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HOTS 09/2000

Issue: September 2000

By: Frank Bisbee


 

Featured Story

 


Avaya hit the ground running. The cabling marketplace needed a new product to deliver safety and performance . . . at the same time. Fire safety is a very important feature of their new product and data safety is also a feature of the new product. To clarify on data safety . . . electronic systems and computers are extremely sensitive to airborne corrosive elements. Recently, a MIS manager from Blue Cross Blue Shield related an incident where the smoke from a small wiring fire in their office destroyed the electronics, including the hard drives on their computers. The manager told us that the corrosive materials acted so fast that they had less than 24 hours to extract and copy their data before the drives would no longer function, sometimes not even that long! This new cable by Avaya delivers personal safety as well as additional protection for your data. For the most part, your data is crucial to your operations and almost always uninsurable.

Avaya (Basking Ridge, NJ), the former Enterprise Networks Group that will be spun off from Lucent Technologies later this year, has announced a high-performance local area network (LAN) cable that was the first of its kind to be listed with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) as meeting the new limited combustible cable standards.

Developed and manufactured by Avaya, the SYSTIMAX® Power Sum 4061 cable is used for voice and data communications and has transmission performance that exceeds the Category 5e industry standard. The 4061 cable is used in the space above a suspended ceiling (plenum area) where air is returned to provide ventilation. The cable meets the UL's stringent limited combustible U.S. requirements for low smoke generation and flame spread. It is jacketed and insulated with DuPont Teflon® FEP fluoropolymer resin and is not subject to performance changes due to aging or environmental conditions.

"Avaya's first to market, limited combustible LAN cable takes the lead in meeting the emerging needs for additional fire protection and higher cable networking speeds," said Todd Stratton, senior product manager at Avaya. "We've moved ahead of basic requirements to serve customers who want LAN cables with exceptional fire safety and top electrical performance."

The cable has been designed for high-occupancy public buildings, healthcare facilities, research laboratories, and structures that house sensitive electronic mission-critical equipment such as competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) central offices.



Holocom Networks (San Diego, CA) has announced that its two main products were awarded top honors at CT Expo 2000 and Networld+Interop 2000, two major tradeshows of the telecommunications industry. Holocom TopRunner™, a unique cable distribution and management system for cubicle office environments, was awarded "Best of Show" by Computer Telephony and the Holocom Communications Gateway™, a distributed "virtual wiring closet" for network and communications equipment, was awarded "Editor's Choice" by Communications News.

Holocom's TopRunner 's "Best of Show" award at the Computer Telephony Expo 2000 in Los Angeles this March, demonstrates Holocom Networks continued objective to bring innovation to the network communications market. Holocom's TopRunner is a structured, open office zone cabling system that provides the industry's first fully integrated alternative to traditional homerun cabling. The "Best of Show" honor is featured in the May issue of Teleconnect, a journal for the telecommunications industry, and the April issue of Computer Telephony, a journal for mainstream computer distribution channels and end users.

Holocom's Communications Gateway received the "Editor's Choice Award" at the Networld+Interop 2000 show in Las Vegas this May. Networld+Interop is the leading conference and exhibition for networking, Internet and telecommunications professionals. The Gateway acts as a "virtual wiring closet" enabling a high-performance distributed Local Area Network (LAN) to evolve cost-effectively in the modern office environment. Holocom's Communications Gateway was one of six products chosen to receive this award among thousands of products that were on display at the show. The award is featured in the July issue of Communications News, a trade journal for communications, MIS, IT, and network managers.

Holocom's TopRunner and Communications Gateway products provide a complete solution to traditional, expensive home run cabling methods. TopRunner's system utilizes its patented, multi-connector Communications Module that integrates a horizontal, top cap raceway system to organize and standardize communications distribution throughout the open office. Holocom's Communications Gateway contains active network components and houses LAN equipment for maximum high-speed performance and cost-effectiveness.

The pervasive modular furniture work environment, which now comprises an estimated 45 million cubicles in the United States alone, is being driven to provide easy-to-install, low-maintenance communications solutions. Holocom's systems can efficiently increase and reduce workgroup size, integrate new, upgraded and customized network technologies, and rapidly deploy a company's network and resources. These attributes are of particular significance to environments characterized by high-volume data usage and workgroup configurations.

It is estimated that more than 40 percent, or 18 million cubicles, are moved annually, with cabling and network upgrades further complicating the network manager's need to maintain the highest levels of system efficiency and workgroup productivity. Network managers, facility managers, and CFO's are embracing the Holocom TopRunner and Gateway products because of the ease of installation, asthetic appeal, and dramatically lowered maintenance costs. www.holocomnetworks.com



Warburg Pincus (New York, NY) and Avaya Inc. (Basking Ridge, NJ), the former Enterprise Networks Group that will be spun off from Lucent Technologies later this year, have recently announced that Warburg Pincus will invest $400 million in Avaya.

