People often say tray cable is the electrical industry’s “workhorse cable,” but why?

Turns out, it can seemingly do it all.

From power distribution and lighting to controls and signaling, the multi-purpose cable keeps factories humming and stores buzzing. Electrical workers like using tray cable because it’s versatile, cost-effective, and easy to install, which makes projects simpler.

Tray cable also isn’t afraid of dangerous situations commonly found in factories and generation plants. It reliably runs power through wet, hazardous areas through cable trays or conduit raceways.

When other cables aren’t up to the challenge, tray cable answers the call nearly every time.

Let’s Get to Work

So, what exactly gives tray cable its superpowers?

The key is in its design. The cable’s conductors are protected by several layers, including insulation, shielding, and jacketing, to help it excel in even the most trying environments. To keep it even safer, cables are placed in trays and conduits to avoid hazards like chemicals, water, and careless people.

Depending on the project and its requirements, Kris-Tech’s options include VNTC tray cable (THHN inner, PVC outer jacket) or XPTC (XLP insulation, PVC outer jacket).

Common Tray Cable Uses

Tray cable’s versatility makes it a common choice for many industrial, commercial, and residential applications in several industries, including:

  • Oil and Gas – Extraction and fuel manufacturing facilities are among the harshest industrial environments. The cable must be corrosion-resistant and perform across a wide temperature range in wet and corrosive conditions.  
  • Wastewater Treatment Plants – Cable must be weather and chemical-resistant.  
  • Pulp and Paper – Paper manufacturing presents a variety of challenging conditions — cable may need to withstand chemicals and solvents or exposure to the elements.  
  • Electrical Co-generation – Electricity may be produced from a range of sources, including natural gas, oil, solar, or hydro. Each type of production creates a unique environment that requires specific tray cable characteristics, as called out by the engineer.  
  • Manufacturing Facilities – Machines along the production and assembly lines need a lot of power. Tray cable runs electricity for power, control, and signaling between machines.  
  • Commercial Spaces – Lighting, power, and HVAC projects can all rely on tray cable for stable and reliable electricity.

Finding Kris-Tech’s Niche

Although there’s so much to love about tray cable, it can sometimes be difficult to find in small enough quantities to avoid waste.

Many tray cable manufacturers offer minimum runs in the thousands of feet. While that might work for large-scale electrical jobs, it’s less enticing for industrial and commercial jobs that need only short runs.

Extra wire, especially tray cable, means extra waste and less profit. When construction projects operate on thin margins, any waste directly impacts the bottom line.

To prevent wasting wire and money, some companies might look for other options that don’t always match project specs. When that happens, they risk becoming non-compliant with their project and potentially with electrical inspectors.

Making Wire the Kris-Tech Way

For 40 years, Kris-Tech has prided itself on giving customers exactly what they need to complete the job.

So, when electrical distributors began asking for tray cable products, they wanted us to put our spin on it. That meant offering the same great manufacturing and service people expected but with the ability to customize.

With those ideas in mind, we accepted the challenge and struck out to create a tray cable line.

Today, customers have access to a line of shielded and unshielded XPTC and VNTC products with short lead times and low minimum order thresholds. Best yet, Kris-Tech backs up every foot of tray cable with great customer service before, during, and after the sale.

We’ve produced millions of feet of tray cable over the years, but the goal has always been to serve our electrical partners with more products. With that in mind, the team is developing a low-smoke zero-halogen (LSZH) cable and testing other shielding options. Although we aren’t there yet, we should be soon – more to follow!

Safety is Our Standard

Like every Kris-Tech product, we’ve developed our tray cable to meet or exceed the highest standards.

Every tray cable we manufacture is UL 1277 certified and direct burial rated. They also comply with NEC 9.2 and 9.3 standards and carry an -ER rated for exposed runs.

But our commitment to detail extends far beyond producing high-quality cable. Our customers expect to customize their products, so we offer multiple color options, wire striping, custom print legends, non-standard lengths, packaging and labeling options, and no cut or reel charges.

The result is a tray cable built exactly to spec and supported by Kris-Tech’s outstanding customer service experience.

Manufacturing a Better Tray Cable Mousetrap

We’ve all heard the old phrase about learning to “build a better mousetrap,” but it takes on a different form in real life.

Part of being a great tray cable manufacturer is meeting customers where they are and doing what it takes to make their jobs easier. This means quicker delivery, excellent customer service, and smaller production runs for our products and services.

We aim to positively impact the industry by saving customers time and money. We also strive to reduce waste on worksites whenever possible. Our tray cable product line proves that good things can happen when manufacturers, electrical distributors, and end users are on the same page.

When every electrical job is unique, the wire we use should be, too.

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