Search

Related Links


image thumbnail
image thumbnail
image thumbnail

CCCA Recognizes Action to Combat Manufacturers of Non-compliant Structured Cabling Products.

Nov 08, 2011

Washington, DC  November 8, 2011

The Communications Cable and Connectivity Association (CCCA) recognizes UL’s (Underwriters
Laboratories) progress in implementing its enhanced Follow Up Service (FUS) program, which
now includes the requirement that all UL Listed Communications and Network Cables
manufactured globally must bear a holographic label with the UL Mark.

Through past press releases and other industry communications, the CCCA reported its findings
which indicated an industry-wide problem with communication and network cables that do not
meet minimum fire safety requirements of the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA)
widely adopted National Electrical Code (NEC). CCCA found that some imported plenum communications cable (CMP) and riser communications cable (CMR) were seriously non-compliant with this code.

Based on these findings and UL’s market surveillance investigations, UL developed program
enhancements to address the issue. As part of a collaborative effort with CCCA manufacturers
and global cable and material producers, UL instituted enhanced screening tools, labeling
methods and inspection procedures which give end-users more confidence that the UL listed
cables they purchase will meet all National Electrical Code (NEC) fire safety requirements.

“CCCA applauds UL’s actions and initiatives to further strengthen programs and procedures in
response to the non-complaint cable problem and its impact on public safety,” said Frank Peri,
CCCA’s Executive Director. “We believe these steps go a long way in helping to maintain safe,
compliant products in the structured cabling market. At the same time, we recognize the global
complexities and costs involved in developing and implementing these programs successfully.
We are proud to be part of this joint effort to stem the flow of substandard and non-compliant
products.”

The concern regarding non-compliant cable is that, if installed in building plenum spaces or in
vertical floor-to-floor riser shafts in buildings, these products could cause fire and smoke to
spread more rapidly, making evacuation and rescue of occupants more difficult. Research on
non-compliant cables has shown that these potentially hazardous communications cables are
made from lower fire performance materials and have inconsistent manufacturing processes
which make compliance to the NEC impossible. In some cases, the cable markings and
packages displayed unauthorized or counterfeit listing references to independent testing
agencies.

Most importantly, UL reminds end-users that there are two elements to look for in verifying a
UL compliant cable. In addition to having proper jacket markings, the cable’s box, reel or
container must also be properly marked with a UL Holographic label.
“The enhanced FUS program will help minimize the risk associated with installing a
noncompliant cable and allow end-users and specifiers to look for a UL Holographic label,” said
Steve Galan, UL’s Business Development Director for wire and cable. “The new security feature
provides multiple levels of security and will help in specifying, verifying when ordering and/or
installing cable.”

Both CCCA and UL acknowledge that, as long as there is a large profit motive by substituting
lower cost lower performing materials and skirting the NEC requirements, the challenge from
non-compliant cables will remain. Both organizations pledge to continue to collaborate on
other potential industry solutions to further educate the industry and end users to stay ahead
of non-compliant and counterfeit manufacturers.

CCCA emphasizes that many of its members are well recognized global companies with
global manufacturing facilities and business operations. Cable quality issues and failure to
comply with industry codes and standards are not necessarily regional in nature, but rather
the result of substituting lower cost, low performance materials for the application and/or
insufficient manufacturing process controls.

About CCCA
CCCA, a non-profit corporation formed in 2007, has a mission to serve as the major resource for
well researched, fact-based information on the technologies and products of structured cabling
media to support current and future needs of the networking, IT and communications
industries. CCCA is also proactive at codes and standards bodies and other trade and industry
organizations in communicating and influencing best practices and decisions affecting the
quality, performance and societal needs of the structured cabling infrastructure.

CCCA member companies: Accu-Tech; AlphaGary; Anixter; Belden; Berk-Tek, a Nexans
Company; Cable Components Group; comCables; CommScope; Daikin America; DuPont; 3M;
General Cable; Optical Cable Corporation (OCC); OFS, a Furukawa Company; Panduit; PolyOne;
Sentinel Connector Systems; Solvay Solexis; Superior Essex; TE Connectivity.

Headquarters: 1001 Pennsylvania NW, Washington, DC, 20004. For further information, contact
Frank Peri, Executive Director at fperi@cccassoc.org or via phone at (904) 223-4100.

About UL
UL is a global independent safety science company offering expertise across five key strategic
businesses: Product Safety, Environment, Life & Health, University and Verification Services.
Our breadth, established objectivity and proven history mean we are a symbol of trust and
enable us to help provide peace of mind to all.