Warburg Pincus will receive Avaya participating preferred stock that can convert into approximately 5 percent of Avaya common stock under certain terms and conditions of the agreement. In addition, Warburg Pincus will receive warrants to purchase 3.6 percent of additional Avaya common stock. The agreement also calls for Avaya to name a Warburg representative to its board.

"As a leading provider of communications systems, software and services to enterprises, Avaya fits well with our broad range of growth-oriented information technology and communications portfolio companies around the world," said Jeffrey Harris, managing director, Warburg Pincus. "The $400 million equity commitment to Avaya represents a sizable investment for our firm."

"We are pleased to have Warburg Pincus, a major global venture capital and private equity firm as an investor partner," said Don Peterson, president and CEO, Avaya.



The formal combination of the Prestolite Datacom group with GenTek was announced July 6. This is the formal combining of operations that was presupposed in the KRONE acquisition of GenTek a year ago. Now they are truly "one company".

GenTek recently bought Con-X (Huntsville, AL). This company makes an automated cross connect system for central offices or customer premises that allows access providers to remotely test and enable/disable subscriber circuits for DSL and other voice/data services. This means service providers can test available lines and turn on DSL service to a subscriber very quickly, with no visit to the central office necessary. It dovetails well into KRONE's connectivity and cable lines for DSL collocation.

One year after introduction, and the TrueNet system has been a tremendous success. At last count, there are TrueNet systems in place in a dozen countries around the world, and more coming on line every day. This exemplifies KRONE's advantage to the multinational customer-TrueNet is the first cabling system to address throughput issues in the physical layer. With the addition of the Prestolite Wire facilities and CON-X, KRONE now operates from 35 locations globally in 26 countries, including 12 factories.



CommScope, Inc. (Hickory, NC) expects to report third quarter 2000 results below consensus analyst estimates. The Company has announced that it has secured a supply arrangement for bimetal center conductors, which are one of the primary materials in the production of coaxial cables, enhancing CommScope's ability to meet strong demand for Cable Television and Other Video products.

CommScope expects to report diluted earnings of between $0.38 and $0.43 per share for the third quarter ending September 30, 2000. Analyst consensus for the third quarter is $0.45 per diluted share. The expected shortfall in earnings is due primarily to difficult pricing patterns and lower-than-expected sales in Local Area Network (LAN) and Wireless/Other Telecom products. LAN and Wireless/Other Telecom account for approximately 11% and 14% of the Company's businesses respectively. The Company noted that it continues to experience strong demand for Cable Television and Other Video Products, which account for approximately 75% of CommScope sales.

CommScope, a manufacturer of broadband coaxial cable for Hybrid Fiber Coaxial (HFC) applications and a supplier of high-performance fiber optic and twisted pair cables, continues to believe it can achieve year-over-year revenue growth of 20%-25% in the second half of 2000. "While we are disappointed with the current sales trend in LAN and Wireless/Other Telecom, we remain optimistic about the long-term opportunities for these products," said Frank M. Drendel, CommScope Chairman and CEO. "We are committed to growth in all of the markets we serve and intend to sharpen execution across the Company to achieve this goal. We intend to respond aggressively to the competitive pricing environment in wireless and continue to focus on driving down product cost while broadening our portfolio of wireless products. We have already taken steps to meet market pricing in LAN and will work to increase our participation in the Category 5 and 5e segments of that market."

As a result of recent negotiations with their current supplier, CommScope has secured a supply arrangement for a fixed amount of bimetal center conductors for calendar year 2001 and the parties are working toward a longer-term arrangement.

Commenting on this favorable development, Drendel said: "Production capacity and supplies of key materials continue to be tight due to the surging demand for Hybrid Fiber Coaxial (HFC) products. This bimetal supply arrangement, combined with our improving internal bimetal production, addresses concerns regarding a key material and enhances our ability to support the growing demand for broadband cable. By mid-year 2001, we intend to have a combined total of more than $1 billion of cable manufacturing capacity for HFC and wireless products." www.commscope.com



Giles Guinchard, CEO of Rexel USA, has announced that Rexel has acquired Westburne. Westburne is a $2.25 billion distributor of electrical and plumbing supplies based in Canada with 413 branches in Canada and 143 branches in the U.S.

Westburne has forecasted $1.1 billion of sales in the United States. They have 6,000 employees. This acquisition makes Rexel the 3rd largest (possibly the 2nd largest) distributor of electrical and datacom products in the United States and makes Rexel the #1 distributor in Canada. www.rexel.com



Anicom, Inc. (Rosemont, IL), has announced that it is investigating certain accounting matters, including possible accounting irregularities, which, if confirmed, could result in revision of previously issued financial statements. In addition, the Company said it expects to take a charge for its just-concluded six-month transition period, ended June 30, 2000.

