process as their team of engineers gains an understanding of the product’s specific functionality and final application.

Peace of Mind Knowing That You've Chosen a Quality Coil Cord Design
Peace of Mind Knowing That You’ve Chosen a Quality Coil Cord Design

Taking the time to understand the product’s unique cabling needs is important as it ensures that your product will be made with quality materials. When crafting a coiled cord, the jacketing material needs to be durable, yet flexible enough to withstand the constant tugging and stretching that coil cords endure. The conductor inside of the cord must be able to carry the appropriate voltage and signal without experiencing voltage drop or signal corruption. If you’re having trouble assessing whether or not the proposed custom coil will be right for your product, consider some of the following jacketing options and ask your coil cord’s designer about them:

  • Urethane: This coating tends to be a bit more expensive than other options, but it is designed to last and withstand harsh conditions. If your product will be exposed to weathering, this jacketing option may be ideal for you.
  • Cross-linked Polyolefin: This is a highly flexible and cost-efficient option for coil cables, making it ideal for large scale projects.
  • Low Smoke or Halogen Free options: If your wiring will be exposed to high temperatures, you’ll likely need to utilize this type of jacketing as it does not produce harmful chemicals when heated.
  • PVC – For low-cost applications there are formulations of PVC that will work, however, care must be taken to avoid coil cords that stretch out.

Quality Coil Cord Design

Aside from the jacketing that will coat your cable, there are other important considerations that must be taken into account. When designing coil cords for industrial use, it’s also important to consider things like the size of the final product (not just its length, but the size of the cord’s coils as well), the product’s carrying capacity, and the final product’s functionality. Some additional features to keep in mind include:

  • Coil Cord End Direction: This is important because mechanically the straight section should be oriented so that undue strain is not created in the cable. For the wiring to work as effectively as possible, the manufacturer must determine which exit angle will be most effective based on the product and its needs.
  • Stranded Wiring or Tinsel: Stranded wire is more flexible than a solid wire and has a higher resistance to metal fatigue. Tinsel wiring, on the other hand, is ideal for creating flexible wires that don’t require a high current carrying capacity.
  • Outer diameter size: The larger the diameter of your cable, the more likely it is that your cable can carry high voltages and a wider array of signals. If your coil cord must fit within another product, it is important that you and the design team understand the specific size restrictions and create prototypes to ensure that everything works as planned.

With designed cords, it’s important that the manufacturer listens to your concerns and takes the time to learn about your wire’s specific requirements and needs. At Meridian, our customers are our top priority. We strive to meet their needs and work with them throughout the design and production process to create an efficient product.

With so many cable assemblies manufacturers competing for your business, how do you choose the right cabling manufacturer?

Does the cabling manufacturer understand your product?

Having cabling custom made to your product’s specifications is an important part of the design and manufacturing process and, when designed properly, will add to the longevity and durability of your product.

cabling manufacturer competition
cabling manufacturer competition

With over 25 years of industry experience, we know the questions to ask to weed out the cabling manufacturers who may not have the ability, or experience, to manufacture highly technical cabling. We also understand that this is a niche field that is both hard to research and difficult to find information on. To combat this, our goal is always to provide those looking for custom cable assemblies with as much useful information as possible. Here are some of our top questions to ask when assessing cable manufacturers:

Does the cabling manufacturer strive to understand your product and are they excited to work with your design team to improve it?

At Meridian Cable, engineering is our passion. We work with our customers’ design teams to find innovative wiring solutions that will complement their products, adding value to them. It is always our goal to find materials and custom solutions to make our customers’ products as durable as possible. Here are a few things to ask your manufacturer about based on the product you’re producing:

  • What type of jacketing will this custom cable have? There are many options available, and these coverings can be customized to accommodate virtually any scenario. An experienced cable manufacturing company will be able to consider options like Polyurethane for cabling that will be exposed to extreme temperatures, or Chlorinated Polyethylene for custom assemblies that will be exposed to abrasive materials.
  • Will your product be exposed to extreme heat? If so, ask your manufacturer about jacketing material such as Polytetrafluoroethylene which often can withstand temperatures of 200⁰C.

Does this company typically manufacture custom goods, or are they focused on producing off-the-shelf cable assemblies and wires?

If your cable assembly manufacturer is not familiar with the steps involved in custom designing assemblies, issues are likely to arise down the road. Because of the intricacies of custom cables, things can very easily go wrong – using wiring that cannot carry the proper voltage or jacketing that is not durable enough, for example, can wreak havoc on your final product. Ask potential manufacturers for examples of their work or past references to assess their quality and service throughout the production phase. These steps will give your team peace of mind when working with a cable designer.

Where does the cabling manufacturer source their materials?

When manufacturing cable assemblies on a large scale, it’s important to understand where your manufacturer sources their raw materials from and if this distributor is known for supplying quality goods. It’s also important to determine if the manufacturer will be designing the cable assemblies, wire, and cabling in-house or if they subcontract this work. If so, it’s important to research the subcontractor and ensure that all parties communicate openly and frequently to design a great product.

What quality assurance steps is your manufacturer taking to ensure that the cabling and wiring produced are of the highest quality?

This wiring will be used in a product that bears your company’s name and thus needs to function reliably. To ensure that the assembly is of the highest quality, the manufacturer should test the following:

  • Does the cabling manufacturer strive to understand your product
    Does the cabling manufacturer strive to understand your product


  • Polarity
  • Functionality
  • Withstand Voltage
  • Mechanical Durability

These are all key properties to assess to ensure that your wiring functions properly and consistently. You can find more detailed information on testing and assessing quality assurance in this industry in our blog post on the topic.

We hope that this helps you to narrow down your options when choosing a cable assembly manufacturer to work with. We know that this can be a challenge and are happy to work with our clients to ensure that they understand the entirety of the design, production, and decision-making process.