Speedy technology has revolutionized life, many a technological advances have been made and some are being made while more astonishing ones are yet to come. But of the most startling tech-no-revolution is the coming of sensors which has given birth to automation. Automation is entirely grounded on the principles of instrumentation. Instrumentation essentially involves detecting changes and the taking of readings from measuring instruments then relaying them to control units for processing and interpretation. However it is not as simple as it may sound because it involves complex systems especially where sensors are involved in the control arrangement of industrial processes.

Instrumentation is however not limited to industrials systems alone, it is also used in households where smoke sensors and heating thermistors are involved. These control processes use instrumentation wires. Instrumentation cables play a vital role, they are designed with stun and exceptional qualities and features. The well designed cables are found with authenticated and accredited sellers of which Nassau electrical is a key seller of these quality products. 

If you are passionate about technology then you must understand how critical instrumentation is for any set of processing, manufacturing or irrigation systems. Data which play key roles of technological research and development are taken using sensors fitted on the instruments, hence instrumentation. So to say then, the cables used for instrumentation process are very unique and special. I will take you bit by bit through the basic details for this cable.

To start with, you surely don’t want a wire which wears out every few days, this would make instrumentation very expensive because you may have to do replacements every time it wears out. So the ideal instrumentation wire has to be reliable and ensure sturdy performance for the control systems. This calls for a reliable conductor which can ensure consistent transmission in the harshest of environments, like copper conductor. Copper has excellent conductivity, I would say it is a top notch conductor. Besides copper, aluminum conductors can also be used to make the instrumentation cable in cases where a lighter conductor is preferable.

How Computerized Automation Works
It is irrefutable that we live in the computer era and as I mentioned, the use of computers has absorbed almost all man’s activities. Computers are apparently found everywhere, at home, offices and literally everywhere since we walk with our phones. I would help you understand that; automation which is the use of sensors to detect changes in a system is a great deal changing lifestyle. In most developed industrial systems, it is the automated machine that do a great deal of work.

Say I’m in Kew Gardens, U.S and I have to travel to China. Normally, I would be worried of my water processing system back home. What if something goes wrong while I’m away? Here’s where computerized automation comes in handy. First, with the sensors in place, any abnormal changes would be wired through the Instrumentation Cables to the control unit and the control unit if computerized will automatically send me a warning message via mail or phone in real time. Secondly, I could have a real-time monitoring of the system via live feeds on my phone. That’s how awesome it gets! Computerized automation has indeed made the world a global village.

Moreover, computer intelligence is employed to cooperate with automation so that a perfect and sturdy functioning system is established. Importantly, signals are the chief agents used to relay information from the sensors to the computers where information is processed and displayed for interpretation. It is in this transmission where the Instrumentation Cablesplay a pivotal role.

Structure of a Typical Instrumentation Cable
When we talk about instrumentation cables, we mean cables with multiple conductor used to transmit low energy electrical signals which are used in the control and monitoring systems of electrical power and other related processes. Measurement parameters and controls are so vital for every manufacturing and processing applications and that importance cannot be exaggerated because a small change in a parameter could result in an irreversible loss if appropriate measures are not taken in time. In such platforms, data is a key element, therefore any hitch in transmission can be erroneous and in worst case scenarios, fatal. Their electrical and electronic circuitries are the most critical attributes of these systems and if the wrong cable is used, the whole system may come down resulting in big losses. Here’s how the IC is intricately designed to make it the most appropriate cable for such installations.

There are very many types of Instrumentation cables out there. The challenge is in finding which one of them is most appropriate for your project. At Nassau Electrical we understand your challenges and we’d be very happy to help you choose what will work best for you. Here are some of the ICs which are currently available at our stores for sales and why they’d be good for you:

CANbus Cable
These cables are used in high-speed, serial data networks that are designed for intolerable electrical environment. You will find these type of cables widely used in the automotive industry due to its adaptive features for such harsh environment.

AS-I Cables
You can use these cable to interface binary actuators, sensors and many more AS-I devices. The two-core cables are precisely used for both power and date transfer.

If you have a feeling that you need a high- speed, token-based, ARCNET networks that will sufficiently provide local area network (LAN) communications between your industrial computers then you need no hesitancy. This is the cable that fits what you want, go for ARCNET cables.

CANopen cables
These ones specifically designed for use with an industrial communication fieldbus protocol specifically based on CANbus. So to say, you only need this cable if you have a CANbus based communication protocol.

DeviceNet cables
Here is another one for you. These cables are also used in the controller area network (CAN) protocol. It is however very efficient for typical connection of various devices such as valve manifolds, photoelectric cells, limit switches, motor starters, drives and operator displays to programmable logic controllers (PLCs). Use this cable for connecting your personal computers, it is very good.

Fieldbus cable
Industrial applications comprises a lot of devices such as actuators, sensors, transducers and controllers. If you desire to have a proper wire that will service you well in connecting the aforementioned industrial components then consider the Fieldbus cable.

