In the previous post, we discussed why structured cabling is critical to the Internet of Things (IoT). Organizations are rethinking structured cabling as they seek to integrate building automation, energy management, smart lighting and other systems with the IP network and enable data sharing between these systems. Integration and data sharing can help simplify infrastructure and asset management, reduce operational costs, and improve energy efficiency. By using Power over Ethernet (PoE) connectivity instead of traditional power cords, organizations can connect these systems to the data network and reduce installation and management costs.

Organizations need to approach structured cabling strategically to maximize the results. More than simply a method for neatly organizing cable, structured cabling is a standards-based cable design and installation system intended to provide consistency, flexibility and ease of maintenance in cabling infrastructure.

Originally developed in the 1990s to connect desktop PCs across a large number of cubicles, the zone cabling model is becoming increasingly popular for the integration of smart systems with the network infrastructure. Zone cabling runs horizontal cables from patch panels in the telecommunications room to a zone box, or zone enclosure, which is located under a floor, in a ceiling or on a wall. Cables then run from the zone enclosure to equipment and work area outlets. Zone cabling simplifies deployment, improves pathway utilization, and makes moves, adds and changes more efficient and less disruptive.

It also helps to optimize the performance of the cabling plant, which becomes more important as the capacity of the wireless LAN increases. A zone cabling design enables an organization to provide sufficient Wi-Fi coverage throughout a facility, with easier installation, more flexibility and lower operational costs than a traditional network cabling topology.

The coverage area includes the area served by a particular device, as well as the space that serves multiple devices and their coverage areas. The number of cables is optimized to support the required density of devices, as well as modern Wi-Fi standards, such as 802.11ac. Multiple coverage areas are planned and arranged in specific patterns to align with the deployment of connections and devices. For example, a grid-based pattern is ideal for smart lighting because that’s how lights are typically arranged.

For PoE applications, cabling and components must be carefully chosen to minimize performance degradation and the potential for heat buildup and electrical arcing damage to connectors. Although temperatures will never be high enough to melt cables or cause conductors to short, heat from bundled cables can cause an increase in conductor resistance. Arcing damage can cause similar resistance. Both can negatively impact power delivery, efficiency and reliability. Multiple zone enclosures should be deployed to control the size of cable bundles and the heat within those bundles.

Rahi Systems follows established structured cabling standards to design and implement cabling services that support the integration of building automation and other IoT systems with the network infrastructure. Let us show you how zone cabling can help you make your IoT systems more efficient, flexible and easier to manage.  WATCH NOW

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