Part of what’s made French Gerleman such a reliable and trusted distributor throughout the Midwest over the course of the past century years is that we’re meticulous in reviewing and choosing the partners we work with to serve our customers. One of the partners that delivers on the promise of quality for our customers is Eaton B-Line series. Today we’re going to highlight Eaton’s B-Line series and detail how they’re using a combination of exceptional products and unique expert service to help customers minimize risk of failure in harsh elements and lower their structural steel costs, while ultimately maximizing return on investment.
As a leader in the North American cable tray industry, Eaton’s B-Line series NEMA cable tray is highly specified as the preferred cable management solution on new and retrofit industrial projects. While you may be aware of Eaton’s 60+ years of B-Line series cable tray manufacturing and cable tray take-off services, you may not be aware of the additional services the company offers.
The B-Line series Engineering Service Group was created a few years ago to support customers. This group includes tenured engineers dedicated to driving specification while helping take the risk and guess work out of selecting the right product for the application.
On cable management projects, the Engineering Services Group will work with customers to review their specifications to determine the best B-Line series cable tray solution to meet their job requirements. They will create a full bill of materials, suggest ways to optimize the layout and provide take-offs. Plus, they can provide ways to reduce your structural steel cost by utilizing the right B-Line series cable tray. In fact, in many cases, the savings will outweigh the cost of the actual cable tray.
And when it comes to wind requirements, the Engineering Services Group will conduct a review of the customer’s project specifications and perform wind studies to determine the right solution for the environmental conditions.
How B-Line series Cable Tray and Engineering Services Help Reduce Structural Steel Cost
The Engineering Services Group evaluates your project specification to determine the optimal B-Line series cable tray solution to reduce your total installed cost through structural steel savings. NEMA recommendations are intended to provide a basic installation guideline for all cable tray systems. However, individual manufacturers can provide recommendations for their systems that exceed the basic guidelines outlined by NEMA VE-2 (section 3.5.1).
How B-Line series Cable Trays Allow for Structural Steel Savings
The innovative design of the B-Line series 2 through 5 and S8A series cable tray allows for structural steel savings. There are four key factors that drive the reduced number of structural steel supports required for the job:
- Longer straight section spans
Eaton offers B-Line series cable tray systems that are capable of 30ft (9m) and 40ft (12m) support spans; dramatically reducing the overall quantity of structural supports needed on a job site. The B-Line series cable tray features a highly engineered I-beam rail, which maximizes the strength-to-weight ratio of the system and allows for longer span capability.
- Fittings support locations
Eaton’s B-Line series cable tray is engineered to provide flexibility in selecting the proper support locations for fittings. Eaton’s industry-leading 3” (75mm) or 4” (100mm) tangents help maximize the strength and load carrying capacity of splice plates at fitting locations which allows for a reduction in support requirements.
- Vertical adjustable support locations
Eaton has conducted extensive testing to prove that by pairing B-Line series cable tray and vertical splice plate, installers can forego transitional supports up to half span for steel, stainless steel, and aluminum cable tray systems (2-5 and metric cable tray series).
- Thermal expansion support locations
Eaton’s patented B-Line series heavy duty expansion splice plate eliminates the need to install additional supports within 2ft (600 mm) on each side of the expansion location when placed at the quarter point of a support span.
- Longer straight section spans
A Structural Steel Savings Example
There are several real-life examples of projects that utilized B-Line series engineering services and followed the B-Line series cable tray recommendations for installation and saved. For instance, a contractor worked with the B-Line series Engineering Services Group on specifications for a large gas plant upgrade. The Engineering Services Group recommended B-Line series S8A aluminum cable tray, B-Line series heavy-duty expansion plates and alternative support methods.
By following the recommendations and installation requirements provided by the Engineering Services Group, the customer was able to eliminate structural steels supports. The result was a project savings of over $1.1 Million using a total of $750K of B-Line series cable tray.
How Engineering Services Helps Avoid Risk of Product Failure in High-Wind Conditions
Currently, there are no industry standards that can fully account for how a cable tray system will be impacted in high-wind conditions. But the same innovative design and features of the B-Line series 2 through 5 and S8A mentioned above, also provide superior performance in harsh and extreme conditions.
By having a wind study up front and following the recommendations provided by the B-Line series Engineering Services Group, you can help mitigate the risk of product failure that could result in anything from minor repairs to a full site shut-down.
An Engineering Services Wind Study Example
Engineering Services regularly conducts wind studies on its cable tray for various projects. Take for example, a recent project in the U.S. that included an elevated environment exposed to elements with wind gusts of up to 241 kph and requiring a 150kg/m load.
To help ensure that the right product was selected to perform well in this environment, the Engineering Services Group conducted wind studies to determine the best solution. After the review, it was determined that wind speed would result in an 11% reduction in cable tray load. To meet desired cable loads, it was necessary to utilize B-Line series H46A series cable tray to help offset the total environmental loads caused by wind, snow, and ice. The B-Line series 9ZN-1242 and 9ZN-1242SL guides/clamps were selected to accommodate the wind gusts, and the cable tray covers were removed to help reduce the oscillation stresses seen in the wind study.
As a result of the review, the all-static aerodynamic force and moment coefficients were identified, addressed, and certified to meet the customer’s project requirements.
French Gerleman is Your B-Line series Engineering Service Group Connection
Interested in learning more about B-Line Engineering Services? Download the flyer, or visit Eaton.com. If you’re ready to put this innovative team of problem solvers to work for you, contact your French Gerleman account manager or reach out to your nearest branch location to discuss the role the B-Line Engineering Services team can play in your next project.