MPC Group’s focus on in-house innovation has reinvented the way the industry installs high voltage and fibre optic cabling, resulting in increased crew safety and significant production efficiencies.

MPC Group has just rolled-out its fully track-mounted cable crawler – a hybrid, modular unit that is designed to fit upon its fleet of winches.

The list of the machine’s innovative modifications is long, but sure to gain interest is the fact that it is track-mounted, providing increased stability on any terrain, and its innovative swing arm assembly, ensuring accurate cable guidance into trenches at all times.

It’s also a more cost-effective means of installing cabling, with only two crew members and one machine required to install cable, compared to three crew and three machines using conventional methods.

A unique re-spooling mechanism also enables road and rail crossings to be performed without the need for cable joints or excavation of bell holes.

The machine’s safety credentials are also outstanding, with its purpose-built, remote-controlled hydraulic arm system lifting cable drums safely into place, without the manual handling risks often associated with conventional cable install methods.

The remote control capability also extends to the swing arm operation, providing crews with full visibility for accurate cable installation into trenches, but also with all round safety oversight during operation.

The safety and accuracy advances are sure to rate highly within a marketplace constantly seeking safer operations and increased cost efficiencies. However, the machine’s operational speed is sure to be the biggest drawcard, and likely to see it dramatically change the cable install industry landscape that we know today.

With installation speeds of 5km per hour for cable diameters right up to 110mm, it’s simply the fastest cable install machine on the market.

Already delivering massive production increases on project sites across Queensland’s Surat Basin, MPC Group believes it won’t take long before this innovative machine becomes common place within the industry.

MPC Group Electrical Superintendent Garry Muldowney describes the innovative machine as 21st century thinking.

“Our R&D team put in extensive effort in the machine’s design phase, collaborating closely with our cable install crews to ensure this purpose- built machine provided them with a much safer and far more effective machine to work with,” Mr Muldowney said.

“It has undergone extensive field testing over the past 12 months to allow our fabrication team the opportunity to ‘engineer out’ any operational risks and ‘engineer in’ unique safety features and efficiency gains.

“This is next-generation thinking and I’m confident we’ve got the design right. The proof of that is in the fact that the machine is already delivering `best-for-project’ outcomes for our clients right across the Surat Basin,” he said.

Cable Crawler features and benefits

  • Bi-directional spooling capability for crossings
  • Ground pressure (loaded): 6.7Psi
  • Max drum diameter: 3.1m
  • Min drum diameter: 1.90m
  • Max drum width: 2.09m
  • Max drum weight: 7 tonne
  • Cable diameters: up to 110mm
  • Drum lift @ 1.9m from rear of machine: 7 tonne
  • Drum lift @ 2.94m from rear of machine: 4.5 tonne
  • Travel speed: 5 km/h
  • Trench edge distance: up to 3.2m
  • Safety features
  • Pressure transducers to limit drum lifts to machine capacities
  • Hydraulic stabiliser legs
  • Full variable drum speed for safe cable reel out
  • Hydraulic spindle locks with electric lockouts to other controls
  • Full roller bearing lift points on spindles so lift chains are left in place until drum removed
  • Safe all over maintenance access
  • Cab cameras so operator can see rear of machine, cable drum and down arms into the trench

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