Instrument Cable schedule

What is the instrument cable schedule?

The cable schedule provides a list of all the cables connecting to instruments, junction boxes, marshalling cabinets, and system cabinets.

Details regarding the cable number, type, size, length, termination, and glands are included in this document.

Detailed Explanation of Instrument Cable Schedule

  • An instrument cable schedule is a list or table that provides detailed information about the various types of instrumentation cables used in a facility.
  • It typically includes information such as the cable type, size, and location, as well as the signal type, signal range, and communication protocol used by each cable.
  • The instrument cable schedule is used to identify and document the cables that are used to connect the various instruments and control systems in the facility.
  • It is an important document for managing and maintaining the instrumentation cables, as it helps to ensure that they are properly installed, labeled, and connected to the appropriate devices.
  • The instrument cable schedule may also include information about the testing and certification of the cables, as well as any repair or maintenance work that has been performed on them.

What is included in the instrument cable schedule?

The cable schedule shall provide the following information:

  • Cable type: This includes the type of cable, such as multi-pair, coaxial, or fiber optic.
  • Cable size: This refers to the diameter or thickness of the cable.
  • Cable location: This is the physical location of the cable, such as a specific room or area within the facility.
  • Cable Number: This will be a unique number assigned for each cable for identification purpose.
  • Cable Length: This will include the length of the cable.
  • Source and Destination Termination Description: This will cover the information of starting and ending connections of a specific cable.
  • Cable Glands Type and Size for each cable: This will cover the cable gland details on both side of the cable.
  • Signal type: This is the type of signal carried by the cable, such as electrical, electronic, or pneumatic.
  • Signal range: This is the range of values that the signal can take, such as 0-10 VDC or 4-20 mA.
  • Communication protocol: This is the method used to transmit data over the cable, such as HART or Modbus.
  • Testing and certification: This includes information about any testing or certification that has been performed on the cable, such as UL or CSA approval.
  • Repair and maintenance: This includes any repair or maintenance work that has been performed on the cable, such as splicing or replacement.

What are the documents necessary to prepare the instrument cable schedule?

Documents required to prepare the Instrument cable schedule are

  • Instrument Index – Tag numbers with a wire should be filtered from the instrument index.
  • I/O List – Will cover most tag numbers, as it only displays instrument tag numbers that have I/O and thus require wires.
  • Instrument Cable Layout – This will be required to understand the required cable length from source to destination.
  • Interconnection Block Diagram – This will be required to identify the source and destination termination points.

The majority of tag numbers will be covered by the I/O list because it only displays instrument tag numbers that have I/O and hence need wires.

Please note that instruments that aren’t loop-powered need an extra power supply.

What is the purpose of an instrument cable schedule?

The purpose of an instrument cable schedule is to provide a clear and comprehensive overview of all the cables used in the system, which can be used for installation, maintenance and troubleshooting purposes.

The cable schedule is used to figure out how much cable to buy when making a material take-off. But the cable lengths shown in this document are only approximate. So, there should be a backup plan for getting materials in case a cable gets cut or there is an unexpected obstruction in the field, a riser, etc.

It can also be used to ensure that the correct cables are ordered and installed during the initial construction or modification of the system.

How to make an Instrument cable schedule?

  • Determine the scope of the schedule. This includes identifying all the instruments and devices that need to be connected via cable, as well as the types of cables that will be used.
  • Collect the necessary information. This includes the details of each cable, such as the type and size, as well as the route and termination details.
  • Organize the information. One way to do this is to create a table with columns for each piece of information.
  • Fill in the table with the collected information.
  • Review the schedule for accuracy and completeness.
  • Save the schedule and make it available to relevant personnel. It is a good idea to have both a hard copy and an electronic version of the schedule.
  • It may be helpful to use a standardized format for the schedule, such as the one provided in industry standards or company guidelines.

Below is an example of a typical cable schedule.

Instrument Cable schedule


Sundareswaran Iyalunaidu

With over 24 years of dedicated experience, I am a seasoned professional specializing in the commissioning, maintenance, and installation of Electrical, Instrumentation and Control systems. My expertise extends across a spectrum of industries, including Power stations, Oil and Gas, Aluminium, Utilities, Steel and Continuous process industries. Tweet me @sundareshinfohe

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