2017 Cabling Innovators Awards presented to record number of recipients

Nov. 20, 2017
At the BICSI Fall Conference in Las Vegas, 45 Cabling Innovators Awards were distributed to companies that demonstrated ingenuity in cabling product and system design, installation and administration.
Silver, Gold and Platinum level Cabling Innovators Awards honored innovation in product development and use as well as project implementation.

By Patrick McLaughlin

The third annual Cabling Innovators Awards presentation ceremony was held Monday, September 25, 2017 as part of the BICSI Fall Conference and Exhibition. In total 45 awards were distributed. The program was initiated in 2015 to recognize innovative products and systems as well as their uses and applications. The Cabling Innovators Awards program is intended to recognize ingenuity and innovation where it is found in the value chain of cabling-system design, installation andadministration.

Participants in the program were invited to self-nominate their products, technologies, systems, programs or projects. A judging panel comprising industry professionals screened the entries and determined their level of innovation.

Cabling Installation & Maintenance’s publisher Alan Bergstein commented, “Our 2017 honorees are an outstanding example of companies who are making an impact in the industry.”

Honorees earned a silver award if their entry demonstrated that their innovation represented marked improvement over previous methods, approaches, or product and system use. Similarly, honorees earning a gold award demonstrated excellent innovation with clear benefits, making substantial improvement over previous methods, approaches, or use. And platinum-level honorees showed a level of innovation that the judging panel characterized asgroundbreaking.

Following are brief descriptions of the products, systems, and projects that were honored at each level.


Honorees recognized at the Silver level demonstrated that their innovation has resulted in marked improvement over previous methods, approaches, or product system and use.

AFL’s Wrapping Tube Cable with SpiderWeb Ribbons. The cable is an ultra-high-density outside plant cable designed specifically for fiber-to-the-home or access markets. It’s compliant with Telcordia GR-20, the latest issue of the OSP cable standard. With an ultra-high-density and new ribbon technology called SpiderWeb Ribbon, it is available in fiber counts from 144 to 1,728. The cable is available in dielectric or double jacket single armor.

Belden’s FiberExpress Enterprise Closet Patch Panel System. Described as elegant, intuitive and flexible, the solution has been designed to maximize installer flexibility compared to other available solutions. FX ECX, as it is called, has been optimized for LAN environments and provides an easy-to-deploy solution for installers.

SnakeBit hollow shaft drill bits from Budco. Manufactured by SnakeBit Drill and available through Budco, these bits are a go-to tool for telecommunications and electrical installers. They eliminate the need to fish wires backwards through walls. Installers snake wires through the hollow shank.

CommScope’s High Speed Migration Platform. Provides the agility, speed and density needed while keeping infrastructure efficient and manageable on the path to higher speeds. Designed with modular building blocks, the platform provides a long-term strategy for supporting higher speeds and emerging applications, without having to rip and replace.

D-Tools’ System Integrator 2017. SI 2017 ties estimation, system design, and project management into a single, data-driven, connected process that reduces time, eliminates errors and produces bottom-line results. It adds powerful business intelligence and visual reporting that enable business owners and management to understand and better perform key functions of an integrator’s business—estimation, system design, and project management.

EXFO’s Automated Multifiber Inspection Solution. With the FIP-435B and the long-reaching, slim FIPT-400-MF Automated Multifiber Connector Inspection Tip, nothing stops field crews from following fiber testing best practices and eliminating faulty connector issues that impact a network’s performance, EXFO says. The solution allows technicians to quickly inspect multifiber connectors in dual- and single-row setups, without missing fibers or having to deal with the hassle of manipulating one or more scanning knobs.

Fluke Networks’ DSX-8000 CableAnalyzer. The first field tester independently verified and manufacturer-endorsed to meet all the requirements for the Category 8 field testing standard. It incorporates the first 8P8C modular connector permanent link and channel adapters with full 2-GHz range, allowing field certification of Category 5 through Category 8 and ISO/IEC Class C through Class FA and I/II. It offers an 8-second Category 6A certification.

GHMT AG’s adapter that tests up to 2.5 GHz. Higher data rates and their corresponding higher transmission frequencies challenge measurement technology, according to the evaluation of these high-frequency systems. Initial standard values for the radio-frequency (RF) and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) parameters currently being discussed in international standards-development bodies, define the evaluation up to 2 GHz. This measuring adapter for RF and EMC characteristics reaches 25 percent beyond that limit, to 2.5 GHz.

