Electrical Business

Products Wiring - Cabling - Devices

The “connected drum” brings cable reels into the 21st century

September 18, 2020 | By Anthony Capkun

A Nexans cable reel with embedded Connected Drum sensor.

September 18, 2020 – Nexans Canada has launched the “connected drum”—an internet of things-enabled service to provide cable reel tracking via connected devices.

Utilities can easily lose thousands of dollars a year due to a lack of visibility, or outright theft of reels scattered across construction sites, says Nexans.

The new IoT-enabled service includes an online and mobile software platform for reel management; it provides customers with the real-time location of each reel, as well as an alert system for monitoring onsite events, such as deliveries and pick-ups.

Device options for connecting to the software platform include 3G, 4G and 5G. These devices, with temperature and rotation sensors, are integrated into each reel and connect wirelessly to a cloud-based management platform. Real-time geolocation is used to identify the cable reels’ locations. The service also allows for an alert notification should the customer’s reel be moved outside of normal working hours.

With artificial intelligence and edge computing, the solution identifies how much cable is left on each reel after cuts are made. A real-time interface between the connected drum platform and Nexans’ ERP solution helps customers monitor their reels and access information such as cable type and remaining lengths, site locations, stock levels and other details. The service can be used with both wood and steel reels.

Nexans is currently piloting the connected drum with a utility customer.

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