Why do some of the most respected names in aerospace General Electric, NASA, Pratt and Whitney, Rolls Royce, Boeing and Woodward Governor now specify Safety Cable instead of lockwire?
Developed in 1987 by Bergen Cable Technology in conjunction with GE Aircraft Engines, Safety Cable is the safest, most cost effective, easiest to install fastener retention system available.
Safety Cable has replaced what was once one of the most troublesome, time-consuming and error-prone of all manufacturing and repair processes lockwiring of fasteners and replaced it with a simple two-step procedure.
It permits manufacture and repair in half the time required for lockwire, reduces rework and inspection while eliminating installation hazards through removal of any sharp edges that can injure operators or tear protective clothing.
The system consists of Bergen Cable Technology's cable, ferrules and a patented, all in one tensioning, crimping and cutting tool. After a cable is threaded through the fasteners and a loose ferrule inserted, the crimping tool tensions the assembly, crimps the loose ferrule and cuts the excess cable flush to the ferrule all in one smooth motion.
The entire system is so user friendly that entry-level technicians can learn the Safety Cable installation method in less than thirty minutes and be ready to competently and efficiently secure fasteners on even the most complex, hard to reach components.
HOW GEAE CONNECTED WITH A SECURE SOLUTION TO AN INDUSTRY WIDE PROBLEM
Loose fasteners on aircraft engines have provided engineers with a challenge since the very beginnings of flight. They not only jeopardize the parts they secure but can fall into the wrong part of the engine. Yet lockwiring these fasteners is a time consuming and troublesome installation, inspection and removal process.
GE's Aircraft Engine Group (GEAE) met with Bergen engineers to explore a better alternative an entirely new fastening method that would make fastener retention safer, easier and faster: Safety Cable.
First, the cable design which conformed to an existing military specification and materials (stainless steel) were specified to effect consistent tensile load. Next, unique compact fittings were designed and then developed and tested. But the hard part still lay ahead: Developing the end fitting and an efficient way for the user to install it.
Once strung through a bolt, the cable had to be tensioned to pull the assembly tight and a second fitting simultaneously crimped on. But no tool existed for this purpose. It had to be small enough to fit into tight spaces, light enough to avoid worker fatigue, yet possess sufficient force to adequately crimp the second fitting.
Bergen came up with a unique instrument which tensions the safety cable through any bolt pattern, crimps the fitting to the cable end and also cuts the cable flush to the fitting all in one smooth motion.
Today, Bergen's Safety Cable System is saving countless hours in aerospace manufacturing for companies such as General Electric Aircraft Engines, Pratt and Whitney, Rolls Royce, NASA and Boeing.
DRAMATIC TIME SAVINGS IN INSTALLATION AND REMOVAL WITH A BETTER FINISHED PRODUCT
The best way to appreciate the dramatic improvement in installation efficiency made possible by the Safety Cable System is to compare it with installing fasteners the old fashioned way with lockwire.
BEFORE SAFETY CABLE Lockwiring just two fasteners required threading a single strand of wire through the fastener holes, manually doubling it over and twisting it with a pair of pliers all while maintaining a positive pull and allowing for sufficient flex. To compound these installation difficulties, operators needed to determine which direction the twist should go from one fastener to the next to assure that the wire would not slip up and over the bolthead or leave a gap at the beginning of the twist. In addition, pigtails required no less than four twists. The procedure was repeated until finally excess wire was cut off and the end twisted under to prevent snagging. One mistake and the entire, time-consuming process had to be repeated.
AFTER SAFETY CABLE This inefficient, error-prone process of lockwire ended with the advent of Safety Cable. Today, operators simply install cable through fasteners in a neutral or positive position, insert a loose ferrule on to the cable, string the end of the cable through a special Bergen tool and tension the assembly to the preset load. The tool crimps the ferrule and cuts the cable flush to the ferrule in one smooth motion.
Bergen's innovative Safety Cable System provides international and domestic OEM and aftermarket customers in aerospace, government, military, ship building, power generation, electronics, drilling systems and pipelines with a new level of safety and quality assurance with a fastener retention system that saves time and money while assuring a better finished product.
Bergen Cable Technology, LLC