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Streamlining of NKT´s cleaning procedure of the conductor in high voltage cables before splicing.: Degree project for Master of Science in Mechanical engineering with focus on innovation and sustainable product development.
Blekinge Institute of Technology.
2022 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

For several hundred years there has been a great deal of emphasis on how industries and businesses may encourage excellent production work that does not harm the environment or the working individual. NKT is a world leader company in cable technology and designs, manufactures, and installs voltage cables. The company includes a department where splicing is performed on cables to extend or repair them. To complete the splicing process, however, the inner most structures of the cable must first be cleaned from a substance called compound. Today, this cleaning process is carried out manually by the workers. Despite the efficient operation of NKT's splice department, various risks have been identified that might have a negative impact on both the worker and the environment. On one hand, there is a risk that the cleaning agent containing a certain amount of unhealthy chemicals will encounter the worker and cause health risks, and on the other hand, chemical leakage may occur on the work surface, resulting in a contaminated work area, and unnecessary material waste. This material waste also adds to less cost-effective operations, since bigger amounts will be required to accomplish the intended work, this in relation to the fact that the process requires a considerable time. Thus, the aim of this degree project is to investigate if streamlining the procedure of cleaning the compound from the conductors in high voltage cables before splicing is possible by developing a mechanical device or replacing the current used solvent or both.

The methods used for this project were a combination of the design thinking strategy and participatory action research and to deeply understand the methods, a literature review was also performed.

The results obtained were a well-detailed virtual simulation in SolidWorks, a functional alpha prototype, and results from a conductivity measurement for PF-Solvent and Strovels Smådelstvätt 100. Although the first laboratory tests showed equivalent effects for PF-Solvent and Strovels Smådelstvätt 100 regarding the solubility of the compound, PF-Solvent's good conductivity properties wereconfirmed while Strovels Smådelstvätt 100 proved not to be suitable for this cleaning procedure due to the big difference in the values.

The results obtained from the sustainability template provided the project with useful guidelines for refining the concept into a long-term solution. Many of the components of the physical product will be built from stainless steel, which will make it simpler to recycle at the end of its useful lifespan.

In conclusion, it requires a development of a device that cleans the conductor from the compound. The device / machine can keep the solvent in a special place and at the same time, the worker has more control over how much solvent is used. According to the laboratory tests, the solvent Strovels Smådelstvätt 100 had an equivalent effect on the compound during the same time interval as PF-Solvent. It was also milder from the environmental and health aspects.

Furthermore, the development of a mechanical device can contribute to reduced waste of various materials, such as brushes, gloves, and spray bottles, during the procedure. Finally, investing in such a machine can be expensive, but in the long run this investment leads to savings in materials used today. However, a machine procedure involves a large transition that requires a lot of time, resources and planning as it shall be developed through collaborations with different industries. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022. , p. 64
Keywords [en]
Streamlining, cleaning procedure, compound, SolidWorks, design thinking strategy
National Category
Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-23734OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-23734DiVA, id: diva2:1701979
External cooperation
NKT
Subject / course
Degree Project in Master of Science in Engineering 30,0 hp
Educational program
MTACI Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2022-10-26 Created: 2022-10-08 Last updated: 2022-10-26Bibliographically approved

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