IT’S TIME TO MAKE SMARTER BUILDINGS EASIER TO INSTALL

Brett Smyth, General Manager of Ideal Industries EMEA, a global leader in electrical accessories, tools and equipment, discusses the need to signpost installers to products that make data installations faster and easier..

Those of us who remember the BBC TV programme, ‘Tomorrow’s World’ will recall how we regarded talk of smart homes as science fiction. That future is here now and, as the digital generation matures and becomes increasingly influential the way we build homes and operate workplaces, digitally-enabled buildings will be accepted as the norm.

Just as there was a gap between innovations appearing on Tomorrow’s World and happening in real life back in the day, there remains a disconnect between what’s possible and what’s actually happening. While corporate offices and executive homes are moving towards smart tech, so far we’re only skimming the surface of our built environment’s digital potential. What that means for the electrical sector is lots of opportunity ahead in an increasingly complex data-enabled world.

Connecting Customers with New Technologies

The electrical industry is used to changing technologies and compliance requirements, so most professionals are reasonably agile in their approach to embracing new tech. It’s not always easy for electrical contractors to keep up-to-date with the latest products, however, which is why the electrical wholesaler has such an important role to play.

When it comes to data installations, field-terminations of CAT5e, CAT6 of CAT6A cables are amongst the most demanding elements of the project. Not only are terminations fiddly and time-consuming, but inconsistencies can lead to failures on the network and potential snagging delays and penalties. Wholesalers have an opportunity to help installers avoid this scenario by improving quality and consistency and reducing time and labour costs with the use of Ideal Industries’ innovative FT-45 Feed-Thru Modular Plugs and Crimp Tool.

Faster, Simpler Data Terminations

Data cable terminations are carried out using RJ45 modular plugs. The more complex the network, the more RJ45 assemblies and terminations needed. 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 is a risk that the pairs could be left exposed outside of the plug body or cable jacket. In this scenario, the conductors can also move out of place; an issue that is likely to remain unnoticed until the cables are tested. 

IDEAL Industries’ FT-45 Feed-Thru modular plugs and crimp tool have been designed to completely re-think the traditional RJ45 assembly and crimping process, allowing installers 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 is no need for installers to assemble a three-piece connector. They don’t have to trim conductor wires to a specific length either, instead they simply remove an appropriate section of jacket, remove the centre spline (if present), untwist the pairs into the right order, and trim the ends flat. The cable can then be slid into the connector until seated. The open-ended feed through plug includes three-pin contacts with 50µ gold-plated contact areas, improving wire stability to every wire, ensuring more conductive contact points for a more resilient data network.

Ideal’s versatile FT-45 Crimp Tool further enhances the right-first-time consistency of this approach. It has a single crimp cavity for RJ-45/8-position connectors, so installers can crimp Ideal Feed-Thru standard, shielded, and unshielded connectors for CAT5e, CAT6 and CAT6A cables by simply squeezing the handle to the closed position to cleanly shear the excess conductor wires, leaving a smooth, flat finish in a single action.  

Seizing the Opportunity

Every small step forward in technology presents an opportunity for wholesalers to up-sell and build relationships by offering electrical new innovations to electrical professionals. The FT-45 data termination range is just one example.