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Wireville.com

Issue: February 2011
By: Frank Bisbee


Datacom/Telecom Glossary
In This Issue

Bits N' Pieces


Bisbee’s Buzz

There are many pitfalls for the contractor. They need self-defense. Costs can sneak up and wipe out the profit from a project. Some of the surprises cannot be prevented, but most of the nasty developments can be avoided. Planning is crucial, and the agreement for the project should be well defined, with some clauses to address the unforeseen and unexpected expenses.

Attacks upon the contractor can come from many directions. Even the weather can pose a serious threat to even the best-laid plans. A few years ago and In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, we have seen resources choked and costs skyrocketed.

The law of supply and demand

The other day, I overheard a contractor filling his truck at the gas station. The clerk inquired if he was going to fill up the tank and the contractor replied, "Nope, I've only got a hundred bucks on me." Gas prices soared so quickly that many contractors ended up paying the extra costs to do the jobs out of their own pockets. There are many other horrific examples of unexpected cost increases spiraling upward after the job has been negotiated and the deal signed. Medical and liability insurance can rocket up with very little advance notice. Contracts that must be performed over lengthy periods are very likely targets for these "bear traps." Currently, copper and FEP (Teflon) costs are soaring.

In the electrical and communications industry, there are some counterfeit products. Some are even labeled and packaged to look identical to the "real deal." While the products in the electrical side are less prone to this problem, the communications cabling industry has had so many new products come on the scene that almost no one can keep up.

Practice Self-Defense
"For my money, going it alone is not an option," says Michael Shannahan, vice president of Communication Planning Corp. "The pace of technology in the communications network industry is moving so quickly that we would need a purchasing agent dedicated to only new products and improvements. Now, add the need for product testing and quality control, and bingo - now you need another dozen, or so, full time employees. Also, don't forget the billion-dollar-testing organization," he added. "The problems are more than just evaluating the product on a stand-alone basis, now you have to put it to work in a real network to calculate actual performance with other components. To do that type of testing, you will require some real high-dollar techs. Throw that in your budget."

Fortunately, there are powerful self-defense resources available that provide real solutions to the quality control challenge. We have researched the communications industry and found a set of solutions. By now, you should have gotten part of the message about why self-defense and a strong distributor is a "no-brainer" for the contractor. Let's add a few other self-defense bonus points to the distributor value. Face it; the distributor is the communications cabling and connector market's largest buyer. For the manufacturers, maintaining the best working relationship possible with a distributor is an absolute must. The distributor is where products converge and network systems are created. We don't buy parts anymore. We buy systems. The systems must be integrated and maximized.

Arthur Padgett, an independent communications consultant and 35-year veteran of the industry said, "Today the process of developing a design and evaluating alternatives for the cabling network infrastructure is more challenging than ever before. Functionality, performance, life-cycle term, and budget are thrown into the mix along with the entire technical specification. In the world of communications infrastructure, using a self-defense mind set and a distributor is a priority for the contractor. However, we still see many contractors failing to use or capture the values available from the distributor."

The time to find out about glitches or mismatches is not "after the fact." The communications infrastructure was once a formula of 80 percent labor and 20 percent materials. Today that formula has evolved to approximately 52 percent labor and 48 percent materials. Once the installation has been performed, a change-out to correct performance problems could cost the contractor the entire labor investment. That scenario is a death sentence for the contractors' profitability. If you think lawyers are the solution for that type of problem, you have a lot to learn.
Inventory Blues
Everybody knows that the customer will wait until tomorrow to order the network that they want yesterday. Timetables and availability on the labor side is somewhat controllable by the contractor. Cables, connectors, and other required materials, are a challenge of inventory and usually outside of the control of the contractor. Maintaining large inventories to service their customers is not a good business practice for the cabling contractor. We have all seen inventory building up in the contractor's warehouse and that sometimes adds up to a small fortune. Much of the contractor's inventory that is not installed immediately usually ends up as junk. Out of date, obsolete, or incomplete materials mean wasted dollars. As an option, the contractor should utilize the distributor to control inventory for their customers.

Having all of the materials for the communications network is only part of the solution. We must have the peripherals. We need labeling and record systems. We need testers and analyzers. We need to stay abreast of technology, codes, and standards. We also need to be able to predict the future. Building barriers to obsolescence requires a vision for the future. Planning, for the future challenges while delivering today's solutions is imperative. Anything less is usually unacceptable. If you are a contractor, you do not want to go it alone.

