Make Productivity Easier and Safer with Custom Extension Cable Reel Solutions from Alert Reel Manufacturing

July 9, 2024

Certain projects need extension cables to supply power where it’s required. Yet, at times, a simple extension cable won’t do. In these cases, numerous types of standard extension cable reels can offer a solution. Sometimes, a customer needs more than an off-the-shelf extension cable reel, and that’s where customizable options come in. Although Alert Reel Manufacturing carries a wide selection of both standard and specialized extension reels, our company can also provide tailored solutions in larger volume. Alert Reels can provide extension cable reels, along with their, to make it easier and safer for workers to bring electricity to where it’s needed while also making workplaces more productive.   

Considerations for Custom Extension Cable Reels

Regardless of the type, safety and placement should be a considerations for anyone selecting extension cable reels for a project. Reels should work effortlessly for those working with an extension cable and allow for easy setup. Extension cable reels, when installed, should be positioned so that workers don’t have to stretch and reach, promoting proper ergonomics to prevent injuries to workers. Portable extension cable reels should also protect the cabling to prevent damage from external sources and when paying out.

Additionally, there are other things to consider when choosing an extension cord reel. Mechanical requirements are also important for retractable extension cable reels, which should consider the type and whether it’s best to choose a lift, drag, stretch, or retrieve arrangement. Where the extension cable will be used also matters, as certain types and gauges of cabling can better withstand abrasion, outdoor conditions, moisture, or other environmental factors. Care should also be taken in how quickly the reel is retracted, as an extension cable retracting too quickly can present a danger if the cord is allowed to fly unguided back to the reel.  Always guide the cord back slowly until it is fully retracted. 

Electrical requirements matter as well with both reels and the attached extension cable. Reels and extension cables must be able to handle the voltage necessary to power the equipment with which they’re meant to be used. Amperage is also a factor, so the wiring must be of the correct size, as indicated by the AWG (American wire gauge) rating for the extension cable. Some extension cord reels will also feature electrical outlets to power multiple pieces of equipment. Regardless of the features, extension cable reels can also be customized and designed for specific industries.

Extension Cable Reels in Various Industries

extension cable reels have become vital tools for various industry applications. They improve productivity and operational efficiency in a wide range of workplaces. Industries in which extension cable reels are used include: 

  • Aerospace: Extension cable reels provide a flexible and pragmatic solution for powering equipment to maintain and repair aircraft.
  • Construction: Live connection extension cable reels work well for bringing electricity to tools when too far from a power outlet while also mitigating tripping hazards on busy construction sites and allowing contractors to meet project deadlines better.
  • Emergency services: In emergencies, paramedics, police officers, rescue workers, and other emergency personnel often need extension cable reels that work as a portable power supply to operate critical equipment they need to do their jobs.
  • Entertainment: Extension cables for audio/visual and lighting equipment help augment productivity on television and film sets where extensive wiring is often needed in areas far from electrical outlets.
  • Events: Concerts, conferences, festivals, sporting events, weddings, and other live events benefit from portable reels that can store and transport extension cables to bring electricity to where it’s needed, with outdoor events using extension cables made specifically to tolerate weather.
  • General manufacturing: Factories often require extension cables to power certain electrical devices, so they often use reels that keep cabling organized and manageable to streamline production and reduce downtime; extension cable reels can also be customized for specific processes.
  • Logistics: Various types of electrical machinery used on ships, trains, and trucks, as well as in docks, warehouses, and other points along the supply chain, often rely on power from extension cable reels that augment productivity.
  • Marine: Used to manage electrical equipment on offshore platforms, ships, and in other marine environments, these must be particularly robust to endure exposure to unforgiving marine environments and especially resistant to the corrosive effects of saltwater.
  • Mining: Heavy equipment and abrasive materials found in most mining operations can easily damage cabling, so there’s a need for robust extension cable reels that can both store and transport cabling to where it’s needed while reducing the chance of damage.
  • Oil and gas: Extraction and exploration for oil and natural gas are often done under harsh conditions in remote places, where portable extension cable reels that can withstand such settings perform crucial roles for communications, drilling, and pipeline applications. Often hazardous location cord reels are required in these settings.
  • Power generation: Power plants and networks for distributing electricity depend on extensive cabling networks, for which extension cable reels are used to protect this cabling when not in use and to boost safety when maintaining them.
  • Renewable energy: Energy production involving sources like solar or wind will often require extension cables and reels for energy storage systems connected to solar panels or wind turbines.

