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Pilot Installation of Siemon's TERA Solution at Robert Bosch

Faced with the need for a cabling infrastructure upgrade to its Hildesheim and Feuerbach facilities, Robert Bosch GmbH set out to find an end-to-end cabling solution that met two basic criteria: It had to be both future-proof and fit within the underlying facility infrastructure.

Founded by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) in 1886 as the "Workshop for precision mechanics and electrical engineering"in Stuttgart, Germany, Bosch has transformed into the Bosch Group - a world-leading supplier of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods and building technology, comprising a manufacturing, distribution and service network of some 260 subsidiaries and over 10,000 customer service centers in more than 130 countries.

When Bosch facilities in Hildesheim, and Feuerbach required an upgrade to the horizontal cabling infrastructure, they mirrored their own technology background and global footprint to select the best solution.

A global manufacturer, Robert Bosch GmbH is increasingly focused on the optimal use of resources and the development of global guidelines and corporate standards. A company-wide drive, this resource efficiency initiative puts a strong emphasis on the company's IT practices, including setting global company specifications in network cabling infrastructure. As a part of this drive, Siemon cabling solutions were incorporated into Robert Bosch GmbH's global cabling specification, based on the high quality and performance of Siemon's product portfolio, expertise and standards participation, as well as the company's global support infrastructure.

Building upon the Bosch global specifications, the Hildesheim and Feuerbach facility staff created a specific list of requirements:

  • Cost effective, multiple connectivity options
  • Uniform product portfolio (no Mix and Match)
  • Product availability
  • Future proof, a minimum lifespan of 10 years
  • System warranty rather than component warranty
  • High-quality product, simple to use and multi-application use
  • Stability and robustness
  • Tests to be performed with currently available test equipment

While these requirements ensured the selection of a high-quality and reliable infrastructure, the facilities themselves posed challenges

Premises and Project Conditions

In Hildesheim, a high-rise building was completely renovated on all 7 floors. The capacity of legacy pathways such as cable trays and drilled cores was exhausted, yet over 150 new ports per floor were needed. All terminations had to be installed in tight spaces and provide flexible and easily adaptable connectivity for all terminal devices such as PCs, VoIP and analog telephones. Making matters worse, the structure of the building did not support more core drilling or the addition of pathways.

Bosch was faced with a dilemma - provide considerably more network connectivity without exceeding pathway spaces that were seemingly at capacity. Different options were discussed, including WLAN. WLAN was eliminated based on performance and capacity issues as well as current Bosch security guidelines.

Cable sharing (running multiple applications over a single cable and outlet) had the potential to solve the pathway issue by basically reducing the number of cables and outlets by 50%. Bosch explored cable sharing with both RJ45 connectivity as well as Siemon's category 7A TERA system. With extremely limited standards-supported options for cable sharing with RJ45 connectivity, Bosch chose TERA.

Siemon's TERA is a standardized and commercially available category 7 connector type (IEC 61076-3-104:2006 Ed.2.0, recognized in EN 50173:2002 Ed.2.0 and ISO/IEC 11801:2002 Ed2.0). This non-RJ interface (shown in figure 1) features an isolated quadrant design which accepts 1-, 2- and 4-pair non-RJ style plugs. (Figure 2) Hybrid patch cords featuring TERA plugs terminated to RJ-45 or RJ-11 Ethernet plugs are used to connect the TERA outlets to RJ-based equipment.

Bosch utilized the TERA system to support two simultaneous Ethernet connections over each 4-pair channel, essentially reducing cable counts by 50%. This allowed them to meet their increased connectivity needs within the limited building infrastructure.

The TERA system also met Bosch's requirement for a future-proof system capable of a minimum 10 year lifecycle. Although the category 7 solution is currently used to support lower-speed Ethernet applications through cable sharing, the system is capable of supporting network speeds of 10Gb/s and beyond. A simple swap from 1 - and 2-pair patch cords to 4-pair versions allows standards-compliant 10GBASE-T performance. No changes to the permanent links are required.

Results:

According to Bosch, the installation was completed smoothly and on schedule by local Siemon Certified Installers. The cable-sharing approach fully meets Bosch's requirements and as a result, is being considered for other global Bosch projects.


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