Major Custom Cable’s MTP cables. These MTP cables won’t break, Major Custom Cable says, but rather will survive the rigors of any challenging project where they’re needed. The patch-cord solution works with traditional hardware with QSFP ports, or can be custom-designed into a channel.

Milliken Infrastructure Solutions’ Vis Divide is designed to maximize conduit capacity and result in lower total cost for system owners. It is a segmented HDPE communication conduit that features divider fabric embedded into the conduit walls, which creates dedicated pathways, thereby maximizing available space and simplifying installation.

Panduit’s HD Flex 2.0 Fiber Cabling System. The solution is designed for ease of integration with existing fiber infrastructure by accommodating fiber cassettes and fiber adapter panels with different port counts within the same innovative enclosure and panel. 6- or 12-port cassettes and fiber adapter panels can be deployed in virtually any combination to achieve up to 144 fibers (LC) or 864 fibers (MPO) per rack unit. The solution enables seamless port migration from 10G to 25/40/50/100G in the same RU space without replacing existing fibers.

Prysmian Group’s FlexTube Cable. This alternative to loose tube cable improves midspan access applications in several ways. It uses flexible fiber modules instead of buffer tubes; the FlexTube modules can be quickly opened by hand without special tools. Each module is only 1.3 mm in diameter, and won’t kink or cause attenuation increases when stored at low temperatures. This makes midspan access quicker and safer, while allowing high fiber counts to be stored in smaller closures.

Siemon’s ConvergeIT. This unified intelligent building concept builds a better future by changing the way professionals design and build. Siemon explains it brings together the company’s quality, innovation and expertise with advanced cabling and connectivity technology and digital building systems, to create highly efficient, sustainable and cost-effective converged cabling infrastructures for intelligent buildings.

Siemon’s V-Built Preconfigured Solutions. Part of the company’s WheelHouse Advanced Data Center Solutions, V-Built Custom Preconfigured Solutions are available with VersaPOD, V800, and V600 cabinets, as well as four-post racks and wall-mount cabinets. The preconfigured solutions come preloaded with Siemon components and are identified by one customer-specific part number and price—making them ideal for a data center or network infrastructure seeking consistency across rows, locations or spaces.

Southwire Tools and Equipment’s M300P Professional VDV Cable Mapper. The Mapper quickly tests voice, data and video cabling for common wiring faults including split pairs. The rugged double-molded housing with silicone port covers and easy-to-read backlit LCD screen make the M300P rugged and easy to use.

Tripp Lite’s AC Charting Cart for Chromebooks. The CSC36AC 36-device AC charging cart provides efficient charging and secure storage for dozens of Chromebooks and laptops while offering multipurpose features for K-12 environments. Automatic dual-zone charging supports higher wattages without overloads, and key-locking front and rear compartments deter theft.

Viavi Solutions’ CERTiFi. This cloud-based solution is for teams who design, build, test, and certify the structured cabling in enterprise networks. Powered by the Viavi Solutions StrataSync platform, CERTiFi empowers every team member with the information needed to complete tasks accurately and on time.

Vision Technologies’ integrated technology delivery of a passive optical network. Specializing in design-build technology systems, Vision Technologies Inc. provides the Integrated Technology Delivery (ITD) methodology, which significantly reduces change orders and accelerates projects through effective collaboration and design—saving end-user organizations time and money.

Wirewerks’ NextSTEP Technology. NextSTEP Technology is a high-density fiber management solution consisting of two NextSTEP rack-mount patch panels, six NextSTEP common-form-factor fiber modules, and the exclusive NextSTEP CableTree cable management accessory. From this menu of elements, network managers can custom configure and deploy a feature-rich, cost-effective NextSTEP solution for virtually any passive optical fiber application.


Organizations were honored with Gold level awards by demonstrating an innovation that is considered excellent, and whose benefits are clear, making a substantial improvement over previous methods employed, approaches taken, or products and systems used.

AFC Cable Systems’ MC Luminary Multizone. This cable can replace up to three traditional luminary cables or three power and three control cables. It is designed specifically for use in daylight-harvesting applications and complies with the non-residential indoor lighting requirements of the California Title 24 Energy Efficient Standards.

