Electrical Contracting News (ECN) April 2017 - Page 52

SPECIAL FEATURE

SPECIAL FEATURE

CABLE MANAGEMENT

ALL THINGS CONSIDERED

Cable management is often an afterthought in the specification process rather than being viewed as an essential component within a building . When it comes to specifying cable management systems , there are a number of key areas to consider in addition to cost per unit and installation time . Here , Paul Gretton , lead marketing manager for cable management at Legrand , talks through some simple top tips during specification .
Location
Consider what elements the cable management system will be exposed to . If the system is to be located in a corrosive environment or a marine location for example , the requirements will be very different to that of an internal commercial building installation .
Consider the cable used
It ’ s important to consider what type of cable will be used throughout the installation and if support or protection is needed .
Single insulated ( non-sheathed ) cables require additional mechanical protection , as well as support , and therefore a distribution trunking system is generally the solution of choice as it fully encases the cables .
If using armoured cables , an open cable management system , such as wire tray , perforated tray or cable ladder , is considered more suitable .
When considering scalability , retrofitting can be expensive and not all systems can be easily integrated with one another .
Weight
Calculate the total weight to be supported by the cable management system , taking into consideration current requirements and potential needs in the future .
Remember that the total loading should be calculated based on not only the weight of the cables , but also any ancillary items that are subsequently fitted to the cable management system , such as light fittings .
Regulations and Standards
Wiring regulations can differ depending on the installation or location of the project you ’ re working on , so it ’ s imperative to monitor and review the guidelines , prior to an installation .
Compliance to IP4X or IPXXD for example , when specifying a trunking system that could contain non-sheathed cables , must be considered . Both aim to provide mechanical protection from solid objects and prevent disruption of contained cables .
Scalability
It can be tempting to build in redundant capacity during the design and specification stages of a project rather than designing a system that can be easily adapted in the future . Planning ahead has the potential to save businesses time and money in the longer term , so it ’ s worth considering in the design stages .
Remember , when considering scalability , retrofitting can be expensive and not all systems can be easily integrated with one another . Consider this at the design stage by specifying a system that can easily interface with others .
Take the time to specify a system that offers a full range of accessories including brackets , fixings and couplers , from one source .
correct amount of fittings , brackets and fixings in order to prevent delays on site .
Although cable management is often viewed as an afterthought , it can help to enhance cable performance , longevity and future flexibility in terms of business growth if implemented effectively . There isn ’ t a ‘ one solution fits all ’, so it is vitally important that the correct system is chosen from the outset . By selecting a cable management system that excels in each of these areas , you will not only have a system that reduces installation time , and therefore total installed cost , but you will also have a system that can meet your needs today and tomorrow .
Full range of accessories
Take the time to specify a system that offers a full range of accessories including brackets , fixings and couplers , from one source . Work with your supplier to ensure you specify the
52 | April 2017