Rack installation service
Typically, closely coupled with our rack construction service, rack installation is an activity that again includes a detailed planning and fulfilment phase. Planning for a rack installation typically commences many months prior to planned works occurring. TPS can install equipment racks that we have constructed or racks which you have provided. Most installations we perform occur at either telephone exchanges or data centre environments. Irrespective of the final destination there are change management, site survey and SMR (Site Make-ready) activities that we must perform.
As detailed in the Survey and Certification Section, the purpose of the site survey is to determine that the design information for rack placement, cable pathway selection and secondary power connection is suitable and “fit for purpose”. As part of this survey, we also ensure that the goods hoist is in certification and functions correctly (if hoist is needed), and we ensure that we have sufficient access to the building. Most equipment racks being installed will feature connectivity to other equipment and racks within the buildings. Whilst we will certify the cable pathways that will be used, we will also check to ensure that the requisite interrace ports on inter-connecting equipment are available. All of these ports are reserved at the time of design, but sometimes we discover situations where ports have been utilised by others for operational purposes. If identified early enough, we can make design changes to utilise alternate connection points.
Typically, we also ensure that appropriate lighting is available at the site. If suitable lighting isn’t possible, we either contact the building property manager and seek to have the issue rectified, or if this isn’t feasible within the timeframe, then we will plan to take LED lighting with technicians to site when performing the installation works. As part of the rack installation site survey, we also ensure that the MOP (Method of Procedure), WINS (Working in Network Sites) and Hazard CRQ are valid for the planned works and accurately represent the activities that we will perform. We also identify and note down any special requirements for the works. For example, at one exchange, we needed to take extra-long fibreglass step ladder so we could access some inter-room cable pathways. At another site, we need to enter a confined space so we could bond to the Earth electrodes in the cable chamber. To do this, we needed to plan for confined space certified staff to attend site for this element of the installation.
Lastly, during our site survey, we check to see if asbestos is present in floor tiles or any surfaces that we need to penetrate. As part of their planning works, TPS designers have already accessed audit records from the site and will provide survey staff with information on any detected asbestos and where it is located. TPS staff will check the floor against the provided design information and if necessary, will mark the area for an asbestos remediation professional to “wad-punch” the floor prior to our installation. In preference, and where possible, drilling into the floor will be avoided and the rack will be installed with the use of adhesive floor pads and superstructure attachment brackets.
The installation of the rack
When the rack leaves our Mulgrave manufacturing centre and is delivered to the nominated footprint location by our specialised freight carrier, then our install teams will attend site with the requisite PPE, tooling and installation accessories. The first activity is to attach the rack to the floor and superstructure. The method of attachment will vary dependant on the outcome of the site survey which was conducted earlier. If the rack is to be bolted to the floor, then Hilti drills, fitted with dust extractors will be used to make penetrations in readiness for anchor installation. Of course a “dust permit” will be lodged and activated if drilling is to occur. Depending on the severity of the dusty works, it may be necessary to isolate the VESDA system with prior approval.
If instructions require the rack to be attached to the floor with adhesive pads and then bolted to the superstructure using reinforcement brackets, then the rack will first be shifted out from the position, the floor will be cleaned in the nominated stick-down locations, then the rack will shift back and pads will be stuck to the floor and attached to the rack. Superstructure attachment brackets will be fixed between the top of the rack and the metalwork above. An insulation kit will be used to ensure that the rack remains insulated from the superstructure metalwork.
Once the rack is fixed, Floor/Suite/Rack location labels will be checked and then fitted to the front and rear of the rack.
Next, it is necessary to install circuit breakers into the LOD (Low Ohmic Distribution) panel, install and terminate secondary power cable between the rack PDP (Power distribution panel) and label these accordingly. Special care needs to be taken to activate the appropriate contact alarms.
Once the equipment rack has been powered, we install pre-manufactured inter-rack coaxial and data cables. For most rack installations, we typically install ~20+ cable assemblies.
Often it is necessary to install, splice and test a inter-rack optical fibre tie cable. TPS are experienced at installing, splicing and testing loose tube cables and ribbon fibre cables. Typical sizes installed have been 72F and 24F.
Once an inter-rack optical fibre tie cable is installed and spliced, it is necessary to test an certify the cable. TPS do this by creating a “fibre workbook”, whereby we clean and measure each fibre by insertion loss testing each cord, recording the values and testing against expected outcomes. Any fibres that don’t meet the requirement must be respliced and retested. Some clients also request that we OTDR test the cable and test these results against our insertion loss results to ensure conformity.
For each rack installation performed, we provide a hard-copy and soft-copy rack “travel folder”. This onsite document provides operational support staff with ready access to information pertaining to the racks configuration and wiring. For example, each cable assembly within the rack has both end connection points specified, connector type and a specific cable number. If the technician needs a replacement cable, all he needs to do is look it up in the travel folder, order it and we can supply a specific replacement.
When the rack installation is complete, staff clean site, remove all construction waste, packaging, remove any site barricading and protective tapes. TPS staff produce and finalise a “job completion pack”. This pack is sent to office staff and includes configuration information, device serial numbers and quantities, test results and photographs of the completed works. Office staff use this information to complete database updates (MITS, Cramer-LI, BMC Remedy, TPD, etc). Some circuits, prior to installation are recorded as reserved. When installation work is completed and test results have been reviewed, records are updated to show that the new links that have been installed are operational.
Once database works are completed, TPS change management staff file away SWMS documentation for the works, close out CRQ’s for hazard and Netpower changes, update asset registers, update project reporting and notify our client of the completed works by way of a message and an update to weekly reporting that is produced. At the close of all these tasks, TPS commercial management are notified and work orders are processed, assets are recorded in our clients systems and invoicing for works is finally issued (unless of course the engagement model (aka work orders) also include other activities that still need to be completed.