Cable Ducts Laid Along Lock in Kleinmachnow

Bastian König (left, project manager of Wirthwein Brandenburg GmbH & Co. KG) together with René Höft from WOL-TEC Automatisierungstechnik GmbH. The cable ducts were laid along the lock in Kleinmachnow, which is 12km east of Potsdam. Control and electrical cables are laid in the troughs since locks are operated fully electrically and automatically nowadays

Woldegk/Mecklenburg and Brandenburg an der Havel. It was the extraordinary challenge of a construction site that brought together two companies for an extraordinary project: Wol-Tec Automatisierungstechnik GmbH - expert for electrical systems along waterways - was in search of a safe cable laying system. Due to the high groundwater level, the cable ducts had to be flat, permeable to water, lightweight and therefore easy to install but robust at the same time. That was when the company from Woldegk in Mecklenburg brought the plastic expert Wirthwein from Brandenburg an der Havel into play. Looking at the full costs it turned out that the cable ducts made of plastic were even less expensive than the alternatives made of concrete. For the first time more than 250 meters of cable ducts made by Wirthwein were laid along the lock in Kleinmachnow. The two companies plan to continue their cooperation.


Cable ducts made of plastic

Within the Wirthwein-Group the Wirthwein plant in Brandenburg has specialized on the production of cable ducts. In the meantime more than one million meters of cable ducts have been delivered to companies around the world to be used as energy and data lines for the railway superstructure but also for solar fields and wind turbines. In 2018, Wirthwein presented the latest generation of cable ducts within the framework of InnoTrans, an international railway fair. The company used their internal know-how from Brandenburg as well as their customers‘ hands-on experience to advance product, process, and material. Although cable ducts are mainly used by the railway superstructure industry, the system has proved its worth also along waterways for the first time.


Wirthwein puts trains on the right track

Since 1991 Wirthwein Brandenburg GmbH & Co. KG has been a subsidiary of Wirthwein AG. The Wirthwein-Group employs around 3,650 people in 23 companies in Europe, Asia, and the USA. With 50 years of experience in plastic injection molding and state-of-the-art technology the group of companies produces versatile, complex plastic components and assemblies. At the plant in Brandenburg around 60 employees manufacture a wide portfolio of safety-relevant plastic components for the international railway superstructure industry, such as dowels, intermediate pads, and insulation components for rail fastening systems, e.g. for the high-speed railway line from Beijing to Shanghai, where a speed record of 450km/h was set in the meantime.


Wol-Tec Automatisierungstechnik GmbH

Founded in 1994, WOL-TEC Automatisierungstechnik GmbH offers customer-oriented solutions for planning, project planning, programming, and assembly of complex electrical systems in measuring, control, and automatic control technique. The company headquartered in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern employs around 20 people who mainly work along waterways throughout Germany. Solutions for data collection, transfer, and archiving round off the full service provider’s portfolio. Project engineer Thomas Hauke is enthusiastic about the hands-on experience his company has made with cable ducts made by Wirthwein: “Simple and quick laying of cable ducts by hand – done without heavy construction vehicles or lifting equipment – is perfect for our needs in the lock industry where we often work in confined spaces and where there is no highly compacted soil for heavy equipment. Nevertheless the system is robust and cable duct covers can be safely secured as protection against theft.” Thanks to pre-perforated outlets in ground and side walls workers get access to the cables from the side and can therefore also build junctions or partly parallel installations at any time.

Besides, the provided perforations on the ground and side walls offer another advantage: stagnant water can flow off easily which can occur near water due to heavy rainfalls at times despite a special geotextile and gravel layer base developed by WOL-TEC. On the whole, the laying of cable ducts along the lock in Kleinmachnow has been a project that has opened up new chances for both cooperation partners. Particularly in times of the corona pandemic such positive news from the economy with potential for the future are certainly highly welcome. Further information about Wirthwein cable ducts and possible fields of application:

Cable ducts made by Wirthwein are handy and light and require neither lifting equipment nor machines. Thanks to an integrated connecting system the installation can be assembled or disassembled quickly and troughs can be reused for alternating construction sites. Thanks to perforations for pegs the material can be additionally fixed in the event of above-ground laying or very loose ground.

The covers too can be assembled by hand. Finally, the new efficient locking system is closed with a special key. The covers can be fixed by special screws to be additionally secured and even better protected against theft.