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Cable Management - The Design Engineer's Application Guide

clock 5 minutes | 03 Apr 2020

Cable Management - Design Engineer's Guide Header

How to improve cable management in your design for specific projects?

Cable failures or malfunctions are often the cause of machine downtime, which can have a direct effect on productivity and efficient operations.
Check out below five factors you should consider when selecting the right cable management for your design.

  1. The importance of cable management
    There are two main functions of cable management solutions; to ensure the protection of cables in application and to guide cables through entry points. To maximise operational time of your application and minimise expensive repairs you should look to protect your cables from direct damage. Perfect solutions to protect cables include conduit, cable wrap, strain relief bushings and junction boxes. However, when looking to guide and manage multiple cables you can employ different solutions such as cable ties, cable clips, cable wraps, grommets and cable glands. These will help to strategically route cables around your application.

    We can help you take on the challenges you face with an extensive range of fibre and cable management solutions, designed to make your application come to life and last longer. From adhesive cable clamps and cable duct to sleeve insulators and releasable cable ties, we’re here to help. You can also learn more in our guide How to Protect Cables and from our Wire and Cable Management video.Click on the product names below to find out more, to order free samples and download CAD drawings.
  2. Understanding the cable management installation requirements
    • Panel thickness
    • Hole diameter for securing clips and mounts
    • Surface you will be mounting on – some adhesives will fail on certain surfaces
  3. Installation requirements are affected by a number of variables such as available space, environmental conditions and mounting limitations of the application. The most important installation factor is usually mounting. When looking to guide cables through an intricate cabinet or machine, having space to mount cable management solutions is essential. Key points to consider:
  4. Consider the lifespan of your cable management solution
  5. Some cable management solutions may be for a temporary or semi-permanent timeframe, whereas others are intended for use as a permanent solution. If you are looking for permanent cable management then think back to environmental factors such as heat. If you are using a permanent adhesive cable mount then heat will potentially affect the product’s lifespan. You may want to consider opting for a fitting method that is not adhesive based that can clip onto your application. However, an adhesive based solution would be perfect when looking for temporary cable management.
  6. Understanding cable management colour conformity
  7. Many cable management solutions allow the user to easily identify the function of the cable by the colour used to manage the cable in hand. Think about whether this there is a current industry or business standard that needs to be adhered to. Your business may have its own system for identification, for example an ATEX cable gland could be used to signify the voltage in an electrical box. You could also use different colours of cable tie or heat shrink tubing to classify cables that go to different machines or carry out differing functions. Being able to easily identify cables can speed up repairs and help to maintain efficient operations.
  8. The environment of your cable management system
  9. The environment plays a crucial role when selecting the correct cable management solution. Splitting environmental factors into physical and non-physical is an easy way to outline potential considerations. Non-physical considerations include solids, liquids and heat, which can be identified through an IP (Ingress Protection) rating. Physical considerations include more direct hazards such as abrasion and kinking of your cables. In moving applications you are likely to encounter further physical risks, so consider using a management product that both protects and guides moving cables such as grommets and conduit. What protection do you need? Here are some frequently referenced IP Ratings.
IP Rating table infographic
Cable management solutions used in electronics and customer appliances

Consumer electronics & appliances

Our high-quality components are cable management essentials in white goods, computers, televisions and office equipment.

While aesthetics matter to the consumer market, cabling solutions also need to be easy to install for efficient production.

If you’re looking for cable management ideas, choose from our suggestions below to enhance your design:

Quick fit grommets

Quick fit grommets

  • Quick fit grommet snaps neatly and easily into place
  • Silicone rubber cable grommet that stands up to wide range of temperatures

Learn more about protecting your cables in our article Why Should my Business Use Grommets?

Wide range of options and dimensions available.

Examples of grommet dimensions:

Compatible Hole Diameter Panel Thickness Inside Diameter
11.0 mm 5.7 mm 11.0 mm
18.0 mm 1.5 mm 14.0 mm
20.0 mm 2.0 mm 16.0 mm
26.0 mm 3.0 mm 22.0 mm
28.0 mm 1.5 mm 24.0 mm
Cupped base cable tie holders

Cupped base cable tie holders

  • Arrowhead cable tie mounts provide secure fastening piece into panel hole for cable tie to be passed through
  • Cupped base provides extra stability
  • Nylon 6/6
  • Rated UL94 V-2

Wide range of options and dimensions available.

