What if an elevator cable could tell the building maintenance system it is getting worn out, or if a crane cable could warn the operator that it is stretched and risks a break down? They can. These are just two applications developed by Prysmian Group’s global Research & Development team as it works to exploit expertise in fiber sensing and electronics to deliver new value-added services to customers.
Prysmian is working to create “intelligent cable” applications that can provide services that many customers already say the need along with cables themselves. Some of these innovations have already been rolled out, and some are still under wraps at the company’s R&D center at Milan headquarters and other labs around the world.
“Prysmian has a good competitive advantage in these two areas: fiber sensing and electronics sensing,” says Srini Siripurapu, Executive Vice President and R&D Chief Officer. “We are using our expertise in electronics to provide sensors and solutions where our customers can monitor the health of their whole system, adding a layer of service on top of the cable.”
The goal is to add more and more types of sensors to cables so they can be useful to customers not only for their basic functionality but also to enable them to control efficiency and functioning during their use or to even supply additional services. These hybrid or smart cables use sensors and electronics-based solutions to let customers monitor the health and functioning of the entire system and take a shift in their asset management strategies towards predictive maintenance rather than preventive.
The Group is leveraging the electronics expertise of Prysmian Electronics as well as developing other solutions in house.
Among its many product development projects, Prysmian Electronics is developing permanent combined real-time monitoring systems capable to detect potential problems and support our customers in the effective management and maintenance strategies of their assets. These technologies, for example will be used by French utility EDF Renewables in the PGL project, France’s first offshore floating wind park that should be completed in 2021.