REELEX coils should never tangle. If they do, it is likely caused by one of the following:


Causes During Payout


Payout orientation

Packages should be orientated so that the payout hole faces the direction the product is being pulled from.

DO NOT dispense the product with the coil in the horizontal position (square panel facing down) as this may cause tangling. This is because as the opposing loops of the figure-eight unwravel, having the coil on its side increases the likelihood that one of the loops will fall in front of the other and get caught. Make sure the coil is always upright (rectangular panel facing down). Exception: ProFlex packages contain the coil tightly enough to allow for horizontal payout.


Packaging Causes

Tangling is often caused by improper packaging. In general the package should snugly fit the coil and the payout tube should extend as close to the center of the coil as possible for ideal payout performance.


Incorrect package size

The box is too large for the coil and shaking around during shipment. The coil should fit snugly inside the box with minimal room to move, rotate or change shape.

  • If the box is too small for the coil, the box will bulge and either cause problems stacking, or threaten the structural integrity of the box itself.

  • If the box is too big for the coil, the coil could slide or rotate within the package and cause unravelling and tangling issues. Many tangling problems in the field are caused by too large a box.


Incorrect payout tube length

Make sure the correct tube length is used. In general, the best payout performance comes from the inside end of the tube being as close to the center of the coil as possible.

  • If the payout tube is too short, the product will need to bend extremely sharply to exit the package, resulting in kinks and snags.
  • If the payout tube is too long, the product may catch on itself during exit, resulting in knots.


Incorrect payout tube size

For some products, REELEX II or EcoCore payout tubes are required for proper payout. This is particularly true of cables that have inherent twist, or are so flexible that they easily loop on themselves. If the product does not exit the package smoothly, consider using a larger diameter payout tube.


Operator Causes

Operator loses the end

The operator is creating a problem while putting the coil in the box. The outer end of the coil is moving to the inside and causing tangles. Be sure to properly train the operator in proper REELEX packaging and in preventing tangles. The operator could be pushing the outer end of the coil into the coil prior to packaging.


Operator creates a knot

If a tangle occurs in the first 10 feet (3 meters), the operator is not threading the cable through the tube properly. Be sure the operator is placing the tube directly in the hole produced within the coil and is not creating a knot by threading the cable through one of the winds.


Product Causes

Inherent twist in the cable

Try to minimize twisting in the cable prior to reaching the REELEX machine. In general, the REELEX package can tolerate one twist every 20 feet. (6 meters). Some complex cables including twisted-pair cables such as Cat 6 and higher can have localized (residual) twist in the cable. These issues can be resolved by utilizing REELEX II settings, boxes and tubes. Contact REELEX if these issues arise.


Equipment Causes

Hole is not clear

If the payout hole is not clear when the coil comes off the machine, the payout tube may not be separating each side of the figure-eight. This means strands on the wrong side of the tube will need a full turn to exit the package, resulting in increased risk of tangles.


Make sure the machine is making a clear hole in the coil for the operator to insert a payout tube. In general, coils without holes have a 40 percent chance of tangling. Many Non-REELEX machinery and “counterfeit” machines do not have the necessary algorithms that are built into REELEX machines and thus produce this “scramble wind”.


For solutions, see article: "Sloppy coil, no payout hole or coil falls apart"