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HOTS 05/2001

Issue: May 2001

By: Frank Bisbee


 

Featured Story

 


So why all the fuss in HOTS over PVC? Well there are many reasons … reasons coming in from all over the world. Reasons you should know about. The bottom line is that plasticized PVC, and its many uses, is at the center of a growing maelstrom over health and disposal concerns. Will these problems also affect the wire and cable industry? They are already, as we pointed out in the new product announcement by Teknor Apex in our last issue of HOTS. Companies are beginning to respond. Health hazards notwithstanding, this is not the end of PVC. It may not even be the beginning of the end. Time will tell. But we do believe this is a beginning for new solutions in the wire and cable industry.

Our goal in HOTS, first and foremost, is to keep you informed with the facts surrounding the hazards of PVC, as reported from credible organizations and agencies from around the world. It's also to keep you one step ahead of major industry trends. In so doing we will report the hazards as well as the solutions, be they from the PVC suppliers or manufacturers of other materials. We'd like your comments as well.

ON THE INTERNATIONAL SCENE

PVC has come under fire, with its effects on human health and the environment being linked, for example, to fertility problems and emissions of highly toxic dioxins. The European Commission has responded to these worries by publishing a Green Paper on environmental issues relating to PVC. The Green Paper has two objectives: firstly, to make a scientific assessment of the environmental impact of PVC throughout its lifecycle; secondly, to consider a number of options to reduce the most serious effects. The Green Paper looks at PVC products, the use of additives and waste management.

The European Parliament is calling for the 'polluter pays' principle to apply to PVC waste so that PVC producers are charged for any additional costs generated by the presence of PVC in waste (a need for better filter equipment, costs caused by corrosion, etc.). Owing to the problems PVC causes during incineration, Parliament wants the Commission to bring forward legislation requiring separate waste collection of PVC products. The report also calls for research in the field of incineration, to include ways of recovering harmful hydrogen chloride. Hard and soft PVC, it says, should be separated, with hard PVC being land filled because of its high chlorine content and soft PVC being incinerated to eliminate the risk of phthalates being released.

Additives often used in PVC, such as cadmium and lead, are toxic. Parliament regards the undertakings given by the PVC industry in this area as insufficient and therefore wants Community legislation to phase out cadmium and lead-based stabilizers and to ban imports of them from third countries. It is calling on the Commission to propose an amendment to Directive 76/769/EEC with the aim of banning all use of cadmium as a stabilizer in the PVC industry - but no date was added here. On the subject of phthalates, which are often used as plasticizers (for manufacturing flexible PVC products) but are suspected of mimicking hormones and causing fertility problems, the House wants the Commission to examine alternatives and establish targets to reduce their use, particularly in medical equipment.

Parliament regrets that the Commission has not carried out any lifecycle analysis of PVC products and alternative products and says this could be a field for research within the Sixth Framework Research Program. It calls on the Commission to bring forward a long-term horizontal strategy involving the introduction of substitution policies.

MEPs want the percentage of PVC waste, which is recycled to be increased and are therefore calling for research in the area of chemical recycling. They suggest a recycling model on the basis of the end-of-life vehicles directive. They also propose the introduction of compulsory marking so that PVC can be distinguished more easily from other plastic waste to facilitate collection and sorting. Parliament believes legislation should be adopted as this cannot be left to the goodwill of the industry within the framework of the voluntary commitment.

Press inquiries may be directed to Judith Ecker, (Strasbourg) Telephone: (33) 3 881 74076, (Brussels) Telephone: (32-2) 28 42629, E-mail: envi-press@europarl.eu.int.



The Heard On The Street in Wireville column will continue to challenge the readers with the question, "Do you know what cable is being installed in your buildings?" Perhaps the question should be expanded to include the riddle of, "Do you know what is in the cable that is being installed in your buildings?"

This is the editor's page from medical devicelink.com originally published in April 2000.

EDITOR'S PAGE

THERE IS (STILL) A GREAT FUTURE IN PLASTICS,

BUT MAYBE NOT IN PVC

Science has its limits, as the saying goes, but the demarcation used to be spiritual matters or metaphysics. The boundaries are shifting, however, and even research traditionally within the scientific domain is being challenged. One recent example is the PVC issue.

Greenpeace and Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) have succeeded in alerting the public to the perceived health and environmental hazards of PVC, a dominant material in the fabrication of medical disposables. Environmentalists have pointed to the disposal of PVC by incineration as a source of dioxin contamination. Advancing from the other flank, HCWH objects to the use of the plasticizer DEHP, which is used to make PVC flexible, because it may be a human carcinogen and endocrine disrupter. DEHP has been shown to leach from IV bags and tubing, and HCWH argues that if it migrates into the patient, DEHP could damage the heart, liver, testes, and kidneys and adversely affect fetal development and reproduction.

Imagine that on the nightly news! It's certainly a sexier topic, to use newsroom lingo, than reporting on an independent panel of scientists headed by C. Everett Koop that gave a clean bill of health to the softeners used in PVC.

Not surprisingly, the Koop report's impact has been underwhelming. Since its release, Tenet Healthcare and Baxter have announced that they will encourage the development and use of alternative materials to PVC in their healthcare products. (See the article "PVC Defections Continue" at www.devicelink.com/mpmn/archive/00/04/inews.html#news4.) Now that has gotten industry's attention.