Don't Wipe Out Profits
Another terrible pitfall for the contractor is the tester screen that proclaims, "FAIL" on the installed cabling. Face it, some products have been made so close to the minimum limits of the industry standards that if they go a little "minus," then the connected system will come up as failing. When this happens on a small or large job, the results are the same. Profit walks right out the door. Thanks to the testing equipment available, like Fluke Networks DTX 1800 network analyzer, the contractor can verify the copper cables performance instead of accepting the UL or ETL label. What if the label lied?

Fiber Optic Cable Testing too.  Fluke Networks amazing DTX CableAnalyzer™ and Megladon Mfg. Scratch Guard™ Fiber Optic test & patch cables and Fluke Networks combined to deliver a powerful and durable testing system solution Incredible but true: Test results showed that over 1000 insertions of the Megladon Scratch Guard™ Fiber Optic test cables used on the Fluke Networks amazing DTX CableAnalyzer™  showed virtually no degradation or scratching. www.megladonmfg.com www.flukenetworks.com

Good self-defense advice: Make sure your mindset is prepared for the unexpected. There are more than hurricanes out there. The Distributor is an important part of your success formula.

Never drive and text.

But that’s just my opinion,

Frank Bisbee - Editor
"HOTS - Heard On The Street" Monthly Column
www.wireville.com
4949 Sunbeam Rd, Suite 16
Jacksonville, FL 32257
(904) 645-9077 office
(904) 237-0365 cell
(904) 645-9058 fax
frank@wireville.com

 

Fiber Optic cabling market growth gains more steam in 2011

What’s New In Cabling? Fiber Optic Highways (FTTX)

Fiber Optic Cabling is cheaper than copper and delivers more bandwidth at greater distances. The next big thing is here = CONNECTIONS to the desktops or at least to the workzone.

A 2009 survey by the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) reveals that small rural communications providers are deploying fiber at what it called “an impressive pace” to enable high-speed broadband service to their customers. Fiber to the node (FTTN) is the preferred strategy, but fiber to the home (FTTH) has doubled in popularity.

NTCA's “2009 Broadband/Internet Availability Survey” found that nearly three-quarters (73%) of respondents with a fiber deployment strategy intend to offer FTTN to more than 75% of their customer base by 2011. Fifty-five percent plan to offer FTTH to more than half their customers in that same time frame -- more than doubled from just 26% last year.

The study says that rural areas are seeing significant gains in broadband speeds, primarily due to the increased fiber availability in their communities. Fifty-three percent of respondents indicated their customers can now receive broadband service of between 3 and 6 Mbps (up from 46% last year), and 39% can receive service in excess of 6 Mbps, which is an increase from just 25% a year ago. Survey respondents indicated an increase in take rates for the higher broadband speed tiers as well.

Fiber deployment costs remain a significant impediment facing rural carriers, cited as an obstacle by 93% of survey respondents. Rugged terrain, distance, and low customer density exacerbate the problem.

Three-quarters (75%) of respondents now offer a video play, up from 68% last year. Of those, 93% offer video under a cable franchise. An additional 11% indicated they plan an offering in the future.

Most (89%) respondents indicated they face competition in the provision of advanced services from at least one other service provider, including national ISPs, cable companies, and wireless ISPs.

NTCA sent the 2009 survey electronically to all telco members in its e-mail database and 156 companies (31%) responded. Fifty-six percent of respondents' service areas are 500 square miles or larger; 27% are at least 2000 square miles. Sixty-seven percent of those have customer densities of 10 residential customers or less per square mile, with nearly one-third (31%) reporting customer densities of just two or fewer residential customers per square mile. www.ntca.org

WHAT’S NEXT?

We interviewed Jim Hayes, President of the FOA – Fiber Optic Association www.thefoa.org  Mr. Hayes is a definitive guru of the fiber optic industry. He is widely published in many industry trade journals. He recently published a book.

FOA Textbook Complements Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide.

The new  printed version of our online reference guide - a new printed reference "textbook" for fiber optics, has been getting rave reviews for its readability, organization and timeliness. (That's FOA President Jim Hayes, the guy behind the new book, reading a copy.) Order your own copy from Amazon.com for only $24.95.
We've also updated the Online Reference Guide, adding a new fusion splicing section and updating the Premises Cabling section in preparation for our next printed book.
Note how the Online Reference pages are formatted - you can easily read them on an iPhone or portable web-enabled device as well as a PC. Go see The FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference for yourself. The next big thing in fiber optic cabling may spell tough times for copper cabling. Jim Hayes explained the POL design and some of the implications.

