Unassailable Fit & Forget Pressure Moulded Cable Systems for Hostile Environments

Plumbing the Depths: The Vital Importance of Precision in Manufacturing Cable Systems for Hostile Maritime Environments

Maritime operations are physically difficult, they are complex, and they are unpredictable. Anyone in an industry that calls the sea home will tell you this. Where the elements pose relentless challenges, the reliability and durability of equipment are critical. This could be a hull, it could be the welding on an oil rig, it could be the glass used on a ship’s bridge. All of them need to be strong demanding deep trust in them from their crews.

But it doesn’t stop at what we can often see with our eyes. Among the critical components ensuring seamless communication, power transmission, and data exchange are cable systems designed explicitly for hostile maritime environments. At SMI, we have been working in this environment for over 30 years, with an unprecedented 20,000 installations with zero leaks, along with being a 30-year MOD Capability Approval holder. We know a thing or two about it, and we’ve put our heads together, and thought we should delve into three key factors underscoring the importance of precision in manufacturing such cable systems: consistent testing, getting it right the first time, and fostering trust between suppliers and customers.

Let’s get going.

Testing, Testing, Testing: Resilience Against Nature’s Wrath

The waters of deep, middling, and shallow maritime environments are hostile in nature – whether you know it or not. Add in extreme temperatures, corrosive saltwater, and relentless waves and you have a need to ensure the sealing and durability of your cabling systems. Safety in these environments is non-negotiable, as is the quality of your equipment. Consistent testing from non-destructive testing of components, throughout the manufacturing process – right down to x-raying of final assemblies – is crucial to ensure these systems can withstand the harshest conditions without compromise.

We know, and you know as well, that rigorous testing procedures, including environmental simulation tests, mechanical stress tests, and watertight integrity, are essential to validate the resilience and performance of cable systems. These cannot be done when deployed under real-world maritime conditions – by then it is too late. This is where our five pressure vessels are utilised to simulate subsea pressure. By subjecting each component to thorough testing, we can identify and rectify potential weaknesses, guaranteeing reliability and longevity in the face of nature’s wrath. This is what fit and forget means to us – a commitment to that reliability and strength of SMI’s technology.

Getting It Right the First Time: Preventing Costly Revisions and Downtime

In maritime operations, downtime is not merely an inconvenience; it can have dire consequences for safety, productivity, and operational effectiveness. Whether military, infrastructure such as subsea internet cabling, or even getting energy from offshore wind farms – downtime cannot be accepted. Therefore, getting the installation and effectiveness of cable systems right the first time is super important.

Precision engineering and meticulous attention to detail during the design phase are essential to ensure that cable systems meet the unique requirements and challenges of hostile maritime environments – and this helps the install and deployment section too. By leveraging advanced modelling techniques, materials science, and manufacturing expertise, manufacturers can optimise the design and production process, minimising the risk of errors, revisions, and costly delays. Getting it right the first time straight out of the factory, therefore, not only saves time and resources but also instils confidence in the reliability and performance of cable systems in critical maritime applications. It also means that the timeframes of deployment are extended considerably – this means less money spent on servicing, on disposal when parts run their lifecycle, as well as re-installs and redeployments.

Fit and Forget: Building Trust and Lasting Partnerships

In the complex landscape of maritime operations, where reliability and safety are front of mind – as they should be – trust between suppliers and customers is indispensable. It should be implicit that upon deployment, the end users shouldn’t have to think about their cabling and connections – it should just work. It’s not just about safety but performance. Knowing that a system deployed today will maintain optimised operation for the full life of its deployment reads to effectiveness and through life value; some applications will have a subsea life running to three decades or more.  Manufacturers of cable systems need to have this attitude as part of their psyche, and alongside it they need to cultivate transparent and collaborative relationships with their customers. Built on mutual respect, integrity, and reliability – these relationships need to be simple and strong. Open communication, responsiveness to customer needs, and a commitment to delivering on promises are essential elements of building trust in the manufacturing process

By fostering a culture of trust and partnership, manufacturers can ensure that customers have confidence in the quality, performance, and reliability of cable systems, even in the most challenging environments. Ultimately, trust is the cornerstone of successful partnerships, driving innovation, collaboration, and long-term success in any industry.