AFL’s ROGUE OTDR with aeRos Workflow Management. The ROGUE OTDR modules plug into ROGUE modular mainframes and integrate with AFL’s aeRos cloud-based Workflow Management system. Significant time and cost savings are achieved when a ROGUE OTDR is used with aeRos. The aeRos browser software allows network project managers to create a project, define fiber groups to be tested, specify common characteristics, identify the number of connections in each fiber, and configure OTDR, OLTS/ORL, and/or connector inspection test setups.

AFL’s FOCIS Flex2 Fiber Inspection System. AFL bills FOCIS Flex 2 as the world’s smallest, fastest self-contained fiber connector inspection probe. Its ultrafast auto-focusing system auto-centers, captures and analyzes the optical fiber endface, displaying pass/fail results on the built-in screen with a single button push.

Belden’s 4K Ultra-High-Definition Media Cable. Designed specifically for optimal performance in 4K HDBase-T transmission, the 2183P and 2183R cables from Belden are shielded and deliver 4K content over 100 meters in a unique, small, sleek design.

Clearfield’s FieldShield YOURx Platform. A next-generation hardened optical fiber terminal, test access point, and drop cable options join the FieldShield fiber protection system. The YOURx enclosures are designed to ensure every service provider has the freedom of choice to match drop cable technology with the needs of their environment and first-cost priorities.

Comtran Cable’s VITALink CI Free Air Cables. Classified as both CI and CIC, the cable can be used with or without conduit, making VITALink extremely versatile. The conduit-free solution is particularly beneficial in riser and horizontal installations, and no conduit equals no fill restrictions. All cables in the line are wet-rated and sunlight-resistant, requiring no special tools, termination kits or training.

Corning Optical Communications’ ALTOS binderless FastAccess technology. This technology enables up to 70 percent faster cable access and reduced risk of buffer tube damage compared to traditional methods. The all-dielectric gel-free cable is designed for outdoor and limited indoor use for lashed aerial and duct installations.

Corning Optical Communications’ EDGE8 solutions. EDGE preterminated solutions address density, network uptime, speed, simplicity, and a clear migration path to meet future requirements. EDGE8 was inspired by the optical technology roadmap, which clearly indicates that transmission speeds ranging from 10 to 400G will be based on either 2- or 8-fiber connectivity solutions. The Base-8 design ensures 100-percent fiber utilization.

Corning Optical Communications’ ALTOS Lite with FastAccess technology. These armored, gel-free cables are designed for outdoor direct-buried installations, enabling up to 60 percent faster cable access and reduced risk of buffer tube damage compared to traditional methods. FastAccess technology, combined with a protective thin film around the cable core, simplifies removal of the cable jacket and buffer tube access.

DINTEK Electronic Ltd.’s TechBench. With TechBench, the installer mounts the bench on the front of the cabinet, thereby requiring less excess cabling. Once the termination is completed, the installer can simply remove the TechBench down to a new location in the cabinet to continue terminations at other panels.

Panduit and Frontera Consulting’s Mission CEED project. The Center for Education and Economic Development (CEED) is a dynamic co-working facility in the City of Mission, TX, managed by the Mission Economic Development Corporation. CEED’s cabling infrastructure not only enables the technology in the building to serve its occupants, but also to serve as a teaching tool for the program. To support that learning, the cabling infrastructure was left exposed through much of the facility.

Panduit’s Angled Termination Solution. The new 45-degree angled wire cap is a simple idea that delivers a significant impact. The angled wire cap helps improve cable routing in confined spaces like modular furniture, raceway, and wall outlets with conduit. The wire caps meet channel and component performance requirements when used with any Panduit UTP TG-style jack body, and are available in Category 5e, 6, and 6A performance levels.

Patchbox. The namesake product of Patchbox GmbH revolutionizes patching and cable management in network cabinets. The patented, fully modular system provides the user with the exact cable length needed. Its pulley system is integrated into cassettes, which allows it to automatically pull back unneeded cable length. Patchbox comes ready to install.

Siemon’s LightBow Fiber Termination System. The LightBow Termination System features a patent-pending low-cost, lightweight termination tool that is designed to dramatically reduce termination time and increase reliability. LightBow is a direct result of listening to customers, offering a single-step termination, universal LC/SC capability, and protection of the fiber endface.

Specified Technologies’ EZ-Path Retrofit Device. Designed to restore the ratings for overfilled cable sleeve penetrations, the EZ-Path Retrofit Device features a built-in fire and smoke sealing system that can attach either to the sleeve or the barrier surface. Its square shape allows cable exit or entry from multiple directions.

