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Comment: Isolate Equipment - Conduit - Workspace (Score 1) 422

by thedave (#41517731) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Would You Include In a New Building?

I want to second many of the above. I worked doing Industrial Control Systems for years, and I cannot emphasize enough the need for workrooms, conduit and isolating equipment.

Isolating Equipment
Since your space is fairly small, try to wire everything hub and spoke and hub and spoke.
For office equipment, run it all hub and spoke (run each outlet back to the central switching room).
For industrial equipment, especially if they have low data volume (i.e. CNC, CMM), I strongly recommend putting them in local clusters (hence hub / spoke / hub/ spoke) with a dedicated fiber to a local switch for each cluster, and shielded cable from the local switch. All of the heavy, high-wattage equipment is necessarily very EM noisy. Giving them an extra switch isolated with fiber and short shielded cable runs, reduces the noise that you broadcast into the rest of your network.
Also, (and perhaps obviously) all your networking equipment should be on an isolated power circuit from your industrial equipment. The voltage drop at startup is enough to brown out switches, and the reactive power is enough to fry them. I also recommend having backups on the shelf for all of the field devices, so that when a big breaker throws, or somebody accidently arc welds your equipment cabinet you can get them up and going in short order.

Conduit
Conduit is key for maintenance and organization. So, go with 3x more conduit than necessary today; you will always need to pull new media. In the machine shop, use metal conduit to reduce noise from your machining environment. Put extra junction boxes in the conduit than needed. It makes pulling cable more difficult, but it make reconfiguration much simpler. Always leave behind a pull line for each length of conduit.
Along the same lines, is raised (access) flooring in your server rooms. This is a lifesaver for running cable (and looks a lot tidier than the rats nest in the rack), and makes re-configuring the room a piece of cake. Also, with perforated tiles you can configure the HVAC for laminar air-flow (in from the top of the room and out the under the floor) which encourages the swarf in the air and on your clothes to stay out of your equipment and under the floor and in the filters like it belongs. Also, raised floors could save you from a pipe break or small flood.
On a final conduit and cabling note, invest in a thermal labeling system, heat shrink cable labels and a barcode label and conduit database. Be sure to label the conduit end points, and the pull line ends. The heat shrink labels attach tight enough, that that can be pulled through conduit on the cable without snagging or coming off. So, you can label one end before you pull it, and label the other end after you cut it (so you only need one label printer and person labeling). The barcode lets you scan directly to your termination database which reduces transcription errors. You can purchase pre-printed barcode label pairs, but don't. Inevitably, one end of the cable won't install correctly, or you'll have to cut the cable, and the pre-printed cables require you to relabel both ends.

Workspace
IT needs separate server rooms from power and telecom. The security requirements, access controls, typical tasks, and skillsets are different for the three disciplines. If you are in a warehouse type environment, the server room should have its own roofing and weather proof enclosure. This will save your equipment from a leaky warehouse roof, and fire sprinklers from the shop floor.
Workrooms on the shop floor, provide a clean (isolation from swarf), quiet area for tackling shop floor related issues. Preferably, it would have windows onto or over the floor.

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