What does the smart building boom mean for data terminations? Brett Smyth, General Manager of Ideal Industries EMEA, discusses the need for consistent and compliant data network terminations in smart buildings to keep pace with demand.
It is impossible to deny the boom of all things ‘smart’ in residential, commercial and industrial buildings. According to recent research, the global smart building market is expected to hit $570.02 billion by 2030, expanding at a CAGR of 25.3% from 2022 to 2030. Another study suggests the number of buildings globally deploying smart technologies will reach 115 million in 2026, up from 45 million in 2022.
As well as obvious demand for energy efficient homes and buildings, this growth reflects the increased use of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, awareness of safety and security measures, rising living and working standards and consumer demand for personalised experiences.
As the smart building market boom shows no signs of slowing there is ample opportunity to embrace such technologies, delivering buildings that are more efficient and responsive and that enhance the user experience.
With sophisticated buildings come sophisticated data networks
The construction industry in the Middle East is no stranger to smart buildings. The major cities in the region are recognised around the world for delivering benchmark-setting smart buildings through innovation, ambition and contemporary design. The scale and creativity of architecture here is not in doubt, but how can we ensure we keep pace with the staggering growth expected in the market?
As more buildings are developed and retrofitted to deliver all things smart, the construction sector must rise to the challenge of installing increasingly sophisticated data networks, and the importance of delivering these upgrades quickly, effectively and without error must not be overlooked.
Key to addressing these challenges is ensuring that the multitude of terminations required provide a robust and compliant connection, with consistent installation regardless of the number of installers working on the project, time pressures or the skill level of labour on-site.
When consistency is compromised, identifying faulty terminations on the system can be an onerous and time-consuming task, so terminations must be carried out in a way that guarantees best practice and consistency every time. Data networks require field-termination of CAT5e, CAT6 and CAT6A cables using RJ45 modular plugs, and the more complex the network, the greater the number of RJ45 assemblies and terminations required.
Conventional installation methods require conductors to be trimmed to an exact length before the plug is placed onto the cable. If the conductors are too short, circuits will remain open; if they’re too long, there’s a risk that pairs are left exposed outside of the plug body or cable jacket, hindering overall performance on the network.
Faster, simpler, consistent terminations
Used on data installations around the world, IDEAL Industries’ FT-45 Feed-Thru Modular Plugs and Crimp Tool were developed to overcome these network termination issues, allowing installers of smart networks to speed up and simplify the termination of RJ45 plugs by eliminating the need to trim conductors to a precise length before inserting the cable into the plug.
The Feed-Thru Modular Plugs are single-piece connectors, so there’s no need for installers to assemble a three-piece connector, even when working with CAT6 cable. Conductor wires don’t need to be accurately trimmed to a specific length; instead, installers simply need to remove an appropriate section of jacket, remove the centre spline (if present), untwist the pairs into the correct order, and trim the ends flat. The cable can then be slid into the connector until seated.
The unit features open ends that allow conductors to be completely fed through the connector before crimping. The cable can be pushed into the connector to ensure the twisted pairs are as close to the pin contacts as possible, and that the jacket is seated beyond the primary strain relief for a secure connection. Developed with a clear connector design, the installer can visually inspect and verify the correct wiring order with ease.
Designed to be used with the FT-45 Modular Plugs, IDEAL Industries’ versatile FT-45 Crimp Tool further enhances this error-free approach. With a single crimp cavity for RJ45/8-position connectors, the tool is capable of crimping IDEAL’s Feed-Thru standard, shielded and unshielded connectors for CAT5e, CAT6 and CAT6A cables. The installer simply squeezes the handle to the closed position to cleanly shear the excess conductor wires and leave a smooth, flat finish – crimping and cutting the cable in a single action.
Watch a video demonstration of IDEAL’s FT-45 Feed-Thru Modular Plugs and Crimp Tool here