"Do we really have a choice?," asks one material and process engineer who works for a competitor of Baxter's. "We need to make the move away from PVC," he says, adding that within five to seven years, his company will produce all of its IV bags with alternate materials. German manufacturer Sengewald Verpackungen supplies a co extruded polypropylene film as an alternative to PVC in medical fluid bags. The Propyflex material has garnered widespread recognition and was recently named a finalist in the Medical Design Excellence Awards organized by Canon Communications. Several other companies, many of them European, have launched alternative materials. The European Commission has also weighed in on the debate: it recently banned the use of phthalates in some children's toys and is currently conducting a horizontal cradle-to-grave life cycle study of PVC in non-medical applications. If you're inclined to think that this is just one more example of European hypersensitivity with little resonance in the United States, I would humbly suggest that you think again. Remember how genetically modified food suddenly became a hot potato in the United States after European consumers raised a fuss?

The writing is on the tubing wall. Although PVC continues to dominate the disposables market, its share is gradually being eroded by polyolefin-based systems, according to a recent report published by Frost & Sullivan. The report notes that the market share of PVC has declined from 58.1% of unit shipments in 1995 to 55.5% in 1998. By 2005, the report predicts, PVC will account for 47.7% of total unit shipments of plastic in medical disposables.

For more information, contact Norbert Sparrow

e-mail: norbert.sparrow@cancom.com

www.devicelink.com/mpmn/archive/00/04/edpage.html



NFPA PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT NEWS

Join NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) and you will have access to the premier issue of NFPA Professional Development News, your monthly link to important code-related information and news, as well as previews of upcoming conferences, seminars, online learning courses and other professional development opportunities - all from NFPA, the world leader in fire and life safety.

In this issue you'll learn about: NFPA's Building Code developments, Electrical safety in the workplace, Documents reporting at the 2001 World Fire Safety Congress and Exposition™, FREE Online Tutorials, Web-based training from NFPA and TargetSafety™, and the Schedule of NFPA upcoming professional development programs.

Join now and enjoy your first issue of NFPA Professional Development News. Be sure to look for highlights of the upcoming OSHA Conference in the next issue!

NFPA is offering two FREE online tutorials: "A Guide to Grounding Terms" and "NFPA 70E: Determining Personal Protective Equipment Requirements." Just visit www.nfpa.org to log on. These entry-level, self-paced tutorials are a great way to experience online learning at no cost. Please give them your feedback on the survey at the end of the tutorials, so they can develop more courses for your benefit.

NFPA and Target Safety have teamed up to deliver environmental, health, and safety training to public and private employers. Target Safety provides OSHA-mandated safety training via the Internet, making it cost-effective for employers to outsource implementation, management, and administration of safety and HR training programs.

"By working with TargetSafety.com, NFPA will be extending its reach even more, making critical environmental safety and health information available directly to those who need it, with a keen eye on cost containment," said Perry Ludy, NFPA Senior Vice President, Business Development.

For a limited time only, Target Safety is offering a special cost savings offer for NFPA members only! To experience the future of safety training today - take a FREE training course demo by clicking on www.TargetSafetyNFPA.com. Password ABCK.

Progress on the first full open consensus building code in the U.S. continues on schedule thanks to the dedication and hard work of numerous individuals, groups, committees and NFPA staff. From the NFPA Board of Directors, NFPA Standards Council, Technical Correlating Committee for the Building Code and the 16 Technical Committees involved in this project, it has been a busy and productive period. Here's a timeline of what NFPA has accomplished and what lies ahead:

    • Project approval by NFPA Standards Council
    • Start-up roster of TCC members
    • Meeting I of TCC
    • Start-up roster of TC members
    • Meeting II of TCC
    • Code draft released for public
    • TC meetings to improve content
    • Regional Code Committee meetings
    • Building Officials Forum
    • Proposal Closing Date
    • TC ROP Meetings
    • TC ROP Meetings (Cont.)
    • Meeting III of TCC
    • ROP to public
    • Comment Closing Date
    • TC ROC Meetings
    • Meeting IV of TCC
    • NFPA Member vote
    • Standards Council Issuance
    • Code available


The Technical Committee's continue to meet this challenge head on in several areas including energy efficiency, structural design, and performance-based design. Work on these subjects and others will carry over into a second set of ROP meetings in February and March 2001.

The staff support for this project has also resulted in the addition of some new technical positions at NFPA. A Structural Engineer joined the NFPA staff in August of 2000. Also in August, a Regional Manager for the Building Code was brought on board to assist in code adoption strategies for the building code as well as other key NFPA codes and standards. In November of 2000, their staff support once again increased with the addition of a Senior Building Code Specialist to oversee the work of the Building Systems Committee.

In addition to the ongoing work of the Technical Committees, NFPA organized and hosted the first Regional Code Committee meeting. This group, keying off the previous model of the regional fire code development committees organized by NFPA, met for two days to review the draft of NFPA 5000 and to prepare proposals for review by the various technical committees.

The first Building Officials forum was organized and hosted by NFPA on the first weekend in November. The forum brought leadership from 32 states to NFPA to learn about and discuss the process and procedures used by NFPA to develop our codes and standards.

To stay up-to-date on all the latest Building Code developments, just log onto their website, http://buildingcode.nfpa.org. You can review meeting minutes, see the public and committee proposals, and get the schedule of upcoming events.



Draka USA and Molex Premise Networks announce

the technology alliance, DrakaMolex Cabling Systems

Helix/HiTemp Cables and Chromatic Technologies, subsidiaries of Draka USA (Franklin, MA), together with Molex Premise Networks (Hudson, NH) will unveil their strategic technology alliance, DrakaMolex Cabling Systems at BICSI Spring Conference (Las Vegas, NV), May 6-10. This unique system solution will offer the most complete and fully warranted fiber and copper end-to-end structured cabling solutions for datacom applications. Watch for the new website: www.DrakaMolex.com.

