USGBC Under Attack By Commercial Interests
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a
non profit organization that certifies sustainable businesses, homes,
hospitals, schools, and neighborhoods. USGBC is dedicated to expanding green
building practices and education, and its LEED® (Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
(LEED) Green Building Rating System is a voluntary,
consensus-based national rating system for developing high-performance,
sustainable buildings. LEED addresses all building types and emphasizes
state-of-the-art strategies in five areas: sustainable site development, water
savings, energy efficiency, materials and resources selection, and indoor
This all sounds wonderful, so why are the Chemical companies
and their shills attacking the “good guys”. It may have more to do with profits
than public safety.
Brendan Owens, Director-Vice
President, LEED Technical Development USGBC Non-profit organization dedicated to
sustainable building design and construction and developers of the LEED
building rating system. (www.usgbc.org),
stated that the goal of MR Credit 4:1: PBT Source Reduction: Dioxins and
Halogenated Compounds, is to “ Reduce the release of persistent bioaccumlative
toxic chemicals (PBT’S) associated with the life cycle of building
materials.” The LEED Green Building
Rating System ™, which is run by the USGBC, is a voluntary program. Under it, project credits can be earned to
qualify for LEED certification. The
USGBC is not the only “green” building body, but it is a prominent on, with
nearly 14,000 member organizations, including nonprofit associations,
architects, facility manager, engineers, interior designers, construction
managers, lenders and others.
interesting to note, that the Canadian and U.S. Military departments avoid the
use of CMP cable, opting for safe alternatives, such as the EU - European
standard low-smoke, zero-halogen (LSZH) cabling. All the major domestic
manufacturers are making LSZH cable. It’s the standard across Europe.
It’s accepted by stringent military specs here but isn’t suitable for
installation in our buildings? http://www.ecmag.com/index.cfm?fa=article&articleID=8609
& FRPVC jackets and the FEP (Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene – known by the
trade names of Dupont Teflon® FEP & Daikin - America Neoflon® FEP)
insulation used in CMP Plenum cable are some of the most common materials used
in cabling constructions in the USA. All of these materials are
are Halogenated materials under scrutiny but also the use of heavy metals (such
as Lead & Cadmium) in the PVC compounds.
Most of the major cable manufacturers product lines include RoHS
compliant LSZH (Low-Smoke Zero-Halogen) cables that they market in Europe and
Directive stands for "the restriction of the use of certain
hazardous substances in electrical and electronic
equipment". This Directive bans the placing on the EU market of
new electrical and electronic equipment containing more than agreed levels of
lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and
polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants.
Manufacturers need to understand the requirements of the RoHS Directive to
ensure that their products, and their components, comply. http://www.rohs.gov.uk/ Note: the RoHS directive is not a
requirement in the US
codes. RoHS compliant cables are a
voluntary decision by the US
CCCA joins VI & SPI against USGBC
incredible… $50,000.00 per year to join CCCA (Communications Cable &
Connectivity Association), a newly formed association (announced
January 15, 2008) with a mission statement that is extremely vague. This association appears to be set up to
provide a strong lobbying effort for specific commercial interests including
the chemical companies that supplies materials for the cable market in the USA.
In an article published by the Wire Journal International www.wirenet.org, March 2008, Frank Peri,
executive director of CCCA (Communications Cable & Connectivity
Association) has already joined the voices of the Vinyl Institute and the SPI (The Society of the Plastics
Industry, Inc.) in a strong attack on the USGBC (US Green Building Council)
LEED – HC voluntary proposal to improve environmental and safety conditions in
the Health Care Industry. The
CCCA official location is currently in the office of a Washington, D.C.
attorney firm (No website yet).
(Francis W. Peri) has more than 30 years of professional experience in the chemical
and communications industries. His background includes: consultation for
management and marketing of fluoropolymers (DuPont and Daikin), and positions
in chemical manufacturing and senior business management at the DuPont Company.
Mr. Peri holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Boston College.
(www.dupont.com & www.daikin-america.com)
the efforts of the US Green Building Council to pursue safer and more
environmentally friendly solutions for the home and workplace. We can expect
lots of “selective voodoo science” to emerge as arguments against the halogen
reduction. The chemical companies have deep pockets and lots of “friends”.
just my opinion,
"Heard On The Street" Monthly Column
4949 Sunbeam Rd, Suite 16
Jacksonville, FL 32257
(904) 645-9077 office
(904) 645-9058 fax
Come To The 2008 BICSI Spring Conference
It pays to
arrive early in Nashville!
BICSI pre-conference educational seminars offer extended learning opportunities
that are an easy way to get a head start on your conference experience. The
seminars will be held on Sunday, April 27 between 1:30-4:30 p.m. Below are the
seminar titles and continuing education credit (CEC) information.
Systems: Why Important and Why Testing is Invalid 95% of the Time,” John R.
Howard, Lyncole XiT Grounding, Torrance,
3 CECs –
RCDD, NTS Specialty, OSP Specialty, WD Specialty, ITS Installer 2 and ITS
for the Wireless Triple-Play Services,” Joe Bardwell, Connect802 Corporation, San Ramon, California
3 CECs –
RCDD, NTS Specialty, OSP Specialty, WD Specialty, ITS Installer 2 and ITS
Power Quality,” Dan Maxcy and Brian Branigan, Power Protection Products, Omaha, Nebraska
3 CECs –
RCDD, NTS Specialty, OSP Specialty, WD Specialty, ITS Installer 2 and ITS
these seminars are separate from the conference registration fee. Click
here to view full descriptions of each seminar and to register online. For
additional help or questions, call BICSI Customer Service at +1 813.979.1991 or
800.242.7405 (USA & Canada
The 2008 BICSI Cabling Skills
pre-conference seminar you can head straight down to the Exhibit Hall, visit
with the top industry vendors and experience BICSI history in the making. Watch
the best ITS installers compete for the title of Installer of the Year in the
BICSI Cabling Skills Challenge.
this exciting event as a BICSI tradition is born. The winner will receive a
$5,000 cash prize as well as several valuable prizes and a trophy. There is no
entry fee to compete and competitors will receive a full paid Spring Conference
If you are
an ITS Installer, there's still time to join the competition. Apply today—the
deadline has been extended to Friday, April 4. For more information, including
the competition schedule and an application to compete, visit www.bicsi.org/skillschallenge.
BICSI Cares Silent Auction
invites you to participate in the first-ever silent auction to be held at the
2008 BICSI Spring Conference in Nashville.
All proceeds will benefit Saving Little Hearts Inc.—and your help is needed to
make this a success! Saving Little Hearts is a not-for-profit organization
devoted to helping children with congenital heart defects and their families.
you can help. Contribute an item to the silent auction—you, your employer or
both can donate the item. Click
here for more information and a donation form.
children in need, BICSI Cares is a year-round effort that has given money to
charities worldwide to help build schools, feed the hungry, prevent abuse and
violence, combat illiteracy and provide for an overall positive environment.
Established in 1992 as a 501(c)(3) entity, BICSI Cares collects donations to
support charities worldwide, and all donations are tax deductible. For more
information visit the BICSI Cares
Web page or e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t Forget To Check Out The BICSI Credential Holders Lounge At The
BICSI Spring Conference
forget to check out the BICSI Credential Holders Lounge when you are at the
2008 BICSI Spring Conference in Nashville.
Sponsored by ITS-Jobs.com, the Lounge is secluded away from the buzz of the
seminars and exhibit floors, providing a unique and intimate setting for any
Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD®), BICSI ITS Installer or
Technician, to share their conference experiences, focus on business matters or
simply take time to read magazines and watch news. You can also enter a drawing
to win the TV that you will see in the Lounge.
Who Needs TPMA = YOU DO!
company has won a bid. Your Design team has spent time and money putting
together the specs. You hand it over to
a lead technician, who has little or no formal training/certifications in personnel
management or project management. He is given the due date and sent on his way.
The end result: the project is over-budget and the
time line was shot in the first 2 weeks.
Your design team is frustrated, your customer is extremely agitated and
the moral of your installers has hit an all time low. What
Dictionary defines PROJECT as “a planned undertaking”.
In today’s economy the almighty dollar has a strong influence on who
will “get the job”. A company coming in
over budget with a large number of unexpected change orders to the original
contract will have a harder time, even with a great design and a final cost
that beats other companies, winning the next bid. It is time to look within the company to find
a way to streamline the process and find out where the errors in planning are.
Many companies have brought their lead Tech into a position
of a PM (Project Manager) the “old Fashioned way; on the job training. They are
employees who have exceeded the expectation placed on them and seem to be able
to rise to any challenge and succeed.
Put into perspective by Don Nelson, Master Instructor for TPMA (Telecommunications Project Management
the top mechanic
them they would make a great pilot
them to start with no training… just try a small one…!
(Excerpt from TPMA course PM100)
TPMA’s courses teach the attendee techniques that if used,
will bring in a project on time, under budget and exceed the customer’s
expectations. The course takes you through the steps of a project’s phases and
explains various tools that can be used to track, document, and manage the
project from start to finish.
PM100 is a valuable tool for the introduction of Project
Management and is taught on a level that all attendees are able to understand
and relate to. The instructors use
personal experiences as well as tools and templates to bring their students
into the exhilarating world of project management. The fundamental methods that are used in the
classroom not only can be brought in to the workplace but are able to crossover
to other areas of life. When you leave
the class you are able to look at that next challenging project with a hint of
excitement. You know that you have in
your bag of tricks new skills and tools to tackle the obstacles that all
projects inherently have.
The outcome of taking a TPMA course can be: your project
comes in on time, under budget, your design team shines, the customer is
singing your companies praises and your installers chomping at the bit to get
on to the next job as a motivated experienced team. The alternative is a bit like “Russian
By Laura Jirus – Editor
“Heard On The Street - HOTS”
monthly column www.wireville.com
A Classic Publication For The Information Age Has Closed It’s Doors
Communications Review (a
subscriber paid magazine – now owned by CMP) was started by Jerry Goldstone.
After more than three decades, the Business Communications Review magazine has
ceased publication. BCR will be missed but not forgotten. BCR joins Teleconnect
and other great publications that have moved into history. These magazines
guided our industry in the early phases of the Information Age.
Telecommunications Industry Veteran Lonnie Martin Named CEO At AKTINO
Lonnie Martin, who has spent
more than 35 years in the telecommunications industry and served as chief
executive officer for several well-known companies in the course of his career,
has been named the CEO of Aktino, the leader in delivery of Carrier Ethernet
and broadband services over existing copper wiring infrastructure.
Martin, who was most recently
CEO of White Rock Networks, an optical equipment company that he founded in
1999 and guided until 2006, when it was sold to Turin Networks, has taken the
helm at Aktino at a time when the company is generating increasing interest in
its range of high-bandwidth, long-reach copper solutions.
Martin describes himself as a
“serial entrepreneur.” He has been president and CEO of three venture
capital-backed companies in Silicon Valley and
Dallas – White Rock Networks, Broadband Telesystems, and Coastcom – and a top
executive at two large multinational companies, ADC Telecommunications and
“Service ubiquity is a first
requirement for carriers. Deployment of fiber progressively magnifies the
need to do more on copper to sustain service ubiquity. Aktino fulfills that
need with solutions that deliver three to five times the bandwidth of
alternative solutions – at distances that are common in carrier networks,”
“Whether this means delivering
10Mb Ethernet service at CSA, increasing remote DSLAM backhaul to 50 Mbps, or
tripling the bandwidth from cell sites using existing copper facilities,
Aktino’s MIMO on DMT has the performance advantage, optional asymmetrical
operation, and complete ADSL spectral compatibility that enable carriers to
cost-effectively achieve service ubiquity leveraging existing copper
“Aktino is helping to redefine
the power of copper as a valuable and cost-effective complement to fiber that
helps service providers leverage their infrastructure to grab new revenue
opportunities and retain existing customers. I’m eager to guide the
company to further customer successes and continued technology leadership,”
Martin pointed to specific
Aktino strengths, such as its VDSL2-based MIMO (Multiple In, Multiple Out) on
DMT (Discrete Multi-Tone) technology, which virtually eliminates crosstalk
between copper pairs and allows multimegabit capacity on each copper pair, all
the way to the edge of the carrier serving area.
He also noted Aktino’s
asymmetric bandwidth technology, which allows service providers to tailor the
upstream and downstream bandwidths to specific customer needs and enables
bandwidth as high as 7 Mbps per pair. He echoed the endorsements of many
providers already leveraging this feature that it will continue to be key to
providing cost-effective DSL and cell site backhaul.
“Lonnie Martin brings a wealth
of valuable expertise to the CEO position, and his vast experience will help
Aktino capitalize on its significant technological advantages and excel in
continued customer acquisition, strategic partnering, and growth,” said Rick
DeGabrielle, Chairman of the Board of Aktino. DeGabrielle, who himself has a
quarter century of telecommunications industry experience, became board
chairman in late 2007.
“We have great confidence in
Aktino and believe that Lonnie Martin is the right executive, with the right
skills to take Aktino to the next level,” said Bruce Hallett, a partner
with Miramar Ventures, one of Aktino’s key investors.
Before founding White Rock
Networks, Martin was president of the Business Broadband Group at ADC
Telecommunications, and before that was an executive at Ascom/Timeplex. He had
earlier served as CEO of Broadband Telesystems, a company he sold to Timeplex.
He has served on the boards of Lightwave Systems, TXP, Efficient Networks,
Adaptive Broadband, Quarry Technologies, and on a special Competitiveness
Council launched by Texas Gov. Rick Perry. He has an MBA from the Harvard Business School
and bachelors and masters degrees from Caltech.
Aktino, founded in 2003, is
highly focused on the use of bonded copper to enable providers to take
advantage of the quickly growing, New Mid-Band Ethernet market opportunity,
which requires service capacities of 10 to 50 Mbps. It was the first company to
deliver products for the business Ethernet market based on MIMO on DMT.
The Aktino product portfolio includes the AK3000 DS3 over copper solution,
AK5000, a scalable, shelf-based carrier Ethernet platform for larger
installations and the 0-50 Mbps AK4000 carrier Ethernet point-to-point
Belden Appoints Steve Biegacki As Vice President, Global Sales And Marketing
(NYSE: BDC - News) has appointed Steven R.
Biegacki as Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing, effective March 31,
2008. Mr. Biegacki, age 49, is Vice President, Marketing, with Rockwell
Automation, a leading global provider of industrial automation control and
information systems. As Vice President, Marketing, Mr. Biegacki has led the
globalization of Rockwell Automation's marketing function, provided leadership
in defining targeted customer segments and working to align the product
portfolio with customer needs, and envisioning and realizing strategic
initiatives. He joined Allen-Bradley (which was later acquired by Rockwell) in
1978 and has nearly 30 years' experience with the company in sales, business
management, and marketing focused on industrial automation. Mr. Biegacki has a bachelor's
degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from ETI
in Cleveland, Ohio.
Stroup, President and Chief Executive Officer of Belden, said: "I am
delighted to welcome Steve Biegacki to Belden's senior leadership team. Steve
is a process-oriented executive with a great depth of experience in meeting the
needs of industrial automation customers and leading the development of a
global marketing organization." http://www.belden.com.
Belden Will Close Manchester, Connecticut Plant – 132 Lose Jobs
(NYSE: BDC - News) today announced plans to
further restructure its North American manufacturing operations and to reduce
its worldwide production overhead and expenses.
will cease production activities at its plant located in Manchester, Connecticut,
by September 2008. The facility manufactures copper cable products primarily
for data networking. Other company facilities will assume the production
activities of the plant. The Manchester
plant is part of the Company's Specialty Division.
of associates affected by these actions is approximately 132. Associates will
be eligible for severance benefits, and the Company will make every effort to
help associates transition into other employment opportunities.
regret the impact of these actions on the affected associates," said John
Stroup, President and Chief Executive Officer of Belden. "It is a
difficult, but necessary step in the implementation of our regional
manufacturing strategy. The expected cost savings associated with this action
are further benefit of this strategy and take advantage of our lower cost
capacity at the recently completed Nogales,
connection with the actions announced today, Belden expects to incur severance
charges of approximately $1 to $2 million pretax during the shut-down period
and non-cash asset impairment charges and accelerated depreciation expense of
$8 to $11 million pretax mostly in the first quarter of 2008. The after-tax
impact will be between $0.11 and $0.16 per diluted share. The Company estimates
that the cost savings associated with these actions will be approximately $5
million annually, beginning in 2009. http://www.belden.com.
Canadian Manufacturer, Alpha Technologies Ltd., Acquires Ontario Repair Facility
Technologies Ltd. has successfully completed the acquisition of the equipment
repair division of Sentrex Communications Ltd., Woodbridge, ON.
The acquisition is part of an ongoing program by Alpha to expand their customer
and product support services.
company that values timely service and support for its customers, the Sentrex
equipment repair division was a natural fit into our plans to directly support
our products in the Ontario
market,” said Alpha CEO Mark W. Schnarr. “By listening to the needs of our
customers we, as a company, are now able to serve them better and have a
stronger business relationship with them.”
a privately held Canadian company and has been in operation since 1991. Sentrex
has operated as an Authorized
Center for over 17 years
providing service and support for Alpha Power products. To help with a seamless
transition, Sentrex repair centre manager, Bogdan Sokolowski has elected to
join Alpha Technologies Ltd. where he assumes the role of Service Centre
Manager of the Ontario
repair centre. www.alpha.ca
Corning Cable Systems Introduces LANscape® Pretium™ Integrated Solutions Design Guide
mapping simplifies time-consuming data center design and installation
Cable Systems LLC, part of Corning Incorporated’s (NYSE:GLW) Telecommunications
segment, introduces its LANscape® Pretium™ Integrated
Solutions Design Guide. It is the first solutions guide in the
telecommunications industry to detail an innovative port-mapping process that
results in streamlined design, installation and administration in data center
Integrated Solutions Design Guide features a synopsis of the data center
environment, including challenges, design considerations and recommended
topologies for storage area networks (SANs). The guide also outlines the design
and installation process for Corning Cable Systems’ newly introduced LANscape
Pretium Integrated Solutions.
Port mapping includes
the process of designing and documenting the connectivity of each port in the
data center main distribution area to the individual ports on the SAN
electronics. With pre-engineered port mapping diagrams, the Integrated
Solutions Design Guide simplifies this time-consuming step for data center
designers. By using this documentation and port mapping guidance, the
administration and implementation of moves, adds and changes are streamlined.
Pretium Integrated Solutions include the Zero-U and U-Space Systems, which help
to alleviate design, installation, management, scaling and cooling issues in
the data center. They are value-added complements to Corning Cable Systems’
Plug & Play™ Universal Systems, providing connectivity for both
high-density and low-density environments in the data center. The systems
ensure seamless integration of the cabling infrastructure, passive optical
hardware, cabinets and electronic components for a true “tip-to-tip” data
center infrastructure solution.
Ensuring the integration of data center components,
LANscape Pretium Integrated Solutions simplify the data center design and
installation process, while also providing the flexibility to meet changing
customer needs. The guide is available online at
www.corning.com/buildingblocks/integrated and will be updated as Corning Cable
Systems releases new products and solutions optimized for the data center
infrastructure. www.corning.com/cablesystems .
Corning Cable Systems Offers Free Seminars Focused on Latest Fiber-to-the-Home Technologies
2008 Emerging Technologies Seminars available in multiple
Cable Systems LLC, part of Corning Incorporated’s (NYSE:GLW) Telecommunications
segment, is offering its Emerging Technologies Seminar, “FTTH: The Future of
Broadband Happening Now,” to educate attendees on the technology behind
fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks. The seminar is free and open to all
consultants and design professionals upon registration, and is being offered at
several locations throughout 2008:
March 27, in Dallas, Texas
May 21, in Portland, Ore.
July 16, in Albany, N.Y.
Sept. 9, in Savannah, Ga,
Nov. 13, in St. Louis, Mo.
a free seat in one of the seminars, visit www.corning.com/ftthnow or call
leader in FTTH technology, will provide a comprehensive discussion on a variety
of FTTH-related topics during the free seminar. The agenda will include an
in-depth look at the forces that affect residential subscriber bandwidth and
the various residential access technologies currently being deployed.
Information on fiber optic theory and current FTTH standards, as well as the
latest technology and product advancements, will also be provided.
FTTH architectures and topologies will be compared and contrasted as features
of each are considered. Key elements of FTTH networks will also be discussed
with design guidance provided for each point in the network. The course, also
referred to as “TS-CP100 FTTH Emerging Technologies,” qualifies for the
following BICSI Continuing Education Credit (CECs): RCDD: 6; INSTALL: 6; NTS:
6; OSP: 6.
is taught by Corning Cable Systems’ Mark Turner, marketing manager – consultant
engineers, and David Kozischek, manager of strategic technology.
has worked for Corning Cable Systems for 12 years. Turner’s experience at Corning includes field
and systems engineering, product development, and most recently market
development, specifically for FTTH. Mark is recognized in the industry through
many publications and has been the chairman of the Architecture &
Technology Committee of the FTTH Council since 2006. David Kozischek has more
than 18 years of experience in communications technology, specifically
committed to new network designs. Currently manager of strategic technology for
Corning Cable Systems, he investigates new technologies and emerging
applications to quantify their impact on existing telecommunications and
information infrastructure. David is an active member of The Society of
Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE), an international society
advancing an interdisciplinary approach to the science and application of
the ability to bring communities together, increase neighborhood property
value, make telemedicine a reality and enable telecommuting. It can boost the
economies of small cities and could help bridge the economic divide. Corning’s Emerging
Technologies Seminar will discuss the technologies behind these exciting
Corning Cable Systems to Highlight Innovation In LAN And Data Center Applications At 2008 FOSE Conference And Exposition
Cable Systems LLC, part of Corning Incorporated’s (NYSE:GLW) Telecommunications
segment, will feature its innovative local area network (LAN) and data center
solutions at the 2008 FOSE Conference and Exposition, Apr. 1-3 in Washington,
In its interactive exhibit (booth #1631), Corning Cable
Systems will feature an environmental representation of a LAN and data center
network deployed with Corning Cable Systems products, many of which will focus
on the unique security requirements of the federal government. Throughout the
exhibit, customers will be able to see exactly where the products fit into
exhibit will feature Corning Cable Systems’ Plug & Play™ AnyLAN™
System for both indoor and outdoor applications. Plug & Play AnyLAN Systems
feature a multimode or single-mode optical cable pre-installed with network
access points at customer-specified intervals and a tethered, environmentally
hardened MT connector. Once distance measurements for network access point
locations are obtained, the preterminated system is manufactured and tested.
The entire system is then packed and shipped to the customer on a cable reel
for immediate deployment in the desired indoor or outdoor application.
exhibit’s data center section will showcase Corning Cable Systems’ Plug and
Play Universal Systems, a preterminated optical fiber cabling system that
dramatically streamlines the process of deploying an optical network infrastructure
in the data center environment. It greatly reduces fiber polarity as a factor
in system design, redesign or installation through a value-added wiring
The data center display will also feature Corning Cable
Systems’ newly introduced Pretium™ Integrated Solutions Zero-U
System. Designed jointly with Chatsworth Products, Inc. (CPI), the Zero-U
System uniquely manages optical fiber trunk cables, harnesses and modules
within CPI’s TeraFrame™ Cabinets. The system includes an MTP
Connector bracket mounted into the cabinet’s vertical manager to facilitate
patching instead of consuming valuable rack space as is traditional, providing
more room for data center electronics. The Zero-U System features
pre-engineered optical harness assemblies that map directly to the line card
ports of major equipment vendors of SAN directors. The system allows for simple
installation and integration of optical components in a data center
interactive exhibit will also contain:
& Play Systems Integrated Trunk Module, a pre-terminated 12-fiber MTP
Connector trunk assembly integrated into a Plug and Play Systems module, in
which the trunk cable is stored in the module and can be pulled out and
deployed to meet exact length requirements to eliminate the need for precise
pre-planning of cable length.
& Play Systems Media Converter Module, which enables network cabling
managers to seamlessly leverage existing copper electronics while taking
advantage of the data transport properties of high-density optical systems.
Pretium™ Performance Connectors, offering best-in-class
optical performance in a fast, easy field-termination solution.
LC Solutions, based on the standard LC single-fiber connector, the keyed LC
solution includes modules, panels, field-installable connectors and cable
assemblies, and provides physical separation for networks, applications or
Ruggedized Information Outlet (RIO), used in applications where a robust and
tamper-proof outlet is required, including high traffic workstations,
industrial/manufacturing environments and hallways.
Developing And Marketing Commercial Real Estate Is Changing Focus
Issue of Broadband Properties Magazine.
focus is that developing commercial real estate and marketing it has
changed. Economic Development equals Broadband connectivity. And,
broadband connectivity equals jobs. This is becoming a universal truth as
intelligent business campuses or intelligent industrial parks are being built
around the world offering gigabit connectivity and other intelligent amenities
to support new business growth in a global economy.” JAMES CARLINI email@example.com
EXFO Acquires Navtel Communications
Electro-Optical Engineering Inc. (NASDAQ: EXFO; TSX: EXF) announced today that
it has acquired all the shares of Navtel Communications Inc., a leading
provider of Internet Protocol Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and
Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) test solutions for Network Equipment
Manufacturers (NEMs) and Network Service Provider (NSP) labs.
paid consists of C$11.0 million in cash, subject to adjustments on working
capital. The deal is expected to be neutral to EXFO's earnings for the
remainder of fiscal 2008 and accretive in fiscal 2009, excluding amortization
of intangible assets to be accounted for in the acquisition.
Communications, a privately held company in the Toronto area, specializes in testing next-generation
IP networks that are increasingly combining wireline and wireless technologies.
Its InterWatch® platforms, offering the highest performance in the
industry, are fully scalable simulation and analysis test stations available in
rack-mountable and portable formats. These solutions can perform several
critical tests ¯ capacity, performance, stress and load testing ¯ on various
network devices to assure their ability to perform under real-life, IP-based,
multi-media traffic conditions. Test modules can be hosted inside Navtel's
platforms for characterizing next-generation switches, routers, session border
controllers and media gateways.
which is being touted as the new technology that will merge the Internet with
the telecom world, allows wireline and wireless carriers to use a common IP
application system to deliver new multi-media services that can be combined
with legacy services across a number of different access technologies. IMS has
been developed to become the overlaying architecture that will enable the
efficient management and deployment of quadruple (voice, video, data and
mobile) IP services.
has positioned itself as a leading-edge supplier of IMS test solutions. It also
offers a comprehensive suite of VoIP and Generalized Multi-Protocol Label
Switching (GMPLS) test solutions, as well as a wide range of legacy test
protocols that have been developed over its 30 years of existence.
& Sullivan, a global growth consulting company, estimates that the IMS test
and monitoring market will grow from an estimated $274.1 million in 2007 to
$1.2 billion in 2013 for a compound annual growth rate of 27.9%. Navtel
currently addresses approximately $130 million of this market.
"This acquisition fits strategically with our long-term
plan to deliver strong growth in our Protocol test business, which posted a
compound annual growth rate of 64% in the last two years and continues to
deliver solid growth at the mid-point of fiscal 2008," said Germain
Lamonde, EXFO's Chairman, President and CEO. "Navtel's cutting-edge
technology strengthens our offering for NEMs and NSP labs which, in turn, have
a significant influence on product selections made by NSPs."
"This acquisition also enables us to expand into the
high-growth IMS and VoIP test markets, whose technologies are currently in
their early stages," Mr. Lamonde added. "We intend to leverage these
technologies throughout their entire lifecycle, especially as they mature into
portable test solutions for the NSP market in which EXFO is the world's
second-largest supplier. We also plan to take advantage of Navtel's strong
relationships with Tier-1 NEMs and leverage our own worldwide sales presence
with NSPs to accelerate sales growth, while positively impacting earnings since
Navtel's software-intensive test solutions generate high gross margins."
Navtel Communications posted sales of C$5.7 million in
calendar 2007. Joe Sutherland, founder and CEO of Navtel Communications, and
his senior management team will ensure a seamless integration into EXFO. No
restructuring is planned with all 35 Navtel employees expected to remain with
"We are pleased
to become an integral part of the EXFO family," Mr. Sutherland said.
"Our technological leadership in IMS and VoIP testing is a good fit with
EXFO's protocol test strategy. Combined with EXFO's global sales channels,
market positioning and brand equity, we envision a bright future with strong
synergies lifting our product offering and market presence to the next
About Navtel Communications Inc.
Communications was founded in 1976 and is a leading supplier of test solutions
for IMS and VoIP networks. www.navtel.com.
EXFO is a
Tier-1 test and measurement expert in the global telecommunications industry,
especially in the portable test market segment. www.EXFO.com,
Best Practices for Fiber Optic Installation Start With Inspection & Cleaning
For centuries, optics have been
inspected and cleaned to ensure the proper passage of light. The advent of fiber optic cabling systems
resulted in one more application where optical care and cleanliness are
important. While inspecting and cleaning
fiber connectors is not new, it is growing in importance as links with
increasingly higher data rates are driving decreasingly small loss budgets. With less tolerance for overall light loss,
the attenuation through adapters must get lower and lower. This is achieved by properly inspecting and
cleaning when necessary. Yet there is no
reason to feel intimidated by these tighter loss budgets because inspecting and
cleaning connections is straightforward and easy.
What’s The Problem - Fiber Basics
Fiber optic cabling carries
pulses of light between transmitters and receivers. These pulses represent the data being sent
across the cable. In order for the data
to be transmitted successfully, the light must arrive at the far end of the
cable with enough power to be measured.
Light loss between the ends of a fiber link comes from multiple sources
such as the attenuation of the fiber itself, fusion splices, macrobends and
loss through adapter couplings where end-faces meet.
In lower data rate networks with
shorter lengths, loss budgets may be generous enough to allow for significant
attenuation throughout the link and still the
link will function properly.
However, there is one perpetual trend in structured cabling: the
constant push for greater bandwidth. As
fiber links are pushed to carry higher data rates, loss budgets get
correspondingly smaller, requiring all loss events to be minimized.
Enemy #1 — a dirty face
Among key sources of loss that
can bring a fiber network down, dirty and damaged end-faces are the threat most
underestimated. In a survey
commissioned by Fluke Networks, dirty end-faces were found to be the #1 cause
of fiber link failure for both installers and private network owners. Contaminated end-faces were the cause of
fiber links failing 85% of the time.
It’s astounding and yet easy to prevent.
Nevertheless, there continues to be a lack of appreciation for this
crucial issue and lots of misinformation about proper techniques.
What To Look For And When
Network professionals need to
know what to look for when evaluating end-face conditions. There are two types of problems that will
cause loss as light leaves one end-face and enters another inside an adapter:
contamination and damage.
Contamination comes in many
forms from dust to oils to buffer gel.
Simply touching the ferrule will immediately deposit an unacceptable
amount of body oil on the end-face. Dust
and small static-charged particles float through the air and can land on any
exposed termination. This can be
especially true in facilities undergoing construction or renovation. In new installations, buffer gel and pulling
lube can easily find its way onto an end-face.
Ironically, protective caps –
also called “dust caps” – are one of the most common contributors to
contamination. These caps are made in
high-speed production processes that use a mold release compound that will
contaminate end-faces on contact.
Further, as the plastic cap ages the plasticizers deteriorate resulting
in an outgas residue. Last, airborne
dust itself will find its way into the protective cap and will move to the
end-face when the cap is pushed onto a ferrule.
It’s a very common mistake to assume that end-faces are clean when patch
cords or pre-terminated pigtails are removed from a sealed bag with protective
caps in place.
Inspection of the end-face
should verify that no contaminants are within the field of view. The most crucial area to ensure is clean is
the core of the fiber, followed by the cladding. Yet contamination on the ferrule - outside of
the end-face - could slide towards to core as the fiber is mated or
handled. Therefore, all visible
contamination should be removed if possible.
Deciding to mate every
connection first and then inspecting only those that fail is a dangerous
approach as the physical contact of mated contaminants can cause permanent
damage. This permanent damage would
require more costly and time consuming retermination or replacement of
Damage will appear as scratches,
pits, cracks or chips. These end-face
surface defects could be the result of poor termination or mated
contamination. Regardless of the cause, damage
must be evaluated to determine if action is required as some of it can be
ignored or remedied. Up to 5% of the
outer edge of fiber cladding generally may be chipped as this is a common
result of the polishing process. Any chips
on the core are unacceptable. If
scratches or excess epoxy bleed is found, repolishing with fine lapping paper
can eliminate the problem. If the
end-face is cracked or shattered, then the fiber must always be reterminated.
In every instance, all end-faces
should always be inspected before insertion.
