Article
As control panels become larger and more complex, cable ties can become a
 less-than-optimal wire-management solutions. In these cases, wire duct 
often offers a number of advantages for keeping panel interiors 
organized and enabling faster and easier repairs and upgrades in the 
future.

Choosing the Right Wire Duct to Get Your Control Panels Organized

Chuck Ross
As control panels become larger and more complex, cable ties can become a less-than-optimal wire-management solutions. In these cases, wire duct often offers a number of advantages for keeping panel interiors organized and enabling faster and easier repairs and upgrades in the future.

Using cable ties as the sole method for organizing wiring can result in a control panel becoming a bit of a rat’s nest over time, because not every technician or contractor will take the time to cut and replace all the ties when a wire needs to be removed or added. So, for example, new wires might just be cable-tied onto an existing bundle, which could make subsequent changes even more confusing.

There is a wide variety of wiring duct designs now on the market to address a variety of application-specific requirements.

  • Solid-wall wiring duct is a good option for long runs, where no breakouts are needed or where side-wall access is infrequent. It completely protects wiring from any damage during panel building or future upgrades or repairs.
  • Narrow-slot wiring duct features narrow slots on the sidewalls to maintain a tight hold on wiring that’s entering or exiting the duct. They can be helpful when you need a large number of access points to accommodate a larger number of wires. The narrow, vertical support “fingers” that separate the slots usually can be easily removed to create wider slots where necessary.
  • Wide-slot wiring duct incorporates both wider slots and wider fingers. These designs retain good rigidity, while also providing ample space for multiple wires to exit the duct at a time. That added room also can ease installation when you’re dealing with small-gauge control panel wiring.
  • Round-hole wiring duct skips the vertical slots in favor of multiple rows of holes. This is useful when you want to retain wires at different heights and positions.
Photo courtesy of ABB
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