ACI highlights issue of golden samples

Approved Cables Initiative (ACI) believes the practice of testing golden samples and ignoring the value of third party approval and independent testing risks flooding the market with substandard cable. 

The ACI understands that not only are some manufacturers producing golden samples* to meet specifications and standards and in some instances to obtain a third party test report, but this summer, a cable manufacturer secured an order by supplying golden samples from another legitimate cable producer.

Once these trade samples were accepted, the manufacturer then supplied its own sub-standard cable to complete the order. None of the substandard cable was sold or installed, as the importer carried out its own in-house cable checks once delivery was received to ensure they were of the same quality as the original samples.

All cables supplied as part of the final order failed due to high resistance and in some cases sticking cores because of uncured rubber insulation. The original trade samples were clearly golden samples supplied with the intention to deceive.

“As with the recent VW emissions deception, it is clear that there are those who are prepared to bend the rules by producing isolated samples to deceive the unwary; they will also pass off other manufacturers’ products as their own in order to gain a sale, said Peter Smeeth of the Approved Cables Initiative.

“This case, which has been reported to Health & Safety Executive and Trading Standards, demonstrates the lengths some fraudulent manufacturers and suppliers are prepared to go to and it should be a wake-up call to those purchasing cable and importing into the UK.

“Without rigorous third party approval, where not just the cable but the cable manufacturer themselves have been regularly audited more frequently than annually, including completely unannounced visits, and products periodically re-tested several times each year, importers and distributors are leaving themselves wide open to the dangers of deception”, continued Peter Smeeth.

Regulators within the car industry are now seeking to tighten up on vehicle assessment systems and the transport secretary has said that the priority is to protect the public and give them full confidence in diesel tests, with the focus on laboratory and real world testing.

The ACI would also urge Government to accept that there are other industry sectors that are feeling the full force of the golden sample deception and need a much tighter approach.

*a random cable sample taken from a manufacturer’s normal production run that is produced to standard and selected by the third party for independent testing.

Approved Cables Initiative

Approved Cables Initiative (ACI), an industry-wide working group, is highlighting the dangers of unsafe, substandard, non-approved and counterfeit cable to the cable supply industry (electric and data) and the general public. 

Its work focuses upon communicating that such cable is dangerous and that there is a gap in current legislation and enforcement. It is currently pushing for changes to UK legislation to stop dangerous cable being imported and to increase the penalties for infringements.

Anyone with information or concerns about a suspected faulty or counterfeit cable should contact the ACI who will test samples and if found to be unsafe supply details to relevant industry regulators and legislators.  ACI can also provide guidance where appropriate to installers.

The ACI works with supply chain representative bodies including Electric Distributors Association (EDA); Electric Contractors Association (ECA); Electric Safety First; British Approvals Service for Cables (BASEC); British Cables Association (BCA);  Energy Networks Association (ENA); Ascertiva (previously the NICEIC Group Limited), SELECT and the Joint Industry Board (JIB).


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