If a connector is being mated to a port, then the port should be
inspected as well. Inspecting one side
of a connection is ineffective as contamination inside a port can not only
cause damage but also migrate to the connector being inserted. Too often equipment ports are overlooked not
only as contaminated themselves but also as a source of contamination for test
How To Inspect - Fiber Microscope Choices
From the first days of fiber
optic cabling, microscopes were used to inspect end-faces. Initially stereo bench top microscopes were
modified to handle the task in manufacturing environments. Over time new microscopes were designed
specifically for the task, resulting in smaller units that could be taken down
the hall to the cabling closet or outside into the field.
Microscopes can be divided into
two basic groupings: optical and video.
Optical microscopes incorporate an objective lens and an eyepiece lens
to allow you to view the end-face directly through the device. Today, the barrel shaped microscopes are
ubiquitous in termination kits and used to inspect patch cords during
troubleshooting. The best feature of
these microscopes is their price as they are the least expensive way to see
end-face details. Their drawback is that
they are unable to view end-faces through bulkheads or inside equipment. As a result, you will sometimes here these
microscopes referred to as “patch cord scopes.”
Video microscopes incorporate
both an optical probe and a display for viewing the probe’s image. Probes are designed to be small so that they
can reach ports in hard-to-access places.
The screens allow images to be expanded for easier identification of
contaminants and damage. Because the
end-face is viewed on a screen instead of directly, probes eliminate any chance
of harmful laser light from reaching a person’s eye.
What matters most about a
microscope is what it shows the user. In
the case of fiber optic inspection, the goal is to identify all contaminants
and damage of a minimum size and within a critical area. Users must first identify the appropriate
minimum size contaminant or defect that will affect their system. The smallest-sized item that a microscope can
detect is referred to as its detection capability. Next, look for the microscope that has the
largest field of view while also maintaining the necessary detection
capability. It is preferable to see as
much of the surface area as possible while maintaining requisite detection
capability. Detection capability and
field of view require a trade-off as improving on one dimension tends to
require a detriment to the other.
If detection capability and
field of view are the most appropriate measurements of a microscope, then why
is magnification the prevalent metric.
Magnification is perfectly applicable to optical microscopes as their
performance is a direct function of the objective and eyepiece lens inside the
device. Where magnification becomes less
applicable is in video microscopes where the size of the image is a function of
both the magnification of the lens as well as the size of the screen. Complicating matters further is the effect of
contrast on the ultimate goal of detection capability. Magnification specifications for video
microscopes are a vestige of the historical prevalence of optical
microscopes. Though magnification is
directly related to detection capability, it is a less precise measure of a
fiber microscope’s capabilities than detection capability and field of view.
How To Clean - Beware of bad habits
cleaning has been part of fiber maintenance for years, most people have their
own approaches for cleaning end-faces.
However, beware of bad habits as many have developed in the industry
over time. With an evolving base of
knowledge, the industry has moved recently towards new best practices. One common approach to cleaning end-faces is
to blast them with canned air, either on a connector or inside a port. Canned air is only effective on one type of
contaminant: large dust particles.
Canned air is ineffective not only on oils and residues but also on
smaller, charged dust particles.
Moreover, canned air will tend to blow large particles around inside
ports rather than carefully remove them.
Use of solvent
Another suboptimal approach is
to clean without use of a solvent.
Solvents provide multiple benefits, the most being their ability to
dissolve contaminants that have dried or adhered onto the end-face. In addition, solvents will envelop particles
and debris to effectively lift them from the ferrule surface so that they can
be carried away without damaging the end-face.
Last, solvents will prevent a static charge from developing during
cleaning with a dry wipe or reel. There
are many stories of end-faces becoming statically charged during solvent-free
cleanings such that they were strongly attracting static-charged dust floating
in the air. The developed charge can be
so strong that static dust accumulates on the end-face during the short move
from a microscope into port.
Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) has been
used for years in the fiber cabling industry to successfully clean end-face and
continues to find broad use today. But
there are solvents now available specially formulated for fiber end-face
cleaning that are far superior to IPA in every way. These new solvents are more effective at
dissolving virtually every contaminant than IPA. Further, these custom solvents will dissolve
non-ionic compounds such as pulling lube and buffer gel that IPA will not. With a specified lower surface tension, the
specialized solvents will do a better job of enveloping debris for removal than
IPA. When cleaning inside ports,
evaporation rates become important as lingering solvents can become trapped
during mating, resulting in a harmful residue.
Fiber-specific solvents have tailored evaporation rates that give them
time to work yet disappear before mating.
Last, IPA is highly hygroscopic which means it will draw water moisture
from the air and onto the end-face. This
water mixes with the IPA and leaves a residue if it dries on the end-face. To be safe, leave the IPA in the medicine
There are a wide variety of
tools available to clean end-faces. The
most basic tools are wipes and swabs used to clean patch cords and inside
ports, respectively. More involved
approaches include mechanical, hand-held contraptions designed to make easier
work of cleaning. The most complex
devices incorporate blasted solvents or ultrasound in water to achieve the best
result. While the more complex systems
may achieve better results, they cost far more money. Individuals should determine the best
approach for their application and budget.
The one key criterion for wiping materials is that they be
lint-free. Shirtsleeves are
Whatever approach is selected,
certain truisms apply to fiber optic end-face inspection and cleaning. First, inspection must occur not only before
but also after cleaning to ensure a good result. If a post-cleaning inspection shows remaining
contamination, then a second cleaning must follow. Second, both sides of any connection need to
be inspected as every mating involves two surfaces coming into contact. And last, it is almost always easier and
cheaper to inspect and clean as a preventative measure than as reactive
response. Consistent inspection and
cleaning up front will avoid unexpected and costly downtime in the future.
information on Fluke Networks and to view a demonstration, please visit www.flukenetworks.com .
DSP To DTX Trade-Up Program
Purchase a DTX CableAnalyzer™ Between March 17, 2008, June 27, 2008, And Choose From 3 Cash Rebate Or Free Product Offers
Now is the time to move to
the DTX-1800. Faster test times, Tier 1/Tier 2 fiber certification, and
compliance to the latest 10Gbps standards are just three reasons to take
advantage of this opportunity to trade-up to the DTX-1800.
Trade in a DSP-4000, DSP-4100,
DSP-4300, or OMNIScanner®, II and purchase one of the DTX
models below to participate in offers 1, 2, or 3.
DTX -1800-M, or DTX -1800-V
DTX-AXKIT Alien Crosstalk Kit
and CIQ-100 CableIQ™
DTX-AXKIT Alien Crosstalk Kit and
FT500 FiberInspector ™ Mini
DTX-AXKIT Alien Crosstalk Kit and
CIQ-GSV CableIQ™ Gigabit Service Kit
This offer is valid in the U.S. only on
purchases between March 17, 2008 and June 27, 2008. All forms and trade-in
products must be received by July 31, 2008. This offer is subject to
change without notice. A dated DTX invoice, and promotion form must be
submitted. Note: A completed W-9 with tax identification number
is required only if selecting cash rebate option and will not be used for
a promotion form.
a W-9 form.
Graybar Appoints Two New Senior Vice President Positions
Focuses on Enhancing Strategic Market Alignments
Graybar, a leading distributor
of electrical and communications products and related supply chain management
and logistics services, approved at a recent board meeting the appointment of
two new senior vice president positions.
Further enhancing market
alignments, Richard D. Offenbacher will now serve as the senior vice president
– sales and marketing, electrical, and Kathleen M. Mazzarella will fill the
position of senior vice president – sales and marketing, comm/data. In their
new roles, Offenbacher and Mazzarella will drive strategic development
initiatives and continue to create growth plans with leading suppliers.
“We are pleased to announce Dick
and Kathy’s new roles and are confident in their ability to create innovative
solutions for our customers and suppliers,” said Robert A. Reynolds Jr.,
chairman, president and chief executive officer of Graybar. “Their strategic
focus, experience and commitment to these key markets positions Graybar well
for continued growth.”
Most recently, Offenbacher
served as senior vice president – sales and marketing, and Mazzarella was
senior vice president – human resources and strategic planning. http://graybar.com
Graybar Introduces New Security Catalog
Publication addresses growing demand for converged IP technology
Graybar, a leading distributor
of electrical and communications products and related supply chain management
and logistics services, announced that it has published a new catalog of
The Graybar Security Solutions
Catalog will debut attwo upcoming events in Las Vegas, Nev.
– AFCOMâDataCenter WorldâSpring 2008, March 30 - April 3, and ISC West, April 2
- 4. The 132-pagecatalog features more than 1,400 products from 44 brand-name
suppliers in six categories: surveillance; access control; intrusion; audiovisual
notification; cabling, installation and tools; and fire systems. It also
includes products incorporating the latest IP technology solutions.
physical security market and associated products are a strategic focus at
Graybar and an important extension of our comm/data and electrical businesses,”
said Michael Dumas, vice president, comm/data business, Graybar. “Security has been a high-growth area for
Graybar over the past two years and continues to offer significant upside
potential. Our new security catalog
features many commonly used products and security solutions, making it an
excellent resource for our customers and our internal sales and service
Graybar Security Solutions
Catalogs will be available at the Graybar booth at AFCOM Data Center World
Spring 2008 and ISC West or through your local Graybar representative or
1-800-GRAYBAR (472-9227). A PDF of the
catalog is available for viewing or download from the Markets Served – Security
section of www.Graybar.com.
HAI Now Shipping New Line of Video Surveillance Products
HAI's new Surveillance product line will
be demonstrated at HAI's Booth 18120 at the ISC Show in Las Vegas, NV April 2 - 4, 2008
HAI (Home Automation, Inc.), leading
manufacturer of integrated automation and security products since 1985, is now
shipping a new line of Surveillance products, including a Network Digital Video
Recorder (NDVR) and two high resolution cameras, along with various
HAI's NDVR has 4-channels and can be
installed stand-alone to view video via its embedded web server or used in
conjunction with an HAI home control system where cameras can be viewed on
HAI's family of Touchscreens, over the Internet, or Smartphone.
HAI's NDVR records video based on motion
or any other chosen event. Recordings may be viewed on or offsite using a
standard web browser. Included client software allows you to view live and
recorded video for up to 16 cameras at the same time on a split screen. You may
implement multiple NDVR's in one installation.
Two optional parts allow it to be securely mounted in a structured
"What's really unique about this
NDVR is the form factor," explains Thomas Pickral Jr., HAI Business
Development Manager. "It mounts
directly on a wall or securely locked away in a structured wiring enclosure
eliminating the need for a costly rack or unsightly shelf. It makes for a much cleaner, easier and
Also included in the Surveillance product
family are two high resolution cameras. The cameras are available in a
dome-style or bullet-style.
All products in HAI's Surveillance line
are now shipping and are available through a worldwide network of Distributors
and installing dealers in over 80 countries.
ECOTM from HCM
The Category 6 cable the world’s
been waiting for.
at Hitachi Cable Manchester (HCM) maintain a long history of developing
products that other cable manufacturers have found too challenging to
produce. From our 25-pair Category 5e
cable to our GoldLANTM Category 6 24-pair hybrid cable, HCM identifies the
needs of its customers and develops products to fulfill those needs. The same holds true for the latest product
customers were seeking a Category 6 cable with a smaller outside diameter (OD)
to reduce the installation costs associated with conduit. A smaller OD cable means you can use smaller
diameter conduit and smaller cable tray, which saves money. They also demanded
that the cable provide reliable performance that was verified by UL and have a
construction that would be robust enough to handle the toughest of
HCM responded with the Category 6
verified Category 6 ECOTM is the culmination of HCM efforts to provide a high
performance Category 6 cable with not only a smaller outside diameter, but also
a smaller impact on the environment.
a Category 6 cable that has a smaller outside diameter and no shaped center
filler, you have to start from the ground up.
Simply removing the filler from a Category 6 cable will result in
numerous crosstalk failures. Unlike
Category 5e cables, which have no internal pair separator and are tested to 100
MHz, Category 6 is tested out to 250 MHz.
The higher frequencies required for Category 6 cable create a greater
dependence on pair construction and separation to ensure proper
performance. The shaped filler, or
“star” filler, was originally developed by HCM to counter crosstalk and ensure
performance beyond 250 MHz.
performance is a direct result of knowledge gained while developing our UL verified
10 gigabit cable, the Supra 10GTM. The
Supra 10GTM, tested to 500 MHz, owes its exceptional performance to a patented
jacket construction as well as other unique design features. The materials and processes utilized during
the development of the Supra 10GTMprovided the foundation for the Category 6
performance wasn’t the only goal in mind when HCM began development of Category
6 ECOTM. We also wanted a more
environmentally friendly cable.
companies worldwide, are dedicated to the practice of Corporate Social
Responsibility (CSR). CSR addresses the
fact that corporate stakeholders, and consumers, expect more from
manufacturers. High quality, performance
and price are important, but equally so are the manufacturer’s commitment to
environmental preservation, human rights and to be being a good corporate
citizen. With CSR in mind, HCM is making
strides to be the most environmentally friendly manufacturer of copper and
fiber optic communications cables.
HCM utilizes over 35,000 gallons of water a month in the cooling of products
and equipment. Virtually all of that
water is recycled. HCM utilizes a
closed-loop system that feeds water to the equipment. During manufacturing, the equipment raises
the water temperature. When the water
leaves the manufacturing line, it is sent to a cooling tank located outside the
facility. Once the water cools, it is
drawn back into the system, filtered and re-used. Only water that is lost to
evaporation is replaced with water from the local water supply.
recently replaced over 300 light fixtures throughout our 300,000 square foot
facility with high efficiency fluorescent lighting. Replacing all the light
fixtures, coupled with additional energy saving measures, allowed HCM to reduce
its overall energy consumption by an amazing 11%. In addition, the light bulbs in these new
fixtures contain 75% less mercury than the previous bulbs, making them less
harmful to the environment when they are disposed of. All office and warehouse lights also operate
on motion detection sensors. So, aisles
in the warehouse are not lit unless someone enters an aisle and triggers a
motion sensor. And, to assist electrical
lighting, there are 90 skylights spread throughout the manufacturing and
develops any new product, the impact of that product’s life plays a major role
in its development. The life cycle of
the product starts at production, includes its use and ends with its final
disposal. HCM saw the development of the
new Category 6 ECOTM cable as an ideal opportunity to develop a product that
not only performs beyond our customer’s expectations, but has the smallest
impact on the environment possible. We
believe the Category 6 ECOTMsucceeds at both goals.
Category 6 ECOTM uses less material than any other HCM Category 6 cable. It is
100% compliant to the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive and
it is packaged in a box made of 100% post consumer material.
manufactures hundreds of millions of feet of Category 6 cable annually, the use
of 100% recycled materials for the packaging alone can have an immediate impact
on the consumption of natural resources.
HCM also strongly encourages those who use this product, and all of our
products, to recycle all discarded packaging.
information about HCM products or our commitment to the environment, visit http://www.hcm.hitachi.com/
Henkels & McCoy Awarded Construction Contract With AmerenUE
Henkels & McCoy, Inc. announced that it has been
selected to provide construction services for the southern portion of AmerenUE’s
“Project Power On” Reliability and Environmental Improvement Program.
Under a three-year alliance agreement, Henkels & McCoy
will provide construction resources including labor and equipment to
AmerenUE’s “Project Power On”. AmerenUE plans to invest $300 million over
three years for undergrounding of aerial circuits for reliability improvement.
Henkels & McCoy, Inc. estimates the scope of work for the Southern Region
to be approximately $90 million over the three-year period. The project is the
single largest distribution system investment project undertaken in AmerenUE’s
history. The project is estimated to start November 2007 with an estimated
completion December 2010.
“We are committed to helping AmerenUE realize their goals
for reliability and environmental improvement,” said Rod Henkels, President and
The Network Systems & Solutions Division (NSS) provides
structured cabling solutions for voice, data, and video applications. Copper and fiber optic cabling
systems are areas of specialty. We provide solutions ranging from design/build
projects to ongoing maintenance (moves, adds, and changes).
We are strategically located to service every major metropolitan area in the United States.
Each local and
regional office is fully staffed with trained technicians who
understand that voice and data network reliability is crucial.
Our National Accounts group meets the unique needs of clients with multi-site /
multi-state projects. As a contractor with a true national footprint, we
execute nearly 90% of our work with technicians directly employed by Henkels
& McCoy. Centralized project management provides 24x7, single
point-of-contact coverage and streamlined communication.
For government customers, Henkels & McCoy has two contract vehicles
available for use. Our General
Services Administration IT Services Contract (GS-35F-0651K) has
been used by many satisfied federal agencies (list available upon request). We
are also partnered with L-3/EER Corporation on the ANSWER Program
(GSO9K99BHD005), which provides an even broader array of services. Henkels
& McCoy also supports the Small Business Administration with our growing
Small Business Program.
Our dedication to performance starts with our customers'
needs. These often include requirement definition, execution of cutting edge
installation practices, and comprehensive follow on support.
Henkels & McCoy, founded in 1923 by John B. Henkels, Jr., started with
tree-trimming, landscaping and building tennis courts, none of which we do
today. The Great Depression nearly drove the company to ruin, but a hurricane
in New England in 1938 proved to be the
turning point in our history. While the storm was still blowing its way through
the Northeast, Henkels & McCoy rallied, recruiting teams of linemen to send
to the area. Just hours after the winds subsided, Henkels & McCoy crews
rolled in to restore utility services.
Henkels & McCoy is one of the largest privately held engineering, network
development and construction firms serving the communications, information
technology and utility industries in the United States. We offer one of the
largest networks of qualified individuals available in the industry - through
over 80 permanent offices and operation facilities strategically located across
the nation. Henkels & McCoy has the necessary personnel, expertise and
financial wherewithal to handle a broad range of projects.
We consistently rank at the top of the Engineering News-Record list of
Specialty Contractors. With an uninterrupted history of family leadership since
our inception, our commitment to excellence and continuous improvement is
personal as well as professional. www.henkels.com
The Light Brigade’s May 2008 Training Schedule
Fiber Optics 1-2-3
focuses on how to design, install, test and maintain fiber optic communication
systems for voice, video and data applications. The course consists of two days
of classroom content and two optional days of hands-on practices. Course
material and techniques taught are based on ITU, TIA/EIA, IEEE, Telcordia and
ANSI standards. Class participants will learn to understand and effectively use
any manufacturer's equipment or product designed to conform to these widely
Advanced Hands-on Modules
intensive one-day fiber optic training courses were developed as the next level
of training for those who require more advanced skills and experience with
major fiber optic disciplines and equipment. Each of the five modules focuses
on a specific discipline and incorporates concentrated hands-on exercises.
Fiber Optic Cable Preparation, Patch Panels & Splice Closures
Fiber Optic Connectorization
Optical Loss Testing, Troubleshooting & Documentation
OTDR Theory, Operation & Emergency Restoration
Fiber Optic Splicing (Fusion & Mechanical)
Optics for Intelligent Transportation Systems
offers a practical understanding of how fiber-optic technology is integrated
into modern intelligent transportation systems. The content covers basic
optical theory, the outside plant, system design, the impact of component
choices on your system, optical loss and bandwidth budgets, video transmission,
real-time video, compressed video over IP, FM and digitally encoded video, FDM,
TDM, multi-channel and high-density video, control systems, traffic
controllers, fiber architectures, and next generation systems.
Fiber Characterization: PMD, CD, and
mode dispersion (PMD) and chromatic dispersion (CD) are complex phenomena that
can impose severe limitations on fiber-optic system performance. As network
speeds increase, optical dispersion compensation becomes more critical in order
to maintain high signal quality and low bit error rates. This three-day course
not only provides the classroom instruction necessary to understand the theory
and principles of fiber characterization, it also includes hands-on instruction
on fiber-optic splicing, connector inspection, span testing, and documentation.
information or to register, call (800) 451-7128 or visit www.lightbrigade.com .
Why Intertek For RoHS
called on Intertek to check on their efforts to guide the market to GREENER
Solutions, particularly for wire & cable. Their responses were
impressive and certainly explain why many cable manufacturers are turning to
Intertek for Environmental safe validation.
”We work together with our clients to develop a unique regulated and
restrictive substances compliance solution. We identify and, most importantly,
understand our clients’ needs – drawing on our expert knowledge of the market
and manufacturing trends.”
”We follow the best International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
industry-standards and internationally recognized practices. We are also an
active member of the IEC TC111 ad hoc RoHS Testing Working Group and the ASTM
F40 International Technical Committee on Declarable Substances in Materials -
which equates to greater peace of mind and confidence for our clients.”
reach – unique coverage
”We have over 20 accredited Restricted Substances centers worldwide and
hundreds of specialists equipped with state-of-the-art analytical equipment.
And we have a unique track record in the industry with a heritage dating back
to Thomas Edison in 1889. As a result, we’re able to provide a first class
service – wherever our clients are based.”
”We have been offering total product and system certification for over 100
years to clients across the globe. We take pride in successfully offering the
entire package of services our clients’ desire when they need it most. We
follow a product from concept to final distribution working with our clients
every step of the way to ensure all areas of the business process are accounted
for, addressed and successfully monitored by our expert staff.”
your Wire and Cable account representative: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to discuss solutions to provide RoHS
compliance assurance for your cabling products.They are glad to assist in
developing a strategy that suites your company's needs.
Invista Files $1B Lawsuit Against DuPont
“A billion here. A billion there. Pretty soon, we’re talkin’ big bucks”
Sen. Everett Dirksen
producer of polyester and nylon products, has filed a $1 billion lawsuit
against chemical maker DuPont Co.
Invista's lawsuit alleges that DuPont in 2004 sold Invista 14
manufacturing plants in 5 countries for $4 billion that were noncompliant with
safety and environmental laws and regulations.
to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New
York, Invista is seeking compensatory damages of at least $800 million, plus
punitive damages to deter future conduct.
reviewing the lawsuit, and it appears to be grossly exaggerated," DuPont
spokesman Anthony Farina said in a telephone interview.
facilities that are located in the U.S.
include plants in South Carolina, Tennessee and Delaware.
A NEW CAN OF ENVIRONMENTAL WORMS FOR “POOR OLD
DuPont cries “Foul” over new complaint filed by
following statement is in response to today's allegations made by INVISTA in a
complaint filed in U.S.
federal court in the Southern District of New York. The statement is to be
attributed to DuPont General Counsel Stacey J. Mobley.
allegations lack merit and cannot be supported by evidence or the law. DuPont
intends to vigorously defend itself against INVISTA's grossly exaggerated and
misguided allegations, and is confident that it will be vindicated when all of
the evidence is examined in a court of law.
allegations are based purely on a contract dispute - plain and simple. Not a
single person was injured or placed at unreasonable risk in connection with any
of INVISTA's indemnification claims. Instead, four years after subsidiaries of
Koch Industries acquired the facilities at issue from DuPont, INVISTA's current
allegations appear to be opportunistic efforts, including funding for INVISTA's
production capacity expansions and other earmarked capital improvement
claims to be recognized as a global leader in workplace safety and voluntary
environmental footprint reduction, going beyond regulatory requirements and
pursuing a 'goal of zero' safety and environmental incidents. www.dupont.com
MOHAWK Announces The Addition Of Eagle Marketing To Their Sales Force
leading manufacturer of fiber optic and copper cable products, would like to
announce the addition of Eagle Marketing
to their sales force covering MN, ND and SD.
Eagle Marketing has been a manufacturer's representative specializing in high
performance copper networking and fiber optic product sales for the data
communications and telecommunications markets. Their focus is on providing
outstanding service to their manufacturers and customers with integrity, dependability,
and professionalism. www.eaglemarketing.net
Mohawk, a division of Belden, is headquartered in Leominster, Massachusetts,
and has been providing fiber and copper cable innovations for over 50 years.
Their headquartered location dedicates 210,000 square feet to today’s most
advanced facilities for the design, development and production of copper, fiber
optic, and hybrid wire and cable. Mohawk, an ISO 9001 certified company, develops
products to meet and support TIA/EIA, ISO/IEC, ICEA and NEMA standards. As part
of the global Belden operations, Mohawk is supported with worldwide management,
financial resources, and distribution capabilities.
1. Motorola Brings the Power of Touch to Mobile
Motorola Mobile TV DH02 incorporates touch screen for feature-rich
multimedia entertainment, TV and navigation on the go
HTS., Ill. –-
26 March 2008 – Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) today unveiled the latest addition
to its Mobile TV devices portfolio – the Mobile TV DH02 – a personalized TV,
multimedia entertainment on the go and navigation device featuring a touch
screen user interface.
full text, please visit: http://www.motorola.com/mediacenter/news/detail.jsp?globalObjectId=9425_9354_23&pageLocaleId=2026
2. Motorola Demonstrates CDMA Femtocell Solution at CTIA
Extends Motorola’s femtocell portfolio and approach to broadband
HTS, Ill. - 26 March 2008 – Motorola, Inc.
(NYSE: MOT) will demonstrate its expanded femtocell portfolio, including its
CDMA solution, at Motorola’s booth #1806 at CTIA Wireless 2008 Apr. 1-3 in Las Vegas. An
expansion to its current line of femtocell customer premises equipment (CPE),
including the company’s first 3G UMTS femtocell CPE announced at Mobile World
Congress last month, the CDMA-based femtocell enhances the company’s end-to-end
full text, please visit: http://www.motorola.com/mediacenter/news/detail.jsp?globalObjectId=9426_9355_23&pageLocaleId=2026
3. Motorola Long Term Evolution (LTE) Demos Join Personal Media
Mobility Experience at CTIA Wireless 2008
ARLINGTON HTS., Ill. – 26 March 2008 – From access technologies, home networks,
services and applications, and enterprise mobility, Motorola, Inc. (NYSE:MOT)
will showcase its personal media experience -- including demonstrations of its
Long Term Evolution (LTE) solutions -- at CTIA Wireless 2008.
full text, please visit: http://www.motorola.com/mediacenter/news/detail.jsp?globalObjectId=9421_9350_23&pageLocaleId=2026
4. Motorola Announces Common Wireless Broadband Platform to
Support Both WiMAX and LTE
Continues delivering innovative, new products that help operators bring
personal media experiences to consumers
ARLINGTON HTS., Ill., 26 March 2008 – Motorola, Inc. (NYSE:MOT) today announced
a new common wireless broadband platform that will be used to support both
WiMAX 802.16e access points and the Long Term Evolution (LTE) evolved Node-B
(eNodeB). The new common platform is physically smaller than the first
generation WiMAX product, further reducing operators’ deployment and operating
costs. Motorola’s flexible modem technology allows the common platform to be
software configurable to support either WiMAX or LTE.
full text, please visit: http://www.motorola.com/mediacenter/news/detail.jsp?globalObjectId=9424_9353_23&pageLocaleId=2026
5. Motorola Demonstrates Industry’s First CDMA/EV-DO Rev-A to LTE
Lab innovation accelerates next-generation network selection for CDMA
SCHAUMBURG, Ill. – 26 March 2008 – Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) today announced
the first successful packet-switched network handoff between CDMA EV-DO Rev-A
and Long Term Evolution (LTE) technologies in a demonstration with VoIP calls
and streaming video. Motorola’s handoff technique illustrates how service
providers using CDMA-based networks today can smoothly integrate broadband
OFDMA and IP packet-based wireless broadband technologies like LTE into their
network, enabling the roll-out of more interactive services like HD mobile
blogging and broadcasting, HD video-on-demand and online gaming..
full text, please visit: http://www.motorola.com/mediacenter/news/detail.jsp?globalObjectId=9422_9351_23&pageLocaleId=2026
6. Motorola Showcases New Wave-2 Ready CPEi 150; Mobile
WiMAX Demonstrations at CTIA Wireless 2008
Powers WiMAX experience at Motorola, XOHM™ locations and for ecosystem
outdoor WiMAX mobility demo
ARLINGTON HTS., Ill., 26 March 2008 – Motorola, Inc. (NYSE:MOT) today
introduced the plug-and-play desktop CPEi 150 for indoor fixed WiMAX
deployments, the latest 802.16e-compliant Wave-2 ready addition to Motorola’s award-winning
WiMAX consumer product portfolio.
full text, please visit: http://www.motorola.com/mediacenter/news/detail.jsp?globalObjectId=9423_9352_23&pageLocaleId=2026
OFS Demonstrates EZ-BEND™ Optical Technology At The FTTH Council Europe Conference In Paris
New Technology Can Improve Bending
Performance by up to 100 times to Help Avoid Service Disruptions and Lower
announced it will demonstrate its new EZ-Bend™ Optical Cable Technology at the
FTTH Council Europe Conference. Supporting multiple dwelling unit (MDU) and
in-home wiring applications, the ground-breaking EZ-Bend Technology addresses
the critical need to speed and simplify installations by allowing cables to be
bent and routed in ways never before feasible using traditional optical drop
cables, to facilitate rapid deployment of fiber to and within the residence.
providers need drop cables that support tight corner bends and stapling. The
EZ-Bend Technology enables in-residence optical cable installation with the
same simple practices used for copper or coaxial cables. Cables using EZ-Bend
Technology can be stapled in place utilizing existing copper cable installation
tools and routed around corners. Its bending loss performance represents
up to a 100-fold improvement over conventional single-mode fiber (SMF) type
demonstration shows a live video stream supported over optical cables using
EZ-Bend Technology bent around numerous corners with no degradation in picture
quality. In contrast, a conventional cable subjected to far less bending shuts
down the video and “freezes” the screen. This is because the
EZ-Bend Technology enables negligible video signal loss (0.1 dB maximum at 1550
nm) for one turn at 5 mm radius, while conventional fibers under the same
assumption lose nearly all the signal and shut down service to customers.
EZ-Bend Technology integrates a new bend-optimized fiber design in a new cable
construction,” said Finn Mogensen, Executive Marketing & Sales Director for
FTTH & Cable in EMEA. “This innovative technology is the first to
provide such performance using a solid glass fiber construction, while being
fully splice and performance compatible with typical installed fibers,” Mr.
will provide EZ-Bend Technology in the V-Linx™ drop cables used in its V-Linx
Spool & Play Solution for MDU deployments. A key component of OFS’
FOX™ Solution for FTTX applications, the V-Linx Solution can simplify MDU
installations and lower installed cabling system costs by up to 50%. The V-Linx
drop cables are expected to be commercially available in the first half of
is a world-leading designer, manufacturer and provider of optical fiber,
optical fiber cable, FTTX, optical connectivity and specialty photonics
products. Our manufacturing and research divisions work together to
provide innovative products and solutions that traverse many different
applications as they link people and machines anywhere in the world. Between
continents, between cities, around neighborhoods, and into homes and businesses
of digital consumers we provide the right optical fiber, optical cable and
components for efficient, cost-effective transmission.
OFS’ corporate lineage dates back to 1876 and included technology powerhouses
such as AT&T (NYSE: T) and Lucent Technologies (now Alcatel-Lucent, NYSE:
ALU). Today, OFS is owned by Furukawa Electric, a multi-billion dollar global
leader in optical communications.
in Norcross (near Atlanta, Georgia), U.S., OFS is a global provider with
facilities in Avon, Connecticut; Carrollton, Georgia; Somerset, New Jersey; and
Sturbridge, Massachusetts. In Europe OFS has facilities in Augsburg
(Germany), Brondy (Denmark) and Voronezh
more information, please visit www.ofsoptics.com.
New QuickNet™ Plug Pack Assemblies Minimize Network Downtime During Switch Installation And Maintenance
QuickNet™ Plug Pack Assemblies
facilitate quick and easy connection and disconnection of patch cords to a
variety of switches, reducing time and cost associated when installing and
maintaining structured cabling links. Innovative design features of the plug
pack allow multiple patch cords to be installed simultaneously with one hand
for speed of deployment, while providing flexibility and ease to identify and
remove individual cable links without disrupting service to the other network
Pack Assemblies are constructed of 100% performance tested PANDUIT patch
cords and assembled in a
factory-controlled environment for more consistent connections with optimum
reliability. Engineered for design flexibility and high-density utilization, QuickNet™ Plug Pack
Assemblies are available in Category 6A, 6, or 5e performance levels. An
optional lock-in device prevents unauthorized removal of plug packs from the
switch, providing an additional level of security. www.panduit.com
Preformed Line Products Announces Financial Results for the Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2007
Preformed Line Products
Company (Nasdaq: PLPC - News) tod reported financial
results for the fourth quarter and the full year 2007.
Net income for the
quarter ended December 31, 2007 was $1,568,000, or $.29 per diluted share,
compared to $2,044,000, or $.38 per diluted share, for the comparable period in
2006. Net income for the quarter ended December 31, 2007 included non-cash,
after-tax charges of $537,000 for goodwill impairment and the write off of tax
loss carryforwards, both related to our Thailand operation. Net sales in
the fourth quarter 2007 improved 32% to $68,224,000 compared to last year's
Net income for the year
ended December 31, 2007 increased 22% to $14,766,000, or $2.72 per diluted
share, compared to the prior year's $12,103,000, or $2.14 per diluted share.
