Quarticom Ltd. CAD Design & Manufacturing Expertise
e-mail  txt or Ph.+64 (0)21 80 2003

Client Stories: General Cable - Engineering Maintenance

General Cable

Category: On-site Contract Design
Client:   General Cable - Christchurch
Contract: Assess machine maintenance + Design + Manufacturing Drawings
Status:   Complete
Purpose:  Design, repair & maintnenance

General Cable Logo Cable Spools General Cable Detail Drawing Cable Detail General Cable Detail Drawing Maintenance

This has been one of my most challenging roles, due to the sheer variety of situations General Cable's work environment can present. Of course, this what also made it so enjoyable.

General Cable's huge Riccarton Rd factory is a 24/7 hive of activity. There are several machinery halls, stuffed with a multitude of material processors, extrusion machines, wire-drawers, cable twisters - all running to critical deadlines. All that takes quite a bit of looking after.

Cable making is a multi-process, multi-disciplinary operation. There is plenty that can go wrong along the way, so making sure it doesn't is the top priority of the engineering maintenance team. Safety was paramount, as there is a lot of hot and mechanically dangerous machinery operating at all times. Induction procedures required 'locking-out' a machine mechanically & electrically before it could be assessed or serviced.

My role included dismantling and assembling machines or machine parts, but particularly to diagnose mechanical problems, and come up with a solution, usually by designing and drawing parts and assemblies that could then be machined or fabricated by the workshop or outside contractors. I spent as much time in the factory halls as I did at my desk.

One ongoing responsibility was the rupture-plug installation program (a sort of mechanical pressure fuse for the extrusion line barrels). Each line had to be shut down within a tight downtime schedule, and the barrel removed. While removed, the opportunity was taken to update all the barrel detail drawings, and get all of them into 3D solids data. This required coordination with the fitters and outside contractors. My job was to assess where the plug could go, via a combination or direct & indirect measurement and consulting legacy drawings. This was then drawn up and supplied to the contractor in order to spark-erode the plug's bore.

Some machines required conversion to other duties. This I particularly enjoyed, as it required partial modelling of the machine in 3D solids, then working out methods that sometimes drew on my 'outside' approach to keep costs down, or provide a longer term solution.

Another duty was to assist with commissioning of new machines, by surveying, then marking out foundation positions. This required updating the site plans, and ensuring that the plans were always matching the actual layout, old and new.

My tools were precision measuring instruments combined with Inventor 3D CAD design software. By tapping into the extensive knowledge of General Cable's electrical and mechanical maintenance engineers, pretty much any problem could be tackled.