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Cable management for control consoles

The difference between an ordinary office desk and a control console is that the latter integrates power and data into its structure.

Sustema Focus control console with see-through rendering

Cable management is a core feature of the design of a control console.

Sustema Focus Wall for Control console cable management

For example, with Sustema’s Focus series, power and data cables can run independently on separate raceways to ensure these is no electromagnetic interference due to the high voltage needed to power a control console with, say 4 or 6 monitors and 2 or more CPUs.

However, depending on your needs you may find yourself with a different console design like Sustema’s Transit S series, which doesn’t feature a focus wall to pass power and data. In addition, your worksurface might even be height adjustable, so naturally cable management for such a console must account for different heights which means that cables going from the CPU enclosure must be hidden and secured, while leaving some leeway.

Sustema Transit Series S control console with height adjustable capabilities

The easiest way to address this issue might be to say “Well, just tie the cable to the upper most part of the actuators (the moving pillars which lift or lower the worksurface) and leave the cable dangling underneath the console. But, however tempting that might be, and despite the fact that you might get away with it in a work from home setup. A command center, however, is a 24/7 critical environment. The information passing through those cables is critical data, like a bus's location, an airplane’s status, the current pressure on the electrical grid of your city, or someone’s 911 call. So, leaving the cables dangling around is certainly not an option.

So, how do control consoles handle cable management, and how can you implement those same principles in your command center?

Think (inside) the box

Think of cable management not as an obstacle but as an asset. For instance, a Focus console features separate power raceways that go inside the wall structure from the CPU enclosure all the way to the work surface in the form of a monument which can be equipped with usb ports for charging up a phone without connecting it to the computer (a common security error).

Sustema raceway for cable management in control consoles

Another solution would be to add a power bar just underneath the worksurface, fixed to its metal substructure working in tandem with a monument system on the worksurface. A monument system can also provide a headphone jack, additional power outlets, HDMI and other display ports.

The best thing about running your cables through a wall structure is that power and data are easily accessible by the operator, while there’s no risk of accidental disconnects, or someone tripping over a dangling ethernet cable and causing an accident, in a 24/7 environment, where no one can afford to stop their work.

What goes up must unequivocally come down.

For some control consoles that don’t have a wall structure to support them, cable management alternatives still exist. Think of the Transit S series, which is a height adjustable console designed to accommodate more than one operator throughout the 24/7 shift.

Sustema Transit S control console, rear view

In this scenario, power and data cables run through raceways that cover the entire walls surfaces of the CPU’s enclosures.

To account for the height adjustability issue, the console features a cable chain system that routes the cables from the work surface to the CPU enclosure. Ensuring that the vertical movement of the surface doesn’t cause any cable pulling or interruption.

Cable management mechanism with cable chains for control consoles

To allow access to power and data, you can use outlets like a monument system or other custom solutions like a gromet hole. The cables in turn can be connected directly from the monitors to the CPU, or in the case of requiring power outlets on the worksurface, they can go to a power distribution unit underneath the metal substructure of the console.

Metallic substructure for Sustema Transit series S control console

Of course, where your data and power cables come from will limit your options and guide the layout design of your command center. But whether you are running your cables along a designated raceway along a support wall, or you are storing them and organizing them inside the CPU enclosure and securing your cables inside a cable chain system, and maximizing the substructure of your control console, it is important that power and data cables and outlets remain accessible from the front or back panels for quick equipment troubleshooting.

CPU enclosure of Sustema Transit control console

Contact us so we can help you design the right control console for your mission critical operations.



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