The world’s leading cable cleat manufacturer, Ellis has underlined the reason for its industry standing by designing an entirely new product in response to a cabling requirement from one of the biggest names in global business, Siemens.
The product is a two-in-one cable guide and clamp that was developed by Ellis following a call to assist in the installation, and subsequent restraining, of seven large diameter high voltage (HV) cables for an offshore electrical substation that forms part of the multi-million pound HelWin 2 project.
“The requirement was to feed seven 117mm diameter cables along a specified route within a fabricated structure, which featured a significant number of twists and turns,” said Ellis’ managing director, Richard Shaw.
“The problem though was that there was no existing product that would enable the cables to be installed in an efficient, safe and cost-effective manner.”
The Ellis team, which had previously developed a roller-system for installation of HV cables in power tunnels, took stock of the situation and set to work developing a solution that would secure the Siemens specification, and see them become the first company in the world to offer a two-in-one cable guide and clamp.
“Within six weeks of the initial meeting, Siemens had approved our new product design, two weeks later five working prototypes successfully passed an installation trial in Germany and less than a month after that we’d received the order and had the tooling ready for mass production,” added Richard.
Ellis’ new cable guide and clamp works in two stages. Firstly the cables are guided by it into their final location, while trumpeted entry and exit points ensure the cable is not damaged when fed through particularly sharp angled turns. Once the cable is laid correctly, the top half of the clamp is removed, a fixing piece installed directly onto the cable and the top half re-secured, thus turning the guide into a fully-functioning HV cable clamp.
“We have always taken great pride in our ability to innovate, but to be asked to do so in a live project situation was certainly a real test of our mettle,” continued Richard.
“To come through such a test with Siemens problem solved, the specification secured and an entirely new product range on the verge of being launched is the kind of result that even I, at my most optimistic, wouldn’t have predicted when we sat in that first meeting looking at the requirements of the project.”
HelWin 2 is a 690MW offshore HVDC platform that provides low-loss transmission between the North Sea offshore wind farm, Amrumbank West and Germany’s onshore grid. It is due to be operational in 2015.
Ellis’ new range of two-in-one cable guides and clamps will be launched in spring 2014.
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