Net sales for the year 2007 improved 17% to $254,607,000 compared to last
Currency had a favorable
impact on sales for the year and fourth quarter of $10 million and $4 million,
respectively. Currency favorably impacted net income for the year and quarter
by $.6 million and $.3 million, respectively.
Rob Ruhlman, Chairman
and Chief Executive Officer, said, "I am pleased with the growth and
progress of our domestic business. Improvements in our domestic sales are
allowing us to successfully leverage our expenses. Our international businesses
maintained their positions after strong gains experienced in 2006. Our acquisitions
were successfully integrated and provide exciting expansion of our product
lines. Sales from our newly acquired companies contributed $17 million for the
year and $7 million for the quarter. I see a strong future for Preformed Line
Founded in 1947,
Preformed Line Products is an international designer and manufacturer of
products and systems employed in the construction and maintenance of overhead
and underground networks for energy, communications and broadband network
headquarters are in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Company operates four domestic
manufacturing centers located in Rogers, Arkansas, Albuquerque, New Mexico,
Albemarle, North Carolina, and Asheville, North Carolina. The Company serves
its worldwide market through international operations in Australia, Brazil,
Canada, China, England,
Mexico, New Zealand, Poland,
South Africa, Spain and Thailand. www.preformed.com
iMemories T Launch New Online Video Sharing Web Site Using Qwest Metro Optical Ethernet Solutions
Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) today announced it signed a 3-year
data networking agreement with iMemories, an Arizona-based company that uses state-of-the-art
technology to convert home movie films and videotapes into full length online
videos, and professionally published DVDs.
install Qwest Metro Optical Ethernet (QMOE) at iMemories’ Scottsdale, Ariz.,
headquarters where the company operates its 11,000 square foot studio. The
Ethernet technology will give iMemories scalable bandwidth and a secure and
reliable network to provide its customers to share online video. Because of the
flexibility and scalability of QMOE, iMemories will use only the amount of
bandwidth it needs at a certain time.
2006, iMemories has already transformed more than 100,000 old home movies,
photos and slides into a modern digital format. “Moving to a Web-based video
experience has been our key value proposition and differentiator as a brand,
one that gives iMemories the ability to provide online “home movie” video
sharing and editing, and provide our customers with highly customized DVD
merchandise,” said Mark Rukavina, founder and CEO of iMemories. ”Our premium
online video experience sets the new standard for what consumers will required
in the media conversion market.”
of Qwest Ethernet is that it starts at 10 Megabits per second (Mbps) but can
easily scale to reach 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps), giving iMemories the
flexibility to grow to meet the anticipated demand for their product,” said Tom
Richards, executive vice president of Business Markets for Qwest. “These
scalable bandwidth increments also mean that iMemories only pays for the
bandwidth they use, which is particularly attractive to a young, rapidly
service combines the power of Ethernet and optical technologies across
metropolitan area networks to provide scalable and secure bandwidth at a low
relative cost. QMOE service is available in 32 national markets with bandwidth
profiles ranging from 5Mbps to 1 Gigabit per second. Qwest backs its products
and services with a Quality of Service (QoS) commitment that gives customers
assurance of application, integrity and performance in their network.
Peter O’Connor Promoted To Principal Of RTKL
Associates Inc. has promoted Peter O’Connor, RCDD, to principal. O’Connor
is based in the firm’s Chicago
office and leads the healthcare practice of RTKL’s Special Systems Design
Group. In this new position, O’Connor will lead the growing practice
focused on designing technology infrastructures for the healthcare marketplace,
furthering the firm’s commitment to provide design expertise to its clients
with a multi-disciplined and integrated design approach.
joined our group three years ago as an associate and has contributed greatly to
the rapid growth and success we’ve experienced in this market,” said David P.
Labuskes, RTKL vice president and director of the Special Systems Design
Group. “Since then, he’s taken on the leadership of a national consulting
team as we provide technology solutions to some of the largest healthcare
facilities, both in the United
States and internationally. We’re
pleased to recognize his success with this promotion.”
in the integration of operating rooms, patient entertainment systems and nurse
call systems, O’Connor uses his 17 years of experience with hospital
communication systems to ensure clients’ needs are met with the proper
is only successful when it takes into account an overlay of the technological
opportunities with the clinical processes that exist”, said O’Connor.
“RTKL is committed to designing a solution that meets the needs of healthcare
facilities for both today and tomorrow.”
currently designing the technology infrastructure for a 1.2 million-square-foot
patient care pavilion at the University of Chicago Hospital. The project
includes integrated operating rooms, audio visual systems, voice, data and
nurse call systems, all linked to an existing hospital facility.
O’Connor’s portfolio also includes work at Silver Cross Hospital, a 289-bed
replacement hospital in New Lenox, Ill.; West Chester Medical Center, a
technologically advanced hospital now under construction in Cincinnati; and a
twelve-story bed tower that will be integrated into the existing communication
infrastructure at Northwest Community Hospital in Chicago.
a Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) and holds Building
Industry Consultant Services International (BICSI) certification, which is
recognized worldwide as a key designation of professional expertise and experience
in the design of information transport systems. He is also a planning
committee member of the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) Patient
Care Device Initiative and a member of the Health Information Management
Systems Society (HIMSS), as well as a charter member of its Clinical
Engineering– Information Technology Convergence special interest group.
Massive Need for New Electrical Workers Predicted for U.S.
America will need to train ore than 270,000
new electrical and power line workers by 2016, according to statistics recently
released by the U.S. Department of Labor. Predictions are that, between 2006
and 2016, an annual average of 27,000 new electricians will be necessary to
accommodate growth in the industry and to replace those leaving the workforce
--with a total turnover rate of nearly 27% of the workforce. By 2016, the
number of electrical and power line workers is expected to reach 877,000, with
an increase of 66,000 jobs beyond the
2006 level of 817,000.
are reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in its 2008-2009
Occupational Outlook Handbook, released online in December 2007 (
http://www.bls.gov/ ), with a print version available by spring 2008.
Hill, president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical
Workers (IBEW), "It's imperative that we recruit and train the next
of electricians today, because many electrical jobs require years of classroom
and hands-on training before the necessary levels of worker quality and safety
can be achieved. And being taught by experienced craftsmen is by far the best
way to convey those skills."
Milner Irvin, president of the National Electrical Contractors
Association(NECA), "The need for skilled electrical workers to meet the
demands of our high-tech society is a concern that cuts across geographical
borders. That's why IBEW and NECA are actively recruiting new workers
nationwide, using tools such as job fairs, DVDs, websites like
http://www.electrifyingcareers.com/ , even sponsoring a NASCAR racer to alert
young people to the job opportunities in our industry. And through our National
Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee, we offer young people the
unmatched educational resources of America's largest electrical
training program –and the chance to join the best-trained, most up-to-date
electrical apprentices and journeymen in the country."
their joint marketing organization --the National Labor-Management
Cooperation Committee (NLMCC) of the organized electrical construction industry
customers with accurate information about the industry; and
better internal communication between labor and management.
the $100 billion industry responsible for bringing lighting, power
and communications to buildings and communities across the United States,
National Electrical Contractors Association was founded in 1901. NECA's
office and 120 local chapters advance the industry through advocacy, education,
research and standards development.
725,000 members who work in a wide variety of fields --including
construction, utilities, telecommunications and manufacturing --the
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers is among the largest member
unions in the AFL-CIO. The IBEW was founded in 1891.
Superior Essex Unit Plans Facility Closure
Superior Essex in Talks With Worker Groups at France Magnet
Wire Plant About Possible Closure
and cable maker Superior Essex Inc. said it is in talks with groups
representing employees at its magnet wire manufacturing plant in Chauny, France,
about a possible closure of the facility.
The plant, which has
about 130 employees, is operated by the company's French subsidiary, Essex SAS.
Superior Essex said in
January it planned to consolidate and restructure its North American magnet
wire business, as part of a worldwide cost cutting initiative. It closed a
plant in Indiana and moved operations to Tennessee and Mexico facilities. www.superioressex.com
The International Institute of Connectors & Interconnect Technology (IICIT) Announces Their 50th Anniversary
International Institute of Connectors and Interconnect Technology (IICIT)
is pleased to announce the 50th year in existence and their 39th Symposium and
Exposition to be held in Naperville, Illinois at the Holiday Inn Select May 12
and 13, 2008. The Syposium begins at 1
pm on May 12 with Legacy Learning Tutorials and runs thru the following day
with papers highlighting “Innovation and Excellence” in the connector space,
both optical and copper.
invited to join us!
ago, a group called the Electronic Connector Study Group, made up of engineers,
suppliers, and reliability personnel, were working to instill rigor and
excellence in the interconnect portion of electronic and optical systems. That
group, originating in the Delaware
Valley, transitioned into
the IICIT, a mainstream trade association with interconnect technology and
connectors as its primary charter. As companies downsized, outsourced, and
reengineered themselves into more profitable entities in a worldwide
competition that is the manufacturing business of today, the components
engineer who was the mainstream of IICIT has become an endangered species.
Inexperienced engineers entering the market today are encountering the same
problems that were surmounted years ago.
been reborn now to focus on teaching the lessons of the past, existing
solutions steeped in reality and trial by fire, and in focusing on cutting-edge
new initiatives for excellence. The most recent annual IICIT
Symposium and Expo in Boston was a huge success and well received by the
attendees with a half day of tutorial-style “basics” or legacy learnings
and a second day of shared cutting-edge innovation. Check out the photos
in the Symposium tab in the navigation bar at www.iicit.org ...the registration form for this year’s
Symposium is available there also.
have an excellent cluster of papers for the 39th Symposium & Expo!
Scheduled to begin at 1 pm on May 12 and all of May 13, 2008 in Naperville,
Illinois (just 20 miles from O'Hare Airport in Chicago) - we have already
collected Ron Bishop to be our keynote speaker, Ron Hranac for a
tutorial and we plan to have a special presentation by Molex since the
venue for this Symposium is right in their backyard, so to speak. It is
time now to sign up to attend, just click on the 2008 Symposium tab under
Symposiums at our website (www.iicit.org) to get the registration form, then call the
Holiday Inn Select Hotel & Conference Center at 1801 Naper Blvd in
Naperville, Illinois (630.505.4900) to make your hotel reservations. Our
IICIT rate is $132 per night if you book before April 11, 2008 and includes a
hot breakfast plus WiFi internet connectivity.
Graybar Achieves #1 Industry Ranking on the 2008 FORTUNE “America’s Most Admired Companies” List
2008 marks seventh consecutive year
Graybar makes the list
leading distributor of electrical and communications products and related
supply chain management and logistics services, has announced it has achieved
the #1 ranking on the annual FORTUNE “America’s Most Admired Companies” list in
the Wholesalers: Diversified industry category.
This is the
seventh consecutive year Graybar has earned a place on the list, which is
featured in the March 17 issue of FORTUNE, and the second consecutive year it
has been named Industry Leader in its industry category.
honored to again receive the #1 ranking among the largest diversified
wholesalers,” said Robert A. Reynolds Jr., chairman, president and chief
executive officer of Graybar. “We use our strengths to our customers’ advantage
by helping them power and network their facilities with speed, intelligence and
the industry rankings, FORTUNE survey partner Hay Group polled executives,
directors and analysts about the ten largest companies in their own industry
category. The industry experts rated
those companies in eight areas, including corporate citizenship and investment
value. Only companies with scores
ranking in the top half of their industry made the list. More than 300 companies were ranked in 64
industry categories. http://graybar.com/
The Light Brigade’s January 2008 Training Schedule
This course focuses on how to design, install, test and
maintain fiber optic communication systems for voice, video and data
applications. The course consists of two days of classroom content and two
optional days of hands-on practices. Course material and techniques taught are
based on ITU, TIA/EIA, IEEE, Telcordia and ANSI standards. Class participants
will learn to understand and effectively use any manufacturer's equipment or
product designed to conform to these widely accepted standards.
These intensive one-day fiber optic training courses were
developed as the next level of training for those who require more advanced
skills and experience with major fiber optic disciplines and equipment. Each of
the five modules focuses on a specific discipline and incorporates concentrated
Module 1: Fiber Optic Cable Preparation, Patch Panels &
Module 2: Fiber Optic Connectorization
Module 3: Optical Loss Testing, Troubleshooting &
Module 4: OTDR Theory, Operation & Emergency Restoration
Module 5: Fiber Optic Splicing (Fusion & Mechanical)
Optics for Intelligent Transportation Systems
This course offers a practical understanding of how
fiber-optic technology is integrated into modern intelligent transportation
systems. The content covers basic optical theory, the outside plant, system
design, the impact of component choices on your system, optical loss and
bandwidth budgets, video transmission, real-time video, compressed video over
IP, FM and digitally encoded video, FDM, TDM, multi-channel and high-density
video, control systems, traffic controllers, fiber architectures, and next
Fiber Characterization: PMD, CD, and ORL
Polarization mode dispersion (PMD) and chromatic dispersion
(CD) are complex phenomena that can impose severe limitations on fiber-optic
system performance. As network speeds increase, optical dispersion compensation
becomes more critical in order to maintain high signal quality and low bit
error rates. This three-day course not only provides the classroom instruction
necessary to understand the theory and principles of fiber characterization, it
also includes hands-on instruction on fiber-optic splicing, connector
inspection, span testing, and documentation.
information or to register, call (800) 451-7128 or visit www.lightbrigade.com.
The Light Brigade students rate the training
“Instructors did a great job explaining everything and where
M. Gatling, custom class attendee, March 2007
“Amazing teachers and tools! I highly suggest most companies
should use this program.”
C. Hansen, custom class attendee, March 2007
“The instructor provided in valuable insight into fiber systems.
He is a wealth of knowledge and is able to demonstrate his knowledge in a
D. Schiller, custom class attendee, March 2007
“[The instructor] is excellent. Great real world experience
J. Slocomb, Fiber Optics 1-2-3 attendee, April 2007
“This course went beyond my expectations. This was my first
exposure to Fiber Optics and it brought me completely up to my expectation of
being able to talk to my customer and know what products to look at buying.”
G. Weber, Fiber Optics 1-2-3 attendee, May 2007
“Pass or fail – the instructors were awesome. Course
material was presented in a clear and concise manner. No questions went
unanswered. Each student received ample one-on-one help and attention.”
R. Brown, custom class attendee, June 2007
“Instructor’s enthusiasm, knowledge and sense of humor made
the course effective and enjoyable.”
M. Fillion, Fiber Optics 1-2-3 attendee, June 2007
“I truly enjoyed the class and learned more than I ever
thought I would.”
H. Jackson, Fiber Optics 1-2-3 attendee, July 2007
“I was happy that all instructors really exhibited a true
base of knowledge. I was glad that experience backed their training methods.”
S. Whitsell, Fiber Optics for ITS attendee, July 2007
“Please convey my appreciation to the president of your
company of the great training that I received from The [Light] Brigade this
week. The instructors were excellent and did a fantastic job of imparting their
knowledge and experiences. They kept the class interesting and the hands-on
portion really brought everything together. I will definitely recommend it for
C. Sampson, custom class attendee, August 2007
“[He] was an excellent instructor. He made sure that you
understood the concept necessary for the exam. Excellent examples, and
explanations were given in the class.”
K. Erdelac, Fiber Optics 1-2-3 attendee, August 2007
“Great introduction course, I really like the take home
Brandon Ballishmiade, Fiber Optics 1-2-3 attendee, August
“Light Brigade does
an excellent job at training. They are the only source to consider for this
type of training in my opinion.”
A. King, custom class attendee, September 2007
“I have taken numerous training courses. This was the first
that was not vendor specific and concentrated on the how, not the new product
J. Labaka, custom class attendee, September 2007
“Best course attended in 15 years. Perfect flow from start
C. Park, Fiber Optics 1-2-3 attendee, September 2007
“Instructor used a lot of personal experience which spiced
up the course tremendously and made it a pleasure.”
H. Koornstra, Fiber Optics attendee, October 2007
“All three instructors were excellent. They were available
both before and after class for any additional help I needed. I would recommend
this class to anybody interested in Fiber Optics.”
ABC TV technician, Fiber Optics 1-2-3 attendee, November
“Class exceeded my expectations. Best training facility I've
H. Humes, Fiber Optics 1-2-3 attendee, February 2008
“The course was presented in a way that both experienced and
new installers/technicians could come away with something gained. It was not
below or above anyone.”
J. Inman, Fiber Optics 1-2-3 attendee, February 2008
“Excellent class. Instructors took time to help those who were
less knowledgeable. Patient! They both were able to answer questions at
K. Weissmann, Fiber Optics 1-2-3
attendee, February 2008
Director of Popular Vermont Fiber to the Home Initiative Will Keynote April’s Broadband Properties Summit
Fresh from an overwhelming
embrace of fiber-optic broadband technology by voters in his home state of Vermont, where the organization he heads is leading the
charge for high-speed access for everyone, Timothy Nulty will keynote the
Broadband Properties Summit conference in Dallas
on April 29.
In a unanimous wave of approval,
voters in 19 Vermont towns last week passed resolutions to join a regional
effort to bring fiber to their homes, through a subscriber-funded system that
offers Internet, telephone, and cable TV in central and southern Vermont. It
was an unequivocal endorsement of broadband technology and its importance to
individuals and businesses.
Nulty, who will speak at the
Broadband Properties Summit on the second day of the event, is director of the
ValleyFiber project in Vermont.
In his keynote, he will explore why the project is so successful at the
grassroots level, and why Vermonters feel that the universal availability of
broadband service is so important.
Nulty formerly led Burlington
Telecom in Burlington, Vermont, as general manager for a city-wide
fiber to the premises network. The network was originally implemented for city
government offices, but Nulty led the expansion of the network in order to
provide broadband services to every business, institution, and resident in the
city. Nulty is also a former chief economist for U.S. House and Senate
“The enthusiastic support for
broadband effort is just one more example of the growing realization among
individuals and businesses of the importance of a high-speed network,” said
Steve Ross, editor of Broadband Properties magazine. “We see this interest
continuing to grow exponentially, which attests to the importance of this
year’s Broadband Properties Summit.”
In addition to Nulty, additional
keynotes and major addresses at the April 28-30 Broadband Properties Summit
will be delivered by Bruce P. Mehlman, former Assistant Secretary of Commerce
for Technology Policy; Dan Rogers, President of the Kendall County Economic
Development Commission in Texas;
and broadband champion Graham Richard, former Mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
sessions will be presented by local economic development leaders, industry
analysts, property developers, and recognized technology and legal experts.
These sessions examine the latest broadband strategies of cities, communities,
and carriers, and explore the appeal and economic development potential of
fiber-based networks for property owners and municipal and regional governments.
The Broadband Properties Summit
is the premier fiber to the premises industry event. It is April 28-30 at the
Hyatt Regency DFW. Complete information on the Summit is available at www.bbpmag.com/2008summit/summo8.php.
Zone Cable Management Enclosures
Wiremold/Legrand has broadened
its offering of cable management solutions to include integrated zone cabling
enclosures. Coupled with offerings from
Ortronics/Legrand and Cablofil/Legrand, the Legrand brands offer a robust
portfolio of solutions for data centers and IT infrastructures.
Under a sales and marketing
agreement with American Access
Technologies, Wiremold/Legrand provides enclosures that save space and
increase flexibility by providing connectivity in drop ceiling or raised floor
applications. These enclosures are
plenum rated by UL and may be used in environmental air spaces.
Providing connectivity in a drop
ceiling or raised floor not only conserves valuable space, but may provide the
added benefit of reducing cooling requirements in potentially crowded equipment
and data control rooms by moving active equipment to alternate sites. Further,
deploying a zone cabling architecture, which integrates a remote consolidation
point or zone enclosure reduces costs associated with moves, adds and changes
over the lifetime of an installation.
The new raised floor enclosures
integrate into a standard 2’ x 2’ floor tile grid. Three
styles are available to meet a range of customer requirements: a passive enclosure for voice and
network wiring blocks, a passive enclosure for data network patch panels, and
an active enclosure for housing active equipment plus voice and data
connectivity. Ceiling enclosures are
designed for integrating into standard drop ceiling openings. Like the floor enclosures, these are
available for passive and active voice and data network applications.
These enclosures accept
Ortronics® patch panels, as well as a wide variety of other panels
and wiring blocks for copper and fiber applications. Raised floor enclosures complement Legrand's
offering of raised floor system components, including standard and air-tight
floor boxes, the Walkerflex® modular wiring system, and Cablofil®
wire basket cable tray. They also
complement Ortronics Mighty Mo® cable management systems and
overhead cable pathway racks, as well as NetClear® fiber and copper
solutions from Ortronics/Legrand and Berk-Tek, a Nexans Company.
Wiremold/Legrand has also
expanded its line of wireless access point enclosures with additional offerings
from American Access Technologies,
including enclosures for drop ceilings that support a wide selection of
wireless access points and are plenum rated for use in environmental
headquartered in West Hartford,
Conn., is the leader in wire and
cable management systems, including metal and nonmetallic raceways,
power-poles, poke-thru devices, floor boxes, Walker® underfloor
systems, plug-in outlet centers, firestopping systems, and innovative
architectural columns. Wiremold/Legrand
is part of Legrand, the
global specialist in products and systems for electrical installations and
information networks. www.wiremold.com
ABP Technology Becomes Distributor for Systems/Minuteman UPS
April 2, 2008, It was announced that
ABP Technology has become a distributor for Para Systems and its Minuteman
power technology products, including uninterruptible power supply (UPS)
systems, power distribution units (PDUs), keyboard-video-mouse (KVM), surge
suppressors and power monitoring and management software.
Located in Carrollton, Texas,
ABP Technology is a division of ABP International, Inc. and specializes in the
distribution of high-end technology products in the fields of Information
Technology and Telecommunications.
ABP Technology concentrates on:
- IP telephony solutions based on
premium open standards based IP PBXs and IP phones
- IP surveillance based on world
class IP cameras and monitoring software
- IP infrastructure and peripherals
like, IP paging, IP door openers, IP access control, Wi-Fi and DECT SIP phones,
gateways, POE switches and Ethernet extenders.
ABP is committed to Open Standards
based IP communications products and works with vendors that support
interoperable solutions in a multi-vendor environment. ABP represents
world-class companies in the US
and around the world and markets products in the US,
and Latin American markets to service providers, carriers and the enterprise
market through specialized channel partners.
In announcing this agreement, Rod
Pullen, President of Para Systems stated:
"With the rapidly-growing
telephone system market and the explosion of related technology, it was
imperative that Para Systems seek out the best partners to market its Minuteman
power technology products. ABP Technology represents the new wave of
full-service distributors that offer much more than just shipping boxes of
product off its shelves.
ABP Technology has an excellent,
viewer-friendly website (<http://www.abptech.com/>),
a comprehensive on-line product catalog, a well-deigned e-store, and a number
of support tools.
We are looking forward to a
long-term, profitable relationship with ABP Technology."
Robert Messer, President of ABP
Technology said :
"We have been looking for a
longer lasting business grade UPS system for both our IP Telephony and IP
Surveillance product lines and were happy to find Para Systems / Minuteman
almost in our backyard. Most important to us are the efficiency and MTBF of the
UPS system, the longer battery duration required in the Telephony space and the
longer overall lasting battery life that makes Para Systems the most
environmental friendly UPS we could find."
Background on ABP Technology
ABP Technology is a leading
distributor of SIP based, Open-Standards VoIP hardware and software. Located in
Dallas, TX, ABP
markets and sells to an extensive network of VARs and Service Providers
throughout the Americas.
Offering a proven portfolio of
quality products ABP also offers: engineering consultation, post sales
technical support, training and webinars, along with turnkey operations for
provisioning, pre-configuration and fulfillment services including reverse
logistics and RMA support when required. Go to <http://www.abptech.com/>
Background on Para
Para Systems, Inc. is a leading
provider of power technologies including the
Minuteman(r) uninterruptible power
supplies (UPS) for mission-critical equipment protection such as computers,
telecommunications systems, security systems and Internet devices. Minuteman(r) UPS products range from 400VA
standby units to true sine wave, line interactive, and on-line models rated up
Para Systems provides SentryPlus(tm)
remote power and network management controller software for all popular
operating systems including Microsoft(r) Windows(r), Novell, Unix, and Linux.
Para Systems also sells power distribution units (PDU), power management
(KVM) systems and surge suppressors.
Additional corporate and product
information is available at the Company's website www.minutemanups.com.
A free UPS sizing and selection tool is available at www.sizemyups.com
that can determine which Minuteman(r) UPS units can best meet your application's
power protection needs. The website www.sizemypdu.com
can determine which PDU is appropriate and www.comparemyups.com can compare UPS features to competitive products.
BICSI LAUNCHES NEW ONLINE COURSES
BICSI CONNECT, the online interactive learning network for
information transport systems (ITS) professionals, is expanding its educational
offerings with three new courses starting in April.
Conquering F.E.A.R. A Simplified Approach to Data Center
Layout and Design familiarizes ITS professionals with a technique known as a
Footprint-Energy-Arrangement-Redundancy (F.E.A.R). This survey tool is useful
in capturing and understanding a client’s needs to develop a flexible space
plan for data center projects. The course has been developed from a
presentation which was originally delivered in January during the 2008 BICSI
Winter Conference in Orlando,
Confined Spaces is an introductory level course that focuses
on the characteristics of confined spaces, acceptable entry conditions, and
protective equipment. A key element of the course is learning to properly
identify common confined space hazards.
Network Security is an entry level course focusing on the
technologies used to safeguard vital equipment, software, data files and
operations on organizational networks. Critical areas of study include security
fundamentals, authentication, firewalls and virtual private networks (VPNs).
Geared to help ITS professionals earn continuing education
credits (CECs) through online courses, BICSI CONNECT is a user-friendly
educational solution that provides students the flexibility of 24/7 Web-based
training, at their own pace, without incurring travel expenses and at a reduced
cost compared to traditional classes.
The complete list of BICSI CONNECT courses, along with
pricing and Continuing Education Credit (CEC) information, is as follows:
A Simplified Approach to Data Center
Layout and Design:
1 CEC for RCDD, NTS Specialty, Level 2 Installers and
6 CECs for RCDD, OSP Specialty, NTS Specialty, WD Specialty, Level 2 Installers
and Technicians, $185
•Local Area Networks,
8 CECs for RCDD, NTS Specialty, Level 2 Installers and Technicians, $249
•Remote Access, 8
CECs for RCDD, NTS Specialty, Level 2 Installers and Technicians, $249
• Network Security,
4 CECs for RCDD, NTS Specialty, WD Specialty, Level 2 Installers and
8 CECs for RCDD, NTS Specialty, Level 2 Installers and Technicians, $249
•Ethernet, 6 CECs
for RCDD, NTS Specialty, Level 2 Installers and Technicians, $185
4 CECs for RCDD, NTS Specialty, WD Specialty, Level 2 Installers and Technicians,
4 CECs for RCDD, NTS Specialty, WD Specialty, Level 2 Installers and
CECs for RCDD, OSP Specialty, NTS Specialty, WD Specialty, Level 2 Installers
and Technicians, $249
•Interactive Test Prep,
Network Design Reference Manual (NDRM),
6th edition, $99 for a 30-day use, $199 for a 90-day use. No CECs awarded.
Full courses descriptions can be found in the course catalog
BICSI is a professional association supporting the
information transport systems (ITS) industry with information, education and
knowledge assessment for individuals and companies. BICSI serves more than
23,000 ITS professionals,
including designers, installers and technicians. These
individuals provide the fundamental infrastructure for telecommunications,
audio/video, life safety and automation systems. Through courses, conferences,
publications and professional registration programs, BICSI staff and volunteers
assist ITS professionals in delivering critical products and services, and
offer opportunities for continual improvement and enhanced professional
Headquartered in Tampa,
Florida, BICSI membership spans
nearly 100 countries.
BOMA International Conference Goes For The 'Green' In Denver
visionaries headline June 23 general session
The Building Owners and
Managers Association (BOMA) International, an industry leader in energy efficiency
and sustainability, has announced that the BOMA International Conference and
The Office Building Show, June 22-24 in Denver, will be “green”
this year. An environmentally-friendly convention is in keeping with BOMA
International’s aggressive green agenda, which among numerous initiatives
includes the 7-Point
Challenge, a ground-breaking energy reduction plan to
achieve market transformation in the commercial real estate industry.
A highlight of the
conference is the General Session on Monday, June 23, featuring an innovative
town hall meeting discussion on sustainability called “Market Transformation: Leadership + Operational
Excellence=Green ROI.” It will be a thought-provoking, in-depth
look at how the top leaders in sustainability are setting the bar in reducing
energy consumption, implementing green management practices and realizing a
positive financial return on their green initiatives now and in the long term.
Panelists include Brenna Walraven, executive managing
director of national property management for USAA Real Estate Company and
chairman of BOMA International; Ira
Magaziner, chairman of the Clinton Climate Initiative; Rick Fedrizzi, president and CEO of
the U.S. Green Building Council; Catherine
Greener, vice president of consulting for Saatchi & Saatchi
S; and Sally Wilson,
global director of environmental strategy for CB Richard Ellis; with veteran
broadcast journalist Forrest Sawyer
serving as moderator. The program kicks-off with Marc Gunther, senior writer at
FORTUNE, who will reveal how Fortune 500 companies are embracing the green
implementation of green practices is one of the most important issues in
commercial real estate right now, and one in which BOMA has taken a leadership
role,” said BOMA International Chairman and Chief Elected Officer Brenna S.
Walraven, RPA, CPM, executive managing director, national property management,
USAA Real Estate Company . “We felt it was an important step in our market
transformation strategy to ‘walk the talk’ and make all aspects of our
convention green as well.”
International is taking a multifaceted approach to making the logistics of the
convention environmentally friendly. Paper waste will be significantly reduced
as promotional materials, registration, hotel bookings and handout materials
for meetings and education sessions will be available online. Buses and other
ground transportation have been eliminated as the hotels and Colorado Convention Center
are within walking distance. An extensive recycling program will be in place
for all paper, cans, bottles and cardboard. Additionally, much of the food will
be produced locally and any excess will be donated to charity.
The overall conference
program will focus on the business case for “greening” existing buildings by
teaching specific strategies and technologies to reduce energy consumption and
implement green management practices that realize a positive return on
investment. Designed by leading experts for professionals at all levels of
experience, the education program will feature more than 40 sessions organized
around 5 driver issues: Achieving Sustainability, Enhancing Asset Value,
Building a High Performance Team, Optimizing Technology and Exploring New
Sustainability educational track will present strategies for implementing green
operations. The track offers a diversified curriculum with session topics and
case studies that include no- and low-cost operations practices, green
certification, retrofitting existing buildings, as well as sustainability in a
Green programming and resources
will also be prominently featured at The Office Building Show. Back by popular
demand, the Green Pavilion and ENERGY STAR® Showcase will highlight ways for
property professionals to increase energy efficiency and save money and
features top suppliers of green and energy-efficient solutions.
For more information on the
BOMA International Conference and The Office Building Show, visit www.bomaconvention.org.
BOMA Earns Second Consecutive Partner Of The Year Award For Protecting The Environment Through Energy Efficiency
The U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) has recognized BOMA International with a 2008 ENERGY STAR Partner
of the Year award for Excellence in Program Delivery for its outstanding
contributions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by promoting energy
management in commercial buildings through the BOMA Energy Efficiency Program
(BEEP), offered through the BOMA Foundation. BOMA International, the only real
estate association to receive this honor, was first awarded the Partner of the
Year award in 2007. BOMA’s achievement will be recognized at an awards ceremony
in Washington, D.C. on April 1, 2008.
BOMA International, an ENERGY STAR
partner since 2005, is being honored for helping building owners and managers
reduce energy use by promoting energy management practices through BEEP, an
innovative operational excellence program that teaches commercial real estate
professionals how to reduce energy consumption and costs with proven no- and
low-cost strategies for optimizing equipment, people and practices. To date,
approximately 10,000 commercial real estate professionals have participated in
the BEEP seminars.
“BOMA International’s leadership role
in helping the commercial real estate industry improve energy efficiency is a
response to an urgent fiscal and environmental need,” said BOMA International
Chairman and Chief Elected Officer Brenna S. Walraven, RPA, CPM, executive
managing director, national property management, USAA Real Estate Company. “We
are honored to receive the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award for the second
consecutive year and plan to continue leading the efforts on the business case
for market transformation, including educating real estate professionals
through BEEP, Energy Star tools and other programs on how reducing greenhouse
gas emissions is a tremendous benefit to a the bottom line and is quickly
becoming compulsory to stay competitive in the global marketplace.”
The Excellence in ENERGY STAR
Program Delivery Awards are given to a variety of organizations to recognize
their efforts to improve energy efficiency and reduce pollution, resulting in
significant cost savings. Award winners are selected from more than 9,000 organizations
that participate in the ENERGY STAR program.
