Industrial Wire Management Tips

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What should I avoid when managing wires and cables in an industrial setting?

Things To Avoid In Industrial Wire Management

In the interest of good jobsite safety practices, here are a list of things you should never do with wires and cables:

* Never overload an outlet or surge protector
* Never leave cables unsecured in a high-traffic area
* Always use ground fault circuit interruptors in outlets near water
* Never staple wires against a surface to secure them
* Never reuse an appliance that trips a circuit without having a technician look at it
* Never use a cable that appears to be cracked or frayed
* Never pull a cable taut to plug it into an outlet, always allow some slack

What is a good way to organize my cables?

Cinch Strap Cable Binding

Reusable strapping is a great electrician and industrial tool. Cinch Strap is a heavy duty utility strap with extra strength and holding power. It has double stitching rather than heat weld or glue so that the Cinch strap has long lasting durability. They have the added benefit of being able to attach to any surface or rack and you can use any fastener for mounting, up to 1/4". It uses a specialized buckle cinch that gives you additional leverage when you are "cinching". These is a heave duty and adaptable tool perfect for industrial wire applications.

What is a good way to organize my cables?

Industrial Cable Ducts and Raceways

Cable raceways and cable covers are a good option if you have to string cables but want your work area to retain a relatively “cable free” look. You can get cable raceways and cable covers in low, medium and high capacity to meet any of your industrial cable needs. Raceways are wire ducts made to resemble molding along the base of a wall. These are great for schools, hospitals, manufacturing areas, or any place that needs keep cables out of the way.

How do I protect wires and cables that are used outside?

Protecting Wires Outside

For wires that may be exposed to the outdoor elements, special consideration must be taken in regard to protection. EMT conduits are durable and resistant to harsh environments. Wires can be run through EMT both underground and aboveground. Even if the wires outside don't need to be routed for long distances, EMT provides protection from harsh outdoor conditions. Conditions such as moisture, freezing temperatures, and direct sunlight can be damaging to cables and wiring without industrial protection.

What is a good way to organize my cables?

Color Code Your Wires

Confusing cables or other lines can cost time and money on the industrial factory floor. A well thought-out color code scheme can help you keep track of cables and cords. Put it into place with heat shrink tubing, available in a wide range of colors. When choosing heat shrink tubing, make sure to find out the shrink ratio. 2:1 and 3:1 are the standard configurations.

What is a good way to organize my cables?

Managing and Storing Extension Cords

Sometimes a temporary project on the factory floor requires an extension cord or two. To keep extra cord out of the way, try the EZWIND Cord Organizer. EZWIND lets you easily unwind just the right amount of cord, and it lets you unwind from either end of the cord. EZWIND can add years to the life of your cords because the special center post helps avoid aggravating twists and curls that seem to creep into most extension cords. You can store up to 150 feet of cord on a single EZWIND unit. This is a perfect extension cord for industrial cord management.

How can I reduce work-related injuries?

Organize an Occupational Health and Safety Program

Managers of industrial companies are encouraged by OSHA to implement a health and safety program for all employees. This kind of program can help to prevent injuries and illnesses that may occur on the jobsite. One of the biggest hazards in an industrial setting can be directly related to poor wire management. Electrical shock, tripping, and fires are all major risks for an employee in an environment that doesn't adhere to wire/cable safety guidelines.

A health and safety program requires commitment from the workplace's management to bring employees' attention to safety guidelines. Regular meetings can be held to refresh employees on the guidelines or to update any past guidelines that have been amended. Also, OSHA offers literature and posters to be openly displayed in the workplace. Management should also organize regular safety inspections, as this will help to reduce both employee injuries and lawsuits.

How do I secure the cables for factory automation equipment?

Cable and Hose Carriers

Wire management for factory automation lines poses interesting challenges. For the purpose of securing wires and cables that power moving parts on industrial machines, there must be cable and hose carriers installed. These cable and hose carriers, such as Nylatrac Cable and Hose Carriers, are long, interlocking tracks that support and secure wires that may need to run for long distances, as well as move. As they must be industrial-grade to hold up to the conditions of an automation line, most manufacturers demand the following safety guidelines in cable and hose carriers:

*Ability to withstand drastic changes in temperature

*Ability to withstand heat of at least 250

*Quiet moving parts

*Endurance of rapid movements

How can I protect wires in extreme industrial conditions?

