Specifying the right cables and wires for mine and processing plant automation is becoming a top priority, due to the increasing demands being made on control systems to operate almost every aspect of the operation.

Endure the harsh environments within these process plants is not easy considering temperature, corrosivity and even general wear-and-tear on these plants. That is why speciality cable manufacturer, Helukabel, produces a range of cables that have been specially manufactured to meet requirements in all kinds of environments found within a typical mine or chemical processing plant.

Doug Gunnewegh, MD of Helukabel South Africa, says gone are the days when designers left cabling to installers. Nowadays, PLSes control a myriad of switches and sensors throughout the plant. These need to be specified correctly to handle the data and transmission requirements, as well as being able to withstand the conditions and rigours of the plant.

Electricity supply also needs to be distributed around the plant with the least risk of productivity hampering failures and breakages. BUS cables are also becoming more and more the norm to keep up with the latest technology and standards. The latest BUS technology also helps reduce the time spent on installation and gets a plant up and running sooner than later.

“Our cabling solutions include cables with wear, temperature and chemical resistance. They also have extreme flexibility for easier routing in the vast network of pipes and trays that are found in new plant development and expansions. What’s more, all our products are certified by an array of standards authorities to perform exactly as they are supposed to,” he says.

In precise industrial application even routing and laying cables correctly contributes to the performance of the cable in the field (and the longevity of the installation). For this reason the company recommends using specially designed accessories that help in the installation of the cables.

Products like the Helutop range of strain relief glands and sealing inserts and Helucond protective tubing can protect cables and ensure that the high performance, durability and reliability of the facility’s operations is maintained.

“When we entered the South African market several years ago we introduced the concept of providing complete solutions for cabling requirements that spans not only selecting the right cables, but also the right connectors, glands and retaining devices to ensure customers get the most out of their installations,” concludes Gunnewegh.