Planning: A Key Component of Effective Cable Management
October 10, 2017
Implementing a cable management strategy requires effective planning—and a commitment to execute. This strategy shouldn't just pertain to one specific project. It should define the standards, level of quality and guidelines for every cabling project moving forward. And although every site and installation is different, the level of service and attention to detail shouldn’t be.
Chatsworth Products' (CPI) sales and product managers often speak with ICT professionals about cable management best practices. Many of them agree that planning is the most critical component of effective cable management.
Points to Consider
Proper cable management is integral to the performance and effectiveness of a network. Managing and maintaining cables and cords provides the critical support, reliability, and flexibility needed to sustain and grow network capabilities.
Proper Cable Management Helps to:
- Save time when moving or replacing cables and allows for quick response when something goes wrong
- Provide efficient operation because airflow is not impeded by congested or poorly placed cables
- Reduce hazards and liabilities
- Promote optimal circuit and signal performance
- Save money by extending the life of cables, greatly reducing potential for outages
Cable Capacity: Planning for Growth
Not considering future cable capacity inherently leads to less than ideal conditions where cables are forced into tight areas where there simply isn’t any room for proper organization and management. Most cable pathway and management product manufacturers offer a cable fill table to help specify the right sized products for cable management needs.
As a good rule of thumb, plan for a fill rate of approximately 50%. It is in this planning stage that considering future needs is of the utmost importance. Only 20% may be used on day 1, but could easily increase to 70% full within just a few years. Consider cable pathway, rack and/or cabinet level cable capacity, and underfloor pathways if plans to use a raised floor for cable delivery are in place. An app-based or Excel format calculator provides and easy-to-use method to quickly estimate cable fill based on product-specific or user-defined cable diameters and/or aperture sizes.
To enjoy the advantages of proper cable management listed above, CPI recommends these steps:
- Define and document cable paths and routing
- Label to easily define scheme; ensure it is repeatable
- Train staff appropriately
If you have an upcoming project, check out CPI's Design Tools and Specifications, which can help assist with planning. To select, compare and price cable management products, access our Online Catalog. Then contact your local distributor to order.