The Motorola’s New Passive Optical LAN Solution Delivers Savings and Simplicity to the Wired Enterprise. SAIC enters agreement to resell Motorola Passive Optical LAN solutions for the enterprise market.

Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) announced in May 2009, the availability of its Passive Optical LAN (POL) solution designed to revolutionize traditional LAN economics and complexity.  POL is an all-fiber enterprise LAN solution connecting any stationary Ethernet-based device or system across the enterprise into the wide area network.

Motorola and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) (NYSE: SAI) announced an agreement that enables SAIC to resell Motorola’s POL solutions into the global enterprise market. Motorola first showcased its POL solutions at the 2009 Interop Business and Technology Conference & Expo in Las Vegas,

Addressing many of the top concerns of enterprise IT professionals, POL creates a high-performance, reliable and secure network for IP voice, data and video. Based on Motorola’s proven GPON technology, Motorola POL provides significant capital and operational cost savings over traditional enterprise network solutions by reducing the need for campus distribution or costly workgroup switches in every riser closet. The elimination of the switches offers rapid cost savings in power, cooling, energy, and space costs. In addition, POL relieves the strain on IT resources by greatly simplifying  the network; reducing the overall number of active components and creating an architecture that is easier to deploy, manage and maintain. 

Enterprise users require a different level of network sophistication today than they did even a few years ago,” said Kevin Keefe, vice president of marketing, Access Network Solutions, Motorola Inc.  “Not only do they expect secure and reliable IP voice and data, but they demand improved network economics and greatly simplified solutions.  POL offers clear technology advantages of fully converged IP voice, data and video and truly disruptive capital and operational savings.”

"Enterprises and their need to implement next generation enterprise networks solutions and simplify operations remains an important focus area for us," said Jeffrey McGaughey, SAIC vice president of IT Business Modernization. "Our work with enterprises directly supports the need for a disruptive solution like POL because it can potentially deliver rapid business benefits and address several of the top IT challenges our customers face.  We are excited to be working with Motorola and making their POL solution available to enterprises worldwide."

POL is uniquely positioned to enhance Motorola’s Wireless Enterprise, a mobile network solution comprised of wireless LAN (WLAN), broadband and Voice Over WLAN (VoWLAN) products.  By networking traffic between access points, controllers and business systems, Motorola will provide enterprises with improved mobility and throughput in addition to unmatched reliability, gap-free security and with the best ROI and lowest TCO.

Motorola’s Passive Optical LAN Benefits:

Rapid ROI and low TCO at half the cost of copper-based LANs

Simple to install and operate

High-performance

Highly secure

Five-nines reliability 

About Motorola

Motorola is known around the world for innovation in communications and is focused on advancing the way the world connects. From broadband communications infrastructure, enterprise mobility and public safety solutions to high-definition video and mobile devices, Motorola is leading the next wave of innovations that enable people, enterprises and governments to be more connected and more mobile. Motorola (NYSE: MOT) had sales of US $30.1 billion in 2008.  www.motorola.com  

POL Passive Optical LANs (similar design FIBER STAR from the 1980s)

Initiated by Motorola (a big partner of FTTH) Tellabs, Verizon

This system sells a similar solution from multi-tenant multi-dwelling into enterprise LANs (a.k.a. FTTD in the commercial structure). After all,

Fiber has been around before structured cabling. Fiber was mostly employed in military and computer LANs applications. Besides the obvious use in “long lines” networks for CATV and Telcos, Fiber is now being employed in commercial building systems beyond the backbone. Numerous experts have indicated that the new design is a real paradigm shift. The costs are in parity with copper for the gigabit networks and beyond.

NOTE: The FOLS (Fiber Optic LAN Section) of TIA has been slow to push this ahead possibly because their some of members may have been influenced by Structured Cabling Interests –

POL - Passive Optical LANs

The box...aggregation switch (manufactured by Motorola) 20 Gbps IN & 20 Gbps OUT. One box = 7000 users (ALL SINGLE MODE fiber optic cable)

From The BOX...aggregation switch on SINGLE-MODE fiber optic cables to Splitters then to Pre-terminated SINGLE-MODE fiber optic cable to a work group terminal (Motorola) to a work group terminal (Motorola) on single mode four (4) 1Gbps channel ports. (A single fiber used bidirectionally goes to splitters serving 32 or 64 work group terminals (Motorola) with 4 switched Gigabit Ethernet ports or 24 POTS ports (POTS=plain old telephone service) for phones. The work group terminals handle PCs or wireless access points in any combination.) The user plugs into workgroup terminal with Cat6 copper.

