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5 Ways to Ensure You’re Building Efficient Racks

Here are five ways to make your next rack integration more tight, clean, efficient and profitable.

Paul Dolynchuk

Efficiency in rack building, maintenance and service is one of the gold standards that all integrators work hard to achieve.

By setting the stage for success, integrators can avoid some common hiccups and hurdles along the way and improve productivity on any job.

Here are five ways to make your next rack integration more tight, clean, efficient and profitable.

1. Let Your System Network 

We all know the power and influence of networking, and this is true for racks, too.

Today’s IP-connected power solutions and IoT-enabled enclosure sensors are designed to improve reliability and reduce rolling a truck for servicing.

By leveraging the intelligence of the network, the rack can become more autonomous and ease monitoring requirements, maximize uptime and help ensure AV system performance. These features can also be leveraged as you design your recurring revenue model.

2. Think About the Future … the System’s Future 

The proliferation of small devices and system upgrades are happening at an ever-increasing rate as users demand the latest tech innovations, making it difficult to efficiently perform component additions and changes within an already crammed rack.

Rack mounting accessories that are designed to enable quick small device mounting and grant unencumbered access can go a long way in moving the time management needle.

For example, a rackshelf with a face-after faceplate provides easy mounting and access to small components and allows the integrator to attach the faceplate after installation or switch it out as devices change.

Another idea is to leverage offerings that allow devices to be installed vertically instead of horizontally, optimizing every inch of rack space to accommodate the growing number of small devices.

3. Space is Money, Too

Today's shrinking equipment rooms and the shift toward tastefully and effectively concealing all the components necessary to drive a system add further complexities to any job.

Consider the latest innovative rack solutions that support localized, all-in-one systems that can be hosted anywhere in any room — under the table, in or on wall, in ceiling, in floor, and within existing furniture.

For those traditional, smaller rack rooms where space is at an all-time premium, go vertical. Instead of a standard 45RU rack, select a 54RU rack and take advantage of vertical mounting accessories as well as vertical and compact power solutions to make the most of every square inch of space. 

4. Leverage Design Tools

Taking a systems approach to rack design is critical for any job, requiring integrators to devote time to not only selecting the right rack and accessories to maintain system best practices, but also to produce assembly drawings, specifications, and even purchase orders as part of their submittal packages.

Now, online rack design tools can simplify and streamline this step while providing an intuitive experience that leads from a detailed system drawing to an online order in a few clicks. This ensures the integrator’s time is well spent and that no detail of the design is lost in translation as it progresses from concept to implementation.

Creating shop standards around saved designs also makes the work repeatable, producing even more efficiency. Any integrator will appreciate the ease these tools bring to the job.

5. Plan Ahead for Service Calls

Service calls are inevitable and a boon for revenue, so look at tools and options that make servicing easy and can even buy you back some time.

For example, install rack-mounted lighting. A well-illuminated rack allows for safe, practical and efficient service. Rack mount accessories will make a huge impact here too. Select tool-free options that allow for quick access, servicing, and/or upgrades. 

The rack is a fundamental, powerful foundation — the starting point for all AV systems. With every new technology innovation, integrators must maintain tidy, highly reliable, flexible systems. Any steps taken to achieve a more efficient rack build without sacrificing best practices can pay huge dividends in servicing time and revenue.

Author Paul Dolynchuk is product manager at Middle Atlantic Products.

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