In this case study feature we find out how one electrical contractor is now able to prove that it’s data cable terminations are right first time, thanks to IDEAL INDUSTRIES EMEA.
Cerberus Systems is an electrical contracting company that designs, installs and maintains intelligently configured and high quality electrical systems, IT networks, CCTV and access control systems. With a team of experienced electricians and systems integrators working across London, the company installs electrical, data and voice networks to diverse client premises including radio studios, offices, warehouses, showrooms and shops.
What’s the challenge?
Regardless of the type of structured cabling required, Cerberus Systems’ clients need the work finished within tight deadlines and with minimal disruption to people and processes. To avoid delays when installing data cable, it’s important for cat5e and cat6 cable terminations to be done correctly first time.
The type of installations Cerberus performs often requires technicians to install RJ45 plugs at the end of links which connect directly to CCTV and access control systems. Field-terminated RJ45 plugs are prone to installation errors because they require the installer to trim the conductors to a precise length prior to placing the plug onto the cable – too short and there will be open circuits discovered when testing; too long and terminations look sloppy or performance can suffer when pairs are exposed outside of the plug body/cable jacket.
It’s also easy for a conductor to move during this process and go unnoticed until the cables are tested. This makes identifying and resolving faults challenging and time-consuming, particularly in large areas, such as the 15,000 sq. ft office buildings Cerberus Systems often work in. Failed terminations can also mean that faults need to be investigated in difficult locations, such as in the case of externally mounted IP CCTV cameras.
A recent large IP CCTV installation project where, consisting of 160 plugs to terminate and no time for error, offers a good example. As a complex job where other trades were waiting to come on-site, any delays would cost the client time and money. It was therefore vital for Cerberus Systems to complete their work without having to return and replace faulty terminations – a difficult task with the tools traditionally used.
What was the solution?
While preparing for the IP CCTV installation, Cerberus Systems discovered the new FT-45 Feed Thru Modular Plugs and Crimp Tool from IDEAL.
“We’d been using electrical products from IDEAL for a number of years,” says Nick Shone of Cerberus Systems. “I ordered this new solution straight away as I knew the upcoming job required multiple terminations in a very tight timescale.”
The new IDEAL FT-45 solution speeds up and simplifies termination of RJ45 plugs by eliminating the need to precisely trim conductors to length before inserting the cable into the plug. Unlike the plugs with closed ends usually used for RJ45 connections, the FT-45 Feed-Thru Modular Plugs feature open channels that allow the conductors to be fed completely through the connector before crimping. This lets installers visually check conductor order and, if necessary, remove the connector, reorder the conductors and replace the connector.
Once the proper order is confirmed, the FT-45 tool crimps and trims the cable in one step. This makes terminations faster, provides better performance by allowing the cable to fully seat into the connector and virtually eliminates connector waste. The FT-45 modular plugs and crimp tool have also been designed to complement other IDEAL products, such as the VDV II cable verifier, to provide a complete end-to-end solution.
What were the benefits?
“Across our business, we like to invest in the equipment that helps us to get jobs right first time,” says Nick. “This helps us to reduce delays and keep our clients happy.”
In this case, preventing mistakes and delays ensured that all trades had access to the site when required so no additional costs were incurred by the client. It also helped Cerberus Systems to move on to the next job on time, keeping operations productive and profitable.
For Cerberus Systems, FT-45 proved to be ideal for working with patch cords in IP CCTV installations, as well as for fitting IP access controls. It makes installing extended patch cords easier, for example to enable video conferencing, and can also be used to create a cat6 cable backbone for linking data cabinets together. The FT-45 solution also proved simple to use. The modular plugs are suitable for cat5e and cat6 cable without a need for complex assembly, while the versatile crimp tool is capable of crimping and cutting feed-thru, standard and shielded connectors in one action.
“Since purchasing and using FT-45, we’re now using it on most of our projects – I never take the FT-45 plugs and crimp tool out of my kit bag,” adds Nick. “I’d recommend the FT-45 package as you can genuinely reduce errors in terminations and get things done right first time.”
To download an FT-45 information sheet, containing more details and resources about the range, click here.