Cable and wire management will never be the stars of the AV integration show. But management of cables and wire can make a big difference in service delivery and ease of use in complex AV systems over the long haul. It’s all about working smarter, not harder.
And while everyone probably won’t applaud how well you are keeping wires and cables organized, if there is a problem with service, tangled and confusing wire configurations are the last thing you want to worry about. With that in mind, here are a few key tips to improve cable and wire management.
It’s hard to overemphasize the importance of organization during an AV installation. When installing a complex set of connections, there is something of an art to it. But are we losing the fine art of rack design? Too often the answer is yes. How cable and wire are managed may seem like a related matter in the larger AV picture. But too often technicians get into a rack space and are bewildered by the maze of cable and wires jutting in all directions.
When trying to solve a problem with signal flow in minutes instead of hours, good cable management and rack design makes all the difference.
The most beautiful, intuitively designed video wall, gathering space, or conference room doesn’t make as much impact when the flow of data is sub-optimal. That’s why creating clear and clearly marked pathways for the flow of data through cables and wires is so important. Here are some basic frameworks to improve clear, efficient pathways for data:
- Horizontal Rack – Take time to label and organize your command center cable and wire configurations. Horizontal racks are the first line of defense when used and organized properly.
- Vertical Rack – Understand that when the application calls for space saving and airflow, vertical racks are a good choice. Again using these tools and installing them well will help you and your client in the long run.
- Data Patch Panels – Use panels to consolidate and label cable and wiring? Consider it, because these are a great tool for keeping things clean and organized.
Another way this is a win is taking time to plan for expansion. If the current load of cable and wire is a rat’s nest of confusion, adding on later is going to be an absolute nightmare. Help avoid that scenario by planning ahead for the probability that cable and wiring needs will increase.
Is it Worth It?
When it comes to keeping wires and cables organized, working smarter and not harder means taking time on the front end, so the work of managing the system becomes more streamlined and less complicated.
There is clearly a business case to be made in developing systems that improve cable and wire management. It may cost more in the short term in installation hours, but the payoff in better service and ease of use is worth it. Cable and wiring may not be the most visible aspect of your business, but managing it well is a great way to keep business flowing.