The technology for portable systems to bring energy to where it’s needed continues to develop, with extension cable reels in the future set to offer ever more advanced features.

Future Trends for Extension Cable Reels 

As extension cable reels advance and evolve, industries will continue to utilize these innovations. As with other tools, these will augment productivity and efficiency in the workplace. These future trends for customizing extension cable reels will likely incorporate cutting-edge technologies already used in other electronic equipment.

Some potential technologies and innovations for extension cable reels include:  

  • Automation: As with other commercial and industrial equipment, automation that winds and unwinds cabling on reels will streamline extension cable handling while decreasing the need for manual labor.
  • Customization: As new technological innovations come to market, customizing extension cable reels to meet precise needs for industries and applications will become increasingly common.
  • Enhanced safety: Advanced features will lower the risk of on-the-job mishaps and associated injuries, improving safety with the use of mechanisms within the reel that automatically lock and control tension on the extension cable.
  • Smart reels: Integrating Internet of Things (IoT) sensing devices within extension cable reels will allow Internet connectivity to enable remote monitoring of a reel’s performance and condition to optimize their use and permit predictive maintenance.
  • Sustainability: Eco-friendly construction that includes recycled materials within extension cables and reels will increase, promoting conservation efforts and minimizing waste. 

Extension cable reels already do more than just store cabling. These implements have made a significant impact on the efficiency and productivity of many industries. Alert Reel designers have the expertise and imagination to make extension cable reels that fit any application.

Custom Extension Cable Reels from Alert Reel Manufacturing

Alert Reel can create a workable extension cable reel solution for any purpose, whether it involves an off-the-shelf or high volume, custom solution. Whatever your needs, Alert Reel can meet your requirements for extension cables and reels. Our design team has the experience to create a specialty reel or accessory that suits your needs. Give Alert Reel your vision of a custom extension cable reel, and we can make that reel a reality.

Here are just a couple of our various custom extension cable reel projects: 

Retractable Extension Cable Reels for Audio Visual Cart

This custom job was done for an Alert Reel customer known for its high standards and quality, which made products for the electronic furniture industry. The project integrated a retractable extension cable reel into an audio/visual system. Mounted firmly yet discreetly within a specialized audio/visual cart system, our engineers also needed to provide it with additional outlets to power multiple pieces of equipment.

Internally Mounted Extension Cable Reel for Medical Equipment

Medical equipment needs to work flawlessly, whether the equipment serves people or animals. Alert Reel has designed and manufactured an internal tension reel that is used within MRI machines for human patients and CT machines for the veterinary sector. Medical equipment must meet incredibly demanding specifications that involve the extension cable reels themselves and aspects like cable payout angles, mounting brackets, and sometimes even specialty cabling. The work we do for such customers must additionally pass stringent FDA oversight.  

Extension Cord Reel for Charging Golf Carts & Utility Vehicles

Alert Reel manufactures internal electrical components for customers who need retractable cable reels for charging electric-powered vehicles like golf carts and utility vehicles, which are used for moving people and cargo. We have mounted numerous variations of our extension cable reels – internally and externally – with varying cabling gauges and lengths in electric vehicles of all kinds. Alert Reel works with both end users and distributors of such electric vehicles.

To learn more about our custom solutions, contact the reel experts at Alert Reel today.