We have watched the connector hardware competitors scurry about in their quest to promote various alliances with the cable manufacturers. This competition has spent "beaucoup bucks" in a host of different programs that have taken on more variations than a kaleidoscope. What they have managed to accomplish is to confuse the marketplace. The alliances have broken and changed so often that even the industry insiders cannot figure out "who's on first?". Adding to the confusion is the warranty game. We have never been able to identify any significant buyer that has ever derived a single dime's worth of recovery from a warranty program coordinated between connector and cable manufacturers.
Recently, the marketplace has been besieged by news of acquisitions and mergers in the cable manufacturer arena. As profits shrink, the number of cable manufacturers has reduced and the connector/cable alliances have likewise diminished. What once looked like a winning marketing strategy now looks more like an expanding liability.
Commscope buys AVAYA cabling. DRAKA merges part of their operation with Alcatel. Belden "merges" with CDT. Superior Essex acquires the "black cable" operations from Belden. ADC Announces Agreement to Acquire the KRONE Group ….and that’s just the recent news.
Face it. The manufacturers of cabling connection and support hardware can stand on their own merits. There is more than anecdotal evidence that this hardware is an investment. This asset is a transferable value for the building owners and new prospective tenants.
But that’s just my opinion,
Belden will Sell Communications Cable Assets to Superior Essex
Belden Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement under which Superior Essex Inc. will purchase certain assets of Belden's North American communications cable business.
Superior Essex will buy selected inventories, machinery and equipment, and will assume certain customer contracts related to Belden's North American telecommunications wire and cable business. The total purchase price, which is subject to adjustment based upon inventory levels at closing, will not exceed $95 million, including a $10 million contingent payment based on successful transition of the business under certain customer contracts.
The signed agreement is subject to certain closing conditions, including approval under United States antitrust laws. Belden contemplates closing the Phoenix manufacturing operation, subject to discussions with the employee bargaining unit of the plant.
C. Baker Cunningham, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Belden, said, "Given the lower level of demand that has characterized the telecommunications market in the United States for the past two years, we have been unable to maintain profitability in the North American communications business, despite aggressive cost reductions and the best efforts of our people. We are confident that we will be able to smoothly transition the business to Superior Essex without interruption for our customers.
Going forward, we will focus on the electronics and data networking markets, where we are able to add value through differentiating our product offering and further developing our customer and distributor relationships, and on the execution of our planned merger with Cable Design Technologies Corporation." On February 5, 2004, Belden announced plans to join with Cable Design Technologies Corp. in a merger of equals, which the companies expect to complete during the second quarter of 2004.
Belden will account for the North American communications business as a discontinued operation. The Company expects that its earnings from continuing operations for the first quarter ending March 31, 2004 will be about $0.05 per share. Belden does not expect a material gain or loss on the sale of the assets but expects to continue to incur operating losses, severance charges, and other closure costs with respect to this business until the divestiture is completed. If the Company proceeds to close the Phoenix operation as contemplated, the liquidation of retained working capital, real estate and other remaining assets is expected to approximately offset the cash costs of winding down the business.
The North American operations of the Communications Segment had revenue of $202.4 million in 2003 and an operating loss of $109.4 million pretax, including an impairment charge of $92.4 million and income of $3.0 million under a minimum requirements contract.
IEC Announces Pass & Semour/Legrand’s Upgrade to Silver-Level Partnership
Independent Electrical Contractor (IEC) (Alexandria, VA)today announced Pass & Seymour/Legrand (P&S), a leading manufacturer of electrical and network wiring devices, upgraded from Bronze to Silver-level partnership with the association.
Silver partnership with IEC will provide P&S increased networking opportunities with association members, as well as expanded opportunities to showcase its products to some of America's most successful independent electrical contractors.
"Pass & Seymour/Legrand has long been a highly respected and valuable member of the electrical community," said Larry Mullins EVP and CEO of IEC. "We are pleased that P&S has decided to increase its commitment with IEC as we seek to further the advancement of the electrical contracting industry."
P&S strives to live in the electrical contractors' shoes and supports the IEC as one of the leading electrical contractor organizations," said Mike McManus, director of marketing for P&S. "We realize that electrical contractors are the primary decision makers in most electrical purchasing decisions and make those decisions based on products that were designed for quality, safety, reliability and just common sense when it comes to installation. All of our best product ideas have come directly from electrical contractors or electricians, many of whom are members of the IEC. All electrical contractors are looking for ways to become more efficient and productive on the jobsite, and P&S is sure a close affiliation with the IEC will foster the collaboration necessary to improve in these areas."
Pass & Seymour/Legrand is a leading provider of electrical and network wiring devices and accessories in North America. For more information visit www.passandseymour.com.
Established in 1957, IEC is a trade association made up of more than 3,200 merit shop electrical and systems contractors with 73 chapters nationwide. Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., IEC is the nation's premier trade association representing America's independent electrical and systems contractors. IEC National aggressively works with the industry to establish a competitive environment for the merit shop - a philosophy that promotes the concept of free enterprise, open competition and economic opportunity for all. www.ieci.org
ADC Announces Agreement to Acquire the KRONE Group; World's Leading Brands in Connectivity Solutions Combine to Achieve Global Scale and Presence
ADC Announced an agreement to acquire the KRONE Group, a leading global supplier of copper- and fiber-based connectivity solutions and cabling products used in public access and enterprise networks by many of the world's leading organizations, from GenTek Inc.
"This is an ideal acquisition and a perfect fit with ADC's new strategic initiative to become the leader in global network infrastructure solutions and services," said Robert E. Switz, president and CEO of ADC. "This is the first major step we are taking to fulfill the growth plans we outlined over the last several months. With the addition of KRONE, we further establish ADC as a leader in network infrastructure, a core strength area where we have a proven record of success. Ultimately, our customers benefit from this combination."
Through the combination of ADC and KRONE product lines, people and facilities, ADC will quickly achieve a larger global scale and presence in supplying global network infrastructure solutions, including:
- Worldwide market leadership in copper and fiber central office infrastructure technology;Diversified global customer base serving nearly every major communications service provider worldwide;
- Leading market share in the enterprise structured cabling systems market via KRONE's advanced products;
- Accelerated entry into the emerging growth markets of China, India, Russia, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia;
- Broader product portfolio with a worldwide opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell existing and upcoming products; and Competitive cost leadership through global manufacturing, engineering and supply chain management.
ADC's new Global Network Infrastructure strategy includes the products, systems and services that provide the foundation for every type of communications network over every medium: fiber, copper, coaxial, and wireless," Switz said. "The intent of our strategy is to enable all of our customers -- wireline, wireless, cable, broadcast, and enterprise -- to profitably deploy every type of broadband service offering and application. For example, KRONE and ADC Ethernet infrastructure products will provide unmatched solutions for Voice-over-IP and Gigabit Ethernet networks. In addition, with approximately 70% of ADC sales in North America and approximately 80% of KRONE sales outside of North America, this acquisition truly creates global scale with local presence to serve all our customers. We are proud to join forces with a talented KRONE workforce to drive significant and sustainable value from the combination of our companies."
The proposed acquisition is valued at approximately $350 million in which ADC will pay cash of approximately $291 million and assume certain defined liabilities consisting principally of KRONE's pension obligation for its German workforce. The transaction is expected to close during ADC's third quarter ending July 31, 2004. Closing of the transaction is subject to approval by necessary regulatory authorities as well as customary closing conditions. After closing the transaction, ADC expects to take a charge for various acquisition-related expenses the amount of which has not been determined. Excluding the charge and amortization of acquisition-related intangibles, ADC expects the acquisition to be accretive to earnings per share in 2004. Booz Allen Hamilton has been retained by ADC to assist in integrating the two companies toward ADC's expectation of driving significant and sustainable value from this combination.
"KRONE and its employees are pleased to join ADC in forming a global single source for global network infrastructure solutions for every conceivable network type," said Ron Lowy, president and COO of KRONE. "The ADC and KRONE combination allows communications service providers and enterprises to avoid the hassles of dealing with multiple suppliers. With just one call, we can quickly deliver the right infrastructure solutions required in both public access and enterprise networks anywhere in the world."
KRONE is a total solutions provider, offering a complete line of copper- and fiber optic-based cabling and connectivity systems. Since its initial offering of distribution frames and cable connection hardware more than 70 years ago, KRONE's product lines and customer base have seen significant growth. With more than 2,000 employees, eight factories and five research and development centers around the world, KRONE has representation in more than 140 countries to supply communications service providers and enterprises. Based on unaudited numbers, KRONE had sales of $316 million, operating income of $13 million (before restructuring and impairment charges) and depreciation and amortization expense of $14 million in the year ended December 31, 2003 compared to 2002 annual sales of $267 million resulting in an operating loss of $10 million (before restructuring and impairment charges) and depreciation and amortization expense of $14 million.
