Cable management is a dry subject, but a core consideration for any business or office environment.
IT support workers, tech teams and logistics staff need to have a comprehensive approach to – and understanding of – proper cable management in order to ensure a safe working environment, and optimal function of IT systems.
This goes just as much for audio-visual and entertainment systems as it does for personal computers and server arrays; in live sound venues and conference halls
And audio cables carry signals to a central mixing desk administrated by an audio engineer, while server arrays and computers see long runs of CAT-5 cables for connection.
But what are the important practices when it comes to cable management?
What Are The Best Practices When It Comes To Cable
Before initiating cables’ installation, proper planning must be undertaken to understand the destination of each cable.
In existing office environments, pathways will already exist for some cables; following these will enable neater runs and easier troubleshooting down the line.
For completely new installations, pathways need to be decided using blueprints and office layouts.
Through identifying patch points and areas of termination, you can find an optimal route to run cables throughout the space – and install ceiling trays to enable the run.
When installing a run of cables, you need to ensure that each one is correctly identifiable. This should be done in multiple ways so that there is no singular point of failure for your management setup.
Cables should be kept in sequential order where possible, and also be color-coded to indicate their specific purpose. They should also be labeled at both ends to ensure they terminate in the correct port.
Cables that share a purpose can be joined with cable ties. Cable tie mounts enable the securing of cable arrays to ceiling trays or cable racking, without requiring the cutting of the cable tie to free them. This allows for better maintenance in the future.
There are three things to bear in mind when installing cables: their length and their weight.
The cable length should be comprehensively measured beforehand, to avoid the possibility of running a cable only to find it is too short for its purpose.
Advanced engineers can build cables on the fly, leaving them with the option to lay cable spools and terminate them with the proper connectors after installation.
Cable weight must also be considered when undertaking roof runs. The ceiling tray may not be rated to carry the weight of all the cables – or may need additional support before you continue to lay.
Cable maintenance should be as easy as possible; it is one of the key reasons that the previous steps have been taken.
A rat’s nest of network cables can be difficult to decode, likely resulting in more issues as opposed to the diagnosis and repair of a fault. Well-organized cable runs are intuitive and easy to read.