Gardner Denver has been a key supplier to British Telecom (BT), for more than 25 years. The products supplied have enabled BT to repair, replace and install new telephone cabling, which has been increasingly important with the introduction of fibre optic cabling. The original two systems known as the Medium Cabling Unit (MCV) and Light Cabling Unit (LCV), utilise Gardner Denver compressors (Tamrotor E12 and Tempest3), and Webster Power Take Offs (PTO). These are designed and manufactured by the Gardner Denver UK mechanical, electronics and electrical fitting team.
The Gardner Denver Hydraulic System provides the power to operate a winch, which pulls the old cable from the underground duct. A ‘rodding machine’ is then used, which clears the old duct and makes it ready to accept the new cables. It also hydraulically powers various hand tools. Once the duct is clear, the two systems provide pneumatic power to ‘blow’ the fibre optic cable along the underground duct. This can be as far as 1km. The pneumatics can also power a ‘duct motor’, which can pull a cable or feed wire, through the bore of the duct. Gardner Denver also fit an alternator, which is used to power a Fusion Welding machine, water pumps (to clear flooded man-holes), emergency work lights and most importantly, a kettle and micro-wave.
If you think of a road map of the UK, the previously mentioned units have installed cabling along the motorways, dual carriageways and ‘A’ roads, but being 7.5 and 10 ton Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) they are too large when operating on the ‘B’ roads, or minor routes. To solve this problem, GD UK have incorporated the traditional Highway & Utility drive-line system into the above technology and converted an existing BT 3.5Ton GVW van, which will blow fibre and produce the same hydraulic and electric power. This provides a much smaller unit, able to operate in confined spaces. BT has placed a scheduled order covering May to October 2014 for these units.
Whilst discussing this project with BT, Gardner Denver discovered that BT had a major problem, with breaking ropes when winching. The BT operator had no indication of how much tension was on the rope, until the rope reached its maximum strain and broke. To solve this issue, Gardner Denver Engineering and Electronics designed a load cell based measuring device, that digitally displays the pulling force and sends a signal to stop the winch, when reaching maximum pull. The unit is totally solar powered and is hence environmentally friendly. BT immediately placed an order for these units to match the CCV vans above. Before these units were delivered, further discussions revealed that BT had problems with the reliability of the actual winch units and a further new order for winches was obtained, again to line-up with the CCV van deliveries.
Gardner Denver are entering an exciting new era with BT, in that we are in the initial stages of designing a new generation of Medium Cabling Vehicle (SCV), based on a ‘standard’ Iveco 70C (7 ton GVW) van. This new venture will combine the proven technology of the old MCV/LCV units, along with the versatility of the CCV vans. A new generation of mobile winches has also been designed. It is much more user friendly and incorporates the winch pull gauge, along with faster ‘line speed’ pulling.