ADC is a world leader in providing global network infrastructure products and services that enable the profitable delivery of high-speed Internet, data, video, and voice services over our customers' unique networks. ADC has sales into more than 90 countries. Learn more about ADC Telecommunications, Inc. at www.adc.com
KRONE is a world leading cable and connectivity company with 75 years of experience in the design, development and supply of copper and fiber optic cable and connectivity solutions for enterprise and public networks. Additional information about KRONE is at www.krone.com
Pirelli Communications Cables and Systems and PANDUIT® combine strengths in global agreement
Pirelli Communications Cables and Systems (Lexington, SC) has signed a global marketing agreement with PANDUIT®, a global leader in the design, manufacture and supply of data communications and electrical solutions worldwide.
The agreement solidifies Pirelli as a member of the PANDUIT® Architecture for Converged Technologies (PACTTM) Program. The PACTTM program brings together a community of best-in-class partners who share a vision; to offer business and application focused solutions, based on a framework of open architecture, which are designed and pre-tested specifically to provide optimum support for critical network applications.
"Pirelli and PANDUIT® are a strong strategic fit," Kevin E. Riddett, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pirelli, North America, Inc., said. "We are global companies and are leaders in our markets. We share a primary focus on being customer advocates while manufacturing high-quality products. In addition to our innovative line of smart gateways and tunable lasers, Pirelli offers an extensive product portfolio of optical cabling solutions to complement the PANDUIT® solution set, which is the most comprehensive in the industry."
Ron Partridge, PANDUIT® Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing, added, " The agreement is strategically important because it gives Pirelli greater leverage in the enterprise and structured cabling markets, where PANDUIT® is well-established, and strengthens PANDUIT® opportunities in the Global Service Provider and Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) markets, where Pirelli is well established."
A key asset in the agreement is Pirelli's Sirocco® Blown Fiber System, which is ideally suited to local area networks and FTTP applications. The Sirocco® system enables optical fibers to be deployed on demand, thereby significantly reducing initial capital spending. Its advantages include reduced life-cycle costs and the ability to deploy capacity on demand, two primary issues for communications service providers and network managers. Pirelli holds a license from BT of the U.K., one of Europe's leading providers of telecommunications services, to manufacture and install Sirocco® systems worldwide. For more information visit www.siroccofibre.com.
PANDUIT® delivers innovative network infrastructure solutions to satisfy your application requirements. Products include complete copper and fiber connectivity, outlets, racks, active asset management, raceway, fiber routing, network grounding, cable ties and identification systems. PANDUIT® solutions support emerging technologies including Gigabit Ethernet, Voice over IP and Zone Cabling. www.panduit.com
Pirelli is a global producer of tires, energy and telecommunication cables and systems. With more than 33,000 employees, 77 production sites, and total sales of 6.679 billion Euros at 31st December 2003, Pirelli is one of the world's leading companies in all these industrial sectors. It focuses its R&D, production resources and competencies on leading-edge technologies, as demonstrated by the advanced Pirelli Labs in the photonics and new materials fields and by MIRS - Modular Integrated Robotized System for tire production. In particular, Pirelli is today one of the most technologically advanced companies in designing and manufacturing premium optical fibers: Pirelli has developed a complete portfolio of optical fiber types, ranging from Multimode G651 fibers for premises cables to G655 NZD fibers for high bit rate, long haul applications, and the latest generation of G652 fibers with the tightest specification available on the world market today.
READ ALL ABOUT IT…The Electrical Distributor TED MAG Highlights
Graybar Posts Best Gross Margin In Decade
Perhaps 2003 wasn't the best sales year in Graybar's history. But going back 10 years -- according to TEDMAG research -- the company's 19.3% gross margin in 2003 was the best on recent record.
Fluke's Role In 'Raising The Bar' In Resi Cabling
A feature in Custom Retailer magazine (here) details "Fluke Networks' integral role in TIA 570B," the Residential Cabling Standard. The standard would impose verification testing after installation: "That's where we find a lot of problems happen, where people either missed on a connection when they punch it down or they've used the wrong tool," Jensen told CR. "Also, that they may not be keeping the twists all the way up to the connection point."
Is the standard needed? Jensen said that many residential cabling installers are doing a "wire and walk" effort -- "they just wire it up and walk away."
Contractor Story Part 3 of 4
Construction & The Economy, 2004: Just Some Of The Ugly by Joe Salimando
This is "The Ugly" -- the third (and fourth) parts of a four-part "Good, Bad, and Ugly" piece on the economy and construction in 2004 (and beyond). Things are going to be pretty ugly, in my opinion . . . perhaps not in 2004, but soon, and for a while thereafter. .... more
E-Commerce Story Part 2 of 2
The Cost Of The Low Price -- PROVE IT! by Joe Salimando
The four cases I presented in Part 1 are the possibilities of which I can conceive, should a new player come in much lower in an reverse acution than the incumbent. However, there were assertions in Reason #2 ... more
Nexans equips Mars exploration rovers with control, signal and power cables
Nexans, (New Holland, PA) the worldwide leader in the cable industry, has supplied control, signal and power cables for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover project which landed on the red planet during January this year.
Nexans in Elm City, (USA, North Carolina), manufactured more than 90 percent of the wire and cable used on the robotic Mars geologist Spirit, and its twin exploration rover, Opportunity.
Jointly designed with engineers from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, California, Nexans' cables utilize fluoropolymer and fluoropolymer/polyimide based insulation materials to protect them from extreme environmental conditions on the surface of the planet, where temperatures can plummet to minus 105 degrees Celsius.
"The cable design used state-of-the-art fluoropolymer/polyimide technology, which provides a construction that is chemically inert and mechanically tough throughout a wide operating temperature range," said Mark Doering, vice president of sales and marketing at Nexans Electronic Wire and Cable. "Our cable allows the functionality of the Rovers used during movement, sample collection and data acquisition."
To be approved for the stringent quality requirements for such space programs, Nexans utilizes a rigorous quality management system. The Elm City manufacturing facility has produced wire and cable to supply the entire space shuttle fleet and other space programs.
The mission of the Rovers, which landed on the red planet in January, is to determine the history of climate and water at two sites on Mars where conditions may once have been favorable to life. Each of the Rovers' scientific instruments, which include a panoramic camera, spectrometers, microscopic imager and a Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT), will study the geologic record at the sites, and evaluate whether those conditions would have been suitable for life.
As specialists in cabling for aerospace applications, Nexans has produced electrical wire and cable for scientific mission satellites (Spot5, Jason, IASI, Mars Express), and telecommunications satellites (Globalstar, Express A and A1R, Hispasat, New Bird, Stellat and GE2i) and is currently manufacturing electrical wire and cable for the Venus Express, Goce and Herschel & Planck satellites.
Nexans is the worldwide leader in the cable industry. The Group brings an extensive range of advanced copper and optical fiber cable solutions to the infrastructure, industry and building markets. Nexans cables and cabling systems can be found in every area of people's lives, from telecommunications and energy networks, to aeronautics, aerospace, automobile, railways, building, petrochemical, medical applications, etc. With an industrial presence in 29 countries and commercial activities in 65 countries, Nexans employs 17,000 people and had sales in 2003 of euros 4 billion. Nexans is listed on the Paris stock exchange. www.nexans.com
JPL manages the Mars Exploration Program for NASA and provides the technical expertise on Mars rovers and the rover imaging systems. Internet mirroring support for high-bandwidth use of this site is provided by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colo., and the San Diego Supercomputing Center. For more information on the Mars Exploration Rover mission, visit Marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov
Bob Jensen re-elected chairman of TIA TR-42 Engineering Committee
Bob Jensen, the standards development and technology manager for Fluke Networks, has been re-elected chairman of the influential Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) TR-42 Engineering Committee as well as the TR-42.2 Subcommittee for Residential Infrastructure.
The TIA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to develop voluntary industry standards for a wide variety of telecommunications products. In his role as TR-42 Engineering Committee chairman, Jensen, in cooperation with nine TR-42 subcommittees, will lead the development, revision and completion of cabling infrastructure standards affecting virtually all elements of the communications, data, and information technology industry.
“I am delighted Bob was re-elected," says Dan Bart, TIA senior vice president of standards and special projects. "He has been a tremendous asset to the TIA standards program and his knowledge and leadership abilities have again been acknowledged by his peers. He has kept TIA's cabling and distribution system standards evolving and technically relevant to the market, which is moving at the speed of the Internet."
Jensen's role involves leading and coordinating the national premises cabling standards that also affect international standards. He will preside over the next TR-42 User Premises Telecommunications Infrastructure meetings which will be held June 7-11, in Providence, RI.
