The Cable Systems Manufacturer Seeking a Sea-Change in Naval Design
SMI (SMI) will be in Sydney this week encouraging naval architects in the Indo-Pacific region to demand more from their cabling systems.
The designer and manufacturer of cable systems, headquartered in Andover, UK, and operating from Perth, WA, is advocating a change in culture away from short maintenance and replacement cycles which effectively plan for failure. In support of adopting a new confidence in long term performance and reliability, SMI is offering a 10-year warranty on its PlastEthUrm termination mouldings which separately seal and water block dual jacket cables on connectors and penetrators.
Replacing cable systems at each refit and during deep maintenance is a significant cost to navies but also creates a thriving supply economy for cable harness providers. In a move which initially seems at odds with business growth.
SMI argue that a ‘Fit and Forget’ solution be adopted. CEO, Keith Wells explains “No one should profit from failure. We are seeing our cable harness functioning with optimal performance 20 years after initial installation on submarines and our expectation for newer designs is even longer. It’s time to stop talking about design life and focus on what can be guaranteed”. SMI has held continuous MoD capability approval for the manufacture of pressure hull glands for 23 years and offers a 10-year warranty with a 40- year design life.
When challenged about the economic model of providing a product which does not require regular replacement, Keith assured “Value is delivered not just by initial economy but by efficiency and effectiveness. Systems that deliver sea-to-screen performance for the life of a platform remove the need for costly refits and repairs. Our customers value the quality assurance that comes from 10,000 installations with zero leaks and we are able to focus our business on designing solutions for future capabilities.”
SMI TelemetriXTM solutions, including optical connectivity and multi-gland penetrators, build on the pedigree of reliability to deliver future enabled systems to current and forthcoming platforms. Providing tomorrow’s ‘fit and forget’ technology is only possible from a legacy of capability that has been delivered without failure for more than 20 years.