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New cabling for ‘digital office ceilings’

Cameras, alarms, temperature and motion sensors or WLAN antennas on the ceiling could be integrated in the IoT in the same way

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R&M wants to integrate ceiling infrastructure into local data networks
R&M wants to integrate ceiling infrastructure into local data networks

R&M has introduced cabling for digital office ceilings which aims to integrate the ceiling infrastructure into local data networks and take the industry a step closer to smart IP-based building management.

 

According to the Swiss developer and provider of cabling systems for network infrastructures, sensors and controls for lighting, air-conditioning and surveillance could then be networked more simply and safely with building services engineering and the Internet of Things (IoT).

 

Functions and services that in the past have been run separately could now be brought together for the first time in the data network. This would make it possible to automate office and building operations. Energy-saving, smart LED ceiling lights are already available on the market featuring intelligent sensors and a data network connection.

 

R&M said it is supporting the combination of data connection and power supply for LED lighting with low amounts of cabling. The LED lights are fed with power via the data cable – referred to as Power over Ethernet (PoE) – and at the same time obtain their own IP address in the LAN.

 

Surveillance cameras, smoke alarms, temperature and motion sensors or WLAN antennas on the ceiling could be integrated in the IoT in the same way.

 

“These are fascinating new possibilities. But things are not yet working out quite so easily in the field due to the frequent lack of appropriate cabling and a solution for the power supply of end devices on the ceiling,” said Matthias Gerber, market manager LAN Cabling at R&M.

 

“This is why R&M has developed special digital ceiling solutions for office buildings based on tried-and-tested cabling systems.”

 

The U-Box is the core of these solutions, said R&M. The multifunctional, flat distributor housing can provide up to 24 data network or PoE connections. “But PoE will not be enough in the digital ceiling. High-power end devices, such as digital ceiling switches, that need greater power are coming onto the market. And that changes the requirements fundamentally,” added Gerber.

 

“In the future we are going to be needing an adequate 230-Volt power supply as well as structured LAN cabling in the ceiling. In such cases, ceilings can be accessed with the U-Box as it can accommodate not only the LAN connections but also the connections for the 230V power supply.”

 

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