The Company has not yet determined the extent of the revisions and the charges, not the allocation of these amount to prior fiscal periods. However, Anicom believes that the total effect of these non-cash revisions and charges could be as much as $35 million on a pre-tax basis. In 1999, Anicom reported revenues of $537 million and a pre-tax loss of $16.3 million.

The Company also announced that its President/CEO and CFO have taken administrative leave, with pay, pending completion of the investigation. At a special meeting held on July 17, 2000, the Board of Directors of Anicom appointed the Company's chairman, Thomas J. Reiman, as interim President and CEO, and its Vice President of Finance, Daniel Distel, as interim CFO. The Company has also informed its lenders of the investigation. www.anicommm.com



Cable Design Technologies (CDT - Pittsburgh, PA), a leading provider of high-speed network infrastructure connectivity products, has announced that Ian Mack has joined CDT as Group President of Europe.

Mr. Mack joins CDT with over twenty-eight years of experience in the European network communications and specialty electronics business. He was managing director of Brand Rex Limited where he was responsible for the management of four factories in England and Scotland, numerous distribution centers in Europe, and a manufacturing plant in the Philippines.

In 1989, Mr. Mack took over the responsibility of Brand Rex Europe, growing sales to in excess of $200 million over the following 10 years. A major part of this success was the launch of the Millennium Datacom system in the early 1990's, a system that ended the decade ranked as the second largest structured wiring system in sales volume. Mr. Mack also held a number of positions with increasing responsibility at Brand Rex Limited including Manager of Irradiated Products, Product Manager and Sales, Marketing and Engineering Director.

In commenting on the announcement, CDT President and CEO Paul Olson said, "Mr. Mack brings a wealth of experience and an impressive track record in our industry. His accomplishments include the development of a highly successful structured wiring and fiber optic components business and the management of a fiber optic manufacturing facility in England. Mr. Mack's product and industry knowledge will be a great asset to CDT as we continue to expand our European footprint. He is a strong business leader with outstanding operational skills and will be a strategic member of our executive management team." www.cdtc.com



Randy Osler, Sprint North Supply president, has announced that the TekNet and TeleServices organizations at Sprint North Supply (New Century, KS) will transfer from the Logistics division to Sprint Products Group.

TekNet manufactures a video and data system that combines more than a dozen school communications functions into one integrated solution. This solution includes a video distribution and control system that allows the integration of media into school classrooms, brings video programs from remote locations and broadcasts electronic bulletins. This product is primarily sold by the Sprint LTD BMO Group.

TeleServices serves as a repair facility and a national return center for single line telephones and public pay stations. TeleServices primary markets are Sprint affiliates, which require repair and refurbishment of this equipment.

"It's almost a perfect fit," said Flem Cheatham, Vice President-Logistics. "If you look at the core capabilities of Sprint Products Group, coupled with TekNet's assembly skills and TeleServices' repair and return skills, this alignment creates value.

"Sprint Products Group is very excited that TekNet and TeleServices are combing with us," said Dick Summers, Vice President - Sprint Products Group. "There are a great many synergies to capitalize on and provide the foundation to develop new products and services. Additionally, we will be able to offer a new value platform to our customers from both the product and service perspective."

Osler said the move will help drive growth as well as promote new product development at Sprint Products Group. www.sprintnorthsupply.com



RiT Technologies (Mahwah, NJ) has agreed to join forces with RBI in a new marketing initiative that will bundle hardware and cabling into a unique intelligent cabling infrastructure to provide customers with an end-to-end cabling system for easier integration, installation, and management. The initiative, called SmartNet, bundles RiT's PatchView Intelligent Cabling System with advanced cabling systems from leading cable manufacturers. www.rittech.com



HellermannTyton, (Milwaukee, WI), a manufacturer of cable management products, has appointed David Levine to the position of National Sales Manager - Telecommunications/Electrical Distribution. Levine will manage sales in the United States of HellermannTyton's segment of voice/data/video products. With a team of sales managers and telecommunications specialists, Levine will focus on specifier, end user, contractor, and distribution sales, training, and channel management. www.hellermann.tyton.com



SyNet, Inc. (Warwick, RI), a LAN/WAN integration firm, has announced the opening of a regional office in Portsmouth, NH. SyNet's decision to open a New Hampshire office is in response to rapidly increasing business in the Northern New England region. Since October, SyNet has secured contracts with Raytheon facilities located in Nashua NH, and Andover MA, as well as Lowell School Systems, Amherst Computer in Merrimack NH and Energy North located in Portsmouth NH.

SyNet expects to add and additional 35% to their revenues as a result of new business generated by the addition of the Portsmouth office.

Jeffrey S. Deckman, SyNet's President and CEO, states "Opening the Portsmouth office will provide better service to our regional clients and demonstrates our commitment to Northern New England and the new business opportunities SyNet is pursuing."