DrakaMolex Cabling Systems will address real network performance as characterized in an installed high-speed environment with a system that has been tested and verified to support a myriad of applications as well as addressing all protocols. DrakaMolex Cabling Systems will address bandwidth issues that affect voice, data and video intensive technologies for today as well as those of tomorrow. Together the solution will meet all links and channel performance and products will be tested and verified to comply with the recognized global standards such as EIA/TIA, ISO IEC 11801, IEEE, ANSI and ATM Forum as well as those of tomorrow.

This high degree of reliability allows DrakaMolex Cabling Systems to offer a 25-year Applications Assurance and Extended Product Warranty on all passive connectivity products. One point of contact is provided for all components covered by the warranty.

"Network managers want 100% uptime," states William Dungan, general manager of Helix/HiTemp Cables, Inc. "Traditionally warranty programs have encompassed cabling components tested within the confines of the manufacturer. Our total cabling system encompasses all the cabling products and connectivity hardware verified by a third party independent laboratory for compliance with the latest standards," he adds. "This verification program, which separates our warranty program from others available in the marketplace, includes ongoing testing and provides extensive test data of the components to assure strict compliance to the most up-to-date industry specifications to provide our customers with a reliable system as well as a peace of mind."

"Molex designs components and systems as 'innovative package solutions' to support our customers' overriding need for data integrity," states Lloyd Mariner, president of Molex Premise Networks. "This strong partnership will distinguish our combined capabilities and products to assure long-term data integrity which will exceed our customers' expectations and industry performance standards," he adds.

The Draka USA companies -- Helix/HiTemp Cables, Inc., and Chromatic Technologies, Inc. -- offer copper and fiber optic cable configurations including coax, UTP, STP in plenum or non-plenum, and multi-fiber breakout or loose tube, single or multi-mode for backbone and horizontal applications. Draka USA is a subsidiary of Draka Holding Group, an international group of companies, sharing the mission to provide appropriate wire and cable solutions to customers across the world. Operating in Europe, North America and the Middle and Far East, Draka is devoted exclusively to the development, production and sale of wire and cable for energy and data transmission and communications. www.drakausa.com

Molex Premise Networks, part of the second largest interconnection products manufacturer in the world, offers unique end-to-end products from the outlets to the distribution frames, which encompass copper and fiber components. www.molexpn.com.



CABLE INDUSTRY PIONEER, CARL SIEMON, DIES

Carl Siemon, Chairman of the Board for cabling systems manufacturer The Siemon Company, died February 14, 2001 in Boca Raton, FL, after a battle with prostate cancer. He was 78.

Siemon graduated from Yale University in 1945, after interrupting his education to serve in World War II as a lieutenant in the South Pacific. In 1947, he went to work at The Siemon company where, in his own words, "Along with my family and my friends, the company was to be my life, as it was my father's and his father's." Siemon became president of the company in 1957, and held that office until 1982, when he became Chairman of the Board of Directors. Mr. Siemon's family and extraordinary staff at The Siemon Company (Watertown, CT) will continue his tradition of quality and value. www.siemon.com



ITS/ETL SEMKO proudly announced that Mr. Jim Anastasi has joined The ITS/ETL Global Cabling Products Testing Group. Jim assumes the role of Technical Manager and will oversee all technical operations for the independent cabling products testing laboratory. Also, he will represent ITS/ETL at industry committee meetings such as TIA/EIA, NEMA, NFPA, NFPA RF, UL and IEC/ISO.

In his career, Jim has held such positions in the cabling industry as Vice President of Engineering at Brand Rex and C&M Corporation. Most recently, he served as Director of Engineering at Helix-HiTemp/Draka. Don Nicholson, General Manager at ITS/ETL Testing Laboratories stated "The addition of Jim Anastasi to our staff increases our ability to understand the needs of our clients and will help us to serve the cabling industry better." www.etlcable.com



ALCATEL MAKES INITIAL OFFER FOR LUCENT'S

FIBER OPTIC CABLE BUSINESS

April 27, 2001, French telecom equipment maker Alcatel has made an initial offer for the fiber optics division of U.S. technology giant Lucent Technology Inc., Alcatel Chairman Serge Tchuruk said, "It is clear, also, that practically all the players are looking closely at it, Alcatel like the others. We have made an initial offer, we will now see how things develop." Observers close to the action say that the Alcan has likely low-balled its initial bid that is supposed to be $3 or 3.5 billion. General Electric has been rumored to have shown interest, which would make more sense than Uniphase Corp. or Corning seriously bidding for the unit. Lucent has been hoping to get U.S. $5.0 billion and their creditors wants cash which puts Italy's Pirelli SpA, GE and Japan's Furukawa Electric Co. Ltd as the most likely contenders.



TWELVE THOUSAND (12,000) PINK SLIPS AT ERICSSON

(Note That The Cable Division Is The Only Lucrative Operation)

Stockholm, April 23, 2001 - Ericsson, the Swedish-based telecom equipment giant, has announced the axing of 12,000 staff, taking to more than 100,000 the number of jobs lost in the global telecom industry over the past 10 weeks. "What we have experienced is probably the fastest dive in our industry that we have ever seen," said Kurt Hellstrom, Ericsson chief executive. "It's like being hit in the head by something hard." Ericsson also announced an SKr4.9bn ($486m) loss for the first quarter, excluding capital gains, and warned it was facing a similar deficit in the second three months. The only positive contributor was the Eriksson's cable division that was not only profitable but the only activity showing positive growth.



