Businesses can't operate without them, but they often end up tangled in an untidy ball in the corner, ready to trip anyone who walks near them. They're power cords, and they're available in a wide variety of lengths, colors and technical specifications.
Selecting the Proper Electrical Cord
When shopping for power cables, it is important to ensure that the cable is approved for a particular device. In general, you will want to pay attention to the specifications (plug size, voltage and power type) at the supply end as well as the specifications at the equipment end. This will determine whether you need a DC or an AC power cord.
Also, pay attention to the length of the electrical cord. Large stationary machines can use a short cord that exceeds the distance between the machine and its power supply by only a few inches. Mobile devices, or components that need frequent reconfiguration, will require longer cords. As a rule of thumb, always make sure there is very little slack between a device and the furthest power supplies to which it will be connected. This helps prevent accidents caused by loose and dangling power cords, as well as those annoying power cord tangles that are the bane of every workplace and industrial setting.
Using an Extension Cord
Another option for mobile or reconfigurable machines or devices is to use extension cords, which are helpful for the management of cord length. Extension cords are also essential in large or unusually organized industrial spaces, as well as for repurposed spaces that were not originally designed with sufficient outlets or power supplies. An extension cord brings access to a centrally located power supply into smaller spaces and tight corners.
Special-Use and Rugged Power Cords
Finally, when shopping for power cords, some shoppers may want to consider purchasing special-use cords designed for rugged, sterile or high-stress conditions. For example, green dot cords (so named because they are marked with a green dot) are certified as hospital-grade, and have a tougher and larger plug than other types of cords. They are also specifically designed to meet strict quality requirements that are in place for all electronics used in a hospital setting. Similarly, there are other types of cords designed for rugged conditions, such as in field labor, factories or unusually high voltage.