SyNet, Inc. provides design, engineering and installation services for fiber optic and copper cabling systems; switching and routing hardware; and asset management solutions for voice and data communications within buildings and throughout campus environments. www.synetinc.com



Cable Design Technologies (CDT - Pittsburgh, PA), a worldwide provider of high-speed network connectivity products, has announced that Lance Balk had joined its Board of Directors. Mr. Balk is a partner of Kirkland & Ellis, a preeminent international law firm with offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and London. Mr. Balk is a senior member of the firm's securities and M&A practice areas. He has been involved in numerous IPOs, debt and equity offerings, leveraged buyouts, spin-offs and acquisitions for a variety of public and private companies.

Mr. Balk has worked with the Company as outside counsel since 1989, and has played a significant role in CDT's public offerings, financings and acquisitions over the past several years, including CDT's acquisition of Nortel's structured wiring business. Mr. Balk received his Juris Doctorate and Masters in Business Administration from the University of Chicago.

"Mr. Balk's M&A and financing expertise is extremely relevant to CDT's strategic direction," said Paul Olson, CDT President and CEO. "His experience with a large number and variety of companies and transactions gives him a unique and valuable background that makes him an excellent addition to CDT's Board of Directors." www.cdtc.com



FONS Corporation (Northboro, MA), a provider of passive fiber optic components and interconnect solutions, announced that David W. Stowe, Ph.D., has joined the company as Vice President of Research and Development.

Dr. Stowe brings with him 23 years of experience heading corporate R&D programs in fiber optic components. Before joining FONS, Dr. Stowe served as Vice President of Fiber Technology at Thomas and Betts where he was instrumental in the development of the Miniature Bend 180, which received the R&D100 Award in 1999. "Dave's expertise over a broad range of passive optical components will be a major asset to FONS' expanding product development capabilities," Michael J. Noonan, President and CEO of FONS, said. "Under Dave's guidance, FONS will be able to improve our abilities to respond to the increasing market demand for higher volumes of more complex passive optical components, including DWDMs and fused biconic couplers."

Dr. Stowe began his career as a Senior Scientist at the Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University. He later joined Gould, Inc., where he developed and patented the first commercial fused singlemode coupler, which received the IR100 Award. In 1985, he co-founded the Aster Corporation, which was acquired by Porta Systems Corporation in 1993.

Dr. Stowe received both his Master's Degree and Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Illinois and his Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the University of Wisconsin. He is a member of the Optical Society of America, the American Physical Society, SPIE and Phi Beta Kappa. In 1988 Dr. Stowe was awarded a NASA Certificate of Recognition for technical innovation; over 15 patents and a list of publications have been issued to his name. www.fons.com



With the growing presence of the Internet, the expansion of PC's into the home, and the growing sophistication of entertainment, residential wiring needs are rapidly changing. According to Cahners In-Stat Group (Scottsdale, AZ), a high-tech market research firm, response to these changing needs will create a residential structured wiring market that will exceed $1.4 billion by 2004.

A structured wiring solution allows for the integration of voice, data, and video services into a central, manageable distribution center or hub. High-grade cable, such as CAT 5 or RG-6, carries services from the distribution center throughout the home. Modular wall plates or receptacles are the final system component allowing for multi-service access from a single location. "As the penetration of broadband Internet access continues, and voice, data and entertainment networks converge, the demand for high quality distribution platforms for this traffic will emerge," stated Amy Helland, a Research Analyst with In-Stat's LAN & Enterprise Communications Group. "While "no-new-wires" technologies such as phoneline, RF and powerline networking will be sufficient for a large number of existing home owners, many new home buyers in the next few years will choose to "future-proof" their homes with the installation of a structured wiring package."

According to In-Stat there are several key forces driving this market:

Recent standards development has raised the bar of acceptable system deployment forcing builders to install higher grade cabling. In the highly competitive new housing market, builders are seeking means for differentiation and as the number of builders deploying these systems is approaching a critical mass, it will become necessary for a builder to install structured wiring in order to remain competitive.

Homebuyers are becoming more aware and demanding of the performance differential available through structured wiring.



BICCGeneral (Highland Heights, KY) and AXA S.A. de C.V. have announced that BICCGeneral has agreed in principle with AXA to acquire the businesses of AXA's subsidiaries, Telmag, S.A. de C.V. and Telmag Internacional, S.A. de C.V. The Telmag businesses are located in Tetla, Tlaxcala Mexico and manufacture telecommunication, central office and data networking cables. The parties intend to negotiate and execute a definitive acquisition agreement and complete the transaction in the third quarter of 2000.

