Standards Spotlight

Safety, effectiveness and expertise that benefits customers and the industry

Energy and its safe, efficient delivery through advanced cabling and connectivity solutions play a pivotal role in how we live and work in our modern world. But safety and efficiency don’t happen by themselves, of course. Nexans and other leaders in the energy sector are deeply engaged in research and development every day to ensure our products evolve in step with technology and meet the needs of customers. An important part of this process involves the active role of our engineers and other experts in dozens of standards organizations and committees so that the products we create meet the most stringent and up-to-date safety and regulatory requirements and best practices.

Among the many organizations and committees Nexans participates year-round in are Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), the Insulated Cable Engineers Association (ICEA), the Council for Harmonization of Electrotechnical Standards of the Nations of the Americas (CANENA), the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).

Phil Laudicina is a Regional Product Manager in Houston, where he works with electrical procurement, construction and distribution companies to pursue downstream oil and gas projects for Nexans AmerCable. He’s also heavily involved in a dozen committees and subcommittees that create, update and harmonize standards for our industry – including the IEEE’s Insulated Conductors Committee (ICC) and Petroleum Chemical Industry Committee (PCIC) as well as the NEMA Building Wire Committee.

“It’s easier said than done,” says Laudicina, “but what we do is come up with construction and testing criteria to ensure that electrical cables across the industry can be used safely and effectively in the application for which they’re intended.”

The process can be long and laborious. If Laudicina and other committee members – including engineering, manufacturing and consulting experts – aren’t building standards from scratch, they’re meeting in person or in working groups via WebEx or offsites, painstakingly going through existing standards, paragraph by paragraph to determine if references are still valid, if materials or ratings have changed, and overall, to make sure standards are up-to-date with current practices and technologies.

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Expertise that creates real benefits for customers

Prior to joining Nexans AmerCable in 2011, Laudicina worked at Underwriters Laboratories (UL) for nearly 25 years on every wiring and cable category imaginable, managing testing projects and helping to write countless standards for the industry. He says his active committee involvement not only keeps his expertise current, it provides a real benefit to Nexans customers.

“Because many of my colleagues and I have this deep knowledge about standards, we’re not just promoting products. We understand how they’re used, where they’re used, what needs they meet and why they may be better than our competitors’ offering. It’s a benefit our customers truly appreciate.”

Tim Jones, Nexans Director of Engineering – Energy, agrees. “Being involved in the discussion to create standards is key to understanding our products and their application. It allows our experts to provide important technical insight and interpretations around the standards, why changes may need to be made as well as better approaches to apply the code.”

Inviting and involving users

One criticism of standards committees, Laudicina explains, is that they’re often dominated by manufacturers, but this isn’t the case with the IEEE and American Petroleum Institute committees, where users are invited to become actively involved in the standards process.

“Users are important because they give us valuable information on construction and installation features that we may not be aware of,” adds Laudicina. “With their input, we have a better sense of how to address features in the standards with respect to materials that may or may not be appropriate in terms of ensuring the product performs well and safely.”