The battle against time is something electrical installers know only too well. The logical step is to find innovative solutions in order to free up time-consuming labour costs, as Malcolm Moss, managing director for Doby Verrolec, explains
Over the last few years, we have seen products continuing to evolve in regard to energy efficiency, as well becoming increasingly more cost-effective. However, one area that is often overlooked in enabling electricians and installers to save time, is installation methods.
Time is something everyone is short of – that we can agree. Electricians are always looking for solutions which not only saves them time, but maintains a safe and high-quality installation – therefore meeting the objective of the project.
The high number of hours that is required on installation, for the overhead suspension of static loads, such as luminaries and cable containment seems to largely go unnoticed. But this is where considerable savings can be achieved…. A traditional method used for overhead suspension of fixed electrical services is a rigid component, such as threaded rod. This is a solid solution and offers a range of benefits. The downside to this though, is the vast amount of time which is spent on both installation and preparation. It’s a particularly time-consuming task, when you factor in measuring, cutting, screwing and adjusting. Jack chains are another option which are frequently used. Again, they are effective, but they have limitations in their load capacity and for the range of static loads they can be used for. One of the biggest concerns though, is that if a single link of the chain falls, it will result in reinstallation. Undoubtedly, this would incur substantial labour costs.
Fast solution Ticking both boxes on saving time and being cost-effective, is the steel wire rope suspension system. This is a sophisticated solution and a viable alternative which is growing in popularity. The main benefit being that it can drastically reduce installation time, which consequently saves on labour costs.
The DobyGrip solution consists of a strong ergonomically designed zinc cast body with a patented gripping wheel design and inbuilt adjustment mechanism, which is used in conjunction with galvanised wire rope to produce quick and efficient installations. According to independent tests, using a wire rope suspension system, such as DobyGrip, can reduce the time spent on this element of installation by as much as 60%.
Ensuring cable tray is level, provides an ideal example of how much quicker a wire rope suspension system can make this task. This is because it removes the need for cutting to size of steel rod, as it can be simply adjusted to achieve the correct height for the installation.
This removes the laborious task of having to alter the levels of a number of bolts and nuts in a threaded system. The most complex tool required to make the necessary length adjustments, is a pair of snips to remove excess wire, once the height has been tweaked to the right setting.
Subsequently, this saves precious hours on preparation time compared to more traditional solutions. Electrical installers can swiftly and efficiently finish the given installation and move onto the next job – allowing them to complete more jobs and earn more. That’s surely something not be sniffed at? Flexible and versatile.
Furthermore, a wire rope suspension system is flexible and versatile. One good example of this is with lighting, as it can be suspended where it was originally specified. This is in comparison to other methods which are dictated by the location of existing brackets and beams. This makes a huge difference aesthetically to the dedicated space. Any conscientious installer, will understandably want to feel reassured about the reliability and safety of the solution they are using. Installers can have full confidence in the safety of the wire rope suspension system and that it will meet the demands which are placed on it.
It’s imperative, of course, that the correct installation procedures are followed and that the Safe Working Load is not exceeded. Therefore, it’s advisable to check the product has been independently safety load tested to a 5:1 safety factor, as this guarantees the product is safe to use.
Further safety benefits of the wire rope suspension system, are that the contractor will spend less time working at height and doesn’t need to apply for any permits associated with hot work, which are required for other solutions.
Many manufacturers offer a free product selection service and advice on the right combination of grips and end fixings, to ensure that the installation performs as intended.
The wire rope suspension system has taken the market by storm, as a simple, fast and cost-effective solution. Traditional solutions may do the job, but do they serve a purpose in today’s world of smart and sophisticated buildings? Isn’t it time we brought our installation methods up to date?