Superior Essex and Platformatics’ West Baden Springs Hotel project. PowerWise 1G 4PPoE cables were used in this project that re-lit the historic West Baden Springs Hotel. The cables are specifically designed to mitigate temperature buildup, offer exceptional energy efficiency and ensure performance, up to 1 Gigabit Ethernet, over the system’s lifetime. It is capable of transmitting 60 Watts of power with 97 percent power efficiency while supporting 1 Gig.

Tripp Lite’s 3-Phase Automatic Transfer Switch PDU. This PDU combines the speed of solid-state switching with the efficiency of electromechanical relay switching, to create a 3-phase rack ATS solution up to 17.3 kW. For high-density, clustered environments, this solution delivers high reliability, high efficiency and substantial cost savings while opening the door to new server design possibilities.

Viavi Solutions’ SmartClass Fiber MPOLx MPO Optical Loss Test Sets. It’s the industry’s first dedicated optical loss test set (OLTS) that can perform all the tests for a Tier 1 (Basic) certification using MPO fiber connectivity. The MPOLx provides a source and power meter that integrate essential MPO test capabilities together to ensure a fast and reliable workflow when testing and certifying network links with native MPO connectivity.


The eight honorees receiving Platinum Level Awards demonstrated superb innovation that is characterized by a groundbreaking approach to meeting a need, or a groundbreaking level of performance, efficiency, or ease of use.

CAILabs’ AROONA. AROONA is an optical solution that enables network upgrades through legacy fiber. Based on CAILabs’ light-shaping technology of Multi-Plane Light Conversion (MPLC), AROONA is installed at the end of a multimode fiber to give that fiber the same capacity as one or more singlemode fibers.

Chatsworth Products Inc.’s Motive Cable Management System. The Motive Cable Management System pioneers a new way of managing cables with an unparalleled, tool-less design. The design and the entire system provide maximum cable support and optimal airflow for Power over Ethernet applications. The system was engineered to mitigate poor cabling practices regarding cable slack, bend radii and organization.

Fluke Networks’ FI-500 FiberInspector Micro. Because your dentist doesn’t want you holding a flashlight in your teeth, Fluke Networks developed the FI-500—the first fiber video inspection probe with an integrated flashlight to make it easy for network installers to inspect fibers in today’s crowded fiber patch panels. The PortBright feature, autofocus, and large, high-contrast display make the FI-500 an essential scope for fiber technicians working in dense, low-light environments.

Ideal Networks’ Test 4 Less program. The Test 4 Less program offers an opportunity for cabling contractors, installers and technicians to reduce capital expenditure by as much as 57 percent on testing. One aspect of the program is the pay-as-you-test option, under which users purchase test credits in batches, purchasing those credits only when they are needed. The credits apply to Ideal Networks’ LanTEK III cable certifier.

Paige DataCom Solutions’ Game Changer Cable. This cable is capable of transmitting high-definition video and Power over Ethernet up to 850 feet without repeaters, and up to 4,000 feet with PoE repeaters. The cable was designed and engineered to be able to support perimeter and large-space high-def video applications, like security cameras, without the need to add intermediate equipment rooms or spaces that would be required with traditional category cables.

Panduit’s OptiCam 2 Fiber Termination Tool. The introduction of the OptiCam 2 Fiber Termination Tool revolutionized field-installable fiber terminations, Panduit says. The tool goes beyond pass/fail reading to provide an immediate calculated insertion loss for right-the-first-time terminations.

Patton Electronics’ CopperLink 1100 Series PoE Extender. Installers can use CopperLink 1101 kits to position IP-enabled cameras, phones, lighting, digital signs, traffic devices and other network devices in previously unreachable locations. This series of extender kits are available in weatherproof outdoor enclosures; they can extend 10/100 Ethernet and up to 15 Watts of 802.3af PoE up to 3,300 feet.

Rittal Corporation’s Lefdal Mine Data Center project. Opened May 10, 2017, Phase 1 of the Lefdal Mine Data Center in Norway has a cooling capacity of 45 MW. The mountain hall facility sets a new standard for the data center industry, Rittal says. The large space, combined with modular design, enables a fast time-to-market. The combination of inexpensive and renewable power leads to predictable low costs for customers.

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