/images/TDUpdate.jpg/images/pagelogo/Coferaerials1.jpgInnovative in Action Delivers Practical Products - 2005InnovativeInActionDeliversPracticalProductsJan2005.htmMost Southwire customers know the D.B. Cofer Technology Center as a source of answers for difficult application questions. But since its opening in 1992, Cofer Center research has also delivered innovation with immediate value to utility operators.
ENU
Register Now Forgot Password?

Innovative in Action Delivers Practical Products - 2005

Southwire's Cofer Center is known for technical support - but it's also a source of value-now innovation.

Most Southwire customers know Southwire's D. B. Cofer Technology Center as a source of answers for difficult application questions. But ever since its opening in 1992, Cofer Center research has also delivered innovation with immediate value to utility operators.

Southwire's Cofer Center is a dedicated 50,000 square foot on-site research and development center staffed with industry experts including metallurgists, polymer chemists, and process and applications engineers. In this environment, the link between real-world customer needs and truly innovative - and practical - solutions starts with advanced research.

Innovative research delivers high-impact benefits

"Innovation is the key to products and processes that have a major impact on the industry," says Vince Kruse, director of the Cofer Center. "Cofer Center research into innovative design, manufacturing process improvement and performance testing directly impacts the products you buy - or will buy in the future - from high-capacity, low-sag overhead conductors to the next generation of self-sealing direct burial 600V distribution cables to increased capacity on high-voltage underground transmission conductors."

Kruse adds, "Our objective is to deliver innovation that positively affects the bottom line of our customers," says Kruse. "That goal drives our research strategy. The most painstaking research isn't worth much unless it results in better products."

World-class testing and laboratory operations ensure quality

It takes world-class testing and laboratory work to support innovation in 600V, medium- and high-voltage cable. Cofer Center labs are equipped to do industryaccepted qualification testing to standards set by the Association of Edison Illuminating Companies (AEIC) and the Insulated Cable Engineers Association (ICEA).

Cofer Center testing helps ensure that new and existing Southwire products reliably meet or exceed the requirements of ANSI/ICEA S-94-649 for concentric neutral cables, ANSI/ICEA S-97-682 for cables that use copper tape shields, longitudinally corrugated tape, or drain wire shields, and the AEIC supplement, CS8. Cofer Center capabilities include flame testing facilities, a complete mechanical testing facility, and a world-class metallurgy lab for chemical and physical analysis of materials. Cofer Center insulation experts blend, analyze and test existing  and new cable insulation compounds.

Cofer Center engineers also support the only facility in North America producing solid-dielectric extra-high-voltage cable. Southwire can supply utilities with components and turnkey installations up to 230kV.

A history of innovation marks Southwire leadership

Southwire has been a technology leader in the industry for decades. When Southwire engineers adapted continuous-casting processes first to electricalgrade aluminum, and then to the even more challenging properties of copper, they changed forever the way electrical conductors are manufactured. Now, more than half of the world's copper rod capacity is based on Southwire's patented SCR continuous-casting process.

Today, besides immediate, value-adding product advancements, Cofer Center researchers also investigate long-term, high-risk, high-reward opportunities for products and processes that will have a major impact on the industry. Kruse comments, "In the end, the true measure of Southwire research and innovation is our success in positioning our energy customers to deliver their services more reliably and with lower total cost of ownership. That's innovation in practical action."