Examples of cable tie holder dimensions:

Compatible Cable Tie Width Range Minimum Panel Thickness Overall Length Overall Width
2.5 mm 0.8 mm 13.8 mm 7.1 mm
2.5 - 4.8 mm 1.2 mm 15.9 mm 7.1 mm
2.5 mm 0.8 mm 14.2 mm 7.1 mm
2.5 - 4.8 mm 1.2 mm 15.9 mm 7.1 mm
5 - 9.4 mm 96.5 mm 147.3 mm 198.1 mm
Mounting Cable Tie Push-Fit Releasable

Mounting Cable Tie Push-Fit Releasable

  • Also known as arrowhead cable ties, combining cable tie, mount and fastener in a single part
  • Push-in cable tie snaps into pre-drilled hole
  • Performs as a releasable cable tie
  • Nylon cable tie, 6/6, mount and fastener
  • Also available as nylon heat-stabilised cable ties
  • Rated UL94 V-2

Wide range of options and dimensions available.

Examples of mounting cable tie dimensions:

Compatible Hole Diameter Cable Bundle Diameter Range Minimum Loop Tensile Strength
4.8 mm 40.0 mm 40.0 kg
4.8 mm 50.0 mm 40.0 kg
4.8 mm 50.0 mm 50.0 kg
4.2 mm 36.0 mm 40.0 kg
4.6 mm 36.0 mm 40.0 kg

You also might find our Guide to Cable Ties helpful.

Cable management solutions used in server rooms and data cabinets

Data cabinets

Our components keep cables out of the way in rack enclosure cabinets and server rooms, protecting against abrasions and impact damage, and safeguarding staff from tripping hazards or the risk of electrical shock.

Organise your cables and make them easy to access. With our floor cable management solutions keeping cables safely out of the way, you can also prevent accidents and the loss of data.

Discover our solutions that ensure your cable management safety:

Twist ties with snap mount, 45˚

Twist ties with snap mount, 45˚

  • Twist ties with 45˚ angle – also available with side entry
  • Ideal for applications with limited space
  • Plastic twist ties – nylon 6/6
  • Rated UL94 V-2

Examples of twist tie dimensions:

Base Width Compatible Cable Diameter Range Material Flammability Standard
15 mm 7.6 - 10.2 mm UL94 V-2
15 mm 10.2 - 11.9 mm UL94 V-2

Learn more about these solutions in our Guide to Twist Ties.

Snap fit cable bushing

Snap fit cable bushing

  • Snap-fit bushings protect wires and cables from sharp edges on metal panels
  • Push-in design enables bushing to be easily assembled into holes already containing a bundle
  • Nylon 6/6
  • Rated UL94 V-2
  • Operating temperature range: -40˚C to 85˚C (-40˚F to 185˚F)

Wide range of options and dimensions available.

Examples of cable bushing dimensions:

Approximate Cable Holding Diameter Compatible Hole Diameter Maximum Panel Thickness
6.6 mm 9.5 mm 1.7 mm
7.9 mm 11.1 mm 3.2 mm
10.5 mm 16.0 mm 3.5 mm
14.3 mm 19.0 mm 1.5 mm
26.6 mm 31.8 mm 3.2 mm

Learn more in our Guide to Cable Strain Relief and Protection.

Spiral Cable Wrap

Spiral Cable Wrap

  • Spiral cable wrap
  • Ideal for protecting and securing cables
  • Lightweight and cost effective
  • Flexible cable wrap available in polyethylene
  • Also available in UL94 HB Nylon

Wide range of options and dimensions available.

Examples of spiral cable wrap dimensions:

Minimum Compatible Cable Diameter Maximum Compatible Cable Diameter
7.0 mm 10.0 mm
4.0 mm 20.0 mm
16.0 mm 22.0 mm
12.0 mm 50.0 mm
15.0 mm 80.0 mm

Learn more with our Guide to Spiral Wrap.

Cable management solutions used in outdoor enclosures

Outdoor enclosures

Discover our solutions that help keep your cables organised in outdoor telecom equipment cabinets, generators and HVAC applications.

Your cabinet cable management will benefit from weather-proof solutions with guaranteed ingress protection – just what your outdoor enclosure needs to protect your cables and prevent costly repairs.

Cable management examples to protect your application’s cabling and wiring:

IP67 Sealing Grommets

IP67 Sealing Grommets

  • IP67 sealing grommet provides dust and watertight seal
  • Ideal for external applications
  • Withstands vibrations
  • Rubber cable grommet – EPDM

Wide range of options and dimensions available.

Examples of sealing grommet dimensions:

Minimum Panel Thickness Minimum Compatible Cable Diameter
0.5 mm 3.0 mm
0.5 mm 4.0 mm
1.0 mm 5.0 mm
1.0 mm 15.0 mm
Cable Gland – Brass

Cable Gland – Brass

  • Strain relief cable gland
  • Cable gland, also known as a cord grip, ATEX Explosion Protection
  • Nickel Plated Brass
  • Locknuts and sealing washer available separately
  • Operating temperature range: -40˚C to 75˚C (-40˚F to 167˚F)

Wide range of options and dimensions available.