Stephen Rabinowitz, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BICCGeneral said: "The acquisition of Telmag, which is a quality supplier of state of the art telecommunications cable, gives BICCGeneral the capacity and flexibility we need to better serve the requirements of our present contractual customers, as well as gives us a window to important new telecommunications markets in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America." www.biccgeneral.com



The worldwide networking equipment market reached $10.8 billion in Q1 2000, a modest 3 % increase from Q4 1999, according to Cahners In-Stat Group (Scottsdale, AZ), a high-tech market research firm. Although revenue growth in Q1 '00 was outpaced by the tremendous 13 % growth in Q4 '99, typical first quarter sluggishness dampened revenue growth. However, In-Stat believes the networking equipment market is positioned for more robust growth in 2000, and expects year-end total revenues to hit $50 billion.

"Although growth slowed in Q1 2000, the networking equipment market will pick up steam in the remaining quarters of 2000, fueled by enterprise backbone purchases and continued service provider network build out," said Gemma Paulo, Research Analyst for In-Stat's Voice & Data Service. "With the exception of high-end switches, LAN equipment markets are suffering from rapid price erosion. Top vendors have pushed into the lucrative WAN equipment markets, targeting service providers."

Quarter to quarter growth was driven primarily by WAN equipment, i.e. digital modems, ATM WAN switches and VoIP gateways. The greater than expected 7 % growth in ATM Switches was driven by the rapid deployment of Broadband services, VoIP and network convergence. DSL and cable modem revenues combined, increased 28%, and additional growth is expected as obstacles to deployment are increasingly overcome. North America continues to dominate network hardware sales with 53 % of the market in Q1 00. However, Europe and Asia are building out service provider infrastructure at an unparalleled pace. These regions are expected, together with Latin American, to account for the major share of networking hardware revenues over the next several quarters.

Cisco maintained its number one market share ranking, followed by Nortel, 3Com and Lucent. Q1 00 was marked by 3Com's exit from the enterprise switch market, and Lucent's spin-off of its LAN product lines, with 3Com taking a hit in revenues due to its reorganization.

The report, Q1 2000 State of the Networking Equipment Market, (#CQ00-02M8), provides quarterly market shares and forecasts for the major networking hardware segments. As Part of In-Stat's Quarterly Research Service, the Quarterly Networking Review analyzes technology and market trends impacting the overall networking hardware market. www.instat.com



New technology is impacting the way we live and state-of-the-art information and communication systems today have a place in the average American home. This has created the need to upgrade the residential wiring system so that consumers can enjoy today's latest technologies in their homes. Leviton Integrated Networks (Little Neck, NY) offers an optimal solution for meeting the needs of today's "wired home", offering four application modules that support Internet and computer networking applications, whole-house video and audio, and family and home monitoring.

"In 1998, 30,000 new homes had some type of structured wiring. In 1999, that number more than doubled to 90,000 new homes outfitted with structured wiring with an expected climb this year to 200,000 new homes. The need to 'future proof' a home is becoming more and more necessary as increasing numbers of consumers choose to bring technologies once reserved for the workplace into their homes," said Bill Marshall, Leviton's Vice President of Marketing and Product Management.

At the heart of Leviton's Integrated Networks is the company's Structured Media Center. The Structured Media Center serves as the central hub from which low-voltage wiring such as Category 5 and coaxial cable are run to termination points wherever they're needed. Easy-to-install snap-in modules distribute voice, data, audio and video signals throughout the home. The design of the Structured Media Center easily enables the addition of new components as the connectivity requirements of the home grows.

While Leviton Integrated Networks are designed primarily for new construction, the system is ideal for upgrades and remodeling such as the addition of a home office or family entertainment room. "The investment in the new technology is valued at approximately 1% of the cost of a new home, a comparative bargain when considering other possible upgrades consumers might elect to have installed such as high-end carpeting or appliances," Marshall added. www.levitonvoicedata.com



Leviton Manufacturing (Little Neck, NY) has announced the consolidation of its two networking business units. Leading structured cabling manufacturer Leviton Telcom and the innovative Leviton Fiberoptic Technologies Group will join to become the new Leviton Voice & Data Division (Bothell, WA), offering complete, integrated system solutions for copper and fiber infrastructure.

The new division, which will design product for both commercial and residential systems, was formed to provide a unified "one-stop shopping" system provider, seamlessly combining traditional, copper-focused wiring systems with rapidly advancing fiber optic technologies. www.levitonvoicedata.com



Ortronics (New London, CT) has announces the addition of bestroute.com (Syracuse, NY) as an authorized stocking distributorship of hard-to-find items. bestroute.com will provide real-time inventory of Ortronics connectivity products not commonly stocked by classical distribution. These items will include specialty voice/data patch panels, interface cords, outlets, cable management, fiber optic and residential systems.

