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Cable testing continues to support critical industry

Electrical Engineering

03/06/2020

In the last few months, the Coronavirus pandemic has continued to grow in severity, placing Europe at the centre of the continuing spread.

With self-isolation measures not expected to be relaxed for some time, core industrial organisations must ensure that the safe and consistent operation of power infrastructures and utility systems continue to run.

Our reliance on these systems as individuals working remotely or needing to use communication networks to remain connected with colleagues, friends and family has increased more than ever before.

So, where does cable testing fit in?

Power systems around the world have seen an increase in demand, as such, they are being worked harder than ever to enable us to continue life. Everywhere you look, visible or not, there will be a cable of some sort that is helping to deliver power or connect systems together.

Electrical current flows through cables, and in cable products that are not designed to withstand the appropriate operating temperatures or conditions the margin of error and risk can be significant, catastrophic even.  

As with all construction products there is often a suite of test requirements and parameters used to asses every piece of equipment. For cables there is also a range of standards designed to understand how each component layer of the cable, and the complete cable itself, will interact as a whole product. Through the use of certified or approved cable products, specifiers, contractors and installers seek to prove that the product used complies with the regulatory standards, British, European, International or otherwise. But also, that they meet the requirements for the intended use, application or industry quality criteria.

From the internet and electricity keeping you connected, powering your devices, televisions and domestic appliances, to motorway lighting, infrastructural operations and key public services such as hospitals, supermarkets, petrol stations and transport networks – approved cables make their safe and reliable operation possible.

Safety first approach

Cable testing is comprehensive, when a cable product is approved or certified the manufacturer commits to on-going consistency of quality and most importantly safety.

Manufacturers going through a product approval must be audited 2-3 times a year, where their production processes and management systems are assessed to ensure that their practices are in line with quality ISO 9001, and with the BASEC Product Certification Requirements.

Next, cable manufacturers allow BASEC to select samples of the products going through certification, to be subjected to in-depth testing from the electrical, mechanical, material properties, to the reaction to chemicals and fire.

In the wake of Brexit, BASEC continues critical fire testing to ensure cable manufacturers can remain competitive in Construction Products Regulation (CPR) fire classification testing. Ensuring that products comply and can be used in the wider European markets. Earlier this year, BASEC obtained notified body status in Europe, through BASEC Conformity Ltd NB 2851, as a contingency to remain valid and operational, ready to use after trade agreements are finalise. The notified body (NB) status sits alongside that already held in the UK via UKAS NB 2661.

As an independent certification and testing provider, BASEC support manufacturers to evidence that their products meet the highest levels of quality and comply with the standards. The requirements to obtain cable product certification is consistently applied to all manufacturers.

What does this mean for you?

In these uncertain times, there is at least one thing we continue to need, and that is power, which enables us to continue, as normally as we possibly can.

Seeing the BASEC mark on your cable, which is recognised throughout the electrical industry and around the world, is a symbol of verified product quality.

When safety is critical, compromises on quality should not be made and this is why BASEC continues to support the industry to ensure cables continue to remain reliable. Often when technical issues occur in service, BASEC is relied on as an authority to support investigations into where and why the cable product has failed.

Through commitment to on-going quality testing, specifiers and users of BASEC approved products can confidently say that they can prove the product they use is fit for purpose.

To discuss your requirements contact the team today

01908 267300
www.basec.org.uk