The TR-42 Engineering Committee is responsible for commercial, industrial and residential cabling standards. The TR-42.2 Subcommittee develops and maintains telecommunications infrastructure standards for single and multi-tenant residential buildings, home offices, and campuses. The standards set by these groups and the other TR-42 subcommittees help assure interoperability, safety, and the highest overall performance of the related networks.
One of our main goals is the re-formation of the premises standards to include generic and specific interest standards," says Jensen. "For instance, we will be developing the 568-C Series of standards which is planned to include a generic cabling standard, a commercial cabling standard, and specific standards for copper cabling components and optical fiber cabling components.
"A generic cabling standard will aid in the development of our other specific interest family of premises cabling standards without duplications allowing each to be very focused," he continues.
The TR-42 standards committee is composed of experts in a variety of fields. "All who participate learn from each other and, in doing so, it forms consensus over many issues that arise," Jensen adds. "Consensus is what standards are about, trying to come to a common understanding and to agree on topics that affect consumers everyday. One of the things to remind anyone attending these meetings about is that our customers come first."
Fluke Networks, based in Everett, WA, manufactures solutions for the testing, monitoring and analysis of enterprise and telecommunications networks www.flukenetworks.com. www.tiaonline.org
CET Networking Education honors Leviton employee
CET Networking Education has honored Dave Sanders, director of national accounts for Leviton's Voice & Data Division, with its 2003 RCDD Instructor of the Year Award and Certificate of Excellence.
The award recognizes an individual's commitment to education in the telecommunications industry.
CET Networking is an instructional facility approved by BICSI, based in Tampa, FL. CET specializes in prepping students to pass the rigorous RCDD/LAN/OSP exams administered by BICSI, and provides instruction and coaching by certified instructors.
Sanders, who is RCDD/LAN/OSP certified, has among the highest pass-rates in the field and believes success has nothing to do with the difficulty or ease of the curriculum. Sanders is one of 37 people in the world to achieve RCDD, LAN and OSP certifications, also known as the "BICSI Triple Crown." He was previously district sales manager for the division's West Coast region and resides in Elk Grove, CA.
"The students' pass rate is a combination of how strongly I feel about the value of these accreditations, as well as the interest level and motivation the students bring to the class," he says.
Leviton, based in Bothell, WA, shares Sanders' vision of providing knowledge and resources to contractors to ensure proper installation of its own products.
"Credibility and involvement by an industry leader validates a manufacturer's commitment to its customers and installers," Sanders says. "RCDD certification complements the company's products installed, as well as the craftsmanship of the installation."
A note from Richard E. Dunfee RCDD/OSP Specialist ,BICSI Training Program Manager
- BICSI does not approve training centers unless they are BICSI-licensed. CET is not a BICSI-licensed training center. BICSI has recognized CET courses for BICSI Continuing Education Credits (CECs).
- There is no process that I am aware of whereby CET can claim to have the "highest pass-rate in the field."
- There are presently 91 individuals that have acheived the status of RCDD/OSP/LAN.
- BICSI presently has approximately 17,000 members.
BICSI is a professional, not-for-profit telecommunications association that serves nearly 17,000 members and installers in more than 90 countries around the world. For more information visit www.bicsi.org
Avaya Helps Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Deliver on its Commitment to Public Safety
IP telephony solution supports rapid response, will link over 60 fire-rescue stations, reduces costs and provides continuity of operations for the largest emergency services team in the Southeast.
Cost-effectively extends advanced communications capabilities to other high-profile county agencies
Avaya Inc. (Basking Ridge, NJ), a leading global provider of communications networks and services for businesses, is helping Florida's Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) team to deliver on its commitment to public safety and to extend its new, state-of-the-art communications capabilities to other high-profile county agencies.
With more than 1,800 employees and a coverage area of almost 2,000 square miles, MDFR is the seventh largest emergency response unit in the U.S. The department serves more than two million residents and businesses within the county and its 25 municipalities -- responding to more than 191,000 emergency calls in 2002 alone.
The experiences of September 11 influenced MDFR's decision to upgrade its communications network. The department wanted a highly reliable solution capable of handling sudden, large surges in call traffic and providing "fail- safe" communications continuity even in the face of a local or national catastrophe. The agency's sprawling territory made it imperative that any new communication network be simple and cost-effective to administer, allowing MDFR to focus its time and resources on emergency response.
North American Communications Resources Inc. (NACR), an Avaya Platinum BusinessPartner and four-time winner of BusinessPartner of the Year, designed a converged, Internet protocol (IP) telephony solution that allowed MDFR to migrate from the agency's existing Avaya communications platform to a new, high-capacity Avaya Media Server with Avaya Communication Manager IP telephony software. The server includes a backup processor for survivability, delivers 50 times the processing power of the previous platform, and has the ability to manage tens of thousands of calls simultaneously. Avaya Media Gateways installed at larger Division offices provide the local backup the agency required. If the primary servers fail for any reason, the local gateways continue to provide uninterrupted service.
The media server and gateways will distribute Avaya Communication Manager software to each of Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue sites, which include 60 stations and the Miami-Dade County Emergency Operations Center, the "eye of the storm" for coordinating public and private agencies and activities in times of trouble. Avaya Communication Manager software supports more than 700 distinct telephony features-from malicious call tracing to built-in conferencing capabilities that allow MDFR to set up conference calls on the fly. The Avaya Extension to Cellular application, which automatically bridges calls made to an office phone to a cellular phone, has proven particularly popular with MDFR Battalion Chiefs.
"Our Battalion Chiefs think it's incredible since they can get calls whether they're in the fire truck, in the back room at the station or in their office," said Michael Crisler, MDFR's telecommunications director. "They can answer the call on their cell phone, walk back into the office and pick up the same call on their office line with no interruption."
By reducing administration costs and eliminating unnecessary toll lines, the Avaya solution is estimated to save the county about $1 million over five years. The new converged voice and data network and Avaya IP phones at each site eliminates the need for individual key systems and multiple phone lines in each location, which also reduces costs for administration and maintenance by up to $150 per station each month.
The ease of operations has allowed MDFR to support the entire telecommunications network with a single manager, instead of the predicted, 2.5 full-time personnel. Even as the "lone gunman," Crisler has slashed the time and costs required to handle requests for moves, adds and changes. Three-week turnaround times and price tags of $50 to $75 per move are a thing of the past. Instead, Crisler uses a simple web interface to reassign a port, while end users simply plug their phones in at the new location.
"Now 99 percent of our moves, adds and changes are done before the next day - and 85 percent of them are accomplished within the hour," Crisler said.
MDFR's successes with the network and its ability to rapidly deploy IP telephony at remote locations have turned the department into the "go to" organization for other Miami-Dade County agencies that want excellent communications. The County's Elections department joined the MDFR network to take advantage of new, state-of-the-art communication capabilities. So did the Miami-Dade County 311 Answer Center, a contact center set up to answer public inquiries.
Miami police turned to MDFR to establish emergency communications backup when protesters threatened to shut down the city during a recent, major free trade conference. Nearly two hundred Avaya IP telephones were quickly installed in strategic locations and brought online when disturbances began.
To read the full case study on Miami-Dade Fire Rescue:
Belden and CDT Announce Federal Trade Commission Clearance of Merger
Belden Inc. (St. Louis, MO) and Cable Design Technologies Corporation (Schaumburg, Ill) announced today that they have received notice from the Federal Trade Commission of early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott- Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 in connection with their proposed merger.
The merger remains subject to various closing conditions, including approval by the stockholders of both Belden and CDT and other regulatory approvals. The proposed merger was announced on February 5, 2004, and the companies expect the merger to be completed during the second calendar quarter of 2004. The combined company will be called Belden CDT Inc.
Additional Information and Where to Find It
On March 24, 2004, CDT filed a registration statement with the SEC on Form S-4 that includes a preliminary joint proxy statement/prospectus of Belden and CDT and other relevant materials regarding the proposed merger transaction. Stockholders of Belden and CDT are urged to read the preliminary joint proxy statement/prospectus filed with the SEC on March 24, 2004, the definitive joint proxy statement/prospectus when it becomes available and any other relevant materials filed by Belden or CDT with the SEC when they become available because they contain, or will contain, important information about Belden, CDT and the proposed transaction. The definitive joint proxy statement/prospectus will be sent to the stockholders of Belden and CDT seeking their approval of the proposed transaction. Stockholders may obtain a free copy of these materials and other documents filed by Belden or CDT with the SEC at the SEC's website at www.sec.gov . A free copy of the joint proxy statement/prospectus when it becomes available may also be obtained from CDT at 1901 North Roselle Road, Schaumburg, IL 60195 or from Belden at 7701 Forsyth Boulevard, Suite 800, St. Louis, MO 63105. In addition, stockholders may access copies of the documents filed with the SEC by Belden on Belden's website at www.belden.com and stockholders may access copies of the documents filed with the SEC by CDT on CDT's website at www.cdtc.com . Stockholders are urged to read the definitive joint proxy statement/prospectus and the other relevant materials relating to the proposed transaction when they become available before voting or making any investment decision with respect to the proposed transaction.
