Ask the Experts
Q: What is required to be compliant with ANSI 606-A for wire marking?
A: Twisted and tangled cables — allowing us to electronically transport information — are a nightmare for those responsible for identifying, maintaining and installing telecom system components such as horizontal links, backbone cables, faceplates/outlets and termination hardware. Though largely invisible to the average person, in a building, these cables connect our phones, alarms, servers, computers and video images.
New Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) standards updated in 2009 make locating, repairing and upgrading these systems much easier. The ANSI/TIA/EIA-606A Administration Standard for Telecommunication — most people call it the 606A — was specifically created for technicians to improve legibility and upgrade the professional appearance of installations through proper labeling of components.
Specifically, 606A calls for labeling visibility (size, color and contrast) and durability. The standard calls for a uniform labeling format that indicates the type, location and purpose of all cables and end-points plus color coding for faster and easier identification of all elements. Labels must be moisture, heat and UV resistant, demonstrate a long-life and must be created or printed with a mechanical device as handwritten labels may be illegible.
Shrink tubes and color coded self-laminating wire wraps from industrial printer manufacturer DuraLabel provide two proven solutions to marking and identifying wires and cables. Shrink tubes provide a permanent label that tightly adheres to the wire. Handheld or desktop DuraLabel printers make it easy to create clear identifying information using text, numbers and graphics. Users slip the shrink tube over the end of a cable or wire using a heat gun to shrink the tube.
The result is a tight fitting, permanent label. There are no adhesives that might fail or tags that can get pulled off. With its thin wall, the shrink tube is pliable and can flex along with whatever it encases. Shrink tube material comes in 25 foot rolls.
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