Value-added services are a significant part of the wiring industry. From terminations to basic dying, each service has a unique value it provides to specific products. This blog explores one of the simpler yet essential services that Sycor offers. Wire and cable' striping' has been around for almost as long as the wire has existed, but as time passes and technology advances, this simple service quickly became essential for larger projects.

What is Wire & Cable Striping?

Wire and cable are unlike any other product in terms of colour, because of the limited options available. The wire and cable colour standards are typically limited to 10 numbers ranging from 0-9, with specific products allowing a few additional colouring options. Wire and cable striping is used to help electrical personnel find exactly what they're looking for as quickly as possible, with each wire having a base colour and stripe that identifies its specific purpose.

0. Black
1. Brown
2. Red
3. Orange
4. Yellow
5. Green
6. Blue
7. Purple (violet)
8. Grey
9. White

Now imagine an application requiring 15 plus wires with the same connectors, all connected in very close proximity to one another. Things can get complicated very quickly with applications continuously growing in size in order to meet the demands of advancing technology. Circuit identification has a few noticeable benefits, first is that it provides people maintaining these electrical wiring systems organized and safe working environments. Second is that wire striping saves time, because having the same colour wires in close proximity to one another makes continuous maintenance extremely more difficult, as the only real way to identify a specific cable is following it to its destination or by using a different kind of print on each one.


Different Wire Striping Styles

Wire striping generally comes in 3 options:


1. Spiral Cable Striping (Most common)

The most popular option, as the stripes can be seen from any angle. Striping is typically added after manufacturing and can be completed relatively easily.

Spiral wire striping


2. Vertical Cable Striping (Longitudinal)

The vertical striping line runs down a single vertical side of the cable and is typically extruded by manufacturers. The vertical or longitudinal striping is also rarely used as the stripe is much more difficult to see.

longitudinal striping


3. Ring Wire Striping (Solid Circles)

The most unpopular method that exists is the ring band stripes. This method has a very similar end result to the ‘spiral striping’. This type of striping is also preferred on certain products, mainly the mil-spec designations (M27500 in particular).

   wire striping


The different striping methods are all unique and although each method has its own pros and cons, spiral striping is still seen as the most time-efficient and cost-effective. Being the most popular type of striping, manufacturers and distributors have begun adding additional stripes for even further identification. Adding multiple stripes can get confusing very quickly, but with lay lengths ranging from 1” to 3”, each line is easily identifiable. Generally, most individuals will only ever require 1 stripe, but customers can request up to 3 spirals at one time. Using any additional lines will eventually cause overlapping and most striping machines only have 3 ink wells.


Overall the striping is one of our most popular value-added services and is one of the most time-efficient and cost-effective services available. With hundreds of different combinations, the VAS can make even the most confusing wiring systems overly simplistic. Our team at Sycor has been providing striped cables since 1981 and can help answer any questions or wire striping requests you may have.


VAS Brochure

Value added service brochure


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