National Telecom Alliance (NTA) (Houston, TX), the first nationwide alliance of privately-held electrical & telecommunications contractors. NTA is a business and marketing organization whose model is based on successful alliances in other contracting industries. NTA utilizes proven and tested methodologies that teach telecommunications and electrical contractors how to expand their businesses, radically improve sales and marketing effectiveness, increase labor productivity and leverage contracts, relationships and services.

NTA's founding members include Michael O'Mara, managing partner of Acquisitions Management Group (AMG), and the former president of a $21 million mechanical contractor who participated in that industry's first contractor alliance, Anderson & Howard, a $50.0 million electrical and telecommunications contractor based in Irvine, CA, and a board of advisors consisting of the industry's leading telecommunications experts. Founding member companies include contractors with revenues ranging from $1 million to more than $100 million per year. The current membership represents combined annual revenues of over $300 million.

NTA was founded on research that identified two unique dynamics at work in the telecommunications contracting industry. Electrical contractors have often been unsuccessful at expanding their telecommunication divisions larger than 10 percent of their annual revenues, due in part to their inability to sell and market standalone telecommunication services. In order to surpass this percentage, electrical contractors will need to become a more sales-driven organization to be successful in the future. On the other front, pure telecommunications contractors have seen unparalleled growth in the last five years; and these companies have had difficulty developing the infrastructure and implementing the business systems to adequately support this growth and their long-term success. NTA's proven systems and programs give the contractors the tools to solve these business issues. www.joinnta.com



USER-FRIENDLY WINDOWS™ - BASED LABELING SOFTWARE

NOW AVAILABLE FROM BRADY WORLDWIDE, INC.

The new CMP-50 cable has considerably reduced fire hazard due to the properties of the jacket and insulation material. The Teflon FEP® material is very slick and not the easiest material to write on. This new labeling capability will certainly make things easier for the installer. To help meet identification challenges in the telecommunications, industrial and electrical markets, Brady Worldwide, Inc. (Milwaukee, WI), Identification Solutions, introduces LabelMark™ Version 2 labeling software - the most versatile, easy-to-use, and easy-to-integrate labeling software available in the marketplace.

According to Z. Zakaria, product manager, Brady Worldwide, Inc., LabelMark labeling software allows users to design, edit and print labels efficiently and with ease. "For users looking for a labeling solution that is easily integrated to suit a variety of labeling applications, has an easy-to-use interface and offers an array of design options, LabelMark Version 2 is the logical solution," explains Zakaria. "This Windows-based software was designed with the user in mind, so little or no instruction is necessary - and labels are created instantly. This will help our customers save money and become more productive immediately."

The added functionality of LabelMark labeling software makes label design quick and easy. Users now have the ability to design labels in line-edit or free-form modes, plus the option to import graphical images such as company logos and agency symbols. Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) data import allows for easy-to-import data formats other than ASCII, although ASCII data import is still an alternative for LabelMark Version 2. The software also allows for standard label formats to be repeatedly used by applying templates, while masking allows input for certain fields only. Other new design features include advanced serializing, printing barcode symbologies, transposing text and defining unprintable objects.

As a Windows-based software product, LabelMark takes full advantage of editing capabilities because of the software's new user-friendly, easy-to-navigate interface. Since the multiple document interface allows the user to work with different labels at the same time, the active label is highlighted, so that the user can easily identify the position of the cursor. Users can change font type, font size, rotate text and objects and vary line spacing effortlessly, and changes are seen immediately with easy-to-use single screen editing. Furthermore, text and objects that fall outside the label's printable area are highlighted in red to alert the user that the object or text will not be printed properly. Additional enhanced editing features include zoom views, toolbars and adjustable text properties.

The combination of LabelMark's newest features makes this product easy-to-integrate to suit a number of labeling applications, including wire and cable marking, terminal block identification, control panel and component marking, voice and data equipment labeling, component tracking, rating plate identification, patch panel identification, quality assurance labeling and asset identification. It works with virtually all Brady media and accommodates stock and custom formats for special labeling needs. Moreover, the software can accommodate variable label sizes and works with a variety of different printers. LabelMark can also print to a variety of Windows-based printer devices including Brady's TLS2200® and TLS PC Link™ printers.

The latest addition to the Brady line of labeling software comes standard with multi-language support and an easy-to-use CD that can hold the program, printer drivers and electronic manuals. For more information about LabelMark Version 2 labeling software, please contact Brady customer service at [1-800-537-8791] or visit www.bradyid.com.

Brady Corporation is a world leader in complete identification solutions, with products including high-performance labels, signs, precision die-cut materials, printing systems, software, and label-application and data-collection systems for manufacturing, electrical, electronics, telecommunications and a variety of other markets. Founded in 1914, Brady is headquartered in Milwaukee, WI and employs more than 3,100 people in the United States, Europe, Asia/Pacific, Latin America and Canada. Its fiscal 2000 sales were $541 million.



SCTE PARTNERS WITH THE CENTER FOR MILITARY

AND PRIVATE SECTOR INITIATIVES

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) is partnering with The Center for Military and Private Sector Initiatives to connect broadband companies with military-trained technicians. SCTE will offer website links and other resources so that companies seeking qualified technicians can easily reach The Center for Military and Private Sector Initiatives for more information.



