By Patrick McLaughlin
Over the past few years we have taken several opportunities in this magazine and on our website, cablinginstall.com, to follow stories and developments related to counterfeit cable. Counterfeiting episodes have taken several shapes, including copper-clad aluminum conductors being passed off as all-copper, the issuing of public notices by Underwriters Laboratories when that organization finds the improper use of its markings, and even the UL requirement for cable manufacturers to use holographic labels on their packages to place a hurdle in front of counterfeiters that print the UL mark on a cable box when they have no business doing so.
Recently I became aware that Reelex Packaging Solutions, inventor of the Reelex cable-packaging system that includes a cable coil-wind pattern and payout dispenser, has undertaken an initiative of its own against counterfeiting. That's because not only can cables be "knocked off," but the packaging of those cables can be as well. Evidently Reelex has seen its packaging process, which is patented and trademarked, knocked off one too many times.
Reelex licenses its packaging process, which often is referred to as the "pull box," to cable manufacturers. The company's vice president of business development, Timothy Copp, commented, "It is important that the installer understand there are genuine Reelex boxes and there are knockoff boxes, and when the package isn't genuine, it's very likely the cable isn't either."
Licensees are required to print the Reelex mark on all boxes that use the technology. That requirement serves two purposes: 1) To identify the box as incorporating Reelex packaging, and 2) To assist Reelex in their efforts to bring legal action against those that infringe. Because let's face it, a company that is going to make counterfeit or substandard cable and pass it off as legitimate probably won't think twice about falsely printing the Reelex logo on the package.
Reelex maintains a list of licensees online, so users can check that list to verify a cable package. The company also says a visual inspection by a trained eye can provide some obvious indications of whether or not its packaging processes have been used. The company launched a website with photographic and video comparisons of legit versus counterfeit packaging: www.reelex.com/counterfeit.
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