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Monthly Archives: June 2013

  • Using the VRQ+ Vulcan Quadrofoil Cleat In A Single Phase

    The VRQ+ Vulcan Quadrofoil cable cleat is principally designed to restrain and support single-core cables routed in dedicated TPN (three-phase & neutral) circuits.

    The VRQ+ range can also, hypothetically, be used to restrain four, single-core cables running in parallel and forming one single phase. BUT, sufficient air-clearances around each phase need to be maintained due to heat-cycling.

    Air-clearance between phase formations

    The BS7671 standard is not completely clear on the necessary air-clearance required, but it is generally accepted that the minimum clearance required is the diameter of at least one cable. It is important to consider that four single-core cables in parallel would equate to one “cable diameter”, we would advise that at least the overall width of the four single-core cable formation be used.

    For example, if you had four cables each of 50mm diameter, their Quad formation would be 100mm width. Therefore, there should be at least 100mm free air-space between phase formations.

    Cleating in limited space

    Due to space limitations, this sort of installation may not be feasible on site. If this is the case we would advise that the cables are run in three-phase sets within VRT+ trefoil cleats, with the neutrals stacked within our single way aluminium cleats. Please contact our Sales Team for more information.

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  • The Electric Event 2013

    All eyes are on the ICC Birmingham this week as the annual Electrical Contractors' Associastion (ECA) conference takes place between 20th - 22nd June.

    The Electric Event is a must for businesses within the building services or electrical contracting industry. The conference itself is focusing on understanding and managing change, keeping on top of new legislation and remaining profitable in a recession. Delivering fresh thinking, valuable insights and new opportunities, the event is full of key speakers, workshops and a chance to meet a number of suppliers at their exhibition stands.

    Conference Speakers

    There is a whole host of key industry speakers hosting talks on day 1 and 3 of the event, including Phil Fagg the ECA President, Steve Bratt the ECA CEO and David Philp of the Building Information Modelling (BIM) task group to name a few.

    Workshop Streams

    Day 2 features the 'Meet the Suppliers' exhibition as well as numerous workshops. The Technology Live workshops are an ideal opportunity for electrical contractors, consultants, designers and specifiers to hear directly from leading industry manufacturers about their latest products and innovations.

    We're particularly looking forward to ''Fire performance cables: Applications, features and which specifications to use to get it right” by Martyn Corbishley of Prysmian Cables.

    If you’re attending let us know how you found the event in the comments below.

  • Hydraulic Crimping and Cutting Tool Maintenance

    Whether you are buying or hiring a hydraulic cable crimper or cutter, following these guidelines helps prevent more than just tool failure and time lost on site.

    An example of this is incorrect crimping, which can lead to a number of issues with lug failure. If the tool is unable to properly crimp the lug to the cable, then the air pockets within the core can cause an increase in resistance leading to overheating and potentially a fire. The following images show an installation where a lug was installed with an uncalibrated tool with inadequate pressure. This led to the fire bridge being called, the building being evacuated and losing 2 hours of operating time.

    Crimp lug failure Incorrect crimp

    Typically, hydraulic tools are naturally robust given nature of the tasks they are designed for, however, we always recommend you ensure your tools are in date in terms of calibration and the on-site team is reminded about the importance of pre-use checks and tests, as well as demonstrating the results if a crimp is not undertaken carefully.

    Our hydraulic tool maintenance guide gives you a few simple steps that can help avoid tool failure, hydraulic oil leakage and head jamming.

    General Maintenance

    When you hire or purchase a tool you should also check its condition as soon as you receive it, making sure there are no defects that could impact performance. Usually, tools distributed from reputable companies are calibrated, tested and guaranteed before delivery. However, checking yourself should be the final line of defence.

    All tools we supply come with full operation instructions, these instructions should be followed as not only do they help achieve the best cut or crimp, they also keep the tool within safe operating conditions. Keeping to these guidelines will ensure the tool works to its best capacity as well as allowing it to maintain this performance throughout its operational life.

    How often should I calibrate my crimper/cutter?

    Whenever you hire or first purchase a hydraulic Cembre cutting or crimping tool from ETS, we fully test and calibrate your tool before delivery, supplying a calibration certificate with the tool. For short to medium term hires it is unlikely that the tool will need calibration while on its hire period. However, with long term rental and purchasing a tool, knowing when to calibrate your tool is important.

    It is recommended that you get your hydraulic tool calibrated every 12 months. Calibration will test the pressure of your tool using a manometer. The pressure measurement test will make sure the tool meets the recommended level of pressure to enable the correct crimping or cutting operation. If the tool does not meet the required minimum pressure, it needs to be sent to the manufacturer for repair. We can carry out full calibration services for Cembre tools, please contact us for more information.

    How to correctly store a hydraulic tool

    All our Cembre hydraulic tools are supplied with protective storage cases, with enough room to store the tool or head and a number of die sets. These cases help keep the tool safe from damage on-site as well as providing an easy way to transport the tool to, from and around a project.

    We recommend keeping the tool within the heavy-duty protective case while not in use as not only does it protect the tool from damage but also keeps harmful dirt and greases away from clogging the mechanisms.

    Lifespan of a well maintained tool

    A faulty tool is not just costly if you need to purchase a replacement, it can also be time consuming to organise collection and delivery of replacement tooling. Leading to increased time on site and a reduction in productivity, which could have a ripple effect down the line if essential work is reliant on the crimping or cutting of cables.

    We offer a full 12 month warranty with all Cembre hydraulic tools we hire and sell. Although following these tool care and maintenance guidelines will enable your tool to work far beyond this period, reduce tool failure downtime and extend its operational life-span to its maximum potential.

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  • ETS Help Supply The Shard

    The Shard, also known as the Shard of Glass is a brand new skyscraper next to London Bridge. Construction work began in March 2009 and was completed in March 2012, opening to the public in February this year. Standing at an impressive 309.6 meters (1,016 ft), the Shard is the tallest building in Western Europe.

    ETS were proud to help supply this iconic building and we take a look back at what products we supplied for the project.

    We originally submitted samples and data sheets for approval in 2008. Working with both the main contractor and consultant to provide suitable products that would compliment the high quality engineering standards of the project design, as well as stand the test of time.

    On this basis, the products short listed for approval were provided by CMP, Ellis Patents and Cembre. It was felt each of these manufacturers provided stringent enough product testing to ensure that cabling contractors would be able to deliver the highest quality installation.

    The Shard was also awarded 'Major Building Project of the Year' (Over £50m) at the British Construction Industry (BCI) awards 2013.


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