Home News Face to face | Ian Arbuckle gives updates for LINIAN’s future plans

Face to face | Ian Arbuckle gives updates for LINIAN’s future plans

In the month’s Face to Face we speak to Ian Arbuckle, CEO at LINIAN, to find out how he got started and his future plans for the company.

  • What is your background in the industry and how did you get involved with LINIAN?

I started as an apprentice electrician at 16 after leaving school. I progressed to an electrical foreman and then project manager Role on qualification whist attending night school to obtain my electrical engineering qualification. I left the tools relatively quickly at the age of 23 to enter an electrical design role with a prominent building services consultancy.

I became involved in LINIAN whilst working in this role. When the premature collapse regs first surfaced under BS7671 Amendment 3, I had a casual conversation with my sister Lynne over dinner at our parents regarding the changes, the reasons behind them and the fact that the patented fire alarm cable clip, previously designed and developed by our parents a few years back whilst running their own wholesale business, was a great engineering solution to what the industry was seeking to do.

Lynne was on maternity leave from her job in construction sales at the time and being a talented salesperson, didn’t want to see the opportunity missed. Lynne formulated a sales plan and again, due to the aforementioned talent, quickly had customers lined up. In my spare time I supported her with the technical side such as regulation compliance and intellectual property.

  • What is a LINIAN Clip and how does it work?

A LINIAN Clip is a super simple but effective concept. Previous methods of fixing cables to prevent premature collapse all involved either screws or nails plus a clip and commonly an anchor such as a plastic plug.

LINIAN Clips are a single fire rated steel component that use a combination of tension and friction to remain in place. The clip is placed over the cable and the barbed steel legs of the clip act as the anchor. They are compressed together and inserted into a drilled hole where they grip using the above method. The cable is locked in place as it then “inside” the metal clip.

  • What are the differences between the various LINIAN cable clip ranges?

The main ranges are the Fire Clip, Super Clip, T&E Clip and Nano Clip. The main differences are their size and tensile strength i.e. the weight they can retain.

All of our ranges are fire rated to prevent premature collapse of cables. The Fire Clip range is named as such as it started as a product for fire alarm systems which have pretty much always required the fixings to be metallic. Each clip is capable of retaining an impressive 24kg, that the equivalent of a bag of cement! The range supports cables from 4mm overall diameter up to 11mm overall diameter. We have “double versions” of the common sizes to replace the outdated saddle clips. These retain two cables side by side using a single fixing hole, dispensing with the need for two screws to retain a single clip which is a ‘game changer’ for installers (their words not mine!).

Super Clips are “Super” versions of the same product effectively. They accommodate heavier cables such as SWA, conduits and bunches of multiple smaller cables. Each super clip is capable of supporting a whopping 44kg to accommodate heavier cables and conduits.

T&E Clips are the same as fire clips with a head shaped to neatly accommodate flat twin and CPC cables. Our most recent Nano Clip range was designed for and is commonly used in the fibre optics cable industry. It’s a discreet solution for installing fibre cables which can be as small as 0.9mm! That’s why we have Nano Clips to accommodate cables from 0.9mm up to 4mm.

  • How does LINIAN help to promote best practice in the electrical sector?

I have championed best practice throughout my career. It goes with the turf in design engineering. In fact, it is the turf. Ensuring our designs are installed competently and to standards is the job. I was keen to use this and continue this when I came into LINIAN so I believe I have done so effectively.

The main way is to ensure our suite of testing was the most comprehensive and transparent if any product in our sector which it still is. If you request LINIAN product testing documentation you will find that we don’t just offer the standard one page, vague, rubberstamp exercise that our competitors do.

We have in depth test information are very open about sharing this. We worked with recognised industry test houses early on to establish a testing regime specific to our products. Lynne and I put out names on the product and company so when it comes to compliance, we put our money where our mouth is.

Our focus is on the Premature Collapse Regulations compliance and our products are ensuring maximum safety for the emergency services. This is an essential part of our mission as we help saving lives.

  • What are some of the key challenges facing the industry right now?

There are a few in all honesty.

The regulations around premature collapse have been developing constantly since the initial mention in BS7671:2015 Amendment 3 and it’s still not as clear as it could be for the installer although it is improving.

BEAMA have done some great work in this respect, and I usually point to their Guide to Premature Collapse for those seeking clarity. It’s a helpful and free document that does what it says on the tin.

Another challenge is electric vehicles. The governments Net Zero agenda and targets places significant pressure on our industry to get the infrastructure in place and the concern is that will ultimately lead to corners being cut.

And, a final challenge is the war to win talent in our industry but I have written an entire article for Professional Electrician on this subject so you will have to wait for that!

  • What are LINIAN’s goals for the future?

Our ethos is right there on the company tag line – Faster, Safer, Simpler and that’s what we aim to continue doing. Developing products and solutions that meet those three criteria is the core of the LINIAN business.

We have many new innovations in the pipeline for both the electrical and telecommunications sectors and we will keep working to bring these to market. We have also established ourselves as problem solvers though product innovation so the calls for innovation from our current and new customers are coming thick and fast. Just the way we like it.

There can’t be many CEO’s out there who are happy to say keep the problems coming folks, but I will and I do. By bringing us the challenges we get to satisfy, or customers’ needs by doing what we live and what we are good at.

When my sister Lynne and I first came into LINIAN it had no employees, a single product in a single colour, no manufacturing base, and no customers. We now have over 135 products, a manufacturing facility in our home city of Glasgow, keeping manufacturing on shore and employing a fantastic team of 10 employees. LINIAN is turning over north of seven figures and an impressive rate of year-on-year growth. Our goal is simple – we keep going strong.

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