GRAYBAR ANNOUNCES ORGANIZATION CHANGES

Graybar Electric (St. Louis, MO) recently announced the following organization changes:

Lawrence R. Giglio has been appointed to the new position of Vice President-Investment and Inventory Management at corporate headquarters, reporting to the President and CEO. A 23-year Graybar veteran, Giglio has served as District Vice President at Dallas since 1996 and previously headed the company's Cincinnati District for three years.

Lindsey G. Darnell succeeds Giglio as District Vice President at Dallas. Darnell formerly served as Director, Construction Market at corporate headquarters. He has been with Graybar for 23 years.

Henry J. (Jac) Schmidt was appointed Manager, Comm/Data Sales in the Midwest Comm/Data District, based at the St. Louis Bel Ridge facility. Schmidt formerly served as Director, Corporate Accounts at corporate headquarters.

The retirement of two district financial managers prompted the following appointments:

Stephen C. Beckmann was appointed District Financial Manager at Atlanta, succeeding Darrel D. Schilling, who is retiring. Mr. Beckmann has been with the company for 29 years, most recently as District Financial Manager at Cincinnati.

Thomas G. Karrenbauer will succeed Beckmann as District Financial Manager at Cincinnati. A 14-year Graybar veteran, Karrenbauer formerly served as Area Financial Manager, Corporate Accounts at corporate headquarters.

Darryl B. Bain was appointed District Financial Manager at Dallas, succeeding George D. Zackey, who is retiring. Mr. Bain was formerly Assistant to the District Financial Manager at Dallas.

GRAYBAR ACQUIRES COMMONWEALTH CONTROLS

CORPORATION OF RICHMOND

Graybar, the nationwide independent distributor of electrical and comm/data supplies and equipment, announced it has acquired high tech automation controls distributor Commonwealth Controls Corporation of Richmond, Virginia.

A highly regarded designated Square D HTAD Plus distributor, Commonwealth Controls does approximately $10 million in annual sales and has 14 employees. Graybar will operate the company as a wholly owned subsidiary and maintain the Commonwealth Controls name for the business. Terms of the agreement, which was effective April 2, 2001, were not disclosed.

"We are very pleased to acquire such an outstanding organization," stated Tommy Gurganous, Graybar's Richmond District Vice President. "Commonwealth Controls Corporation is a premier automation distributor that provides the highest quality products and services to its customers. We now provide our customers with a complete automation product and service offering, including technical support. This capability coupled with our traditional electrical and comm/data products and service offering will be unparalleled throughout our trading area. We are very pleased that owners Phil Evans and Pete Pettit have agreed to continue to manage the business and that all current employees will remain with the company," Gurganous said.

"Commonwealth Controls is extremely proud to become part of Graybar Electric. We have worked with Graybar for many years and are very excited to be a part of such a fine organization," said owner Phil Evans. "We will now be able to better serve our customers with our automation and instrumentation product lines along with the complete electrical package including power, control, drives, and data communications products. We can now truly supply customers with a complete package and save them money."

Owner Pete Pettit stated, "Becoming a part of Graybar Electric will enable us to provide extensive products for immediate needs as well as maintaining the high standard of customer satisfaction for the automation customers, with training, applications help and technical sales support. Now our customers can purchase in one transaction a complete package of products that will be backed by the largest electrical supply company in the U.S. The future is bright for all our customers and employees."

Graybar's Director of Strategic Planning and Business Development D. Beatty D'Alessandro stated that the two companies have a strong focus on customer satisfaction and similar management styles. He commented, "The combination of the two companies will better serve the industrial, OEM, contractor and government customers in Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina."

The acquisition of Commonwealth Controls is part of Graybar's continuing strategy to increase its presence in the automation business. In October 1999, Graybar acquired another HTAD Plus distributor, Frank A. Blesso Company of Hartford, Connecticut.

About Commonwealth Controls: Commonwealth Controls is located at 7630 Whitepine Road in Richmond, Virginia. The company has been in business since 1974. Commonwealth Controls was the first Modicon PLC distributor in the U.S. starting in 1976. The company is a designated Square D HTAD Plus distributor. To qualify for that distinction, the company must have degreed electrical engineers on staff. Recently, the company was rated as having the highest level of customer satisfaction among all of Square D's HTAD distributors.

AUSTIN AND LUBBOCK BRANCHES

MOVE TO NEW FACILITIES

Graybar has announced the relocation of its branches in Austin and Lubbock, Texas. Both branches have moved to larger, newer facilities that enable Graybar Austin and Lubbock to provide better customer service.

The Austin Branch moved to a new 40,000 square foot building, which is nearly twice the size of the previous facility it had occupied since 1968. Located at 1922 Waukesha Drive, Pflugerville, Texas, the new Austin Branch opened on February 5, 2001. Richard F. LaCagnina is the branch manager.

The Lubbock Branch has moved to a new facility that surpasses the former building's dimensions by more than 10,000 square feet. The new 26,430 square foot facility opened on March 19, 2001 and is located at 6024 45th Street. Branch manager is Susan M. Palmer. An upcoming freeway project prompted the move.

Graybar carries top brand name products from over 4,500 manufacturers. Suppliers include Square D, General Electric Lighting, Avaya Communication, Lucent Technologies, General Cable, Panduit, Thomas & Betts, Hubbell, Comdial, Cooper Lighting, Crouse-Hinds, Hoffman, Leviton, Bussmann, Superior Essex, Panasonic, Lithonia and Allen Tel.

