Dunreidy Engineering Ltd.

Sept. 15, 2006
Modular Cable-Containment System Cuts Contamination Risks

The wireless plant may still be decades away, but until its day dawns, knotted cabling is a reality at all too many workplaces today. In some pharmaceutical manufacturing plants, wires from process equipment, valves and pumps, process control and power systems can also pose a contamination risk in controlled manufacturing environments.

Traditional options, such as PVC-coated steel conduits, are expensive and can be damaged during installation, explains Bob Morris, senior electrical engineer at Jacobs Engineering (Cincinnati, Ohio). Cable “raceways” also pose installation challenges.

Dunreidy Engineering’s (Dublin, Ireland) Hycon product line, developed and patented eight years ago, is a modular containment and support system for open cable that eliminates screwed elbows, couplings and fittings. It is made in 316-grade stainless steel.

Hycon comes in stainless steel and enclosures cabling and tubing in critical and noncritical process areas.

Unlike a raceway, Hycon supports open-rating wiring, according to Dunreidy CEO Donal Dunne. It can also be used for pneumatic tubing and for signal and data cabling, in applications including power, signal and control wiring, instrumentation, pneumatic systems, and automation and data systems.

Hycon comes in two forms: Hycon O, which is fully sealed, meeting IP 68 Category 1 ratings as established by BS EN 60529, and Hycon S, available as an enclosed, semi-enclosed or open-ended system. Hycon also offers a variety of parts, in sizes ranging from 1 to 4 inches, including joiners, radius bends, tee pieces, two- to four-way junction boxes, seagull bends, reducers, nylon inserts and conduit clips. For Hycon S, switch supports may be ordered.

Hycon installations can also be customized. Drug industry clients include Pfizer, Novartis, Schering-Plough, Merck, Janssen, Ivax, Wyeth and Eli Lilly.

The Swedish modular construction specialist Pharmadule Emtunga AB uses the system for cable routing to cleanrooms. “Hycon’s accessories facilitate GMP compliance,” says Kent Sehlin, Pharmadule’s technical installation manager. “We used to use clean-pipe cable routing, which required on-site engineering. With Hycon, we can allow the contractor to decide how to perform the installation.”

The system lends itself to use in process plant applications, says Jacob’s Morris. “The system seals to open-rated cord or cable for a final connection, where the traditional approach is to use seal-tight flexible raceways.”

Some contractors are using more cabling, such as VFD cable for motor installations, and more pin-and-sleeve cord connections to process room motors, in order to facilitate quick changeouts of agitators and pump motors. Hycon lends itself well to these scenarios, users say.

Ivax has recently installed the system to service instrumentation and electrical equipment in its cleanroom areas. “We wanted a system that would work well in a cleanroom environment, but would allow us to access instrumentation [more easily from] pipework,” said electrical engineer John Gardner.