In classrooms throughout North America, designers, installers, and electricians are getting extensive structured premise cabling training from Nordx/CDT, Pointe-Claire, Quebec, Canada.

The company’s Integrated Building Distribution Network (IBDN) training center offers six courses for electricians at various skill levels, from people just entering the industry to installers with decades of experience. Sixty regular classes are scheduled for the year, which are held in various cities throughout the United States and Canada at convention classes and hotels. A schedule for the upcoming year is issued each October.

“Introduction to Nordx/CDT and IBDN” is a one-day course that provides sales- or marketing-oriented people with an overview of the company, its products, and IBDN systems. Students also learn about the structured cabling industry’s history.

“IBDN Design and Concept” is a two-day course designed to enable company certified system vendors, distributors, consultants, engineers, and end-users to design an IBDN structured cabling system. Students learn about standards, horizontal distribution, telecommunications closet, backbone distribution, equipment room planning, and grounding and bonding.

In addition to the 60 regular classes, 15 dedicated sessions are offered. “Dedicated sessions are held upon request at universities, contractors’ sites, and end-user or telecom company sites,” Michel Filion, business development specialist for the IBDN training center, said.

“IBDN Installation” is a two-day course, more than half of which is dedicated to hands-on exercises. The objective is to provide Nordx-certified system vendors and distributors with the ability to install an IBDN structured cabling system. Hands-on content includes BIX cross-connect installation, BIX wall-mount patch panel installation, and Optimax2 connector installation. Up to 25 dedicated sessions are offered yearly in addition to the 60 regular classes.

The “Copper Installation” course is a one-day session with more than half the time spent on hands-on exercises. “The objective of this course is to make consultants, end-users, telecommunications contractors, and electricians familiar with the copper side of an IBDN structured cabling system,” Filion said.

Students learn about unshielded twisted pair (UTP) and IBDN installation practices. Sixty regular and 15 dedicated sessions are offered per year.

The “Optical Fiber Installation” course is held for one day. It is designed to answer questions regarding optical fiber for IBDN systems. More than half of the class is dedicated to hands-on exercises, during which students are provided with both the knowledge required to understand the principles behind optical fiber cabling media and the skills necessary to install optical fiber components.

“Consultants, end-users, telecommunications contractors, and electricians and technicians will benefit from this course,” Filion said. Nordx offers 60 regular and five dedicated sessions of this class a year.

Strictly scheduled upon request, Nordx’s “IBDN and Optical Fiber Global Training” course is a full 10 days and is aimed at electricians who are new to the industry. Participants learn to understand, design, install, and test and troubleshoot a complete IBDN structured cabling system, including copper and optical fiber. Hands-on exercises account for more than 55 percent of the course and include routing and terminating IBDN cables, wall-mount jumper wire system installation, patch-panel system installation, telecommunications outlets installation, fusion splicing, mechanical terminations, and Optimax2 connector installation.

The “Optical Fiber Global Training” course is experiencing consistent growth in demand because of the extensive information provided in troubleshooting, testing, copper and fiber installation practices, standards, and cost estimation,” Filion said.

Except for the introductory course, all Nordx classes first focus on standards and the best methods of installation in general before moving on to particular Nordx products or hands-on demonstrations. “The goal is for the student to become familiar with the available telecommunications products and for them to learn all of the techniques needed to properly install a premise cabling infrastructure.”

Attendees of one-day classes receive seven RCDD credits and students who complete a two-day Nordx class receive 14 credits. Manuals are also included so that students may keep them for future reference. “Our training manuals are constantly updated with information on new standards and installation methods,” Filion said.

Students also receive a certificate of completion. “The certificate demonstrates to potential customers that the contractor’s electricians have the necessary training to provide a high-quality design and installation of a structured cabling system,” he added.

Finally, students who complete the Nordx training curriculum have confidence in their ability to perform the work.

Nordx plans to continue to expand its training opportunities in response to the development of new technologies and applications. Dedicated sessions for the new “Intelligent Building Solutions” course began in August 2000 for the North American market, and a course called “Residential University Network (RUN)” began this month. “Both of these courses were stemmed from the development of new standards and new technologies in these markets,” Filion concluded.

BREMER, a freelance writer based in Solomons, Md., contributes frequently to Electrical Contractor. She can be reached at (410) 394-6966 or by e-mail at dbremer@erols.com.