Why Cable Testing is Important

You’ve been working on a big data network installation. It’s time to go live – and there’s something wrong. Perhaps it’s something as simple as one of the cables getting kinked during the installation process. You didn’t test the cabling, and now nothing’s working. What do you do? Where do you look first?

The possibility of major network outage due to cabling faults is one reason that cable testing is important. If you’ve finished a job, the last thing you want is to have to go back, pull the floor up and find the section of cable that’s the problem, which is why you need to test before you sign off on the installation.

cable-testing

What kind of problems can cable testing find?

Cable testing can find all kinds of cabling problems. Even the best installers are usually working with other tradesmen on site; they can get distracted, other workmen may dislodge cables or damage cabling that has already been laid, and manufacturing defects can make it through to final testing without being detected. That’s why testing is vital. It won’t just tell you there’s a problem – it will tell you exactly where that problem is located.

  • Are there manufacturing faults in the cable? For instance, incomplete wrapping that allows copper wires to touch could lead to major faults. Incomplete or damaged insulation is one of the biggest causes of problems. Cable testing will ensure hidden problems of this sort are found and can quickly be fixed.
  • Did cable get pulled, kinked or crushed during installation? This can be a big problem when there is a time delay between first fix and second fix, particularly if cabling hasn’t been properly protected. A good network tester will point you in the right direction – down to just a matter of inches.
  • Have all cables been terminated properly? Cables that haven’t been terminated, or have been incorrectly terminated, are a regular problem area. Cable testing will show up any issues of this sort.
  • Have pairs of cables been swapped over? Crossed, reversed and split pairs, which have been incorrectly terminated on each other’s pins, are frequent problems. A good cable tester will let you find where mistakes have been made.
  • Broken pins on a jack or patch panel can be difficult to spot through visual inspection, but a cable tester will pick up the problem, and pinpoint it so that you know exactly where to go to fix it.
  • Cables may have been run and terminated correctly, but there’s a problem when the customer tries to patch them, or the port on the switch has not been activated. If you have a complete test result file, it will show that the cable has been correctly installed, saving you and your customer time in troubleshooting since you know that the cabling isn’t the issue.
  • Have you used the right cable? With increasing data demands and network speeds, some cabling now just can’t support the network speed and technologies required. In the worst case, that might not be picked up before the network goes live, and the customer finds that access to crucial business communications has been compromised. Cable testing will find out any cabling that’s not up to requirements before it becomes a problem.

Cable testing for Certification

Cable testing allows you to demonstrate that your installation complies with required standards. Verification of standards is now required by many customers, but more importantly, it’s also required by many cable manufacturers in order for you to benefit from their warranty programs.

Cable testing and your customers

Cable testing also helps your relationship with your client. If cabling has been certified before handing it over, you’re not going to be called in every time something goes wrong; because you’ve tested the cabling, customers will generally look at other possible causes for a failure first. At the same time, your test results provide a road map of the system when your customer’s network maintenance crew are trying to locate and fix a fault.

Good cable testing will reduce the time you need to troubleshoot problems, and can help you find a solution to cabling issues more quickly. That will boost your productivity as well as delivering a demonstrably better service to your client. In fact, you could say that cable testing isn’t just helpful, it’s the single most important part of your entire cable installation process.

The 8 Main Facilities Manager Checks

Facilities management has been termed by many as a difficult term to define. This is entirely because it deals with a number of services ranging from managing people, places, technology, and processes at the same time. The main purpose of facility management is to ensure that all the processes involving a facility run without breaking down allowing the rest of the facility users to be productive. This calls for hands-on facility manager that is well conversant with the standards and the control measures appertaining to occupied buildings. There are a number of checks the manager has to be in control of and here are 8 main ones.

Facilities Manager

Cleaning

Cleaning is no menial task when it comes to facility management especially when the facilities are commercial. Cleaning involves the planning and management of all the cleaning staff, ensuring that they do not collide with the running of the building. A manager should be able to handle daily cleaning, carry out hygiene management routines, window cleaning, floor and surfaces cleaning as well as deep cleaning on schedule. Industrial facilities will call for more specialized cleaning, with more specialized staff. Hospitals and health centers also come with cleaning standards that have to be maintained at all levels.

Planned Preventative Maintenance

This is one of the most crucial checks for the manager as it determines the lifespan of manual and automated systems that run the facility. A planned preventive maintenance program, like PAT testing, will ensure that machinery, automated and manual systems that keep the building functioning at in the right condition. These include lifts, HVAC systems, plumbing systems, electrical systems and computerized systems. A good manager will have a program that will help him ensure that all the preventive maintenance routines are done on time to avoid inconveniencing others through broken down lifts, plumbing systems, and HVAC systems.

Catering / vending

Most residential and commercial buildings have in-house catering and vending systems for the resident users to access. The vending machines have to be in working order and repaired when broken down. The building caterers need to also be on schedule as a single broken link cascades down the working chain causing production issues. The caterers have to be on time when serving meals and drinks if this is provided for by the management.

Security

Security systems and the personnel need to be up to standard in the facility. The already set precautions including the alarm systems, metal detectors, and security protocol procedures need to run smoothly. The CCTV cameras also have to function all through the running of the facility avoiding black holes in the footage. The security of a building is paramount both for the residents and the visitors. The personnel stationed at the various entrances to the facility also have to be well equipped and trained to work with people while carrying out their security checks.

Switch-board / Helpdesk management

A building is heavily dependent on the help desk right from the visitors to the current users. The switchboard also enhances communication avoiding a breakdown in communication as well as unnecessary walking in the building to simply convey a message. The switchboard operator and the operating systems need to be up to standard and working. The help desk needs to be operational with polite personnel catering to the needs of the resident users and visitors walking into the facilities.

Handyman, janitorial services

It is a fact that facilities will once in a while experience plumbing, electrical and HVAC problems due to reasons of use. Handyman and janitorial services have to be on the alert for the same issues being addressed fast and amicably. The communication and response chains should be short enough to handle the problem as soon as it occurs. A breakdown in any of these causes a serious snarl up in the operations of a building trickling down to production.

Internal office moves

Internal office moves should be done professionally and on time avoiding damage to the equipment and furniture as well as wasting valuable time. Internal office moves need to be planned and done when the office users are not in the building. The moves need to be pre-planned by setting up the right moving equipment as well as moving staff well on time for the relocations. This may also include external moves of items from the office especially when it comes to replacement.

Relocations

A building manager is also in charge of full relocations from one building to another. It may also involve shipping items such as machinery, equipment, and furniture to the current building. This involves putting together transport logistics and personnel to ensure that it is done on schedule. Fragile items also need to be carefully managed to ensure that breakages and damages are kept at bay.

Facility management is as good as the planning and execution a manager puts in place. The use of computerized programs to run checks and schedules ensure that nothing is missed out on during the management of facilities. A well-trained personnel is also paramount coupled with experienced outsourcing from reliable service providers.