Behind what appears to be an increasingly wireless, mobile world are cables. Lots of them. Read on and learn how to select the right cable trays for every job from Snake Tray’s extensive cable management solutions.
Cables move data around networks, supply AC power to tools and devices, transport DC current from solar panels to inverters, connect wireless access points and cell towers to wired networks, carry audio and video signals, and trigger sensors to open doors, turn on the lights, manage climate control, and more.
But these cables cannot be left hanging unsupported from the ceiling or in a twisted mess under the floor. Unorganized cables are unsafe and easily damaged. Tangled cables are difficult to trace for repair or replacement. Exposed cables are vulnerable to rodents, vandalism, and even theft for the valuable copper contained within. Unsupported cables put undue stress on the cable and its connection as its weight pulls at the termination point.
J-hooks and D-rings provide intermittent support but do not prevent cable crushing or sagging. Delicate low voltage and fiber optic cables perform best when laid flat; a single pinch point can ruin the integrity of the line.
Cable trays are required to provide consistent horizontal support and create an “avenue” through which installers can easily load, pull, and service the cables without tension, and keep them organized and safe from damage.
However, cable trays are not a one-size-fits-all solution. There are many variables including the type of cable to be run (low voltage, high voltage, fiber optic, Cat 5 or 6 ethernet, etc.), where and how the trays will be installed (wall, ceiling, rack-mounted, under floor, rooftop, etc.), the environmental conditions to which they will be exposed (indoor or wind/rain/sun/snow, etc.), and of course, the volume of cables to be laid in the tray (a.k.a. weight), that impact the selection of the right tray.
Towards that end Snake Tray manufactures multiple kinds of cable trays optimized for different applications and environments. They come in various section lengths, widths, and depths to handle different cable types, capacities, and weights. Also, cable trays come in various colors and finishes to match building décor or environmental conditions.
In fact, this was the genesis of the hand-bendable cable tray market when Snake Tray realized architects and engineers:
- Do not need to overbuild and overpay using rigid basket trays or highly structured and expensive steel or aluminum ladders to run a few hundred low voltage or fiber optic cables.
- Do need cost effective solutions to negotiate turns and elevation changes around obstacles such as plumbing systems, and HVAC ductwork.
- Do need solutions with flexible mounting options requiring minimal labor to install.
Today the Snake Tray product line has grown into a complete ecosystem of cable management solutions, each optimized for different applications and environments:
- Flexible, hand-bendable cable trays for light duty and low voltage runs without a dedicated pathway and/or the need to navigate around obstacles.
- Prefabricated steel basket trays for heavier cable loads in open areas or spaces with a direct pathway between termination points.
- Steel and aluminum ladders for heavy duty, high amperage applications.
- Under floor solutions to manage cables in buildings using raised access flooring.
- Free-air cable conveyance systems to maximize energy harvest at reusable energy plants.
Snake tray products are found in data centers, factories, corporate office buildings, utility grade solar plants, schools, hospitals, and virtually any commercial structure with data communication and power distribution needs – which is to say, everywhere.
But with so many choices it’s difficult to know which tray is the right choice for each job. Here’s a little cheat sheet to narrow your selection.
Cable Trays Cheat Sheet
In addition to the wide array of cable management solutions presented here, Snake Tray offers a wide range of accessories and adaptors to meet any cabling need with a minimum of material and labor. Further, Snake Tray engineers stand ready to help select and even design customized cable management solutions to make sure you are using the right tray for every job.
Contact us at snaketray.com to learn how we can help maximize the efficiency and profitability of your next project.