The POL passive optical LANs = technically better, economically better, an established customer base proven plus a 128 bit encryption. This package can offer the triple play – VDV, plus a path to an access point for wireless network

This is the solution that puts single-mode fiber to the desktop with a copper patchcord on the end to connect to your copper-based terminal equipment.

And it still seems less costly than structured copper cabling solutions, particularly since the price for plenum and non-plenum copper cable continues to new highs .

Fiber Optic Cable Connections – No Longer A Problem

Connections used to be the Achilles Heel for Fiber Optic Networks, but not anymore. Pre-terminated fiber optic connections are less costly and faster to install in the field. The premiere product on the market for the connector is Megladon Manufacturing’s ScratchGuard HLC. This product sets the benchmark for performance and durability. Recent tests demonstrated over 1000 plug-in connections on the same connector with no degradation. Incredible, but true. www.megladonmfg.com 

When your connections are “business critical”, HLC cables are well suited for use in the harshest environments and the most demanding situations. In testing and manufacturing, HCL patch cords can withstand constant plugging and unplugging for years without substantial damage or performance loss. The HLC surface provides minimal optical signal loss making it the ideal choice for video and cable TV applications. For the military and other remote location uses, when replacements are not readily available HCL cables are far more reliable. In Municipal communications systems involving 911 and emergency communications HLC cables have dramatically reduced troubleshooting calls. In any business where the highest performance levels are required Megladon’s HLC, Hardened Lens Contact fiber optic patch cords are the clear best choice. Megladon's HLC ScratchGuard patchcords ranked most durable & best performance www.megladonmfg.com

Don’t sell your stock in structured cabling manufacturers just yet. They have re-invented themselves for years. Larry Johnson, President of The Light Brigade www.lightbrigade.com reminded us that Optical Fiber has never made another communications media type obsolete.  All types of media (with the possible exception of Coax) have benefited from fiber providing more bandwidth.

Frank Bisbee

"Heard On The Street" Monthly Column

 

all charged up

If millions of our neighbors decide to plug in rather than fill up, will it be traditional electrical distributors that provide America’s electrical charging station infrastructure—or will it be the energy specialists that are already claiming this new territory?

By Dan Carazo, with additional reporting by Mike Breslin

Reprinted with permission from TED the electrical distributor Magazine www.tedmag.com

For the first time in American history, major auto manufacturers are gambling that mass production of electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) will find accepting buyers.

Thus far, PHEVs have broken the ground—and perhaps planted the seeds for a mass transmigration to this new mode of transportation—with Toyota’s Prius having already proven the market viability of PHEVs with worldwide sales of more than 2 million units since its introduction in 1997.

And about to hit the market is the 100% electric-powered, no-gas Nissan Leaf (with a base price of $32,780). General Motors is also introducing the Chevrolet Volt, a $40,000plus PHEV. Both are eligible for a federal tax credit of $7,500, which brings them into the realm of reality for many drivers. Toyota (Plug-in Prius), BMW (MINI E), and Mitsubishi (i MiEV)—along with other auto manufacturers—are expected to follow with their own EV models.

But will this truly be the dawning of the EV age?

According to SBI Energy (sbireports.com), a division of MarketResearch.com, success of the EV market is incumbent upon the EV infrastructure manufacturing industry.

Infrastructure components include advanced battery research, the smart grid, and vehicle charging stations. According to SBI Energy’s market research study Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Manufacturing, the global market value of smart grid manufacturing related to PHEV and EV deployment is $29 billion. This equates to nearly 42% of the total smart grid market value. Additionally, Pike Research, a provider of clean-tech market intelligence, projects that by 2015, annual revenue from EV charging equipment will reach $1.8 billion.

Charging station commotion

Most of the EV charging equipment will fall into one of three categories: Level 1 (slow charging) as a 120VAC, 15A platform will likely take from 15 to 20 hours for a full charge; Level 2 (faster charging), designed as a 208VAC to 240VAC, up to 80A system, could cut charge times to four to eight hours; and DC Charging, will offer the fastest charge time—as little as 15 to 30 minutes.

