Wanted: a team of experienced installers who know the products like the back of their own hand. The job: to install a reliable underground cable network for fifty years or more.
The challenge might sound big but has a simple solution. Choose Ensto’s accessories and let the manufacturer train your team to use them. Then, after a year or so, it is time for installer certification event.
Certification ensures faultless installation work and, as a bonus, Ensto grants three-year extensions on guarantees for joints and terminations when the installer is certified. Excellent results and customer experiences in Finland have aroused widespread interest in its introduction in other countries as well.
One of the leading Finnish electricity network contractors Enerke has trained all its installers to Ensto's underground cable network accessories. They work with those practically every day. Despite that, the company sees installation certification very important means to reach their quality goals.
Production Director Jonne Hurskainen says that the company wants to be a quality player in the field. According to him the crucial part of the quality is implemented in daily work of each installer.
“It is well known that certification entitles to additional guarantee, but for us that is not a primary motivation to certify all installers. More important is that every product is installed 100 % correctly so that we never need the guarantee in practise,” he says.
“We also want to maintain the job satisfaction on high level. When you are confident of your knowledge and skills, you enjoy your work.”
In addition to that, he sees certification a convincing way to differentiate from competition. It is a prove of quality and meets customers’ requirements of their own quality processes and documentation.
Enerke has just completed the recertification of all their installers. The original certificates are valid for five years and it was now the time to renew them.
Employee turnover among installers in Enerke is almost non-existent, which means that everyone has originally attended the one-day certification event and was now using around two hours to recertificate. In fact, there were three events organized at Enerke’s premises involving 16-20 installers each. All events were similar, concentrating into medium voltage cold shrink cable joints and terminations.
The importance of the product specific knowledge is also supported by several studies.
“Our installers work with these products almost daily. They were pleased that the focus was on essentials to point out the importance of doing basic things properly. In-house, newcomers work with experienced installers to learn how to do the job. Still, certification is in place to make sure that everyone can produce top quality,” Hurskainen says.
The importance of the product specific knowledge is also supported by several studies. More than two thirds of unexpected interruptions in cable connections are estimated to be caused by faulty installation. Whilst more and more installers with different backgrounds enter the field, risk of faults is growing. This emphasises the importance of product specific training and certification.
"Our absolute goal for installation errors is zero. During the years there has been very few cases that have needed attention. Installers react immediately, if there is anything unclear or even a slight risk of quality deviation. They do not hesitate to ask colleagues or management. Certification is an important way to achieve and keep up this culture.”
Theory part of certification event sharpens the ability to identify faults by showing examples of them. In 20 kV products defects are not seen immediately but may appear after several years. The cases help to notice the distinction between good and bad quality.
Jonne Hurskainen tells that Enerke terminates yearly 2000 units of 3-phase cables resulting to 6000 terminations. In normal year there has been not a single fault. When there has been one, it may have been caused by a difference in cable thickness or tool setting. In those cases, it is essential that installer identifies the fault and takes the piece off the process before delivery to customer.
“We have used Ensto products for decades, and now these underground cable accessories for five years. Overall, I am very satisfied with cooperation and the products. What comes to certification events, trainers bring up the right things and give challenges to even the most experienced participants. I’m sure that Ensto as our partner helps many ways to achieve the high quality and reliability criteria, which we have set ourselves.”
Enerke installers were the first Finnish installers to complete the underground cable installer certificate in 2015. Ensto's underground cable experts and Enerke's installers in the picture.