What’s the Difference Between Round and Flat Cables? (.PDF Download)

June 5, 2017
What’s the Difference Between Round and Flat Cables? (.PDF Download)

When designing an electronic system, cables are oftentimes the last component specified in by engineers. However, when the ideal cable system is expected to last the life of the equipment, it is important to develop a system of cables that are reliable in terms of their durability and ability to maintain proper signal integrity.

Unplanned downtime is unacceptable, in any industry or application. Therefore, cable systems represent the “lifeline” of modern machinery. In today’s heavily automated technology, moving applications pose many challenges to design engineers, who have to decide what form of a cable is the best fit—round or flat.  Presented here are a few criteria to consider when making that choice.


Depending on the market and application of intended use, round and flat cables each excel in particular settings. Round cables have long been the industry standard, and are used in most industrial applications from automated and general types of manufacturing to renewable energy.

Flat cables, while currently a niche solution, can offer a great solution for supplying power and data to machines within the medical, semiconductor, and civil-aircraft markets, among others. Flat or festoon cables are also highly sought after in the overhead crane market for companies that do not want to wind cables around spools.

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