BEEP is part of BOMA’s overall
Market Transformation Plan and 7-Point Challenge to reduce energy consumption
by 30 percent by 2012 across real estate portfolios, as measured against an
average building measuring a 50 on the ENERGY STAR® benchmarking tool. The
7-Point Challenge also asks property professionals to benchmark energy
performance and water usage through ENERGY STAR.
Last year alone, Americans, with the
help of ENERGY STAR, saved $16 billion on their energy bills and reduced
greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 27 million vehicles.
“Partners such as BOMA International
are raising the bar for energy efficiency, teaching customers that their
decisions can make a difference,” said Robert J. Meyers, principal deputy
assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air & Radiation. “BOMA
International is doing an excellent job working with ENERGY STAR to transform
the market for energy-efficient products, services and programs that help Americans
save money and protect our environment.”
Five BOMA members Companies are also
USAA Real Estate Company and
Transwestern were active participants in the creation of BEEP. CB Richard Ellis
adopted BEEP in 2007 to help reduce energy consumption at its managed
properties through increased employee education and training.
For more information on BOMA
International’s BEEP program, visitwww.boma.org/TrainingAndEducation/BEEP/
Founded in 1907, the Building Owners
and Managers Association (BOMA) International is an international federation of
more than 100 local associations and affiliated organizations. The 17,000-plus
members of BOMA International own or manage more than 9 billion square feet of
commercial properties in North America and
abroad. BOMA’s mission is to enhance the human, intellectual and physical
assets of the commercial real estate industry through advocacy, education,
research, standards and information. On the Web at www.boma.org.
About ENERGY STAR
ENERGY STAR was introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1992
as a voluntary market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
through increased energy efficiency. Today, ENERGY STAR offers businesses and
consumers energy-efficient solutions to save energy, money and help protect the
environment for future generations. More than 9,000 organizations are ENERGY
STAR partners committed to improving the energy efficiency of products, homes,
buildings and businesses. For more information about ENERGY STAR, visit www.energystar.gov
BOMA International’s 2008 Medical Office Building Conference To Be Presented By InSite Medical Properties, Inc.
The Building Owners and
Managers Association (BOMA) International today announced that BOMA’s 2008 Medical
and Healthcare Facilities Conference, June 19-20, 2008, at the
Hyatt Regency in Denver,
will be presented by InSite Medical Properties.
Healthcare real estate,
such as medical office buildings and ambulatory surgery centers, continues to
outperform other commercial office asset classes. BOMA’s annual Medical Office Building and Healthcare Facilities
Conference focuses exclusively on the specific demands associated
with developing, managing, and leasing these highly specialized facilities.
This year’s program will
focus on the most pressing issues confronting this sector of the real estate
industry, including the upcoming election. Political analyst and commentator
Stuart Rothenberg will headline the event and share insights on what the
upcoming presidential elections likely hold for the healthcare industry. As the
editor and publisher of The Rothenberg
Political Report, Rothenberg is the go-to authority on the U.S.
House, Senate, gubernatorial, and presidential elections.
“The healthcare industry is
undergoing rapid change,” noted Jonathan Winer, Co-Chair of BOMA’s Medical Office Buildings
and Healthcare Facilities Committee, and Principal, Transaction Real Estate,
Ernst & Young. “This conference is one of the only programs available that
helps real estate industry professionals prepare for and meet those
“We are delighted that
InSite Medical Properties will sponsor this event,” said Danny Prosky, Co-Chair
of BOMA’s Medical
and Healthcare Facilities Committee, and Vice President, Acquisitions, Grubb
& Ellis Healthcare REIT. “We are delighted to have them share their
expertise, as they celebrate 30 years of delivering excellence to their
“We look forward to
hosting this conference in our home city of Denver. InSite has long been involved
in this conference, and we're pleased to do our part in promoting the
advancement of this profession and the medical office industry,” said Mark
Engstrom, Chief Executive Officer for InSite Medical Properties.
In addition to examining
the implications of the upcoming election, other sessions will examine the
shift from in-patient to outpatient treatment models; the “greening” of
healthcare facilities; medical malls and healthcare villages as new real estate
models; how changes in the capital markets will affect access to capital and
underwriting requirements; financing higher acuity facilities; the latest
revisions to STARK regulations and other regulatory compliance matters; and
strategies for getting the right tenant mix in an MOB.
information for the 2008 Medical Office
Buildings and Healthcare Facilities
Conference, June 19-20, at the Hyatt Regency in Denver available online at www.bomaconvention.org.
More detailed information about the education program is available at http://www.boma.org/TrainingAndEducation/MedicalOfficeBuildings/.
CABA’s Convergence Of Green And Intelligent Buildings Study
What is the latest
CABA large building research initiative?
The Continental Automated Buildings
Association (CABA) has contracted Frost & Sullivan to conduct research that
addresses the operation, energy savings and long term benefits of commercial
facilities that implement intelligent and green building technologies above and
beyond LEED certification. The research
study will be entitled the “Convergence of Green and Intelligent Buildings
CABA’s Intelligent & Integrated
Buildings Council will be leading this research effort. The Council is specifically tasked to review
opportunities, strategize, take action and monitor initiatives that relate to
integrated systems and automation in the "large building" sector. The Council will undertake this research in
order to accelerate and drive broad market acceptance of intelligent building
technologies. The research will evaluate
the current LEED scoring system in relation to integrated systems. The Council
will establish a task force that will work with the U.S. Green Building Council,
the Canada Green Building Council, the Green Building Initiative and the Green
Mechanical Council to monitor and modify the current LEED rating system in
order to demonstrate the added value integrated systems can create when
incorporated into green and sustainable buildings.
A further intent of the research
study is to provide tools to persuade end-users, such as building owners,
architects and contractors that a “greener building” can be achieved using
intelligent technology and that this method of “greening” will also provide a
greater return on investment (ROI) than other green technologies.
Why are you undertaking this initiative?
CABA is undertaking this initiative because our organization
is committed to increasing energy efficiency in the entire built environment by
promoting green building practices. By
definition, “green building” means building structures that promote energy
conservation using environmental friendly products and creating healthy living
and working environments.
In the United
States, buildings account for 45 per cent of
total energy use, 25 per cent of water consumption, 70 per of electricity
consumption and 38 per cent of total carbon dioxide emissions. Our objective through this study is to provide
strategic recommendations that will can demonstrate the positive environmental
impact of today’s intelligent, integrated building systems and building
technology solutions. In other words,
this research will determine specific methods in which property owners and
building designers can reduce energy consumption and costs, increase the
profitability of their building stock through investments in intelligent
building technologies, while at the same time reducing the deleterious effects
of energy consumption such as pollution and emissions. www.caba.org
What form will the
The research will cover a number of important aspects. However, the CGIB Steering Committee will
make the final determination on methodology and deliverables. There will be a compilation of case studies
that best demonstrate key technologies, capabilities and benefits. The case studies will focus on technologies
such as building and network management systems, building automation systems,
lighting solutions, HVAC and sustainable energy technologies such as solar
energy, wind power, rain water collection and recycled wastewater.
The compilation of case studies will provide industry
participants the means to showcase their technology and contributions towards
intelligent and green buildings.
Manufacturers and service providers are invited to financially back this
research project to profile and promote their energy-saving products and
services. End-users like developers and
owners and invited to participate to showcase their buildings and better
understand how to develop green and sustainable buildings.
What exactly will the
The research will demonstrate to property owners and
designers the long-term benefits of intelligent buildings to reduce greenhouse
emissions, positively impact life-cycle costs, and determine the installation
costs and the payback period for intelligent building implementation. The report will also examine potential energy
savings and efficiency and improved occupant productivity from the
implementation these technologies, along with performance ratios, occupant
retention rates, and reduced risk factors.
Will CABA be able to utilize the research in other ways?
CABA’s Intelligent & Integrated Building Council is
planning to form a Task Force that will be able to utilize the research to
determine if integrated systems are receiving a fair score in LEED and other
scoring systems. If the Task Force
determines that the scoring should be modified, they will work with the U.S. Green Building Council, the Canada Green Building
Council, the Green Building Initiative and the Green Mechanical Council on
modifying the scoring program.
How can my company get
involved in this effort?
Any organization interested in participating in this research
study should contact Fred Bryson at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the CABA
office at 888.798.2222 or 613.686.1814 (x226).
More information about the report is also available online at:
Ultimately, the report will be made available after its
completion to building owners, architects and contractors and will
substantially move intelligent building products and services towards a “mass
CABA E-News Feature Stories
The Realization of Intelligent
to an article in Buildings.com, integrated building systems streamline
operations, add long-term value to property, and enable better service delivery
to end-users. http://www.buildings.com/articles/detail.aspx?contentID=5736
Home Connectivity and Green Energy
to Anto Budiardjo, President, Clasma Events Inc., renewable energy will be a
significant component of our future energy picture -- distributed generation
from PVs to wind turbines and storage systems for electricity and cooling.
These systems will increasingly be installed in our homes, together with smart
electricity meters. www.hometoys.com/ezine/08.02/clasma/homeconn.htm
Not Just a Dream
high-tech homes commonly found at Disneyland
no longer have to be the “House of Tomorrow” as builders can use the AHT
(automated home technology) solutions in homes today. www.specialtypub.com/constructech/article.asp?article_id=6550
Promote Green Buildings for Biggest,
Easiest Cuts in North American Carbon Emissions
report released by the tri-national Commission for Environmental Cooperation
(CEC) prescribes policies to slash buildings' energy use in North
FOA Creates New Certification For "Fiber Optic Network Design"
The FOA has created a new certification program covering "Fiber Optic
Network Design." This certification covers the particulars of how fiber
optic networks are designed within the context of complete communications
systems or construction projects. It is intended for contractors, installers,
architects and engineers, project managers and all others who are involved with
projects that include fiber optics.
Fiber optic networks are widely used, not just for telecom, but CATV, computer
LANs, cellular phones, municipal wireless, security surveillance systems,
metropolitan data, intelligent highways, fiber to the home, or practically
every communications network. The FOA has certified almost 24,000 fiber optic
technicians in the last decade who have been instrumental in the explosive
expansion of fiber optic network usage. Many of those technicians have also
been designers of the networks they install, and they have asked the FOA to
create standards for fiber optic network design and offer a specialist
certification in the field.
The FOA Certification is focused on the unique aspects of fiber optic network
design, assuming the fiber optic designer works with project managers
overseeing the complete project design. Prerequisites for the certification
include having a FOA CFOT (Certified Fiber Optic Technician) certification to
ensure knowledge and experience in fiber optic technology and installation.
The certification is offered through many of the 200+ FOA-approved schools
which will provide appropriate training. Industry professionals with
appropriate experience may apply directly to The FOA.
The Fiber Optic Association, Inc. is an nonprofit educational organization
chartered to promote fiber optics through education, certification and
standards. Over 200 FOA-Approved schools around the world have certified about
24,000 fiber optic technicians. The FOA offers free online introductory fiber
optic programs for everyone and training for instructors at FOA-Approved
schools. For more information on the FOA, see the organization's website www.thefoa.org.
Private Label, Counterfeit Imported Product Raise Liability Risk for Electrical Distributors, Says NAED Research Report
Recommends Steps for Managing and Mitigating Risk in Today's Global Market
electrical distributors increasingly consider selling private-label products
and products manufactured offshore, they face more serious risks of being held
liable for damages caused by these products, according to a new research report
from the NAED Education & Research Foundation. The study was selected and
funded by NAED's Channel Advantage Partnership (CAP) endowment.
The report, Product Liability Exposure: How to Manage and Mitigate the
Risks in Today's Global Market, analyzes current liability threats and
suggests steps that distributors should take to manage and mitigate risk. The
study was produced by Bernie Heinze, Esq., president and CEO of Sequent
Based on interviews with distributors and a review of available literature and
information, the study finds that private labeling is on the increase and is
expected to continue to grow. Private labeling is appealing because such
products can generate 20% to 50% incremental profit margin, the report says.
"While its potential for profitability is attractive, the risks attendant
to private labeling, especially with products manufactured in foreign
countries, can be significant. In fact, the electrical products with the
highest number of private labels are also those that have been the subject of
recent recalls by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission," the report
Examples of such products include electrical tape, connectors and fittings,
wiring devices, circuit breakers and recessed lighting. The major private-label
source is China,
which supplies 38% of private-label electrical products and components.
A related problem is the growing incidence of counterfeit products. Whether a
distributor knowingly or unknowingly sells a counterfeit product, the company
can face not only civil liability but also criminal penalties.
Distributors also can face liability from providing value-added services such
as repackaging, installation and instructions.
The Growing Liability Threat
Under U.S. product liability laws, distributors can be required to pay the full
amount of personal injury and property damage caused by electrical products,
while the manufacturer or supplier escapes responsibility, the report says.
Under the legal principle of "joint and several liability," injured
parties can recover the entire amount of their damages either from all of the
parties found liable, or alone from an individual party, regardless of the
respective share of liability.
"In cases where other parties such as manufacturers are unable to pay
their share, have no insurance coverage available, or are not subject to suit
in the United States,
wholesalers can be responsible for 100% of the judgment, thus taking on the
risks and exposures and standing in the shoes of the manufacturer," the
"Managing product liability exposures must be both a priority and an
essential component of every electrical distributor's strategic and tactical
operation," the report concludes.
Key recommendations to manage and mitigate risk include:
- Undertake an independent
evaluation by experts to assess potential exposures from products sold and
- Examine contracts and
agreements with manufacturers to ensure the strongest and best protection
- Ascertain manufacturers and
their insurers' ability and willingness to defend and indemnify
wholesalers against claims and lawsuits
- Perform due diligence and deal
only with trusted suppliers and manufacturers
- Evaluate value-added services
and written/oral representations to customers, to determine whether these
add to risk
This report was produced with funding from the
NAED Education & Research Foundation's Channel Advantage Partnership
endowment, which supports research to improve the profitability and
competitiveness of the electrical distribution channel.
Protecting Distributors Against Product Liability
From "Product Liability Exposure: How to Manage and Mitigate the Risks
in Today's Global Market"
NAED Education & Research Foundation 2008
Top 10 Recommendations
- Undertake an independent
evaluation by experts to assess potential exposures from products sold and
- Examine contracts and
agreements with manufacturers to ensure the strongest and best protection
- Ascertain manufacturers and
their insurers' ability and willingness to defend and indemnify
wholesalers against claims and lawsuits
- Perform due diligence and deal
only with trusted suppliers and manufacturers
- Examine the financial security
of the distributor's and manufacturer's insurance companies
- Monitor NAED communications for
updates on risk management
- Put into place a plan for
disaster recovery and business continuation in the event of a governmental
action or investigation, claim or lawsuit
- Evaluate value-added services
and written/oral representations to customers, to determine whether these
add to risk
- Examine the necessity and
process of any relabeling or alteration of products sold
- Fully cooperate with all
insurers in the event of an incident
Steps to Avoid Counterfeit Products
- Know the supplier
- Before purchase, ask for and
retain samples of the product, and have the sample evaluated and tested
- Watch for irregular or unusual
warranty claims, spelling errors on the product or packaging, or incorrect
- Check for inconsistent or irregular
- Institute shipping policies to
protect the integrity of component parts
- Consider using technology to
ensure product security such as barcodes or radio-frequency identification
NAED Celebrates 100 Year Anniversary at It's National Electrical Leadership Summit
in San Francisco"Summit of the Century" Features Hit Band
Foreigner, Former Starbuck's CEO,
Special Centennial Celebration Events
National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) is celebrating its
Centennial Anniversary with an expanded lineup of top-quality speakers,
celebrity entertainment, educational workshops and networking opportunities at
its annual National Electrical Leadership Summit, May 17-21, in San Francisco. The
conference also features a special celebration and awards banquet commemorating
the 100th anniversary of NAED's founding in 1908.
theme of, "Honor Tradition. Ignite Innovation," the conference will
attract a wide variety of attendees, both new and from days past. Past industry
leaders and vendors are invited to attend as well as the nearly 35 new NAED
members that have joined this year.
speakers include Orin Smith, former Starbucks president and CEO who will
provide his business insights, and Dr. Jill Jonnes, author of Empires of Light:
Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse and the Race to
Electrify the World, who will give a historical perspective. In addition, Las Vegas performer Jean
Francois Detaille will strive to awaken the artist and business visionary in
the audience with a larger-than-life action painting and performance of
Other highlights include:
"Innovation Workshop on Success Thinking" will be led by Sarah
Miller-Caldicott. The great-grand niece of Thomas Edison, she is the author of
Innovate Like Edison: The Success System of America's Greatest Inventor.
educational workshops will be presented on industry trends and management tips.
Examples include: "How to Prosper from the Top 2008 Technology Trends,"
"Forging Effective Partnerships within New Supply Chain Structures,"
"Challenging 10 Sacred Cows of Distributor Profitability" and more.
For the first time, CFOs and CEOs with CPA credentials can earn Continuing
Professional Education credits from designated sessions.
networking opportunities include the popular Strategic Planning Booth Sessions
providing opportunities for trading partners to meet, along with the annual
Women in Industry Networking Luncheon where the speaker will be Christine
Corelli, author of The Art of Influencing and Wake Up and Smell the
The Summit's finale will
culminate in a high-energy performance by hit band, Foreigner, at the
Centennial Celebration and Awards Banquet on Tuesday, May 20. Their hits include
"Cold as Ice" and "Waiting for a Girl Like You."
Electrical Leadership Summit
May 17-21, San Francisco
Industry Networking Luncheon, featuring Christine Corelli, author, The Art of
Wake Up and Smell the Competition
- Dr. Jill Jonnes, author, Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse and the Race to Electrify the
- "Extreme Art" with Jean Francois
- Orin Smith, former Starbucks President/CEO
- International distributor panel on threats
and opportunities of the global marketplace
Workshop on Success Thinking with Sarah Miller-Caldicott, author of Innovate
Like Edison: The
Success System of America's
Planning Booth Sessions
Planning Booth Session
Centennial Celebration & Awards Banquet
- Entertainment by Foreigner
NAED is the
trade association for the $70+ billion electrical distribution industry.
Through networking, education, research, and benchmarking, NAED helps
electrical distributors increase profitability and improve the channel. NAED's
membership represents approximately 4,100 locations internationally.
NEMA Publishes ANSI/NEMA OS 3-2007 Selection and Installation Guidelines for Electrical Outlet Boxes
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has published ANSI/NEMA OS 3-2007 Selection and Installation
Guidelines for Electrical Outlet Boxes. It provides designers, installers,
and inspectors with the outlet box industry’s perspective on appropriate
selection and installation criteria, based on the design and intended use of
According to David Kendall,
chairman of the NEMA Outlet and Switch Box Section that developed the standard,
there may be no other component of our electrical distribution system that
serves more purposes than electrical outlet boxes.
“They give access to wiring,
connect raceway systems, provide mechanical protection, and prevent persons
from contacting energized parts of the electrical system,” Kendall
said. “Through these guidelines, industry seeks to develop a closer liaison
with installers and electrical inspectors, by providing education and
understanding of proper application and installation of boxes. This
understanding ensures that the concerns and challenges that face manufacturers,
contractors, and Authorities Having Jurisdiction are addressed.”
This edition includes revisions
to the summary table for support of luminaires, fixtures, and other products; a
new table of fan support weight ratings; a list of weight classifications for
ceiling-suspended fan boxes; permitted markings on boxes for fan support;
rewritten guidelines for boxes and covers in wet and damp locations and adverse
environments; revisions of minimum fitting thread engagement with threaded
entries for threaded conduit or fittings, to 3-1/2 threads; and removes device
boxes as being capable of supporting products weighing 6–49 pounds in or on
NEMA. Setting Standards for
SCTE CABLE-TEC EXPO® ’08 Website Launches, Registration Under Way
The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) today is
pleased to announce that its website for SCTE Cable-Tec Expo® 2008
is live and that registration for the popular annual flagship event is now
available. Registration is also now under way for two SCTE professional
development opportunities being offered in conjunction with Expo.
SCTE Cable-Tec Expo® 2008, with “Engineering History in
the Making” as this year’s theme, is set for Tuesday through Friday, June 24–27
at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Expo is marking its 25th
anniversary this year.
SCTE’s Expo 2008 will feature 400-plus hands-on,
technology-focused exhibits, 20-plus technical workshops, CEO/CTO panels, the
Annual Awards Luncheon, the International Cable-Tec Games, and an array of
outstanding networking opportunities, including the relaxing Expo Evening, for
the expected 10,000-plus attendees. For a quarter of a century, Expo has been
recognized as the place to find ways to utilize the technologies of
today and prepare for the technologies and services of tomorrow.
SCTE members who register for Expo now will save a total of $250
compared with the nonmember onsite registration rate. Expo registration is
available at www.scte.org along with additional details about the event. When
registering for Expo, nonmembers have the option to save as well by purchasing
an annual SCTE membership for only $58.
Meanwhile, registration also has opened today for SCTE Conference
on Broadband Learning & Development (CBL&D) 2008. The annual
conference, to be held in conjunction with Expo, is set for Tuesday, June 24 in
CBL&D addresses key issues and challenges facing learning and development
professionals in the cable telecommunications industry.
In addition, registration also has begun today for the Metro
Ethernet Forum (MEF) Carrier Ethernet Seminar, which also will be conducted on
Tuesday, June 24 in Philadelphia
in conjunction with Expo.
Registration for CBL&D and the MEF seminar including discounts
and details for the two events are available at www.scte.org.
TIA Commends FCC On Closing Of 700 MHz Auction
New Spectrum Allocations Open Doors to Advanced Wireless Service
Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has commended the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) upon closing of the 700 MHz Auction after 261
rounds of bidding, which drew in more than $19.5 billion in provisionally
winning bids. With the exception of the D Block, designated for public
safety services, each of the other spectrum blocks available in the
auction has met its reserve price.
“TIA greatly appreciates the efforts of FCC Chairman
Martin and the Commission in running a smooth and successful auction,” stated
TIA President Grant Seiffert. “We are excited about the future services that
will be delivered, and look forward to working with the Commission in its
efforts to craft rules for the effective re-auction of the nationwide D Block
licensee for public safety purposes.”
TIA members will put the
auctioned spectrum to important use in meeting the needs of the American
public, and the country is expected to benefit significantly from the almost $20
billion raised. The spectrum will provide cutting-edge wireless services that
meet the needs of consumers. TIA is continuing to closely watch developments
relating to the public safety network, as the FCC deliberates next steps. email@example.com.
Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) Publishes New WLAN Standard
Focus on IEEE Compatibility Complements Wireless Device Growth
Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has published a new standard,
TIA-1003, for Requirements for a Wireless LAN Based IP Telephony Endpoint,
adding to a broad catalog of wireless standards for the communications
specifies the minimum requirements for various performance aspects of WLAN IP
telephony endpoints operating in a business environment, including: media and
protocol-specific call control interoperability; acoustic performance;
telephony feature support; safety; electromagnetic compatibility; and
environmental performance. Due to the significant growth of Wi-Fi
Alliance-certified products on the market, the TIA-1003 standard was developed
to focus on IEEE 802.11 technologies.
was formulated under the cognizance of the TIA TR-41: User Premises
Telecommunications Requirements Engineering Committee’s TR-41.4: IP Telephony
Infrastructure and Endpoints Subcommittee. To obtain copies of the
document, contact Information Handling Services at (800) 854-7179 or visit http://global.ihs.com.
For technical information regarding participating in the TR-41 committee please
contact Ronda Coulter at firstname.lastname@example.org. For
press questions please contact Taly Walsh @tiaonline.org
companies participating in TR-41 are: ADTRAN, Advent Instruments, Inc., Allied
Telephone and Data Corp., AST Technology Labs, Inc., AT&T Labs, Avaya,
Belden Networks Division, Berk-Tek, Bourns Limited, Broadcom Corporation,
Business Communication Svcs., Carlon, Lamson & Sessions, Catena Networks,
Cisco Systems, Inc., CML Microcircuits (USA) Inc., CommScope Network Division,
Conexant Systems, Inc., Corning Incorporated, CSI Telecommunications, Dietrich
Lockard Group, Inc., EMBARQ Corporation, Ericsson Inc., FAL Associates, Fluke
Networks, Flykees, Fultec Semiconductor Inc., G.R.A.S. Sound & Vibration,
Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Industry Canada, Intel Corporation, Intertek Testing
Services, Intrado, ITW Linx, Leviton Network Solutions, Littelfuse Inc.,
Maz-Sky Canadian International G, Microtronix Systems Ltd., Motorola Inc.,
National Communications System, National Technical Systems (NTS), NeuStar Inc.,
Nokia Siemens Networks, Nortel, Panasonic Computer Solutions Company, Panasonic
Service & Technology Co., Panduit Corporation, Plantronics, Redcom Labs,
Inc., RTKL Associates Inc., San-O Industrial Corp., Sanyo Fisher Company, Sharp
Laboratories of America, Sigma Delta Communications, Inc., Sony Wireless Tech
Division, Spirent Communications, Sprint Nextel, Telchemy Incorporated,
Telcordia Technologies, Texas Instruments, Inc., The Siemon Company, Thomson
Inc., Tyco Electronics, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, UL Underwriters Laboratories
Inc., Uniden, Verizon Wireless, VTech Communications, Westell Technologies,
Inc., Wiltec Technologies, Wyle Laboratories, Inc.
Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) represents the global information
communications and technology (ICT) industries through standards development,
advocacy, business opportunities, market intelligence and world-wide
environmental regulatory compliance. With support from its 600 members, TIA
enhances the business environment for thousands of companies whose focus is
broadband development and deployment (including wireless and landline
infrastructure and services), information technology (IT) for commercial or
residential application, Internet Protocol (IP) hardware, software and content
solutions, and the convergence of voice, video and data applications and
co-owns NXTcomm, the tradeshow serving the ICT industry; is ANSI-accredited;
serves as the secretariat for 3GPP2; holds a Board position on the
International Telecommunication Union (ITU) TELECOM Board; and hosts the USA pavilions
in ITU trade fairs worldwide. More than 1,000 engineers, lawyers and other
industry leaders participate in TIA’s 70+ standards committees and TIA has
produced more than 1,150 standards documents. Hundreds of experts participate
in TIA’s government affairs initiatives, which include advancing global
broadband deployment across wireline, wireless and cable platforms; advocating
advanced spectrum management; encouraging policies to enable information access
for persons with disabilities; seeking allocation of additional spectrum to
advance wireless services and public safety; facilitating market opportunities
by promoting full, fair and open trade and competition in international
markets; and ensuring that the U.S. communications sector continues to be a
leader in advanced research. TIA’s EIATRACK subscription-based web service, on
the Web at www.eiatrack.com, enables companies to determine up-to-date
information on environmental compliance of their products in various regions
around the world.
membership enhances the ability of companies to prepare for the future of
communications. TIA brings people and businesses together by helping the
industry overcome technical and political barriers to communications. Visit www.tiaonline.org for details.
Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) Announces Election, Reconfirmation of Board Members
Graybar and Sumitomo Electric
Lightwave Executives Join Distinguished Technology Leaders
Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), the leader in advocacy,
standards development, business development and intelligence for the
information, communications and technology (ICT) industry, today announced the
election to its Board of Michael C. Dumas, Vice President, Comm/Data Business,
Graybar; and Fred McDuffee, President & COO, Sumitomo Electric Lightwave.
Charlie Fox, General Manager, Tyco and Carlos Munoz, CEO, Cam Communications,
were confirmed for their second terms as Board Members. The elections took
place at the TIA Board meeting held March 2-3, 2008, in Tahoe, Nev.
Dumas is a
21-year career veteran with Graybar, a
leading distributor of high quality electrical, telecommunications and
networking products and related supply chain management and logistics services.
Prior to becoming Vice President, Comm/Data Business in 2005, he
held a variety of management positions at the company, including: Treasury
Manager – Corporate Accounts; Vice President, Electrical Sales – St. Louis
District; and Vice President, Corporate Accounts. He holds a B.S. degree in
General Business Administration from Tarleton
in Stephenville, Texas.
becoming President of Sumitomo Electric Lightwave, a leading developer and
manufacturer of fiber optic cable, McDuffee served for six years as Senior Vice
President in charge of manufacturing, product engineering and marketing for the
company’s Research Triangle Park and Whiteville North Carolina facilities. He
has held various management positions at the company. He holds a B.S. degree in
Physics from Virginia Tech.
TIA was proud to announce that its Chairman of the Board, Robert W. Pullen, has
assumed the roles of Chief Executive Officer, President and Director at
of Directors includes senior-level executives from ACS, ADC, ADTRAN,
Alcatel-Lucent, ANDA Networks, ArrayComm, AttivaCorp, Avaya, Bechtel
Communications, Inc., Cam Communications, Cisco Systems, Corning Incorporated,
Ericsson, Inc., Graybar, Henkels & McCoy, Intel Corporation, LGE,
Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia Siemens Networks, Nortel, OneChip Photonics Inc.,
OnSite Systems, Panasonic Computer Solutions Co., QUALCOMM, Research In Motion,
Sumitomo Electric, Lightwave Corporation, Telcordia Technologies, Tellabs, Tyco
Electronics, Ulticom, Inc., Westell Technologies, Inc. and Zebra Technologies Corporation.
Advisors to the Board include FAL Associates, ILS Technology and Orca Systems.
How Technology Steps Up to the Challenge
By Walt Magnussen,
This issue of the
ACUTA Journal is dedicated to Preparing for Disasters and Emergencies, and
it would be hard to pick a more appropriate topic. There is actually good news
as well as bad news in this space. The bad news is that the frequency and
severity of incidents seem to be on the rise. The good news is that the
technology that we all work with is creating interesting opportunities for us
to protect ourselves.
The fact that the
number of incidents is on the rise can be validated by looking at Carnegie
Mellon’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) statistic page
(http://www.cert.org). They recorded 137,529 incident reports in 2003. This was
three times the number of incidents reported in 2001 (52,658) and more than ten
times the number of reported incidents in 1999 (9,859). It can also be seen in
natural emergencies. According to NOAA statistics (http://www.noaa.gov), 2004 and 2005 were two record-setting years
with 28 named storms (2005), 15 hurricanes (2005), nine U.S.A. landfalling
named storms (2004), and four U.S.A.
landfalling major hurricanes (2005). All of this activity has been putting
major strain on campus resources.
On the positive
side, technology has been stepping up to the plate by providing resources that
help us mitigate these vulnerabilities. The technologies that have proven to be
the most valuable can be found in fiber-supported voice and wireless services.
The first major
enhancement was provided by the carrier’s high-speed optical networks and by
university-owned and -run regional optical networks (RONs). This service now
allows us to provide high-speed, reliable, offsite machine-room space at a
reasonable cost. In the past, we were required to house all of our critical
applications in one (or two if we were lucky) central machine rooms. With the
advent of high-speed optics, we can now extend our machine rooms into either
the university’s machine room or leased space from a high-reliability
commercial data center.
The second way that
technology has stepped up to the challenge comes from the inherent architecture
of VoIP. The older TDM architectures typically involved one large, central
switching platform, which was difficult to distribute. (Many platforms allow
for the distribution of switching nodes but they still require the presence of
the central switching system). VoIP architecture allows the presence of
multiple servers that can be easily distributed across several locations. In a
VoIP network, the loss of any single geographic location can fairly easily be
routed around. In addition, VoIP also allows for the blasting of thousands of
simultaneous calls for alerting, which is either difficult or impossible in
most TDM architectures.
The third area in
which technology has changed the way that we support emergency services is
student and faculty/staff notification. For at least a decade, my campus sought
a way to notify our 45,000 students in the event of a crisis. We had looked at
siren systems, email trees, and classroom alarm systems and had found them all
to be either ineffective in our case or cost prohibitive. With the invention of
SMS text messaging, the students brought a reasonable solution to us.
I am sure that
there are several other ways in which technological advances have helped us
deal with the ever-increasing threats that are the reality of today’s world.
Fortunately, ACUTA has been on the leading edge of all of these advances by
having our institutions share successes (and failures) with others. At the last
two seminars, there were several sessions on emergency notification. In
Minneapolis the FBI shared their efforts with us, and last summer, ACUTA had a
webinar covering this topic. Since the level of threat does not seem to be
going away, I personally feel better knowing that my campus is not alone in the
Reprinted with full permission of ACUTA Journal - www.acuta.org
Carlini's Track Record Is Highly Accurate
Carlini has studied and analyzed the telecommunications and information
technology industry for several decades. His writings have stood the test of
time for accuracy and insight. If we had followed his writings with a modest
investment program, we would be wealthy today. We are pleased to continue
publishing Carlini’s Comments. He has often dealt with difficult
subjects in a straight forward manner. Hats Off to this powerful author.
is an adjunct professor at Northwestern
University. He is also president of Carlini & Associates. Carlini can be
reached at email@example.com
Click here for Carlini’s full biography.