In July 2008, Coulomb Technologies announced the installation of the company’s first ChargePoint Network electric charging station for EVs. Two years later, the company announced a broad OEM, product, and marketing partnership with Leviton, making available Leviton’s branded EV charging stations that are ChargePoint Network compatible.

In June 2010, Coulomb announced its $37 million ChargePoint America program, which included a $15 million grant made possible by the ARRA through the Transportation Electrification Initiative administered by the DOE. Already, Coulomb has formed partnerships with Ford Motor Company, the Chevrolet Division of General Motors, and smart USA to use the ChargePoint America program as a platform to introduce its EV charging stations in nine regional markets. (Nissan has selected AeroVironment [AV], a supplier of efficient electric energy systems for clean transportation, to supply EV home-charging station and installation services to buyers).

With the DOE’s support, ChargePoint America will provide nearly 5,000 charging stations to program participants in Austin, Texas; Detroit; Los Angeles; New York; Orlando, Fla.; Bellevue/Redmond, Wash.; Washington, D.C.; and in Sacramento and the San Jose/San Francisco Bay area in California.

According to Coulomb Technologies’s CEO Richard Lowenthal, in 2009 the company shipped more than 700 charging stations to 132 customers worldwide. By 2015, he expects the United States will have 1 million EVs on its roads.

“For EVs to gain wide acceptance, people will need a place to charge their batteries,” said Lowenthal. “There are expected to be 3 million of these vehicles worldwide by 2015. That will create a $12 billion market for charging infrastructure.”

Eyeing the potential market growth driven by an anticipated flood of plug-in vehicles, Coulomb has plenty of competition from other companies that have announced their own vehicle charging solutions—including GE EnergyIndustrial Solutions, Nissan Motor, Schneider Electric (Square D), Eaton, Siemens, Panasonic, Samsung, and Sanyo.

With the introduction of the GE WattStation, the company’s new EV charging station, Chris Bowler, general manager, marketing, for GE Energy Industrial Solutions, discussed his expectations for this new category.

“Residential properties are expected to make up the largest market sector for our EV charging stations,” said Bowler, who explained that research has forecasted that residential EV equipment in North America should represent more than two-thirds of total charging equipment sales. “We also anticipate demand for charging infrastructure in office locations, municipal government facilities, hotel chains, shopping malls, and parking facilities.

“Drivers of EVs will likely want to charge their vehicles while they are parked and doing something else,” continued Bowler, noting that public-use GE WattStation models are anticipated to be priced from $3,000 to $7,000 depending on the specific features involved. “Supporting the GE WattStation represents a huge infrastructure opportunity for electrical distributors,” he said.

GE has partnered with ServiceMagic to offer consumers online access to a network of certified electricians for installation of the residential WattStation, while GE Capital will provide financing options through ServiceMagic, enabling consumers to pay for the charger and installation costs over time.

Eaton has also entered the EV charging market. Eaton’s PowR Station family will include Level 1, Level 2, and DC Quick Chargers, which provide a recharge in as little as 15 minutes.

“The DC Quick Charger would enable convenience charging for the motorist, has been proven to address range anxiety experienced by the driver of an all-electric vehicle, and opens up entire regions to all-EV access,” said Tim Old, business unit manager, electric transportation infrastructure, for Eaton. “We would expect to see not only more sheer volume of the Level 2 EV stations, but also a significant number of DC Quick Chargers.”

According to Old, the deployment of the plug-in EV will make energy management essential in residential, commercial, and institutional facilities requiring smart grid applications that include energy management and demand response within those facilities.

“There are no guarantees that the EVs will finally gain a grip, but I can’t think of another point in history when it had better chances with more manufacturers producing more models every month and more utilities looking for off-peak load,” he said.

Richard Korthauer, business director, Final Distribution Business, for Schneider Electric, estimated there will be more than 500,000 PHEVs and EVs on the road in the next five years. “Assuming that two charging spots will be needed per vehicle, about a million charging stations will need to be installed,” he predicted.

A little help from Uncle Sam

Of course, deep pockets will be required to develop and install a sizable EV charging infrastructure; therefore, government support is likely to make the difference in catapulting the EV technology beyond that of a budding niche market. Fortunately, Uncle Sam has shown an interest in building the EV infrastructure.

