The Differences Between Bundled Cable and SIMpull Coilpaks
Electrical contractors often ask us what are the differences between our Quik-Pullbundled cable products and SIMpull Coilpaks. When speaking with electrical contractors, I explain that whether bundled cable is better suited for a project than SIMpull Coilpaks often depends on the type of construction, the number of conductors being pulled, and the total wire footage.
Here I will run through the advantages of both products and the types of projects where one is a better cost-saving solution.
Stocked at most electrical distributors, SIMpull Coilpaksare available in different sizes and colors (in fact you can order from Home Depot or Lowes).
Advantages of SIMpull Coilpaks
The SIMpull Coilpaks come in individual packs which can then be easily pulled from the package. Among the benefits are that the Coilpaks can be quickly set up on SIMPull cart (sold separately), which contains a payoff with 8 shelves that hold the individual Coilpaks. Though the Coilpaks can be used without the cart, it is good to have a cart for larger pulls. For smaller pulls (such as less than 5 conductors), the containers can be stacked on top of one another. The conductors are then pulled from the center of the packages.
Once the Coilpaks are set up on the cart’s payoff, the electrical workers can easily combine the conductors which the workers then proceed to pull to the connection. Since Coilpaks are not custom made, they are stocked at most distributors. This makes them easy to find, purchase, and bring to a job site.
Good solution for short home runs
When I speak with electrical construction crews, I often tell them that SIMpull is a good solution for repetitive home runs that do not involve dozens of conductors (individual Coilpaks can include up to four conductors inside each pack).
Disadvantages of SIMPull Coilpaks
Despite the advantages there are some drawbacks that limit Coilpaks utility on different types of projects..
Since they are not custom made, there is typically leftover wire. No electrical contractor wants to have a surplus inventory of different lengths and gauge size of THHN wire just sitting around in their office. Especially at a time when copper prices are high, scrap wire on the job site can make a noticeable dent in the electrical contractor’s profit margins.
Since there’s also a maximum of 8 Coilpaks on the payoff cart, the product is not as well suited for large wire bundle installations where the contractor needs to install more than dozens of conductors per home run.
The longest Coilpak is 14 solid which comes up to 2500 feet per pack so any longer runs limit where the Coilpak can be used.
The cart cost is expensive
There’s also the cost of setup: if you don’t have a cart, it’s good to have one for a multi-conductor pull. Purchasing a SIMPull cart costs over $1,500.
No custom printing
If the electrical workers are using the same color conductors, they’ll have to do the tagging themselves. Without the custom printing, electrical workers have to spend the time marking and tagging, adding to the set-up and extending their time on the job site.
Premanufactured bundled cable is an effective labor saving solutions for many different types of electrical construction projects.
Advantages of Bundled Cable
Prefabricated wire bundles expedite installation
Since every bundled cable order is manufactured to customer specification, the setup and installation is faster than using a SIMpull Coilpak. Bundled cable, on the other hand, is pre-made and shipped on a single reel so that once it is setup on a job, the pulling can begin seamlessly.
Custom printing saves time on tagging and identifying
Bundled cable comes with custom alpha-numeric printing every 2” on the individual conductors. As a result the electrical workers save time on the marking, tagging, and identifying portion of the installation.
Manufactured to specification avoids surplus footage
Since every order is manufactured to the customer’s specification, scrap footage is greatly reduced or eliminated.
Large wire length and conductor count
Whereas Coilpaks carts have a payoff tree limited to 8 Coilpaks and the footage of individual Coilpaks are capped at 2,500 feet, bundled cable doesn’t. With bundled cable, it is possible to bundle over 50 conductors. Furthermore, our machinery can bundle up to 5,000 feet per conductor.
Bundled cable is not the right product for every multi-conductor installation. There are certainly projects where I recommend SIMpull Coilpaks as a good alternative.
Upfront planning required for purchasing bundled cable
Since the wire is prebundled and labeled, the upfront sticker cost can appear higher for bundled cable than using Coilpaks. However, when you include the time on the job site to do the marking and tagging the overall value of the bundled solution comes into focus.
Longer lead time than Coilpaks
Coilpaks can be purchased and brought to a job site within hours (assuming it is stocked at a store relatively close to the job site).
On the other hand, bundled cable can’t be purchased the same day it is ordered since every order is custom bundled. The lead time is typically 3 to 5 days from order receipt to shipment. Therefore if an electrical contractor needs an immediate solution on the job site, Coilpaks would be a better option.
To conclude, there are advantages and disadvantages to both products. Whenever I speak with an electrical contractor who is unfamiliar with custom bundled wiring and asks how it differs from SIMpull Coilpaks, I lay out the pros and cons of both products.
In short, bundled cable requires a bit more upfront planning and may appear to cost more. But for the right project, the savings occur on the job since it saves considerable time and let’s the contractor get their labor team on to the next project.
To learn more about our bundled cable products advantages, contact us for more information.
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