Cable Sleeving For Extreme Conditions

Cable sleeving is used to bundle and organize wires in both home and office. There are many different kinds of materials for cable sleeves, all with their own benefits. A flame retardant, abrasion-resistant material such as stainless steel, fiberglass or braided nylon is preferable. Another environmental factor to consider when choosing the material of the cable sleeves is whether or not the sleeves will come into contact with any hazardous, corrosive chemicals.

How can I prevent tripping hazards at an industrial jobsite?

Protect Cables From High Traffic

Industrial jobsites often have high-traffic areas where cables are lying on the ground. Not only is this a safety risk to those walking around the jobsite, it can be harmful to the cables. Cord covers are fairly inexpensive and highly recommended for such high-traffic areas. For industrial environments, the cord covers must be made of heavy-duty material that can withstand intense pressure and extreme temperatures. There are some that are designed for wheelchairs to easily pass over, decreasing liability on the site even more.

What is a good way to organize my cables?

Industrial Applications of Braided sleeving

As an industrial cable user, you are subject to health code and safety regulations so you need to organize the cables and lines servicing your machinery. There are several options for you, whether you are orgnizing individual cabling or protecting wires subject to foot and vehicle traffic. For simple jobs, you may consider braided sleeving which is light weight, expandable, and often made of self-extinguishing polyester with an open weave to allow a maximum range of diameter expansion. It is super-flexible and easy to install, gripping objects of various shapes and sizes reliably. It is abrasion-resistant, and provides extra protection against chemicals and flame. Use this sleeving to wrap and protect the wires and cables used in your industrial environments.

What is EMT?

EMT Conduits

Electrical metal tubing, or EMT, is the most desirable kind of surface raceway for industrial jobsites. Conduits like EMT are used to run wires and cables through, thus increasing the jobsite's safety and aesthetic appeal. Many industrial companies have strict safety guidelines for the wire management inside and outside the buildings. With EMT conduits, wires can be organized and bundled safely. What makes EMT better than other conduit material is its durability in harsh conditions. EMT conduits can withstand extreme temperatures, weight, electromagnetic fields and chemicals. Also, with the use of an industrial conduit bender, the EMT can be easily and accurately bent to the building's needs. Since the material is so easy to work with, running new wires inside the conduit is also a breeze.

What size should my cable conduits be?

Conduit Sizes

When designing where and how electrical metal tubing (EMT) conduits should run, you must first determine the size of the EMT. Consider the following when sizing your EMT conduit:
*What kind of environment is the EMT going to be in?
*How much space do you have to run the conduit in?
*How many wires are going to be inside the EMT?
*How wide are these wires?
*Is there a chance more wires will be run in the conduit in the future?
*If so, how much space should you allow for that now?

What is a good way to organize my cables?

Cord Covers

In many industrial venues, running cables across a wide expanse is a commonplace occurrence. You should consider high capacity cable covers, utility crossover systems or modular hose bridge systems that will allow industrial machinery to move freely throughout your workspace without damaging your wires and cables.

I need a good broadband solution.

Free Space Optics Broadband

Need to transfer data over a long distance? Not enough time or money to string a cable? Don't want to rent a backhoe to dig a cable trench? Free Space Optics technology lets you set up a wireless, high-speed data link using a laser beam to carry up to 2.5 Gbps of information a distance of up to 4 km. Transmit voice, data, or video clearly and even faster than by fiber optic links.

How do I manage the wires used on moving machine parts?

Wire Management For Automated Equipment

Factory automation equipment, such as industrial robots and heavy machine tools, require tough, durable cables. Industrial wire management involves the harshest of conditions and unless the wires and cables can withstand these conditions, the factory automation equipment will stop production to a halt. When purchasing wires and conduit for industrial machines, they must be able to endure fluctuating temperatures, and be used to protect the cable from abrasion or getting stuck on another component while in motion. Also, all wires and cables must be organized and safely secured at all times. Otherwise, fatal accidents could occur and valuable factory automation equipment could be lost. Both manufacturing companies and electricians have strict safety guidelines they must follow.

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Patricia Walters-Fischer