Gail Leach Carvelli
Cable tray systems, which Article 318 of the National Electrical Code defines as support systems for cables and raceways, have increased in popularity because they provide easier access and greater adaptability than other methods of cable support. This increased interest has resulted in an array of system components and the need to monitor the continuing evolution of these systems.
An organization that strives to keep installers informed about this changing subsector of the cabling industry is the Cable Tray Institute (CTI, Raleigh, NC). Founded in 1991, the institute supports both cable-tray manufacturers and users by providing up-to-date information and research.
"By engaging in research, development, education and the dissemination of information, the institute enhances and increases the visibility of the industry," says Mike Borden, CTI`s executive director. "We do that by focusing on three areas--our technical assistance program, Cablegram newsletter and marketing program."
The technical assistance program is divided into four areas that target different aspects of technical support:
- Technical Director--provides cable tray expertise to organizations seeking qualified assistance on projects.
- CTI Technical Bulletin--reports on industry topics and issues. Published approximately eight times per year, the bulletin is distributed free of charge. It has covered topics such as thermal contraction and expansion of cable trays, precautions needed in using cable tray covers outdoors, and cable tray selection.
- Technical Advisory Council--the institute is currently establishing a group to serve as an information source for the board of directors.
- Installation Guidelines--cover the proper installation of aluminum and steel cable tray systems. The publication is free of charge.
Borden says that since its introduction, the quarterly newsletter, Cablegram, has been well received in the industry. A recent issue, for example, covered changes in Article 318 of the 1996 National Electrical Code.
The institute is also working on strengthening its marketing program. "We are continuing to invest in an aggressive plan to promote the benefits of cable tray use to our members and to tout the significant growth of this area in the industry," adds Borden.
To learn more about the Cable Tray Institute, or to order literature, call (800) 883-8883.