Sealing cables going into cabinets has traditionally been managed by using metallic cable glands. Does it have to be like that? Before we answer that let us look at some of the biggest challenges that come with using cable glands.
1. Poor area efficiency means larger, heavier and more expensive cabinets
As cables are restricted to be routed through the designated gland plate in the bottom part of cabinets it is important that the sealing solution offers the highest possible area efficiency. However the design of cable glands require a lot of space for tooling to tighten the glands meaning that cables will be far apart and cable density becomes low.
2. Lack of flexibility makes changes complex and expensive
In the design phase as well as during field operations the need of routing additional cables into a cabinet is very common. Drilling or punching new holes in existing cabinets is complicated, risky and often requires a hot work permit or system shutdown. Problems with metal filings as a result of drilling or punching is common and might jeopardize operations. In Ex certified cabinets punching new holes are not permitted without reverifying the cabinet.
3. Installation time and weight
As modern cabinets include more and flexible I/Os it is not unusual with 50-150 cables going into one cabinet. The time to correctly install this amount of cable glands is a significant disadvantage and should be avoided when possible. The combined weight of the glands also needs to be taken into account in many applications.
4. Lack of ability to standardize opens up for field-based decisions
Cable glands have limited flexibility when it comes to handling variations in cable thicknesses. This in combination with the fact that one gland always equals one cable makes it impossible to standardize a cable sealing solution while at the same time account for late changes. As being able to use standardized solutions is one of the biggest savings any project can have, this becomes a major setback when using cable glands.
Luckily there are other high demand industrial solutions available that will solve all this and more.
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