Unlike a typical commercial building, healthcare facilities must support several different subsystems to operate efficiently. These subsystems demand careful ICT infrastructure design and planning to create a telecommunications room (TR) that can deliver high-bandwidth and resilient low-latency connectivity throughout the entire facility.
Reliable connectivity begins with cable management and pathway, and with more mission-critical data being carried through fiber optic cable, appropriate cable management is a must. And although the fundamentals of cable management have not changed, the structural support components have improved significantly to support sensitive fiber cable.
This is where understanding what to consider as you evaluate cable pathway solutions will help to ensure you select a solution that optimizes signal quality and speed of the network, while ensuring maximum flexibility and easy moves, adds and changes (MACs).
What to Consider As You Select A Robust Cable Pathway Solution:
- Route - Will the cable pathway require irregular transitions or simple turns? Look for tool-less and adjustable designs that allow for ultimate flexibility in the pathway.
- Support- The pathway should be able to support cables from the ceiling, wall, racks or floor with adequate space support away from sources of electromagnetic interference (EMI).
- Weight - Based on the size of runway and tray and distance between supports, what is the maximum weight supported? The support must be designed using a 50 percent fill of cabling to allow for future growth.
- Bonding and Safety - Consider designs with integrated bonding studs to make installation easier. Is the bond appropriate for the circuits carried per local electrical code? Make sure the pathway is securely supported and bonded.
- Accessibility - Is the pathway isolated from nontechnical staff but still accessible for new cable runs?
- Accessories - Each egress/ingress point should provide sufficient protection for cables. This includes ensuring cables are properly divided/organized within the runway or tray for easy tracing.
- Heat - NFPA-70 and TIA TSB-184-A also address heat buildup and limit cable fill based on the types of circuits. PoE circuits above 60 Watts (high-amperage power circuits) fall into this category.
- Corrosion Resistance - Is the pathway located where it will be exposed to weather, chemicals or other environmental conditions that require an additional layer of corrosion protection? Consider a cost-effective corrosion-resistant finish with resistance class IEC 61537 Class C8 that delivers corrosion resistance almost equivalent to stainless steel.