Category Archives: Other Industries

Truly complex coil cords

Many sensor arrays are complex, and often they need a complex cable connecting them to their processing equipment.  We designed a cable with 8, 28awg conductors, 5, 34 awg Litz® wires, 2, 21 awg power conductors and 3, 0.060” diameter coaxial cable.  Here is what the cable ended up looking like in cross-section:

TRULY-COMPLEX-COIL-CORDS-graphic-A However there was a twist, pun intended.  The customer wanted this cable turned into a coil cord that could slide inside a telescoping tube with an inside diameter less than an inch. Needless to say this isn’t the run-of-the-mill coil cord design. First we started with the custom cable. Our customer had very specific criteria for each of the conductors.  We worked closely with our customer’s engineers to understand what needed to happen, and shared our knowledge and experience with them to find a solution. This allowed them choices in their design process.

All during this time we kept the focus on the fact that this would be a coil cord eventually. We finalized the cable design, extruded the cable and then set about making the coil cords. Early on the issue wasn’t creating the cable, for us that was fairly easy. The bigger issue was making this complex of a cable into a retractable cable; a retractable cable solution that worked inside a one-inch pipe. During the cable design phase, we constantly made sure our customer knew the choices, and impacts of, stranding, conductors, insulation materials, shielding options, jacketing materials and construction methods.  Doing this allowed us to balance the electronic performance and the mechanical performance. The final cable had an OD of only 0.291 inches, and when turned into a coil cord did in fact work inside the pipe.  A solution was found! Meridian Cable can design cables as complex as this, simpler and more complex too, and we would welcome sharing what we know with you.  We have engineers that are happy to talk about wire and cable all day long. Your cables are unique; your vendor’s solutions should match.

Custom Coiled cords: An uplifting story

Last December Meridian Cable sales rep Emily Mierzejewski received an urgent request from a product designer for assistance in developing and producing a UL-certified coil cord prototype. The designer needed the coil cord prototype in place for an April product launch of a new line of power-free, height-adjustable workspace furniture. The coil cord was an integral part of the furniture design. This meant development, production and coil cord delivery had to be expedited.

Custom coil cord design is usually a collaborative effort between customers and Meridian engineers. A customer details project specifications and then Meridian engineers work with them to produce a technical drawing of the coil cord, as well as desired plugs and connectors. The drawings detail cable gauge, diameter, coating material, etc.

In this case, the customer already had a technical drawing of the coil cord needed as part of the larger furniture design, so Meridian engineers only had to review the drawing and ensure its feasibility. “The cable cord needed for this project was actually fairly big,” explains Mierzejewski. “The customer knew he needed a sturdy cable cord with a certain amount of resistance.” During the specification process, the engineers also suggested some alternate connectors that would be more effective within the design and more cost efficient.

In the interest of time, the customer decided to forego the customary practice of getting a few prototype samples upfront and asked for an initial small run instead. So Meridian built a mold, extruded the cable and fitted the coil cord with the required connectors. Then each coil cord was tested and inspected for quality. Delivery of the finished coil cords arrived just in time to be fitted into the furniture before their commercial debut.

About Coiled Cords

Coiled cords are straight cables with curly sections incorporated within them. Typically used as an alternative to straight cables, cable cords are used in situations where a compact cord with the ability to expand and retract is needed. Coil cords offer the flexibility to fit into smaller spaces without becoming tangled or knotted.

About Meridian Cable LLC

Meridian Cable LLC is a custom cable assembly and coiled cords manufacturer, specializing in engineering and design work for custom applications. Meridian Cable extrudes its own cable and can provide completed cable assemblies according to customer requirements. Meridian Cable is based in St. Augustine, Fla., where it will soon have a U.S. manufacturing facility. Currently Meridian Cable manufactures in Tianjin, China. For more information, please visit www.meridiancable.com or call 1-866-866-0544.

Molded Cables: What You Need To Know

Molded Cables: The Facts

Molded cables are extremely important but are rarely noticed by those using them. According to Meridian Cable’s owner and resident molded cable assemblies expert Bud Kinzalow, though they can be small, these cables serve large and important purposes.

Molded cables derive their name from the fact that plastic is typically molded onto cable, and their purpose is to mechanically attach connectors to cables. Kinzalow notes that custom molded cables are created through a specialized process that allows for maximum protection of important parts. “First,” he says, “the connectors are attached to the cable and are subsequently placed into a mold. Next, the mold is closed and the plastic is injected into the cavity that surrounds the cable terminal or connector interface.”

What results from this process are quality molded cables that can stand the test of time. Kinzalow adds, “People use these protective molded cables every day when they grip the plastic on their headphone jacks, plug something into the computer or plug a power cable into the wall.” Created to protect the connection between wires and connectors, molded cables have become ubiquitous not only in the wire and cable industry but also in everyday life. People are able to charge their computers, listen to music and perform other everyday tasks thanks to molded cable assemblies.

Molded Cables: Typical Uses

One purpose that custom molded cables serve is protection of connectors and cables from the elements. According to Kinzalow, “In years past- and still sometimes today – many connections between wires and connectors were soldered, meaning they were welded at a low temperature and one metal was used to hold together two other dissimilar metals. The resulting soldered connection often needed to be covered so that water, other pieces of metal or environmental elements couldn’t damage or short the connection between the wire and the connector. The over-molding was likely created to provide this protection and ensure a longer lifespan for the soldered cable.”

These days, molded cables are rendered to fit varying types of connectors and serve many different purposes. These numerous everyday uses emphasize the importance, in today’s technologically advanced world, of molded cables. You can find molded cables in:

  • Stereos
  • Headphones
  • Computer chargers
  • Cell phone chargers
  • Power cords
  • USB cables
  • Many more everyday devices

Molded Cables: Who Makes Them?

Since molded cables have so many uses, there are numerous manufacturers that can create them to suit varying situations. These manufacturers may turn to custom cable assembly companies like Meridian Cable to design and create custom molded cables for them.

“Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) looking to design and sell molded cables should ensure that the vendor that they turn to is UL, ISO, FDA and even military cage code certified,” Kinzalow advises. For example, if an OEM turns to Meridian Cable to build custom molded cables, they will find that Kinzalow’s company has all the necessary certifications in addition to the design expertise to be able to create a design that is unique to each OEM’s performance specifications. “Also important,” he adds, “is having the manufacturing wherewithal to make the product that the customer needs, the logistics capability to deliver the molded cables anywhere in the world, and the integrity to follow through on what was promised.”

It is extremely important to trust the vendor who is designing and making the cables because, though these molded cables can be small and seemingly easy to make, there is in fact a great deal of work that goes into creating perfectly fitted and useful molded cables.

Molded Cables: Who To Contact

If you are an Original Equipment Manufacturer looking for custom molded cables, contact Meridian Cable (www.meridiancable.com) for service from a UL approved manufacturing facility and UL approved distributor of over 50 different types of wire and cable. Meridian Cable is also ISO 9001:2008, cage code and FDA certified. Call us at 1-866-866-0544 to speak with one of our designers and discuss how we can meet your performance specifications for custom molded cable assemblies or view some of our molded component designs.