Connections Blog

Highly Flexible Cable Case Study

3 cables with Galaxy labelGalaxy Wire & Cable is a leading supplier of highly flexible cables and has customers with various robotics operations and industrial applications.

Recently Galaxy fielded a customer inquiry from a large warehouse fulfillment company that has numerous robots in use in its warehouses. They had encountered a problem with 3 cables that were failing due to lack of flexibility after repeated usage in their warehouse robots. The number of flex cycles that were planned for was about 10 million. It is also important to consider the way the cables would be flexing, which could include back-and-forth motion, bending, rotation, etc. Testing for this high number of flex cycles was part of the project too. Weight is also a factor.

So, the cables had to be re-designed with high flexibility and maximum flex life in mind. Galaxy worked with the customer to figure out a better solution to meet these requirements. The improved cables included a copper alloy conductor with that material’s high tensile strength compared to other types of copper conductors. ETFE was initially chosen as both the jacket and insulation.

Technical considerations and selections for these cables included:

  • Number of conductors (each of the 3 different cables are multi-conductor, from 3 to 8 conductors)
  • Gauge size
  • Shielding – spiral serve shielding was chosen because of its 100% coverage and low weight

Later on in process of re-designing these 3 cables, it was determined that UL certification was required. This eliminated ETFE from the jacketing, since that would not meet UL requirements. So the jacketing was changed to PVC, and 2 of the cables were changed to use FEP insulation to meet the UL listing needs.

This case study is all about flexibility – the needed flexibility of the cable, and the flexibility of Galaxy in adapting to changing requirements.

Please contact Galaxy for assistance with ordering highly flexible cables for many different applications.