Posts Tagged ‘planning’

  • What’s in a colour?

    Date: 2009.08.26 | Category: Australian Partner Conference 2009, networking, planning, tech•ed 2009 | Response: 0

    Have you been to tech•ed in years past? Have you seen the array of colours used for cables in CommNet areas, Recharge Bars, around the Exposition Halls and inside the Session Rooms? You’ve thought either the person laying all those cables is colour blind or needs some serious tips from House & Garden on matching seasonal hues? Not so.

    In an event such as tech•ed, managing data cables is in itself, a job which could challenge the best of logistical minds.  There are over 1,200 Cat5e UTP cables to install or over 8,200m to lay down, plug into switches, test, secure to desks & stage plinths and of course plug into computers at the other end. Don’t forget the task of recollecting them all at the other end in a manner that doesn’t result in the biggest bunch of copper and plastic spaghetti in the world.

    To help with the taming of this cable mammoth, a colour coding system is used to make what would normally be a challenging task just that little easier.  With experience, we’ve established the best combination of lengths. The colours were chosen based on what are standard available colours without the need for excessive custom makes :

    • Grey Cables : 2m
    • Yellow Cables : 3m
    • Green Cables : 5m
    • Orange Cables : 8m
    • White Cables : 10m
    • Purple Cables : 15m
    • Blue Cables : 20m and over

    The result is cable installers and the technology team can quickly identify the appropriate cable. It hasn’t always been like this. Before we had a colour coding system for the lengths we had a huge wastage issue with excess length. So much a number of years ago we reduced the cabling costs by 30%.

    What happens to all of the cables after the event? You would appreciate the cost involved when replacing cables, not to mention the environmental impact. To maximise integrity, cables are used for no more than 2 events and so costs are amortised. If cables have been in trafficable areas, such as where trolleys and feet run over them, they are replaced after each event.  At the end of the event, the task of recollecting, rolling and sorting patch leads is job that may leave you chrysophobic, but the method of colour for length has made our “Where does that cable go” jigsaw easier to piece together.