Gen. George S. Patton: Getting Back to Real
Published on 3/5/2008 at www.MidwestBusiness.com
where you always read real perspectives
Carlini’s Comments, MidwestBusiness.com’s oldest column, runs
every Wednesday. Its mission is to offer the common man’s view on
business and technology issues while questioning the leadership and visions of “pseudo”
While many business executives
at some point in their career are told to read “Art of War” by Sun Tzu, what
they should also be reading is George S. Patton’s approach to operational
leadership and management of resources.
Before political correctness and
other “folksy euphemisms” for lackluster and mediocre operational approaches to
organizational management, a general named Patton took an army of Americans
from a ragtag outfit to a well-disciplined, well-supplied army that was second
to none in World War II.
His approach was a winning,
no-nonsense, lead-by-example attitude that was needed at the time of facing
some impossible objectives. Many today in both the public and private sectors
could use a few pages out of his leadership playbook along with a couple more
from his management of resources.
Some people have forgotten him
and younger people may have never even heard of him. He was definitely a
controversial leader, but in terms of success, he “got things done faster, more
decisively and … at a lower cost in that most important and cruelest price of
warfare – the lives of his soldiers – than everyone else,” according to retired
U.S. Air Force Reserve Major Gen. William A. Cohen.
How Do CEOs Learn From Patton?
Many business schools should
take a look at Patton’s achievements. They should teach organizational
management from a pragmatic standpoint rather than a conceptual standpoint that
sometimes can’t be applied in real situations. Unfortunately, most management
schools aren’t leadership schools.
There are several blog posts
that focus on poor CEOs and their performance. One
has discussed the five worst CEOs of 2007, which included those from BP,
Caterpillar, GE, PepsiCo and Wal-Mart. The author wrote: “These CEOs accepted
global warming alarmism without facts and failed to anticipate the unintended
consequences on their products.”
Another segment would be the
financial CEOs. Those would include CEOs from Countrywide Financial, Citibank
and others that got crushed in the sub-prime mortgage crisis that’s now seeping
into the regular mortgage market. Another CEO who could be put into this
category would be Ed Zander. He was supposed to turn around Motorola.
Take a look at these CEOs across
these organizations who have stagnated their
performance. If they are
considered the generals of these organizations, they would have been dismissed
by Patton in a heartbeat. They also wouldn’t have gotten any golden parachutes
for their poor performance. Patton was not a leader who would tolerate failure
let alone reward it.
The following comments are based
on a book I first read several years ago as well as some other sources I have
researched. The 1999 book is “Patton on Leadership” by Alan Axelrod.
Instilling a Sense of Urgency
To regain the competitiveness
that some say the United States has lost, we need to bring back those executive
qualities and a sense of urgency in organizations through a new breed of
executives. Some of the executive facets they should have include:
attitude with a sense of urgency
A repertoire of
The ability to
both speak and write effectively
The ability to be
creative, adaptive and flexible
The ability to
understand the competition
The ability to
create and maintain a quality atmosphere for production and performance
skills to bring the most out of their subordinates
The ability to
manage the impossible
There are so many books on
various styles of management that you would think we would have excellent
corporate executives. The truth is many have concerned themselves more with
their own trappings and golden parachutes than the success of their
Since the debacles at Enron,
Tyco and WorldCom, some safeguards have been put in to focus on performance.
Even so, executive compensation still isn’t completely tied to performance. The
book says: “Patton would tell you the only meaningful way to evaluate a leader
and his or her methods is by looking at the results.”
Remembering Some of Patton’s
Patton’s lessons on leadership
contain some excellent ideas for encouragement:
Do more than is expected of you
Always attack, never surrender
and always push the market in business
Wars are not won by defensive
In the long run, it’s what we do
rather than what we say that will destroy us
Good tactics can save the worst
strategy and bad tactics will destroy even the best
Select leaders for
accomplishment rather than for affection
No one is thinking if everyone
is thinking alike
Lack of orders is no excuse for
We can always learn from each
There are many more that you can
get out of the book. If we are to get organizations back into great shape,
maybe the approach of rotating one bad CEO from one company to the next should
be abandoned. We should stop churning the same bad apples from one barrel to another
and start bringing in new executives with fresh ideas.
If someone messed up one
organization, how are they supposed to come in and be the savior for another
The results are pretty
predictable. How many poor-performing CEOs have you seen go from one company to
the next while collecting a couple golden parachutes in the process? They also
mess up the careers of many subordinates through their lack of strategy and
uncreative cost-cutting approach to try to show profitability.
Patton would have never allowed
that. Bad management should get relieved and demoted instead of rewarded. Maybe
we should start with that reform in corporate leadership.
Carlinism: No one follows hollow slogans or rah-rah approaches
to management. Lead by example.
See James Carlini interviewed
by the Strassman Report out of California.
video discusses the need for planning gigabit network
infrastructure today in order to be globally competitive tomorrow.
Check out Carlini’s blog at CarlinisComments.com.
James Carlini is an adjunct
professor at Northwestern University. He is also
president of Carlini & Associates. Carlini can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Click here for
Carlini’s full biography.
Copyright 2008 Jim Carlini
Cabling Installation & Maintenance
Banking On Managed Network To Ease Controlled Growth
physical-layer management systems allow remote-management capabilities for New Hampshire bank and its 18 branch locations.
Mascoma Savings Bank (MSB) serves New Hampshire and
Vermont’s Upper Valley area through the corporate headquarters in Lebanon, NH
and 18 branch locations. Formed in 1899, MSB is a mutually owned financial services company
that manages more than $700 million in assets, offers a full line of banking
products that include
personal and commercial banking, mortgage and consumer loans, and provides a full line of
Internet banking services.
To keep up with growth needs for bandwidth, storage, and
management within the information-technology (IT) organization, MSB needed to
upgrade its existing network cabling infrastructure with a solution that
offered flexibility and scalability. The project required upgrading and enhancing
existing connectivity in all bank locations. Also, to effectively manage its
budget, the bank needed a comprehensive plan that would clearly identify its
connectivity requirements and fulfill several business needs.
Need for remote
IT staff members located at the operations center in
White River Junction, VT often had to drive to the 18 branch locations—some as
far as four hours away—for service calls, dramatically slowing mean time to
repair. It was obvious that, along with an infrastructure upgrade, MSB needed
to reconsider its network-management processes and find a solution that could
offer efficient remote manageability and maintenance capabilities.
Of chief concern to the bank was ensuring that accurate
documentation and reporting of all moves, adds, and changes (MACs) could be
collected at the operations center from all 18 remote locations. MSB not only
needed a network solution that would help automatically record asset-movement
activities in the network, but also help to effectively monitor and manage
those activities. The manual method of documentation could no longer be relied
upon to keep pace with the network’s growth.
Communications to all 18 locations had to be reliable, so
MSB required a cabling system that would offer superior performance and allow
for growth and reconfigurations as necessary. The system had to ensure secure
transfer of information while providing maximum uptime in order to meet
customers’ need and stay competitive.
MSB contacted Defiance Electric & Crossover Inc.
(www.defianceelectric.com), a design-build communications company that had
successfully implemented several Panduit electrical solutions for the bank.
Because the contractor and user had been pleased with the electrical projects,
Defiance recommended implementing Panduit networking solutions during MSB’s
ongoing upgrades, including a managed network system.
input and experience
Defiance Electric & Crossover specified the PanView
System, an intelligent physical-layer management solution that could fully
capitalize on Mascoma’s newly planned network infrastructure. While the copper
and fiber cabling systems would provide the level of reliability and
scalability that MSB sought to meet its wide area network (WAN) needs, an
effective intelligent physical-layer management would help the bank take greater
control of its network locations and optimize its overall network reliability.
Working together, Panduit and Defiance Electric &
Crossover developed a comprehensive solution to address all of MSB’s project
requirements by integrating PanView software and PanView patch panels into the bank’s existing
network. Additionally, the enhancement of the cabling system allowed an upgrade
to the rack and grounding systems, which ensured greater network reliability.
MSB realized the benefits of the PanView system right away. The bank’s IT
team gained the ability to remotely manage all patch field connectivity issues
from its centralized operations center. Complete MACs could be directed from
the operations center and executed at remote branch locations using
light-emitting diodes located on the front of the patch panels—literally
guiding staff through changes an ensuring accuracy of patch-field connections.
In addition to simplifying patch-field MACs, remote
manageability helped reduce network downtime, offered faster
mean-time-to-repair response, and saved MSB the time and travel expense of
dispatching IT staff to remote branch locations.
“It has greatly simplified our cabling-infrastructure
management and documentation,” said Chris Irish, assistant vice president,
network services, Mascoma Savings Bank. “The ability to create and implement
remote work orders through PanView has also saved countless hours of travel
time, as well as the associated costs to the bank in staff mileage
reimbursement and other travel expenses.”
At each branch location, the intelligent patch panels
were installed along with PanView hardware to monitor the remote patch fields
for enhanced monitoring capabilities at the main operations center. Using the
intelligent physical-layer management software, Irish could review all branch
networks and monitor equipment and patch-field connectivity at the various
locations—all in real time. The PanView system would immediately notify changes
in the patch field for even greater control. The system’s database capabilities
helped maintain accurate records of the connectivity, as well as information
regarding equipment and network computing assets.
An unexpected value to MSB was the integration of
computer-aided design (CAD) and utilization modules into the software package
that help the bank continue to build and expand its network.
CAD modules enable the bank to create a two-dimensional
map of MSB’s office locations that have been used on-screen to pinpoint devices
and equipment. The utilization modules provide the ability to inventory active
ports and search for available ports, thereby maximizing existing resources.
By tracking all networking and computing assets, the
utilization and CAD modules also contribute to necessary regulatory compliance
by reporting and maintaining accurate documentation and event logs.
“The integrated CAD features and the ability to log and
monitor equipment events have been a great help in meeting our regulatory
requirements,” comments Chris Irish.
The Panduit solution provided MSB a network cabling
system that would accommodate the bank’s changing needs while providing maximum
uptime. The TX6000 Copper Cabling System and Opticom Fiber System provided the
bandwidth needed to ultimately deliver better service to Mascoma’s customers.
Panduit’s StructuredGround system helped the bank comply with the
TIA-942 standard to improve system performance and protect network equipment
and personnel. Innovative rack and cable-management systems helped complete the
overall solution by managing, protecting, and showcasing MSB’s network
equipment and structured cabling investments.
As Mascoma Savings Bank expands its business, the PanView
System continues to serve as the foundation for greater control and
manageability of its infrastructure. Because of the PanView system’s modular
design, MSB can upgrade legacy panels with new, modular PanView patch panels to
meet its changing requirements.
The next phase of this project includes expanding
remote-monitoring capabilities by integrating Internet Protocol-based cameras
in branch offices that will enable MSB even greater ability to manage multiple
sites. Upon completion, Chris Irish will have the ability to direct staff at
remote locations using the guidance and function of the patch panel LEDs; he
will also have the ability to watch the execution of changes, adding better
accountability and visibility of these changes.
“What’s refreshing is that since its initial
installation, the PanView system has met and exceeded all expectations and
aspirations promised,” adds Pete Hadlock, vice president at Defiance Electric
and Crossover. “The PanView system has truly meshed all of the necessary
components together into a complete solution that has brought our original
vision for Mascoma to life.”
identification in focus
In one example of the PanView system benefiting MSB, the
bank needed an additional outlet for a new printer, and a visual check
indicated that all network ports were occupied. The bank contacted Defiance
Electric & Crossover to inquire about new switches or equipment. Rather
than installing new equipment, the contractor recommended using the utilization
module to run a report of assets connected within the network to locate unused
or underused ports.
The module found a port that had not been used for more
than 90 days, and the system’s CAD module generated a two-dimensional map
showing the port was located in a conference room near the desired location of
MSB simply reallocated the port, foregoing the cost of
adding new equipment, and capitalizing on the assets it already owned. The entire
process, from the initial phone call to the identification of the port, took
less than 10 minutes.
Irish and Hadlock agree that as technology continues to
advance, so do the advantages of the PanView system. Whether it is through its
own capabilities, or through its integration and compatibility with other
software packages, the system is delivering on the bank’s vision of a complete
managed network system solution.
“The ability to create and implement remote work
orders…has also saved countless hours of travel time, as well as the associated
costs to the bank in staff mileage reimbursement and other travel expenses.”
The next phase of this project includes expanding
remote-monitoring capabilities by integrating Internet Protocol-based cameras
in branch offices.
MICHAEL PULA, product line
manager with Panduit Corp. (www.panduit.com), collaborated with others across Panduit’s staff to
author this story.
with full permission of Cabling Installation & Maintenance www.cablinginstall.com
TIA Labeling Standard Marked For Changes
think it more tedious at first, but in the long run, revised labeling for data
centers could prove to be a huge troubleshooting time-saver.
A properly labeled and
documented network is a task that most installers loathe and many still avoid
when possible. But changes are on the way that, while at first may appear to
make labeling more tedious, in the end will save data center managers huge
amounts of time during reconfigurations and troubleshooting.
Standard for Commercial Telecommunications Infrastructure was last updated
in early 2002 and reaffirmed in June 2007. Currently, a TR-42.6 Subcommittee on
Telecommunications Infrastructure and Equipment Administration is finalizing
Addendum 1 (TIA-606-A-1) to the current standard.
“We were completely
satisfied with 606-A, but after it was reaffirmed, we realized that we needed
to better identify racks, cabinets, patch panels, and cabling within data centers,”
says Jonathan Jew, vice chair of the subcommittee and
president of J&M Consultants, Inc. (www.j-and-m.com).
Identifying racks and
Adding identifiers for
cabinets and racks in a data center has become a necessity for all but the
smallest of networks.
“The 606-A standard didn’t
take racks and cabinets into account, which was really not an issue for small
spaces with just a few racks,” says Todd Fries, marketing manager of
identification systems for HellermannTyton (www.hellermann.tyton.com) and member of the subcommittee. “With today’s larger data centers, quickly finding the
right patch panel and port starts with quickly finding the rack or cabinet that
houses the patch panel. In the past, some have created their own system for
identifying cabinets in a data center, but Addendum 1 is meant to simplify and
bring consistency to the process.”
to Fries, creating rack/cabinet identifiers in the data center will be
accomplished by using X and Y coordinates that relate to floor tiles in a
raised-floor system or to the number or rows and cabinets in a simple data
center floor plan. The “X” coordinate is an alpha character and the “Y”
numeric, resulting in a unique alphanumeric identifier for each rack and
cabinet. The current draft of Addendum 1 specifies that the rack/cabinet
identifier label shall be placed at the top and bottom on both the front and
rear of each rack or cabinet.
Just as in
606-A, each telecommunications space also has a unique identifier where “F” is
a numeric character that identifies the floor of the building, and “S” is an
alpha character that defines the space. In Addendum 1, The XY cabinet
identifier follows the FS identifier (FS.XY), creating an identifier for racks
and cabinets that can be applied to any space.
“The X and Y coordinates
for a rack or cabinet do not have to be based on grid coordinates,”
explains Fries. “For smaller data centers, it may make more sense to use rows
and racks or just racks. For example, R2R05 would denote Rack 5 located in Row
2, and R4 would simply denote Rack 4 in a small space that contains just a few
With FS.XY part of the
identifier for all ports and links, data center managers can quickly and easily
locate exactly which floor, which space, and which cabinet to go to for
reconfigurations or troubleshooting. With downtime as the number one concern,
the time saving could be significant.
Improved ports and panels
The current draft of Addendum 1 to 606-A also
contains improved identifiers for patch panels and ports. Patch panel
identifiers will now use one or two characters to designate the patch panel
location starting at the top of the cabinet.
“We used to identify patch panels as simply A, B, C,
D, etc., but Addendum 1 enables patch panels to be identified based on rack units,
which makes much more sense,” says Jay Whitaker, business development manager
for Panduit (www.Panduit.com) and member of the TR-42.6 Subcommittee. “Using
rack spaces as part of the identifier allows data center managers to add a
patch panel to an unused rack unit space without throwing off the sequence.”
Because a numeric character can now be used to
identify a patch panel based on rack units, Addendum 1 also calls for the use
of a colon between the panel and port identifiers. “When using rack units to
identify patch panels, it would be confusing to use 0202 to denote Port 2 in
the patch panel located at Rack Unit 2,” explains Whitaker. “By adding a colon
[02:02], it becomes clear that it’s Patch Panel 2 and Port 2.”
According to Whitaker, Addendum 1 also addresses the
labeling of sub panels. “Fiber enclosures may have six sub panels, and by
labeling each sub panel, it becomes clear from the remote end exactly which sub
panel a port is terminated to,” he explains. “This prevents having to check each
sub panel to find the right connection, which is especially important when
dealing with sensitive fiber connections that you don’t want to touch if you
don’t have to.”
Addendum 1 also includes labels
that identify where a group of ports on a patch panel connect to within the
same space. The current 606-A standard simply identified the port, which can be
ineffective for maintenance.
“What managers really need to know
is where ports actually connect to on the other end,” says Whitaker. “Systems
today are often mission critical, and with equipment being constantly upgraded
and replaced, data center managers are starting to see the importance of being able to quickly
locate where a specific connection is coming from or going to.”
On to 606-B
Addendum 1 to 606-A will likely be approved and
published by mid-year following resolution of a few minor issues. “One minor
issue facing Addendum 1 is the administration of backbone fibers and whether to
identify by individual fiber strand, by port, or allow the option of both,”
says Jew, vice chair of TR-42.6. “My hope is that the committee will agree to
According to Jew, the TR-42.6 Working Group has
granted approval to proceed with TIA-606-B, which will include Addendum 1, as
well as expanded and new identification formats for other elements, such as
horizontal links, backbone cables, outlets, consolidation points, fiber
splices, outside spaces, and grounding and bonding systems. For example, GPS
coordinates may be added to identifiers for outside maintenance holes, “SPz”
may be used to identify splices where “z” is the approximate distance to the
splice from the patch panel, and specific objects being bonded to a ground bar
or bonding network will be identified in grounding and bonding systems.
“It is likely that we will also address automated
management systems and possibly address non-telecom cabling, but so far, no
specific content has been proposed,” says Jew. “My guess is that 606-B will
take about two years to finalize.” He notes that under 606-B, 606-A formats
will be permitted for existing administration systems where they are already in
use, avoiding the need to create new identifiers and labels for existing
There is also concern about the future 606-B standard
meshing with international standards, and the subcommittee has submitted the
current proposed changes in 606-B to ISO/IEC for incorporation in the revision
of ICO/IEC 14763-2 Information Technology – Implementation and Operation of
Customer Premises Cabling Part 2, which will replace a number of current
“There are two philosophies, one that resembles 606-B
and another out of Sweden [SEK] that is somewhat different,” explains Jew.
“Depending on workload, the ISO/IEC Task Group may decide on one of the
proposals at the February 2008 Barcelona meeting, May 2008 Philadelphia
meeting, or October 2008 meeting in France. We’ll have to wait to see which
But even as the TR-42.6 Subcommittee continues to improve the labeling
standard and work on 606-B, the industry is still faced with the fact that not
all installers follow the standard. There are concerns that the longer
identifiers included in Addendum 1 will make labeling seem even more
tedious. But Jew says, “If labeling is
automated, the slightly longer labels shouldn’t take all that much more time.”
show that only about 50% of installers are following the current 606-A
standard, and specifications from designers and end users play a role.
if the specification dictates that the installer follow the standard, they
will,” concludes Panduit’s Whitaker. “However, contractors should always remind
end users of the long-term benefits of following the standard, which include
improved cabling infrastructure management over the life of the data center.”
BETSY ZIOBRON is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Cabling Installation & Maintenance.
She can be reached at: email@example.com
with full permission of Cabling Installation & Maintenance www.cablinginstall.com
Juiced Wired (and wireless) Apps Impact PoE+ Specifications
it’s for fiber-to-the-home or a WLAN, the biggest difference between pending
PoE Plus specifications and PoE is the amount of power that can be sent to each
long held by many, that Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) was the single
driver of Power over Ethernet (PoE) specifications, is not historically accurate.
Some may be surprised to hear that WLANs played a significant role in the
formation of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE;
www.ieee.org) 802.3af specifications for powering Ethernet devices over
twisted-pair copper cabling.
also be surprised to hear that WLANs are one of the most significant drivers of
the 802.3at Power over Ethernet Plus (PoEP) specifications currently in draft.
keep saying the main application for PoE is VoIP,” says Daniel Feldman, senior
product manager with Microsemi (www.microsemi.com). “But the original call for
interest in 1998 spoke of wireless LANs. More data was available on the WLAN
market [than on the VoIP market]. The same thing is happening this time around
with 802.11n,” he says, referring to the in-progress WLAN specifications that
are playing a significant role in shaping PoEP.
Aruba, Cisco, Trapeze, and Mehru have already announced access points that
require more than 13 watts—perhaps 16, 18, or 20,” explains Feldman. “They may
not ship in huge quantities to begin with, but WLAN is one main driver of PoE
Plus, because with 802.11n’s multiple-input/multiple-output [MIMO] signaling, a
single 802.11n channel is equivalent to two channels in 802.11g.”
Healthy market, bright future
Pula, product line manager with Panduit Corp. (www.panduit.com), says the push
for extending PoE/PoEP’s drivers “is really market pull from vendors who now
see the benefit of Power over Ethernet, but need more power to advance or bring
to market their particular devices.”
to MIMO wireless access points, Pula says, “We are seeing multi-function
terminals and scanners that can take advantage of high power and reap the
benefit of being untethered to an AC outlet.”
state of the PoE market is healthy, as Pula points out, and statistics help
explain why PoE and VoIP are logically linked. “This past year, Venture
Development Corporation (www.vdc-corp.com) estimated that more than 10 million
PoE-enabled VoIP phones, over 1.5 million wireless access points, and over 1
million PoE-enabled IP cameras were shipped,” he says. “This data, along with
the fact that new low-voltage devices, including RFID sensors, thin-client
terminals, displays, and other products coming to market make the technological
drivers for PoE very successful.”
Feldman also points to residential wiring technology—fiber-to-the-home, in
particular—as a potential driver of PoEP.
AT&T are deploying optical network terminators outdoors. High-speed Digital
Subscriber Line (DSL) is available in two packages--regular wired and wireless.
Users of wireless DSL are also potential users of PoE/PoEP that can come from
the optical network terminator, if and when the manufacturers of those terminators
incorporate PoE into their hardware.
More power to you
obvious difference between the in-the-works PoEP specifications and the
existing PoE specifications is the amount of power that can be sent to each
powered device. Feldman explains there are three ways to increase power, and
the current thinking is that the task force working on the specifications will
use all three.
is to increase voltage,” he says. “For PoE, the voltage is 44 to 57. Max power
is defined by max current times minimum voltage. If you raise the minimum
voltage, you automatically raise power. So, the minimum voltage is being raised
to 50.” Feldman points out that a minimum voltage of 50 will keep PoEP
compatible with PoE.
way to increase power is to use all pairs in a cable. The 802.3af specification
called for power to run over the data pairs or the spare pairs. 802.3at will
allow power to run over all four pairs. “We’re not certain the task group will,
in fact, use all four pairs,” Feldman notes, although it appears more likely to
do so than not.
way to increase power is to increase current. But as Feldman notes, “This is a
sensitive area because when you increase current, you increase the power
dissipated at the cable, consequently increasing temperature. If the
temperature rises enough, insertion loss increases and data transmission can be
compromised. The IEEE asked the TIA [Telecommunications Industry Association’s
TR-42.7 Committee] what they believe the maximum current should be.”
the explanation from there: “For PoE Plus, the maximum DC current is
approximately 720 milliamps (mA) per pair—this number is still under
investigation—or 360 mA per conductor, up to 45° C maximum ambient temperature
for Category 5e, 6, and 6A. Under 802.3af, it was 350 mA per pair.”
continues, “For PoE, the specified current and power limits were designed to
maintain cabling temperature rise of less than 10° and a maximum cabling
temperature lower than 60° C. The maximum temperature is a combination of
ambient temperature and expected temperature rise in the cabling. For PoEP, the
maximum power inserted into any individual cable bundle should not exceed 5,000
watts up to 45° C. From 45° to 60°C, it is recommended that the user de-rate
the application or usage of PoEP in the particular facility.”
“This can mean anything from reducing the number of cables in a bundle, to
improving the mix of PoE and PoEP powering, or reducing the number of powered
endpoints on a particular cable span. Temperature rise is a function of several
factors that include current level, bundling, cable construction, DC
resistance, and installation conditions. Overall, smaller bundles are helpful.
But higher-performing cables with lower DC resistance, like Category 6 and
Category 6A, generally have lower temperature rise and therefore fewer bundling
the 802.3at specifications will require a minimum of Category 5 cabling, as
opposed to the 802.3af specifications’ minimum of Category 3.
specifications have gone through the Draft 1.0 process, and Draft 2.0 was
scheduled for presentation early this month. While some optimists look to the
fourth quarter of 2008 for ratification of the 802.3at specifications for Power
over Ethernet Plus, others in the group believe it is more realistic that the
standard will be finalized in the second quarter of 2009.
standard, like 802.3af, will include specifications for endspan as well as
midspan powering of Ethernet devices. With endspan technology, the power source
resides within the network switch, while deploying midspan technology means
adding a powering device into a structured cabling system. Powering devices may
be standalone, or the powering technology may be built into patch panels.
whose company makes midspan devices as well as the silicon for endspan devices,
emphasizes the utility and benefits of midspan over endspan, particularly when
it comes to PoEP.
sense to have midspans or powered patch panels powering the pre-standard
devices that are shipping now,” he says. “In general, midspan is a better
choice because it protects your investment and you don’t have to replace the
equipment every three years (the frequency with which many users replace their
network switches). Rather, you replace them when you need more power.”
PATRICK McLAUGHLIN is chief editor of Cabling Installation & Maintenance.
with full permission of Cabling Installation & Maintenance www.cablinginstall.com
Major Universities Graduating To 802.11n Before Standardization
institutions are rolling out the wireless technology well ahead of the
specifications’ planned finalization.
A good year
before the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE;
www.ieee.org) will have the I’s dotted and T’s crossed on its 802.11n set of
specifications for high-speed wireless local area networking (WLAN), manufacturers
of pre-standard 802.11n products are boasting about the deployment of their
wares. Several of these high-profile installations are taking place at
recently, Cisco Systems (www.cisco.com) announced that Duke University
(www.duke.edu) plans to deploy more than 2,500 Cisco access points in what a
company statement described as “the next phase of its mobility transformation,”
serving the university’s Durham, NC campus of approximately 45,000 students,
faculty, and staff.
on our campus is absolutely critical for our 24-by-7 population,” stated the
university’s chief information officer, Tracy Futhey. “Universities are an
ideal testing ground for new technologies, especially wireless uses and
devices, because students are spending their entire day on campus in a mobile
manner. They live, learn, work, and play on campus. At Duke, we really have the
opportunity to apply innovative wireless technology that can meet the demands
of a diverse, mobile user base and enrich their academic and social experience
as a result.
added, “We expect the campuswide 802.11n wireless network to increasingly be
the primary mode of connectivity for data access and mobility applications. The
value of a technology like 802.11n is about enabling new kinds of uses on our
campus, giving our students new opportunities, and enabling faculty to push the
limits and try things that were not possible before on previous wireless
Doubling data rates
reports that during real-world tests, the university experienced predictable,
reliable wireless coverage and consistent average data throughput of nearly 130
Mbits/sec with the vendor’s Aironet 1250 series access points. Other tests
showed existing 802.11g clients connected to the 802.11n-based access points
nearly doubled the data rates they achieved when connected to an older wireless
network, Cisco reported.
ambitious plans for its 802.11n network include expanded deployment of video
applications, with streaming audio, video, and high-definition television
transmitted over the WLAN. Additionally, course materials (including digital
recordings of classes) will be available on demand via the WLAN.
clearly ready for prime time,” says Ben Gibson, Cisco’s senior director of
mobility solutions, “and Cisco continues to deliver a reliable 802.11n solution
to meet mobility needs. Duke is one of the first organizations to realize the
benefits of a Cisco 802.11n wireless network and what it enables them to
do—transform how they learn, live, and play.”
points are not the only pre-standard technologies set for deployment within the
Duke wireless network. Powering those access points will be pre-standard IEEE
802.3at Power over Ethernet Plus technology built into Cisco switches.
announcement of the Duke installation may be the latest, but certainly is not
the only case of an institute of higher learning adopting pre-standard 802.11n
networking devices. Late last year, wireless technology provider Aruba Networks
(www.arubanetworks.com) announced that Carnegie Mellon University
(www.carnegiemellon.edu) is using its 802.11n devices within its academic
campus in Pittsburgh, PA. Approximately 10,000 students and 4,000 faculty and
staff members have access to Carnegie Mellon’s Wireless Andrew program, which
began as a research project in 1994 to support the university’s wireless
initiative, and was later expanded throughout academic and administrative
buildings and residence halls. Carnegie Mellon’s upgrade to 802.11n products
does not include residence halls initially.
At the time
of the announcement, Carnegie Mellon’s assistant director of network services
Dan McCarriar said, “We’re excited to once again be on the forefront of
wireless networking in our deployment of a campuswide wireless LAN based on the
emerging 802.11n standard. Our involvement in wireless networking since 1994
has given us a good appreciation of the challenges of wireless LAN deployment,
especially in the mix of modern and historical buildings we have throughout our
multi-acre campus. We also recognize what an indispensable tool the Wireless
Andrew network has become for students, faculty, and staff at Carnegie Mellon.
Not only do the products we deploy need to embrace leading-edge standards like
802.11n, they must also provide the best security, scalability, and reliability
in our industry.”
Weakness becomes strength
802.11n specification will raise the throughput of wireless LANs by a factor of
four or higher and guarantees at least 100 Mbits/sec of real data throughput,
with data rates reaching 600 Mbits/sec in some cases. IEEE 802.11n owes its
high-throughput performance to the latest wireless transmission
advancement—multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO). The 802.11n wireless
transmission technology is based on MIMO signaling, which turns the long-time
weakness of WLANs—multipath—into a strength.
is common indoors, where the wireless signal reflects from walls, floors,
ceilings, furniture, and people. Reflections add together in the air,
presenting a challenge to the receiver that has to separate the original
transmitted signal from the reflections. While today’s 802.11a/b/g radios
struggle to separate the signal from this muddle, 802.11n MIMO radios actually
take advantage of multipath to send multiple data streams via the available
view Wireless Andrew as a complementary network to our campus wired network,”
says Chuck Bartel, Carnegie Mellon’s director of network services. “But with
the speeds 802.11n will offer, we can start to consider Wireless Andrew 2.0 as
a replacement network for some of the applications now used on campus. The goal
of the Wireless Andrew 2.0 project will be to provide connectivity that will
rival the wired connections on campus today so that researchers and the rest of
the campus community can benefit from the latest technological advances in
Melkote, Aruba’s co-founder and head of products and partnerships, boldly
stated, “802.11n is the first wireless technology that can truly displace wired
networks, and its MIMO technology also improves the performance of legacy
802.11a/b/g clients while overcoming many installation issues. When coupled
with Aruba’s ultra-high-performance mobility controller and our
hardware-accelerated encryption and identity-based security, you have the
makings of a completely wireless network that offers better security, lower
installation and operating costs, and greater scalability than a wired
network.” Carnegie Mellon’s Wireless Andrew 2.0 project includes Aruba’s
mobility controllers as well as the company’s access points.
