Many people think: "What could possibly go wrong?"

Apr 5, 2019

NKT Insights: With many years of cable service for large corporations under our belt, we here at NKT have a deep insight into the risks involved in high-voltage cable service and how to manage them. Here we give our own view on the subject.

Installer repairing a cable

Many cable operators don't realize the importance of high-quality service. We've seen many "What could possibly go wrong?" attitudes. High-voltage power cables are indeed extremely reliable, but if something unexpected should happen, it can be extremely costly. Then you’ve got loss of income, penalties or worse to deal with.

We can never stop an excavator or a sliding anchor from accidentally severing a cable, but we can make sure the cable gets back online fast to minimize downtime costs.

Taking cable service lightly is taking a big risk. Sure, some operators get away with it, but others are not so lucky. We have seen many repair operations become painfully expensive due to the cable being out for weeks or months.

We have looked at the biggest risks cable operators are facing. Firstly, they underestimate the importance of professional cable skills. If you hire a jointer "from the street", you may be experiencing problems with that joint sometime soon. Many service companies actually work in this way – bringing in unexperienced people without the right qualifications and certificates. You need professionals for this type of work.

Secondly, spare parts are often poorly managed. It's crucial to have exactly the right part available in good shape when it's time to perform repairs. If you have to order the part during standstill, you won't get it until weeks later! We can help operators increase their preparedness when it comes to spares – before the accident happens!

The third risk concerns documentation. We can help operators become better prepared here, too. Even if a lot of important documents are missing, we can solve this by interviewing key persons and examining the documentation that does exist in order to fill in the blanks – and this is done before something happens. This helps to place the operator in a much more favorable situation in the event of cable failure.

Then there is the risk of interface problems. Differences of opinion between suppliers on how to handle a situation during a repair operation can quickly consume a lot of time and risk the integrity of the cable. You need all responsibilities to have been established – in advance – to avoid future conflict.

The best way to avoid all these problems is to sign a turnkey service level agreement with NKT. This will mean that operators are covered for all the main risks involved – spare parts, documentation and interfaces – and this peace of mind enables them to get on with their core business.

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