Exploring the Potential with Prysmian

Prysmian submarine cable factory in Pikkala, Finland.

The Prysmian Group claims world leadership in the energy and telecom cables and systems industry, with sales of over EUR 7 billion, 19,000 employees across 50 countries and 91 plants.

Needless to say, Maillefer considers Prysmian as a considerable partner with whom we share the privilege of a long history together.

We asked Mr. Carlalberto Ferrari, Process & Machinery Manager of Prysmian’s Operations – Engineering & Investments in Italy to give his views on the relationship with Maillefer. “The Prysmian Group is truly a global company with a strong position for many different applications in the Energy and Telecom industries. We operate in the Energy business of underground and submarine power transmission and distribution cables and systems, special cables for applications in many different industrial sectors as well as medium and low voltage cables for the construction and infrastructure industries.”

Maillefer crosshead commissioning.

Criteria includes know-how

Within such a sizable group, there are clear criteria regarding the acquisition of equipment. “We consider a strong, modern, and compact design, good performance for the requested application, technology know-how connected to the products we want to manufacture, easy and low-cost future maintenance of the components, purchasing price, delivery time, and after sale support.” Each supplier has their own particularities, continues Mr. Ferrari. “We look for suppliers based on their experience and know-how. Many of the milestones in the development of the CCV products are by Maillefer. This is your company’s core business and we always involve you for providing us in cost effective solutions.”

High quality standards and economical operation come into play. “We try to select very well the machinery and process technology for our production lines. Maillefer has developed complete technology equipment for high quality production assurance in medium and high voltage cable production lines. We consider Maillefer being at the top of the technology for the machinery sold. You do not limit yourselves in selling a machine or component but go in depth in knowing the product characteristics, raw materials to be processed, and product specifications to comply with.”

Serving us in high voltage

Mr. Ferrari cites examples. “We have always considered to involve Maillefer in new projects requiring particular skill. I remember the project when a Japanese VCV line was upgraded and moved from the UK to China. The Maillefer experience helped Prysmian to reach the target of producing a 500 kV core with a competitor’s machinery.”

The large Prysmian organization always has something going on, whether it be new lines or upgrades on equipment from a variety of competing suppliers. “Very few companies can respond to the overall needs and Maillefer is one of them.”

More recently, in the area of CCV lines “Maillefer R&D people know-how has been of impressive support for a project in 2011 in France”. Mr. Ferrari refers to the Gron, France CV line extruder group and heating/cooling tube upgrade. “This project was secured by Maillefer thanks to the innovative design and demonstration of their technology providing to Prysmian a solution able to make a great improvement in the line performance.”

Producing longer submarine cores

For submarine cables, Prysmian has three factories dedicated to its production. They are Arco Felice near Naples, Italy, Pikkala in Finland and Drammen in Norway. “All three factories that produce submarine cores are exclusively using Maillefer CCV/VCV lines.” Mr. Ferrari talks about recent upgrades, specifically at the Italian plant. “The Arco Felice first CCV line was still using the original crosshead bought from Maillefer in 1994.” 

SubmarineCablesShip_100dpiSubmarine cable ship.

The goal was to maintain melt purity over time. Maillefer has a number of techniques designed to ensure the longest cable lengths with high insulation quality and cleanliness for the XLPE insulation process. Customers control the polymer purity throughout, from store conveyor all the way to melt at the crosshead exit. 

Mr. Ferrari continues, “The path of the inner semi-conductive material leaving the extruder towards the head flow distributor was considered to be something to be improved, moving towards the best technology available for the most demanding product, submarine cores. In response we ordered a specific Maillefer Upgrade Solution, that included a new crosshead and three new extrusion screws. It also allowed a standardization of tools and operator procedures with the second existing CCV line”.

Harry Excell
Sales Manager, Maillefer Services

Topics: Performance solutions, Uppgrade solutions, Maillefer Services, Product quality, Support Services, R&D, Production Capacity, Maintenance solutions, Wire & cable manufacturing, Pipe & tube manufacturing

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