“So far the government has supported the EV industry with more than $10 billion in loans and grants to make fuel-efficient cars and extended-range batteries,” noted Korthauer. In addition to the consumer tax credits for the purchase of fuel-efficient vehicles, the U.S. government—through the ARRA—has already committed more than $2.5 billion in incentives for auto manufacturers, with Ford, Nissan, and Tesla all receiving part of the $8 billion in auto industry loans. ARRA funding has also aided United States-based manufacturers of batteries, motors, and charging infrastructure with $2.4 billion.

Federal funding is not only paving the way for faster adoption of EVs, but also spurring the installation of more than 12,000 EV charging stations in Arizona, California, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington.

According to Michael Mattei, vice president and general manager, commercial and industrial, for Leviton, the right ingredients now exist for this market to grow and flourish. “We have the perfect storm generating the initial demand—new cars, government incentives, and Americans’ desire to be green and reduce dependence on foreign oil,” explained Mattei.

Mattei pointed to three positives that, when combined, should help launch the new industry. “Long-awaited deliveries of the Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Volt will drive demand for Level 2 home charging stations,” he said, adding that 20,000 to 30,000 units could be sold in 2011.

He also projected that government programs such as ChargePoint America

and The EV Project will drive nearly 20,000 public Level 2 charging stations and 310 Public Level 3 charging stations during 2011 and 2012. “Additionally, government tax incentives and rebates, along with LEED credits, should help drive maybe as many as 5,000 additional charging stations during the same time frame,” said Mattei.

Electrical distribution’s role

So with ever-increasing interest from government, automakers, and developers of the battery charging technology itself, does the EV market represent a legitimate untapped growth opportunity for the electrical distribution channel?

Judging by the actions taken by some early adopters, it seems safe to conclude that the EV market, though faced with some major challenges, represents economic potential that could eventually rival the impact of the growing renewable energy market.

Based on a presentation for the GE WattStation, EV infrastructure is anticipated to generate 50% of the sales volume invested in the actual charge stations. If accurate, that would mean by 2015 the electrical distribution industry could see nearly $200 million in annual EV-related sales for load centers, transformers, switchgear, switchboards and panelboards, submetering, and utility equipment.

According to Christopher Chickanosky, vice president of global sales for Gexpro, the Paris-based Rexel Group distributor with headquarters in Shelton, Conn., predicts 20,000 units will be installed in 2010, representing roughly $30 million in charging stations alone.

“Additionally, the accessory products or bulk electrical market [cable, fittings, gear, etc.] created by the installation of these units could reach $150 million in sales,” said Chickanosky. “We believe this market offers unlimited potential for growth—and we are very excited about our partnership with GE as it allows us to expand our product/service offering to our customers while helping to reduce the carbon footprint in this market.”

While Chickanosky agrees with the industry’s general assessment that short-term growth will be modest for the first three to five years, Gexpro believes the EV market will ultimately be “a huge game changer” in the auto industry.

“The team with the ability to supply a great product, soup-to-nuts installation, and inventory across the country is going to be the beneficiary of this growth,” said Chickanosky. “Gexpro wants to be that team.”

According to Korthauer, Gexpro won’t be alone.

“Our distributors and contractors/installers are very interested in the EV market and are well positioned to take a leadership role given their knowledge of the residential and commercial building markets and their electrical power and energy management needs,” he noted. “Some even see the EV opportunity as a preface to a larger opportunity around promoting, selling, and installing a portfolio of green energy management products and solutions.”

Electrical contractors should be able to easily familiarize themselves with EV installations. Makers of the EV charging stations liken the installation of outdoor charging stations to installing streetlights since it requires electrical wiring and concrete work. Meanwhile, installing EV indoor charging stations is even simpler, requiring only electrical wiring.

One distributor that has grabbed on to the EV opportunity is Green Power Technology, the authorized Northeast region distributor for Coulomb Technologies. With offices in Long Island, N.Y., and Nashville, Tenn., Green Power Technology serves a market that includes 14 states encompassing New England and the MidAtlantic South to Washington, D.C.

Both company CEO Jerry Reich and President James Stamos spent much of their careers with OEM car manufacturers and as automotive consultants for

several EV start-up companies. “We were both aware of the plans of mainstream car makers to bring EVs to the marketplace beginning in late 2010 and 2011,” said Stamos.

“By 2012 most major domestic, Asian, and European car manufacturers will be selling EVs in the United States,” reported Stamos. “Some producers will commit 5% of production to EVs, but others will go higher.”

