Focusing on high technology businesses.
The Group’s R&D activities have recently resulted in the introduction of innovative new products such as:
- Third-generation Afumex fire-resistant cables, using insulating materials that comply with the safety requirements of the new European Building Directive.
- In the Trade & Installers business, the new Afumex Green cable was developed in Brazil; this is a building wire that is insulated with halogen-free polyolefin obtained from sugar cane; The "Intelligent Protolon" system, designed for applications in the field of port logistics in order to monitor the state of cable wear and tear.
- A range of optical cables developed with micromodule technology that allow the same number of fibres to fit into a narrower cable; beneficial in tight spaces.
- In the optical fibre field, different new bend-resistant fibres were developed, including B7 the "Large-Effective-Area SMF" presented at the Optical Fibre Communication Conference 2011 and the innovative "MaxCap-BB" multimode fibre, able to replace traditional standard multimode fibre and so offering high sales potential, as well as other families of optical fibre for special applications operating at high temperatures and in extreme environmental conditions.
- In the area of optical telecom cables, several new types of optical cables were introduced, including halogen-free and fire-retardant optical cables containing new BB-XS technology fibre; a new cable was also developed and certified using "Gel" and "Gel Free" technology, with a low environmental impact thanks to its reduced diameter and lighter weight. Lastly, a new hybrid optical-power cable for the FTTA (Fibre To The Antenna) market was certified and launched commercially; this can be installed in towers for 4G LTE systems, the latest development in mobile communication standards.
- The Prycam partial discharge measurement and monitoring system, which allows precise measurement of partial discharges by different network components during normal operation;
The R&D team has also created numerous innovative products and processes, which not only represent technological advances but also have a lower environmental impact than the solutions they replaced. Some examples are:
- The eco-sustainable medium-voltage cable known as P-Laser. This product has an innovative high-performance insulating system (HPTE) that uses fully recyclable thermoplastic materials, and is able to replace commonly used medium-voltage cross-linked polyethylene insulated (XLPE) cables.
- The "Drylam" range of products for installation in production systems, such as in the oil industry, where cables are exposed to attack by chemical substances such as hydrocarbons, solvents, acids and bases.
- Extension of the use of cross-linked polyethylene extruded insulation (XLPE) to high-voltage submarine cables for direct current connections, where until now only layered insulation (paper, or paper and polypropylene) has been used. This product's environmental benefit lies in the absence of oil fluid needed for cables with insulating layers.