Flexicon develops cable protection system for NCEFE

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Flexicon has worked with electrical contractors, Yorkshire Plumbing and Heating Services (YPHS) to deliver the cable protection system for the state-of-the art National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering (NCEFE). 

Operated by Sheffield Hallam University, the brand-new facility has just opened and will focus on tackling food industry challenges such as productivity, health, minimising waste and reducing energy use. It will also support the food and drink industry by developing new and enhanced facilities, processes and equipment, and creating a skilled, knowledgeable workforce.

Led by main contractors, BAM Services Engineering, food grade LTP-FG flexible conduit has been installed to protect cabling and electrical services for final termination.

The LTP-FG, liquid-tight, flexible conduit system is manufactured using approved food grade materials, featuring a galvanised steel core with a smooth coating, which provided the high levels of hygiene, safety and ingress protection required. 

John Goodyear, electrical manager from YPHS explained, “It was critical that the cable protection system specified not only met the appropriate food industry hygiene standards but could also withstand the rigours of frequent wash down routines, where connections will be subject to extended wet and/or damp conditions.

“The LTP-FG flexible conduit system has proved ideal for the installation. The helically wound design is easy to use and offers inherent flexibility, while the smooth outer coating reduces the build-up of bacteria and micro-organisms. Manufactured using FDA-approved materials, it provides peace of mind that our electrical installation will be protected fully for many years to come.”

Speed and cost of installation was a key consideration, with the NCEFE looking to partner with a supplier that could overcome any restrictions in terms of cable routing and termination.

Conventional rigid conduit systems are suited to long, straight runs of cable. However, when routing around corners or in different directions they typically require additional fixed bends or elbows in order to route cabling securely, which can be both time-consuming and costly to install.

The Flexicon system specified provides an easy interface with sections of rigid conduit throughout the installation, thus simplifying the final termination. Hygienically designed and manufactured using stainless steel, the flexible conduit fittings help to ensure a safe and durable installation.

John Goodyear continued, “The Flexicon conduit system provides far greater flexibility for our engineers during installation. Unlike rigid stainless-steel systems, it is quick and easy to cut to length, resulting in a neat and secure solution. Last minute design changes and mistakes can be expensive to accommodate or rectify with a rigid system. The flexible conduit system, however, makes it much simpler to achieve a secure termination first time and facilitate changes throughout the life of the installation.

“In addition, it will be much easier to re-configure sections of the cable installation over time as the facility expands and adapts to meet new customer requirements or changing equipment and technologies.”

The flexible conduit fittings have been hygienically designed to prevent the build-up of micro-organisms and bacteria using the principles of BS EN 1672-2 and EN ISO 14159. Manufactured from stainless steel grade 316, they offer excellent corrosion resistance.

Suitable for repeat contact with all food types, at full temperature, and offering excellent resistance to oils and greases, the flexible conduit system has IP ratings of IP66, IP67, IP68 and IP69 and can perform in temperatures ranging from -20°C to +105°C.