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.

Installing Category 6A: The Future is Now

Category6A-FutureCategory 6A twisted-pair copper received much attention when it first hit the marketplace in 2005. But adoption has been slow, since the 10 gigabit per second (Gb/s) capacity of Category 6A exceeds the requirements of most LAN applications. However, times are now changing. Data rates in the enterprise continue to climb. More devices than ever are being connected. Emerging applications demand higher performance and faster speeds. And those trends haven’t escaped the notice of industry standards bodies.

Let’s look at these new applications and requirements — and see if Category 6A is the future for your network.   Read more »

6 Key Considerations When Choosing Category 6A Cable

Last week’s blog post covered the uses for Category 6A cable, including emerging applications and recommendations for adoption by industry standards bodies. This week, we take a look at the factors that go into the choice of a Category 6A cable. While all Category 6A products must meet the same base set of specifications, they are surprisingly different in their physical properties, and how well they deliver at the extremes of performance. Those extremes are important, because the extremes of today are the expectations of tomorrow.   Here are the key considerations to weigh when choosing a Category 6A cable. Read more »

Three DCS Award Finalists — Make Your Vote Count

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We’re delighted that, for the second year in a row, Belden products are on the shortlist for the DataCentre Solutions awards. In fact, we have three finalists. Help us spread the word about these innovative products. Voting is open now through April 23. Cast your vote now.

The finalist products are:
Datacentre Cabling Product of the Year – Belden Pre-Terminated Fiber Assemblies
Datacentre Cabinets of the Year – Belden Racks and Enclosures — Seismic Range
Datacentre Power Product of the Year – Belden Power Distribution Units

Read more »

Making Sense of IoT

BrainIt’s easy to see how technology and the data centers behind it all are significantly changing our lives. With the number of connected devices now outnumbering the world’s population, it looks like The Internet of Things (IoT) is no longer just a vision—it’s now reality.

A quick Google search defines IoT as the “interconnection of uniquely identifiable embedded computing devices within the existing Internet infrastructure.” How’s that for a definition that really doesn’t tell us much?

Furthermore, the term “things” is rather vague. Many define the term as essentially referring to any device, machine or object with an IP address for connectivity—in other words, “things” like personal smart devices, laptops, security systems, thermostats, vending machines, stop lights, factory machinery, and even our cars.

But the “things” of IoT are so much more Read more »

Cabinet Access Control: Deployment Considerations

Following is another blog by guest blogger and product line manager Denis Blouin.

Earlier this month, I blogged about the importance of cabinet-level security in the data center due to the potential for internal threats. If you’ve realized the importance of bringing security down to the cabinet level and are planning to deploy a cabinet access control system, there are many features to consider when evaluating solutions.

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Flexible and Scalable

When evaluating an access control system for data center cabinets, make sure that the system is flexible to meet your specific environment. For example, in a pod-based data centers where rows or groups of cabinets are segregated by function, you might want to require access for a group of cabinets rather than at individual cabinets. You might also want to Read more »

Bi-Modal IT: The Ying and Yang of Tomorrow’s Data Center

YingYangIn last month’s blog on SDx, I introduced the buzzword “bi-modal IT” that has been getting a lot of attention in the industry—especially following the latest research by Gartner, which states that 45% of CIOs have already gone bi-modal and 75% are expected to go bi-modal by 2017.

To recap, a bi-modal IT approach is the coexistence of traditional and modern IT practices within the same entity where some applications remain in a traditional environment due to security or reliability issues while other less critical “fail fast” applications operate within a more digital, agile model that supports fast delivery and prototyping of new technologies.   Let’s take a closer look at bi-modal IT from an organizational perspective. Read more »

Let Me Show You to the Door

Enclosure-DoorThe need to optimize airflow in the data center is becoming increasingly important as heat load densities continue to rise above beyond the average 6 to 7 kW per rack. While best practices like reducing cable congestion, using a hot aisle/cold aisle configuration or deploying a containment strategy are ideal ways to help manage passive airflow, cabinet doors play a key role. And when it comes to choosing a cabinet, it’s important to look at all the features of the door.

The Hole Truth

There are two separate variables to consider that determine the air resistance characteristics of a cabinet door Read more »

Cabinet Security: More Important Than You Might Think

security_1Most of us understand the need for security at the main data center entrance, as we certainly do not want those with unauthorized access touching critical networking equipment.   Unfortunately, with so much data—from personal information to intellectual property—now being transmitted and stored via the data center, protecting that information from within is becoming a greater concern than ever before.   That’s why bringing security down to cabinet level makes perfect sense. Let’s take a closer look at why.

Internal Threats on the Rise

According to a 2011 survey by Gabriel Group, more than 60% of today’s security breaches are at the hands of company insiders or others with legitimate data center access. That is certainly a scary statistic! Read more »

HDBaseT to the Rescue!

Just in case full high-definition resolution isn’t enough, 4K is the next generation resolution that will deliver a whole new level of clarity at roughly four times the resolution of 1080p.   Despite limited 4K content currently available to consumers, Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic and others are already selling 4K TV sets and widespread adoption is eventually expected. An ABI Research report from last year expects 4K to surpass 10% of North American TV households by 2018.

HDBASET

4K covers two formats that are both supported in the HDMI 1.4 specification – 3840p X 2160p and 4096p X 2160p. While HDMI 1.4 supports 4K resolution, adds an audio channel that enables upstream audio connections, and can deliver 100 Mbps IP-based applications with an added Ethernet channel, there are some cabling and connectivity challenges to consider that include distance limitations, installation and testing.   HDBaseT resolves these issues.

What is HDBaseT? Read more »

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