Network Communications News (NCN) NCN-Sept2017 - Page 12

ON THE COVER CPR and installation cables: Today and tomorrow Commercial trading within the European Union (EU) has come a long way, fighting a number of technical barriers, as each country has its own national standards and testing protocols, says Winfried Schultz, global marketing director at Black Box. T he Construction Products Regulation (CPR – EU/305/2011) is a directive which aims to streamline a set of standards that were developed in agreement between members of the European Economic Area (EEA), and create a common technical language. Fixed cabling CPR for cables has been effective since July 1 2017 and applies to cables installed in buildings and civil engineering works. The directive adds higher mandatory product safety standards, and its purpose is to help prevent the spread of fire in buildings in order to save lives. It is applicable 12 | September 2017 ‘Factory terminations inherently provide better connections than those done in the field.’ to all types of cabling including power cables, copper data cables and optical cables, and has been described as the most significant regulation change in the way construction products are sold throughout Europe. CPR requires that cable products are classified according to a new set of fire test methods by approved third party test laboratories. The output of the test is a EuroClass, identifying the reaction to fire (fire growth) of a cable design. The EU CPR website lists the approved test houses and each one has its own reference number. New cables launched on the market require a CE mark on the packaging (drum/box) and a reference to the Declaration of Performance (DoP) which identifies the EuroClass. The DoP is the document confirming the EuroClass and is available for each CPR CE-marked cable. The CPR does not dictate which EuroClass should be used in individual EU countries. It is up to each EU country to decide, and it is the responsibility of the end-user to select the correct EuroClass for the country where the cable will be installed. Pre-terminated cabling Although pre-connected systems are not covered by CPR, (only ‘fixed’ cables), pre-termination assemblies will require CPR cable as well in the near future as these installations could in some circumstances be considered as fixed.