How Aussie company’s tech is helping solve industrial bottleneck

Heavy industries are entering a new digital era as advances in connectivity and computing power enable them to run their operations more efficiently, safely and profitably than ever before.

Heavy industries are entering a new digital era as advances in connectivity and computing power enable them to run their operations more efficiently, safely and profitably than ever before.

These include ‘smart’ high-voltage power cables with integrated optical fibre, which make the remote operation of equipment possible while also feeding back data for artificial intelligence and many other uses.

But a bottleneck to progress in this field to date has been the couplings used to connect these cables, the basic technology of which has barely changed in decades, restricting the value proposition of innovations in power generation, cabling and machinery.

After 10 years of research and development, Brisbane-based company Connec is now producing a range of patented, certified and Australian-made smart cable couplings for use with electrical apparatus in mining, oil and gas, and multiple other industrial applications.

Constructed from proprietary polymer compounds, they effectively render the industry-standard metallic couplings obsolete as they are lighter, safer and more economical to use, providing significant safety, time and cost advantages over legacy products.

Source: Connec

To date, these unique couplings have achieved more than 700,000 cable hours in customer sites with zero faults. And in March 2022, Connec successfully completed a site acceptance test with multinational mining giant Anglo American, who immediately endorsed the products and are now moving to operational use.

Connec’s couplings enable smart high-voltage (1kV to 25 kV) cables to be connected in 90 minutes instead of 1-2 days, and without the need for specially trained electricians. This means they can be used like extension cords, quickly and easily joining cables to each other, as well as to machinery and power sources.

Such advanced couplings have long been an industry aspiration because those currently in use cannot internally connect integrated optical fibre. So when smart cables are coupled, they must have their fibre connections externally and separately connected.

Alternatively, smart cables are not used at all, and a separate fibre optic line is run in parallel. Either way, the result is much higher costs and risks of communication failure.

With proven product market fit and existing cornerstone customers, Connec is now in a position to reap the rewards of a decade spent developing its unique products, says executive chairman Kim Manley. 

“We have an experienced management team with extensive industrials and mining experience, and our IP is protected by 95 patents across 14 key jurisdictions,” Mr Manley said.

“We are ready to enter scale production of our connector systems, with all the designs, moulds and other tooling required, as well as both in-house testing capabilities and supply chains in place.”

The company anticipates achieving breakeven EBITDA in 2024, with “significant” profitability from 2026.

The global market for its products has been independently assessed at over A$4.4 billion, and Connec is conservatively forecasting revenues of over A$100 million by 2028 (rising to A$335 million by 2032) with an EBITDA of around A$46 million.

These projections do not include the potential returns from multiple future opportunities currently being explored, including a wide range of new products and the possibility of a consortium with major global players in the heavy industries sector.

To stay up to date with Connec news and announcements, register your details here.

Reach Markets have been engaged by Connec Limited and may receive fees for its services.


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