With the ever increasing expansion of global technology in our world today it has become necessary for countries including the U.S. to seek out and obtain newer more productive and cost effective products or even services from around the world. It no longer takes days, weeks, or months to obtain some of the best and most advanced equipment on the market.
These items can now often be procurred the following day or at worst within a few days.With this new worldwide technology base comes new specs and standards when working on this equipment. Therefore, in the electrical industry it is increasingly common for the need to identify and segregate wire for the ease of installation and termination or to comply with these foreign standards.
Another reason for clearly identifying wire is when you have many runs of the same type of wire. Whether it’s in conduit or through a building it’s very important to be able to identify the wire clearly and efficiently so as not to slow the installation process wasting precious time.
The most effective way to do this is to have the standard colors of wire striped with another color. For example, the most common when working with or on European machinery is green with a yellow strip. This combination is so popular in fact that most specialty wire distributors keep it in stock with the stripe already applied.When striping wire it is most commonly THHN striped wire that is used. Its construction of PVC and large number of stocking colors allows it to be striped easily and its broad range of usage make it ideal. Although THHN is the most common wire used for striping it is not the only one.
In recent years it has become possible to stripe Teflon although very few companies are set up to do this currently as the process is more difficult and time consuming. MTW, or machine tool wire, is also striped frequently. Distributors often offer MTW stripe wire, which is used in panel boards for its increased flexibility.
The striping process usually consists of 2 types of striping. The first is what is called spiral striping which ads a stripe in a spiral direction around the wire. The best way to imagine this is to picture a candy cane. The other method of striping wire is the longitudinal line stripe where a colored strip is added in a straight line down the wire. In addition you can have multiple stripes on a single wire. At times it can be very helpful, and even necessary to have more than 1 stripe or color on a single cable especially when many runs are being used. Often times you may need to run hundreds of wires for a single job and need to easily identify each one. With that in mind you can imagine how many colors would be needed. Using a wire striping machine is the best way to solve this problem from a time management and cost effectiveness standpoint.