By Mark Cunningham, Sales Manager, and Mark Zanolla, Engineering Manager, Gortrac Div., Dynatect Manufacturing
Cable and hose carriers may be installed as a component on new or existing equipment, but it often is possible to simplify and expedite their installation with a complete turn-key assembly from the manufacturer. Such an assembly may incorporate other system components that include the hoses or cables, fittings, manifolds and special brackets, which add value by simplifying installation and minimizing errors.
Instead of having to install the cables or hoses into a carrier on-site, the end-user often can obtain preloaded carrier assemblies or complete harnesses with connectors and fittings from the carrier manufacturer for plug-and-play installation. Cables, hoses and fittings can either be furnished to specifications or drop-shipped to the carrier manufacturer from a customer’s supplier and installed before shipping. The end result is a drop-in assembly, ready for quick installation when it arrives.
A turn-key engineered carrier assembly may integrate a wide range of other system components to meet specific application requirements. Some examples include special mounting brackets to allow drop-in replacement, as well as manifolds, junction boxes, tow-arm assemblies, guidance and support systems, safety mechanisms, shrouds and enclosures or other associated components.
For a military application on a dynamometer carrying cables and hoses, the manufacturer also furnished a structural support system on which multiple carriers ride. The metal Gortrac carriers, which hold a total of 10 cables and hoses, are approximately 40 feet long. As a result, the end user was able to simply bolt the system in place instead of building the support system.
Cable carriers made for an offshore oil rig were shipped on storage reels so they were easier to ship, handle, store and install. In this case, cables specified by the customer were included, and brackets also were included for easy assembly. The Nylatrac carriers for this application were 54 ft long and carried eight cables.
For a pontoon bridge at the Hood Canal on Puget Sound, the supplier of the Nylatrac carrier system designed and manufactured a stainless steel support and guide tray system for the carrier. Other value-added components included the cables, clamps, auto-alignment brackets and fixed-end mounting structure. Stainless steel was used for the support and tray system to resist corrosion in the salt air environment. The cable carrier was constructed of a heavy-duty, fiber-reinforced nylon. The self-aligning brackets were designed to accommodate lateral misalignment up to ±2 in. over more than 300 ft of travel to reduce stress on the carrier.
When it’s necessary to provide optimum cable separation and ensure that cables ride on the neutral axis of the carrier, machined bars with a series of holes through which the cables pass can be added to a carrier design. This helps reduce stress on the cables and extend their life.
A hose carrier for a Las Vegas water show was supplied with a stainless steel water manifold, as well as hoses and PVC guides, so it could be installed as a complete system. The large Nylatrac carrier handles four 5-in. diameter hoses and is 48 ft long.
Cable or hose carriers with long travel requirements can be supplied with a carriage system equipped with rollers to support the carrier and allow it to extend smoothly beyond its self-supported travel limits. End brackets, clamps and other components also can be furnished to provide a complete bolt-in-place system.
Beyond the Carriers
A manufacturer also may be able to incorporate other items into a turn-key package, customized for the application. These may include such diverse products as protective expanding/telescoping covers, roll-up doors, slip clutches and motors and ball or lead screws. Discussion with the manufacturer’s application engineers may open up new possibilities for saving time and reducing costs by combining multiple components into complete turn-key assemblies
Along with turn-key solutions, the carrier manufacturer also may be able to help minimize inventory requirements for OEM users by customizing a Kanban or JIT program. Another possibility is a vendor-managed inventory and tool crib replenishment program that integrates directly into the manufacturing process.
Gortrac Div., Dynatect Manufacturing