There are countless ways of marking cables. Of course, this makes connecting the cable easy, but there are many other reasons why properly marking cables is important. Martin van Aperloo explains.

Marking directly

“A common way to mark a cable is to print a code directly onto the wire insulation or the outer jacket of the cable. This is done while the cables are being cut. With a laser printer we burn the coding into the sheath, but this is only possible with light colours. With an inkjet printer, we can choose our own colours, so we can also print on dark-coloured cables. A disadvantage, however, is that there may be confusion with the coding that the cable manufacturer has already applied to it.”

Marking after completion

“A good way to avoid this confusion is to use wrap-around labels, which we stick right behind the connector. For this we use a special printer that not only prints the labels, but also wraps them directly around the wire or cable. A major advantage of wrap-around labels is that they are difficult to remove. After 24 hours they stick so well that you have to work hard to get them off again. With wrap-around labels you can opt for self-laminating labels with a transparent section that protects the text from damage or wear. This type of label also helps us with warranty issues, because the warranty expires as soon as the label is removed.”

Other ways of marking

“Besides direct printing and wrap-around labels, there are many other ways to mark wires and cables. There are printable shrink sleeves, pre-printed marking clips, labels for tyraps, or tyraps with a label already attached. It just depends on which form is the best for the customer.”

Track & Trace

“All these methods of marking help to identify the type of cable assembly and to connect the right connector to the right place. However, there is another important reason for our customers to mark cables properly. We give each cable a unique number. We save this number in a database and this way we know exactly when the cable was produced, by whom, with which tools and materials, what the test results were and whether any peculiarities occurred during the production process. So for both our customers and ourselves, good marking is a big step forward in quality assurance.”

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