The faster technology changes, the harder you have to work to keep up. And the more architects, engineers, and contractors have to learn about building structures that meet both current and future requirements for a building’s electrical distribution system.
The pressure to get the job done on time and on budget has never been greater. Every day, every hour, and every minute counts when you’re on the job — especially on those big projects for hospitals and clinics, schools and colleges, hotels, apartment buildings, museums, hotels, office buildings, and other commercial buildings.
Enter: Modular Wiring
Part of our rapidly advancing technology is our mobile devices, and how we charge them. Our growing need for power will require changes to our electrical wiring devices. No one knows what the next evolution of standard receptacles and USB outlets will look like, or how to design and build structures that will meet both current and future demands.
So, to adapt to these ever-changing needs, facilities are implementing modular wiring systems. These systems utilize a wiring module and a modular device, such as a receptacle, switch or occupancy sensor. Installation takes only two steps: connecting the module to the building’s wiring, and then connecting the device to the module. All modular wiring systems follow this concept, but connection styles vary by manufacturer.
Benefits of Modular Wiring Systems
Modular wiring systems were originally developed to allow installers to power circuits for testing prior to finishing the interior drywall, thus avoiding spackle or paint to impair the installed devices. They also addressed electrician labor shortages because they were so simply and uniquely designed, apprentices could install them. As a result, modularl wiring system offer many benefits over traditional wiring systems.
More Efficient Installations
Because it’s so simple to connect a module to a paired device, modular wiring systems streamline installation. Whether it’s a twist-and lock, snap-in, or a push-in connection, it’s much quicker to install than conventional sidewiring methods — up to 3x faster depending on the manufacturer. Further, each device termination requires the same, simple connection, eliminating the potential of under- or over-tightening terminal screws.
Time, Labor, and Total Project Cost Savings
Facilities like hospitals and colleges also benefit from time savings due to streamlined installation, saving labor and reducing costs as installers can minimize down time on-site. End-users also save because the potential for post-installation trouble-shooting is reduced.
Many manufacturers of modular wiring systems offer online calculators to help users determine overall cost and labor savings on a project. These calculators analyze the cost of the devices, the quantity of devices, the installation speed (devices per hour), and labor rates of modular wiring and then compare these numbers to traditional wiring to determine the overall cost and time savings.
Facilities can better “future-proof” their electrical distribution systems as modular wiring enables them to react quickly to changing demands for electrical wiring devices.
Whether you want to update devices to reflect the latest trend or comply with a new code or requirement, swap outswith modular wiring systems are also very quick and easy. Simply disconnect the old device from the module and attach the new one — usually up to 5x faster than traditional wiring with the twist-and-lock connection style.
Modular wiring systems provide the flexibility to institute the most up-to-date features and benefits that users demand.
Safety and Functionality
Because the module connected to the building wiring is secured within a wall recess, and the device is attached to the module, it’s safe enough for a professional to swap a device with the power on. This is extremely beneficial in facilities where the power must remain on at all times like hospitals, airports, and hospitality facilities.
Modular wiring systems are suitable for a wide range of environments, including new construction, commercial applications, health care facilities, educational facilities, hospitality, airports, and even residential dwellings.
Whether your goal is to increase productivity, reduce costs, or improve safety, modular wiring systems are emerging as an increasingly popular option for electrical wiring systems. With a future-proof electrical distribution system, facilities can respond immediately to changes in technology, meeting both current and future demands for electrical wiring devices.
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