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Custom Cables Handle Rugged VFD Cable Applications
Rugged and highly flexible control cables are needed for these assembly robots.

Leveraging more than 1200 total years of tenured expertise in the design and manufacture of custom technical solutions for demanding variable-frequency-drive (VFD) cable applications, Northwire, Inc. (NWI) is a company that has seen and solved some of the toughest challenges in industrial cable applications. Headquartered in Osceola, WI with more than 41 years in business, the firm has tackled its share of VFD cable requirements with custom and composite cable solutions geared to reduce labor installation, increase equipment up-time, minimize energy waste with highly controlled and efficient electrical flow, while saving valuable time and money. In terms of international trade, NWI's trained personnel can navigate the complexities of international and domestic, regulatory agency and environmental compliance for custom technical wire, cable, retractile, cable assemblies, connectors, harnesses, injection molded plastic parts and over-molded products. The firm's Lab360 facility has certifications in Six Sigma®, Lean Manufacturing, Project Management, and the American Society for Quality ( to optimize design, manufacturing, and quality to achieve the highest quality and the shortest lead times and offers no minimum order quantity for custom cable and wire technical products.

Electrical Engineer Steve Kedrowski, Director of Operations and Engineering at Northwire, said: "industrial plant environments require rugged cable solutions and Northwire is driven to deliver severe duty VFD custom cabling solutions with physical properties that resist oil, impact, crush, sunlight and rodents. Our high flex cables have rigorous physical and highly controlled electrical properties to ensure maximum up-time and the longest life expectancy."

Exceeding The Standards
Designed and manufactured to withstand harsh electrical and mechanical environments, NWI's custom cable assembly solutions meet or exceed the requirements for standards according to VFD, Canadian Standards Association (CSA), appliance wiring material (AWM), and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and CE Mark approval. These VFD cables bring the benefits of improved system performance, including consistent performance during spikes and lower operating temperatures. They are available in longer cable lengths than alternative VFD cabling solutions and with lower capacitance per length. Custom VFD cable solutions from NWI offer a wide range of electrical and mechanical benefits.

Testing confirms that these custom VFD cables are durable, with testing conducted to over 10 million flex cycles. The high flex capabilities of these cables ensure long operating lifetimes and long equipment up-times. The flexibility and durability is achieved by means of increased cable strand count combined with optimum material and customized cable construction. NWI VFD severe duty cable installations are field-proven to resist vibration as well.

These rugged custom VFD cable constructions also contribute to reduced installation costs. The cost-competitive custom composite signal and power constructions of these VFD cables combine several separate cables into one construction which leads to reduced installation cost and increased length for the cable run. Economical Exposed Run (ER) ratings eliminate the need for conduit for more cost-effective installations. Installers typically appreciate the smaller diameters of these VFD cables which readily flex and bend as needed to accommodate sharp corners and confined spaces. Plus, the symmetrically round cable ensures consistent and reliable sealing.

Working With NWI Designers
Since these VFD cables must deliver consistently and dependably in some of the harshest operating environments, Northwire customers can work with the firm's design engineers to select from a variety of rugged cable materials for optimal oil and sunlight resistance, minimal impact of bend and flex on performance, and minimal impact of temperature on performance. Additional options, such as an optimal Direct Burial (DB) rating, ensure that a particular VFD cable solution will provide maximum resistance to crushing.

Jacket Materials
A variety of jacket materials, including low-smoke, zero-halogen (LSZH), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) jackets with core designs integrating insulation materials have been chosen for superior functionality across a wide range of temperatures from -60 to +105°C. In addition, environmentally friendly, anti-rodent options are available. Safe for humans and all other animals, the bio-active ingredients effectively repel rodents and help avoid safety issues, equipment damage, loss of productivity due to downtime, and loss of revenue.

These rugged VFD cables from NWI have earned excellent reputations in a wide variety of harsh-duty industrial applications, already evolved to the third generation of cable products. The cables are known for their high performance and reliability. With field-proven third-generation solutions in a wide variety of harsh duty cord industrial applications, NWI is known for offering extreme performance with maximum reliability. Given the length and depth of experience, NWI's VFD suite of cables meet the critical-to-quality requirements of over 15 major OEMs, delivering technically advanced AC to DC current energy conversion from AC drive systems to AC motors.

Data can be protected in noisy environments with the proper amount of shielding and grounding. NWI's low resistance to ground offers strong protection against low-frequency interference. Combining braided shielding and aluminized wraps for high optical coverage of 85 percent or better helps provide optimal electromagnetic-interference (EMI) shielding and radio-frequency-interference (RFI) coverage.

Consistent Performance
These reliable VFD cables help provide consistent performance and minimize equipment downtime. They also help eliminate equipment damage and reduce downtime with VFD cable specifically designed to withstand the typical voltage spikes that occur when power voltage peaks align with standing wave peaks. Low-capacitance and matched-impedance cable capabilities extend the life of a motor, reducing corona discharge and magnitude of standing waves while increasing the efficiency of power conversion for a setup.

The VFD cable solutions from Northwire are designed, manufactured, and production tested to meet the requirements of global markets. The cables feature a variety of UL, CSA, AWM, and CE Mark approved listings. In addition, they are compliant to NEC Articles 336, 727, and 725, and ANSI and NFPA79 options are readily available. These options include UL 1277 Tray Cable, UL 2277 Flexible Motor Supply Cable, Wind Turbine Tray Cable, UL 2250 Instrumentation Tray Cable, and UL 13 Power-Limited Tray Cable. The VFD cables are available in sizes ranging from 30 AWG to 6 AWG, with options compliant to RoHS2 and REACH standards.

Customers for these harsh-duty VFD cable applications can select from over 8000 standard products or work with engineers at NWI to create a custom-configured solution. To meet the varied needs of their customers, Northwire's personnel offer customers Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and custom inventory management systems, including stocking programs, safety stock, Kanbans [for lean or just-in-time (JIT) production], and JIT delivery. Certified to Quality Management Systems ISO 13485:2003, ISO 9001:2008, and AS9100C:2009, as well as CSA qualified to ISO 17025, Northwire provides personalized service with quotes in 24 hours or less, no minimum order quantity, same-day custom products, free cable and wire samples, and rapid cable prototyping.

Contact: Northwire, Inc., 110 Prospect Way, Osceola, WI 54020 800-468-1516 E-mail: Web: 

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