Ampack is a German packaging technology company and not a typical Habia customer. Standard cables on stock from any supplier will work just fine in the machine building industry. Habia is far from standard so we were pleasantly surprised to face this particular challenge.
One of Ampack's customers: a yoghurt factory in Saudi-Arabia had higher demands than usual for chemical resistance. The standard cables could not handle the powerful cleaning agents that were needed to make sure that the yoghurt was up to par.
Mixing materials is the Habia way
Our first idea was to design cables with a PUR (polyurethane) jacket. PUR is both flexible and really tough. By adding a thin top layer of FEP, we felt sure that had fulfilled the requirement for high chemical resistance. FEP, by the way, is a fluorine based plastic which works both as insulation and jacket material and has very good properties in chemical and mechanical resistance as well as for high temperatures. Problem solved.
Problem not solved apparently
After presenting our solution to the client, another requirement surfaced, which reminded us of the importance to really make sure that we have all requirements before we start any design work. In this case, the cables needed to be halogen-free as well. Halogen-free really means that the cables do not emit any toxic fumes in case of a fire. It also meant that we could not use the wonderful FEP.
Instead of FEP we had to PE
PE of course means polyethylene. It is the most common plastic in the world. It is not very sophisticated or cool to be honest but it had a great feature for this problem. It does not contain any halogen and the chemical resistance properties were well with the requirements. Problem solved again. Furthermore, the client was happy and so were we with the outstanding way our Chinese plant handled the production.
Sometimes, standard is not enough and then clients come to Habia. So keep pushing the standard!