Every contractor is looking for ways to reduce costs and save time on the job. And when it comes to wire and cable, material costs are just the beginning. Separately labeling and ringing out each conductor takes time, and labor costs can quickly add up. However, custom printed cable can simplify the identification of individual conductors, speed termination times, and slash labor costs.
What Is Cable Printing?
Cable printing adds a unique, printed identifier to the jacket of each wire conductor. For example, with standard alpha-numeric printing, the first conductor would be labeled ‘ONE-1’, the second ‘TWO-2’, and so forth. In this way, contractors can differentiate every conductor within a cable bundle, even if they’re all the same type and jacket color.
At One-Pull, we use a durable inkjet printing process to mark each conductor in black or high contrast bright white, repeating the printing every two inches along the conductor’s entire length. One-Pull can further customize printing to include multiple alpha-numeric characters, symbols, words, and even complete sentences.
Cable Striping — Another Visual Aid for Contractors
Another way to identify conductors within a cable bundle is with striping. Different colored stripes on each conductor help contractors visually differentiate between multiple wires in a cable bundle. As with our alpha-numeric printing, One-Pull uses a specialized inkjet printer to add the striping, either as a linear tracer running along the wire’s length or in a spiral stripe that wraps around the wire. Our striping is available in various colors, including common color codes like E1, E2, K1, and K2.
The Benefits of Custom Cable Printing:
Time Savings, and More
Custom cable printing offers many benefits to project managers and facility operators:
Reduces termination time and labor costs. Printing eliminates the need to test or ‘ring out’ each conductor, saving contractors considerable time. A common alternative, cable tagging, is much more time and labor-intensive. Printing on the entire cable allows simple conductor identification, no matter where the conductor is cut and terminated along the wire length.
Simplifies troubleshooting and daily operations. If a production facility experiences a connection failure or wire break, cable printing helps staff quickly identify and repair the damaged or disconnected conductor.
Similarly, cable printing expedites the ‘moves and changes’ process in production environments if conductors need to be relocated and re-terminated.
Promotes brand identity. With custom printing, suppliers and contractors can add company names and tag lines to wire and cable, helping them establish and reinforce their brand.
Enhances safety and deters theft. Cable printing can help keep workers safe by providing proximity or hazard notifications (e.g., ‘Gas Line Below — Warning’). Custom printing can also reduce or eliminate cable theft.
Supports industry-specific requirements. Some industries have specific requirements for cable printing. For example, complex environments like wastewater treatment plants often use unique printed codes to facilitate control panel connection throughout the plant. Government project RFPs may also include specific wire marking requirements.
One-Pull Custom Cable Printing: a Fast, Cost-Effective Solution
The incremental cost of custom cable printing is minimal, particularly when compared to the costs of manually tagging each wire. Printing, combined with One-Pull’s bundled cable solutions, provides contractors with a compelling return on investment by reducing installation times, labor costs, and onsite material waste.
As well, ordering printed cable from One-Pull won’t hold up progress on the job site. Our lead time target for custom printed cable bundles is 3-5 days — the shortest in the industry.
For many contractors and project managers, custom cable bundling and printing offer compelling financial and operational advantages. One-Pull’s expert team can answer all of your questions about custom printing, provide a same-day quote, and deliver your custom cable cost-effectively — when and where you need it