Foundation Fieldbus cable

To this far, this seems to me like the best cable for you to use in the communication system which is all-digital, serial and two-way and serves as a Local Area Network for any plant instrumentation and factory control devices.

HART Cables
These are an interruption-free cables. They allow communications of between 4 to 20mA signal with exposing it to interruption. They also allow a host application also called master to fetch two or more digital update from a field device at an interval of two seconds.

PROFIBUS Cables. When you want to use this type of instrumentation cable, consider that it uses a vendor-independent fieldbus standard which is appropriate to use in both manufacturing and automation applications.

There are wide varieties of these Instrumentation cables. This leaves you with the liberty and freedom to choose from this wide expanse, depending on your applications. Would you want to know more about these essential instrumentation cables?

These specifications are guides on how to use the cable appropriately in order to optimize their service.To help you make the distinctive identification of the Instrumentation cables, I would like to enumerate of its specifications.

  • The cable name like, HW105 is an example of an instrumentation cable
  • the cable must be an Instrumentation Cable and not any other type
  • the voltage rating of 600 volt UL Type TC, 90 degrees Celsius
  • Have multiple pairs of conductors
  • Shield overall
  • PVC jacketing
  • Copper conductors mostly used
  • TFN Insulation.

What Features make these cables the most appropriate for Instrumentation?
We have gotten into the heart of this article, here I’ll list all the underlying properties that make the instrumentation cable different from other all-round multipurpose cables.

We will begin by looking at the conductors of the Instrumentation Cable. You know how vital conductors are for the electric conduction since they form the electrical passage of electrical current through the cable. The material, size and number of conductors used are some of the conductor-related specifications. Talking of the conductor material, you will discover that copper is the widely use material for these cables. The copper conductor is designed for high corrosion resistance and high thermal conductivity. Aluminum is also used for power conduction since it is lighter than copper hence more appropriate for installations where lighter conductors are preferred to copper. There are few chances that you find a cable with conductors which are perhaps made of steel and then clad with aluminum or copper. Those are also good cables.

When you will be doing your purchase you will see the AWG inscription on the cable. This a measurement standard called American Wire Gauge. The higher the gauge the smaller the diameter and thinner the wire. Thick wires are however less resistant and carry more current. When you’re out of America, the measurement ceases to be in AWG but mm2.

I mentioned that these instrumentation cables tend to be multi-conductor cables, so the number of conductor a cable has will depend on which application you want to use it for.

Jacket and Insulation
Various insulation and jacketing materials are used to reduce the leakages of currents that is being transmitted by the conductors. Your cable application is very important, it is the one to guide you through the cable selection.

1. Silicon rubber, it provides an elaborate flexibility though it lacks resistance to fluid and has poor toughness.

2. Neoprene is a good synthetic rubber that well suits your chemical applications. Why? The material is oil resistant, and also resistant to chemicals and flames.

3. Thermoplastic is one prominent insulation material used in various cable designs. It has breeds of Polyethylene, polyproplyne, PVC, Teflon and Tefzel. Where each has its unique pros and cons, generally they are highly flexible and have robust resistance to moisture or chemicals.Mica tape also another insulating material that helps you where there is high temperature to be resisted.

Shielding is a feature that guarantees your instrumentation cable a sure protection from the noise or electromagnetic interferences. If you check on control and instrumentation cables, they have a shielding material which wraps them all round. This shield is always embedded underneath the jacket so you may not necessarily see it. If you have worked with or understand the properties of electrical signals then you definitely know how sensitive they are to noise. The shielding helps to prevent noise and also reduce electromagnetic radiation emissions from the cable which could be harmful to your health and environment as a whole. Shields can be either metal braiding, metal tape or even foil braiding. Besides, there is also a feature for a shielded cable assembly, this is a grounding wire which you may also call a drain wire.

You definitely need to inculcate the spirit of buying quality products, products whose use have been approved against international standards. The instrumentation cables sold at Nassau electrical have undoubted certification from these standards:

  • UL Standard 2250
  • UL Standard 13
  • NEC Type ITC per Articles 501, 502, 503 and 504


To this far, you have seen varied features and intriguing science around the instrumentation cables. Now we want to find out where appropriately the cable should be applied in this field of technology. Essentially this code is for use, just as the name suggests, in instrumentation and control processes where a superb protection from electrostatic interference is vital.

In a nutshell, when you are looking for an instrumentation cable, have the knowledge of what gauges or AWG size that fits your application. Besides, ensure you have made the right choice when it comes to your shopping place. Shop quality products from shops whose products are from Reliable and accredited manufactures. There are few distinguished online cable shops which are dedicated to provide quality products and services, Nassau electrical is one amongst the few. At Nassau, we provide a wide range of products including but not limited to the instrumentation cables, which meet your demands. You can contact us for your order and also feel free to ask questions, we are obliged to answer back swiftly.