Ortronics is currently working with bestroute.com to establish initial stocking levels, pricing and logistics necessary for bestroute.com to begin stocking hard-to-find connectivity voice/data products at their distribution center in Louisville, KY (operated by UPS Logistics Group). bestroute.com, with online sales growing steadily since its June 12th introduction, not only offers access to nearly 65,000 top quality products from leading manufacturers, but also acts as an information resource to those within the industry.



Anixter (Skokie, IL), a provider of data communications cable and equipment, and Rockwell Automation, a leader in industrial automation technology, along with Panduit Corp and the Siemon Company, data communications connectivity designers and manufacturers, have announced the joint development of the first open specification for an industrially hardened Ethernet connector.

Ethernet, widely used in office and manufacturing environments, is moving into real-time control applications in the plant. The critical nature of these communications and the tough environment dictated an industrial-hardened, commercial connector.

The connector specification, based on the widely accepted RJ45 connector, incorporates an IP67-rated seal and is designed to provide protection from moisture, dust, corrosion, EMI/RFI, vibration and shock typically found in industrial applications.

"This development represents a major step in bringing open Ethernet standards from the office environment to industrial applications," said Andreas Somogyi, Ethernet Program manager, Rockwell Automation. "This spec allows us and other manufacturers to more quickly introduce industrial Ethernet products, while providing end users with the level of consistency they need to integrate a complete solution. A connector designed after this spec will also be a major component for our IP67-rated EtherNet/IP products."

Anixter and Rockwell teamed up with Panduit Corp. and the Siemon Company in early 1999, in response to a lack of standard, off-the-shelf Ethernet components for use on the factory floor. The absence of industrial Ethernet standards left suppliers unprepared for the explosive demand of Ethernet devices. "There was a real need to complete some comprehensive Ethernet physical layer testing in the industrial environment," explained Jim Westerman, Senior Marketing Manager, Anixter Industrial Communications Group, "and given Anixter's cable and connector expertise and Rockwell Automation's extensive industrial automation experience, a Rockwell-Anixter team made a lot of sense."

Factoring in the technical and design expertise provided from Panduit Corp. and the Siemon Company brings the assurance that products developed under this specification will provide both the performance and compatibility that the industrial market demands.

The Panduit Network Connectivity Group, a division of Panduit Corp., is a leader in Network Connectivity Solutions, providing complete systems to terminate, route, manage and identify network cabling infrastructures.

Siemon's commitment to innovation and quality is reflected in over 300 active patents and achievement of ISO 9001, 9002 and 14001 certification. As a telecommunications industry leader, The Siemon Company actively participates in standards committees such as the ISO/IEC, TIA/EIA and BICSI.



SUPERCOMM 2000, held in June in Atlanta, shattered all previous records by drawing 53,260 attendees, an increase of 24.4 percent over last year, according to audited figures(1) released by show organizers.

"Following two years of aggressive double-digit growth, SUPERCOMM 2000 produced a resounding 24.4 percent increase in verified attendance," said Jack Chalden, SUPERCOMM general manager. "Growth among the international audience was particularly strong - up 31.4 percent over last year, with registrants from 134 countries." Domestic attendance in all eight regions of the U.S. also grew -- from 14.6 percent in the Southwest to a high of 56.2 percent in the Northeast.

SUPERCOMM 2000 also set an all-time record for exhibit activity, Chalden said. Exhibitors occupied 467,100 net square feet of space in the Georgia World Congress Center, an increase of 14.7 percent over 1999.

The trade and business press also participated in unprecedented numbers, Chalden said. A record total of nearly 700 editorial press and industry analysts attended SUPERCOMM 2000, an increase of 21.1 percent over the 1999 show.

This heavy media activity translated into coverage by CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox and four Atlanta television channels, as well as by leading daily newspapers, national business magazines, wire services, e-zines, news portals, and technology and communications industry trade publications.

SUPERCOMM 2001 will be held June 3-7, 2001, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. SUPERCOMM, the premier annual communications and information technology exhibition and conference, is presented jointly by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), Arlington, VA and the United States Telecom Association (USTA), Washington, DC.



A major expansion of office and manufacturing space provided the perfect opportunity for Berk-Tek (New Holland, PA), an Alcatel company, to install its own sophisticated, state-of-the-art local area network (LAN) incorporating the best available technology and including the company's own high-performance enhanced UTP copper and fiber-optic cables.

The new LAN is one of the first global installations of NetClear&$153;, an alliance of Berk-Tek and Ortronics, New London, Conn. NetClear represents a breakthrough in structured cabling architecture, encompassing a family of precisely engineered solutions that deliver maximum channel capacity with optimized enhanced copper and fiber optic cabling networks. A major NetClear benefit is its 25-year total system warranty.

The new network also includes Alcatel switches manufactured by the Alcatel Internetworking Division (Calabasas, CA)

Berk-Tek is currently putting the finishing touches on a multimillion-dollar expansion that adds about 50,000-sq. ft. to the company's existing corporate offices and manufacturing plant, significantly expanding its copper product line. Fiber optic cables are made at the company's Fuquay-Varina, N.C., complex.