Graybar a Fortune 500 service provider, is engaged internationally in the wholesale distribution of electrical and comm/data equipment and integrated supply services, primarily to contractors, industrial plants, telephone companies, power utilities and commercial users. Graybar is one of the largest employee-owned companies in the United States with over 10,500 employees and 292 stocking locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. The company has been in business for 131 years. Annual sales in 2000 exceeded $5.2 billion. Corporate headquarters is in St. Louis, Missouri. For more information, call 1-800-GRAYBAR (1-800-472-9227) or visit www.graybar.com.



NEW CHAIRMAN OF TIA NAMED

Edward R. Kientz has been named Chairman of the Telecommunications Industry Association's (TIA) Board of Directors. Kientz was formerly TIA's Vice Chairman and served on its Board of Directors from 1987-1993. He held the positions of Secretary, Treasurer, Vice Chairman, and Chairman, and served on TIA's SUPERCOMM Committee and the Small Business Committee. www.tiaonline.org



GRAYBAR ELECTS CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD

Graybar announced the election of Robert A. Reynolds, Jr. as Chairman of the Board. Reynolds succeeds Carl L. Hall who is retired April 1, 2001. Reynolds will remain President and CEO of Graybar. www.graybar.com



The 2001 Guide to the Electrical Contracting Market is a 24-page guide of industry statistics and trends that includes a forecast for 2001 sales and materials purchases. The 2001 Guide can be downloaded at the Electrical Contractor magazine website: http://ecmag.com/research/guide.



STRUCTURED CABLING SOLUTIONS GUIDE FOR DATA CENTERS

Ortronics Inc. has released its new Structured Cabling Solutions Guide for Data Centers. The new catalog offers complete structured cabling solutions for service providers, such as collocations, data centers, CLECs, ISPs, ASPs, ILECs, and more. For your free copy of the Structured Cabling Solutions Guide for Data Centers call 1-888-879-0724 or visit the Ortronics web site at www.ortronics.com.



PACIFIC COAST CABLING EDUCATION CENTER

Pacific Coast Cabling has launched the Pacific Coast Cabling Education Center to provide professional instruction on all aspects of design, installation, and maintenance of communications systems. The Center is located on-site at the Pacific Coast Cabling's Chatsworth, California office and offers three course levels in the program: Installer Level 1, Installer Level 2, and Technician Level. For more information or to register for courses, contact Pacific Coast Cabling at 9340 Eton Avenue, Chatsworth, CA 91311, Telephone: 1-800-313-1911, or visit www.pccinc.com.



THE PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE IS

WORTH ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD

Each year, executives spend millions, even billions, of dollars upgrading and purchasing new equipment to move forward in the business world. Often, however, what appears as a large expense on the company's financial statements can be lowered by making use of existing assets.

Take for example a company with 500 employees and 5,000 ports. A couple of years and maybe a merger later, the staff has expanded to 3,000 located in four buildings across three states. The network has grown at a considerable pace in order to keep up with user demands - but does anyone know where everything is located?

Systems require constant monitoring to make sure everything is up-to-date. Enter cable management software (CMS). CMS, introduced in the late 1980s, was designed to relieve the burden of asset management and documentation placed on network administrators, as well as to streamline the management of an organization's network infrastructure.

NEXT-GEN BENEFITS

Technology brought new developments to this field, including automatic, real-time documentation from any desktop in the world. IT managers no longer have to take the time to search through patch panels, update reports or personally locate a problem. In addition, next-generation products deliver a complete enterprise and infrastructure management system (EIMS). This technology offers network managers benefits such as unprecedented control, protection, security and integration with other systems.

Knowing what you have, where it is and how it is connected puts control in the hands of the administrator. Imagine having real-time, remote access to information to quickly isolate the source of a problem, identify its location and initiate a solution. EIMS provides control over system downtime, assets, response times, and moves, adds and changes (MACs).

EIMS delivers protection over the network, enabling IT managers to know who or what is connected to every port. This technology also tracks redundant and reserved ports, safeguards the company's disaster recovery plans, and extends the life of the company's structured cabling system.

Unauthorized or unintentional changes in data centers, communication rooms and wiring closets are frustrating nuisances. EIMS helps prevent this by monitoring the connectivity of mission-critical network equipment, such as switches, routers, hubs and patch panels. It can immediately take corrective action by setting off alarms, taking a picture, sending alerts, e-mails and pages to alert relevant parties, ensuring a 100% accurately documented network that is monitored 24x7.

EIMS bridges network management software and physical layer management. It can self-discover the physical topology of data centers, communication rooms and wiring closets, while, at the same time, manage and troubleshoot network connectivity through integration with third-party logical layer applications. It can also be integrated with network management software, change control, and help desk software and facility management software.

Each problem - system downtime, troubleshooting and MACs - that affects the IT infrastructure constitutes a cost factor, which influences the overall financial performance of the company. While these issues can never be eliminated, the use of EIMS to document the company's network can reduce their financial impact.

FINANCIAL CONSIDERATIONS

System downtime of less than 1% can cost small to mid-sized enterprises up to $100,000 per year. While this does not sound damaging to a Fortune 500 company, losing thousands of dollars of potential income each hour could financially destroy a small or mid-sized company.

EIMS eliminates the need for IT professionals to search through hardware and software on the network to find where a problem exists. Whether a broken or loose network cable, a faulty switch or hub port, an incorrectly connected circuit or cable, or an unreliable server, IT administrators have the information at their fingertips to get the system back up and running quickly.

With EIMS, MACs are automatically updated, eliminating the costs associated with manually updating work orders. It also significantly improves the accuracy of the documentation, and the speed at which an organization can respond and simplify the MAC process. With EIMS, the organization can optimize network capacity, re-deploy unused and/or abandoned equipment, extend the life of the structured cabling system, and allow regular reporting on tangible IT assets.