Industry reports compiled by chief editor
Patrick McLaughlin. Material provided by Fanny Mlinarsky, president and
principal consultant at octoScope (www.octoscope.com) was also used in this
with full permission of Cabling Installation & Maintenance www.cablinginstall.com
The e-Waste Mess
Anderberg, Publisher/Editor, Communications News
awhile. In 1970, there was the first regular environmental column in the state
of Georgia (probably in the South). In 1973, several years after the first
Earth Day, there was the first and only environmental column in New Hampshire
(probably in New England). There was the foray into helping protect the
nation’s air quality as one of the founders of the New Hampshire Clean Air
Alliance, after the enactment of the federal Clean Air Act. There was the
national recognition from the Atomic Industrial Forum for a series of articles
on nuclear power and the soon-to-be-operative Seabrook (N.H.) nuclear power
Those were heady
days for environmental journalism, a subject with plenty of controversy and
disagreement. The business community, in particular, railed against the
environmental movement, saying costs for basics like electricity would
skyrocket, that cleaning our rivers and air would be too costly and that the
effort lacked sufficient benefits. Of course, their dire predictions never came
true, and, in fact, whole new industries were born to address the nation’s
said, it’s been awhile since this writer took fingers to keyboard to rant about
the pollution of our environment. Career changes, mostly, meant scant
opportunity to cover the subject. Life changes meant scant time to indulge in
private-sector initiatives. Maybe it was the institutionalization of the
environmental movement that caused disinterest, or maybe it was burnout.
time to reinvigorate the environmental message, to use my stage as the editor
of an important technology trade magazine to address environmental issues, at
least as they relate to our audience and the vendors who sell products to IT
organizations worldwide. People, we do have a problem.
technology sector has become a huge contributor to environmental (and human
health) degradation in the United States and developing countries around the
world. According to National Geographic (NG) in an eye-opening article in its
January issue, 70 percent of computers and monitors and 80 percent of TVs end
up in landfills despite a growing number of state laws that prohibit the
dumping of e-waste, which may leak lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, beryllium
and other toxics into the ground.
just in U.S. landfills. Most of the high-tech garbage ends up overseas, where
it is sometimes repurposed but more often processed for precious metals and
recyclable materials. Those processes, often done with the most primitive
methods, are endangering human health and the environments in those countries.
and Asia, for example, computer wiring is burned to salvage the copper. Smoke
from those fires contains toxic dioxins and heavy metals. While a four-foot
square box of circuit boards could be worth $10,000 in recycled precious metals
(gold, silver, palladium), shipping e-waste abroad is still more profitable than
recycling. But recycling will be necessary as these overseas dumping grounds
dry up due to new laws and improved enforcement, and as landfill space
Environmental Agency estimates that 30 million to 40 million PCs will be ready
for end-of-life management per year over the next few years. It predicts that
25 million TVs will be taken out of service yearly, and that 98 million cell
phones were discarded in the United States in 2005. That same year, EPA says,
1.5 million to 1.9 million tons of computers, TVs, VCRs, monitors, cell phones
and other equipment was discarded.
the tip of this growing problem. According to the United Nations’ Environment
Programme, 50 million tons of electronic waste is discarded worldwide annually.
Less than 20 percent of that e-waste is channeled through recyclers, says NG,
as much of the waste is sent to developing countries, where environmental
enforcement usually is weak.
companies are starting to get onboard of what is euphemistically being called
the “green” movement. Much of that impetus, however, may be a result of the
European Union (EU) enacting strong pro-environmental laws.
The EU has already instituted measures, through its
RoHS directive, restricting the use of certain hazardous substances in
electrical and electronic equipment. This directive bans the placing on
the EU market of new electrical and electronic equipment containing more than
agreed levels of lead, cadmium, mercury and other toxic materials.
The EU also
forbids hazardous waste shipments to developing countries; requires
manufacturers to shoulder the burden of safe disposal; encourages green design
of electronics; and requires manufacturers to set up infrastructure to collect
e-waste and ensure responsible recycling.
result, most U.S. cabling manufacturers who also sell in the EU have altered
their manufacturing processes to comply with RoHS. If a U.S. company wants to
sell its products in the EU, these proposed regulations will require them to
document everything from the energy used in the mining of raw materials to the
recycling or disposal of their products.
just-completed readership study, we asked subscribers, “How important is it to
you that a vendor’s products be manufactured or developed with the environment
in mind?” Nine out of 10 respondents say it is at least somewhat important.
Seventy-one percent said they would be more likely to recommend or purchase an
enterprise network IT product from an environmentally friendly manufacturer or
manufacturers are taking notice, whether because of the EU strong-arming or
customer requests. HP is putting recycled plastic into its printer ink
cartridges and expects to use 10 million pounds of recycled plastic this year.
Intel plans to purchase more than 1.3 million kilowatt hours in wind, solar and
other types of green power, enough to power about 133,000 households. Dell,
Apple, Panasonic, Sun Microsystems, IBM, Xerox and Motorola all have launched
companies, however, are way behind the EU in terms of recycling of e-waste.
There are currently only four e-waste recycling plants in the United States,
capable of safely and cleanly separating the good from the bad in motherboards,
cell phones and the like. Europe has many more such facilities.
we’re just trimming around the edges,” says Sheila Davis, head of the Silicon
Valley Toxics Coalition. “Companies really need to look at their entire
with full permission of Communications News Magazine www.comnews.com
Ensure high-quality VoIP
by Stan Schreyer and Dale Tesch
One of the biggest challenges organizations face when
implementing voice-over-IP (VoIP) systems is matching the high quality of
service that employees are accustomed to from the traditional voice network.
VoIP is an application that does not tolerate any disruptions or delays. When
the application performs poorly, end-users experience crackling on the lines,
delays in hearing a caller’s voice and possibly dropped calls.
Two issues can cause VoIP to perform
poorly–latency and network congestion. Latency is the inherent delay for voice
traffic to travel long distances over the wide-area network (WAN). Network
congestion occurs when a high volume of network traffic competes for a fixed
amount of bandwidth. Network traffic spikes can wreak havoc with call quality
because less bandwidth is available for VoIP calls.
WAN optimization technology can
address both latency and network congestion. WAN optimization appliances can be
used to get a clear picture of how network bandwidth is being used and how the
network traffic patterns vary over time. The appliances can generate a variety
of graphs to show top applications and URLs being accessed by network users, as
well as top users of the network. Traffic spikes can be identified quickly
based on the time of day, day of the week or month.
After identifying the top
applications consuming bandwidth, the WAN optimization appliance can be used to
control network traffic, including VoIP. A portion of network bandwidth can be
reserved for VoIP calls. The appliance can also classify, compress and
accelerate other applications (e.g., HTTP, FTP, CIFS) to free additional
bandwidth for VoIP traffic.
Ideally, WAN optimization appliances
should be installed at each location where VoIP will be implemented. This
enables two-way prioritization of traffic between the data center and a branch
office or between two branch offices.
Some customers prefer to work with a
network integrator that specializes in WAN optimization. Network integrators
can install an evaluation appliance, provide immediate feedback on network
usage and recommend how much bandwidth to reserve for VoIP calls. They can also
set all network policies to classify, prioritize and accelerate non-VoIP
Whether keeping the work in-house or
using an integrator, look for a WAN optimization solution that is easy to
install and use.
Some WAN optimization appliances
come with a preconfigured default policy to begin optimizing and accelerating
traffic on the network immediately. The default policy helps network
administers bypass some preliminary configuration steps and can be modified to
suit the changing needs of the business over time.
This feature allows the appliance to
automatically discover other WAN optimization appliances in the network. This
feature is important for accelerating applications between corporate locations,
which helps free bandwidth for VoIP calls.
Peer-to-peer applications for
downloading of videos and audio files can consume large amounts of bandwidth,
negatively impacting VoIP call quality. Ideally, a WAN optimization solution
should have the ability to limit or block this type of recreational Internet
WAN optimization appliances do
require some level of ongoing maintenance. Ongoing monitoring of VoIP
performance is recommended. Monitoring the impact that adding more network
users, applications and traffic may have on VoIP call quality also is
Network policies can be fine-tuned
accordingly to ensure consistent high-quality VoIP calls. This may involve
reserving a larger percentage of bandwidth for VoIP, reprioritizing network
traffic or accelerating new applications WAN optimization technology plays a
key role in achieving high-quality calls. Optimization can also reduce overall
network operating costs and ensure proper prioritization of all network
traffic. Furthermore, optimization helps companies take a proactive stance on
capacity planning for VoIP systems and the underlying Internet communications
links that support it.
Schreyer is a vice president for Exinda Networks, Boston, and Dale Tesch is
director of sales for Invercence Corp., Portsmouth, N.H.
with full permission of Communications News Magazine www.comnews.com
Integrate Automation of Facilities
Consolidating the command and
control of disparate functions can simplify the experience of the operator.
buildings today contain a wide assortment of technology–from electronic
equipment for access control, video surveillance, fire and intrusion detection
to heating, cooling, energy management and lighting systems–all designed to
maintain and protect the physical structure and secure its occupants and
assets. Running and monitoring these systems is time consuming, costly and
poses a significant challenge for organizations, especially those with
buildings in various geographic locations.
the multiple screens and interfaces of these systems can also take its toll on
employees, resulting in slower response times during an incident. The reaction
time of a security officer or facilities employee can often be impeded by the
need to manually process information from these isolated systems.
result, building owners and facility and IT managers are investigating systems
that can monitor the health of an entire structure or campus environment, and
manufacturers are responding by producing tools to bring together these
multiple components onto a single platform. A building integration system that
encompasses an entire facility or multiple locations across diverse geographies
can streamline complicated processes and serve as a management dashboard for
to consolidate the command and control of these disparate functions into a
single platform with an integrated graphical user interface can simplify the
experience of the operator, speed reaction times and result in action plans
that are more appropriate and targeted to specific situations. A
well-thought-out action plan tells the operator what to do, how to do it and
delivers the details required to complete the response correctly, the first
integrated system, communication between the various functions becomes
automatic. For example, when the fire alarm is pulled on the sixth floor of a
12-story office building, emergency exits are instantly unlocked on all levels,
and the voice evacuation system delivers clear instructions, specific to each
floor or zone, on exiting the building. If the fire alarm system is alerted of
smoke, the air handling software immediately powers down fans to avoid spreading
it throughout the building.
Automated response steps
If an alarm
is raised in a specific area of a building, signifying a possible intruder, an
integrated system can automatically bring forth the predetermined action plan
for such events and zoom in on a graphical map of the affected area. The
graphical maps typically originate from the AutoCAD drawings used in the
building design and/or construction.
associated files, such as video or images of the area, or documents detailing
any hazardous chemicals stored onsite and how to handle them properly, can also
be brought to the operator’s attention. If the operator does not acknowledge
the alarm in a certain amount of time, the system can forward the message to
the next authorized responder. Once the incident has been handled, an event log
can be created that reports the actions the operator took while processing the
can also be achieved in non-emergency situations. On top of notifying proper
personnel whenever there is a system malfunction, environmental and lighting
controls, tied into the building’s access-control system, can link the use of
heating, cooling and lighting to occupancy of a particular room or zone,
instead of more traditional scheduled changes. This approach ties energy use to
need, such as turning on the lights and HVAC system when an employee enters a
certain area, instead of using regular schedules that may or may not reflect
the actual behavior of building occupants.
access control with video surveillance is another example of the power of
integrated systems. For instance, security directors can enhance their access
control for particularly sensitive areas of a facility by setting card readers
for video verification of the person requesting access. When a person presents
credentials to the reader, her recorded photo image is displayed on the
operator’s screen for comparison to the live image from nearby cameras. The
operator then unlocks the door after confirming the authenticity of the
security and life safety systems, IP technology delivers a common language,
where devices and systems can work together and allow for the integration of
other building control functions. Getting the most accurate, up-to-date
information from an integrated system, however, does not happen simply because
the pieces are networked. The technology that supports the standards necessary
for integration need to be ensured in order to achieve comprehensive building
management. With Web server applications and standards such as BACnet, LON and
OPC, many manufacturers have eliminated the technological roadblocks to achieve
communications between subsystems also helps ensure that exchanges between
hardware and software occur as quickly as possible. This is paramount in an
emergency when decisions are made based on snapshot assessments of the
transfer of application-related information between systems is accomplished
with a single underlying database, as maintaining one database is easier and
results in more accurate information. System communication should be automatic
and instantaneous. For example, updates to human resource information when
employees are hired or leave the company should, by design, also be made to the
access-control system. A delay of hours or even minutes could provide a
disgruntled employee the opportunity to damage company property.
review business needs first
look for alarms and alerts from all systems (e.g., access control, video
surveillance, fire alarms) allows for a more consistent response from facility
officers and reduces training time for operators.
because the capability is available does not mean full-scale integration is
appropriate for every enterprise. Each integration project should begin with a
thorough discussion of the organization’s business needs and goals.
important is to engage all stakeholders early in the planning, design and bid
stage of the project. If other groups within the organization, such as human
resources or legal personnel, are expected to review recorded video or be
involved in response and action plans, their input should be gathered during
the initial design stages.
communication and defining of requirements will help ensure a full
understanding of the ultimate goal of the system and the impact to the business
environment. In most cases, if all of these items are considered, a system can
be designed that can scale as the organization grows or as it seeks to expand
goals of the system are determined, and the search begins for manufacturers and
integrators, there are a number of factors that should be considered.
technology providers that have built simplicity into the installation process,
such as templates for predefined response action plans, easy configuration
menus and information import/export tools that use common file formats. The
system should also allow for manual triggering of an alarm in case the operator
is alerted of a possible dangerous situation.
and modular systems may be more appropriate if a phased approach is planned in
order to spread the costs and integration work over a period of time. Readily
available training and technical support, during an installation and after
completion, is also paramount for these types of complex systems.
and designed carefully, a building integration system that offers automation
through IP technology can achieve significant efficiencies in staffing
requirements and energy costs. While the acquisition cost for the equipment and
the labor rates for any involved integrators can range anywhere from the tens
of thousands to millions of dollars depending on the size and complexity of the
system, the resulting cost and productivity savings can more than pay for this
expense over time.
Heinen is product marketing manager, enterprise systems, Bosch Security
Systems, Fairport, N.Y.
with full permission of Communications News Magazine www.comnews.com
RoHS Compliance Forecast: More Substances Under Scrutiny
The honeymoon may be over this year, with stricter enforcement
expected—and even more equipment, retardants, and plasticizers coming on the
BY MATT VINCENT
In the two years
since the adoption of the European Union’s (EU) Reduction of Hazardous
Substances (RoHS) directive, the global manifestation of RoHS-like laws and
initiatives is inexorably on the rise. For 2008, industry experts see the
global RoHS outlook expanding most dramatically in Europe, while posting slow
but steady growth in China and Asia, and continuing to wink steadily on U.S.
horizons (mostly in California).
point, the endgame seems certain: The demands of the competitive marketplace,
coupled with concerns of sound business methodology, will serve to draw
manufacturers everywhere into the spotlight of RoHS compliance.
RoHS part deux
inception of RoHS as an addendum to the EU’s Waste Electrical and Electronic
Equipment (WEEE) legislation, the European Commission (EC) has led the way in
increasing the scope of the directive and associated mandates, and will
continue to do so this year.
got ‘RoHS 2, The Sequel’,” asserts Gary Nevison, director for legislation and
environmental affairs for electronic components distributor Newark
(www.newark.com), part of the global Premier Farnell Group. “It’s likely that,
in coming years, there’ll be more RoHS reviews than there were Rocky movies.”
The EC has
appointed Germany’s Oko Institute as RoHS technical consultants, tasked with
assessing a complete review of the scope of products to fall under EU RoHS,
along with types of restricted substances, and all of the directive’s current
29 exemption categories.
adds, “Just as businesses in America are probably starting to get used to the
idea of RoHS as it was, now it will change. Will it change dramatically? It’ll
definitely change—more products likely, more restricted substances likely, and
exemption under review. That’s pretty significant.”
product front, EU RoHS originally covered eight of the 10 WEEE categories of
product; omitted were medical equipment and monitoring and control equipment,
including test equipment. Nevison maintains that “what is likely to happen,
versus certain to happen, is that these products will now be included within
scope—but not right away, to give manufacturers the chance to make the
necessary design changes.”
this particular review are expected by June or July, with implementation expected
by about 2012.
areas” in the original legislation slated for clarification, and for which
Nevison says stand to expand the scope of products covered by RoHS, include
“fixed installation” systems, such as CCTVs, alarms, heaters, air conditioning;
“large scale stationary industrial tools” (i.e., permanently fixed production
line equipment); and “spare parts,” most likely to be defined as products used
for repairing other pieces of equipment, such as fuses.
restricted substances expected to come under review include flame retardants
and plasticizers (i.e., substances used to increase the flexibility and
pliability of plastic).
As for the
review of the 29 existing and seven newly proposed exemption categories,
Nevison says, “that’s just to ensure that there are no suitable, more
environmentally-friendly substances that can be used. And the onus is on
industry to demonstrate that any suggested alternatives are no better for the
environment or human health than what is currently specified. If an alternative
that’s more suitable is found, the exemption will be withdrawn.”
Nevison notes that “just about every single piece of equipment depends on at
least one exemption, based on the fact that most pieces of equipment have
passive components—connectors, capacitors, resistors, etc.—that rely on the
‘lead in glass’ exemption. It will be interesting to see if any of these
exemptions are withdrawn.”
Enforcement far Reaching
On the EU
RoHS enforcement front, Nevison opines that “most of the enforcement
authorities around Europe agreed there would be a ‘softly, softly’ approach
until around about this time (2008). I think most authorities said right from
the start, right from July 2006, that 18 months would be the honeymoon period,
and then enforcement would get stricter. Time will tell if it does. But
stricter enforcement, I think, can be expected this year.”
last October, the EC initiated legal proceedings against eight member states
that failed to adequately implement RoHS or WEEE into national law (the
deadline for transposition was August 2004). The commission charged that
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belgium, Denmark, Malta, Finland and Sweden had not
properly implemented or transposed the directives.
enacted in December 2006, the EU’s REACH [Registration, Evaluation and
Authorization of Chemicals] legislation has been widely coined as “the
nightmare after RoHS” and/or “RoHS on steroids.” REACH is comprised of 849
pages of legislation and an additional 2,000 pages of guidance notes. Part of
the legislation’s goal is to establish a comprehensive database of chemical
substances that are manufactured, placed on market, imported, or used in the
European community. Registration is required for manufacturers, producers, or
importers with a ton or more of specified chemical substances (testing
requirements increase with tonnage).
simple,” opines Nevison. “It was eight product categories [large household
appliances; small household appliances; IT and telecom equipment; consumer
equipment; lighting equipment; electrical and electronic equipment; toys;
automatic dispensers] and six substances [lead (PB), mercury, cadmium;
hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB), polybrominated diphenyl
ether (PBDE)], whereas REACH is chemicals pretty much wherever they’re used.”
continues, “I was here at the early days of RoHS when everybody was in denial.
It’s even harder to get the message across to businesses now on REACH, because
the view is, ‘Oh, that’s chemicals—it’s nothing to do with us.’ That’s not
true. So, getting the message across on REACH will be every bit as difficult,
if not more so, than RoHS.”
covered by REACH include adhesives, paints and lubricants, and products in
containers, such as printer cartridges or marker pens, where chemicals are
intentionally released. Further, by mid-2009, the European Chemicals Agency
expects to produce a list of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) requiring
authorization for use and placement on the market.
the real ‘nasties’,” adds Nevison. Substances covered include those that are
carcinogenic, mutagenic, bioaccumulative, or toxic for reproduction.
“Basically, if you want to sell any of these outside the EU, regardless of
weight, use would have to be authorized.”
continues, “Probably the most bizarre figure is that, of the 30,000 most
popular chemicals that are used, by volume, only 3% of them have been fully
tested. There’s no safety data on 21% of them and inadequate safety data on
65%. So, REACH is about having to register, and authorize, and provide the
necessary level of safety data on these chemicals.”
2007 saw the rollout of an extensive REACH fee structure that sent a wave of
“sticker shock” throughout the electronics manufacturing industry. The move
sparked concern within the electronics industry that REACH could result in
costly business disruption for companies that do not address this year’s
pre-registration deadlines (June through November), in addition to subsequent
timetables for authorization.
companies in the U.S. and China want to ship chemicals in, they’ll have to go
through a European representative and, depending on what the chemicals are,
will have to be registered and authorized,” states Nevison. “This is
particularly hard on the Chinese, because they’re shipping about 10 billion
dollars a year of chemicals into Europe. And it’s expected that with all the
registration and authorization they would have to do, their costs would go up
7%. So, the competitive edge that they’ve had in the past may be eroded
2007, the UK’s Chemical Business Association (CBA) issued a statement
complaining that the REACH fees proposed by the European Chemicals Agency were
“out of control” and “excessive in principle and practice.” The CBA contended
that the fees represent a leap of 200 to 500% over the fees originally proposed
by the EC, and have “reached a level where they are completely unacceptable and
would inflict significant damage to the competitiveness of the industry.” The
CBA also charged that multiple registrants for the same substance will “inflate
the Agency’s revenue to a level which is completely unjustified in relation to
the work it is actually required to do.”
sums, “The costs of having chemicals registered and authorized are absolutely
huge. Authorization of the use of a chemical can be as much as 50K euros each
time.” In fact, Nevison claims that the EC has suggested that 2% of all
chemicals used are expected to become obsolete, as manufacturers seek to avoid
the costs of putting them through the REACH process.
Slow progress elsewhere
the other side of the globe, China RoHS gained significant traction in 2007,
with the inception of the country’s ubitquitous “green arrow/orange circle”
labeling schemes and the issuance of its Electronic Information Product (EIP)
compliance list. This year, the Chinese standard is forecasted to make steady
progress, if somewhat slower than expected, with the release of a catalog of products
and product categories subject to restrictions of listed toxic and hazardous
substances and/or elements.
is sluggishly getting up to speed,” allows Nevison. “In March of last year came
the labeling stage, but stage two—which was the important part, where they’d
release this catalog of substance restrictions, with implementation dates,
exemptions, and products that would have to be tested within China and
certified before they could be sold—that’s not now expected until late 2008.”
for the delay?
explains, “Unlike RoHS in Europe—where it tends just to be one ministry, one
government department in each country that’s responsible—in China, there are
several ministries who all have their fingers in the pie, and there was some
debate as to which ministry would actually put the catalog together. There were
some meetings at the back end of last year that worked out the way forward. The
end result was that we won’t see any products at all until late 2008, and that
may only be a small sample. The full catalog could be delayed into 2009.”
in Asia, Nevison reports that RoHS movement in South Korea is now expected by
the middle of the year, as opposed to the beginning, with laws in Thailand and
Taiwan expected to be based mainly on EU RoHS standards. In Australia, Nevison
says that companies have taken a voluntary approach to RoHS compliance,
obviating a need for governmental legislation “because so much of their
equipment is already shipped into the EU.”
As for the
proposed version of RoHS in Norway—widely regarded as a kind of “super-RoHS”
for being much broader and more stringent than the EU directive—Nevison
reveals, “That’s been put on hold. They were looking at 18 substances in
consumer products [and] that’s been scaring everybody. But it’s now not likely
to happen. It’s been postponed [as of January 2008]. It was a slight
over-reaction, because only five of those substances are used in electrical and
the common theme running through all the various RoHS initiatives around the
world is maximum permitted levels of hazardous substances, Nevison concedes
that “no two are exactly the same; there’s no harmonized approach.”
refrain surrounding the topic of RoHS-type legislation within the U.S. is one
of, “So Far, It’s Being Handled On a State-by-State Basis.” In Washington, the
scenario can be described as vague, at best. “The last thing I heard was that
the EIA (www.eia.org) actually put forth to the Bush administration a platform
for a federal law very much like EU RoHS, but that’s the last I heard of it,”
offers Newark’s public relations/communication manager, Janice Fleisher.
known example of stateside RoHS legislation is in California. Attempts to expand
the state’s directive toward greater stringency died last October with Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s veto of Assembly Bill (AB 48), which would have greatly
expanded the scope of California RoHS to mirror the European RoHS directive.
governor cited three main objections to the California bill as written:
approach taken is largely unworkable and will result in unintended and
potentially more harmful consequences;
language for exempting spare parts and refurbished products deviates from the
EU directive and will make many electronic products prematurely obsolete,
forcing their retirement years earlier than necessary, and;
bill is too broad in scope and could prohibit the sale of “tens of thousands”
of electrical and electronic products for the state’s consumers and businesses.
paraphrase one of the governor’s more famous movie roles, Nevison’s view toward
California’s enhanced statute is: It will be back. “He was concerned about the
effects on spare parts, and the availability to repair and upgrade older
equipment, so he sent it back,” observes Nevison. “From Europe, we look across
the pond, and say, yeah, that will reappear—later this year, probably.”
Fleisher, “The reality is, we have a global economy, so it’s very hard to hide
your head in the sand unless you’re a very small player. You pretty much have
to comply with what’s out there if you want to compete in the world. That’s
pretty much what you have to do to really stay competitive.”
global marketing and business development director for restricted substances at
Intertek ETL Semko (www.intertek-etlsemko.com), echoes this notion. In a
presentation, “You Can Run But You Can’t Hide: RoHS is Just the Beginning,”
delivered in January at the telecommunications association BICSI’s Winter
Conference in Orlando, FL, Pekay urged manufacturers to promote their “green”
products, going so far as to suggest that “if you can be green, you will sell
possible risks to electronics manufacturers and distributors failing to grasp
initiative in steps toward approaching general RoHS compliance, Pekay cited
loss of sales, brand erosion, negative brand impact, negative publicity,
obsolete inventory, and product recalls. For these companies, Pekay went on to
assert that the big question is, “how do we comply with as many laws as
possible without bankrupting ourselves? How do we start? And the next question
is, where are your products sold or distributed?”
is for companies to manage risk systematically by educating and collecting
information at the level of the supply chain, requiring component companies to
verify and validate their products.
concludes, “The key is managing risks, deciding what level of compliance is
safest. I don’t think I’ve ever seen two businesses with the exact same
VINCENT is senior editor for Connector Specifier.
with permission of Connector Specifier - March, 2008 www.connectorspecifier.com
A ‘scary’ but not harsh directive
Energy-using Products (EuP) directive came into full effect in August 2007. The
law looks at broad categories of products such as washing machines,
dishwashers, HVAC systems, televisions, etc., where they’re sold in significant
number across Europe. Of the directive, Newark’s director for legislation and
environmental affairs, Gary Nevison, offers, “It really impacts the design
engineer, but it’s not as harsh, it’s not scary as what the likes of REACH is.”
directive looks at what can be done throughout the lifecycle of products to
reduce their overall energy consumption, for significant, positive environmental
impact. “That includes the mining of the metals right through to the recycling
of them,” says Nevison. “China will probably have some copycat-type
to Nevison, the European Commission (EC) is reviewing 14 broad categories of
product, and throughout 2008-2009 will issue what are known as implementing
measures, “which are mini-directives that will give recommendations on how
products should be re-designed—the impact on the design engineer when he’s
sitting down and thinking about how to design a product.”
continues, “And it could be, for example, to use LCDs instead of cathode ray
tubes because they’re less hungry for power, to design products with good
ventilation and low power dispersion so you don’t need to use thirsty fans, to
use more efficient power management type devices. All these things will have to
be looked at. And the design engineer will have to follow these implementing
measures over the next couple of years.”
article went to press, Nevison revealed that the EC has outlined a further 25
product categories to be reviewed over the next two to three years. “So, in
total you’ve probably got over 40 product categories—wide, broad-based product
categories—where reviews will be taking place as to how the energy consumption
can be improved.”—M.V.
with permission of Connector Specifier March, 2008 www.connectorspecifier.com
Author(s) : Matt Vincent
Electrical Contractor Magazine
Ladder Safety School
Protecting new workers from fall
On the morning of
Oct. 9, 1996, a 34-year-old male electrician apprentice was fatally
injured in a fall from an extension ladder. The California Fatality Assessment
and Control Evaluation (CA/FACE) was contacted to conduct an investigation. The
employer was an electrical contractor that had been in the business for six
years and employed 18 people. The apprentice had been with the company for
three years. The job supervisor had been acting as supervisor for only three
weeks and was unsure of his new safety responsibilities and how much time he
should devote to safety.
The contractor had written procedures
for the assigned task, and the victim had received training in the proper use
of a ladder. In addition, each morning, safety tailgate talks were given
reviewing the specific job hazards for the day.
The contractor was finishing
construction in the storeroom of a large commercial building that would soon
open as a retail store, and the victim was moving an exit sign that had
emergency lighting attached. The task at the time of the accident was to rewire
the sign, which included changing the existing conduit and then covering the
junction box. The junction box was attached to a ceiling truss, so the victim
was to use a 35-foot extension ladder. The top of the ladder rested on a 4-inch
automatic sprinkler feed pipe that ran perpendicular to the ceiling trusses,
and the ladder was stabilized against storage shelves. The victim had worked
off the same ladder at the same location the day before the accident. The
supervisor had checked with the apprentice at that time to be sure he was
comfortable working in this position. The apprentice stated he was and could
complete the job. The day of the incident, he climbed the ladder to begin work
on the junction box that was energized with 277 volts AC.
In order to reach the junction box, the
victim, while standing on the ladder, would have to reach back or turn around
on the ladder. The job supervisor and another electrician also were working in
the storeroom. When they heard a noise, they ran to the source and found the
victim had fallen off the ladder onto the concrete floor and was bleeding. The
supervisor used rags to try to stop the bleeding, while the electrician ran to
the nearest phone to call 911. Paramedics found the victim unconscious. He was
transported to the hospital where he was treated for severe head injuries. The
victim died five days later in the hospital.
During the investigation, the ladder
was found to be in good working order, and the position of the ladder was
stable. The fall may have been caused by the victim overreaching, which put him
off balance, his feet not fitting properly on the ladder rungs due to his body
position. He also could have been shocked by an energized circuit. The autopsy
didn’t show any burn marks. However, this is not unusual when electrical
contact is made with low-voltage circuits. The cause of death was
cranio-cerebral blunt force trauma.
at the following recommendations:
should use an aerial lifting device to access heights where workers are
required to use both hands, tools and to shift body position. The area where
the ladder was set up was cramped because of the installed shelving. The ladder
was extended with the top resting on a 4-inch automatic sprinkler feed pipe.
Since the conduit and junction box were located about 4 feet behind the pipe,
the victim would have needed to stand near the top of the ladder and work
directly over his head. Alternatively, he would have had to turn around, facing
away from the ladder to reach the junction box overhead. Either way, the
apprentice would have had nothing to hold onto or lean on if he were to lose
his balance. A safer option would be to reach the electrical conduit and
junction box with an aerial lift. The platform would have allowed much better
footing, and the guardrail most likely would prevent a fall. Had an aerial lift
been used, this incident may well have been avoided.
should perform an initial assessment of the job prior to beginning work to
determine the safest methods of performing required tasks. After the accident,
the ladder was found to be in good condition and stable; however, it may not
have been the best choice for the job. Had an assessment been done, it would
have shown that a ladder could not be placed so a worker could access the area
safely. As the ladder was placed, the junction box to be worked on would have
been located behind the angle of the ladder.
should ensure job supervisors are trained and aware of their safety
responsibilities and duties. The supervisor at the time of the incident thought
his safety responsibilities were safety meetings and paperwork and that the
employees were responsible to take care of themselves. Normal industry practice
is to designate job supervisors as the employees responsible for safety on the
job. An experienced employee is needed to perform safety duties, such as
audits, inspections, observations of work habits and discipline. Had an
experienced supervisor examined this job, he may have declined the use of a
ladder and used a safer method of accessing the electrical junction box.
This incident again illustrates the
importance of basic safety practices. Any new hire’s introduction to a
construction firm should include new employee safety training. By following
these simple recommendations, yet another fatality could have been avoided.
KELLY is a safety and health specialist
with Intec, a safety consulting, training and publishing firm that offers
on-site assistance and produces manuals, training videos and software for
contractors. She can be reached at 800.745.4818 or firstname.lastname@example.org. This article was edited by Joe
with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine www.ecmag.com
BIM: The Next ‘Next Big Thing’
“Just when CAD estimating and PR software finally sink into our brains, we
will have to start thinking seriously about and learning how to estimate with
Those words are from an article by Stan
Shook in the November 2007 issue of this magazine. It’s about keeping up with
estimating software and technology, but the intended audience is not limited to
the people we pay to do takeoffs. Electrical contractors and principals also
need to keep up with innovations, or they will be left in the dust by
competitors who do.
The acronyms in the opening sentence refer to computer-aided
design, plan recognition and building information modeling (BIM). The latter is
expected to become as prevalent in the construction industry as CAD, which, you
may recall, was “the next big thing” just a few years ago. Some industry
insiders think 2008 will mark the tipping point when BIM is embraced by a
critical mass of owners, designers and builders.
BIM refers to a methodology for
storing complete information about a building in a computer model rather than
relying on static, two-dimensional drawings to communicate design ideas and
guide construction. However, it’s much more than a 3D program producing planar
views of a facility. In fact, BIM actually deals with five dimensions; the
fourth is time (scheduling and construction sequencing), and the fifth concerns
costs and resources.
Applied to the life cycle of a
building project, BIM involves the entire project team. It requires interoperative
software, allowing for real-time feedback from team members when, for example,
a designer changes a lighting specification or a contractor identifies a new
supplier or increases manpower. It takes into account how a single change will
impact the work of all team members and the products and systems they install,
so potential clashes are detected before they become real problems.
BIM is catching on with such major clients as Disney, Intel
and even America’s largest construction buyer, the federal government’s General
Services Administration (www.gsa.gov/bim). It is being pushed by the Construction Users Roundtable (www.curt.org), which includes more than 50 of
the United States’ largest corporate clients—e.g., Citigroup, General Electric,
GlaxoSmithKline, IBM, Procter & Gamble, et al.
