DTECH 2024: ULC Technologies Puts Energy Transmission on the Highway to the Safety Zone with Advancements in Cable Splicing End Termination


Industry experts know cable splicing end termination requires a hands-on approach in hazardous conditions. But recent news out of DISTRIBUTECH 2024, could spell welcome relief to operators.

Con Edison and ULC Technologies have unveiled a groundbreaking Cable Splicing Machine designed to automate the termination of medium voltage cables, enhancing the reliability and resilience of the power grid while significantly improving utility worker safety. Developed through a collaboration between ULC Technologies, a leader in robotics and automation for the energy industry, and Con Edison, a major energy delivery system operator, this innovative machine aims to automate cable end preparation, reducing worker exposure to high voltages. The machine’s introduction addresses the critical need for a reliable electric grid, emphasizing worker safety, efficiency, and grid reliability. It represents a significant advancement in the field, promising to improve the accuracy and safety of thousands of cable splices performed annually, benefiting workers, customers, and the industry at large.

MarketScale learned more about this breakthrough in cable splice end termination at DISTRIBUTECH 2024 from Ali Asmari, the R&D Director at ULC Technologies, who sees the addition of this technology as a welcomed improvement for operators in the industry.

Ali’s Thoughts

“We develop bespoke solutions for our customers. We’re mainly in the energy industry. And at this show, we are showing off one of our recent products. It’s a cable end prep machine. It’s a robotic platform that automatically prepares medium voltage cables for splice and termination. So, the main challenges within the current industry is the state-of-the-art process is heavily manual. It requires human operators to get into very confined spaces and carry out steps of operation manually. They’re dealing with hazardous environment operations. What we are doing is taking human operators outside of that danger zone and replacing them with machines. Not really replacing the operators, but providing them with better tools that they would be able to do the same type of operation, but remotely.

Now, using the machine, we are able to increase the reliability and repeatability of the operation, too. And down the line, we want to make the system way more efficient than the current state-of-the-art as well. So, the cables are manufactured very reliably. The cables are good, but most of the failures are when the termination takes place or the splices. And the majority of these problems are human error. Sometimes, the operation is not done properly, or there was a mistake through the process that was actually not noticed, and the splice was put on, and then eventually, the splice failed. So, we’re hoping that by adding automation to the process, we can remove that element from the network. So, the network would be as reliable as the cables manufactured by the manufacturers are.”

Article written by James Kent.

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