Whether dealing with troubleshooting or MACs, or locating unused equipment, the cost savings associated when using EIMS will be unique in every organization. EIMS adds value to the network and brings together the latest technology to significantly reduce business-related costs and produce positive return on investment.



ADC Telecommunications announced that its Digivance Indoor Coverage Solution (ICS) gained approval by the Federal Communications Commission. http://cim.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=OnlineArticles

&SubSection=Displayamp;PUBLICATION_ID=27&ARTICLE_ID=99218




Comforce Telecom will now sell, install, and maintain the Alcatel OmniPCX 4400 and Omni family of voice and data products for enterprise networks. http://cim.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=OnlineArticles

&SubSection=Display&PUBLICATION_ID=27&ARTICLE_ID=99220



HAI will partner with BellSouth Residential Solutions to demonstrate the benefits of home automation. http://cim.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=OnlineArticles

&SubSection=Display&PUBLICATION_ID=27&ARTICLE_ID=99223



Sun Conversion Technologies signed a distribution agreement with Graybar. http://cim.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=OnlineArticles

&SubSection=Display&PUBLICATION_ID=27&ARTICLE_ID=99225



The Fiber Optics LAN Section (FOLS) will hold an interoperability demonstration of equipment meeting the pending 100Base-SX standard. http://cim.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=OnlineArticles

&SubSection=Display&PUBLICATION_ID=27&ARTICLE_ID=99372



Allied Business Intelligence has released a market study predicting a rebound next year (2002) in the global multi-tenant unit (MTU), multi-dwelling unit (MDU), and hospitality markets. http://cim.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=OnlineArticles

&SubSection=Display&PUBLICATION_ID=27&ARTICLE_ID=99371



Insilco Technologies has named Colin Anderson European business-development manager. http://cim.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=OnlineArticles

&SubSection=Display&PUBLICATION_ID=27&ARTICLE_ID=99224



CE Pro magazine recently re-launched its Web site. http://cim.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=OnlineArticles

&SubSection=Display&PUBLICATION_ID=27&ARTICLE_ID=99222



CI&M GOES INTO WARP SPEED

Another great publication just keeps getting better. "Cabling News" from "Cabling Installation & Maintenance" Magazine www.cable-install.com, PennWell's weekly electronic-mail newsletter. It is a summary of the most important developments over the last week in the voice-data-video and low-voltage cabling industries.

Here are some samples of the materials in this new E-Zine:

Helix/HiTemp Cables and Chromatic Technologies, subsidiaries of Draka USA and Molex Premise Networks announce their strategic alliance. http://cim.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=OnlineArticles

&SubSection=Display&PUBLICATION_ID=27&ARTICLE_ID=98599



The Siemon Company has signed a Certified Reseller agreement and has acquired the fiber optic division of Advanced Custom Applications (ACA) Inc. http://cim.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=OnlineArticles

&SubSection=Display&PUBLICATION_ID=27&ARTICLE_ID=98705



Torrey Mesa Research Institute is employing AMP NETCONNECT fiber optic and copper communications cabling systems within their research facility. http://cim.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=OnlineArticles

&SubSection=Display&PUBLICATION_ID=27&ARTICLE_ID=98600



DCM Industries, Inc. has introduced the Model ES-2G Structured Cabling Test System. http://cim.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=OnlineArticles &SubSection=Display&PUBLICATION_ID=27&ARTICLE_ID=98450



Lucent Technologies recently demonstrated a new technology that enables a single device to cost-effectively provide high-speed interconnection of storage area networks over regional and long-distance backbones. http://cim.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=OnlineArticles

&SubSection=Display&PUBLICATION_ID=27&ARTICLE_ID=98449



PennWell's "Cabling News" electronic newsletter is delivered weekly at no charge to subscribers. If you have any questions or comments about this newsletter, contact Stephanie J. Levy, Web Editor, at StephanieL@pennwell.com.

Copyright 2001 by PennWell Corp.



Fluke has a new, valuable e-mail service. It is called "Eye on Networks". Now, you can get all the Fluke Networks SuperVision news you can use delivered monthly to your in-box. From new solutions and product updates, to on-the-job tips and product demos, come to Eye on Networks for the full story at www.fluke-net.com/nettools/eyeonnetworks/041801/.



COMMSCOPE REPORTS FIRST QUARTER RESULTS; EARNINGS

OF $0.32 PER SHARE ON REVENUES OF $217 MILLION

CommScope, Inc. (Hickory, NC), a world leader in the manufacture of broadband and high-performance communication cables, today announced first quarter sales and earnings per share for the period ended March 31, 2001.

Diluted earnings per share were $0.32 in this year's first quarter compared to $0.32 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2000. Earnings for the current quarter include charges of approximately $0.01 per share related to previously announced layoffs.

Sales for the first quarter increased 7% to $217.4 million, compared to $203.9 million in the first quarter of 2000. This performance was primarily driven by sales of broadband cable for Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC) applications. Domestic sales rose to $155.7 million, up approximately 1% from the first quarter of 2000. International sales rose to $61.7 million for the current quarter, up approximately 23% year over year.

Orders booked in the first quarter were $186.4 million, down 31% from the first quarter of 2000 and down 9% sequentially. Orders reflect a significant slowdown in both domestic and international markets.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frank M. Drendel said, "Challenging economic conditions continue to affect worldwide capital spending for communications networks. Until we see clear signs of a recovery, we intend to closely manage cost and continue reviewing our capacity plans."

