Berk-Tek unveils 1500-ft. UTP copper cabling package option; substantially cuts scrap

Dubbed 'smartPAK', the larger, heavy-duty packaging option allows for more runs out of one box of cable, substantially cutting scrap.

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At the recent 2013 BICSI Winter Conference and exhibition, copper and fiber-optic cabling technology specialist Berk-Tek unveiled its new 1500-foot copper cabling package option. Dubbed 'smartPAK', the larger, more heavy-duty packaging option allows for more runs out of one box of cable, while substantially cutting scrap, contends the company.

"SmartPAK was developed after listening closely to very strong feedback from many of our contractors, who asked for a solution that could take into account today's realistic field lengths," explained Brian Simmons, Berk-Tek's copper product manager, who personally met with many contractors across the U.S. on the subject of waste reduction on the job site. Simmons added, "As a result, the smartPAK 1500-ft option provides more cable pulls per box, less scrap, fewer box change-overs, reduced cardboard waste -- and saves space at the job site."

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Berk-Tek's reckoning on this subject is as follows: A standard 1000-ft. box of UTP cable allows for three (3) 300-ft. pulls -- the maximum length allowed by the TIA-568-C standards -- leaving 100 feet, or 10%, as leftover scrap. However, since the "typical" UTP cabling run is half that distance, which equals six (6) 150-ft. runs per box, the total amount of scrap remains the same, at 100 feet. By providing 1500 feet of cabling as opposed to 1000', the smartPAK package allows for multiple lengths of either 300' or 150', with no scrap.

Because the smartPAK contains 50% more cable, the box's construction is enhanced with additional reinforced, multi-layer corrugated cardboard for added strength. The new box design reduces carton sagging and improves stacking; although there is more cardboard per box, fewer boxes are needed on the job site, which may equate to a 10-15% reduction in cardboard waste, versus the standard 1000-ft. box option, while saving space and reducing box changeovers. In addition, the smartPAK packaging features thumbholes at the top edge of the box, for a better grip.

The smartPAK cabling box is set to begin shipping to distributors in February, and will comprise all four of Berk-Tek's core UTP cabling products, in both plenum and riser versions, including the LANmark-1000 enhanced Cat 6 and LANmark-6 standard Cat 6 cabling, as well as the LANmark-350 enhanced Cat 5e and Hyper Plus 5e standard Cat 5e cabling. All boxes have the same dimensions.

At the 2013 BICSI Winter Show in Tampa, FL, the smartPAK box was provided to installer contestants for use in the annual Cabling Skills Challenge, for which Berk-Tek was a "Mega Sponsor."

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