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Cablecraft Motion Controls was contacted, by an OEM, in search of a special cable or linkage for use in steering a new industrial floor sweeper. A Cablecraft team from Engineering and Sales met with their counterparts in Engineering, Marketing and Management from the OEM, to review the application. The discussion centered on the application and a potential timeline for development. It was noted that this was a completely new, custom product/application and that Cablecraft had not been exposed to these specifications in the past. It was determined that a cable product was the best technical and most cost-effective method to meet specification. This was a first in the industry using a cable to match the functionally recently introduced by a competitor, at a lower cost, without a complete redesign; saving precious time and money.

Cablecraft then developed the product, and initial prints, for review by the Customer’s Engineering department. This application required a new conduit cap and seal design. There was a cadence of weekly update meetings instituted to insure timely information exchange; the overall process took roughly three months to complete.

Once an agreement was reached, with respect to the overall concept, estimated loads, various travel dimensions, cable strength and stretch; prototype cables were constructed to validate the design parameters.

To test these parameters, an agreement was negotiated to share in the cost of the testing fixture development. The OEM and Cablecraft invested time, collaborated on the various components required, determined the geometry required to fully test the design in the context of the application. During compressed-time life cycle tests, there were product and fixture failures; both parties worked together in a cooperative manner to address each as they arose.

Once the testing was completed, to the satisfaction of the OEM, the PPAP’s were produced, delivered and approved.

From start to finish, the process took 18 months, often under pressure from anxious OEM marketing and engineering personnel. This development was another great collaboration, to solve a difficult problem, with an OEM customer and Cablecraft.


Cablecraft Motion Controls was contacted in late 2017, by a large Lawn & Garden OEM, in search of pricing for a special mower deck-height lifting linkage. A cross functional Cablecraft team met with their counterparts, from the OEM, to review the application. Samples and drawings were released as well as application specifications.

One specification indicated that the rod-end pull-out (breaking point) force requirement was approximately 16,000 pounds. Cablecraft Engineering found that the linkage had ½”-20 threaded rod ends, or an industry-standard equivalent to an SPF8 rod end. Engineering concluded that the supplied rod end would not meet the specification referenced in the supplied drawings. Cablecraft could provide a rod-end that could easily handle the load; however, it must be heat treated and could not be assembled per the OEM’s requirements. The specification stated the rod ends must be staked, to the rod, at a certain distance (staking is a process where the rod ends are crimped in a press, effectively smashing the rod end onto the rod for a more-secure connection). These heat-treated components would crack under the load of the press and fail the pull-out test. This, along with the extra cost of the heat-treated components, made this idea impractical.

Cablecraft advised the OEM that if their force test specifications were correct, a much larger rod end would be required. The equivalent of a 1” rod-end, which Cablecraft did not manufacture, more expensive and much larger.

The OEM informed that the larger rod end would not fit into their tight space constraints.

Under the OEM’s guidance, Cablecraft decided to perform its own pull-out test on the provided linkage. This testing showed that the actual pull-out force, of the supplied samples, was approximately 6200 pounds; less than half that originally specified. The test results confirmed our hypothesis that there was an error in the OEM’s original pull-out force calculations. Cablecraft re-engineered the rod-end and linkage under the new pull-out force which was determined to be 7000 pounds. This finding enabled Cablecraft to provide a cost-effective solution using a standard, non-heat-treated rod-end (EF8). This new linkage was well within the capabilities needed to meet the application.

Cablecraft provided samples to the OEM for testing, the results of which concluded that the redesign met all requirements and at a much-reduced cost. The project was awarded to Cablecraft and the Cablecraft rod end (EF8) was specified, as sole source, on the OEM drawings. This project was a great collaboration with the OEM and Cablecraft. The company’s extensive engineering expertise and highly flexible lean manufacturing environment have historically produced a wide range of cost effective motion control solutions for OEM industrial, commercial, and high-performance applications.


Congratulations to our Brett Gearhart, Product Manager. In addition to the award itself, Brett also took home a monetary reward.

To learn more about the get-it-done story in A Message to Garcia, please click here. And again, congratulations Brett!

Brett Gearhart is the winner of Cablecraft's first annual


Cablecraft Motion Controls will be exhibiting at the GIE+EXPO Lawn & Garden Show in Louisville, Kentucky October 17-19, 2018. The Cablecraft booth will be #11013. Cablecraft Motion Controls is a leader in mechanical control assemblies, quality cable controls and linkage products.  These products find their way into a wide variety of motion control applications in lawn & garden, outdoor power and construction equipment. Headquartered in New Haven, IN, facilities are also located in Tacoma, WA, St. Matthews, SC and Hailsham, England.

The company’s extensive engineering expertise and highly flexible lean manufacturing environment have historically produced a wide range of cost effective motion control solutions for OEM industrial, commercial, and high-performance applications.