Construction Products Regulation: What is it?

With new rules being implemented by the European Commission (EC), construction products – including cabling for fixed installations – can no longer be used in European buildings or civil engineering works if they are not tested and certified according to the new Construction Products Regulation (CPR) rules.

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The EC’s CPR rules ensure that distributors, consultants, systems integrators, installers and building owners now have reliable product information from different manufacturers in different countries. CPR provides one common language that manufacturers can use when talking about performance of their product. This same language will  also have to be used by architects, engineers, contractors and member states when specifying requirements and selecting products.

Replacing the Construction Products Directive (CPD), which was first published by the EC in 1989, CPR is already applicable for non-cable products since July 2013. The official CPR introduction for cables has officially come into force as of June 10, 2016 with the transition period ending on July. 1, 2017.

CPR combines the common technical language with an agreed system of Assessment and Verification of Constancy of Performance, a framework of Certified Notified Bodies and Mandatory CE Marking.

CPR provides a framework of potential assessment criteria in the following areas:

  1. Mechanical resistance and stability
  2. Safety in the case of fire
  3. Hygiene, health and the environment
  4. Safety in use
  5. Protection against noise
  6. Energy economy and heat retention

Cable product performance is covered in the 2nd requirement that focuses on fire safety ,which includes “Reaction to Fire” (How much  a cable contributes to a fire and its harmful  consequences) and “Resistance to Fire” (For how long a cable can continue to function in case of a fire). Initially CPR is only being implemented for cable performance related to “Reaction to fire.”

Cables will be evaluated based on their performance in a simulated installation, with simultaneous measurements of flame spread, heat release, flaming droplets, smoke emission and corrosivity of gases. They are then placed into the correct Euroclass system based on performance in the following areas: 

  • Flame spread
  • Smoke production
  • Burning falling particles (droplets)
  • Corrosiveness/acidity of combustion gases

For cable manufacturers CPR means that they need to have their cables tested according to the new requirements, provide a Declaration of Performance according to the new Euroclasses, affix a CE Marking to the product and periodically control production.

Although it may seem like CPR only applies to manufacturers, it’s equally as important for everyone in the construction industry to use and understand. Make sure to look out for the following Belden blogs that provide further details about CPR and will explain what CPR means for you. You can learn more about CPR at our dedicated micro-site.

The Key to Video Cable Performance



 



Belden Professional Video Cables and Connectors




Virtually all TV broadcasters around the world have gone digital. Even Hollywood has converted from film to digital images. While some of these cameras record the data on hard drives or SSD (solid-state drives),  at some point you’re going to send this data, those digital images, from Point A to Point B. If you want to carry the hard drive or SSD from place to place, that’s fine (so-called “sneaker net”) but it is time-consuming and inefficient. Why not put that signal on a cable to move it from place to place? That’s what most broadcasters do. And, while you could do this on fiber, converting from electrons to photons and back again at the other end, the economical and simple way is still over copper cable, most commonly coax cable.

1694A

The photo to the right is Belden 1694A, the world’s most popular video cable. It’s a good compromise between size, distance, and cost. It is easy to put on connectors, especially the one-piece compression connectors that Belden now offers. (Our current record is two connectors in 33 seconds.) And these connectors, and the 1694A cable, can carry virtually any video signal you might wish to use including analog, 4×3 digital (SD-SDI), high definition (HD-SDI) and even 3gig (1080p/50 or 1080p/60).

The only thing you have to consider is how far the cable can go. Here’s a chart showing the recommended distance for 1694A and all of our other digital cables. Read more »

Think Fibre Can’t Handle Extreme Temperatures? Think Again.

Fiber InstallationIn the world of broadcasting, we generally think of two different environments:

The indoor studio with sets and control rooms and the outside location where actual sporting and other events take place.

Inside the broadcasting studio, fibre is used to connect broadcasting equipment such as cameras, storage equipment, editing appliances and playout devices.

