Wire Spiral Striping
Spiral Striping Service for Hook-Up Wire
We offer many types of hook up wire with the option of adding a spiral stripe. We have a tall wire stripping machine that uses paint and three wheels to slowly stripe the paint onto the wire. Then the wire is sent through a 15-foot metal tube that heats and dries the paint before it is wound onto a spool. There is usually about 10-15 feet of waste on each end of the spool which means we use roughly 130 feet to stripe 100 feet of wire.
The Spiral Striping Hook up Wire Process
As customers are buying hook up wire on our website they have the option of picking a few colors. First, they must choose the wire’s color, gauge size, and type. Then they must decide if they want a spiral stripe added to the wire for an additional charge. Since there are thousands of color options, we create each striped order after the order is received. Our shipping department will find the wire that was requested on the order, along with the color of paint used to add the stripe and the plastic spool needed to catch the wire as it goes through the machine. Sometimes it can take a day or two for us to process and ship a spiral striping order because the machine might have multiple orders in front of it, however, we like to ship each striped order within one day. We currently have two striping machines and we’ll purchase a third if we can’t get all of the orders out in one day.
Wire Stripping Part Numbers
Our part numbers are descriptions in order to make it easier for customers to understand when they receive our products. “UL1007-18-16 BK”, for example, is approved by UL (Underwriter’s Laboratories) under their 1007 designation, it is 18 gauge wire with 16 copper strands, and the color is Black. If we add a Yellow stripe to this black wire the new part number would be “UL1007-18-16 BK/YL”. UL is a third-party company that tests, approves, and stamps wire and cable products to certain standards. UL1007, for example, is tested to 300 volts and 105°C before getting a stamp of approval. It gives added quality and comfort to end users that rely on voltage and temperature ratings to be accurate. Having a third-party company stamp the wire is better than simply believing the company that manufactured it.
Costs of Adding Spiral Stripes to Hook up Wire
There is an initial cost of buying a wire stripe machine and the paint and acetone. The acetone is used to clean the wheels and paint buckets before switching colors. The machine uses a lot of electrical power so you would need to call an electrician to make sure you have the correct outlet and power distribution before setting it up yourself. There is a labor cost of having an employee prepare the machine, set up the color, start the striping process and sporadically check the final product for quality as it’s winding onto the plastic spool. The employee doesn’t have to babysit the wire as it is running, but short lengths between 100 and 250 feet don’t allow much time for other jobs. Longer runs of 1000 feet tend to give the employee time to complete another task at the same time. The final cost of the spiral striping process other than the cost of the wire is the cost of waste. In order to produce 100, 250 or 1000 feet we need to use about 30 feet of wire to start and complete the job. It takes a minute for the paint to gain solid traction to the wire and we can only send the quality approved product to the customer.
Color Options for Spiral Stripes
There are ten basic colors manufactured in the hook-up wire industry and most distributors stock all ten colors in various gauge sizes (Black, Brown, Blue, Gray, Green, Orange, Red, Violet, White and Yellow). The same ten colors are offered as a striping option and one of those colors would be the same (Black wire with Black stripe) which wouldn’t make sense to combine. Stripes are popular for end users that need more than the ten basic colors for a wire harness assembly job. After using all ten colors once, each of the same ten colors can have a white stripe added to them, allowing 19 options (White/White excluded). Adding spiral wire stripes allows for endless color options in wire harnesses and large electrical panels that have hundreds of colors and stripes.
Spiral Stripping Process for High-Temperature Wire
Spiral wire striping is more difficult for high-temperature wire (PTFE) because of the heat-resistant insulation. The insulation is manufactured to withstand 200C instead of 105C so the paint doesn’t adhere or dry to the insulation as quickly as PVC wire. There is a special stripping machine used for high-temperature wire in order to adhere to the paint differently and create a longer metal tube for a longer drying process after the paint is on the wire. We have the ability to stripe both PVC and PTFE wire on our website for the same additional charge.