Despite the EV industry having amassed a broad, well-financed coalition of public and private financial and technical brawn, it remains to be seen whether U.S. drivers are ready to buy and drive electrical vehicles in substantial numbers.

And if millions of our neighbors do decide to plug in rather than fill up, will it be traditional electrical distributors that provide America’s electrical charging station infrastructure? Or will it be the energy “specialists” that are already claiming this new territory?

Carazo provides B2B marketing services for electrical industry organizations. He can be reached at dcaraz@optonline.net. Breslin is a freelance writer based in New Jersey. He can be reached at 2016521287 or mikebreslinproductions.com.

Sidebar:

The EV renaissance

The EV renaissance may be upon us as sustainable technology in the automobile industry slowly permeates the U.S. marketplace. To get a better understanding of the coming EV marketplace, Mike Tinskey, global manager for vehicle electrification and infrastructure at the Ford Motor Company, offered some insight:

Q: What developments will the United States likely see in the next three to five years with regard to the EV market?

A: The next three to five years will be a learning experience for all involved with electrification—and pivotal to its long-term viability. We will see multiple plug-in vehicle launches, along with significant federal and local incentives to help improve the early adoption of this new technology. We expect to see a growing acceptance of electrified vehicles—hybrid electric, battery electric, plug-in electric—with our long-term expectations that between 10% and 25% of our 2020 sales will be electrified.

Q: From your perspective, what are some misconceptions about the EV market?

A: Pure-EV, with directionally a 100-mile range, will likely be a niche vehicle, meaning it won’t be for everyone. Ford believes that plug-in hybrids—where you use electricity and have an internal combustion engine onboard—will be a more popular alternative. Because of this, we plan to offer multiple vehicles with multiple electrification technologies so we’ll have products to offer different segments of customers.

Q: What will the EV market mean to the electrical infrastructure needed to support it?

A: Initially, most EVs will use the traditional “drive during the day, charge at night” model, which will be the least disruptive to the grid infrastructure. What this means is that the market will be for home and business charge stations and the electrical labor to install. Longer term, we’ll see the emergence of fast charging and workplace charging, but it will be a challenge to balance these needs without significantly increasing the load on the grid during peak periods. Most of these challenges can be solved using IT communication coupled with the right price incentives to encourage nonpeak charging.

Q: Is there wide enough demand to support the EV infrastructure and marketplace?

A: With most of the initial buyers charging at their nighttime charge station (i.e., the equivalent to having an in-home fuel station), we will carefully follow the market size and installation for secondary/public charge stations. Initial charge station installations are co-funded by the DOE. After that incentive is gone, it will be more difficult to develop a viable business case on installing a public charge station based on revenue alone. We see some creative business models that are based on other factors—such as longer time spent in a retail outlet—that makes the business case viable. Advances in fast charging, reservation systems, and low-cost Level 2 chargers could also become an EV infrastructure catalyst.

Q: What should electrical distributors know about this market?

A: Primarily, electrification is a marathon, not a sprint. The key is to get the technology right and focus on the customer experience to enable the scale we hope to achieve. Working together and making the right long-term decisions are paramount.

Jim Romeo, a freelance writer based in Chesapeake, Va., writes on business and technology topics. Reach him at JimRomeo.net.

Reprinted with permission from TED the electrical distributor Magazine www.tedmag.com

 

Crestron Releases CresFiber® 8G for Long Distance Analog and Digital Content Transfer

CresFiber® 8G Supports 1000 Foot Transmission with DigitalMedia™ Devices

Orlando, FL, January 16, 2011 – Crestron today announced the release of CresFiber® 8G, the only fiber available that enables full 1000 foot AV distribution with Crestron revolutionary DigitalMedia™ devices. DigitalMedia technology boasts the first single copper wire or fiber, high-output network, delivering unprecedented ultra-high speed and long distance transmission of all analog and HD digital content including HD/3D digital audio/video, control, data, Ethernet, and USB - without any need for compression or repeaters. CresFiber is an essential component of the complete DigitalMedia solution, managing and distributing all analog and HD signals over a single fiber strand.

Integrators face limitations working with HDMI in larger installations as HDMI signals only reach 30 feet and cables aren’t available in bulk. DigitalMedia Cable and CresFiber multimode fiber offer integrators two time and cost saving solutions. DigitalMedia Cable is shielded twisted pair cable, similar to CAT5e, which transmits digital and analog content hundreds of feet.  CresFiber transmits all signals up to 1000 feet. Both solutions are available in bulk spools, and use standard RJ-45 and SC connectors respectively. 

