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special projects at MRO

CP Rail case study 1

CASE STUDY:

CP RAIL

the little push button assembly that could

10+ years of continued use

In a specific project for CP Rail, we engineered a distinctive push-button cable assembly that facilitated the incremental forward movement of trains. The MRO team collaborated with CPR to facilitate a solution. Specifying a heavy-gauge cable and an automatically closing trailer-type jack and plug combination allowed us to prioritize durability.

With the creation of the initial prototype, an inquiry into our production capabilities kicked off the manufacturing. Leveraging our expertise in component knowledge played a pivotal role in refining the prototype into a functional unit. The original open-backed switch, prone to failure, was replaced with an industrial-grade sealed push button, boasting a life cycle exceeding hundreds of thousands of operations. Additionally, we addressed concerns with the utility box, substituting it with a pendant housing, and upgraded the PVC cable to Polyurethane for enhanced cold weather flexibility, abrasion resistance, and cut resistance.

While the plastic pendant housing was sturdy, it required extensive machining to fit the switch and cable dimensions. Drawing from our proficiency in overmolding connectors, we devised a one-piece injected overmold that replaced the original two-piece housing in subsequent generations of the assembly. This not only simplified the assembly process but also augmented the robustness of the handheld cable component.

The auto-style trailer plug, initially chosen for its robustness and spring-loaded cap, presented a challenge with live contacts inside, posing a potential safety hazard. After evaluating several alternatives, our team at MRO successfully modified the existing connector configuration. The revised design recessed the voltage-carrying contacts deeper into the panel-mounted housing, addressing safety concerns and meeting the client’s approval.

The end result delighted the client, and a decade later, the product continues to be in active use, attesting to its enduring effectiveness and reliability.

Chime telescope case study 2

CASE STUDY:

DETECTING GRAVITY WAVES: THE CHIME TELESCOPE,
UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA

solutions for Astrophysics and Cosmology

The CHIME radio telescope was under construction at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory in British Columbia, Canada, and required specialized cable assemblies with consistent velocity capabilities.

CHIME is a UBC radio telescope. It consists of fixed linear reflectors with a bridgework of many antennas at the focal plane of the reflector. There are several reflectors. The signals from each antenna are connected to a coaxial cable. These signals are cabled into a combiner. The important thing is they have to be very precise in phase. It is not much different than an optical lens where all the rays of light have to focus at the same point or the image will be fuzzy. The time the signal travels from one end of the cable to the other has to be the same for each cable, give or take 1 nanosecond. A rough definition of a nanosecond is the time it takes light to travel one foot in a vacuum.

Even with the same type of cable from the same lot, the transit time will vary, so a method had to be found to measure that time. A couple of methods were tried, and the optimum one was a network analyzer. We used an Anritsu S331E. The astronomy staff at the UBC wrote a script that allowed the cable serial number bar code, the cable loss and the electrical length of the cable to be recorded together.

Our Shleuniger automated cable cutting and the reeling machine was set up to cut these 65-meter cables very consistently, however, despite getting all our cable for that job from the same lot, a number of cables were out of tolerance and had to be re-terminated if they were too long, even though the physical length was within the specification. The short ones were repurposed.

pest control camel square

CASE STUDY:

TORQUE WEAR & TEAR, AND CAMELS

reliable solutions for repetitive motion, and pest control

A client had two challenges for us to solve. 1) a torque problem due to the wear and tear from movement during use of the cable assembly. 2) local camels found the area and were chewing through the cable assemblies.

1. Our client had an existing non-molded cable assembly with a pull test strength of 50 lbs. The cable assembly was around 50 feet long. This assembly was connected from the top of a tower to ground level and was used to send seismic data from the job site up the tower to an antenna to be sent back to headquarters. The torque caused by constant moving and pulling on the cable from the ground lead to the cable assembly falling apart. The client came to us seeking a custom solution to their problem. In a collaboration, we developed a custom crimping method that when combined with a custom mold, increased the pull strength from 50 lbs to 150 lbs—exceeding all industry standards and solving our client’s challenge.

2. This same client then returned to us with a new challenge. Camels in the areas around some towers were chewing through the cable assemblies. Could we do something about that as well? We updated the design to include steel braiding as the outer jacket, making it too tough for camels to chew through and solving another problem for them. Because of our proven solutions and relationship-building customer service approach, we are proud to get repeat business.

MRO certifications website

our certifications & compliance

Reduce risk and loss. Industry leading quality and excellence are the basis of our operations.

We are fully certified, including our AS9100 Certification.

Whatever your needs are, whatever the sector you are in, we are happy to hear about your project
and how we can help.

special projects & challenges

We have worked on many interesting contracts over the years, including security projects, movie & film sets, confidential projects for Defense, and even ways to deter pests. Creating innovative solutions to keep you connected is what we excel in.

custom: it’s what we do best

stay connected when it matters most