Llyr Roberts, CEO UK at Prysmian Group aims to promote the importance of UK standards and specifications compliance and expose cable manufacturers prepared to take short cuts, in his new role of Chairman of the Approved Cables Initiative (ACI).
Mr Roberts returned to the UK in March this year having spent the past 15 years working for Prysmian in Australia, Hungary, Germany and Italy. He started his career in the cable industry almost 30 years ago with Standard Telephones & Cables (STC) in Newport South Wales.
Passionate about health and safety issues, during his time in Australia, Mr Roberts launched the Australian Cablemakers Association (ACA) to develop a collective voice for the country’s cable manufacturers. The ACA promotes Australian manufacturing, the importance of adhering to national and international standards, exposes non-compliant and potentially unsafe cables and shares best practice.
With the ACI established in the UK in 2010, Mr Roberts went on to launch an Australian version of the ACI in 2012. During this time, Australia’s ACI came across Chinese importer Infinity Cables and suspicious of the company’s low pricing carried out some long-term ageing tests which proved the imported cables to be unsafe and non-compliant with Australian Standards. The subsequent and ongoing cable recall involves approximately 40,000 homes, and estimates place the cost of removal, refurb and cable reinstall at around 80 million Australian dollars.
Commenting on his appointment, Mr Roberts said: “Having returned to the UK in March of this year, I am delighted to be immediately involved in an initiative for which I feel very strongly. Standards and specifications are in place to ensure the safety, quality and performance of all cables installed. Cheating on specifications in order to gain a competitive advantage, is putting people at risk and tarnishing the UK cable industry through sub-standard product performance.
“Although the ACI’s work has been primarily an on-going education and communication process, I believe we need to promote full compliance to UK standards and specifications at all times and expose any manufacturer, be they domestic or an importer, who believes taking short-cuts is a valid way of gaining a competitive advantage.
“We need all industry stakeholders to get involved and get behind the ACI as it manages those suppliers who attempt to cheat. This is everyone’s responsibility in the cable supply chain.” continued Mr Roberts.