Quintum Technologies partners with Graybar
Quintum Technologies, Inc. has signed a distribution agreement with Graybar. The new relationship is designed to expand Graybar's product and service offerings in the Voice over IP communications arena, and provide Quintum with new channel opportunities with both service providers and resellers.
The complete Quintum product line is available from Graybar, based in St. Louis, MO, immediately. Graybar's Service Provider customers are adopting VoIP Technologies. The distributor's partnership with Quintum is designed to strengthen its portfolio of VoIP offerings. Graybar's resellers are certified communications and data contractors who install VoIP systems for businesses, federal, state and local governments, educational institutions, non-profits and telecom carriers.
"Graybar recognizes the growing importance of convergence in today's business environment," says Al Eddings, vice president of comm-data products for Graybar. "Quintum's unique Tenor switch solutions, which support a host of new VoIP applications, will provide our customers with an extremely cost- effective platform that installs easier into their customers' existing networks than traditional VoIP gateways. The addition of Quintum's Tenor product line will help us to provide complete VoIP solutions further raising the bar on performance and value for our customers."
"We are very pleased to be working with one of the premier distributors of communications products," says Charles Rutledge, vice president of marketing for Quintum. "Graybar's channel comprises some of the most experienced convergence resellers and includes extremely strong relationships with the service providers that find tremendous value in the Tenor CMS (Carrier MultiPath Switch) line."
Quintum's products, which include the award-winning Tenor MultiPath Switches, the Tenor Call Routing Server, and the Tenor Call Relay, are designed to eliminate risk and ensure high-quality voice communications over any type of IP network. Quintum's Tenor product line offers features that differentiate it from other VoIP solutions. These features include real-time PSTN failover that eliminates risk from poor IP Quality of Service, MultiPath call routing allowing easy installation into existing data and telecom environments, and transparent communication across NAT (network address translation) firewalls.
"Graybar's ability to provide integrated solutions for a variety of applications and environments, including VoIP, will be instrumental in gaining market share for the Quintum Tenor MultiPath Switch product line," says Chuck Rutledge, vice president of marketing for Qunitum.
Nexans & Penn State model 10 Gigabit Ethernet Data Traffic Over Cat 6 Copper Cables in project
Nexans, a worldwide leader in the cable industry, announces it has researched the design of and created a model for 10GBASE-T data traffic over 100 meters of Category 6 copper UTP cable.
Participating in a joint project with The Pennsylvania State University, and funded by the International Copper Association (ICA), this system design models the process data transformation into signal transmission on the cable, the effect of the channel on the signal, and the correction and interpretation of the signal as it is returned to data at the receiving end.
The data used in the model is encoded into a 10-level signal, which is transmitted onto the unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) cable. At the other end of the system, the signal is recovered by turbo equalization, turbo coding and additional digital signal processing (DSP) methods. The model includes the evaluation information in signal eye-patterns and Bit Error Rate (BER) versus Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR).
As a technology leader in innovation, Nexans proposed the topic to aid in the development of a 10GBASE-T standard. Nexans' Data Communications Competence Center coordinated the project with Penn State. The model has been proposed to IEEE for consideration in the development of a 10GBASE-T standard.
"We are very excited to be able to facilitate the development of 10-Gigabit Ethernet over copper cables in the IEEE 802.3an Task Group," said Jan Alexander, Senior Project Engineer, Data Communications Competence Center.
About the Nexans Data Communications Competence Center
The competence center laboratories use state-of-the-art, proprietary tools to analyze and develop advanced cabling solutions. The Advanced Materials Development team utilizes sophisticated analytical capabilities that facilitate the development of advanced materials and processes. An international team of experts in the fields of cable, connectors, materials, networking standards, telecommunications and testing supports the competence center, which is part of a global network of ten competence centers, centralized by a the Nexans Research center (NRC) in Lyon, France. www.nexans.com
About Pennsylvania State University
Penn State is one of the largest land grant universities in the United States, with 79,000 students- about 40,000 at the University Park Campus, and the remainder at the twenty two locations throughout the state. The Penn State -- University Park Electrical Engineering Department is among the largest, oldest, and the most innovative in the nation.
Electrical, VDV & IBS Training Event Celebrates 15th Year In August
The National Training Institute (NTI), a NECA-IBEW event dedicated solely to improving and extending the training of professional electricians, line workers, and datacom technicians, celebrates its 15th year July 29-Aug. 7 in Knoxville, Tenn.
At its 1990 founding, the NTI attracted just over 100 attendees. Last year’s event attracted more than 1,200 professional registrants. Each year’s events include a weekend trade show focused on training aspects of products and technologies; in 2003, more than 90 manufacturers and service providers participated.
Open to IBEW members, NECA-member and other contractors who work under NECA-IBEW contracts, local training directors, and instructors, the NTI features a variety of training. Events include:
- Instruction in new technologies;
- Productivity-enhancing learning about existing technologies;
- Train-the-trainer events, teaching instructors how to transmit information about specific topics and technologies;
- Sessions that are especially designed to upgrade the knowledge of training directors and instructors on educational issues;
- Training sessions for JATC committee members, training directors, local union business managers, and NECA chapter managers on apprenticeship training issues; and
- Special events for contractors and other industry leaders.
More than 50 technical training sessions are included. Individual sessions are devoted to electrical, datacom, powerline, and residential, and integrated building systems. Expert instructors from industry suppliers such as Fluke (electrical) to Tyco Electronics (datacom) to Echelon/LonWorks (building systems) and many more lead the classes.
Event sponsor is the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC), the NECA-IBEW national organization that oversees electrical and datacom apprentice training and journeyman skill improvement courses.
In 2003, more than 300 local electrical JATCs and AJATCs were involved in the training of nearly 50,000 apprentices. Additionally, 70,000 journey-level electrical, datacom, and line workers attended skill improvement courses.
For more information, see: www.njatc.org/nti.htm. Contractors, professional electrical workers, and others can obtain more information from their local NECA chapter, IBEW Local Union, or JATC.
Key to acronyms
IBEW = International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
IBS = integrated building systems
JATC = Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee
AJATC = area JATCs (most of these regional committees are involved in regional power line or “outside” training).
NECA = National Electrical Contractors Association
VDV = voice-data-video
Communications Cabling - proactive measures can turn a liability into an asset.
By Manuel Fishman, Esq.
On December 11, 2003, BOMA International presented an audio seminar on the new 2002 National Electric Code (“NEC”) requirements concerning abandoned communications cabling in commercial buildings. The two-hour seminar highlighted the potential impact of new national code requirements, and presented various questions that local building owners, property managers, engineers and leasing agents need to consider in the management of their buildings and the negotiation of leases. About 10 BOMA San Francisco members gathered in BOMA’s conference room to participate in the seminar (which BOMA San Francisco hosted at no charge for its members). As one of the attendees at the BOMA San Francisco seminar location, I volunteered to summarize the highlights of the program for presentation to all BOMA San Francisco members.
While not itself codified as law, the NEC is an influential publication that is used by many state and local agencies to set standards for various matters, and is usually incorporated by reference into local building codes. The National Fire Protection Association (the “NFPA”) provides the principal technical assistance for drafting of the Code. Currently, the California State Building Code incorporates the 1999 NEC; and the Building Code of the City and County of San Francisco is based on the 1999 NEC. Hearings on the adoption of the 2002 NEC are scheduled to be held in Sacramento this month (January 2004). There is no information on if and when the 2002 NEC will be incorporated into the San Francisco Building Code. Nevertheless, there is no reason to doubt that in the near future the 2002 NEC will be incorporated by reference in both the California and San Francisco building codes, and other cities in California will likely adopt the 2002 NEC as well.
The 2002 NEC is a 1,200-page bound volume that covers all aspects of electrical construction and operation. Only a few sections of the Code address communications circuits (in particular, Article 800), and fewer sections address abandoned communications cabling. New Code provisions require the removal of “abandoned communications cable.” Section 800.2 defines abandoned communications cable as “installed communications cable that is not terminated at both ends at a connector or other equipment and not identified for future use with a tag.” Section 800.52(B) provides that “the accessible portion of abandoned communications cables shall not be permitted to remain.” The reason that the NFPA is concerned about abandoned cabling is that abandoned cabling increases fire load, may generate toxic fumes when subjected to fire, and can affect air flow in ceiling plenums. With an estimated 45 billion fee of plenum cable in place in commercial buildings nationwide, cables that are abandoned in ceilings, riser systems and air handling systems are a source for fueling fire and for smoke and fumes that can incapacitate building occupants.
