Coffee Time Challenge
Removing the outer jacket of an electrical cable to access the core wires can be hazardous. How can it be made safe?
It's a problem familiar to anyone who has ever had to change a plug or connect a light fitting: you need to strip a cable to expose individual wires, but don't want to risk damaging the wires themselves.
The problem, of course, is that, in order to strip the insulating cable, it is necessary to use a sharp blade, something that – unless the user is extremely careful – represents a threat to the wires and the user.
Of course, specific cable-stripping tools are available, but these are not cheap and may not always be to hand in a hurry.
Of course, this is not necessarily a critical issue in the case of changing a plug, but it takes on a much greater significance when one considers the potential implications of damaging the wires in an industrial cable. The damage and losses that could be caused by the interruption of power or communications as a result of such an apparently minor incident does not bear thinking about for most companies.
The challenge this month, then, is to devise a means of stripping away the insulation from a cable without putting the crucial wires within at risk. This could perhaps take many forms. For instance, zips could be installed in cables that allow them to be peeled like a banana, but then resealed if necessary. However, it's difficult to see how such a solution would be cost-effective.
Equally, a solution could be arrived at whereby a series of fastenings runs up the cable, allowing it to be undone and resealed at will? However, this again would seem to present problems in terms of cost effective insulation and would very probably compromise the successful insulation of the wires.
The solution, then, needs to be simple, quick, safe and cost-effective, allowing easy access to the wires while minimising any risk to the operation of the business or to the person handling the cable.
The solution we have in mind is a product that has recently been released by a leading engineering company. It has devised an intelligent solution to strip back long lengths of cable both quickly and easily, simplifying the stripping back of the cables without damaging the cores.
The solution allows electrical engineers and panel fitters to save 50% of the cable stripping time typically required using conventional methods, but also avoid the need for additional cable stripping tools. However, you many have a better idea.
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