Designing fit-for-purpose cable
For anyone who is new to the cable industry, it can be difficult to navigate. There are, quite literally, hundreds of variations of cables. Advising customers on the most appropriate cable or cable combination takes skill and an in-depth understanding of end use.
Since 80% of the cost of the end product is attributed to the material alone, it’s paramount that cables are designed to be fit for purpose and therefore avoid costly scrap. But there’s a greater cost to not getting it right first time: If the cable has not been designed exactly with end use and environment in mind, it may lead to personal injury or death, and the resulting litigation. There is a plethora of uses for cabling, from the distribution of power to signals and communications. Their environmental application is equally as diverse; from offering the support infrastructure on suspension bridges to driving the subsea power of windfarms.
Knowing which cable presents the best option – be it single conductor, coaxial, umbilical or shipboard – will depend on a number of issues. Five key considerations:
1. End user application particularly – taking into account size and topology of the network.
2. Environment – how exposed it is and what hazards may be present.
3. Process engineering – along with the robustness of raw materials.
4. Manufacturers’ equipment – whether it is suitable or robust enough to complement the proposed type of cabling.
5. Budget – the more complex the cable configuration, the more expensive the cable cost.
Specialised cables demand specialised software
The sheer complexity of today’s cable design demands highly adaptable cable design software. Cimteq’s “Cable Builder” allows cable manufacturers to quickly build design variations. Sharing these designs with customers not only presents an opportunity for effective collaboration and speedy adaptation; it creates a fit-for-purpose virtual prototype without committing time and raw material to countless physical iterations.Cimteq’s support doesn’t end there; its “Cable MES” software provides factory owners and managers with the performance measures they need to provide finished product on time and to specification. It of course ensures adequate stock control which is a critical element for any cable manufacturer supplying its customers with large quantities of cable. Equally as important is its ability to maintain traceability and quality control.
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