Solutions to Four Real-World Problems that Installers Face Every Day

Daniel Charles

Aug 30, 2020

By Daniel Charles

From jobsite surprises to installation mistakes, low-voltage installers have their hands full on a daily basis. Anything they can do to reduce costs or save time leads to increased productivity and more revenue.

Based on our conversations with installers, we’ve rounded up four common challenges — and explain how our REVConnect Connectivity line can help you quickly turn them into opportunities so you can keep projects moving!

Problem No. 1: We regularly hire new installers who need hands-on training, but we don’t always have time to train them!

Given the industry’s growing demand for workers, contractors and integrators are frequently adding installers and technicians to their rosters. The recent pandemic has also led to last-minute jobsite changes if a certain worker(s) needs to quarantine or stay home due to potential COVID-19 symptoms.

Most of the time, these up-and-coming employees enter the workforce needing some training. Due to project schedules and workloads, the more experienced workers don’t always have time to train them.

In 15 minutes or less, installers — even those new to the field — can be ready to deploy solutions within the REVConnect Connectivity line. Instead of learning many different termination processes for jacks and plugs, installers are trained on one methodology that covers any termination style. The technicians with more experience can be placed wherever they’re needed while the less-experienced installers complete RJ45 terminations on their own without any oversight needed once the initial training is complete.

In addition to new installers on jobsites, there may be times when multiple installation companies are onsite completing cabling and connectivity work on any given day. The level of simplicity built into REVConnect ensures that, even among different contractors, work can be performed at the same level of quality — and with the same degree of reliability. One recent job called on seven contractors to complete the work. After just a few minutes of training, all workers were performing REVConnect terminations at the same skill level because of the straightforward process.

Problem No. 2: There are too many connectivity components and installation variations to manage!

Part of what makes the REVConnect training process so simple is the fact that — unlike anything else — the same termination method is used for

• shielded or unshielded
• bonded-pair or non-bonded-pair
• category 5e, 6 or 6A
• Jjack, plug and/or coupler

The REVConnect Connectivity line is universal. You won’t have to struggle with using a punchdown tool for an outlet behind a desk. There’s no need for modular plugs when you’re making patch cords. The REVConnect Universal Termination Tool covers the entire termination process, including cable prep.

An interesting side note about this installation tool: Many installers have commented on its size. Other termination tools or compression instruments are very small (and just one of several tools that must be carried in a toolbelt, in a toolbag or in pockets). On the surface, this seems like a good characteristic – but we’ve heard firsthand about how easy it is to lose or break them.

By design, our tool is a little larger so it’s easier to hold, find and store vs. managing several individual tools.

Problem No. 3: We spend too much time on rework (or fixing mistakes).

Rework can be caused by product failure or simple human error. In fact, we found that nearly 5% of Category 6A jacks and plugs need some level of rework after the first termination, whether that rework involves re-punching a failing jack’s conductor or cutting off a module and starting over with a new one.

Recently, a rushed contractor accidentally installed Category 6A jack bodies on all 60 Category 6 jacks. In a traditional installation, each connector would need to be cut off and redone. Not only would this be a waste of materials, but it would also lead to more labor time. Luckily, REVConnect made the fix fast and easy. A new box of jacks was delivered to the jobsite; every outlet was quickly replaced without slowing the project down or needing to alert the end-user about a potential issue.
REVConnect reduces rework with a first pass yield of 99% for better termination reliability. The core makes this possible, with eight gold-plated contacts that pierce the wire insulation. Contact with the copper is made inside the conductor.

When first terminated, the connection can be tested to make sure the cable performs and no installation mistakes have been made. The cable can be pushed back into the wall so finishing contractors can come through. Once their work is done, the jack or plug body and faceplate can go on. (REVConnect’s unique core and cap lets installers finish 95% of the termination without needing to know whether a jack, plug or coupler will be used.)

If an error arises during final system testing, then you’ll know that something must’ve impacted the cabling and connectivity during the final phases of construction (instead of wondering when and how the problem occurred). This helps reduce troubleshooting and leads to faster problem-solving.

Problem No. 4: We spend lots of time returning to jobsites for simple projects.

End-users can become frustrated when they have to repeatedly call contractors back for small projects. (Installers sometimes get frustrated, too, when they spend days responding to small service calls.)

A K-12 school building serves as a good example. A school board director shared with us that the jacks in his school were being damaged when students stuck gum or erasers inside. Every time this happened, he had to call in a contractor to fix it: buying a new connector and covering labor costs to make the swap.

Because the ends of a REVConnect solution are interchangeable, end-users can keep components on hand and make these changes themselves once someone on the tech or IT team is trained to do so. They simply pop the connector off, remove it, and replace it. This not only comes in handy when damaged components need to be replaced, but also when simple moves, adds and changes need to occur.

Learn more about REVConnect systems

Did you know? Belden has now revolutionized all of its structured cabling systems, taking REVConnect beyond connectivity!

Each REVConnect System includes end-to-end cable and connectivity to meet the needs of demanding applications today, tomorrow and beyond. They provide best-in-class performance guarantees across all category levels. This approach also makes it easier for integrators to quickly identify the cabling and connectivity solutions they need to support their specific application: PoE, in-building wireless, noisy environments, smart buildings, data centers and much more.

Daniel Charles is one of Belden’s global product managers for copper connectivity. In this role, he introduces functional, innovative and time-saving connectivity solutions that meet customers’ bandwidth and budget requirements. Daniel graduated from HEC Montréal in 2011 with a degree in operations management and international business.


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