This section provides an overview for flexible cables as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 13 flexible cable manufacturers and their company rankings. Here are the top-ranked flexible cable companies as of December, 2023: 1.Cicoil, 2.NKT, 3.ALYSIUM-TECH GMBH.
1987~1991: Engaged in research on wire covering materials at Polymer Materials Laboratory.
1991~1997: Worked as a patent Engineer at Koike International Patent Office.
1997~2005 Worked as an intellectual property member at GE Yokogawa Medical System, currently working as a writer.
A flexible cable is a wire that is laid flat and coated with insulation.
The acronym for flexible cable is FFC. Ordinary wires are made by gathering wires with a circular Cross-section through an insulation layer and coating them so the cross section is round. FFC, on the other hand, is made by lining up flat wires and sandwiching them between resin films that serve as the insulation layer, and is characterized by its flat shape and much thinner thickness compared to ordinary wires.
Flexible cables are widely used as space-saving electric wires because they can be bent. In recent years, flexible cables have been manufactured in response to the trend toward downsizing, weight reduction, and space saving in various types of equipment.
Flexible cables can be used to connect printed circuit boards to circuit boards, as well as to circuit boards and electronic components. Because they are relatively inexpensive and can be bent repeatedly, they are often used where they operate. Examples include home appliances in general, LCD TVs, oil fan heaters, printers and copiers, stereos, VCRs, and telephones.
Flexible cables are available in many variations, including those with many cores, with double-sided tape, halogen-free, and gold-plated.
A flat wire is sandwiched between two pieces of insulating plastic film, with adhesive applied to the joint surfaces, while heat and pressure are applied to the adhesive. By crimping, the thickness of the flexible cable can be made very thin, such as 0.3 mm. Tin-plated copper foil is mainly used for wires, but nickel-plated copper and gold-plated copper are also used.
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyimide are commonly used as plastic films for insulation. Adhesives such as polyester-based materials are used. Most of the flexible cables have an upper limit of use temperature of about 75°C, which is not very high, but there are flexible flat cables with high heat resistance that have an upper limit of use of about 125°C, depending on the material.
The ends of flexible cables are reinforced with reinforcing plates made of polyester film, etc., and can be connected to connectors. Specific structures include one in which the conductor is exposed at both ends and supported by a reinforcing plate, one in which the conductor is supported by a reinforcing plate with the exposed sides reversed, And the one in which only one end is supported by a reinforcing plate. Some cables have reinforcing plates that are shaped in such a way as to improve the performance of connector insertion.
Hot melt adhesive is used to bond the flexible cable to the reinforcement plate. When used at high temperatures (150°C) while mated to the connector, the adhesive may soften thereby making the connection unstable. There are reports that polyester-based adhesives have been developed to solve this problem.
Most flexible cable products meet UL standards, which are product safety standards established by Underwriters Laboratories Inc. Most flexible cables are UL Listed, a product safety standard established by Underwriters Laboratories Inc.
The markings on the product itself might indicate that the product is UL Listed. FFC products are designed to comply with UL styles, which have specific ratings (temperature and voltage) and flame-retardant ratings. All FFC products have passed the most stringent vertical Flame-retardant test (VW-1).
In addition, some applications may require CSA certification, which is the Canadian safety standard for electrical products such as machine tools, electronic equipment, and medical equipment, and is designed to ensure the safety of human life and property.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., founded in Newark, Delaware, in 1958 is a manufacturer of medical devices and products that reduce emissions, and explore space. The company's product portfolio includes implantable Medical Devices, Electrochemical Devices & Fuel Cell Components, Ozonation Modules, Workwear & Industrial Fabrics, and Fire & Safety Fabrics. The company serves industries such as Oil and Gas, Aerospace and Defense, Automotive and Transportation, Construction, and Power Generation. They have a global distribution and sales channel, customer support center, and R&D center.
