While it is easy to take note of grand developments in technology, simple yet necessary solutions should not be overlooked. We are currently experiencing an age where it is hard to keep up with technology, with systems and solutions changing all the time.  

For those working in the electronics industry, some of the these technologies will have revolutionised the way people work – perhaps increasing productivity, making tasks easier and allowing for more accuracy.  

While latest technological advances often get a lot of press attention, it is important to not forget about the simple solutions that are also continually being improved to fit the changing demands of the market and their applications.

Cable management is a prime example of this. When it comes to ensuring installations are safe, secure and marked properly, cable management plays a crucial role. This is why looking for the latest developments is important, as it ensures those working with electronic components can choose the best quality and solutions for their needs.

Working with contractors and specifiers is the best way for manufacturers to get feedback on existing solutions, and find ways to develop them to better suit the needs of the customer.

For example, connector boxes may seem to be a simple technology that does not warrant spending a lot of time on researching and developing new ­concepts. However, as they protect wiring connections and keep them neat and tidy, their purpose is very important in safe and cost effective electrical installations.  

Connector boxes are useful in lighting installations in both domestic and light commercial projects, particularly when installing downlighter fittings and lighting.

Product design improvements

When it comes to improving products, there are a number of factors that manufacturers will tend to look at in order to make them more suitable for the customer.  These include the materials used, the ease of use, whether it can help to save time and also how improvements to the product could help to comply with legislation.

It was this latter point that HellermannTyton first considered when improving its existing connector boxes to develop the HTCB+, in particular the 17th edition wiring regulations.  

These regulations are having an increasing effect on the work of those within the electrical and electronics industry, setting out the requirements for wiring and cables.  

The regulations state: “Every electrical joint and ­connection should be of proper ­construction in regards to ­conductance, insulation, mechanical strength and protection”.      

Looking specifically at connector boxes, anecdotal evidence from ­contractors is that there is no way of clamping the cable inside the box.  This is an area of non-compliance when installing downlighters, as the cables could be strained, resulting in poor connections and increasing the risk of overheating.  

To combat this, the company has added a tight fitting, snap shut lid, that can be further secured with two screws. In addition, serrated cable grips situated on the outside of the box again ensure a secure fitting, even with smaller sized cable such as lighting flex.

Saving time is an important factor for everyone these days, and those working in the electronics industry are no exception. Again, cable management should not be overlooked as it is often these small, awkward jobs that can add time onto projects.

The company’s research found that very simple changes to connector boxes could make a huge difference to the time spent on a project.  

Traditionally, the screws in connector boxes are in place and fixed when the product is bought, so the contractor has to waste precious minutes undoing and removing them.

While this may not seem like a lot, on a large project a multiple number of boxes will be used, and the time will quickly mount up. An easy solution, which has now been implemented with the company’s connector box is to package the screws separately, ensuring they can be used as and when the box is ready to be secured.  

In addition, the connector box has been manufactured slightly wider than others on the market, enabling a four-way 15A connector strip to be fitted across the width of the box.  

Again, this may sound very straightforward, but a simple change can make all the difference to those using it.

Cable management will always be a crucial part of any electrical installation, which is why responsible manufacturers recognise that their products must meet the needs of the customer.  

Small changes can make a significant difference, which is why specifiers and buyers are advised to look at each products individual merits and advantages, particularly when it comes to complying with regulations.  

Choosing carefully can, not only help to save valuable time on jobs, but also mean the difference between complying with legislation and not fulfilling the requirements.