OPEN UP THE POSSIBILITIES: A CLOSER LOOK AT WIRE MESH VS. CONDUIT FOR FOOD & BEVERAGE FACILITIESPosted On: Thursday 3rd May 2018 Back to Blog Listing
OPEN UP THE POSSIBILITIES: A CLOSER LOOK AT WIRE MESH VS. CONDUIT FOR FOOD & BEVERAGE FACILITIES
Many food and beverage processing facilities seek a safe, manageable way to handle their cables. With heavy-duty machinery and equipment running throughout a facility, a strong cable management system is a must. Even more, the concerns of bacterial growth that might impact equipment and products are paramount. A cable system needs to do more than simply hold the cables and deliver them across a facility; it must protect the system and production.
A large number of processors look to conduit as a solution for their cable management. Conduit is common, and the assumption is that it is the best option. However, there are other solutions for cable management. More speciﬁcally, an open system using wire mesh is a choice that can be often overlooked. Its beneﬁts are substantial, especially for industrial applications with frequent wash-downs and concerns for cost, safety and ease
HOW AN OPEN SYSTEM OUTPERFORMS CONDUIT There are three main reasons why an open system is preferred over a closed one. Opting for a closed system might simply be a habit, as an open system outperforms conduit in many areas. In particular, an open system beats a closed system when it comes to installation, maintenance and safety. All three of these areas are integral for cable management systems, so looking closer at the beneﬁts of an open system is wise for many food and beverage facilities
INSTALLATION With extensive and complex bends and routes, a closed conduit system is a difﬁcult installation. Requiring a high level of skill and plenty of time, conduit demands much more to install than an open system of wire mesh. You’ll need to ﬁnd someone who has plenty of experience bending conduit, which may be difﬁcult. Additionally, you’ll have to designate a signiﬁcant amount of time for the job, as conduit banks require time-consuming concentric bends. The operation requires not only the bending and sorting of the conduit itself, but the arrangement of those cables within the conduit. Conduit can be overwhelming. For example, take a look at some of these photos of extensive closed systems. All require someone to carefully measure and bend each portion, install the cables and mount the system. Each piece of conduit needs to be formed this way in order to provide the enclosed pathway for cables as they move throughout a building. On the other hand, an open system of wire mesh requires signiﬁcantly less time to install. Wire mesh cable tray can be installed quickly, easily and without costly labour. Cables are neatly run throughout the system without the headache of creating a piece of conduit for each one. An open system installation is also signiﬁcantly more cost-effective. In many circumstances, it runs up to 40% less than a conduit job. If you determine that stainless steel or antimicrobial conduit is required, which it may be due to concerns of corrosion or cleanliness, you’re looking at even higher numbers. You can install wire mesh cable management for a fraction of the price, and you’ll save even more due to the reduction in labour.
WIRE MESH CABLE TRAY CAN BE INSTALLED QUICKLY, EASILY AND WITHOUT COSTLY LABOR...UP TO 40% LESS
MAINTENANCE A closed system is not only difﬁcult to install, it’s a burden to adjust. As cables need to be replaced and repaired during the life of a system, conduit is arduous to work with: it doesn’t easily open, can’t be easily moved and resists easy disassembly. In order to add, move or change a closed system, you may need to shut off power entirely, re-bend the conduit itself and spend signiﬁcant amounts of time just to ﬁ x a cable or readjust the positioning for new machinery. When you work with an open system of wire mesh cable pathway, you’re free to make adjustments and repairs with minimal downtime. In fact, modiﬁcations to open systems run about 5-10 minutes in length, signiﬁcantly reducing time and labour. Power can stay up while the system is worked on, and there is no re-bending required. If a cable is faulty, you can simply reach in and repair or remove it. Pieces of the open system itself are also easy to manage: They can be easily disassembled and reassembled as needed. If you need to replace a section, it’s an easy order and a quick job. With a closed system, you’re looking at signiﬁcant labour to redo an entire system or large section: removing the existing conduit, ordering and re-bending new conduit, reﬁtting cables and restructuring the system. A wire mesh open system has a low SKU count, making it much easier to stock. There’s simply no comparison. An open system dramatically outperforms a closed one in maintenance and repair.
WHEN YOU WORK WITH AN OPEN SYSTEM OF WIRE MESH CABLE PATHWAY, YOU’RE FREE TO MAKE ADJUSTMENTS AND REPAIRS WITH MINIMAL DOWNTIME
SAFETY When it comes to cable management systems, many food and beverage processors are looking for systems that are not only cheaper and easier to install and maintain; they want to ensure that the system is safe. This may lead to stainless steel or antimicrobial conduit, which is signiﬁcantly more expensive and still prone to entire system contamination. Wire mesh cable tray is ideal for the food and beverage industry. There is no danger in exposing the cable wires. In fact, keeping them enclosed in conduit is a good way to promote contamination through water ingress. Due to frequent wash-downs, which are required to promote cleanliness of equipment, a closed system is susceptible to bacterial growth because water can become captured within the conduit and ﬁttings. This water ingress can lead to costly cable deterioration and, even worse, bacterial infections that may shut down a facility entirely, spreading to the products and causing costly recalls. These infections can destroy a company’s brand, igniting hesitation and fear among consumers. An open system can handle frequent wash-downs without the potential to cause bacterial infection within conduit or ﬁttings. The wire mesh used for cable management in an open system is passivated, making it three times more resistant to chlorine and removing all contamination from processing. The open system is also easy to clean and can be tested for contamination. When a closed system is opened for repair and maintenance, the system is susceptible to release or transfer of contamination that is contained within the conduit system. Unlike conduit, an open system of wire mesh does not allow contamination to move outside of the enclosure. This keeps it at a single source, rather than running the risk of contamination spreading throughout an entire, vulnerable closed system. Wire mesh is also made of the same stainless steel touted in certain conduit systems, which is corrosion-resistant and durable. However, it is signiﬁcantly less expensive to invest in a stainless steel wire mesh system than in conduit and, as we’ve learned, much easier to install, maintain, repair and protect.
AN OPEN SYSTEM FOR YOU Choosing a cable management system for a food and beverage facility can be difﬁcult, and it’s tempting to stick with the tried-and-true method of conduit. However, wire mesh is an ideal option for cable management in the processing industry. Its rigorous safety standards and features, coupled with a cost-effective and ﬂexible system that’s easy to install and adjust, make it more ideal for many food and beverage applications.
DP Building Systems are a distributor of Legrand and Cablofil, if you require any information or support please contact DP Building Systems technical team on 0121 706 7777 or firstname.lastname@example.org