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Non Compliant Cable -  Atlas Kablo

Non Compliant cables: Atlas Kablo experience
In May 2010, an Approved Cables Initiative (ACI) investigation led to more than 11 million metres of cable manufactured by Turkish company, Atlas Kablo, being recalled from the UK market. This was followed by the suspension of two product certification licenses by the British Approvals Service for Cables (BASEC).


Shortly after, Atlas Kablo’s local certification licence for HO5VV-F (318xY) flexible cables from the Turkish Standards Institution, TSE, was also suspended.


Reports of faulty cable from concerned contractors earlier this year led the ACI to test samples of product from the Turkish cable manufacturer. The samples were found to have insufficient copper leading to high conductor resistance and did not comply with appropriate British Standards. Independent testing by BASEC later confirmed the ACI’s findings and led to the suspension of Atlas Kablo’s BASEC licence for a serious decline in quality across its range of products. These products included flat twin, single core and 3-core.


Atlas Kablo which supplied a number of UK cable distributors and wholesalers with PVC house wiring, flex and conduit wires, confirmed the existence of the problem and the suspensions. BASEC advised all in the electrical supply chain that the affected cable should not be sold or installed.


The company was required by BASEC to investigate and rectify the problem, and to assist the market in locating and recovering affected product through the supply chain for scrapping. Atlas Kablo listed the batch numbers of products known to be affected on its website, and distributors were urged to inform their customers.


At the time, a spokesperson for ACI said: “The suspension of Atlas Kablo’s product certification licence has been welcomed by the Approved Cables Initiative and many others in the industry. It is however just the tip of the iceberg that we are dealing with here, with around a fifth of all cable in the UK supply chain estimated to be either unsafe, non-approved or counterfeit.


“The ACI will continue to test samples of suspect cables and if found to be unsafe, details will be passed to regulators and legislators. We all have a role to play in exposing these threats to safety which also undermine the UK cable manufacturing industry. It is our intention to name and shame those who persistently manufacture or supply these dangerous non-approved cables. However, we hope in time that by highlighting the issue these companies will voluntarily start to adopt safe and approved cables.”


Whilst many millions of metres of cable had been found in the supply chain and all affected cables were withdrawn from the UK market, it was unknown how much of Atlas Kablo’s faulty cable had already been installed in UK properties and facilities.


Despite the ACI calling for electrical distributors to consider their responsibilities and not to compound the defective cables issue, the ACI discovered Atlas Kablo cable in November 2010, which was repackaged under the trade mark of a distributor in two national DIY chain stores. The samples of defective cable were discovered as part of the ACI’s ongoing market surveillance.


Homebase and Focus DIY were immediately made aware of the issue and samples of cable were removed from the stores for further testing. Samples tested were found to fail and in both instances the product was withdrawn one the issue was brought to the company’s attention.


Despite Atlas Kablo ceasing trading following the initial recall, some contractors and end users across the UK disregarded the product recall and the defective cable remained on sale.


Ongoing market surveillance uncovered further Atlas Kablo cable in a Homebase store in Darlington, North Yorkshire in August 2011. The cable was an oversight and was removed as soon as it was brought to the company’s attention.


Almost three years after its recall, now January 2013, the ACI revealed that defective Atlas Kablo cable had once again been found on sale in a Homebase store. Ongoing market surveillance led to the discovery of the cable in the retailer’s store in Mold, North Wales. This was the fourth time Homebase had been found to be selling the cable after the manufacturer’s product recall. Homebase apologised and released a statement assuring its customers that further processes were being implemented to prevent faulty cable being sold in its stores by mistake.


The ACI, said, “This incident reinforces the need for continued vigilance by those responsible for purchasing cable and the importance of carrying out vital checks to ensure what has been ordered is what is received before installation of  the cable.


“Although more than 10 million metres of this cable have already been destroyed, there remain many millions of metres unaccounted for in the UK market. As the ACI broadens its channels of communication, we are very keen to hear of any further Atlas Kablo cable discoveries as well as other concerns contractors and distributors may have regarding non-compliant and defective cables.”
 

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