Industrial Wire Management & Organized Wiring Systems

Structured cabling in commercial buildings based on TIA/EIA standards has become a common practice in many building automation system applications. Panduit is promoting similar approaches for industrial automation. Jeff Paliga of Panduit answered the following questions about their approach.
Why does Panduit think there is a wiring management need for industrial automation?
The growing number of automation devices connected via Ethernet, is significantly complicating wire management requirements across a plant or facility, forcing manufacturers to change their approach to the planning, design, and installation of a network infrastructure.
Without a good network management strategy in place, customers are at risk for unplanned downtime, inefficient maintenance, longer repair times, unreliable performance in harsh industrial applications, and loss of interoperability.
How does Panduit specifically help customers improve network efficiency?
Panduit Industrial Automation Solutions takes an integrated approach to the logical and physical network architecture, enabling organizations to bridge communication between factory floors and corporate offices. By integrating critical systems onto a single common infrastructure, Panduit Industrial Automation Solutions help customers improve network performance and operational efficiency, reduce operating costs, and increase productivity.
Panduit offers a Reference Architecture Design Guide that shows customers how to properly plan, design, and install a network. One of the main topics within the guide is the use of Zone Topology, which optimizes the amount of wiring used for a network installation. The Reference Architecture Design Guide debuted at the Automation Fair 2009 in Anaheim and is available free by registering at
Panduit’s Reference Architecture Design Guide
How does Panduit specifically help reduce operational costs?
Panduit solutions provide quick and dependable installations for greater reliability, availability, and security - and help improve mean time to repair (MTTR). Our solutions deliver measurable efficiency gains in the areas of space and power consumption across critical systems, contributing to sustainability and operational efficiency.
How does Panduit address physical security?
To help keep a network secure, Panduit takes a multi-layered approach to network physical security. For example, Panduit has “Lock-In, Block-Out, and Keyed” systems that are simple to install and deter unauthorized access of the physical layer.
There seems to be a pattern to the colors of connectors, cables and other wiring management?
Color-coding is a simple technique that is used within networks helping identify redundancy, VLAN, location and functionality. Panduit offers several products such as different colored communication cable, color-coded jacks and patch cord bands, and Tak-TyÒ Hook & Loop tape for ease of cable bundling and identification to help take the guess work out of troubleshooting, moving cables, adding cables and making changes. This also results in lower MTTR.
Color Coding & Physical Network Security
You also integrate fiber optic cables, how is it being accepted?
In network designs, the use of optical fiber continues to grow due to performance, noise immunity and distance criteria. Fiber has been saddled with a perception that it is difficult to field-terminate [i.e. polishing and testing]. The Panduit OptiCam™ fiber system and tooling delivers superior performance parameters, eliminates the need for field polishing, and offers visual indication of proper termination to virtually eliminate operator error.
OptiCam™ Fiber Termination Tool
What specific problems does Panduit's wiring management solve?
The Unified Physical Infrastructure℠ approach, or UPI, helps customers simplify networking, speed deployment, ensure harsh environment performance, and save valuable real estate on the manufacturing floor and critical infrastructure like control panels. For example, Panduit PanelMax™ DIN Rail Wiring Duct increases panel layout space and installs 40% faster than traditional methods. Another way we help our customers reduce risk is with a patching technique that allows easier terminations and pre-testing for verification of critical links. The resulting benefits are lower installed cost by reducing the number of rejected connectors and terminations since the Panduit optical fiber solution allows up to two re-terminations that provide yield rates approaching 100%.
What types of system network cabling does UPI address?
The UPI approach enables organizations to converge communication, computing, control, power, and security systems resulting in a number of benefits including lower life cycle cost, higher reliability and lower time to repair.
Panduit UPI-based solutions for Industrial Automation offer a system that manages, connects and protects wire for electrical, control and networking applications. These solutions enable distributed control systems to be used across all manufacturing areas, providing a structured method of deploying physical infrastructure elements that will withstand harsh factory floor conditions while optimizing network performance and safety. Five targeted Industrial Solution Groups address a user’s needs from panel to plant:
  • IN-Panel: Control Panels, Electrical Panels, Specialty Panels and MCC (Motor Control Center)
  • IN-Room: Micro Data Center (Control Room area)
  • IN-Route: Network Distribution Pathways
  • IN-Field: Machine-mounted systems
  • IN-Frastructure: Industrial lighting, HVAC, security systems
Can you provide some specific examples of new hardware to organize wiring beyond standard wire duct?
Some new exciting products include the J-Pro™ Cable Support Systems which support open style routing of network cables. Inside a control panel, there are Fiber Slack Manager devices that maintain bend radius for fiber optic cables. And Dynamic Cable Tie Managers that provide strain relief for cables in area of movement (ie. on a control panel door).
J-Pro Cable Support System
Dynamic Cable Tie Manager
What kind of results are users having with this approach?
Customers have validated each level of our architecture concerning the value of the solution approach that addresses performance, security and maintainability. We have seen end users design control panels with 30% panel space savings, while ensuring performance with our noise mitigation solutions. Our fiber and copper solutions are being installed in zone architectures, leveraging Stratix™ Switches from Rockwell Automation to provide high performance, maintainable systems that minimize downtime. Our high quality termination solutions have helped customers with reliable connections throughout the physical infrastructure, and meeting standards including UL, CSA, IEEE Std 837-2002, and American Bureau of Shipping.
What are plans for the future?
Panduit is uniquely qualified to understand the complexities of plant-level networks, from monitoring production processes to optimizing pathway design. Panduit will continue to deliver UPI (Unified Physical Infrastructure) solutions for the manufacturing physical layer to efficiently manage converged networks for industrial applications.
Panduit New World Headquarters – opening April 2010
Our customers and our channel are looking for faster ways to deploy the network infrastructure. We are constantly working to deliver unique and optimized systems that provide measurable value to our customers and partners.
Our new World Headquarters building, located in Tinley Park, IL, is a “living lab” demonstrating the UPI vision, in which critical power, communication, computing, security and control systems align contributing to our sustainability goals through a lower carbon footprint and energy savings of up to 20%. Through continued application research and collaboration with fellow industry leaders, we will enable customers to achieve greater ROI and meet their sustainability goals.
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