Trace-In-Metal : Preventing The Theft Of Metals, Copper & Cables


#MetalTheft, be it lead, copper or aluminium, is a global curse effecting the electrical industry at generation, transmission and distribution levels. From the power station to the person in the street, black-outs or power outages caused by criminal activity is a serious global problem. In the UK, the recycling industry is fuelling metal theft while police operations such as Operation Tornado places an onus on scrap metal dealers to check antecedents of those selling metals, and check metal for markings. The SMD (Scrap Metal Dealers) Act of 2013 strengthens licensing powers and requires SMD's to record distinguishing marks, although how this is policed is open to debate. 

Trace-In-Metal (TiM) provides the ability to audit the path that stolen metals take through the recycling process. This has not been available before – anywhere in the world. TiM can close an existing intelligence gap as well as providing law enforcement with the vital evidence they need to secure a conviction. TiM works with the SMD Act and wants to support the electrical industry in being able to discriminate between what’s stolen and what’s not.

TiM are able to mark some copper now, using sprays to mark the cable sheath or bare conductors, such as copper earthing tape, busbars, earth straps and cables. Clearly, further exploration as to best methods, coverage and at what point in delivery chain it is marked is required. We would welcome feedback from the industry.

Please read our Blog Post : Trace-In-Metal : Preventing The Theft Of Metals, Copper & Cables

Thorne & Derrick UK are national distributors and worldwide exporters of Low & High Voltage Cable Installation, Cable Jointing, Hazardous Area & Electrical Equipment – T&D service UK and global businesses involved in cable installations, cable jointing, substation, overhead line and electrical construction at LV, 11kV, 33kV and EHV. T&D are the UK’s largest stockist supplier of Copper Earthing systems for the electrical industry. 



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