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    Control Cable

    Control cables are specialised industrial cables designed for automation and control applications. They play a crucial role in the infrastructure of automated systems and instrumentation applications, providing the means for power and signal transmission between devices such as sensors, actuaries, and controllers.

    Control cables function by transmitting electrical signals and power between various components of an automated system. The core operating principle is based on the electrical conduction through copper or aluminium conductors within the cable, which carry the signal from the source (like a control panel) to the destination (such as a machine or sensor).

    Beyond being essential for the operation of automated systems, control cables find versatile applications across various sectors. With technically superior specifications, they excel in power distribution, multi-functional electrical systems, monitoring and regulation of technical devices, and setups with multiple inputs and outputs. These cables are ideal for use in production centres, assembly lines, robotic technology, and the power distribution sphere, offering flexibility and reliable performance throughout.

    Given these capabilities, control cables are important for:

    • Reliability and Safety: Properly specified control cables ensure reliable operation of machinery and safety for the personnel operating it. The use of specific cables like CY, SY, and shielded variants also helps in reducing electromagnetic interference, which is crucial in maintaining the integrity of the signals being transmitted.
    • Efficiency: By facilitating the precise control of machines and processes, control cables help in enhancing the overall efficiency of industrial operations. They allow for the quick transmission of commands and responses between different parts of a system, minimising delays and maximising output.
    • Durability: Designed to withstand harsh industrial environments, control cables can resist extreme temperatures, mechanical wear, and exposure to oils, chemicals, and other corrosive substances. This durability ensures long-term performance without the need for frequent replacements, which is cost-effective and minimises maintenance downtime.
    • Versatility: Control cables come in various types and configurations, making them suitable for a wide range of applications from light commercial to heavy industrial. This versatility allows engineers to tailor the cabling system to the specific needs of each application, whether it requires flexibility, extra protection, or resistance to environmental challenges.

    Types of Control Cables

    Multi-core Cable

    Multi-core industrial cables have varying degrees of flexibility and their robust design makes them ideal for harsh industrial environments. These cables are essential in settings where high-volume cabling is required, and they efficiently combine the functions of transmitting data, signals, and power within a single cable system. This integration is crucial for simplifying installation and improving the reliability of electrical systems in equipment and machinery.

    The term "multi-core" refers to the cable having multiple conductive elements or cores within a single sheath. This means that multi-core cables, such as 6-core, 5-core, and 4-core variants, feature multiple insulated conductors within a single cable assembly. The number of cores determines the cable's capability to handle multiple functions simultaneously. For example, in a manufacturing plant, a single multi-core cable can power machinery while also transmitting operational data to control systems. This flexibility in the number of cores allows for significant customisation according to specific project requirements.

    In addition, each core is typically made of copper or aluminium and is insulated from others. Properly configured multi-core cables can enhance safety by ensuring that power and data signals are cleanly separated within the cable, reducing the risk of electrical interference and improving overall system reliability.

    CY Cable

    CY cables are screened flexible control cables typically used in applications reliant on interference-free transmission. In industries where interference can impact signalling transmission. A reliable cable is needed for accurate transmission even in areas where electromagnetic fields are generated. CY cable features a multicore flex, tinned copper wire braid and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) separator which protects it from external electromagnetic influences.

    SY Cable

    SY Cable is an armoured flexible control cable designed for measuring control or regulation under tough mechanical stresses. SY cable uses a galvanised steel braided multicore cable protected by a transparent sheath. Stronger than CY and YY cables, this SY cable is widely used in installations where free movement is required without tensile stresses.

    YY Cable

    YY control cable is a highly flexible unshielded multicore power and signal control cable able to support a range of applications including engineering, plant installations, car production, bottling plants and many more. It is made up of plain electrolytic fine copper wire strands with PVC-based insulation. Suitable for outdoor use when protected from direct sunlight and indoors in dry or moist conditions.

    Security & Alarm Cable

    Security alarm cable is a type of shielded cable used to connect security systems. The sheath provides protection against frequency interference, which could otherwise cause false alarms to occur. Security alarm cables consist of several strands of wire, all contained within a protective sheath.

    Armoured vs Unarmoured Cables

    Armoured cables offer higher mechanical protection, which is essential in exposed and high-risk environments. On the other hand, unarmoured cables are better for applications requiring cable routing around tight spaces.

    Choose armoured cables for environments where cables might be exposed to physical threats. Opt for unarmoured cables in controlled environments where such risks are minimal. Your choice should align with the specific requirements and constraints of your project to ensure both effectiveness and cost-efficiency.

    Industrial Applications of Control Cables

    Control cables are essential in numerous industrial applications due to their durability and versatility. These cables facilitate the operation, control, and monitoring of machinery and equipment across various sectors. Here are some common examples of industrial applications for control cables:

    • Manufacturing Plants: In manufacturing environments, control cables are used extensively to connect and operate machinery that requires precise command inputs and data exchange. For example, assembly line robots, CNC machines, and packaging equipment all utilise control cables to ensure accurate and efficient operation.
    • Oil and Gas Industry: Control cables play a crucial role in the oil and gas sector, particularly in areas such as drilling rigs and refineries. They are used to control valves and machinery that must operate under harsh conditions, including exposure to extreme temperatures and corrosive substances.
    • Building Automation Systems: In the construction and real estate sectors, control cables are used in building automation systems to manage HVAC systems, lighting, and security systems. They enable centralised control that helps in maintaining building efficiency and comfort.
    • Power Generation and Distribution: Within power plants and substations, control cables are used to monitor and control generators, turbines, and other critical equipment. They ensure that these facilities can safely and efficiently manage the flow and distribution of electricity.

    How to Order Control Cables from RS?

    RS is a trusted supplier and distributor, featuring a wide selection of high-quality control cables, such as 4 core shielded cables, 6 core security cables, and more, from leading brands such as Lapp, Alpha Wire, Belden, CAE Groupe, and RS PRO. Customers can easily order the control cables and other cable types like ethernet cables and coaxial cables they may need through RS’s online platform, which allows for detailed searches based on CSA sizes, sheath materials, lengths, colours, and screening options.

    For our esteemed business clients, shipping is complimentary on purchases exceeding $40 (excluding GST), with a $10 fee for smaller orders. Private accounts and guest customers benefit from free delivery on orders surpassing $80 (excluding GST), with a $12.95 fee for smaller orders.

    Delivery Information for Australia

    RS provides dependable delivery services across Australia.

    Options include next working day delivery for orders placed before 5 pm AEST for items stocked locally, and same-day delivery within the Sydney Metro area for orders placed before 11:45 am AEST.

    Standard delivery is free on orders above a certain value, with nominal charges for smaller orders. Special delivery conditions apply for larger or hazardous items. For an exhaustive insight into our delivery alternatives, encompassing exclusions and specialised services like expedited shipping and bundled deliveries, we encourage you to peruse our delivery information page.

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