What is a Cabling System? Here's Our Answer

December 10, 2022, Curtis Shelby 

A cabling system is used by companies to get a handle on the network and communications wiring infrastructure within physical buildings. A cabling system consists of cables, connectors, patch panels, switches, and other devices that are used to connect computers, phones, printers, fax machines, security cameras, fire alarms, and other electronic equipment together in order to form a network.

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An organized approach to managing wires and cables

When we think of a proper Cabling System, organization and order come to mind. But what if you have an office building with hundreds or even thousands of offices, each with their own computer systems, phone lines, and video surveillance cameras? How do you organize all these wires and cables so they can be easily found when needed? This is where the cabling system (also referred to as Structured Cabling) comes into play.

Cable management is very important for any business because it helps keep your company’s information safe and secure. It also makes it easier to find the right cable when you need it. If you don't have a good cabling system, you may not know where to look for the right cord. You could waste time looking for a specific type of wire or cable, only to realize that you already have one in your hands!

That's why cabling technicians painstakingly label and color-code cables to a specific key related to the company they are installing at the time. The colors help identify which company, group, dept, etc. owns the wire or cable. Some companies use different colors for different types of cables, such as red for voice over IP (VOIP), blue for data, green for fiber optic, etc.

The cabling system also includes a map that shows how the various wires and cables are connected in the building. This way, you'll always know exactly where to go to find the correct cord.

Why you would use a cabling system in the first place

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As was mentioned above, the PRIMARY reason most people implement cabling systems is to organize their workplace and get a handle on the continually growing infrastructure of wires strung through walls, basements, ceilings, etc.

However, other reasons why a business might implement a cabling system include:

  • To make sure that all the cords and cables are properly labeled.
  • To make sure there aren't any loose wires lying around.
  • To keep track of the number of cords and cables that are installed throughout the building.
  • To make sure that no two cords or cables cross paths.
  • To make certain that no cords or cables are damaged during construction or remodeling projects.
  • To ensure that any new cables or wires are correctly routed and installed.

You get the picture. The main point here is that implementation of a cabling system covers a LOT of ground when it comes to overall management of cabling, wires, wireless access points, etc.

The benefits of using a cabling system that works

Additional benefits for using a cabling system include: better organization, more efficient installation, less chance of damage from misrouted wires, reduced downtime due to repairs, and increased productivity.

How does a cabling system work?

A typical cabling system consists of three major components:

  • A labeling system.
  • A mapping system.
  • An inventory system.

Let's take a closer look at each component.

Labeling system

This is the part of the cabling system that keeps track of the location of every single wire and cable in the entire building. Labels are used to mark the locations of the wires and cables. These labels can be placed on the wall, floor, ceiling, or anywhere else that makes sense.

Mapping system

This is the part of the system that maps out the exact layout of the building. This allows you to see where everything is located. For example, if you're working on an office renovation project, this will allow you to know exactly where to route the wiring so that it doesn't interfere with the new furniture or equipment being installed.

Inventory system

This is the third and final component of the cabling system. It helps you keep track of the total amount of wires and cables that exist within the building. You can then use this information to determine what kind of upgrades may need to be done to accommodate future growth.

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Industry standards for cabling systems

Lastly, the cabling industry has established some guidelines and standards in order to get the absolute BEST results from its systems.

For example, the National Electrical Code (NEC), which is adopted by all 50 states, requires that all electrical outlets have a minimum of 15 feet between them.

It also specifies that the maximum distance between any two outlets must not exceed 10 feet.

These rules help reduce the risk of fire and electrocution.

Another standard that is very important in today's world is called "electromagnetic compatibility" (EMC). EMC refers to how well a particular piece of electronic equipment interacts with other nearby electronics.

If a device emits electromagnetic radiation, it could cause interference with another device.

For example, if your computer monitors were emitting radio waves, they would affect the operation of nearby radios, televisions, cell phones, and other devices.

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