"Obviously, we wanted to use this opportunity to showcase and demonstrate the sophisticated technology we offer, as well as being able to substantially upgrade our internal capabilities at New Holland, particularly for manufacturing," said Berk-Tek President Kevin St. Cyr.

Berk-Tek's new switched Ethernet network was designed by Phil Radics, formerly Berk-Tek Manager of Marketing Programs and now the company's Western and Pacific Regional Manager, and Tom Repetski, a project foreman with Black Box Network Services, formerly The Delaney Companies (Blue Bell, PA), the installer.



Ortronics Inc. (New London, CT) has announced the addition of their new UTP enhanced high performance patch cord with a patented ParalignTM plug design as a key component of the Ortronics GigaMo+ Category 6 and NetClearGT2 (a Berk-Tek/Ortronics Alliance) channel solutions. The Paralign plug design ensures high performance, high channel capacity and throughput consistently and reliably for the most demanding applications such as Gigabit and emerging 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet®.

Ortronics new patented ParalignTM plug design is a unique innovation that provides wire pair control within standard RJ45 plugs, substantially reducing and controlling NEXT (Near-end crosstalk) and FEXT (Far-end crosstalk). The Paralign was designed to provide the necessary strain relief as well as maintaining the integrity of the wire pairs and balancing to the point of termination.

An additional benefit of the Paralign plug is its snagless feature that extends over the plug latch mechanism to prevent reverse pull damages when removing a patch cord from tight locations. Also, the bottom section of the plug contains a slotted opening for a TIA/EIA-606 color-coded icon for station identification.

Ortronics Category 6 patch cords are 100% factory tested in a channel to a minimum of 250MHz. www.ortronics.com



Ortronics (New London, CT) has released their new 2000 V1.5 System Solutions Guide. The guide highlights any new products that have been introduced since the release of the full-line catalog in addition to all of Ortronics top selling solutions.

New products featured include the NetClear™ Structured Cabling System, GigaMo™ and GigaMo+™ Channel Solutions, and the LabelMo™ Designation Software. Also included are Workstation Solutions such as TracJack®, Series II, Mini-Mod and the Mighty Mutoa, Modular Cords and Cable Assemblies, the 110 Cross-Connect System, Fiber Optic Systems, Racks and Cable Management Systems, In House™ residential/small commercial structured cabling systems, plus designation and accessories. www.ortronics.com



Ortronics Inc. (New London, CT) has introduced the Mighty Mo Wall Mount Cable Management Cabinet. Available in two multi-featured versions, it offers complete four-sided access to installed components and the depth of a full size cabinet, as well as security and exceptional cable management. With a handsome appearance, the Mighty Mo Wall Mount cabinet is ideal for areas with special needs, such as space constraints, security or protection from foreign elements, such as dust, dirt or moisture.

The Mighty Mo Wall Mount Cable Management Cabinets includes a lockable front door with fully tested safety glass. The door is easily removable and can be mounted to open on the left or right. Side panels pivot open and remove for easy access. Internal latches keep the side panels secure when the front door is locked.

Other features offered are:

  • Four vertical mounting rails adjustable from front to back and threaded for 12-24 screws (supplied)

  • Ventilation slots in the bottom and a 120V-100 CFM fan are included

  • Six cable management rings (supplied) can be used in front or back of cabinet and are adjustable from top or bottom.

The cabinet pivots on a 2.50" (64mm) deep base with one solid cable entry cover and one brush cable entry cover. The pivot method is by heavy-duty cast lockable hinged brackets, which can be configured in the field for right or left rotation. www.ortronics.com



Ortronics (New London, CT), has released their newly redesigned web site, www.ortronics.com. Ortronics has totally renovated the look and logistics of their web site, in order to create a tool that is both useful and informative, with easy navigation and search capability.

In order to make the web site easy to navigate, each of the pages within the site is accessible from the home page through no more than two clicks. There is also a "Site Info" page, which includes a site map and a site explorer, to further ensure easier navigation through the site. Another beneficial feature to the new site is a product search engine. This online catalog is searchable by part number, product name, product category, or even partial part numbers or names.

From the home page, visitors to the site can access links to information categories, such as Company Info, Products, Training, and Contact Us. In addition, they can find information or links to Ortronics Channel Solutions (GigaMo™, GigaMo+™, Fiber Optic, and NetClear™), Communications (Hot New Products, Literature, Articles and Press Releases), International sites (currently Latin America, with more in the works for the near future), and the InHouse™ SoHo/Residential section (News, Products, Tech Briefs, and FAQ's).

The Ortronics web site is continuously changing and growing, and visitors to the site are encouraged to contribute suggestions and opinions for further improvement. Their site can be viewed at www.ortronics.com.



