Components, Electronics & Scientific Guide

What is Structured Cabling Why is it Important

Future-oriented building cabling combines fiber optic and copper cables. This article shows what to look for when planning a new building cabling.

For new buildings and conversions of commercial premises, building cabling is one of the most significant trades. Every move must be carefully planned so as not to delay subsequent work. Conduits, cables, floor distributors or junction boxes throughout the building, on floors, even in individual rooms – the outstanding installation effort is high.

Modern building cabling is an alternative. It becomes necessary during conversions because the existing cabling no longer meets the requirements of continuously increasing data volumes.

About investment security, it makes sense to use a forward-looking cabling concept from the start, which guarantees a higher data transport rate. This will cause companies to fit for Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data.

Modern business applications today generate more data than ever before. And an end to the growing volume of data is not in sight. This often leads to a loss of performance in existing IT infrastructures. In many companies, therefore, the modernization of the building cabling is required.

Examples of exploding data sources are machine-to-machine (M2M) communication or the Internet of Things. Networked business, manufacturing and delivery processes generate data every second. This creates incredible amounts of data that travel across the data networks of buildings to be processed and stored at the destination.

Here, the existing wiring often no longer plays with. Organizations are therefore increasingly faced with the decision to expand existing data paths or to replace them with a new generation of cables. Although cabling is a central element in the communications network between the data center and the workstations in the offices or manufacturing facilities, it is more of a shadowy affair on the attention scale. In the daytime operation, it is usually hardly noticed.

However, the astonishment is usually high when the cables no longer work – either because of the overload or because they are outdated.

Modern applications increase the data volume

With the increasing adoption of Industry 4.0, IoT and Big Data, the demands on data throughput and performance have changed significantly. The digital human wants access to data and processes around the clock. Whether withdrawing cash in the middle of the night or working at the desk or on the production computer in production.

If the technique goes down in the background, the amazement is usually great. It simply lacks the understanding that a service is not always available since both the technology and the applications require certain maintenance intervals.

Data is an essential part of our lives and work, so their availability and service performance are becoming increasingly important. Cabling in data centers, office buildings and manufacturing environments plays a key role here. The fact that cables can get on their own is often suppressed. So many companies shy away from the necessary renewal of their wiring.

Usually, the reinstallation is associated with a high expenditure of time and money. And then there is still the question of whether the performance of the new infrastructure meets the high expectations. A new generation of cables is the perfect solution here.

Connected with this is efficient building cabling management, with which IT environments in any building can become fit for the future. For example, the manufacturer Rosenberger OSI has more than 25 years of experience in cabling data centers, where high-speed applications are now standard.

Fiber optic technology creates room for maneuver

Rosenberger OSI is convinced that a combination of pre-assembled fiber optic and copper-based cables is suitable for future-oriented building cabling. Their almost unlimited transmission capacity speaks for the fiber. For applications in the area of Industry 4.0 or Big Data, where high availability and performance are in demand, fiber optic cables are regarded as an optimal and future-proof solution.

Cabling structures based on this technology are adaptable in every respect. Within a building, in which more and more devices have to be connected and the process environment grows more and more dynamically, an optimal supply infrastructure is available. Therefore, cabling experts consider the use of multi-fiber connectors to be useful in building cabling.

For example, PerCONNECT is pre-assembled on one side to allow installation teams on construction sites to lay cables more quickly through existing cable management systems.

When developing the PerCONNECT fiber-optic portfolio, the Augsburg-based company made a point of keeping the cable diameter as low as possible. The small diameter of the cables leads to a reduction of the fire load.

Also, since the cable channels are less busy, the expansion options improve significantly. The modern cable portfolio is also gel-free, which saves the installer an elaborate cleaning process on site. Splicing can begin without delay, which substantially reduces installation time.

Fire protection is always essential

An important criterion when planning a new building cabling must be the fire protection. Here, the recommendations of the EU Construction Products Regulation (CPR) can be used as a decision-making aid. It recommends products that comply with the highest fire protection class for the cabling of buildings. These are, for example, cables that are classified in the TPA class B2 and thus correspond to the best available fire protection category.

When rewiring, the customer must decide for a specific fire class. Although not everywhere the highest fire protection is necessary or recommended by the EU Regulation, to the future, it makes perfect sense to opt for components of the highest possible fire protection category from the outset, because in an emergency, it is ultimately about human lives.

Regarding investment security, the decision for high fire protection makes sense, because the life cycle of a building cabling is 10 to 15 years, sometimes even longer.

Service and planning are guarantors of success

It is often underestimated that it is not enough for a new building cabling to re-wire some cables or install additional junction boxes. Instead, a future-proof cabling project, also to investment protection, should be planned together with experts.

As quick as during the planning phase, it is possible to take into account reasonable requirements which industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things might bring to a company. With a neat concept, from the catalog of elements, through the planning and implementation phase, to maintenance over the lifetime of the infrastructure, companies are safe from nasty surprises.

Often it is not necessary to set up an entirely new building cabling. In the course of a “revitalization project,” the modernization of an existing network can usually be easily advanced with modern cable generations.

It is not required to replace the entire infrastructure. Instead, small adjustments are often enough to make them more efficient. It also enables an environment to be prepared for additional requirements that place industry 4.0, IoT, and big data into an IT environment in the business and industrial context.

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