STIMATED AT A $500 MILLION
to $750 million U.S. market, cable ties are used to bundle or secure wires and cable in a broad range of settings to prevent them from unwanted motion or dam- age and have been adapted for the needs of many specific electrical ap- plications based on their flexibility and ease of use. A category that’s been evolving based on current demands for greater ease of use/efficiency by contractors as well as the growth of niche and spe- cialty applications, the cable tie mar- ket is poised for continued strength- ening. Here, several manufacturers of cable ties offer their insights into cur- rent drivers, market trends, and sales opportunities for distributors.
According to Jack Larsh, product man- ager at Southwire Tools & Equipment ( southwiretools.com), “Cable ties are used to organize and bundle electrical cords and cables and are extremely useful for low-voltage applications, such as network cables like Cat 5 and Cat 6—which are often in large runs of many cables placed side by side— to keep cables organized and together. Overall, cable ties allow users to keep their work neat and clean while guid- ing the wires without drooping wire or cables.” Kris Boutin, product manager, C&I products, at Burndy ( burndy.com), agreed. “Cable ties are primarily used to bundle wires and are available in diameters ranging from mere hun- dredths of an inch to several feet, de- pending on the application,” he said.
Among the various types of cable ties available are nylon 6/6, nylon 11, and nylon 12, all of which are “hygro- scopic” (meaning they absorb and release moisture to some degree to deliver flexibility or lack thereof), as well as stainless steel barb ties and 304 or 316 stainless steel ties. Differ- ent formats include releasable, push- mount, identification, and mounting hole ties. Larsh believes that market oppor- tunities for cable ties abound. “The construction and expansion of data centers and the growing body of mul- tifamily and mixed-use construction are just two examples of where cable ties will be key,” Larsh said. “Both fea- ture large amounts of network cab- ling, often laid in long, continuous runs that need to be kept organized. Cable ties provide a low-cost, simple solution to keep them arranged in a neat and orderly fashion.” When it comes to positioning wire to route it to a specific location, from wire harnesses on a building and jet aircraft to items attached to a card- board display or the running of wires from one array to another at a solar farm, “The applications are endless and cable ties provide an ideal solu- tion,” said Boutin.
Andrew Battermann, global prod- uct manager, fastening products, for Thomas & Betts ( tnb.com), noted that cable ties have become available in a wide range of materials and formats to suit a variety of demanding envi- ronments and secure wire bundles in highly specific applications.
TIES THAT BIND
Specialty applications and designs emphasizing contractor
ease of use are among the market drivers for cable ties.
“For example, the industry has re- cently introduced bacteria-resistant cable ties for use in surgical units, clinics, pharmaceutical settings, and other hygienic environments, while cable tie solutions made of materials suited for the tightly reg- ulated government and food in- dustries continue to grow,” Batter- mann explained. To enhance ease of use for elec- trical contractors, “Cable ties rated to support flexible conduit for eas- ier installation than metal clamps are available, as are cable ties with integrated mounting options so that they can be secured without extra parts,” said Battermann, who added that products have also been launched in formats that support identification, lock-out, tag-out, signage, and packaging. Larsh agreed that the needs of today’s electrical contractors are driving many new designs in the category. For example, “Contractors are being asked to run cables in all sorts of places, and many of these areas are regulated by industry codes and standards,” said Larsh, noting that the introduction of re- leasable, color-coded cable ties that are UV resistant, UL 62275 rated, and Type 21 NEMA classified makes these products suitable for use in air handling spaces like plen- ums in accordance with
NEC 300.22 (C)
. “While cable ties have historically been seen as one-use devices, re- leasable cable ties are particularly innovative because they can be
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