January 23, 2013

Cost reduction opportunities in sector cable production

Sector cables

Cable manufacturers are increasingly venturing into global markets in the search for opportunities to sell more and make better use of their production capacities. At the same time, the competitive pressure among manufacturers is fierce. Success or failure in the marketplace is increasingly being dictated by quality and price.

As such, the goals are clearly defined:

1. Establish stable production processes
2. Assure the highest quality level
3. Save raw material

In order to meet these challenges, quality monitoring systems need to be installed at critical points in the production line. Ensuring the dimensional stability of heights and widths (i.e. average wall thickness in terms of height and width) is of the utmost importance.

State of the art measurement systems, integrated into the production process, perform this monitoring task and the statistical evaluation of the measured data. This data indicates how steady the production line is, and where processes could potentially be optimised. Problems such as irregular melts, inconsistent production speeds or conductor faults do not go undetected, and can be remedied immediately. For example, unacceptable scrap caused by irregularly melted granular material can be detected and sorted out during of the manufacturing process.

How can the price to performance ratio be optimised? By saving even more material. One thing is clear: Based on just a few available data measurements, production must be tailored to a maximum certainty, and the insulation manufactured with thicker walls than is really necessary. However, if a perfect insulation layer can be guaranteed and the wall thickness rigorously tested right after the extruder, we can aim to manufacture the wall thickness at the lower end of the specified tolerance range. This can save between 2 and 5 percent of total material cost every year.

Oscillating measuring systems DVO 2

Oscillating measuring systems DVO 2

DVO 2 systems from ZUMBACH, combined with a USYS data acquisition, processing and display system and JACKETMASTER software, can capture and process all critical parameters, such as height, width, minimum and maximum dimension – easily, regardless of cable shape or profile, and at all angle variations. Each ODAC® measuring head mounted on the oscillating device DVO 2 oscillates continuously around the product within an angle of +/- 50° and at cyclical speeds of between 2.6 and 45 seconds. Thanks to the oscillation of the measuring head, it is not necessary to keep the sector cable in a fixed position. This unique advantage means that any and all types of sector cable (straight and pre-spiralled) can be measured reliably and accurately in any position. The DVO 2 units are installed before and after the extruder to calculate the wall thickness of an extruded, resp coated sector cable.

ZUMBACH measuring solutions

JACKETMASTER software
USYS data acquisitions, processing and display systems
DVW 1 & DVO 2 oscillating units
ODAC® laser dimensional measuring heads

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