Tips to Maintain Industrial Cables and Wires
Industrial cables are subjected to more requirements than other categories of wire and cable because the environments they are exposed to are tough on cables. In coal mines, industrial plants, and other manufacturing facilities, the cables are subjected to harsh chemicals, vibrations, severe wearing off, and extreme temperatures. Moreover, the failures of industrial cables are hazardous because they pose harm to everyone working in the industrial facility. The failures are also economically not viable because they cause the production to stall. Industrial wire and cable care should be performed in a special way to ensure their longevity. Here are the top pieces of advice on industrial cable maintenance from the team of Nassau National Cable.
Choosing The Right Wire and Cable
The biggest mistake one can make with industrial cables is choosing the wrong one for the job. If this is the case, the wires will quickly break and disintegrate under the industrial influence, and no wire and cable care will undo the damage.
- Always study the type of tests that the cables should pass to safely work in your industry and the exact wire and cable requirements for the application.
- If the specific type of cable or a particular part of the cable (jacket, insulation. Etc.) is recommended for the application, do not ignore these recommendations. The type of insulation and shielding determine how effective the cable is protected against electromagnetic interference.
- Suppose there are no ready-to-use factory setups and recommendations on the type of cables used in the particular setting. In that case, it is best to consult the professionals that develop such setups and buy an appropriate plan.
Common Types of tests that are applicable in an industrial setting:
- Abrasion Test
- Cold Bend Test Per UL 44 (the test is performed at temperatures up to -80 C).
- Crashing Test
- Oil Resistance Test per UL 1277
- High Temperature Test (performed in temperatures up to 60°C)
- Water Immersion Test
Choosing the right wire and cable for industrial settings does not end with the specific industrial tests, general rules apply as well. You must choose the cables of the appropriate size, voltage, and ampacity. It goes without saying that you should choose wire and cable from trusted manufacturers only and not compromise the quality for a lower price.
Prevention Is The Key: Maintenance Rules For Industrial Cable and Wire
If a suitable cable is selected for the job, industrial cable maintenance should not be a challenging task. Remember that you can hardly do anything to undo the damage once its done. If you want your industrial wire and cables to serve for a long time, you need to prevent negative impact, even though the suitable cable will survive such type of impact for a long time. Here is the list of basic prevention rules:
- Prevent crushing of the cable, bending, and all types of runovers when possible. Crushing tests can only take you so far. If you want your cables to have a long life, keep the harmful impact to the minimum.
- Do not attempt to neglect the impact tests by requiring more from your industrial wires and cables. For example, do not bend the cables more than recommended, and do not use them in higher or lower temperatures than a recommended norm.
- Make sure that the installation of cables is careful and follows the recommendations. Many preventable breakages that result in the cable not working happen at the installation stage, so ensuring the right procedure is critical.
- Keep the industrial cables away from the damage they are not tested for. While your industrial cables of choice may meet their specific requirements, there is cross-production in plants and factories. Make sure that the wires are protected from damage, such as flames. If applicable, regularly inspect your facility for rodents as they can do much cutting damage to the cables.
- All industrial staff members should be given the consultation of the proper maintenance of wire and cable. While your factory setup and the types of cables you used in your facility might be perfectly safe, it is always the human factor that leads to most of the incidents. Please pay special attention to training new staff, as they are most prone to making mistakes because of lack of experience and lack of setting knowledge.
- Make necessary adjustments when cables are operating. Calculate the voltage drop so that the cables won't damage your industrial equipment, maintain the temperature, reposition the cables from time to time to ensure that both ends are equally exposed to the impact of the damaging environment so that the cable won't break faster on just one side.
- Keep the journal of all wire and cable operations for systemizing and accountability. The journal should include manufacturing information about all cables and wires, the installation dates, the issues that occur with cables, and the action plan of action if the damage occurs.
- Address all issues with the cables exactly when they occur. When the damage is done, check the cable immediately and make the person in charge repair the cable. If the damage is beyond the scope of repair, replace the cable based on safety concerns. Do not try to expand the life of cable if it compromises safety. Visibly compromised cables should be removed immediately.
- To prevent the issues from happening, initiate the mundane monitoring of all wires and cables. During monitoring, identify weak areas that might result in cable breakage or damage in the future, and issue the damage prevention plan.