The growth in power demand shows no sign of slowing in the UK and with recent changes in EU policy to drive innovation, the pressure is on the UK power utilities to meet demand. 3M is at the heart of this ‘Future Networks’ evolution, working closely with some of the UK’s most innovative and forward-thinking power companies. Take for example 3M Cold Shrink solutions, which are already widely used in the industry for joints and terminations, from low to high voltage. But it is not just the comprehensive product range, it is the way 3M takes a collaborative approach to working the industry. According to 3M, this way of working together is how suppliers and operators are going to meet the UK’s future power needs.
For instance, the 3M team is working at a high strategic level with the Future Network and policy managers within many of our UK power utilities, with meetings at director level and being involved in planning from an early stage. This early-stage involvement means that 3M is in the best position to advise the right solutions and develop new products if necessary.
3M also reports that it regularly takes customers to its R&D laboratories in the USA and Europe, or brings experts to the UK to advise them on the role of electrical cable joints and terminations in their network projects.
What does that mean in practice? One area 3M is targeting its 132kV Cold Shrink solution, which is ideal for longer cable routes. Cold Shrink also supports the widest range of cable, joint and termination types in the market today. This makes 3M attractive not just to companies pursuing traditional purchasing processes, but also to DNOs who are buying components separately in order to get the best value for money. Cold Shrink will work with a wide variety of third party options, so there is less need to pre-specify, have products specially made, or carry extra stock.
3M has been told that another benefit is its service and flexibility. The reason why one of its first Cold Shrink HV customers –one of the UK’s top ten power utilities – chose the company because 3M was able to step in and deliver a rapid solution that met their needs perfectly. The company has also received very good customer feedback about its HV range, not least because of the well-documented benefits of Cold Shrink. These include rapid installation with consistent high quality and minimised cable preparation time, less chance of damaging the cable (unlike slide-on products) and no need for heat permits or to carry gas bottles on site. Cold Shrink joints are also completely waterproof and will provide high performance for years to come.
Overall, it is clear that 3M is still one of the most innovative brands in this marketplace today – trusted by the power utilities for its products and support – with a flexible range of options that can accommodate a wide variety of current and future power projects. In this way, 3M is helping to build the next generation of power provision in the British Isles.