Are all cables created equal? Do engineers need different skill-sets when working across distinct sectors? Do we need different tools to cater for the idiosyncrasies of specific industry sectors?
Over the next few weeks I will publish a series of short articles highlighting the differences across the various cable manufacturing sectors. I will also use Cimteq’s product set to illustrate the technology needed to support them.
Today we start with energy cables.
The energy cable market is diverse but well-structured in terms of design specifications. Most energy cable designs adhere to international and national standards such as, IEC, BS, UL, etc. However, the diversity of plant capabilities, innovation, and end user applications adds another dimension to the structured world of ‘the standard’. Design management and maintenance is not only a slow and time consuming process, but if done badly can lead to scrap, non-conformance or worse still it can lead to litigation against the manufacturer.
Manufacturers pay a great deal of attention to material utilisation as it constitutes, on average, 80% of the cost of the end product. Material control is vital from the moment an enquiry is received to the moment the product is shipped to the customer. When a quotation is produced for a customer the precise costs need to be calculated taking in to account the length of the order and production losses to avoid accepting non-profitable orders, as well as losing an order because of over pricing. During manufacturing, material consumption needs to be monitored and controlled with warnings when material variance between design and actual reaches a threshold.
Tools, such as CableBuilder, are able to optimise products, validate against standards and working practices, and perform ‘what if’ analysis in order to maximise the efficiency of engineers. But the most important components of all, are the personal attributes of the design engineers, they need to have a bias toward accuracy and diligence with a keen eye on quality and cost.
The next article will cover the communication cables sector. I hope to see you then.
Author: Ali Shehab