The Associated General Contractors, America’s largest
construction trade association, also promotes BIM; it has a new Web site
devoted to it (www.bimforum.org) and is working with owners, architects, engineers, insurers and more
than a score of contractor organizations to develop a BIM addendum for
construction contracts (www.consensusdocs.org). At the same time, the National Institute of Building
Sciences (www.nibs.org) is writing a standard on how to
format information, so all BIM users can work together effectively.
And, I’m proud to say, the National Electrical Contractors
Association (NECA) is right in the thick of all this activity. Our association
is actively researching the topic and sharing what we learn in these pages, at www.ECmag.com, www.electrictv.net and our various other Web sites;
through educational programs; and at upcoming events, such as NECA 2008 in
BIM already draws subcontractors into project collaboration
at an earlier stage than standard construction. Still, more electrical
contractors will become involved in BIM as its use spreads to smaller projects
and to the ongoing maintenance and operations of structures built through this
methodology. NECA wants you to be ready for it.
But don’t limit yourself to using only NECA resources. Also
explore on your own. There’s a reason this column contains more references to
Internet sites than usual. Those who learn all they can about BIM now can get
in on the ground floor and rise to the top before the window of opportunity
Milner Irvin, President, Neca
with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine www.ecmag.com
Green Building Puts Down Roots In U.S. Cities
It’s a trend that could leave small towns green
with envy. According to a new report from the American Institute of Architects (AIA),
programs designed to encourage more environmentally friendly building
construction have grown by a whopping 400 percent in U.S. cities since 2003.
The numbers are relative. The report, titled “Local Leaders
in Sustainability,” examines the growth and effectiveness of so-called green
building policies in 661 cities with populations greater than 50,000. Only 92
of the cities examined—14 percent—were found to have some sort of green
building program in place. The AIA expects that figure to rise to 20 percent
next year. It also asserts that the total number of cities with green building
programs is greater because many smaller communities with programs were not
represented in the study.
Highlighted programs include such features as “green
grants,” which permit streamlining for buildings with LEED certification and
green design assistance. The study finds that the western region of the United
States has the most cities with green programs. Forty-two cities in six
states—46 percent of the cities in the report—have green building programs.
The movement toward more green building
has gained momentum as politicians, city officials, architects and builders
focus on the degree to which buildings and their construction contribute to
greenhouse gases. According to the report, buildings currently account for
nearly 50 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, and the design and
construction of green buildings will have a significant impact on the effort to
reduce these emissions.
with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine www.ecmag.com
Be a Designer
Network design for fiber optics
Many columns have
focused on components and installation issues specific to fiber
optics. Component selection and installation all must be preceded by the design
process, where the overall network is configured. As a result, it seemed
appropriate to devote a few columns to the topic, which will run over the next
Fiber optic network design refers to
the specialized processes leading to a successful installation and operation of
a fiber optic network. It includes determining the type of communication
system(s) that will be carried over the network, the geographic
layout—premises, campus, outside plant (OSP), etc.—the transmission equipment
required and the fiber network over which it will operate. Next to be
considered are requirements for permits, easements, permissions and
inspections. At that stage, the designers consider actual component selection,
placement, installation practices, testing, troubleshooting, and network
equipment installation and startup. Finally documentation, maintenance and
planning for restoration in the event of an outage comes into play.
Design requires working with
higher-level network engineers, usually from information technology (IT)
departments, and cable plant designers, such as the architects and engineers
overseeing a major project. In addition, contractors involved with building the
projects should have input. Other groups also may be overseeing various parts
of the project that involve the design and installation of fiber optic cable
plants and systems. These groups include engineers or designers involved in aspects
of project design, such as security or CATV, industrial system designers or
specialized designers, such as a BICSI registered communications distribution
designer (RCDD) for premises cabling.
Designers should have an in-depth
knowledge of fiber optic components and systems, installation processes, and
all applicable standards, codes and any other local regulations. They also must
be familiar with most telecom technology (cabled or wireless), site surveys,
local politics and where to find experts in those fields when help is needed.
Obviously, the fiber optic network designer must be familiar with electrical
power systems, since the electronic hardware must be provided with
high-quality, uninterruptible power at every location. And if they work for a
contractor, estimating will be a very important issue, as that is where a
profit or loss can be determined.
Those involved in fiber optic project design should have
some background in fiber optics, such as having completed a Fiber Optic
Association (FOA) certified technician course. Also, they may have other
training in the specialties of cable plant design, such as electrical
construction apprenticeship, RCDD, SCTE or ISA training. It also is very
important to know how to find in-depth information, mostly on the Web, about
products, standards, codes and, for the OSP networks, how to use online mapping
services, such as Google Maps. Experience with CAD systems is a definite plus.
References for the fiber optic designer’s bookshelf include
the FOA text, the Fiber Optic Technicians Manual and the NECA/FOA-301
installation standard. When it comes to the National Electrical Code,
there is Limited Energy Systems published by the NFPA. There also are dozens of
books on communications system design, but unfortunately, the fast pace of
development in communications technologies means many textbooks are hopelessly
out of date unless they are updated frequently. Better to rely on the Web,
especially the Web sites of well-established manufacturers, if you ignore the
obvious hype in most white papers.
Getting trained specifically in fiber
optic network design currently is difficult. The material is covered in part in
some advanced fiber optic courses offered by the FOA-approved schools and by
large manufacturers that help you understand how to build networks using their
products. The FOA is developing a curriculum to allow more of its schools to
offer a design specialty course and the new FOA design certification, which is
expected to be available shortly. As with any new program, some bugs will be
worked out in the beginning, but the bulk of the required material has been
agreed on by a committee of experienced fiber installers and trainers working
with the FOA.
read the columns over the next few months, as they will cover fiber optic
network design from beginning (communications systems and their fiber optic
needs) to end (restoration and maintenance), with a few detours along the way.
When finished, you should have a good overall knowledge of the subject. You
might even want to clip these pages and save them, and remember, they will be
available on www.ecmag.com
HAYES is a VDV writer and trainer and the
president of The Fiber Optic Association. Find him at www.JimHayes.com.
with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine www.ecmag.com
Master of the ‘Smart House’ Business
called a “smart house,” integrated homes are a world of bundled wiring, central
processors, buses, touchpads and touchscreens. It’s a burgeoning market, as
technically savvy homeowners look for contractors who can provide one-stop
shopping and service. With a little education, some partnering with other
service providers and the will to manage projects, electrical contractors (ECs)
can lead while significantly improving their margins through smart home
lead, and earn more when automating a home In its “Fifth Annual State of the
Builder Study” issued in January 2007, the Consumer Electronics Association’s
(CEA) director of research Joe Bates said, “Home technologies are, without a
doubt, helping to counteract the slumping housing market. Consumers are increasingly
asking for installed technologies, whether it’s for a home theater room or an
intricate home network complete with servers and structured wiring. Clearly,
builders, contractors and consumers believe that these offerings are no longer
just ‘the wave of the future,’ but a reality from which builders and
contractors are reaping the benefits.”
Home automation represents 10 percent of Wilcox Electric and
Service Inc.’s business. Based in Normal, Ill., Dan Wilcox, owner and
president, expects that business to grow.
that as customers get more familiar with smart homes, the more they want them.
Our future in smart homes is unlimited,” Wilcox said. But Wilcox also is
electrical contractors don’t act on this interest now, we’ll lose the business
to other installers, such as audiovisual techs,” he said. “Home automation
offers us the rare chance to take a project leadership role. Increasingly,
builders and homeowners want it simple. They want one guy to get it all done.”
first received national exposure in 1985 through the National Association of
Homebuilders. Today, controlling lighting, HVAC and security has never been
easier. Home-control manufacturers have advanced and simplified their
technology for installers and consumers alike. The ability to operate one’s
home through a personal computer or cell phone is making the capabilities and
pitch for smart home technology very attractive in the luxury home market and
Leaving money on the table
Pickral Jr. is the manager of business development for Home Automation Inc.
(HAI), a manufacturer of home-control products based in Metairie, La. He said ECs are leaving money on the table
when they simply prewire and trim a smart home.
contractor that takes the lead is the one who will make more money,” Pickral
said. “The margins are so much better, averaging 30 percent when installing
home-automation technology. Our experience is most lighting control systems are
being offered through low-voltage installers who are not really qualified.
Audiovisual and systems-integration people recognize the value in being a
one-stop provider. They also view the EC as a secondary person, someone they
can bring into a project. That’s backwards. The truth is nothing can happen
without the EC. If the EC takes the lead, they’ll be the one to land such work,
hands down, every time. But electrical contractors need to be prepared.”
Electric, Palatine, Ill. also manufactures home-control products. Dan Loncar,
western sales manager for its Square D installation systems and controls, said,
“By default, electrical contractors are already in [home automation]; you need
an EC to wire a system.”
intimidated,” Loncar said. “Start small with what you know. Begin with a
package that controls some lights for the homeowner, and then add more control
down the line, such as security. You build a home-automation package. Word of
mouth is really strong in this sort of
work, too. The customer shows it off. Interest builds with each successful
Training and partnering
fear or lack of interest holds back many ECs from even considering
home-integration technology. All three men stress the world of smart homes
isn’t as difficult or as complicated as one might think.
“Home automation has gotten easier as manufacturers are
consolidating their products into a single platform,” Loncar said.
“Communication between components is much better. A lot of manufacturers have
training programs covering everything from the topology of integrated wiring,
to system programming and handling add-ons that might include HVAC, security or
Wilcox found it difficult to get technicians willing to
learn high-tech installations.
“I don’t feel dealing with controls should be so foreign to
an EC,” Wilcox said. “In fact, having an electrical background helped me better
understand controls. It’s rewarding how you can add components to make
everything work. It’s exciting.”
HAI’s Pickral also urges ECs not to walk away from what may
be viewed as a computer-based endeavor.
“The EC doesn’t need to be the programming expert,” Pickral
said. “In fact, you can offer full service without being a specialist in all
smart house services. There are plenty of people to partner up with to bring
the expertise. For instance, collaborate with someone who is more
computer-centric who can do the programming. Just remember, you are the lead.”
Pickral said that while he sees some ECs come through his
company’s training classes, more still need them.
“Classes are an excellent opportunity
to network,” Pickral said. “Learn from others. Find potential partners. A
manufacturer’s training class is the best way to find these people. In our
training, we wish we saw more ECs because CATV and other low-voltage
contractors, notably in AV and IT trades, are looking for them. At the very
least, you can refer business back and forth.”
Technology makes it easier
Advancements in residential lighting control may help
ECs confidently take a lead role in home-automation work. Companies such as
Schneider Electric’s Square D and Colorado vNet in Loveland, Colo., offer
distributed wiring architectures. This alternative approach forgoes a central
processor linking each smart house application directly through a single
“With a distributed system, the control wiring for dimmers,
relays and switches can be simply linked from unit to unit rather than back to
one central controller giving shorter runs and lowering the wiring system
cost,” said Gregory Voss Jr. of Bader Rutter & Associates, a public
relations firm representing Schneider Electric. “With a centralized system, if
the central controller fails, the entire system goes down. In a distributed
system, each device works independently of the others, providing a more
reliable, robust lighting control network throughout the home or office.”
“A homeowner may ask an electrical contractor for something
out of the normal realm, such as tying in controls of an HVAC system or
multiroom audio,” Loncar said. “A distributed system can make it easier for the
EC to handle such requests and become that one-stop contractor.”
HAI also works to tie in all possible
smart house applications into one system. “Our big push is simplification of
the setting and programming of our systems for installers and the end-user,”
Pickral said. “Programming lighting without a laptop is one advance. Wireless
systems are entering the market, too. Such progress is making it easier to
retrofit home automation.”
The incremental sell
houses are a relationship business. Customers like to live with one add-on for
a while and then recognize potential growth. Sharing the latest and greatest in
home automation is a one-step-at-a-time process.
For Wilcox Electric, its home-automation business started
with a power line carrier control system for a customer’s holiday lights. Along
the way, Wilcox’s automation work and project sophistication grew.
“We’ve been doing different things in home automation one
piece at a time,” Wilcox said. “A lot of our work is lighting control. Hit the
garage door opener, and several lights in the house come on. With security, I
can give you a button at your bedside to activate the outside lights. We also
do whole-house audio.”
One product Wilcox uses is Lutron Electronics’ wireless
RadioRA, a simple starter pack or mini lighting control package intended to
help people get comfortable with the idea of home automation. RadioRA provides
one-touch wireless control of all home lighting, by using master lighting
controls to manage interior lights, exterior lights and Lutron’s Sivoia QED
controllable window treatments. RadioRa’s scalability can control up to 64
“Most customers don’t go full blast at first,” Wilcox said.
Wilcox mentioned that dialers also are an easy and simple
introduction to home automation. His United Security Products (USP) dialers are
sensors that can be installed to alert customers through their cell phone of
pending crises, such as an over-taxed sump pump, a loved one’s health emergency
or home intrusion.
Learn by doing
Wilcox’s confidence in smart house technology grows along
with his familiarity with it. He now goes after business with builder and
commercial customers. He’s installing a Square D Clipsal C-Bus network system
in a school auditorium. His biggest venture, however, will be a marketing one
as he uses the same product to transform his own home into a smart house model.
“With this project, I’m learning how to install this network
system, as are four of my technicians,” Wilcox said.
Wilcox hopes to be done in May 2008. His project also will
serve as an example of how home automation can be retrofitted into existing
houses. The house will feature controlled lighting; security cameras and
closed-circuit television; controls to set or run paddle fans, drapes and light
a fireplace; and the ability to turn on and off power outlets in the kitchen
and other vulnerable areas remotely.
“Right now we don’t advertise home-automation capabilities,”
Wilcox said. “My house will be the advertisement. It will sell our message that
home automation is here, and we have the latest and greatest stuff to sell.”
GAVIN is the owner of Gavo
Communications, a marketing services firm serving the construction and the
landscaping industries. He writes trend, design and other business articles.
with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine www.ecmag.com
Smart House Wiring Primer
motivation for the smart house idea was the creation of a unified wiring bundle
that would substitute for a home’s diverse collection of wires. In effect, an
EC then could handle all the wiring, since it would bundle electrical,
telephone, security, cable television and computer home networking, saving
money and time.
wiring traditionally consists of three cable groups:
cabling—power and digital data (includes a conventional power cable and a
digital data cable)
Applications cable—digital data and DC -voltage for sensors
Communications cable—video coax and -telephone wires
For a good
overview and specifics regarding home automation and structured wiring, visit www.broadbandutopia.com. If you are
comfortable with smart home wiring but weak on programming, there is a
certification program offered through the Computer Technology Industry
Association at www.comptia.org.
Investigate its DHTI+ certification for home technology professionals.
schools also may have excellent curricula to help you train for the world of
smart homes. Wiring, lighting and home-automation manufacturers also offer
their own training.
organization has formed called the Home Lighting Control Alliance. This
consortium of lighting control manufacturers, systems integrators and support
organizations states its purpose as being “to promote the awareness, value and
benefits of lighting control products for residential applications.”
Visit www.homelighting-control.org to
learn more about this market.
with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine www.ecmag.com
Cabling At Home
residential cabling systems
think designing large commerical cabling systems would be more difficult than residential,
but that does not seem to be the case. Commercial systems today have a big advantage
over residential, as a limited number of standards cover almost every
application. In any given office, one needs to worry only about installing
telephones, computers and perhaps a few security devices. Traditional
telephones use twisted-pair wire with analog plain old telephone service (POTS)
or proprietary digital systems at relatively low speeds. Voice over Internet
protocol (VoIP) phones share the computer network cabling. Computers use
Ethernet for cabled connections over copper to the desktop and fiber backbones
or wireless connections. Commercial security and building management systems
are migrating to using the same structured cabling as computers and phones.
Thus, the choices are relatively easy to make.
Residences, however, have many more
options. Phones, computers and some security systems can be connected just like
a small office, but home automation and entertainment options are many and
varied. Most have their own standards you must track down and try to
understand. At a recent trade show, I counted seven different cabling types
touted as “standards” in one vendor’s booth. Granted, many entertainment
standards are designed around simply connecting clusters of devices, such as
stereo systems, TVs with cable or satellite boxes, or home theater, not
building permanent in-wall cabling connections. But standards that aim at
permanent applications need to be understood in order to properly design home
Another, and perhaps the most important, difference between
residential and commercial installations is the cabling’s physical location.
Offices are designed for easy cabling installation and moves, adds and changes
(MACs). From initial design, commercial buildings include areas set aside for
equipment (telecom rooms) and cabling (pathways and spaces), generally designed
around hardware meeting industry standards such as TIA 569. Cables run through
open spaces, usually terminating at drops to modular furniture, making MACs and
upgrades reasonably easy. Homes, however, usually put cables inside permanent
walls and generally do not have areas set aside for placing and powering
This is a very important issue in residential cabling, both
for single-family residences and multidwelling units (MDUs), which include
apartments or condominiums. With so many different interconnection standards
among entertainment devices and the rapid development of new technologies, such
as TV over the Internet (IPTV), along with the obvious fact that people
occupying the residence grow up and/or change often, this becomes a major
challenge for the cabling contractor.
Finally, in commercial installations, the contractor,
end-user and, perhaps, the architects or communications systems providers
generally have the opportunity to discuss the cabling system before it is
installed. Discussions include the overall goals of the design; types of
communications systems to be accommodated; provisions for power, grounds and
AC; documentation requirements; and even the provisions for MACs.
Unless you are dealing with a large developer, MDU or
custom-designed home, this is less likely in residential work. While cabling
contractors can bring lots of knowledge and experience to the project, they
generally are not involved until it is too late to affect the design. Since the
quality of the installation and the likelihood of providing better satisfaction
to the residents depend heavily on the design, convincing developers or
builders to have you involved as early in the process as possible is highly
The first consideration involves determining how to
connect the residence to the incoming services or, more generally, any services
that may be available to the residence. For single-family homes, that means
providing conduits to the street for services, including electrical, telecom,
CATV and an option for other communications services provided by the city or
The conduits need to terminate at a
convenient place at the residence, called a “distribution center” in TIA-570.
Some building codes now are specifying an internal area for the communications
connections, because many, such as fiber to the home (FTTH), have electronics
that prefer more temperate indoor conditions rather than exposure to the
elements. Wherever the termination occurs, provisions for installing equipment
must be made, as many connections require more than passive cable connections today.
FTTH requires an optical network interface (ONI). CATV will require a cable
modem for the Internet connection and perhaps an amplifier if the home has many
TV outlets. Municipal or independent networks also will require their interface
boxes. Satellite TV, if used, also will connect to this location, usually
through the attic from a roof-mounted antenna.
At this location, modular connections
must be provided for all services to allow changes and troubleshooting. You
also need to provide space for support equipment, such as routers and hubs to
allow connecting multiple computers to the Internet or media center equipment
that controls entertainment storage, selection and play. With more electronics
involved, power becomes important, and astute users include uninterruptible
power supplies (UPS) to ensure availability of services or at least controlled
power shut-off in case of power failure or brownouts.
Having remodeled several houses of my
own, I don’t believe that an in-wall box can possible provide adequate space.
My current residence has two large ones; however, most of the equipment sits on
a wire-rack shelf in a small closet we built just for the equipment we needed
to support our home office and multiple room connections. A better solution
would be in-wall termination
boxes for all the cabling with outlets that stick through the covers for
connection to electronic hardware on a shelf or rack.
What do you do in an MDU? There are two approaches. The
traditional approach has one entry facility for all units with telephone and
video cables to each unit. That’s OK for cable modems or DSL, but what about
FTTH? One can locate the ONI in the entry facility and use video or data cables
(Category 5e/6) to the unit, or one can provide space to bring fiber directly
to the unit, the preferred method in the Far East where FTTH is much more
widely used than in the United States.
Distributing through the home
distribution center, cables are connected to outlets in a star wiring
architecture just like commercial cabling. TIA 570 offers two options for
voice, data and video cabling inside the home. Grade 1 includes one Cat 5e
cable for voice and/or data and one 75-ohm coax cable (RG-6) for video to each
outlet. I highly advise against this option, as the new resident will be
calling someone to angrily demand to know how they connect both a computer and
phone at this location with only one cable. You can use a splitter, but finding
one is not easy. You cannot get them at Radio Shack.
Grade 2 is the better way, with two Cat 5e (or, even better,
Cat 6) and two coax cables per outlet. That means each outlet supports a
computer, a phone and TV from CATV or satellite without modification. Grade 2
also allows for two optical fibers, but although I highly promote fiber, I cannot
tell you today whether the fiber should be multimode, single-mode or plastic. Installing
one is an iffy proposition.
One could use telephone wire and coax, I suppose. The FCC
requires telephones use at least a Cat 3 four-pair cable, which is inadequate
for computer use, but Cat 5e is about the same cost. One could use coax for
networking, using the Multimedia Over Coax Alliance (MOCA) standard, which is
being used in older residences by Verizon for its FTTH connections, but it is
not widely available to the average consumer.
Stick to Grade 2 cabling, and use a bundled cable. Bundled
cables have two Cat 5e/6 cables and two coax cables and install like one cable,
reducing labor costs for pulling cable.
TIA 570’s outlet recommendations include one in the kitchen,
one in a family room, one in a den or study and one per bedroom. Everyone who
has children knows that one outlet in each bedroom is mandatory to maintain
peace. But one needs to be in every room, and two are preferred for family
rooms or dens, especially when considering the number of people working from
home these days. At least one outlet should be placed outdoors, and one also
should appear in the garage, especially if it also is a workshop.
Realize that you don’t necessarily have to use these just
for computer hookups or TV. Having that outlet allows placing security cameras
around the house, too. In fact, one can use power over Ethernet (PoE) from the
distribution center to power surveillance cameras at any Cat 5e/6 outlet.
I have not mentioned wireless yet, but it’s part of the
plan, just not as the primary connection. Laptops now are more popular than
desktops, and mobility is a big selling point. Having a residential cabling
system as described allows adding access points (wireless routers) anywhere in
the house, providing the desired mobility, especially outdoors for those who
like to work on the patio. Just don’t plan on using them as primary
connections, especially when Internet protocol TV becomes more widely used, as
the bandwidth requirements of streaming IPTV will overwhelm wireless networks,
especially in a home where two, three or more viewers may be watching different
programming at any one time.
Some residential systems are strictly
custom and must be considered individually with the owner. Home entertainment,
home theater and audio throughout the house usually requires custom design and
some specialized cabling, such as speaker wires. Home automation is likewise
custom, depending on the systems in the house and the degree of automation.
Security systems (surveillance, intrusion and fire alarm) also require their
own cabling and probably will be covered under building codes. Having a
distribution center in the home where these systems may be sited adds
convenience, especially since most security systems require a phone or Internet
Pathways for residential cabling are the biggest problem.
Sure, you can install the communications cabling just like electrical cable,
sealed in the walls, as has been done with telephone cables for the last
century. But with residential electronics changing all the time, it is folly to
assume the cabling you install today will support all future applications.
Ideally, one would install conduit to each outlet or baseboard pathways, so the
cabling could be updated easily. This certainly is worth discussing with the
developer and architect, as savvy homebuyers will understand the importance of
providing for updates and, at least according to some builders I have discussed
this with, are willing to pay extra for it.
HAYES is a VDV writer and trainer and the
president of The Fiber Optic Association. Find him at www.JimHayes.com.
with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine www.ecmag.com
Shades of Green
comes to those who branch out
If you’ve been
reading Tom Glavinich’s
Integrated Building Systems columns, you probably picked up a running theme. He
introduced it in his January 2007 column:
“Concern over the environment and global warming grows, and
the public becomes increasingly aware that residential and commercial buildings
use a large portion of the U.S. energy supply and produce an equally large
amount of greenhouse gases. Therefore, the drive to make buildings more energy
efficient and environmentally neutral will increase.”
This concern is inspiring the development of new
applications for technology that could slow down the growth of electrical
energy consumption. A lot of that technology will mean increasing business for
the electrical contractor (EC) that is willing to branch out beyond its
Electrical work falls into four general
areas: power, control, information processing and communication. Developments
in all of these areas can contribute to the goal of making buildings more
energy efficient and environmentally neutral. As an example, power can be generated
and distributed in new ways. Instead of completely relying on energy generated
at a central plant and then transmitted over power lines to feed a large area,
power can be generated at a building or neighborhood level.
A few advantages come to mind. Energy
losses due to power traveling over long transmission lines can be reduced.
Local generation can come from a variety of sources, designed for what is most
practical in a given area. For example, photovoltaics could be most effective
in sunny areas. There also are fuel cells, which can be installed anywhere and
are efficient and nonpolluting.
The significance for the electrical
contractor is that there is much electrical work involved in this:
• Power: Local power
sources must be coordinated with utility power. Energy requirements may vary
over the course of a day, presenting the local source with peaks and valleys in
load requirements. During a peak, the facility being served may receive power
from the utility. During a valley, the local power source may have a surplus,
which it can feed back onto the power grid—a process called net metering. This
involves complex power wiring, including the installation of an automatic
transfer switch (ATS) designed so if there is any disturbance to the utility
during the transition between sources, the alternate source and the load will
be either nonexistent or at least kept to a minimum.
• Control: The unusual power wiring for this
arrangement type is just one part of the picture. It is necessary to have a
control system that senses the amount of energy being drawn and decides whether
there needs to be a switchover. This might incorporate a programmable logic
controller (PLC) or a computer-based system with specialized software. The
control system must be integrated with the automatic switch by any one of a
variety of methods. How to interconnect the sensing and control circuits with
the power switch leads the designer to consider a range of choices. For
example, this can be viewed as an isolated system, independent of other systems
in the facility. It then might be feasible to hard wire each system component,
although even within the confines of an isolated system, the designer might
choose a standard serial bus, such as RS-232 or Modbus, in order to reduce the
quantity of wires that need to be run. However, it might be a good idea to
coordinate this system with the other building systems as part of a building
management system (BMS) or when implementing a green building system. That would impact the interconnection
decision. Modbus or Ethernet or another control platform, for example, can be
used to integrate and control most building systems, and the power source is
the most basic of those systems.
• Information processing: The control system depends on the
accumulation and analysis of data, such as instantaneous load requirements,
condition of the local and utility power sources, level and stability of
voltage and frequency, and anticipated requirements based on history, time and
day of the week. A central computer, either on its own or with operator
intervention, decides to override the preprogrammed transfer of power or to
adjust building systems, such as HVAC and lighting, to optimize the balance
between local and utility power.
• Communication: A critical
system, such as the transition between local and grid-supplied power, requires
good, real-time information. As the systems in a building become more complex,
it becomes more important to constantly monitor the systems and to alert the
staff of any problems. Building managers should always be aware of the status
of their electrical power feed. This information also must be sent to the
utility, so it can have a clear picture of conditions on the power grid.
In addition, Internet protocol (IP), which is being used in
more applications, is a means of integrating control, data processing and
communication and should be considered for new installations.
This is just one example of how the movement toward
conserving energy will offer many challenges and opportunities to the
electrical contracting community.
Finally, I want to thank Doug Sandberg
of ASCO Services Inc., Florham Park, N.J., for a very helpful discussion of
automatic transfer switch applications.
BROWN is an electrical
engineer, technical writer and editor. He serves as managing editor for Security + Life Safety Systems
magazine. For many years, he designed high-power electronics systems for
industry, research laboratories and government. Reach him at email@example.com.
with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine www.ecmag.com
How 170 Schools Stay Connected
“The data center has hundreds of servers connected to
Cisco switches via Ethernet,” explains Rob Carlisi, a systems engineer who
works for the Orange County (Fla.) Public School district.
“That means there are a lot of cable
connections. Keeping those connections
organized plays a key role in
our operations efficiency.”
Orange County’s more than 170
schools educate 177,000+ students in grades K-12. Each school has file and
print servers, but the district’s IT heart, in downtown Orlando, is the
Educational Leadership Center (ELC).
Here, the Information,
Communications and Technology Services department, in which Carlisi works,
keeps things humming. The ability to properly identify cable connections is
critical—especially during troubleshooting.
identifying the connection, fixing any problem, and getting the system up and
running are key to
keeping any downtime to a minimum. How
does one go about doing this?
PLANS A&B FAIL
ICTS staff began with a handheld
electronic label printer. But heat in the data center (which is fairly typical)
took care of that plan. “I’d label 30 or 40 cables one day, and the next day
the labels would be peeling off!” Carlisi recalls.
Plan B: “I began to go back and wrap
each label with Scotch tape,” he says. “Not only did they look messy, but it
wasn’t an efficient use of my time.”
Was there a better way? Searching
for an answer, Carlisi contacted Rexel, which had supplied the ELC with many of
its telecom solutions.
back was an immediate recommendation for industrial label printers, manufactured by RHINO.
PLAN C WORKS!
Unlike office label printers (Plan
A), the RHINO printers are designed specifically for industrial and commercial
use. They feature a myriad of functions for labeling networks.
Carlisi checked out the printers
online (www.dymo.com) and, following a recommendation from Rexel, accepted a
visit from a RHINO executive. The demonstration sold Orange County—but the
performance has exceeded expectations.
to the old labels, they are like night and day. I haven’t had one RHINO label that ever peeled, even a little,” Carlisi
What’s more, when the school
system’s future fiber optics connections dictate a different approach, the
RHINO3000 printer will be used to create flag labels—ideal for the thin
diameter of fiber strands.
“We are constantly installing new
servers in the data center, and we will continue to keep them labeled with
RHINO,” Carlisi says. “RHINO printers have saved us countless amounts of time
in doing our job. They have easily paid for themselves.
who uses them here loves them.”
[story submitted by
Dymo to Power Outlet]
Reprinted with permission of Rexel,
publisher of Power Outlet magazine. www.rexelusa.com/Poweroutlet.aspx
The Burning Question
In the first of a two-part article,
our datacom expert tackles the difference between various cable materials—and
their fire ratings. Haven’t yet tuned into this controversy? Here’s your chance
to catch up.
By D.A. “Bo” Conrad, RCDD
There is developing controversy
surrounding the optimal fire-safety solution in plenum-rated environments.
Should one pull unprotected plenum-rated cables vs. cables with lower fire
ratings inside conduit? Each side offers numerous studies and tests that will,
in time, directly affect the wire and cable, chemical and steel conduit
industries— as well as industry standards and, subsequently, local fire codes.
How do you balance safety and
electrical performance? Contractors have a variety of testing options to
measure the transmission properties of the cable; Level IIe, III, and IV
testers for compliance testing Category 5e, 6, and 6A respectively.
However, there are no field testers
available for measuring fumes and toxic gases.
This is left to the manufacturers,
who seek compliance through approved testing laboratories.
Table One provides fi re-ratings for
low-voltage communication cables from the National Electrical Code (the NEC is
authored by the National Fire and Protection Association NFPA-70) and the
Canadian Electrical Code (CEC). The highest rating currently is for plenum; the
lowest rating belongs to those used in residential settings.
Options include UTP/ScTP (Article
800), optical fiber (Article 770), and coax (Article 820). The suffix defi nes
the fi re-rating . . . P = plenum, R = riser, G = general purpose, and X =
Concurrently, the CEC classifies
Fire-Temperature FT 6 for plenum and minimum FT4 for a lower riser-rating.
Both NEC and CEC ratings are required
for a cable manufacturer to sell cable in the U.S. and Canada. Manufacturers
obtain fi re-rating for their products by having them tested by approved,
independent, third-party testing laboratories.
designations will predominantly reference Underwriters Laboratory (UL) for the
USA, CUL for Canada, and/or Edison Testing Lab (ETL)—Semko (division of
Intertek Group) for the USA and CETL for Canada.
UL 910 uses the Steiner Tunnel testing method to acquire a communication plenum
rating (CMP) and UL 1666 for riser-rating (CMR). To some vendors, testing to
these NFPA parameters is outdated and needs to be re-evaluated.
The term “riser” originated from
elevator shafts. This used to be the method of access for cabling between floors
in high-rise buildings. Elevator shafts are classified as a temporarily
Accordingly, the codes in earlier
times had less fire-restriction than on the horizontal plenum environments.
“Plenum” is NEC shorthand for “return air
plenum space.” It is defined as the “trapped air” (like your lungs or a
balloon) between a drop ceiling and floor/roof without a dedicated HVAC return
duct. Plenum areas also include raised floors over a certain height determined
by local code taking into consideration sprinkler system requirements.
Note that a new proposed NEC fi
or Low Combustible (LC) (said to be forthcoming)—is claimed to have the
highest fire rating. This LC rating is still being evaluated by the NFPA and is not listed in the 2005 or
the 2008 NEC.