Compliance with the new NEC requirements would most likely be triggered upon a remodeling or new tenant build-out in connection with a lease expansion, lease renewal or new tenant move-in. A building inspector may refuse to issue a certificate of occupancy (or give a final sign-off on a building permit) if abandoned communications cabling is found to be in place, and may lead the inspector to focus on other potential violations that are visible. While the Code applies to existing installations, local jurisdictions will have discretion to determine whether to enforce the 2002 NEC prospectively.
Most plenum rated cabling contains lead in the jacketing material insulating the cable. This jacketing material is generally referred to as PVC. The Federal Environmental Protection Agency has determined that low levels of lead can cause adverse health effects, and PVC can lead to indoor air quality issues if the metals in the PVC products are released into the environment when the PVC decomposes (either through natural deterioration or through excessive heat). In response to growing concerns over lead, the vinyl industry has developed a lead-free PVC compound which is being introduced for buildings. Nevertheless, older buildings may contain lead-based PVC products, and disposal thereof is regulated under local and state hazardous material laws. PVC cable is difficult to recycle. This adds to the cost of removal of abandoned cabling, which some have estimated at $2.00 per square foot.
The principle questions that were addressed at the seminar were: (i) what is included in the definition of abandoned communications cabling, (ii) who bears the cost of removal of this cabling, and (iii) when is compliance required? Because the definition of abandoned communications cable only refers to “cabling that is not terminated at both ends at a connector or other equipment,” many questions arise as to what is abandoned communications cable. Does it include cabling in a building vertical telecommunications riser that terminates at a panel or frame in a telephone closet on an individual floor of an office building? Does it make a difference whether the cabling is contained in separate conduit? What is the “accessible portion” of abandoned communications cable? If removal would trigger OSHA requirements concerning asbestos removal, is such cabling accessible? Does the Code require removal of existing cabling installations? Does simply tagging communications cabling for “future use” exempt the building owner from liability? There are no definitive answers to the foregoing questions, and individual building owners will need to adopt their own level of compliance in areas such as leasing guidelines, tenant improvement construction guidelines, and due diligence checklists in acquiring buildings.
As with most “compliance with law” requirements, a building owner who elects to do nothing and not address the issue in its lease document (including tenant improvement work agreement) and/or its purchase and sale due diligence checklist, may bear the full cost of compliance with the Code requirement at times when it is most inopportune to do so. The seminar participants, as well as the San Francisco attendees, all saw a benefit for building owners/managers to perform a communications audit to answer questions relating to the location and amount of existing cabling, the type of PVC covering used in the building, the estimated cost of compliance, and whether building lease forms adequately allocate responsibility for compliance upon surrender of the premises at the end of the lease term.
The general consensus was that building owners need to turn the 2002 NEC cabling obligation into a positive opportunity to achieve a greater understanding of their buildings’ infrastructure. This has been a developing theme of telecommunications consultants, managers and lawyers advising building owners. There is anecdotal evidence that taking control of the telecommunications infrastructure adds value to a building and enables a building owner to more quickly enter into leases with tenants having high bandwidth voice and data network requirements. In a market where commercial tenants have an excess of space and buildings to consider, compliance with the 2002 NEC requirements concerning abandoned communications cabling serves as additional motivation for building owners to take control over an aspect of the building infrastructure that has historically been neglected.
Cabling Installation & Maintenance New Digital Format
Cabling Installation & Maintenance is announcing a significant new delivery option for our subscribers.
Subscribers can now elect to receive Cabling Installation & Maintenance in a crisp and versatile electronic format that enables advertisers to deliver live links to their own web sites.
Through technology provided by Qmags, subscribers get CIM via the Internet on the day of publication. They see it on screen exactly as it appears in print - with all covers, photographs, text, figures, and advertisements. Here's what you can do as a "digital subscriber:"
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By offering an easily navigable, highly readable electronic version of the magazine, we extend Cabling Installation & Maintenance unique record of multimedia innovation. We can now deliver an electronic duplicate of the magazine - every bit as attractive and valuable as the print version but more promptly available, with enhancements, such as keyword searches and advertiser links.
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Krone launches world's first 10-gigabit UTP cabling system
The Krone Group introduces the world's first augmented Category 6 structured cabling system with the necessary characteristics to enable 10-gigabit per second Ethernet transmission over a full 100 meters. This new end-to-end suite of cable and connector products called CopperTen(TM) is the result of Krone 's technological breakthrough first announced last November at the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Category 6 systems use unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cable, the most prolific type of enterprise network cabling in the world. UTP based systems are easier to install and typically more economical than shielded or fiber-optic based networks. However, at higher frequencies these cabling systems are hindered by the technical combination of insertion loss and alien cross-talk (interference from adjacent cables). Alien cross talk greatly disrupts transmission and high-speed data communications.
Krone 's CopperTen system incorporates patent-pending design and manufacturing processes that enable the products to overcome these challenges. As a result, Krone guarantees CopperTen systems will have the available capacity that is greater than or equal to 18-gigabits per second. In addition to this significant increase in bandwidth, all CopperTen products exceed the established TIA and ISO requirements for Category 6 structured cabling systems. CopperTen was a collaborative development between Krone 's global R&D centers in the United States, Great Britain, Germany and Australia. Information regarding CopperTen products is available through any one of more than ninety sales offices worldwide. www.krone.com
Keep on top of our industry by subscribing to CABLING STANDARDS UPDATE
Cabling Standards UPDATE highlights of what’s inside for you:
1. Cabling Standards
Our full reports covering the latest issues resolved at the 2/4/04 meeting of the residential cabling committee (TR 42.2) finalizing the TIA-570-B cabling standard, and the pathways and spaces committee (TR 42.3) finalizing the TIA-569-B design standard. The TIA-570-B new standard will cover requirements and guidelines for the design and installation of telecom services for the residence or SOHO. The TIA-569-B new standard will cover design requirements for the commercial building including the “multi-tenant” facility and will also include the function of the telecommunications enclosure.
An introduction to the very new IEEE study group working on “Wireless” Performance Testing.
3. For the Designer/Installer+
A full list of elements to be covered under the Data Center’s Tier 1 design.
4. Keeping Informed
Our recurring up-to-the-minute industry hot links as of this issue, provided by Joe Salimando
Industry Regulatory News
An Update to BICSI’s CLA Design Institute
An IEEE 802.3 glossary
Network Equipment Market Expected to Grow at Double-Digit Rates in 2005 Reaching $16.4 Billion
Spending on network equipment is expected to rise 2.3 percent to $14.4 billion in 2004, followed by double-digit growth in 2005 reaching $16.4 billion, according to TIA's 2004 Telecommunications Market Review and Forecast, an annual publication by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). High single-digit increases are expected to follow in 2006, with a mid-single-digit advance in 2007. Spending will grow 7.0 percent at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2007, rising to $18.5 billion.
The network equipment market has been one of the most volatile sectors in the telecom industry. The sector continued its three-year correction in 2003, declining 15.2 percent to $14.1 billion, a decrease that followed a 61.1 percent drop in 2002 and a 17.6 percent decrease in 2001. That decline offset an unsustainable run-up in the late 1990s, particularly in the fiber-optic cable market, where deployment more than doubled between 1997 and 2000 (from 7.6 million miles to 19.6 million) before coming nearly to a complete halt in 2000. Beginning in 2004, however, network equipment spending will begin to expand again, led by the regional Bell operating companies (RBOCs), though it will not recover to the levels of 1999 and 2000. RBOCs face an overall declining market and are looking for new revenue sources and will need to invest in equipment to support them.
A significant investment in fiber will be needed for RBOC long-distance, data and television initiatives. To provide data services, RBOCs will need to upgrade their networks to be Internet protocol (IP)-capable; to deliver television programming, they will need to expand their fiber networks to the home. These upgrades have already begun, and in 2003, RBOCs recorded a modest increase in fiber deployment. Incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) fiber deployment is projected to increase 26.2 percent in 2004 and an additional 41.5 percent in 2005. In 2007, ILECs are expected to deploy 4.6 million miles of fiber, the highest of any year except 2000 and 2001. Total fiber deployment is expected to reach 7.4 million in 2007, a 12.0 percent CAGR from a low base.
"Over the next three years, we expect a reinvigorated network equipment market. For example, RBOC investment in fiber, migration to next-generation technologies, increased demand for high-speed DSL and rising wireless data traffic all will drive growth. One important underlying assumption to this increase is that the FCC's broadband deregulatory framework remains intact," stated TIA President Matthew J. Flanigan.
