Mar 1, 2014 - Building
Pluggable Connection System In The Clinic
The clinic in Herford was completely renovated, expanded, and modernized. The clinic decided to use WAGO’s pluggable cable assemblies for the electrical wiring of the new, spacious one- and two-bed patient rooms. The deciding arguments in favor of WINSTA® included 70% less time invested and 30% lower costs.
During the construction work in the Herford clinic, the room offerings were improved and the interior fittings were modernized. The engineering firm involved in the design specified clear instructions for cabling the sockets at the patient beds. This involved the creation of a concept that enabled easy pre-assembly, distinguished between general and emergency power supplies by means of color, and guaranteed a uniform cabling standard within the framework of a repeating, modular construction. The most important requirement was a time-saving cabling design in order to react flexibly during continuing clinical operations to the construction process of renovating 700 beds.
Time for More Ambitious Tasks
WAGO’s tender was convincing. The designers at Gnuse, an engineering firm specializing in hospital technology, and at Röhe Elektrotechnik, the company assigned the electrical work, were especially interested in the time and design advantages. Pluggable WINSTA® cable assemblies saved, according to WAGO’s calculations, up to 70% of the time usually required for wiring and provided a significantly more flexible deployment of personnel. Frank Röhe, CEO at Röhe Elektrotechnik, confirmed the practical suitability, “We didn’t have to strip any cables during the initial assembly; the junction boxes, clamping units, and strain reliefs were already wired. So everything when much, much more quickly.” Yet he did not consider it a devaluation of his work as a specialized company. “Our well-trained employees don’t need as much time to set up cables, wire them, and ensure that the wires are correctly connected. That gains us time for more ambitious tasks.”
The project manager from Röhe Elektrotechnik, Marco Neugebauer, also spoke about the lower rate of errors during cabling. According to his experience, errors can never be completely avoided in conventional wiring on projects, where time is of the essence. The pluggable and precoded components, on the other hand, could be correctly connected due to the predefined design. The color-coded networks can also be distinguished more easily. In addition, the time-intensive search for errors is now a thing of the past. But the true advantage is clear when third-party companies have to be involved in the cabling. “During the final phase of a project, the time for electrical installation gets very short. Due to the pluggable cabling, the final connections are easier, the wiring can be more readily comprehended, the risk of mixing cables is reduced, and remaining tasks are more clearly visible. Workers new to the construction site can be integrated faster to support the project,” adds Neugebauer.
Pluggable Connection System Improves Planning
“By using the WINSTA® pluggable connection family from WAGO, the philosophy of electrical wiring has changed. The cabling can be reproduced and prepared for assembly in a much more economical way. This gains us time during the final wiring on site, which is often hectic. It was an interesting and positive experience,” reports Holger Vogel from Gnuse. In preparation, one patient room at the Herford clinic was designed and completely constructed as an exemplary pattern. This allowed us to check whether the planned cabling was confirmed in practice. Designers and project managers only had to enter the cable lengths once into an Excel list, which then automatically produced the parts list along with the number of rooms. The cables were then industrially pre-assembled at WAGO, delivered early during the shell construction phase, and installed by Röhe Elektrotechnik.
Since the clinic expansion and renovation took place in four construction sections, each having 9 floors in which the patient rooms were structurally identical, all patient rooms could be implemented according to the same pattern. The highest priority for the engineering firm was completion of the project on time. The pluggable connection system saved a lot of time, due to the repetitive patient room arrangements and the technically identical implementation, and also ensured the quality of the connection work due to the protection against mismatching. “The high level of repetition in the wiring, the identical cable lengths and implementation in the final installation, were ideal for a pluggable connection system. In this type of construction, the potential savings in time set in very early, as well as savings in materials since cutting waste is reduced in the connection work,” reports Holger Vogel.
From Floor Boxes up to the Lights
According to the experiences by Röhe Elektrotechnik, there was still sufficient flexibility for adjustments or subsequent expansions in spite of the standardization of the construction site. “The assortment in the WINSTA® pluggable connection system is happily diverse and offers good alternatives as needed,” according to Frank Röhe. Based on the product variety, wiring tasks can be solved in a variety of ways. The product portfolio includes power supply from sockets in wall ducts, floor boxes in double floors, or distribution boxes for controlling the blinds and for lighting installations. The lights could also be connected, since the major lighting manufacturers support the pluggable connection technology through the cross-vendor Linect® system.
Therefore, the hall lighting in the clinic was also equipped with a pluggable connection system, color coded according to “general power supply (AV)” and “emergency power supply (SV)” and “control cables” for efficient lighting control.
Pluggable Connectors in Hospital Design
“As an engineering firm, we specialize in hospital projects, and can confirm the good applicability of the pluggable connection technology in this sector. It is very advantageous for a construction project with repeating modules. The readiness for implementing the pluggable connection technology in hospital construction is very high on the part of all participants in this construction project. The project anagement at WAGO was proactive on a daily basis and ensured fast implementations,” summarized the designer in reference to his experiences. The special requirements of hospital construction according to DIN VDE 0100, part 710, were already satisfied as standard by WINSTA®.
- Electrical wiring using WINSTA® saves up to 70% in time, and 30% in costs.
- Coded plugs and sockets simplify work and prevent errors.
- The cabling can be reproducibly and economically prepared for wiring.
Text: Jörg Gruner, WAGO