Nexans unveils its anti-theft cable solutions at InnoTrans 2012

New solutions make Nexans rail cables harder to steal and easier to trace

Paris, September 17, 2012 – Nexans, a worldwide expert in the cable industry, is launching its new anti-theft cable solutions at InnoTrans – which promises to help network operators reduce the high volume of copper cables theft along their railway networks.

The solution comprises two approaches to help combat the predominant theft of earthing cables. One focuses on cables that are harder to steal and less financially appealing to thieves, but which maintains full compatibility with the latest industry standards. The other uses a sophisticated fire resistant copper-tape marking system that helps alert the supply chain to theft.

Nexans unveils its anti-theft cable solutions at InnoTrans 2012Anti-theft grounding cable is protected by steel and copper mix

Most cables – earthing cables in particular – are constructed entirely from copper, making them extremely valuable and appealing to thieves (due to the high resale value of plain copper). Nexans’ first approach involves reducing the recycle value of the cable whilst maintaining the performance of the cable.

The standard-sized copper core conductor is protected by an outer layer of alternating copper and galvanized steel wires, with a rugged PE (Polyethylene) outer jacket. The steel wires greatly complicate cable cutting with conventional tools, making it harder to steal, while the near impossibility of separating copper from steel reduces its value on the black market to a fraction of pure copper.

These new patented anti-theft earthing cables are fully compatible in size with existing copper cables of equivalent performance, utilizing the same tools and cable lugs and with excellent bending properties and form stability.

Fire-resistant anti-theft cable markings

Typically, after cables have been stolen from railway tracks, thieves burn them to remove the insulation before selling the copper back into the supply chain. Normally, this will destroy all identification markings of the cables, making them impossible to trace.

To counter this problem, Nexans has developed a cable (patent pending) that incorporates a coded fire-resistant copper tape that is intertwined with the cable cores. The markings make it easy to trace the origins of the stolen copper when it is brought to a scrap dealer.

Since the tape is embedded along the length of the conductor, it is virtually impossible for the thief to remove it.

“Copper theft is a worldwide concern that creates serious safety and operational issues for railway networks across the globe, and Nexans is working closely with its customers to develop solutions that can significantly help to address this problem,” says, Jean Fehlbaum, Vice President Marketing Infrastructure and Industrial projects at Nexans. “Recycling is a vital element within the copper supply chain. But it is very difficult to establish the origin of recycled copper. However, we believe these new techniques offer excellent potential to make rail cables less attractive to steal as well as providing the wider copper supply chain with new tools to identify when stolen copper comes into the eco-system.”

Nexans’ anti-theft cables are currently being piloted in Europe by a number of network operators.

InnoTrans 2012
18 – 21 September 2012
Berlin, Germany
Hall 12 / Stand 224

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About Nexans

With energy at the basis of its development, Nexans, worldwide expert in the cable industry, offers an extensive range of cables and cabling solutions. The Group is a global player in the energy transmission and distribution, industry and building markets. Nexans addresses a wide series of market segments: from energy and telecom networks to energy resources (wind turbines, photovoltaic, oil and gas or mining…) to transportation (shipbuilding, aerospace, automotive and automation, railways...). Nexans is a responsible industrial company that regards sustainable development as integral to its global and operational strategy. Continuous innovation in products, solutions and services, employee development and commitment, customer orientation and the introduction of safe industrial processes with limited environmental impact are among the key initiatives that place Nexans at the core of a sustainable future. With an industrial presence in 40 countries and commercial activities worldwide, Nexans employs 25,000 people and had sales in 2011 of 7 billion euros. Nexans is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris, compartment A. For more information, please consult: or