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According to Northwire, progressive manufacturers have adapted to make custom cable solutions accessible.

Conventional manufacturing methods used in the production of wire and cable necessitate large-volume runs.

Therefore, many manufacturers have primarily supplied standardised or commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products.

Traditional manufacturing involves multiple machine setups, generates costly scrap to refine the process and requires time to clean the machine after a production run.

As a result, the cost to make 1,000ft (304.8m) of cable is nearly the same as the cost for 5,000ft (1,524m) of cable.

While appropriate for some applications, customers purchasing COTS cable do not have control over design, tolerances or materials that can require them to select a COTS product that does not meet their requirements.

In many applications, wire and cable are an integral part of the system and its performance.

Yet, customers require solutions designed and manufactured for specific needs.

Now that custom cable is readily available and affordable, buyers can get their precise design needs met, at a manageable cost, with shorter lead times.

Some cable manufacturers have developed methods to build prototypes at lower cost, minimise scrap and dramatically shorten setup times and production runs.

Industry surveys repeatedly indicate that customers want quick responses to inquiries, speed in negotiating terms and fast delivery of product.

Given this need, progressive manufacturers have improved their customer-relations management programmes and taken advantage of internet-based and electronic tools that enhance the customer experience.

They also have implemented programmes such as Lean and Six Sigma to improve manufacturing processes and efficiency.

Another service manufacturers can provide is engineering design expertise.

This helps customers to navigate the channels of international and domestic standards, environmental regulations, agency compliance and cable-product specifications, such as NFPA 79, REACH and RoHS.

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