Choosing the right cable management products will result in happy customers and repeat business. Emma Segelov, EMEA Marketing Operations Manager discusses the five key stages of specification.

  1. Assess the environment

  2. Cable management products can be installed in a range of spaces, including schools, hospitals and offices, yet each of these applications require a very different approach when it comes to the specification.

    Much of the decision-making process will come down to the needs of the building’s occupants. Higher occupancy environments, such as in commercial offices with greater data needs will require more cables to service them. So, parameters such as cable capacity and associated bend radii to support data compliance are critical to any cable management specification.

    Once these have been taken into consideration, they will provide a much clearer understanding of what product solution is required, with products such as multi-compartment wall trunking or mini-trunking and conduits for local distribution all representing popular options.

  3. Audit the premises

  4. A key consideration before commencing with any work is understanding exactly how the cable management solution will be pieced together. This will include considerations such as where the cables will need to run, how many outlets will be required, and where they will finally be installed.

    For electricians, it is important to examine exactly how the products cater for the specific installation needs of the building. Common issues include the requirement to run trunking around corners, as well as fitting trunking to uneven walls – whilst ensuring continuous cable capacity and supporting cat 6a or 7 compliance.

  5. Compare materials

  6. The material that a cable management product is made from can make a huge difference to the installation process for an electrician. Typically, PVCu-based products are most popular, as they are cost effective and can be easily transported due to PVCu’s lightness. They can also be easily cut to size on site, offering an easy installation and good aesthetics for the client.

    It is also important to look at the origin of the product, with manufacturers now offering greener solutions incorporating the use of recycled materials to minimise the impact on the environment.MK Electric’s Prestige 3D extrusions and its conduit and mini trunking extrusions are, for example, all manufactured from 100 per cent recycled PVCu.

  7. Consider the cost

  8. It’s always tempting to specify the cheapest products in order to bring down the cost of a project, but the majority of the time this doesn’t do anybody any favours. Cheaper products often offer a lower quality or less flexible solution which does not meet up to the expectations of the client.

    It’s important, therefore, that electricians look beyond price and recommend the best product for the job. Cable management products that have been engineered for ease and speed of installation can dramatically improve turnaround time which enables electricians to quickly and efficiently deliver the job at hand and move to the next. MK Electric’s Prestige 3D, for example, features benefits such as pre-drilled trunking bases, which eliminate the need to measure and drill fixing holes on site, and open top/bottom back boxes which allow unhindered, tool-free cable entry through divider knockouts. Trunking hinge lids, meanwhile, enable cables to be supported by the trunking cover.

  9. Don’t forget style

  10. Cable management products might not always be considered an elegant solution, but in recent years manufacturers have worked hard to ensure the products are aesthetically pleasing and that they complement the look and feel of the rooms’ environment while addressing the practical requirements of the space too. This is particularly important in the case of perimeter systems which can make a big impact on the décor of the room.

    Dado and skirting products are generally available with curved profiles which means they can easily blend into the wall. The addition of single-piece covers and styling lines means they look modern while pairing them with matching wiring devices from the same manufacturer allows for one common design aesthetic to run throughout the space.

    MK Electric’s Prestige 3D family of three compartment trunking offers a flexible and high-quality cable management solution. Supporting cat 5e, 6, 6a and 7 compliance, it includes numerous well engineered design features including flat angle and tee curved divider walls that allow data cables to lay in with no loss of capacity and a patented Data Sweep which maintains cable capacity while eliminating the need for bulky corner covers.

    Easy to install, the Prestige 3D family comes with features such as open box mounting frames and divider knockouts to allow for tool-free cable entry. Pre-drilled trunking bases make it easy to fix the product in place, whilst hinged lids enable the cables to be supported during installation.

    Find out more about MK Cable Management Solutions