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    Hylec-APL helps to light up the lives of shoppers in Milton Keynes

    When MITIE, the strategic outsourcing company that is responsible for the renovation of the Milton Keynes shopping centre ‘thecentre:mk’, found the electrical connectors that had been sourced for a prominent light display would not fit with the electrical housings, it needed to find an alternative IP68 solution in a very short time frame. Fortunately, UK connector specialist Hylec-APL was able to supply the ideal solution on an extremely short lead-time.

    thecentre:mk, located at the heart of Milton Keynes, is one of the world’s longest shopping centres; stretching nearly half a mile in length. Since its opening in the early seventies it has grown in popularity and now sees nearly 30 million visitors pass through it every year. As part of a general refurbishment and modernisation of the shopping centre, a large fountain was removed from Queen’s Court, an open air environment in the centre of the building, and replaced by a light display, opening out the space to visitors.

    MITIE’s retail engineering team was contracted to oversee and manage the work that needed to be done. With experience in creating pleasant areas for shoppers; making sure the footfall stays high and that visitors have fun and want to come back, MITIE was the perfect company for the job. There was a lot of work to be conducted and MITIE was running to tight deadline, this meant that it needed to rely on its suppliers to provide them with the right components at the right time.

    Having specified the requirements for the enclosures and connectors necessary for the lighting display, upon delivery it was found that the connectors - supplied by a competing component supplier - did not fit the housings. MITIE needed to find a replacement connector that would be suitable for the application and could be delivered on a very short lead time.

    MITIE contacted Hylec-APL, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of electrical and electronic components, to see whether they could source any products that would be suitable. Fortunately Hylec was able to specify a solution from its growing range of weatherproof connectors that would fit with the housings and deliver the performance that was required; the IP68 TeeBox. It was also able to supply the product immediately meaning that MITIE was able to continue the job to the original deadline.

    Nick Jones, Quality Manager from MITIE’s retail engineering team,comments: “The application required that the connectors meet very specific requirements. It was essential that they were fully ingress protected and could be located outside and underground while keeping within a reduced footprint and offering suitable cable entry options. When the original products were found to be unsuitable we were expecting a lengthy delay in our delivery date as we would have to search for a new supplier. Fortunately when we contacted Hylec-APL we were able to source components that met our needs. What’s more they could deliver the required quantity on short notice allowing us to complete the work to schedule.”

    The fully approved, all-weather, TeeBox is available in a variety of sizes and cable entry options to ensure that ample room is provided for wiring. The TeeBox supplied to MITIE was a 4-way junction box offering ingress protection of IP68 and designed with a large housing space for terminal blocks or electronics. Its cover closes perfectly over the base using four screws meaning that it delivers its ingress protection when mounted in any position.

    Robert MacDougall, Sales Manager for Hylec-APL, adds: “We have a large range of connectors and electrical housings that will fit most applications. When we were contacted by MITIE we worked with them to identify a product that would meet the exacting requirements of the project. We understand that often components are needed quickly which is why we work with our suppliers to ensure that all products are available on the shortest possible lead times.”