Anyone who’s hooked up an entertainment center in their home knows just how quickly the wires going from each of the different devices in use to the TV, HDMI switch, sound system, and power outlets can become a tangled mess. For Telecom companies, this issue is taken to whole new levels as engineers have to sort and organize hundreds of cables and connections to dozens of different circuit boards in each array they have.
Keeping these wires organized is a huge challenge for telecom companies—one which can be overcome with specially-designed custom wall plate mounts. Recently, a telecom company reached out to Marlin Steel to manufacture a set of sheet metal Ethernet receptacle boxes for their circuit boards to help organize and protect their sensitive electronics.
Meeting the Challenges of Making Telecom Mounting Plates
The wall plate mountings that Marlin made for the telecom company had to meet several goals all at once:
- Reduce wire clutter
- Keep wires and circuit boards safe from damage
- Help improve organization of wire connections
- Maintain accessibility for each board in case servicing is needed
To meet these goals, Marlin started with a simple box frame design, and made modifications specific to the client’s cable and board layout.
First, holes were cut into the top of the frame for each junction box to allow a pipe filled with cables to be run through the top of the box. This pipe and box assembly would help conceal the clutter from the cables. Also, because several different pipes would be used, different cable bundles would be easier to sort and keep from becoming tangled.
Second, to further protect the delicate printed circuit boards that would be mounted inside, each junction box was given a set of cabinet-style metal doors. These doors could be opened or closed as needed to keep dust and other contaminants out of the enclosure, as well as protect the boards from accidental impacts.
Third, on the inside of the doors, mounts were added to allow circuit boards to be mounted, increasing the overall capacity of each junction box. To keep cable clutter down, the cables were run along the sides of the box to the door-mounted circuit boards.
By running cables along the interior walls of the box, free-hanging cable clutter was eliminated, allowing for a cleaner look, easier access, and less risk of accidents with tangled or loose Ethernet cables.
Delivering Quality, Engineered Quick®
For this particular application, the biggest challenge wasn’t devising a way to deal with a rigorous environment—it was making sure that the dimensions of each box and the placement of the holes for allowing cables to be fed through were absolutely perfect. Also, the client needed these Ethernet receptacle boxes sooner rather than later.
To ensure that the placement of the holes cut into the frame of the sheet metal boxes would be right, Marlin’s engineers needed detailed measurements from the client—diameters for each cable pipe, distance between each pipe, desired size of the junction box, etc.
Once these measurements were obtained, Marlin’s engineers were able to program automated cutting equipment—such as CNC punch machines and CNC laser cutters—to precision-cut each hole.
These machines could cut micrometer-precise circles into the frame of each sheet metal box—and do so in a fraction of the time it would take a person using a manual cutting tool to do so. After being programmed with the right dimensions and spacing, the machines were able to quickly produce enough cut frames to easily meet the client’s needs.
In all, it took Marlin less than a month to take the client’s custom wall plate mount & junction box order from concept to delivered product. Better yet, each of these boxes fit perfectly without issue thanks to the automated precision of Marlin’s factory automation.
Learn how your company can benefit from Quality, Engineered Quick® today!