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Feature: Access Flooring & Cable M anagement

Cable management – the less expensive, highly efficient answer Don’t run away with the idea that raised access flooring is the only answer for the installation and continued operation of complicated cabling systems or the provision of the convoluted requirements of some modern computer installations; in many cases a well-planned cable management system more than meets the requirement – and at less cost.


he height and weight of a raised access floor is often prohibitive;

Before deciding upon the correct method of handling the under-

in new buildings these characteristics need to be accommodated

floor requirements of the building, the exact usage of the underfloor

in the design, and often they cannot be used in the refurbishment of

equipment must be carefully analysed; many of the modern main-

existing buildings for the same reasons. In both cases a cable man-

frame computer rooms do not require the masses of cabling that

agement system could probably solve the problems.

older installations needed, particularly with the advent of optical fibre cabling, and some form of airconditioning of these earlier designs was also necessary. Typically, products such as cable trays, cable ladders, and cable baskets are used to support cables through cabling routes. The IT industry has special needs because data cables, unlike heavy power cables, often need to be added, moved, or removed many times during the life of the installation. It is usual practice to install fixed cables between cabling closets or cabinets, contained in cable trays and terminated at each end onto patch panels in the communications cabinet or outlets at the desktop. The circuits are then interconnected to the final destination using patch cords. The difficulty is that these patch leads are installed,

Penta Floor

removed and reinstalled many times during the life of the installation. Cables can easily become tangled, making them difficult to work with, sometimes resulting in devices accidentally becoming unplugged as one attempts to move a cable. Such cases are known as cable spaghetti, which is a huge bunch of cables tangled with each other, and thereby presenting their own problems. This is the result of not having any tried and tested cable management system, and when this occurs, new cable cannot be laid because it is impossible to pull out “dead” cable from the spaghetti. Cable trays begin to sag under the load of cables, which results in faulty equipment operation. Often it is difficult to locate the defective cable within the mass of tangled cables. In such instances, new cable is often laid between the


two points, but the old, defective cable is left inside. Over the course Cyber Floor

F LO O R S S e p t e m b e r 2 0 1 0

of time, this cable spaghetti results in 80% of dead cables being left in place, while the total quantity of cables increases.

FLOORS in Africa Journal 6'2010  

Africa's leading flooring magazine

FLOORS in Africa Journal 6'2010  

Africa's leading flooring magazine