Clamp an effective cable-theft solution

21st April 2017 By: Robyn Wilkinson - Features Reporter

Industrial equipment supplier Banding and Identification Solutions Africa is seeing a rise in demand from the electric power sector for its Ultra-Lok open-end clamp, owing to cable theft causing substantial disruptions in South Africa’s power supply.

Banding and Identification Solutions Africa sales representative Matthew Campbell explains that, with many South Africans facing significant socioeconomic challenges and subsequently turning to crime to make a living, perpetrators seek the copper contained within the cable to sell to scrap metal dealers at a profit.

However, this results in power outages that can last for days – resulting in costly downtime for businesses – and the increased cost of replacing the cables, often leading to the diversion of funds from essential maintenance.

The Ultra-Lok was initially introduced to the South African market in 2007 as a high-pressure hose assembly clamping solution, but Campbell highlights that the product is proving most successful as a security measure in the management of cables and preventing their being stolen.

“The Ultra-Lok clamps provide a robust and efficient tamperproof solution that can drastically decrease cable theft in South Africa. “The system has been extremely well received by the market, and this is down to the simple design of the tool and the ease and speed with which clamps can be installed.”

The clamps, which are manufactured by US-based company Band-It, can be placed at intervals of as much as 150 mm apart on a cable. Campbell notes that Banding and Identification Solutions Africa is noting increased demand from particularly the renewable-energy sector as it gains prominence in South Africa’s power generation landscape.

“Along with servicing traditional power generators, we have been working closely with players in the solar energy sector, where our product has been used to secure cables and cable trays . . . to the relevant structures in solar installations. This is an industry that is most definitely on the rise and we are looking to further develop or adapt our products to suit the needs of installers.”

Banding and Identification Solutions Africa is also involved in a major ongoing project at energy and chemicals company Sasol, in Secunda, Mpumalanga, which began in December and involves installing Ultra-Lok clamps to secure cables to conveyor structures. High-risk sections of the conveyor structures leading into the processing plant are currently the area of focus, with more than 4 km of cable having been successfully secured so far using the Ultra-Lok system.