CABLING & THE HVAC SYSTEM
Pulling fire-rated telecommunication
cables through the drop ceiling plenum areas or “voids”—unducted return
ventilation air ceilings or floors—is the most common practice. Cables are
supported using a variety of methods in keeping them off the drop ceiling “T”
bars supports and lighting fixtures.
Support methods include: “J-hooks,”
cable tray, ladder racking, bridal rings, trapeze, etc.
Unless the local code dictates,
pulling cable through conduit is not a common practice. Differences can be
found in cities such as Chicago and Las Vegas, where even doorbell wiring needs
to be in conduit.
Unprotected and protected (conduit)
horizontal cabling—now regarded as part of the HVAC return ducting
system—offers the potential of spreading heat and smoke to other inhabited
areas of the building not protected by firewalls.
The primary controversy centers on
what economical method provides the best protection to reduce the propagation
of smoke and toxic gases in case of a fi re. Is it the higher fi re-rated
cables . . . or non or lower-rated cables installed in (EMT) conduit?
Remember, everything burns; even
steel and brick will burn if heated to a high enough temperature. Also note: The purpose of fire-protection
to buy time
That “time” question contributes to
a secondary controversy: What is the by-product or toxicity when the cable and
even conduit burns?
Some studies show a strong 15% to
20% annual increase in computer cabling usage. This has been created by the
upgrade of cables (say, from Category 5e to 6), which seems to happen every
three or four years. Simply stated, a high percentage of abandoned cable
(usually low-fire rating) cabling is not being removed (although required by
the 2005 NEC).
So when a location is upgraded from
Cat 5e to 6, the old cable remains in the ceiling. Like the California fires,
this presents a dangerous high fuel-load situation and raises life-safety
A TOUR OF CABLE TYPES
Table One defines the UTP cable
components as an average percentage by weight of a Category 6 cable. Note that
the copper conductors represent approximately 50% of the weight of the cable
and the other 50% the jacket, insulation, and spacer (separator) material.
fire-rated cables, the majority of the cable manufacturers use low fire-load Perflouropolymer (PFP) for
the insulation around the
conductors (or fiber strands) and the spacer.
The first generation polymer was called Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene (FEP)
also known as “Teflon.”
run across the term “fluorinated”. This means replacing hydrogen atoms with
fluorine to become polytetrafluorotheylene.
The desired characteristic about Perflouropolymer is that it will “self
extinguish” and does not easily propagate down the cable length when the heat
source is removed—in comparison to CMR- and CMX-rated cables.
attribute of PFP is having improved wearing and anti-reflective properties.
This is well-suited for other applications such as commercial storage tanks and
misconception is that a CMP-rated cable’s jacket is not PFP but typically made
up selectively or collectively of Flame Retardant Polyvinyl Chloride (FRPVC),
Flame-Retardant Polyethylene (FRPE), High- Density Polyethylene (HDPE), and
possibly Polypropylene (PP).
Plant (OSP) cable
jacketing—not requiring a fire rating unless used inside the building within 50
feet—requires better UV-blocking and reduced water migration. The polymers
best-suited for OSP applications will use Medium Density Polyethylene (MDPE) or
Note that PU is also used for
Mil-spec cables. Experienced cable experts can even smell the
Commonly black but offered in a
variety of colors, these sometimes have an interstitial “ickypic” fill to
impair water migration.
or LS0H is defined
as Low-Smoke Zero Halogen (a noxious fume) material whose
name alone defines its fire-rating characteristics. This
material is a requirement to obtain Mil-spec approval,
shipboard/aircraft ratings, in raised floor workplaces in the UK, and
frequently required under the Department of Transportation (DOT) rules.
Primary reason for LSZH is the
material specification focuses on reducing deadly toxic gasses and smoke—the
leading cause of deaths in a fire. It reportedly has saved thousands of lives
in fires—such as in the Bay Area Rapid Transport, when a fire developed in the
tube between Oakland and San Francisco. No one died; all were able to escape
the fire and fumes.
Note: LSZH does not have the same
high-temperature rating as CMP. The term “Crosslink” denotes the intermolecular
bond between long chain thermal plastic polymers affected by chemical or
radiation techniques —e.g., “irradiated cables”.
Defining fi re-retardant properties,
PFP has a higher FT rating than FRPVC, FRPE, HDPE, and PP. It exhibits extreme
temperature properties ranging from a low of -25°C to - 40°C to a high of 200°C
Defining better electrical
The insulation resistance value or ability to resist the fl ow of current through it; and
The dissipation factor, which reduces power loss when increasing the frequency
(the lower value the better).
Here in comparison studies, PFP also
has a unique combination of having both fire and electrical performance—with no
other materials or additives needed to be added to the polymer like FRPVC.
PFP, having improved electrical
performance over FRPVC is the main reason why PFP is used as the primary
conductor insulation material for high-bandwidth telecommunications cables
(like Category 6). It also has lower UTP propagation delay skew characteristic.
Conrad is owner of Crossbow
Reprinted with permission of Rexel,
publisher of Power Outlet magazine. www.rexelusa.com/Poweroutlet.aspx
Copper Prices: Where To In ’08?
All markets move in waves, but for most
commodities—such as the global market for copper—demand and supply take turns
at pushing and pulling. Since 2001 (when copper went for 65 cents per pound),
the red metal’s rally has been stunning. Topping out in May 2006 near
$4.00/pound, copper’s price has stayed high.
And with it, the electrical products
market has felt repeated and deep impacts. At a recent regional conference of
electrical distributors, for example, an executive from Siemens Energy &
Automation displayed a chart showing the products his company supplies, and
which metals went into each. Every single product needs copper to be
manufactured; it was the only such always required component.
Electrical suppliers do not own
mines. The questions commodities analysts have been asking about the copper
market are simple:
When will the surge of demand from China and elsewhere in Asia subside?
As more and more copper mines open (or re-open), when will supply finally catch
up with demand?
the answer to Question 1 is shrouded in mystery. China’s demand has blindsided
analysts (and commodity traders) frequently in the past seven years. Analyst
predictions for 2006’s highs topped out at $2.00 to $2.25, as they didn’t see
the super-surge coming; and copper’s fall in price—from near $4 in May 2006 to
$2.40 in January 2007—blindsided many.
role is substantial and growing, according to analysts at Citigroup. That
country’s share of world copper consumption is expected to hit 27% in 2010; it
was 13% in 2000.
John Mothersole of Global Insight
has taken on copper prices twice in front of an audience at the McGraw-Hill
Construction “Outlook” conferences. He’s a commodities analyst—and forecasts
price movements for a wide range of items that are heavily used\ in residential
and commercial construction.
In October 2006, he predicted copper
prices would collapse in 2007, falling all the way to $2.60 during the year.
Despite that January blip, his forecast proved off-the-mark—something he noted
in his October 2007 presentation. Copper was the only place his wide-ranging
predictions came up short, he said.
What’s his take on 2008? Copper
prices to average roughly $3.25 for the year.
At Credit Suisse (according to an Oct. 15 report), analysts have
studied 66 copper projects (mines) that are now being developed—or are in
planning stages. Over the long term, this new supply will stabilize the
market,and perhaps even reduce copper prices. In 2008, however, a “significant
spike” could take place.
Much of the Credit Suisse report
leads analysts to opposite conclusions. Some note that it’s not likely that all
(or even most) of those 66 projects will become productive mines. Others look
at the report’s projection that Chile will contribute only 25% of new supply
and express doubt . . . over the past 17 years, that country has provided
two-thirds of the world’s increased copper supply.
Of note along those lines: The government-run
Chilean Copper Commission in early November boosted its forecast for ’08 copper
prices. Where this group had in August said copper would average $2.70/pound in
’08, as of November the forecast was boosted to $3.10/pound.
Included in the Chilean report:
Global copper supplies from mines were estimated to increase by 3.7% in 2007.
Earlier, the forecast was for a 7.7% supply gain.
And then there is the most bullish
forecast. In October, a Bloomsbury Mineral Economics analyst (speaking at
“Copper Day” in London, an event sponsored by Mining Journal) predicted
copper’s price would hit $4.08/pound by 2009.
Reprinted with permission of Rexel,
publisher of Power Outlet magazine. www.rexelusa.com/Poweroutlet.aspx
Outlook For ‘Green’
construction was one focus of the “Outlook ‘08” conference sponsored by
McGraw-Hill Construction. Reasons included:
Fedrizzi, founding chairman (and still CEO) of the U.S. Green Building Council,
was a speaker.
newest publication—which has already won several awards—is the quarterly GreenSource magazine (find it at http://greensource.construction.com).
by audience response to Fedrizzi’s presentation, the more than 400 attendees
wanted to hear about things green.
driving the environmental/sustainable construction movement? There’s much more
result of real-world proof (and some hype, perhaps), green buildings are the
hottest thing in construction. See Figure Three. “One estimate for 2006
indicates that 2% of the nonresidential building stock in the U.S. was
registered under the LEED criteria issued by the U.S. Green Building Council,”
according to Bob Murray, chief economist for MHC.
by “nonresidential building stock,” Murray is referencing all nonresidential
buildings standing and in use (including those under construction).
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. There is a “LEED-EB” standard
for existing buildings, which is why the figure has gotten so high (relatively
speaking) so quickly.
But there is more coming. “Since it’s likely
some owners are using green materials and design without registering . . . this
is viewed to be a conservative estimate. By 2010, it’s expected that green
buildings will comprise 5% to 10% of the nonresidential building stock.”
the date: If you’re
interested in environmentally friendly construction, sustainability issues,
electrical goods recycling, and related topics, be sure to see the next issue
of Power Outlet—out in Spring 2008—which will focus on these topics in
an expanded format.
with permission of Rexel, publisher of Power
Outlet magazine. www.rexelusa.com/Poweroutlet.aspx
Don’t Distance Yourself From Remote Monitoring
You’ve used a portable humidifier,
right? You check the gage or peer into the tank to see what the water level is.
That’s an example of local monitoring; you must be where the action is to see
what it is.
Industrial control systems have, for
decades, monitored conditions and events at a system level in such facilities
as power plants, paper mills, and refineries. These systems monitor thousands
of data points from a central location (the control room).
Operators aren’t looking at the
minutiae of every process, though. That would overwhelm them with a
mind-numbing flood of data. The system provides operators with “condensed”
information (typically alarms and summaries).
What happens in the control room is
the old “data into information into knowledge” transformation. What the
operators see is useful because it’s manageable.
Remote: The Next Level
Operators of gas pipelines were
among the first to take monitoring to the next level: remote. Operators in
Houston, for example, monitor and control gas pipeline stations in New Jersey.
about a facility’s electrical distribution system? Prior to the late 1990s,
applying these remote abilities to electrical systems was relatively rare.
These days, remote monitoring is common. What’s changed in the past 10 years or
in technology changed everything. “Smart” devices, expanded bandwidth, and
Internet Protocol (IP) made it practical and affordable to remotely monitor
industrial electrical systems.
And, in a
word, the transformation is now complete. In many cases, what was once not
economically feasible is now economically imperative.
Remote Expertise, Too
Remote monitoring works—if you have
the expertise to correctly interpret and act upon the information.Most people
who have that level of expertise developed it through exposure to many sites,
typically in a consulting role.
So . . . as the monitoring is
“remote”—why not make the expertise remote, too? Why not outsource the
Outsourced power quality experts can
monitor the electrical systems of many clients, from a central location. But
they don’t sit there poring over raw data. When the power monitoring system
highlights a condition that needs attention, someone on the team will access
the system and apply a protocol for determining what’s going on.
What happens next? The team may
subsequently notify the client with specific recommendations to avert problems
ranging from excess power consumption to outright disaster.
One reason companies adopt remote
monitoring is that management has a strange preference for fixing an emerging
power problem, rather than waiting for a transformer to blow (or for a problem
to take out $80,000 of equipment before someone realizes the power system is
Unfortunately, these systems are not
yet universally applied. Some companies “save money” by eliminating such
“unnecessary” maintenance as cable testing. Disaster prevention just drags down
this quarter’s earnings, so why do it?
Such “thinking” applies to other
uses of remote monitoring. For some options, see the accompanying short item.
You now know just enough to be
article conveyed only a basic understanding of remote monitoring.
For any monitoring system to be more than a collection of wall
ornaments, you must use the information it provides.
Going back to our humidifier
example, there’s no point in checking the water level if you aren’t going to
take corrective action when it’s low. With power systems, things are more
complex and the consequences potentially much higher. These systems are
pointless without a well-considered implementation plan.
Here’s a quick quiz for you to give
yourself. How many of these uses do you think
1 – Power consumption trending. Track over
multiple intervals to optimize operating lines for various load conditions. Result:
Substantial energy savings and reduced wear on equipment.
2 – PQ monitoring. Measure, log, and analyze such PQ
parameters as kVA, kVAR, and power factor. Do the same with various aspects of
current and voltage, such as high, low, and mean reading out in RMS and peak.
And, of course, these systems let you monitor everyone’s favorite: Harmonic
3 – Power quality trending. Acting in a
timely and accurate manner on PQ trending allows you to meet the utility’s
demand factor requirements, determine if system configuration changes are
needed, determine what power factor correction changes to make, and see
problems in existing PQ correction equipment.
4 – Peak monitoring. By monitoring peak demand, current,
and power, you have a means of verifying utility charges and metering.
5 – Neutral and ground monitoring. Monitoring
current on the neutral/ground bond allows you to know when there’s a low grade
fault on the system or if there are undesirable currents flowing on the ground
conductor. Identifying and correcting such problems early may prevent nuisance
operation of the ground fault protection system.
What’s Your Plan?
We all love choices. Remote
monitoring systems allow you to choose from four levels.
voltage (phase to phase and phase to neutral), current (phase and neutral); kW,
kVA, kVAR; and demand.
Intermediate. Additionally, monitor harmonics (voltage and current), plus such
transient events as sag, surge, and impulses.
If conditions merit, add waveform capture (of transient events) to your list of
goodies. If you’re looking at advanced systems, evaluate their event analysis
features as well.
Individual branch circuit monitoring. This is what it sounds like:
monitoring each breaker in a standard 42-pole distribution panelboard. The
system may use “smart breakers” or another technology.
Where To Put The Monitors
- Monitoring equipment may be installed in any or
all of these locations:
- Generator distribution switchgear.
- Mechanical plant switchgear (Chillers and
- General power switchgear.
- UPS System input and output distribution
switchgear (Typically 480 VAC).
- Critical power distribution from UPS (Typically
208/120VAC from PDU’s).
- Individual branch circuit monitoring.
- Installing during the construction
process provides lowest cost and best aesthetics.
- Equip all CT’s with shorting blocks.
This allows you to replace front end components without having to power down
the equipment or have dangerous voltages present at the secondary of the CT’s.
- Create accurate as-built drawings
upon completion of the work.
- Make terminations to terminal
blocks, for ease of replacement of failed components.
- Verify that the voltage sensing
leads and the CT’s are properly located for the type of monitoring that is
desired. This is especially important if the switchgear has multiple power
Credit line: Lamendola is an electrical expert
who has written for several industry magazines. He is the proprietor of www.mindconnection.com and www.codebookcity.com.
with permission of Rexel, publisher of Power
Outlet magazine. www.rexelusa.com/Poweroutlet.aspx
Reconsider Your Environmental Impact
Recently, it seems everyone within the electrical channel
has been inundated with information regarding “going green.” Aside from the
great opportunities that exist to profit from selling green products, we have a
social responsibility to make changes in our personal and professional lives so
as to protect and improve our environment.
The electrical distribution industry is uniquely positioned
to make a significant impact here, and I believe that if we are able to start
small in our homes and businesses, our collective efforts will make a
significant, positive impact on the environment.
At Border States, it is fundamental to our core values to
use our resources to enhance the communities in which we live, and we are
committed to environmental stewardship.
Here are a few things that we do to reduce waste, lower
energy consumption, and make the supply chain more green:
• To encourage our employees to use lamps that are more
efficient in their homes, some Border States branches collaborated with one of
our lamp vendors to run a CFL promotion for our employees. Additionally, some
branches use CFLs as door prizes at company meetings and events in order to
promote the use of more environmentally friendly lamps.
• While we would love to work in a paperless environment, we
know that is impossible, so we strive for a less-paper one by promoting
electronic processes. We encourage customers and vendors to use EDI for
purchase orders, order acknowledgements, invoices, etc., and we have
implemented online signature capture for proof of delivery. In addition, all
employees are encouraged to make fewer hard copies of meeting materials and
post soft copies of the materials on our intranet, collaboration rooms are set
up online with employees, and company newsletters are delivered
• Our facilities are also a green target. Motion sensors,
automation, and generators are used to reduce energy consumption. This year, we
are pursuing Energy Star rating for our buildings via lighting upgrades.
• We have also made some changes in warehouse and delivery
procedures. In our warehouses, we recycle pallets, reels, and cardboard boxes.
PeopleNet, Skybitz GPS, and communication systems have been installed in our
fleet to reduce fuel consumption. These help us eliminate unnecessary delivery
miles, reduce idle time, improve customer service, and reduce our delivery
• Truck capacity is optimized by coordinating shipments with
manufacturers and customers. Our company is also evaluating lease options for
hybrid vehicles and converting our trucks to meet the new clean air
• With the help of graduate students at North Dakota State
University’s Transportation Institute and industrial engineering department,
we are utilizing linear programming science to optimize material flow
throughout the supply chain.
• Beyond warehouse recycling, we recycle paper, ink jet
cartridges, phone books, plastic bottles, and aluminum cans. Our company is
also working with Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore program to reuse and/or
recycle slightly used or damaged material.
These are just a few things that we are doing at Border
States to lessen our environmental impact and make the supply chain greener.
And while most of the environmental work we do is neither expensive nor time
consuming, it still results in improved productivity and profitability.
I encourage all of NAED’s members to take a look around
their businesses and homes and identify ways that they can reduce the amount of
waste they generate and the amount of energy they consume. If we all work
together to make small changes, we will have a dramatic impact on our
environment—to our benefit, and to the benefit of generations to come.
CEO of Border States Electric in Fargo, N.D. Reach her at 602-206-9502 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
with full permission of The Electrical Distributor Magazine www.tedmag.com
Evolve Or Die
In my December column, I used the quote from Charles Darwin:
“It’s not the strongest that survive. It’s not even the most intelligent. It’s
the one that adapts to change.” This again came to mind when reading the January
issue of CE Pro magazine. In an article entitled “Prediction: Channel to Grow
75% in 5 Years,” Karen Wertman, CEO of Sausalito Audio, said, “Evolve or die.”
Wertman, a custom electronics integrator, emphasized that
integrators need to continually educate themselves or they could lose business
to the big boxes or independent competitors who adapt better to change. Does
this sound familiar?
While the article noted that the custom home integration
business should increase from $9.8 billion in 2007 to $17.4 billion in 2012,
home integrators appear to be a little worried because security dealers are
adding traditional home automation and other residential systems to their
product lines. What caught my eye is that the list of product categories that
securities are now selling had many products that should be, or traditionally
have been, sold by electrical distributors—including low-voltage and structured
wiring, integrated and lighting controls, power quality products, and surge
protections. Other product lines include home theaters; audio, fire protection,
and CCTV systems; HVAC controls; and home and wireless home networks.
Not that integrators are looking to throw a wet blanket on
the security dealers’ initiative, but, according to Robin Ford, vice president
of business development for Global Cache, security installers presumably know
very little about control and automation, lighting, and entertainment systems.
Ford predicts a potential for shoddy work and warns integrators to be
aggressive in education to stay on top of the business.
I think that a lot of the work that integrators do rightly
belongs to the electrical industry. But we aren’t talking about theft
here—we’re talking about business. No one has a right to anyone’s business
unless they earn it. Integrators wouldn’t exist unless they offered a service
that customers wanted that the electrical industry didn’t offer. Security
dealers must believe they have some talent or service to offer that integrators
and electrical distributors don’t currently offer.
So what can be said about this? I think Wertman said it
best: “Evolve or die.” We need to look for new opportunities and educate
ourselves about them. As someone who works for electrical distributors, I want
our members to retain as much market share in as many product categories as
possible—including expanding into some complementary product lines that make
sense to their businesses.
president of NAED and publisher of “TED” magazine. Reach him at 314-812-5312
with full permission of The Electrical Distributor Magazine www.tedmag.com
Current Words Of Wisdom
who found ready customers in nearly every nonresidential market will have to
work harder in 2008.”
Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America,
construction roller coaster,” page 11
uncommon to see a company’s sales drop by a third or more as a direct result of
Ratcliffe, sales manager, LockLizard, “Keep secrets safe,” page 22
for green building products and services could grow to $20 billion in 2010.”
White, energy management and environmental solutions manager, Eaton, “Green
builds,” page 26
with full permission of The Electrical Distributor Magazine www.tedmag.com
for sustainability in construction projects is on the rise.
According to McGraw-Hill Construction Analytics, the annual
U.S. market in green building products and services has grown from more than $7
billion in 2005 to more than $12 billion by the end of 2007. John White, energy
management and environmental solutions manager for Eaton Corporation’s
Electrical Group, believes the growth potential is huge.
“The demand for green building products and services could
grow to as much as $20 billion in 2010,” said White, “and I expect green
electrical power distribution products to at least match that growth rate. As
electricity price and volatility continue to rise, products that manage
electrical power will become critical elements for nearly all building
While many factors fuel demand for green electrical power
distribution—rising energy costs, federal mandates, societal pressures, and, as
White puts it, “the simple fact that it’s the right thing to do”—one of the
biggest is the growing impact of the LEED Program, launched in 2000 by the
Ultimately, using green products brings greater value to the
building owner or operator in the form of energy savings, comfort for the
building’s occupants, and improved property values, according to Dave Davidson,
Solutions Center manager at Eaton.
“Electrical engineers are beginning to understand their
vital role in this green building movement, and are getting involved in LEED
certification by specifying products based on sustainability merits, whether
that means they are smaller, more efficient, or manufactured in a sustainable
way,” said Davidson.
Another segment receiving considerable attention in the
quest for greener performance is lighting control, said Scott Jordan, product marketing
manager for SquareD/Schneider Electric.
“Historically, going green meant changing out lamps and
ballasts with little regard for how much the lighting system was operating when
nobody was occupying the room,” he said. “But now customers are demanding
further reductions in energy cost, and lighting control is often the most
attractive technology from an ROI standpoint.”
Tom Braz, general manager for Hubbell Building Automation,
expects 15% to 20% compounded annual growth for lighting control products for
the next 10 years—at least. “The applications for these products and systems
cut across most vertical markets,” he said. “There’s been significant interest
in deploying these techniques in educational institutions, governmental and
office buildings—especially those trying to meet LEED certification—and
numerous other market segments.”
Integrated switchboards are also experiencing the movement
toward sustainability and LEED applications. “Both institutional and
governmental installations, especially those that are being considered for
retrofitting, are growth markets requiring space-saving solutions such as
integrated or customized switchboards,” said Doug Carolan, business unit
manager of commercial distribution and control assemblies for Eaton’s Electrical
Group. Products to enhance data center applications are also in demand.
Donald Millstein, president and CEO of E-Mon, anticipates
substantial green product growth for the next few years. “We expect it to
exceed 15% annually in the foreseeable future,” he said. “Primarily, the
greatest growth markets for metering technology are related to energy
conservation for LEED and EPAct compliance, and include HVAC, lighting
controls, and other energy management controls.”
Slowdown spreads green
Somewhat ironically, the current slowdown in the U.S.
economy is also supporting the movement toward green technologies. “What we
have experienced is that when the country comes out of a recessionary period,
technologies that were once optional become essential,” Jordan explained. “The
slowdown provides an opportunity for electrical distributors to talk to their
customers about these technologies.”
Opportunities include targeting the engineering community
working on the LEED projects and providing product bundles to assist in these
endeavors. Ultimately, distributors who position themselves as the go-to
vendors for LEED construction projects and green initiatives will realize a
strong market advantage.
provides B2B marketing services for electrical industry organizations. He can
be reached at email@example.com.
with full permission of The Electrical Distributor Magazine www.tedmag.com
Green Products Can Open New Markets
Ask yourself: What green products can I offer that my
competitors aren’t selling? Can I differentiate myself by promoting more
energy-efficient products? What new markets can I enter with green products?
For green building products, no stage is larger than the an-nual, international
LifeGuard, a low-smoke, nonhalogenated electrical cable
manufactured by Houston Wire & Cable, received Greenbuild’s Top 10 Green
Building Products Award—and created another market for an Alabama electrical
“LifeGuard gave us something to sell that our competitors
were not selling,” said Greg Lewis, president of Lewis Electric Supply, Muscle
Shoals, Ala., and a partner in the Electric Supply Alliance (ESA). After a fire
at one of Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) facilities, ESA presented
LifeGuard. “The TVA liked the fact that it had no halogen and no lead,” Lewis
said. “We are now selling a lot more cable to the TVA.”
Electric products gain national recognition through
awards—and also through certification. Linda Chipperfield, Green Seal’s vice
president of marketing, identified four organizations that are certifying
electrical products: one German, one Canadian, the EPA’s EPEAT for electronics,
and the EPA/DOE’s Energy Star program.
Energy Star is big. “Most of the products we sell for the
residential market are Energy Star compliant,” said Greg Bennorth, director of
marketing services for Universal Lighting Technologies.
“Consumers look for the Energy Star label,” added Colleen
Applebaugh, PR communications specialist for Osram Sylvania. “Retailers want to
stock their shelves with Energy Star products because it is an easy indicator
that the product should do well.”
Carl Freiburger, sales promotion manager for East Dubuque,
Illinois-headquartered Crescent Electric Supply, concurred: “There’s definitely
an advantage to promoting Energy Star products.”
Of course, proven energy savings is the key. “Almost
everybody is willing to look if they can save money. Our customers are most
familiar with energy-efficient lamps and ballasts,” said Debbie Gillespie,
branch manager for WESCO in Evansville, Ind.
Another standard, NEMA Premium, which is just being
launched, sets standards for the efficiency of electric motors and recognizes
qualifying products. “I suspect it will have a strong impact,” said Bennorth.
LEED certification is also increasing. “There is a
conglomeration of things that make a building environmentally
friendly—including energy-efficient drives, occupancy sensors, dimming
ballasts, LED exit signs, and daylight sensors,” noted Freiburger.
“I don’t think our customers can afford to turn their heads
any longer—energy costs are not going down,” Freiburger warned. “Customers that
embrace energy-efficient products are the customers who will be in business in
It only makes sense, then, to ask yourself: What green
products can I introduce to help my customers—and my distributorship—survive
Niehaus, a freelance writer, is a member of the USGBC and numerous
environmental organizations. She can be reached at JanNiehaus@charter.net or
with full permission of The Electrical Distributor Magazine www.tedmag.com
A Matter Of Trust
The rise of
web-based applications just might change the future of cabling.
About five years ago, some tech leaders were promoting the
idea of web-based applications. Instead of loading application programs on a
PC, people would use web-based applications like word processors or
spreadsheets and save the data on a remote server, all run by an application
service provider. This idea died a quick death, however, as privacy concerns
bothered many potential users.
Nowadays, the same idea is making inroads because so much
has changed in the technology fields—with the implications for PCs and cabling
being potentially enormous. The biggest change is in portable computing.
Laptops, every one of which is equipped with built-in wireless, now outsell
desktop computers. Blackberries and smart phones are used as portable Internet
devices, especially as many phones add web browsers and WiFi capability.
Internet access in cars and planes is also nearing reality.
Because all of these various devices access the same
information, the Inter-net uses a common language for web pages: Most people
have used others’ computers to access email through webmail servers; some
corporate data systems allow users to access certain databases with secure web
browsing; nearly everyone has purchased something online at some point; and
many have used cell phones or PDAs to access the web to find store locations
and phone numbers and buy movie tickets.
The second change is that younger Internet users have very
different views on online privacy: The web is their community, and online
privacy isn’t a big concern.
Many people use Google, at least as a search engine. Now
Google offers Google Docs. Users can sign on for a free account (or paid
premium account) and have access to web-based word processing, spreadsheets,
and presentations. The documents can be accessed from any web-connected
computer or other web-enabled device. Google Docs even allows collaboration,
where multiple contributors can edit a document, with each change saved
separately for comparison.
If users migrate to web-based applications like this,
devices like smart phones could be used to access and edit documents—and PCs
with giant hard drives to store giant programs and files could be reduced to
simple, lightweight laptops.
Of course, for this to happen, wireless access would need to
be faster and more robust, but that appears to be happening already. In this
scenario, hard-wired cabling to the desktop could become less important, maybe
even irrelevant, to many users. Backbone cabling and connections to wireless
access points could be all that remains.
Privacy is the issue many users still cite as a potential
problem, and businesses may be wary of using such a service for confidential
documents. But considering the ease with which hackers have accessed many
corporate and government accounts in the past, Google’s security might be
better than that of most companies. (I’d certainly trust its backups more than
my own.) Ultimately, the future of cabling could all come down to whom one is
willing to trust.
VDV Works, has been active in the VDV cabling business for more than 25 years.
Find him at JimHayes.com.
with full permission of The Electrical Distributor Magazine www.tedmag.com
It’s Good To Be Dense
Data center expansions and upgrades spell solid sales ahead for patch panels that increase density and expand capacity.
According to Keith Kosanovich, senior product manager of
copper systems for Leviton Network Solutions, the U.S. market for patch panels
will grow 6% to 8% in 2008 vs. 2007, which is consistent with 2007 annual
growth over 2006. “Demand continues to be driven by both large
telecommunication room and data center applications, with data center
applications growing in the double digits,” he said.
“Initial industry projections for 2008 were anticipated as
8% growth,” said Gregg Lafontaine, senior product manager, copper products, for
Ortronics/Legrand. “However, that’s been softened to 5% to 6% growth.”
Data centers are driving the market for patch panels, due to
their critical importance to organizations and the significant investment these
organizations are pouring into improving data center performance or expanding
operating facilities. These investments continue to drive growth in product
categories such as patch panels.
Kosanovich said that data centers rely on high-performing
1000BASE-T (1G) and emerging 10GBASE-T networks to support critical business
applications. “High-performance patch panels as part of high-performance
cabling systems help businesses leverage their IT investments,” said
Lafontaine noted several forces behind this situation,
saying, “Many data centers are aging and will require major upgrades. Data
centers must also expand in order to handle increased information flow and
storage needs, and their systems require redundancy to safeguard against
catastrophic loss of the facility.
“One change we’ve noticed is the increased density of port
deployment in racks, which we’ve answered by marketing angled and curved patch
panel designs that can double rack capacity,” he continued. “Maximizing space
allocation available for patch panels within the IT environment is a growing
problem. This is especially true within the fast-growing data center market
“The need for greater connector and port density has become
significant,” he added. “The main driver for this is the number of racks and
cabinets needed—which add floor space and expenses for power and cooling.”
Mark Dearing, product manager of copper solutions for
Leviton Network Solutions, explained further: “The rising cost of real estate
has led IT managers to better utilize available floor space—which leads to
better rack space utilization. Why waste rack units on passive equipment like
patch panels and cable management when they could be used to house valuable
active equipment, such as switches or servers?
“Vertical patch panels are a recent addition to the Zero-U
equipment offering,” he continued. “While designs vary by manufacturer, all are
mounted vertically in the back of the cabinet, typically on the opposite side
of the cabinet from vertical PDUs to maintain separation of power and data
“Patch panels are critical to the network because they
connect the passive structured cabling system to the active network
electronics,” explained Kosanovich. “The biggest trend in patch panels is the
increase in the variety of patch panel solutions available. To support a wide
variety of applications, Leviton offers patch panels to support high-density,
unshielded, shielded, high-performance [Cat 6a/10G], angled, recessed,
preconfigured, modular, and vertical applications. Patch panel customer
requirements are different for each project. This breadth of panels allows
Leviton to offer the right solution for our customer installations.
“The newest technology is Cat 6a/10G, which is defined by
industry standards and is becoming a significant option for end-users focused
on migrating to higher-speed networks,” he continued. “In the past, fiber-optic
cabling systems were the only viable option for 10G, but advances in copper
have created a solid option.”
“Also impacting the market are performance upgrades from Cat
5e to Cat 6 and from Cat 6 to 10G,” said Lafontaine. “Outside of the early
adopters, there’s a huge portion of the market waiting for the 10G TIA cabling
standard ratification in order to embrace Cat 6a. Currently, 10G networks
represent about 5% of new sales, but are expected to grow significantly.”
“Electrical distributors that have a voice and data group
are best positioned to drive buying decisions and increase sales by finding the
right product for a specific installation,” said Kosanovich.
provides B2B marketing services for electrical industry organizations. He can
be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
with full permission of The Electrical Distributor Magazine www.tedmag.com
REMEMBER TO RECYCLE, REDUCE AND REUSE