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Ellis investment secures Centaur order

Having secured a major order to supply its new high voltage Centaur cleats for a large cable infrastructure project in the North of England, Ellis Patents has invested £70,000 in a Hurco 4-axis machining centre in order to speed up production time.

Ellis investment secures Centaur order

The 8.7 tonne machine, which was shipped in from Hurco’s manufacturing unit in Taiwan, enables complete automation of the manufacturing process – a development that cuts production of the aluminium cleats from 12 to three minutes per piece.

Richard Shaw, managing director of Ellis Patents, said: "When we developed and launched the Centaur cleat last year we anticipated a need to upgrade our machinery in order to cut production time should a large enough order come in and so had looked into the options available and budgeted accordingly. In fact, the only thing we didn’t anticipate was just how quickly we’d secure an order large enough to warrant making the investment."

The Centaur range of heavy-duty extruded aluminium saddle cleats was developed by Ellis Patents in 2008 to restrain high voltage cables up to 400kV with a diameter range of 100 to 160mm and fill a gap in the market that the company felt presented serious safety risks.

"What spurred us on to develop the Centaur cleat was that most projects involving cleating large high voltage cables were designed on a case by case basis," explained Richard. "As a result there were a very limited number of suitable products available and no published data to say that any of them have been short circuit tested."

"What this meant was that specifiers were left to rely on manufacturer’s warranties, which are purely based on calculations and mechanical tests, and so had no way of knowing if the cleats being used would be able to withstand the most testing elements of the job they’d been bought for."

Ellis Patents rectified this issue by putting the Centaur cleat through the most rigorous of testing procedures. Using cable manufactured by ABB in Sweden, the company shipped its Centaur saddle cleats to the Netherlands where the product was tested to 163 kA peak and 63 kA RMS for one second, in both 3 phase and phase to phase fault scenarios.

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