Topography Scanner Fieldtested in the USA

Recently, Maillefer installed and commissioned a first series of Topography Scanners on customers’ power cable lines. Thanks to the support of Nexans USA, we were able to successfully industrialize the system.

Being in a true production environment offers an excellent opportunity to prove the technology over long periods. Indeed, it is vital for success. Thanks to the support of Nexans in the USA, specifically at the expanded facility in Charleston, we were able to successfully industrialize our Topography Scanner system.

Proven at the Goose Creek expansion

The high-voltage cable plant located outside of Charleston, South Carolina, USA is undergoing an expansion dedicated to the manufacture of underwater cable for offshore wind farms. Once online, it will become the first HV subsea cable plant in the country. This plant will manufacture the export cables both the for new emerging U.S. offshore wind farms and for the global offshore wind farm market.

Since the commissioning of their new HV extrusion line, we have gathered a lot of valuable data regarding the performance of Topography Scanner in a real production environment. It has helped us fine-tune the product, leading to a more polished solution, industrialized technology and beneficial user experience.

For a smart surface scan

The Topography Scanner as part of a production line provides users with valuable metrics about cable core geometry, which in turn reflects on the production process stability as a whole. Being able to have real-time metrics continually instead of offline quality measurements taken from control samples moves us closer to ensuring optimal production conditions over time.

The scanner also includes a defect detection system, which was originally developed using off-line cable samples and mathematical models produced on our Pilot Vertical Line in Finland. Most of the knowledge database consisted of simulated defects. Nevertheless, our deep neural network based approach is able to learn features inherent to real cable manufacturing defects quite well. This network trained with sample data acts as a starting point for further optimizing the detection system. We have now reached a high level of confidence in smart detection without triggering false alarms.

Industrialized for perfection

Having the Topography Scanner perform over several months in a working factory has allowed us to bring the technology up to an excellent level, ready to be generalized throughout the industry. We look forward to further implement this industrialize solution on more lines. Our smart scanner helps customers that strive for perfection towards reaching their goals, just like those at the Nexans’ expansion in Goose Creek.

Mikko Lahti

Director, R&D

Topics: Performance solutions, Solutions, Maillefer Services, Product quality, Maillefer, Performance, Upgrade Solutions, Value Corner, Novelties & Launches, Extrusion, Wire & cable manufacturing, Smart Factory, Innovation

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