While there are always concerns in the studio about fibre being subjected to flexing, twisting and abrasion as it is coiled up on the floor, handled by multiple users or dragged across the studio from one filming area to the next, today’s heavy-duty rugged fibre optic cable is specifically designed to withstand these environments. And when it comes to temperature, the studio is considered a controlled environment that normally stays in the 20˚C to 26 ˚C room temperature range. But happens when we move outside? Read more »

Fiber’s Dicey Future: The Long and the Short of IT

fibre-opticsWith an explosion of connected devices, there is no shortage of data being transmitted and stored via optical networking in the data center. However it’s not just the amount of data—it’s also how that data is being used. And that can be summed up with one word – sharing.   Ever-growing data sets are being shared across multiple vendor applications. In the massive high-density virtualized environments of cloud computing, this is driving more east-west server traffic. As the age of the “Internet of Things” come to fruition, the I/O portion of the equation will evolve like never before.   With all this change on the horizon, what does this mean for the cabling infrastructure inside the data center? Should it be all singlemode or is OM4 multimode the best bet? Read more »

Hydra Assemblies vs Patch Cords

hyrda-assemblies-vs-patch-cordsWith today’s stringent loss budgets and space constraints, some data centers choose to deploy MPO-to-LC hydra cable assemblies rather than LC duplex patch cords. However, there are some key factors to consider. Read more »

In Defense of Tinned Copper

Oxidized-Copper-Statue-of-LibertyI spend a lot of time in the fancy cable section of Belden. These are cables for high-frequency applications, such as digital video coax, or 10-gigabit data cables. These cables all use bare copper conductors. On the other hand, if you look at the Belden catalog from the 50,000 foot view, you will see a whole lot of cables we make use tinned copper. If you’re an ancient engineer or installer (like me) you came from a time when tinned copper conductors were pretty much everything. Products like 8451 and 9451 and almost any analog audio cables are all tinned copper. Go back to the coax cables from long ago, and many of them are tinned copper. So what happened? And why is Lampen bringing up this issue now? Very simple. Read more »

No Hands for 4K

Last week I was in Hollywood at the SMPTE yearly shindig. I gave my ultimate paper (so far) on 4K Video over Coax. With 500 people in the room, it occurred to me as I began that I had the perfect group to find out some things. So I began by asking my audience a question. “If I could make a single coax that would run 4K video as far as you want, how many people would put that in?” I waited for a couple of seconds. Nothing happened. No hands went up. None! An article in the TV Technology website by Deborah McAdams the next day said there were hands that were ‘tentatively’ going up, but I couldn’t see them.

Tentative-Hand-Raising

I pointed out to my audience that I could save Belden a lot of money right here, and not bring out any 4K single-link coax, and save us a bundle in connectors as well. I suppose I broke a cardinal rule about public speaking, “Never ask the audience a question to which you do not already know the answer.” Well, clearly there was something I didn’t know. It was left up to me to interpret my audience’s answer. What did it mean? Read more »

Don’t Get In Deep Water

wetcablesAs a follow-up to the blog on the reasons why UTP cables should not be painted, let’s talk about cables that have been exposed to water or other liquids.

While the jacketing on indoor riser- and plenum-rated UTP cables may seem impervious to liquids, let me remind you again that it is actually porous. In fact, any cable rated for indoor use only, whether copper or fiber, should not be exposed to liquids for any length of time.

Let’s take a look at why. Read more »

Cinema

Movie, Motion Picture, Flickers…which is it?

Coming-SoonI really have a problem with the word MOVIE. It sounds so juvenile. Pictures that move! Sounds like something from 1900s, back when the frame rate was really low, like 16 frames a second. No wonder they called them “flickers”.

I still occasionally hear someone say, “I’m going to the flicks.” Don’t you? I guess some things just stay with us. So, instead, we call it “motion pictures” which doesn’t sound a whole lot better. Last February at the HPA (Hollywood Post Alliance) the final speaker was an industry guru, John Watkinson (with his long hair and long beard, he LOOKS like a guru.) He got up and the first thing he said was a real epiphany. “I have never seen a movie or a motion picture.” The audience couldn’t figure out just what he was saying. “All I’ve ever seen is a series of still images, run rapidly in front of my eyes.” And because of ‘persistence of vision’ which we humans share with only a few other creatures on earth, it looks like a moving picture.

So where is the REAL moving picture? Read more »

250um vs. 900um

Ever wonder what the difference is between loose-tube (mini distribution) 250um fiber and tight-buffered 900um fiber?

Loose-tube 250um and tight-buffered 900um fiber cables actually start with the same 250um bare fibers that feature the same size fiber core (i.e., 50um for multimode and 9um for singlemode), 125um cladding and soft 250um coating.

The difference between the two is all in the cable construction. Read more »

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