Allied Encyclopedia – What Does “Harmonized” Mean?
December 2, 2009 2 Comments
There are plenty of confusing terms in the wire and cable universe. With all the abbreviations and complicated verbiage (aromatic cable, does it smell good?), even seasoned veterans to the industry might not know what every single term means. That’s why we’re going to start a new series on the AWC blog, called “Allied Encyclopedia,” where we’ll investigate those illusive terms and flush out a good definition.
Flip through any wire and cable catalog and you’re sure to come across cable that’s been given the title “Harmonized.” That sounds pretty, but what does it mean?
The quick answer to this question is that harmonized cables carry the HAR mark, which is a voluntary European mark that has a scope outside the European market. In general, harmonization is the process to bringing together two or more differing/opposing things and merging them together. Therefore, a harmonized standard is a compromised standard that encompasses the needs of each separate standard in one.
There are plenty of standards organizations around today whose job it is to make sure that companies follow some rules in the manufacturing of their products. Different standards organizations exist in different parts of the world. Therefore, certain cables manufactured and meant for use in North America cannot be used in Europe as well as certain cables manufactured in Europe following one standard cannot be used in specific places that don’t accept that standard.
Cables carrying the HAR mark can be used anywhere in the participating areas of Europe as well as outside the areas, such as in North America, which means you can reach a broader scope of customers with one product. There is one thing to keep in mind, however: color code. The Standard Color Code and European Color Code are slightly different for certain cables. Always make sure to check which color code is being used when dealing with any type of cable.
Have any illusive terms you need defined? Not quite grasping something to do with wire & cable? Leave us a comment and we’ll do our best to nail one down for you!