TIA's 2004 Telecommunications Market Review and Forecast provides an overview of telecom's interrelated market segments including network services, enterprise and consumer, mobile and wireless communications, and international markets. It's available in hard copy or on CD-ROM. To order, please visit www.tiaonline.org
Rexel Ranks #206 Among Private Fleet Owners
Dallas-based Rexel, Inc., ranks in the top half of the Top 500 private fleets in the U.S., according to an annual tally by FLEET OWNER magazine. The list appeared in the magazine’s February 2004 issue.
With 679 vehicles nationwide, Rexel ranked #206 in the 2004 FLEET OWNER 500. An 8-page PDF of the magazine’s article and list can be downloaded from www.fleetowner.com.
“We have more than 280 branches in 28 states from Florida to California, extending northwards to Portland, Ore., and Buffalo, N.Y.,” said Dick Waterman, executive vice president and CEO of the company.
“Those trucks counted by FLEET OWNER enable us to provide first-class customer service, no matter where electrical and datacom products are needed. They are assets that enable us to provide timely service on the customer’s timetable.”
Published for 75 years, FLEET OWNER, a Primedia publication aimed at the commercial trucking industry, has more than 100,000 readers.
About Rexel SA: With more than 1,700 branches on five continents, Rexel is the world’s largest electrical and datacom distributor. The company’s 2003 worldwide sales were 6.6 billion euros (more than $8 billion at recent exchange rates.
In the U.S., Rexel has more branches selling electrical and datacom products than any electrical or datacom distributor. For more information, see www.rexelusa.com
Z-Band Video Distribution System
Z-Band, Inc., a privately held corporation founded in 1999, manufactures and sells a robust Video Distribution System. The system broadcasts 86 analog or hundreds of RF video channels, bi-directionally, over unshielded twisted pair (CAT 5/6) per the EIA/TIA 568 global wiring standard. The system distributes multimedia video from sources such as Cable TV, DSS, and modulated base band outputs from cameras, VCR’s, DVDs and computers to as many as 8000 RJ-45 outlets. The product provides a video distribution platform for security monitoring, emergency alert, media retrieval, electronic bulletin boards, video conferencing and distance learning.
The system is an agile, hardware based, plug-and-play product requiring minimal design engineering, with simple installation requiring no adjustments when adds, moves or changes are made. Two unused pairs from the CAT 5/6 cable sheath are used for bi-directional video. The remaining two pairs can simultaneously be used for telephony, data or control applications.
The system distributes multimedia video content throughout a building using the 568 wiring infrastructure. Multi-buildings or an entire campus complex can be linked together on one video network using fiber optic transceivers, which transmit the bi-directional RF signals via single mode fiber up to a 25 km radius.
IEC Challenges Organizing Bill On Capitol Hill
ALEXANDRIA, Va. In a letter delivered to House and Senate leaders, IEC National challenged legislation designed to spark union organizing efforts.
If passed, the “Employee Free Choice Act” (S.1925 and H.R. 3619) introduced by Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Representative George Miller (D-CA) will allow collective bargaining representatives to be designated when a majority of employees sign authorization cards or petitions, thus ending the decades old practice of a secret ballot election monitored by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
As the antithesis of free choice and fairness, this legislation will bring an abrupt end to more than 50 years of accepted labor practices. Thousands of merit shop businesses will be devastated and hindered in their ability to provide new jobs and ignite the nation’s economic recovery.
“I cannot overemphasize how devastating this legislation will be to the merit shop community. It will thwart our members ability to grow their companies and put Americans back to work,” IEC National President J.B. Wise said in the letter.
Eliminating the NLRB secret ballot election procedure will deny employers the only protection they now have to defend their companies from union organizing efforts. This procedure provides employers with time to campaign against the union; gives employees the opportunity to hear both sides; and protects them from the influence of unwanted peer pressure.
The letters delivered today are part of IEC National’s effort to preserve 50 years of established labor law. This issue will be a central focus of the IEC National Legislative Conference on April 28 to May 1, 2004 when IEC members from across the country meet with their lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
Established in 1957, IEC is a trade association made up of more than 3,200 merit shop electrical and systems contractors with 73 chapters nationwide. Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., IEC is the nation’s premier trade association representing America’s independent electrical and systems contractors. IEC National aggressively works with the industry to establish a competitive environment for the merit shop a philosophy that promotes the concept of free enterprise, open competition and economic opportunity for all. www.iec.org
Fluke Networks new IntelliToner Toner and Probe Kits
Get advanced SuperVision for locating cable hidden in floors, ceilings, walls and in bundles. Our new IntelliTone Toner and Probe Kits are guaranteed to find the cables others can't.
Or your money back.
Every day, cabling installers and network technicians deal with the shortcomings of cable location tools that are based on 40-year-old analog technology. Even though analog tools mis-identify cable and fail to pick up signals in the most common workplace situations, they've been the only choice out there. Until now.
The IntelliTone™ Toner and Probe Series from Fluke Networks gives you a digital signal locating technology that's as advanced as the systems you work with. IntelliTone is a breakthrough solutionand the only solutionthat locates and isolates even the most elusive, hidden or bundled voice, data and video cables quickly and reliably, even on active networks. With dramatic gains in speed, precision and productivity that make analog tools obsolete.
Locate Cables Quickly and Easily
Fluke Networks Engineering has applied decades of cable testing expertise to the science of locating copper cables. The result is what we call IntelliTone™ technologya smart digital signal-toning and signal-interpreting process that rapidly and precisely zeroes in on even the most elusive cables.
With IntelliTone™ digital technology, analog hassles are history. IntelliTone™ Toners and Probes succeeds in all of the situations where analog technology failssuch as locating cable in a bundle despite signal bleed from cable to cable. Differentiating the tone from noise or a false signal. And finding a signal due to active network terminations.
Simply attach the IntelliTone™ Toner to a cable and set the sensing mode on the IntelliTone™ Probe. IntelliTone™ technology energizes cable conductors with a smart, sychronized digital signal. Multiple tone types occur in the signal that help you to:
- LOCATE a cable from a distance using maximum radiation
- ISOLATE a cable from a bundle using a balanced signal with minimum radiation
- VALIDATE cable conductor continuity with an automated signal that steps through each conductor
The IntelliTone™ Probe's signal selection thumbwheel lets you choose which tone type to use. Controlled LED signal indicators and audio tones simplify signal interpretation and take the guesswork out of cable location, reducing even the toughest locating problems into a few minutes' work.
The IntelliTone™ Toner and Probe also does the work of multiple testersintegrating the essential diagnostic and troubleshooting features to validate cable conductor continuity, identify service, and troubleshoot as needed. It would take two to four other testers to locate and test the diverse array of cabling types that IntelliTone™ handles. www.flukenetworks.com
Light Brigade Announces Complete 2004 Training Schedule
The Light Brigade announces its complete training schedule for 2004 as the fiber industry rebounds. The schedule lists the national dates and locations for The Light Brigade’s one-, two-, and four-day courses, with both classroom and hands-on options.
The Fiber Optics 1-2-3 course, attended by 26,000 participants nationally since 1987, focuses on how to design, install, test and maintain fiber optic communication systems for voice, video and data applications.
The hands-on fiber technician modular courses are one-day advanced training classes that focus on a specific fiber optic discipline.
The advanced "on the road" course focuses on the specifics of singlemode fiber from a hands-on perspective and offers the new Fiber Optic Technician-Outside Plant (FOT-OSP) certification.
The catalog also features information on The Light Brigade's Fiber To The Home/Passive Optical Networks (FTTH/PON) course, custom courses for fiber optic manufacturers, and their extensive library of videos and CD-ROMs.
Please visit thier website www.lightbrigade.com for more details on upcoming classes, dates, and locations.
The Light Brigade is the largest independent fiber optic training organization in the world. Since 1987, thousands have taken our instructor led fiber optic training throughout the United States and custom courses at customer sites worldwide. In addition, a variety of fiber optic training videotapes and CD-ROMs are available. We also work with companies to provide training materials for their staff development needs. www.lightbrigade.com
Limited Combustible Cable - a NFPA 90A Proposal for additional safety?
We have spent the past quarter of a century looking at half of the truth about Cabling and Safety. It is time to wise up and consider the full scope of issues and facts.
Cabling: What You Don’t See Can Blind You
By Frank Bisbee
Imagine a fire drill (office building, hospital, or school) where everyone was required to wear a blindfold while exiting the building. That seems sort of ridiculous, but that may replicate part of the scenario that may occur if there is a real fire. Thick black smoke or colorless and odorless gas can have the same effect on the individual.
