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Article Date: 7th August 2013

Unitrunk - There is a Saying, “Do what you always do & you will get what you always got” obvious when you consider it, but how many would have the courage or Commitment to change what they have always done to achieve a different end result?

Cable Management - Cable Trays - Cable Baskets - Cable Trunking

Unitrunk Uniklip

Unitrunk have developed the RIS (Rapid installation Systems) products so that you can achieve a different end result. The challenge is to identify those individuals who have the vision to see the true benefits and the commitment to act upon it.

Cable management is a key element of any project and the cost of the product needs to be considered, but so does the time taken to install that product, the combination of both gives us the prime cost for that product and it is the prime cost that should be the crucial factor. Labour is the risk element of any project, so to find ways of reducing labour are important to enable companies to secure projects. There will always be a list of materials necessary to complete a project, the cost of which will vary depending on where prices have been obtained from, the variation from one company to another will not be that much different. Where the differences could be far greater is in the way those products are to be installed, the engineering solution.

Uniklip cable tray has been developed to provide a quality nut and bolt free system which will be faster to install than traditional systems, how much faster? Unitrunk have undertaken installation testing which shows that Uniklip can be installed 3 times faster than traditional systems. Surely this would be too good to be true? So to substantiate the results of the testing Unitrunk have developed the Cost Calculator.

This is a tool that all estimators or engineers can use to verify the results of the test. The Cost Calculator has been developed as a spread sheet on which to input your cable tray take off. The labour times for both traditional and Uniklip systems have been input, using the Luckins Electrical Installation Times Guide as the reference, so applying your hourly labour rate along with the list of cable tray components will provide the engineer or estimator with a labour cost saving as a monetary value. What more of an incentive to use a product can you have? A project which would normally have a labour cost of £60,000 to install traditional tray systems will show a £40,000 saving by using and installing Uniklip and who could overlook such a significant saving?

At Unitrunk we fully appreciate that our product is one of many required to complete a project, but we know that by selecting and installing RIS products significant savings can be made. Cable management is considered a commodity product, as a result, product innovations such as Uniklip and the benefits they offer are often overlooked as installers and consultants “do what they have always done”. Clients and Consultants reproduce specifications which have remained unchanged for decades, taking no account of product developments or changes in industry practices. Load testing allows for fewer brackets to be installed, yet many clients specifications require brackets to be installed every 1200mm. This originates from the time when cable tray was manufactured in eight foot lengths and two brackets were allowed for per length! Hardly forward thinking. The National Engineering Specification 2025D, which refers to Cable Basket, states that all accessories, bends, tees, reducers and crossovers will be factory made. This is an example of the specification not keeping up with the times, and it will, ultimately create a cost. What if other innovative products are also being overlooked? The potential for missed opportunities and considerable savings is huge. Innovative labour saving products requiring fewer components and, therefore are likely to reduce the volume of requisitions. If we consider one order costs £100.00 to produce and process to completion, saving just one order a week gives an annual saving of £5200.00. This is not hypothetical it is a genuine cost, and one which should be taken into consideration when trying to streamline and become more cost effective.

In the austere times we are faced with we all have to manage budgets, some on a much larger scale than others. Reading industry journals you cannot miss the articles on companies who have ceased trading, or others who are streamlining their operations, reducing staffing levels and closing or merging offices or depots in a desperate attempt cut costs. These decisions are not undertaken lightly and can produce the required savings, but at what cost? Every avenue of saving should be investigated.

Experience teaches us that to try and do something in a different manner to that usually employed introduces an element of risk, experience has often shown us that that risk will culminate in a cost. RIS products remove that risk, they have been developed with quality, value for money and speed of installation as a prerequisite they have been and continue to be successfully installed on projects. Looking after the pennies allows the pounds to look after themselves, but first you have to have the vision and commitment to look for the pennies. The forecasts indicate that the next couple of years will be no less challenging and more difficult decisions will undoubtedly have to be made, so why not make an easy decision and install Unitrunk RIS products.

Tim Brown
Specification Manager

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