Cable Reels

An OEM maker of cable reels approached Harbor Manufacturing with an opportunity to manufacture and assemble all of their large cable reels in North America. Armed with engineering, machining and fabrication capabilities, Harbor took on the project and evaluated the best manufacturing method for each component. The cable reel uses stampings, machined bar/flat stock, formed tubing and the motor (the only outside component purchase.

Harbor also built a small paint line to handle the specialized color needed to complete the cable reel. As part of the entire assembly, Harbor also built a very complex subassembly (slip rings) used to power the retraction of the wire. These reels are all built to order, packaged and shipped throughout North America.


Customer reduced vendor base from five to one, eliminating a non-core business and managing distribution and sales only.

Oil Strainers

Oil strainers are used on locomotives and involve every facet of Harbor Manufacturing’s capabilities. First, we machined the ductile iron casting that serves as the strainer’s base. Next, we roll formed sheet metal and welded into the “tube” in which the filters were be enclosed. We then took a perforated filter, rolled it and welded it so it would slide snuggly into the bottom of the tube. Harbor pressed a stamping that serves as a stop then welded it to a long, threaded rod that held the entire assembly in place.

Initial testing revealed that the Loctite used to secure the tube and casting was not holding up. Harbor solved the problem by specifying and implementing a more permanent Heliarc weld.


Harbor now makes several variations of this all-in-one fabrication, resulting in reduced vendor base, and an engineered solution to an ongoing quality issue.

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