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Documenting cable markings/labels.

Documenting cable markings/labels.

Documenting cable markings/labels.

(OP)
Sorry if this is a stupid question, I'm new.

At the company I work for, tracking labeling whatsoever is a relatively new practice. Up until now it's been an unsystematic mess of engineers verbally telling technicians with the help of a few Microsoft Word documents what to do.

I am looking for ways to handle cable labeling given the following circumstances.

We make systems where we provide anywhere from ten to hundreds of standard straight CAT5 cables that get labels/markings at each end. Physical marking can be done by using several MIL-STD materials/processes. Honestly, our engineers could care less how it's done as long as they don't have to be involved in it.

We typically list each cable by the mfg part number on the drawing of the sub-assembly that it belongs to, and then again on the indentured data list for an overall system. We show only a photographic image of the cable in that sub-assembly drawing in order to specify storage location. This is the only time you will ever see a visual representation of this cable. It is our policy to not create vendor item drawings for any purchased CAT5 cables. They are not, and never will be put in a drawing or re-assigned company part number. There are certain vendor items that I will not be able to change this thinking on, such as CAT5 cables or anything purchased from McMaster Carr.

This is in order to save time and produce more documents not wasting time on things they consider a waste of time to document. We only make cable drawings if they are modified in some way (not a label), incorporate into a permanent cable harness type assy, or a cable is custom made.

So if I want to specify what the cable label text should say I don't have a cable drawing to do that on because most cables won't have an individual drawing. I'm pretty sure that would be the most appropriate way to document the cable marking. BUT that is not an option.

What I do have is a cable list for each system. The list does provide cross reference back to each sub-assembly each cable comes from. My thinking is to add two "Marking" columns containing the exact words to be marked for P1/P2, make a Note to mark each cable at each end with "xyz" info specified in the table, and then refer to a standard document (that I would create) where I can specify all acceptable materials, label orientation, text size, placement etc. that is standard for all cables?

Would this be an acceptable practice? Can anyone see any issues with this or advice. Thanks.


RE: Documenting cable markings/labels.

We have used a slightly different scheme - but I will not be able to talk to our primary electrical contractor about its details until Monday.

they DO use an automatic cable-marking program that prints wrap-around stick-on labels for each wire, high volt cable, low volt cable, and instrument lead in the power plant - or the power plant modification. EACH PIECE OF COPPER ( ground, positive, and negative in a 12 volt DC, black and red and green in a 2-wire 120 vac 60 hz, etc has a different cable id number.

Every piece of copper gets its own little label printed from the laptop program and is ready to get peal-off the tape and be attached to each end of each cable.

RE: Documenting cable markings/labels.

Acceptable practice, probably yes. We tried similar but with hindsight half a$$ed it such that it became a bit problematic.

In principle though if you document it properly and it is kept relatively simple it seems entirely reasonable.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Documenting cable markings/labels.

On airplanes I see two basic schemes for wire identifiers.

bundle no - unique sequence - (color)ga
or
system code - unique sequence - (color)ga

In both cases these numbers are recorded on wire lists.
The purpose of the wire list is to give you all the info required to repair the conductor.
So there might be a list of sequence numbers for each bundle with columns for: wire sequence, type code, length, termination point 1, termination point 1 connection hardware, termination point 2, termination point 2 connection hardware.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice however, experience suggests that in practice, there is!

My posts reflect my personal views and are not in any way endorsed or approved by any organization I'm affiliated with.

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