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News in detail

Machines and lines for the production of submarine cables under the spotlight

Published: - 14/02/2020 Author: Di Maggio, EIC
Machines and lines for the production of submarine cables under the spotlight

The Spanish company FLYMCA, involved in the development and manufacturing of rotating machinery for cable production, has worked on new advanced solutions for the submarine cable markets. In the recent years it has focused on new developments in data cable, medium/high voltage cables, ROV as well as umbilical cables.

ROV and umbilical cables are usually produced in planetary stranders/cablers with precise tension control systems; this configuration has been the most common method used. Monitoring systems have been incorporated that not only continuously control the production parameters and quickly identify machine problems, but also bring a complete traceability of the key manufacturing data required by the end user.

For the production of medium and high voltage conductors/cables (MV & HV), new systems have been developed in the rigid stranding lines. They now allow to use of non-typical wire shapes and straight wire paths that minimize the contact points from the pay-offs till the forming dies. The change-over time has been reduced by optimizing the operation sequence of the bobbins’ loading system which also ease the operator’s work, both in the preparation and also welding of the wires. Internal communications networks have been improved with wireless solutions that bring signal stability, ease data collecting in real time and reduce the use of slip rings which in many cases are a source of problems.

Large capacity planetary stranders/cablers have been developed for the armoring applications. They are designed to be used in tandem with multiple types of taping machines, applying large numbers of polypropylene cords which are then bitumen corded. A new automatic bobbins’ loading system was developed and it allows the operator to weld the wires behind the system and therefore reduce the change-over time.

The taping head design has had several improvements that provide more precise tape tension control and hold tension variations values below 2% of the set points, while maintaining precise stability throughout the process. The taping machines are also equipped with high capacity signal interexchange wireless systems. This improves signal stability throughout the process and provides immediate data collection in real time.