Examples of cable gland dimensions:

Maximum Compatible Cable Diameter Minimum Compatible Cable Diameter Mounting Thread Length
8.0 mm 4.0 mm 7.0 mm
10.0 mm 5.0 mm 7.0 mm
18.0 mm 13.0 mm 8.0 mm
32.0 mm 22.0 mm 10.5 mm
14.0 mm 10.0 mm 6.5 mm

You can learn more in A Guide to Cable Glands.

Weather resistant cable ties

Weather resistant cable ties

  • Tough weather resistant cable ties
  • UV-resistant, for outdoor use
  • Non-Releasable
  • Black nylon 6/6 cable ties, rated UL94 V-2

Wide range of options and dimensions available.

Examples of weather-resistant cable tie dimensions:

Maximum Cable Bundle Diameter Overall Length Minimum Loop Tensile Strength lbs/kg
18.0 mm 75.0 mm 18/8 lbs/kg
44.0 mm 165.0 mm 18/8 lbs/kg
85.0 mm 292.0 mm 40/18 lbs/kg
102.0 mm 368.0 mm 50/22 lbs/kg
125.0 mm 432.0 mm 50/22 lbs/kg

You also might find our Guide to Cable Ties helpful.

Cable Management solutions used in the Automotive industry

Automotive

The perfect solutions for keeping automotive electrical wires bundled and protected from hot components and sharp edges. To learn how our high-quality components ensure a successful cable management in the automotive industry, visit our article Cable management solutions for automotive cables and wires.

Keep your design’s cables safe and secure with:

Standard cable ties, heat stabilised

Standard cable ties, heat stabilised

  • Heat stabilised nylon 6/6 cable ties
  • Cost effective, strong and flame retardant
  • Non-Releasable
  • Black nylon 6/6 cable ties, rated UL94 V-2

Wide range of options and dimensions available.

Examples of heat-stabilised cable tie dimensions:

Maximum Cable Bundle Diameter Overall Length Minimum Loop Tensile Strength (kg)
21 mm 98 mm 8.0
35 mm 140 mm 13.0
50 mm 200 mm 13.0
79 mm 290 mm 22.4
100 mm 365 mm 55.0
Cable clamp

Cable clamp

  • Screw mount cable clamp
  • P-clip cable clamp with vinyl coating protects against vibrations
  • Aluminium Alloy 5052 H-32 & TPV
  • Rated UL94 V-2
  • Operating temperature range: 0˚C to 50˚C (32˚F to 122˚F)

Wide range of options and dimensions available.

Examples of cable clamp dimensions:

Hole Diameter Maximum Compatible Cable Diameter
5.2 mm 3.2 mm
5.2 mm 14.3 mm
5.2 mm 25.4 mm
5.2 mm 31.8 mm
5.2 mm 44.5 mm

Our guide How to Choose the Right Cable Clamp can also help.

Standard Grommets

Standard Grommets

  • Protect wires against sharp edges of unfinished sheet metal
  • Quick fit grommet – snap-in design for fast, easy installation
  • Rubber cable grommet available in:
  • Thermoplastic rubber: resistant to most oils and greases; operating temperature range: -40˚C to 135˚C (-40˚F to 275˚F)
  • EPDM: heat resistant, for use in extreme temperature environments; operating temperature range: 40˚C to 125˚C (-40˚F to 257˚F)
  • Plastic cable grommet available in:
  • Black PVC: resistant to ozone, acids and sunlight; maximum operating temperature: 55˚C (95˚F)

Wide range of options and dimensions available.

Examples of standard grommet dimensions:

Compatible Hole Diameter Panel Thickness Inside Diameter
9.5 mm 2.4 mm 6.4 mm
10.9 mm 1.6 mm 8.0 mm
4.8 mm 1.6 mm 3.2 mm
12.5 mm 1.6 mm 4.0 mm
12.5 mm 1.6 mm 9.5 mm

Read more in our article Why should my business use grommets?

Download free CADs and try before you buy

Free CADs are available for most solutions to download. You can also request free samples to ensure the solutions you’ve chosen are exactly what you need. If you’re not quite sure which product will work best for your application, our experts are always happy to advise you.

Whatever your requirements, you can depend on fast despatch.

Request your free samples or download free CADs now.

Questions?

Email us at sales@essentracomponents.co.uk or speak to one of our experts for further information on the ideal solution for your application 0345 528 0474.

Cable Management Design Engineer's Guide PDF Download
Making Cable Management Easier - The Buyer's Guide