Cable management plays an important role in electricity, data transmission, and your bottom line. Discover how organized cables can keep employees safe and your facility profitable.
Cables play a vital role in the manufacturing industry. Essentials like data and electricity all rely on the cables and wires that travel through your facility. With all the other important business aspects to manage such as time, employees, productivity, and budgets, cable management often takes a backseat.
For many facilities, these cables work without problems most of the time, so it’s easy to forget about them. However, malfunctioning cables can be quite dangerous when something goes wrong. Ignoring cable management can lead to costly replacements and injury liability. Having an effective cable management system can benefit your business and promote a safe work environment.
What Is Cable Management?
Cable management is how cables are installed and maintained in a building or facility. Nearly all businesses and industries employ some type of cable organization system. The manufacturing industry uses a variety of cables for networking, power transmission, and communication.
The manufacturing industry is tough on cables. Cables and wires are exposed to hazards such as chemical, ultraviolet (UV) light, moisture ingress, impact, temperature extremes, and vibration on a daily basis. Keeping your cables organized and protected is important for productivity and your bottom line. There are many ways to manage cables and there is no one solution that fits all when it comes to cable management. Instead, the goal is to find a cable solution that accommodates your business needs and facility space.
Why is Cable Management Important?
Cables and wires deliver data and provide the necessary power to run devices and machinery. Cable management is essential to create a safe, visually pleasing, and clean work environment. It also helps maintain the cables’ functionality and protects the actual cable and wires from damage. Other benefits and importance of proper cable management include:
- Safety: Slip, trip, and fall dangers are among the most common causes of workplace injuries in the U.S.. Fall injuries can occur if someone trips over bundles of cables without proper cable protectors.
- Cost: Cables and wires are expensive. Exposure to foot or machine traffic on a daily basis will damage them. Damaged cables and wires are a fire hazard and are expensive to replace. Cable management provides you with a cleaner and more organized facility space and it extends life and maximizes the performance of your cables.
- Fire risk: Tangled and unorganized wires and cables are more likely to lead to sparks and even fire. Kinks or frays in wiring can cause electrical resistance within the wire or cable, which creates heat and could cause an electrical fire .
- Wasted time and frustration: If a piece of equipment malfunctions due to a cable or wire, troubleshooting the problem can be a nightmare if you have to sort through a tangled mess. Simple tasks can become complex and take more time than needed if cables or wires are not properly organized.
- Keeps the facility cleaner: A messy tangle of cables and wires makes your facility look unsightly. Organized cables make it easier to clean the facility and it looks more aesthetically pleasing.
Cable Organization Tools
Thankfully, there are a plethora of cable management tools that make it simple to tame the cables and wires in your facility. These tools allow you to manage cables under the floor, overhead, in open spaces, or around the perimeter of your facility. Employing a cable management system does not have to be time consuming or expensive. Here are some common tools used in managing cables and wires in facilities:
- Quick hooks: These heavy-duty hooks allow workers to hang cables above a workspace easily, keeping the cables and workers safe, all while reducing job-site clutter and trip hazards.
- Cable protectors: For cables that come into contact with pedestrian or machine traffic, cable protectors guard against wear and tear. They also help prevent cable-related trip and fall accidents around the workplace. Cable protectors are available in a variety of sizes, styles, and durability.
- Hose bridges: These systems provide protection for valuable cable and hose lines while ensuring a safer method of passage for vehicles.
- Cable trays, baskets, or ladders: These tools are perfect for running large quantities of power or data cables overhead or under-floor.
- Cable sleeves: This consists of fabric, plastic, or metal wraps used for running large quantities of power or data cables overhead or under-floor.
- Hose carrier and cable tracks: These are flexible hollow structures composed of links that help guide and protect cables, hoses, and hydraulic lines on equipment and machinery.
- Raceways: Plastic channels used to route wires through a discreet wall cord concealer.
- Cable ties: These are versatile, economical, and simple tools for bundling and securing cables and wires.
- Cord identifiers: It’s hard to manage cables if they look alike. Labeling the cables and wires helps you quickly identify which cable is which.
- Cable mounting clips: These are used to attach cables or cable sleeves vertically or horizontally across surfaces.
Cable management is essential for maintaining organization, functionality, and a proficient and nice-looking environment. With the right tools and equipment, you can employ an effective cable management system in your facility that will keep employees safe and maximize your profits.
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Justin Lytle is the Product Manager at Checkers Safety, a manufacturer of quality safety products based in Broomfield, CO. Justin has been employed at Checkers for 11 years. He values hard work and honesty, and the process involved with continuously working toward both personal and professional growth.