Cabling – considerations for planning large structured cabling projects
Cabling is an involved installation. Today, we’ll be discussing considerations for planning large, structured cabling projects and managing them to successful completion. Now, before you get to this stage, you would have completed a detailed needs analysis to know exactly what your requirements are. Your next step is planning the actual execution of this massive project and that’s where these 9 tips come in.
1. Project scope & calendar
To deliver to your requirements, you’ll want a detailed scope of work that covers dependencies, access needs, management escalations, timelines, and costs. Don’t forget about security considerations and how the disruption to employees will be minimised. Always provide your teams with detailed building plans for the best results.
2. Defined trained teams
From project management to external electrical contractors, define who will be doing what and why across the entire project. Ensure that each milestone of the project is signed off before progressing to the next installation stage.
3. Forward-focused solutions
In your proposed floor plans, make sure to consider future growth both physically and with the number of connections. Ensure that your installations make expansion easy. And use the most advanced cabling solutions possible so the technology ages better.
4. Consider installation time with materials
Some types of cables and bundling systems will allow the installation to happen faster. When discussing Belden’s Toyota cabling project, CIM explains that using 10GXS Category 6A Bonded-Pair cables also saved up to 25% in terms of space and weight, thanks to a smaller diameter. The smaller diameter also made installation faster and easier. The cable’s easy-to-separate pairs and easy-to-remove barrier tape improved installation time and kept installers on track so Toyota could open its doors as planned. If the installation team had been dealing with heavier, larger-diameter cable, there may have been delays.
5. Accurate counts and quality materials
Make sure to add extra ports to the plan and source the highest-quality materials that the budget can support. Hopefully you would have received a proposed layout showing desk positions, office partitioning and communal areas. Carefully mark on the plan the required points, using different coloured highlighters for different services that will need data modules. This then allows for easy calculations for the total number of outlets required for each application, and will ultimately help to define the number and type of switch ports required. This can help with quoting too.
6. Provisions for extra services
Don’t forget about the extras. Will you have floor printers, scanners, IP doorbells, AV equipment, security cameras or similar devices hooked up to the network now or in the near future? Be sure to account for these in your plans.
7. Accommodating legacy
Chances are there will be some legacy connections that will need attending to. Make sure to schedule your other cable or telecoms service providers well in advance as they often have delays to scheduling which can see your installation pushed back.
8. Great racks and patch panels
Think about the heart of your installation and how you’ll support vertical cable management with tidy racks. Be sure to account for Rack PDUs and their input power feeds, scope the correct patch panels for your requirements and leave spaces in between for switches so everything stays tidy.
9. Supportive expert partner
Lastly, make sure you have a partner that’s organised, experienced, and aligned with your goals. As the project is underway, you’re bound to hit a few snags, but with an expert partner like us to advise you, know the pros and cons of every choice as it relates to your exact business case. This is invaluable for making quick decisions that keep the project moving forward.