Visualization has been underlining its strengths as an outsourced rack build facility for the AV industry. Over the years, the business and team have grown and now build more than 1,000 racks per year.

Through the company’s work with CEDIA to deliver the Rack Building & Wiring Fundamentals Course and input on the InfoComm International rack build standards initiative, the company sees working with both organisations as a statement of recognition for the high standards that its racks have become known for.

With 18 full time rack builders working in a dedicated 8,000 sq.ft facility, Visualization work on whole house, cinema and MDU projects and the team is well used to handling large volumes and quick turn arounds.

Making the right choices

Visualization says as racks are now often an integral part of any AV system, the crucial elements to consider prior to specification would be volume of equipment, BTU calculation and the environment the rack is to be situated. Whether that be a cupboard, designated rack room or more increasingly of late the plant room. From here, it’s then possible to then ascertain the serviceability and thermal management requirements, which leads to the decision of rack type.

Key scenarios to think about for smaller racks located in cupboard spaces include considering a pull-out rack or basic frame option that is easily removable for future serviceability from the rear.

The company also says installers must also consider how to manage heat dissipation and the likely need to combine this with some sort of extraction option in the upper proportion of the rack with a ventilation panel in the lower, this will need to be considered in the cupboard door also.

Visualization says that if you are fortunate enough to have a dedicated rack room included in the project, there is the opportunity to utilise a standard rack with active cooling. An ideal example of this would be a fixed rack with ventilation in the lower section while maintaining blank panels throughout the main of the rack, taking care to situate the hottest equipment (usually amplifiers) towards the top of the rack. This would also be situated in an air-conditioned environment, but still need an extraction fan in the top proportion of the rack.

As rack space is often overlooked by developers, its often the case that racks are located in plant rooms with little regard for the negative effect on the system and longevity of the equipment. This scenario is less than ideal, but understandably not something that can always be avoided. In this case, Visualization says it would be doing its upmost to minimise external influences, specifying a sealed rack and ensuring it is located well away from heating manifolds, ideally consider a heat exchanger.