Industrial wiring plays a fundamental role in the interconnection of an electricity, telephone or internet network. It is in fact the set of connections and physical systems between several devices within an industrial building network or more, which must guarantee the perfect interconnection between the individual elements.
Industrial wiring: materials
Basically, a wiring consists of cables and connectors; but the choice of materials to be used for these components depends on the specific use for which a wiring is intended.
Therefore, there will be more suitable cables for electricity or telephone networks. And even within these types of networks, we will have different types of cables depending on whether they are low voltage electrical systems, which characterize the vast majority of industrial plants, or high voltage.
Regarding the conductive materials of the cables, there are two classification criteria:
- in the event that the purpose of transforming electricity is heat production, they must have good resistivity (such as tungsten),
- instead, for energy passages to other forms that are not thermal ones, it is essential to use high conductivity materials, in order to ensure the lowest possible dissipation.
Copper and aluminium meet this second requirement, so much so as to be the most widely used metals in the field: the important thing is to combine clamps of the same material as the conductor, to avoid corrosion.
Aluminium, in particular, is light and has great malleability and ductility, but it must be worked correctly due to its tendency to form oxides on the surface. For these reasons we tend to give preference to copper, which is, on the whole, more resistant.
With regards to cable insulation, the sheath must withstand the operating temperatures and stresses in traction and compression during operation. Furthermore, the dielectric strength must be high enough to prevent the current from passing through the material. It is generally preferable to use insulating materials reinforced by a protective layer (armour). Thermoplastic polymers such as PVC and polyethylene are perfect for temperatures between a minimum of 75 ° C and a maximum of 160 ° C when overloads no longer hold up, while cross-linked polyethylene and EPR, thermosetting, are ideal to support activities up to a limit of 250 ° C.
The hot melt adhesives, used in some cases in the assembly of insulators, thanks to their thermo-fuse characteristics, deserve a special mention. Applied by moulding in the liquid-viscous state, at the moment of cooling they will adhere perfectly to the inner part, guaranteeing optimal protection and minimum losses.
As for the ends of the cables, watertight rubber caps will ensure perfect insulation.
Uses, markets and reference companies for industrial cabling
The uses of industrial cabling range in various sectors, but a large percentage is reserved for the electrical sector. The complexity of the supported systems requires a high efficiency of the individual components and their functioning as a whole. The activities for which industrial cabling is indispensable are many: from large-scale processing to machine tools in mechanical workshops, to high-volume refrigeration systems and much more. A multitude of “actions” / operations such as the simple opening of automatic gates, transport in elevators and hoists and all the automation processes in the industries, of various types, involve the use of wiring. Their presence facilitates many processing steps ranging from the raw material to the final result (including packaging and weighing).
In addition to the branches of electro-mechanical construction, the transmission and coordination of electrical impulses also covers other markets. For example, we can mention the production and operation of biomedical equipment, the electronic instruments used to manage and control large quantities of materials or finished products, rail transport, the aeronautical sector, the IT area and the telecommunications sector.
In the Italian scenario we have large companies that deal with industrial wiring, also recognized internationally.
Regulations regarding safety and environmental protection
From the beginning to the end of the production process, the most advanced software meticulously checks every energy/electricity passage along the networks.
All the components and materials of the industrial wiring are subjected to various tests of resistance, short circuit, continuity and insulation, before and after each single processing phase, without escaping careful quality controls. Each step is constantly monitored, through manual and automatic surveys, which are essential to offer the best possible installation result.
In particular, the electrical operating risk must be prevented, which is extremely damaging for the safety of the operators who work on these wirings. In the event of such an eventuality, the protection system must be activated promptly. In order to prevent these risks, the wiring must strictly comply with the CE marking directives, as well as the ISO standards. The best companies, in fact, succeed in obtaining the “ISO 9001-2015” certification and the most recent UL certification. Finally, it must be remembered that, beyond all the safety rules for wiring, it is also necessary to subject the machinery of the production plants to periodic revisions, to ensure optimization of the entire electricity network, in these cases, and of all, however, the various components that depend on a wiring.
These are the technical and material elements that contribute to the characteristics that an industrial wiring must respect and naturally have. Let’s not forget, however, that the human component is also very important, so we choose companies of proven quality as suppliers and as installers companies or experienced and certified professionals.