Why Cable Management is Important to Your Business

When you’re running a business, there’s no shortage of things to manage: time, employees, productivity, budgets… but have you ever thought of your data cables? Just about every business depends on cables for essentials like data, phone systems and security concerns. When you own, or operate a business, it’s up to you to keep the premises up to code and safe for employees and customers. Proper cable management is the solution for keeping those cords safe, functional and organized.

Hidden in your Telecommunications or Equipment Room (more often referred to as the Server Room) where no one goes except your IT staff or outsourced company may lay a multitude of problems.

Messy racks make it harder to trace cables and determine what port on the patch panel and/or switch they are connected to. Also, it makes it very difficult to add, remove, or test equipment; let alone adding new cables, system components or workstations.

You can bet that every job that requires someone working on or around your rack takes longer than it would if your rack was neat and orderly. If you’re talking about adding or removing equipment from a rack with installation costs and IT services rates your labor time could easily be double. It makes more sense to invest initially in a well dressed structured cable system.

Proper cable management begins at the initial installation or retrofit and continues through to individual workstations, security hubs, the reception desk and in your board room. Installations might include Category 3 cable for voice, Category 5e cable for data, and possibly coaxial or fiber-optic cable for video applications. As data rates and bandwidth requirements continue to escalate, fiber-to-the-desktop will continue to expand into the end-user environment.

The art of cable-pulling is not new; however, proper planning is often overlooked, at Bluewire we believe a little foresight can save the cost of having to re-pull cable runs that may have been damaged during the initial installation.

Every cable pull is unique, and all the different factors must be weighed at the pre-planning stage. The process can be broken into five basic steps: Identify the environment where the cable pull will be made; identify the cable type and specifications needed; establish the cable route; install the necessary hardware for cable support; pull the cable and labeling it according to industry standards.

Cable specifications also play an important role in setting up for a proper cable pull. The following are a few considerations that should be taken for each cable in a cable run; pulling tension, bend radius, maximum distance, outside diameter of the cable and the conduit-fill ratio.

If pulling tension exceeds the rated specifications, it can alter the electrical characteristics and degrade the performance of the cable. Any cables stretched beyond the specified pulling tension may fail cable-performance tests, and need to be replaced and pulled again.

Bend radius is also a key concern when preparing for the cable pull. Exceeding the recommended specifications can also alter the electrical characteristics of the cable. The minimum bend radius for their cables is based on the outside diameter of the cable jacket. Additionally, cable bundles cannot be installed in sharp 90-degree bends.

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