Cicoil, established in 1956 and located in Valencia, California, United States, is a manufacturer and supplier of new flat cable and cable assembly solutions. The company's product range includes flat cables and cable assemblies designed to meet the diverse needs of industries such as aerospace, military, medical diagnostics and devices, and semiconductor manufacturing. The company’s history includes inventing the ribbon cable and pioneering the use of Flexx-Sil material. The company consistently delivers products that exceed expectations in performance and dependability, reflected in their accreditations including AS9100D with ISO 9001:2015.
Lapp US, established in 1976, and located in Florham Park, New Jersey, is a manufacturer and supplier of industrial connectivity solutions. The company's product range includes robust industrial cables, connectors, cable assemblies, and communication solutions that cater to diverse industries such as infrastructure, food and beverage, mechanical and plant engineering, and mobility. Lapp US is devoted to providing an ideal connection solutions and good customer service. It offers a wide range of products and services to meet the industrial automation connectivity needs of its customers.
SAB Bröckskes, established in 1947 and headquartered in Viersen, Germany, is a global cable manufacturer and supplier of cable assemblies, alongside temperature measurement technology. Its offerings range from specialized cables for industrial applications like automation and robotics to temperature sensors for various sectors. The company provides high-temperature thermocouples and fieldbus solutions for efficient automation, and offers tailored solutions that cater to industries such as automation, robotics, and more. The company holds a comprehensive array of certifications and approvals, including ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001, ISO 50001, UL, and various other industry-specific acknowledgments.
Oki Electric Cable Co.,Ltd. was established in 1936 and is a manufacturer of telecommunications instrument based in Isesaki, Gunma, Japan. The company produces various communications devices such as high speed interface cables, wire harnesses, EDM wire, optical cables, and OKI cables. The products have been applied in various industries such as robotic, automobile, semiconductor manufacture, medical, and financial sectors. The company also involved in real estate business as one of the four major business operations.
Yamaichi Electronics Co., Ltd was founded in 1956 and is a manufacturer of test solution and connector solution products based in Ota, Tokyo, Japan. The company manufactures various products such as open top burn-in sockets, cantilever test sockets, camera module connectore, high speed transmission wiring board, and card edge sockets. The products are used in various applications such as automobiles, production sites, communications infrastructure, smartphones, and servers. The company has certified with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards certifications.
ALYSIUM-TECH GMBH, established in 2004 and headquartered in Krefeld, Germany, is a manufacturer and supplier of performance interconnect solutions. The company's product includes various offerings, involving cables, connectors, and cable assemblies. It offers a comprehensive selection of cables, such as coax cables, digital cables, and hook-up wires. Its connector offerings span industrial, automotive, and medical connectors. The company’s products find utility across various industries, including automation, machine vision, and transportation. With a passion for quality and creativity, it invests significantly in research and development to continually enhance its product range and processes.
Eland Cables, established in 1975 and headquartered in the United Kingdom, is a manufacturer and supplier of power, data, control, and instrumentation cables. The company's product range includes power cables, data cables, instrumentation cables, and fiber optic cables, catering to diverse industries such as the automotive, construction, energy, and telecommunications industries. In addition, the company is devoted to quality and sustainability, as reflected in its ISO/IEC 17025 accredited cable testing & inspection and BSI Cable Verification Kitemark for medium and high voltage cables. With over 4 decades of experience, the company consistently exceeds expectations in quality and service.
NKT, established in 1905 and headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, is a manufacturer and supplier of performance cables and solutions. The company's product range involves different cables, including submarine cables, onshore cables, control cables, and optical cables. Its cables find utility across diverse industries such as oil and gas, subsea operations, and various other sectors. The company has a passion for creativity and sustainability, demonstrated by significant investments in research and development. It has earned recognition as a dependable partner that ensures quality and customer satisfaction.
Lapp Insulator is a supplier of cables and accessories founded in 1959 in Leroy, New York. Lapp Insulator is not affiliated with the Lapp Group. The products are power and control cables, data communication systems, optical transfer systems, industrial connectors, and cable glands. Protective cable conduit systems, cable marking products, and cable accessories like cable ties, shrinking tubing, and trolley systems. The company has certifications and standards such as CPR and ATEX.
2 products are listed.