Gas emissions, due to the heat decomposition of some return-air plenum (CMP) communications cable materials, are dangerous, because when they come in contact with water (even minute amounts), they immediately form acid. The water source that the gasses use to form these acids can be found almost anywhere-moisture in the eyes, throat and lungs of individuals with whom it comes in contact. For example: due to the heat decomposition, FEP (fluorinated ethylene propylene), may emit a colorless and odorless hydrogen fluoride gas, which becomes hydrofluoric acid in the eyes, nose and throat of the individuals exposed to the gas.
During a fire, the occupants should try to exit the structure immediately. However, they may be blinded and choking from either heavy smoke or acids from invisible gasses. Typically, fire injuries and death can occur as a result of a two-stage process. The first stage is incapacitation, which results from exposure to fire effluent consisting of smoke and a range of toxic products. This is followed by the second stage of death resulting from continued exposure to heat and toxic gasses, with carbon monoxide particularly important as an ultimate cause of death.
The INCAPACITATION HAZARD from smoke, irritant and asphyxiant toxic gases is a critically important factor. Conditions in most fires rapidly become lethal within a few minutes of those conditions causing incapacitation.
For many years we have acknowledged the issues of reduced flame spread and low smoke generation. The cables that are located in the plenum space (usually above the ceiling) are potential concealed highways for a fire to spread. Reduced flame spread is part of the safety formula. The low smoke generation property of the cable is designed to inhibit the obscuration factor associated with thick smoke. We need to see the exit signs and the pathways to safety. Smoke also has a choking effect when inhaled. That is one more reason to limit the smoke. Both flame spread and smoke are part of the testing criteria (UL910/NFPA 262 for CMP) for communications cables for use in return-air plenum space.
Safety is too important to ignore. There are two major areas of concern that remain undressed in the NEC 2002 (National Electric Code). As businesses are besieged with higher insurance premiums and liability litigation about the safety issue, we asked the "BIG" question. Does the testing process for fire safety measure the TOXICITY of the cables when overheated or burned? The answer is shockingly "NO".
Measuring toxicity output from cables used in building air systems is NOT part of the testing criteria for communications cables. This important aspect of safety is completely absent from the criteria of the current of the NEC 2002 (National Electric Code) and the proposed criteria of the upcoming NEC 2005.
During the past several decades, we have seen the effect of product “toxicity” on various industries and the victims. No one can ignore the echoing repercussions from tobacco, asbestos, and lead. The finger pointing and lawsuits continue to be prominent in the news. One common area of these products seems to be the failure to warn the buyers/users about the dangers.
Currently in the cabling marketplace, limited combustible cable is touted as the premier cable construction for fire safety. Limited combustible cable (by all current manufacturers) is only insulated and jacketed with FEP.
The fire testing (per NFPA 90A-National Fire Protection Association) includes maximum potential heat value of 3500 btu/lb, and maximum smoke developed index of 50 for the NFPA 255 surface burning characteristics test. The cable is UL (Underwriters Laboratories) approved and marked CMP-Limited Combustible. The testing (NFPA 90A) for smoke generation and flame spread is more stringent that the tests (UL910/NFPA 262) for CMP. At this time, FEP appears to be the only material commercially available that will pass the LC test.
In the last cycle of the National Electric Code (NEC 2002) an important development for the cabling industry took place. The need to reduce the fuel load in the return air plenums was identified and the code added a provision for the removal of "abandoned" cable.
Currently, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is wrestling with new issues for cabling safety that will be considered for the next cycle of the NEC (NEC 2005). In mid August, the NFPA 90A committee is scheduled to meet to deal with several areas of concern. Topics included in their published agenda, are the discussions about the use and applications of limited combustible cable. Several parties have discussed the use of limited combustible cables in air ducts in addition to the currently approved return air plenums.
One of the underlying issues of the limited combustible cable is safety. Is limited combustible cable really safer? We looked into the question of toxicity. Toxicity is an important area that can affect the overall safety of cables that are installed in the building air systems. Can cables emit toxic gases when heated beyond their operating threshold? Currently, cable products are tested for smoke generation and flame spread. Toxicity is not measured. However, toxicity can have a major impact on the safety issue because toxicity can affect the same functions that we are trying to control with low smoke and reduced flame spread materials in the cabling.
In summary, what you can't see can blind you and what you don't know about cabling might kill you. After of years of research we have determined that there is no PERFECT cable. The best solution seems to be a fully informed buyer/user. What is the safety performance rating of your cable?
Further Info: Web Resources
Explanation of NEC abandoned cable requirements (from a contractor’s site):
Go to this URL, click on “Abandoned Cable NEC Code Summary”
This information comes from the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense, Medical Management of Chemical Casualties Handbook.
TOXIC TEFLON - Pulmonary Agents
Check the MSDS for Teflon® FEP.
Perfluoroisobutylene (PFIB) is a toxic pyrolysis product of tetrafluoroethylene polymers encountered in military materiel (e.g., Teflon7, found in the interior of many military vehicles). The oxides of nitrogen (NOxs) are components of blast weapons or may be toxic decomposition products. Smokes, e.g., HC, contain toxic compounds that cause the same effects as phosgene does. The remainder of this chapter will deal solely with phosgene because it is the prototype of this class of agents; however, the principles of medical management of phosgene exposure also apply to casualties from compounds such as PFIB or NOxs.
OSHA Praised, Prodded at MSDS Senate Hearing
What started out as a hearing on the effectiveness of OSHA's Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs), appeared to end up as an appeal for legislation requiring the agency to adopt the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for labeling chemicals.
Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., chairman of the Senate Employment, Safety, and Training Subcommittee said he called the hearing "because I've had complaints from employers and employees about MSDSs." Those complaints centered on the accuracy of MSDSs, their comprehensibility to the average worker and employer and the difficulty of complying with OSHA requirements, he said.
OSHA Administrator John Henshaw, who testified first, won praise from many witnesses at the hearings for the agency's new initiative, intended to address many of the problems with MSDSs. The agency announced the initiative a week before the hearing. Henshaw explained the OSHA program has three elements:
- Compliance assistance, outreach through new alliances and a new portal on OSHA's Web site;
- Additional enforcement of the hazard communication standard (HCS);
- Consideration of adopting the GHS and preparation of a guide to raise awareness of the GHS.
One of the alliances OSHA formed to improve the MSDS system is with the Society for Chemical Hazard Communication (SCHC).
Anne Jackson, corporate safety director for Pepperidge Farm Inc., provided one of the bluntest assessments of the current problems with MSDSs. Jackson said the shortcomings of today's MSDs are numerous, but the origin of the problem is a lack of focus by OSHA and chemical suppliers on the true purpose of the requirement protecting employees.
"Unfortunately, this is where the current MSDSs fail miserably," declared Jackson. "The MSDSs I have to work with at Pepperidge Farm usually fall into one of two categories: those written by attorneys for attorneys and those written by chemical engineers for chemical engineers."
Jackson, who testified on behalf of the American Bakers Association, appeared to criticize the current OSHA initiative when she called on OSHA to open its doors and meet with those who use MSDSs every day, e.g. employers and employees. Specifically, she recommended the agency develop a standard format for MSDSs, use of electronic systems and clarification of when and where
MSDSs are needed.
Michele Sullivan, chairman of the SCHC board of directors, Tom Grumbles, president of the American Industrial Hygiene Association, and Mike Wright, director of health, safety and environment for the United Steelworkers of America, all argued that adoption by the United States of the GHS would address many of the problems with the current MSDS system.
The GHS would require the standardization of forms, and its use of pictograms and common expressions would improve its intelligibility for semi-literate and non-English-speaking workers while helping companies to compete in the international marketplace.
Wright appealed to Congress, beginning with Enzi's subcommittee, to take a step that "would make a dramatic difference….begin the work of adopting the GHS.". Wright argued that OSHA rulemaking is too cumbersome to deal with standards derived from a decade of international negotiations, and so the only effective way to adopt GHS is through legislation.
At the end of the hearing, Enzi said he would "take a look at GHS and see if legislation is possible."
EPA to talk to SPI on PFOA
Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) SPRING 2004 CONFERENCE was held at Venetian at Las Vegas on April 4-6, 2004. Steve Smith and Eric Walsh, the co-chairs for this event, and the Section Chairs have worked up very strong general session and Section programs. Attendees heard Mary Ellen Weber, US EPA, who spoke on the critical PFOA Issue. For the program details, see the conference information and registration material on this site.
FPD Highlights - March 2004
SPRING 2004 CONFERENCE was held at Venetian at Las Vegas on April 4-6, 2004. Steve Smith and Eric Walsh, the co-chairs for this event, and the Section Chairs have worked up very strong general session and Section programs. Attendees heard Mary Ellen Weber, US EPA, who spoke on the critical PFOA Issue. For the program details, see the conference information and registration material on this site.
