Quabbin: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

Through the centuries, the concept of ‘quality’ has fascinated people. Aristotle is credited with saying that quality is not an act, it’s a habit. Henry Ford said that quality means doing it right when no one is looking. Both of these statements describe the culture at Quabbin Wire & Cable Co., which manufactures general purpose electronic wire and cable, commercial data use cable, digital A/V and lighting control, and cable for harsh environments including Industrial Ethernet and Profinet. The company has focused on product quality, innovation and customer service for more than 40 years, never wavering on the importance of delivering on those commitments to its customers.

Focused on Quality from the Start

In 1975, Paul Engel borrowed $15,000 and founded Quabbin Wire & Cable Co. The company started manufacturing and selling cable in Ware, Massachusetts, with two people in a 600 square foot office, a small loading dock, two machine operators and just one machine. Eight years later, the company invested more than $1 million to renovate and expand its space, purchase new equipment, and add more than 50 employees.

quabbin building

Today, Quabbin employs over 100 people who develop, manufacture and sell shielded and unshielded cables for high-speed data transmission and a variety of electronic applications. The company’s headquarters remain in the same Massachusetts city, but now it consists of a 140,000 square foot facility that houses its design, manufacturing, and office operations. Quabbin operates 2 separate manufacturing plants, one dedicated to Commercial and Industrial Ethernet (DataMax), and the other (Quabbin 1) is for all other electrical/electronic cables. These separate facilities allow operators to maximize efficiency and perfect every cable being made. Finally, the company has warehouses throughout the United States and a global sales and service support organization to meet customers’ needs, additionally, Quabbin is a Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB).

During all of this growth, Quabbin has maintained its focus on manufacturing the highest quality products, innovating to meet customers’ unique needs and providing superior customer service.

“We started with a focus on providing quality cable products for our customers,” said Paul Engel, who still runs the company and is President and CEO. “We continue that today as we develop, manufacture, promote and sell cables for a variety of markets and applications. We are proud of how we work with each of our customers to assist them in finding the right cable solution for their particular needs. We also are proud to serve them as they install our products and answer any questions they may have.”

Delivering Solutions for Today’s Data-Driven World

Quabbin is known for making industry-leading cables that are as small as possible while still being robust and reliable in mission critical applications.  Its cables serve as the backbone of commercial data centers and industrial networks that provide such critical services and products as automobile manufacturing, oil and gas, water/wastewater, online banking, retail transactions, video communications via phone, music streaming and much more. All of these applications benefit from using cables that are specifically designed for their environment. Quabbin has many different industry standard types of cables but also provides customized solutions for maximum uptime when necessary. No matter what the application is, Quabbin provides high-quality cable options to meet any environmental challenges and exceed any data capacity demands.

“We work closely with our customers to understand their unique cabling challenges and needs,” Engel said. “When they need a smaller or more flexible cable than they can find anywhere else, we enjoy developing solutions for them.  If they need an Ethernet cable for Harsh Environments that can withstand constant “rolling-bend” and torsional flexing, Oil/Chemical/ and UV as well as weld spatter resistance, we can do that too. Our salespeople communicate their customers’ particular needs to our design engineers, who then work directly with our factory to customize a solution for the application.”

Cables for a Variety of Commercial Uses

AutomationDirect sells multiple types of Quabbin cables, which are valued by assemblers, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and cable distributors around the world for performance and consistency. Quabbin’s control and signal cable and general-purpose cables are offered in a variety of sizes and configurations and are used in, instrumentation, sound, audio and broadcast cable installations. They are ideal for low-voltage control signals and audio applications and are used in point of sale, computers, appliances and electronics. These applications are found in commercial buildings, education, government, finance, residential, telecommunications, data centers, enterprise, wireless, government and healthcare environments.

Its high-performance cables are also used in Factory and Process Automation, Machine Vision, digital A/V and lighting control applications for concerts and stadiums. They transmit digital signals to drive sound and video or computerized stage lighting and offer a high life expectancy, which customers love. They are often used in applications such as microphones, speakers, digital and analog audio, instruments and live events. The cables are crush-resistant, have a high flex life, are UV resistant for outdoor use and can take rough handling from “roadies”.

Harsh Environments Require Specialized Cables

ADC also sells Quabbin’s continuous flexing industrial Ethernet and Profinet cables that is used in harsh industrial environments where safety hazards such as continuous flexing, exposure to water, oils and other chemicals can occur. Tough conditions like these can be found in automotive manufacturing, robotic control, and the oil and gas industries.

“Our industrial cables perform above industry standards in these kinds of environments, reducing downtime and increasing productivity,” Engel said. “The cable is designed to be flexed in “rolling-bend” and torsional flexing applications.” He also noted that it is crush resistant and provides very stable electrical performance, even when it is bent or flexed continuously.

What Others Say About Quabbin

Quabbin’s decades-long reputation for consistent quality and innovation recently caught the attention of the producers for The Discovery Channel. They featured the company on an episode of the “Innovations with Ed Begley, Jr.” show. It focused on Quabbin’s history of quality and innovation and highlighted that the company makes its products in the USA. 

One satisfied customer in the video states the following: “I think that the employees at Quabbin Wire have this sense of pride that comes along with their work and translates to a noticeable difference in their product versus competitors as far as the quality and performance is concerned.” View the full episode of the show.

quabbin video

The Future Looks Bright

Quabbin’s history of expertise and experience in solving unique customer cabling challenges, along with its continued focus on quality, position it well for continued growth. This growth is sure to come as industry and customer demand, both in the USA and throughout the world, increases for faster data communication to support constantly changing and growing technology and applications.

“As technology expands, cable needs will continue to grow and change,” Engel said. “Our commitment to quality will remain key as it has since we started. We look forward to seeing how we can help our customers meet their future application needs. It’s rewarding to partner with them to understand their challenges and then develop custom solutions. We know that when we deliver high quality products and service to them, it helps them deliver those same valuable offerings to their customers.  It doesn’t get much better than that.”