Net income for the current quarter was $16.6 million, compared to $16.7 million in the first quarter of 2000.



FLORIDA LEGISLATION OF CONCERN TO BICSI MEMBERS

There are currently two Bills in the Florida Legislature that may be of concern to BICSI members:

Bill 744 proposes that the state empower architects and professional engineers to provide plan review and site inspection on construction projects. BICSI filed comments addressing the possible conflict of interest inherent in this "self-policing" process should any problems arise on a specific job. In part as a result of BICSI's protest, the Committee on Regulated Industries has decided to introduce HB1223, which sets up a panel to review this proposal and to make recommendations by January 1, 2002. Effectively this will delay any further action on this measure until that time.

The second item of note is Bill 1284, which would authorize counties and municipalities to require a licensed journeyman and apprentice electrician be present at all times on jobs where "electrical" work is being done. The Bill does not, however, define "electrical." A broad interpretation may include low voltage cabling, as well as the more traditional electrical work.

BICSI is working with the Florida Alarm Association on this item and has filed comments opposing this Bill. It is BICSI's position that such a measure simply adds unnecessary costs to projects within the state without any demonstrated benefits. As of now, the Bill is tabled. However, BICSI believes it may reappear later on in this session - possibly as an amendment to another Bill. BICSI will continue to monitor legislation introduced during the session and alert their membership should this item reappear.

If you would like further information regarding the above items, or have information to share, please feel free to contact Ron Provost, BICSI Governmental Representative, e-mail: rprovost@bicsi.org or Jay Warmke, BICSI Executive Director, e-mail: jwarmke@bicsi.org. This will be the first of a number of periodic updates regarding governmental activities that affect BICSI members. Please let BICSI know if you find this service of benefit.



WIREVILLE WELCOMES THE LIGHTWAVE E-ZINE

Message From The Lightwave E-Zine Editor:

In everything you read, you are probably seeing major industry players announcing reorganizations, cost containment plans and workforce reductions. Although some companies may be cutting back due to market downturns, the technology is still moving forward. Take, for example, the upcoming 40 Gbit/s Forum held Sunday, July 8, 2001 during the upcoming NFOEC show in Baltimore.

Forum attendees will receive practical insight into the obstacles, opportunities and roadmap for implementing 40 Gbit/s (OC-768) technology in advanced optical networks. The Forum will cover issues concerning the use of available fiber, fiber performance, fiber impairments, and compensation for these impairments; component technologies, including the availability and performance of suitable lasers, modulators, receivers, and high-speed electronics; system design issues; and applications and carrier perspectives. For more information, call (603) 891-9267, or go to http://wdm.pennnet.com/EVENTS/WDM/forum/wdm_forum.cfm.

Regardless of what the market is doing now, you need to keep up with the technology if your company is going to survive the current market speed bumps. And, of course, www.light-wave.com is your reliable source for daily coverage of news and market reports!

Wishing you continued success,

Mardi Balgochian Scalise

Web Editor, Lightwave Magazine

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity." - Albert Einstein

Here is a sample of the materials you will find in this nifty new E-publication by PennWell. If you are not a subscriber, maybe you should be.

FEATURES

Internal optical interconnects component consumption to reach $6.9 billion by 2010, reports ElectroniCast.



According to a new ElectroniCast global market forecast, internal optical interconnect subsystems consumed $81.7 million of fiber optic components in 2000. The global consumption value will increase to $896 million in 2005, and $6.91 billion in 2010. These components will support internal optical interconnect subsystem growth from $427.6 million in 2000 to $13.8 billion in 2010.

For the full story, go to: http://lw.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=OnlineArticles

&SubSection=Display&PUBLICATION_ID=13&ARTICLE_ID=99334&email=

042701



CIR reports U.S. optical switching component and subsystem market will reach $1.1 billion by 2005.



A new report from Communications Industry Researchers, (CIR), an optical industry market research firm based in Charlottesville, Virginia, claims that new developments in optical switching technology will create a $1.1 billion U.S. market opportunity by 2005.

The CIR report covers the markets for 2D MEMS, 3D MEMS, liquid crystal, solid state, mechanical and OEO switching components and sub-systems for applications including optical crossconnects, optical add/drop multiplexers, and protection switches.

For the full story, go to: http://lw.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=OnlineArticles

&SubSection=Display&PUBLICATION_ID=13&ARTICLE_ID=98706&email=

042701

(c) 2001 PennWell Publishing.



PennWell's LIGHTWAVE MAGAZINE electronic newsletter is delivered to your desktop weekly at no charge to subscribers. PennWell invites you to forward this newsletter to colleagues and associates who might be interested in its weekly news content.

If you are a current subscriber, YOU CAN CHANGE SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION OR DISCONTINUE DELIVERY OF NEWS FROM LIGHTWAVE BY CLICKING THIS LINK:

http://clks.com/penn/newsletter.asp?id=503599&l=3700&c=600567498&s=h

- If you do not subscribe to this newsletter and would like to receive it, please click this link: http://clks.com/penn/newsletter.asp?id=503599&l=3700&n=1&s=h

- Lightwave subscribers may access complete current and archived stories with the online search engine at www.light-wave.com.

LIGHTWAVE MAGAZINE...keeping you ahead of the wave.

Edited by Mardi Balgochian Scalise

Comments or suggestions? Contact us at: mardis@pennwell.com. And visit Integrated Communications Design magazine at www.icdmag.com!

 

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