FALL 2004 CONFERENCE - SPI has confirmed $195 for the Boardwalk Resort at Disney World, FL, for the dates of September 19-21, 2004. Co-chairs for this conference are Matt Kajfez, Saint-Gobain, and Evan Laganis of AGF.
FLUOROPOLYMERS PROCESSORS GROUP
The PFOA issue has become the most critical issue facing the Fluoropolymers Industry in recent history and could result in substantial damage to our industry and all its members, including the processors. The SPI has formed the Fluoropolymers Processors Group (FPG) to ensure that fluoropolymers processors' voices are heard by both the Fluoropolymers Mfg. Group (FMG) and the EPA in regards to the PFOA issue. To do this, the FPG needs to expand its processor membership to include most, if not all, of the FPD Processor members.
FLUOROGUIDE - A full update of FluoroGuide, including all Company Descriptions, was posted in early March 2004. The last prior full update was in Novermber 2003. This included updates of the Section and Membership tables.
FPD SECTION ACTIVITIES
The detailed Section Programs for the upcoming Spring Conference at Las Vegas in early April are posted on this web site. Check them out!!
The Processors Breakout plans 4 interesting presentations at the Spring Conference, including a talk on Extruder Equipment by Walter Wulz of German Technology Imports.
The Coaters Section plans several presentations at the Spring Conference.
Lined Products Section is working with SPI and MTI to secure DOE funds for lined products materials research.
The Wire and Cable Section continues to participate in activities to promote fluoropolymers in various ASTM and international committees. Come and get updated on the many hot issues at the Spring Conference. The W&C web site, www.datacable.org had 60k hits in the last quarter.
Resin Manufacturers Section is scheduled to participate in the NACE Show in New Orleans during the week of March 29. The Section will have a booth there (under the auspices of FPD) to promote fluoropolymers versus metal for corrosion solutions.
People on the Move
DUPONT is combining their Teflon® Fluoropolymers, FluoroSurfacing, Nafion®, and Fluoroelastomers businesses to form a new FluoroSolutions business, effective March 1.
At the same time, they are organizing the new business from a market based structure. Daminder Johar is appointed Global Market and Business Manager - Processing Industries. Gayle Gibson is appointed Global Market and Business Manager - Industrial Products. Stacy Dedinas is appointed Global Market and Business Manager - Electronics and Fine Chemicals. Lynn Weitzke is appointed Global Market and Business Manager - Consumer.
Also, the Vice President and GM for Fluoroproducts, Rich Angiullo, retired at the end of February (he was on the SPI Executive Board). He is being replaced by David Bills as the new VP/GM of Dupont FluoroSolutions.
W.L.GORE - Successful outcomes in vascular procedures require that surgeons be able to repair vessels without trauma to tissue and avoid other complications potentially resulting from vascular grafting. GORE-TEX® INTERING Vascular Graft, the newest vascular graft offering from W. L. Gore & Associates, a leader in vascular surgical products for more than two decades, redefines graft performance by reducing kinking and compression - problems that can lead to complications post-surgery. This new graft provides all of the benefits of a ring graft - without the rings.
DAIKIN AMERICA announces a recent expansion in fluoroelastomer testing to support their DAI-ELTM business. Daikin's Fluoroelastomer Lab in Orangeburg, NY opened in 2001, and has expanded beyond their original resources and technical manpower capabilities as part of its commitment to the U.S. Fluoroelastomer market with emphasis on the automotive sector. Daikin will use this additional manpower and resources for testing chemical compatibility of materials including fuels, transmission fluids, and other related harsh chemicals. Lab features include a scanning electron microscope with elemental analysis for investigating contaminates and bonding, plus additional equipment added to help customers with processing and support for physical property testing. For more information about Daikin or DAI-ELTM Fluoroelastomers visit www.daikin-america.com or call 800/365-9570.
Superior Modular Products Names ADI as National Distributor
Swannanoa, NC - Superior Modular Products, a leading developer and manufacturer of high-speed cross-connect products for communication networks, today announced that its entire product line of Commercial and Residential structured Cabling Products will now be distributed by ADI, North America's largest wholesale distributor of security and low voltage products for the residential marketplace. Superior Modular's product line provides a broad range of connectivity solutions to meet the developing demands of today's commercial and residential environments.
On the decision to distribute product through ADI, Bill Reynolds, Superior's General Manager, notes: "One of Superior Modular's strategic initiatives for 2004 is to concentrate on the Security / Low Voltage marketplace and ADI was the focal point to this implementation."
Bryan Hutton, Superior's ADI Program Manager, adds: "We here at SMP are extremely pleased to announce this partnership with ADI and we look forward to working with them as a valued partner in our distribution channel. This new relationship will bring to ADI's customers a wealth of high quality commercial and residential connectivity products to meet their rapidly growing needs."
ADI (www.adilink.com) is North America's largest wholesale distributor of security and low voltage products with over 105 locations serving customers in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico.
Superior Modular Products, headquartered in Swannanoa, North Carolina, is internationally recognized for its role in establishing the world's data/communications standards, through its innovative-patented technologies. It is a leading developer and manufacturer of high-speed cross-connect products for communication networks worldwide. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Performed Line Products (PLPC) of Cleveland, Ohio.
Since its beginning in 1990, Superior Modular Products has prided itself on manufacturing top-quality products as well as generating innovative solutions for the telecommunications industry.
Superior Modular Products has focused on manufacturing products that are not only competitive but consistently surpassing industry standards. The development side of this dual commitment has yielded a long list of patented innovations widely used throughout the industry, many of which have become the basis for what is now standard technology. All of the products we have developed are consistently recognized for their innovation and reliability by some of the largest manufacturers in the industry.
Our invention of the low cross-talk, electrical connector system (US Pat. 5,299,956) revolutionized the high-speed connector industry. This system forms the basis for cross-talk reduction of category 5, category 5e and category 6 patch panels and is still required in the emerging categories of high-speed connectors.
Our next major engineering breakthrough came with the development of the impedance matched, reduced cross-talk, electrical connector system. Although its importance was not fully realized at first, impedance matching is now recognized as one of the most critical needs in the industry. With the emergence of Gigabit Ethernet, issues of return loss and impedance have been propelled to the forefront of connector design.
Some of our more recent patented innovations include a modular plug design suitable for category 6 applications which allows manufacturers to simutaneously increase yields and lower the costs of category 6 compliant patch cords.
Superior Modular Products closely monitors and supports standards organizations and have played a major role in the TIA Committee’s efforts to establish patch cord test standards and to identify the problems associated with high-frequency performance connectors.
More recently, Sterling Vaden, V.P. of Engineering, was recognized for his contributions in resolving problems associated with component testing at high frequencies. The solution, now referred to as the "Pyramid Adapter", is written into the TIA/EIA-568-B.2-1 Category 6 standard and is accepted throughout the industry as the preferred method for component level testing.
With our history of innovation and reliability, Superior Modular Products is well positioned to move into the future of this rapidly evolving industry. We stand behind our complete line of high-speed copper and fiber optic products with the assurance that our two-fold commitment to quality superior development and superior products will continue to prove us aptly named.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
NWPPA 2004 Engineering and Operations Conference
April 6 - 8
Graybar Dallas Technology Showcase 2004
Hyatt Regency Dallas
Dallas, TX 75207
ACUTA Spring Seminars
April 18 21
Miami Beach, FL
BOMA Southern Regional Conference
April 22 24
BICSI U.S. Southeast Region Meeting
BICSI 2004 Spring Conference
May 3 - 6
GSA Expo 2004
May 11 - 13
Orange County Convention Center, Orlando FL
National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA)
New Orleans, LA
NETWORLD + INTEROP Las Vegas 2004
Las Vegas, NV
May 15 19
San Francisco, CA
Utility Supply Management Alliance (USMA) 2004 Educational Conference
May 23 - 26
June 12 16
June 20 - 24
McCormick Place, Chicago IL
ACUTA 2004 Annual Conference & Exhibition
August 1 - 5
NIGP 59th Annual Forum and Products Exposition “Set Sail For Success”
August 7 - 11
August 8 - 11
American Nuclear Society
2004 Utility Working Conference
August 8 - 11
Amelia Island, FL
BICSI 2004 Fall Conference
August 30 - September 2
Utility Purchasing Management Group (UPMG) 2004 Annual Conference
September 26 - 28th, 2004
The Fairmount Hotel, Chicago IL
2004 Annual IEC National Convention & Electric Expo
September 29th - October 2nd, 2004
Hyatt Regency, Minneapolis MN
October 16 - 19th, 2004
Los Angeles, CA
REMEMBER TO RECYCLE, REDUCE AND REUSE