Fluke Networks (Everett, WA), a leading provider of innovative Network SuperVision Solutions™ for insuring reliable data communications and Internet uptime, introduces two new Fiber Test Installer Packages that simplify fiber testing by giving technicians all the test and inspection tools they need in one compact kit.

Both the FTI Basic and the FTI Pro Packages include easy-to-use fiber testers that test multimode fiber at 850 nm and 1300 nm wavelengths. Also included are a fiber inspection scope, an in-depth 224 page Fiber Optic Reference Guide, and all the necessary test accessories. These stand-alone fiber test tools all boast rugged designs that ensure equipment uptime to keep the job moving. Each package comes with a compact, hard-shell carrying case for easy storage and transport.

"The Fiber Test Installer Packages provide the same high standards of performance, durability and reliability that the industry has come to expect from Fluke Networks' popular DSP-4000 Series of Digital CableAnalyzers," said Mark Taylor, product manager for Fluke Networks Fiber Optic Products. "Customers that don't need an integrated copper-plus-fiber test solution can now choose a dedicated fiber solution that matches their application." www.flukenetworks.com



Fluke Networks (Everett, WA) extends its popular DSP Series to provide additional memory and reporting capabilities. The DSP-4100 Digital CableAnalyzer™ includes a removable memory card and a new version of the Fluke Networks' Cable Manager Software. Concurrent with the DSP-4100 release, Fluke Networks announces a $500 price reduction on the DSP-4000 Digital CableAnalyzer and includes Cable Manager Software valued at $295 for free. In addition, Fluke Networks is offering an easy upgrade path to the DSP-4100.

"The DSP-4100 delivers on the promise that we first made when introducing the DSP-4000 Series. We made a commitment to help customers off-set the expense of replacing equipment in the face of fast changing standards and installation requirements, thereby extending the value of their initial investment," said Tom Jordal, product manager for Fluke Networks Media Test Products. "Since introducing the DSP-4000 in September 1998, we have added fiber testing modules, designed adapters to address next generation Small Form Factor Fiber Optic Connector Systems, as well as provide the broadest range available of Cat 6 link interface adapters. By providing customers with an easy upgrade path for improved memory and reporting, Fluke Networks further proves that if you partner with us, we will keep our eye on your future testing needs."

The DSP-4100 is equipped with a small, removable memory card, adding memory and providing data mobility. For saving test results, users simply slide the memory card into the slot on the side of the test tool and choose the preferred data format for storage. Users can store the complete set of measurement values, which enables users to generate multi-color measurement curves in the test report for each parameter tested, over the full 1-350 MHz frequency range supported by the DSP-4100. Or users can store the summary numeric data. With this method, the worst case and worst value numeric data are stored for each test parameter for each wire pair or wire pair combination from both ends of the link under test. The memory card can be dropped off or mailed in to save trailer time and make reporting more convenient.

The powerful, Windows-based Cable Manager Software Version 4.0 (DSP-CMS) that comes with the DSP-4100 helps you quickly organize, edit, view, print, save, or archive test results by job site, customer, campus building, and more. All the functions previously delivered by the DSP-LINK utility program are now incorporated in the DSP-CMS program. Users can merge test results into an existing database and then sort, search and organize by any number of data fields or parameters. The software also automatically identifies link names during certification testing, which saves time and effort in the field.

The graphical reports and numeric reports include header information in which users can insert a company logo in a bitmap format. The header also contains useful audit information such as the date and time of the certification test, the identification of the test equipment hardware and software version, the applicable test standard, the cable type and NVP value, as well as the overall Pass or Fail and the NEXT headroom figure.

Fluke Networks DSP-4100 -- as do all other DSP Series testers -- deploys the digital test technology pioneered by Fluke for cable test applications. This technique uses digital pulses to stimulate the link-under-test and processes the measurement results in the time domain using Digital Signal Processing technology. This measurement method has proven to exceed all analog or swept frequency methods in accuracy and repeatability.

The DSP-4000 and DSP-4100 accurately test any of the new, high-performance cable on the market, and support all the tests specified in the new standards including NEXT, Equal Level Far-End Cross Talk (ELFEXT), Power Sum NEXT, Propagation Delay, Return Loss, and Delay Skew. Fluke Networks provides a comprehensive portfolio of offerings designed to help cable professionals make better use of product features, ease the learning curve for new product users, and lower the overall cost of ownership. These services are offered at no cost to Fluke cable test partners. Registered DSP-4100 and DSP-4000 owners automatically qualify for the Silver Priority Support package, which includes cutting-edge training and reference materials, advance notice of product upgrades and enhancements, automatic software updates, and 24/7 web support. Gold Priority Membership provides extra benefits such as "next-day" service loaners, priority technical support and calibration with traceable calibration certificate and is available for an additional fee. www.flukenetworks.com

 

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