CresFiber only requires one connector on each end, replacing 14 traditional cables required to connect analog systems. "As a true single-strand multimode fiber, CresFiber saves integrators time and money, significantly reducing material and labor costs of cabling. It also provides a robust platform to manage the latest digital signals with plenty of headroom to handle next generation technologies,” noted Vincent Bruno, Crestron Director of Marketing.

“Crestron DigitalMedia Cable and CresFiber offer a lean infrastructure that not only distributes the AV and control signals, but also manages the two-way communication of embedded data, such as HDCP, EDID and CEC,” added Bruno. “These sets of data are what make digital system installation so challenging. Our free diagnostic software makes troubleshooting and system optimization simple and reliable.”

DigitialMedia  makes it easy to enjoy all the rich media benefits of digital content, including razor-sharp HD video, 3D content, high-speed streaming Internet content, Blu-ray Disc™, Apple® Mac® and MacBook®, as well as the latest 7.1 digital surround sound audio formats.

CresFiber features multimode fiber cable with extended bandwidth for use with Crestron products, DigitalMedia 8G, standard DigitalMedia and HDMI® over fiber, as well as other multimode fiber applications.

For more information, please visit Crestron BICSI Winter booth #633 or go to www.crestron.com. For high-resolution photos, go to www.crestron.com/pressroom.

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About Crestron

The leading manufacturer of AV control and automation systems for 40 years, Crestron has supported the federal government and U.S. military to provide integrated solutions including AV and environmental touchpanel room control, digital signal switching and distribution, HD multi-image display, and secure remote asset management for CCC, EOC, briefing rooms, classrooms, court rooms and more. All Crestron products are proudly designed, engineered and

manufactured in the USA.

In addition to its World Headquarters in Rockleigh, New Jersey, Crestron has sales and support offices throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, Latin America and Australia.

 

CRESTRON RELEASES 24-PORT POWER OVER ETHERNET SWITCH

CEN-SWPOE-24 PoE (Power over Ethernet) Switch Simplifies Installation

Orlando, FL, January 16, 2011 – Crestron today announced the release of the CEN-SWPOE-24, a 24-port managed 10/100 Ethernet switch with PoE (Power over Ethernet) and dual Gigabit uplink ports. Extremely installer-friendly, the CEN-SWPOE-24 is configured via a simple-to-use Web browser interface, and Crestron Toolbox™ enables device auto-discovery. The CEN-SWPOE-24 offers control system networking made easy, providing Crestron guaranteed performance and reliability for a complete Ethernet network of touchpanels, keypads, control processors, and other devices in a 2-space rack mount package.

A significant advance in control system networking, the 24 ports are uniquely rear-mounted for convenient use in a typical AV equipment rack. Full IEEE 802.3af Power over Ethernet (PoE) is furnished simultaneously, eliminating the need for additional power supplies and wiring while providing a centralized power source for numerous PoE devices, such as the TPMC-4SM touchpanel, MPC-M5 controller and CEN-IDOCV Interface for Apple iPod®. Dual Gigabit Ethernet uplink/stacking ports assure ample bandwidth for the 24 high-speed 10/100 Base-T ports.

"Crestron continues to maximize system performance and simplify installation with products that capitalize on the high-speed of Ethernet and the convenience of PoE," said Vincent Bruno, Crestron Director of Marketing. "When we pioneered the use of Ethernet for control system networking, we defined a whole new standard for systems integration and control."

A front panel management port enables mirroring of any rear port for easy monitoring and troubleshooting. Customizable front panel labeling makes it easy to designate each port with clear, descriptive names.

Crestron provides an entire series of network connected, Power over Ethernet (PoE) devices with single-cable connectivity, eliminating the need for additional electrical and control wiring and resulting in clean, simplified installations and significantly reduced installation costs.

About Crestron

The leading manufacturer of AV control and automation systems for 40 years, Crestron has supported the federal government and U.S. military to provide integrated solutions including AV and environmental touchpanel room control, digital signal switching and distribution, HD multi-image display, and secure remote asset management for CCC, EOC, briefing rooms, classrooms, court rooms and more. All Crestron products are proudly designed, engineered and manufactured in the USA.

In addition to its World Headquarters in Rockleigh, New Jersey, Crestron has sales and support offices throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, Latin America and Australia.

 

TED magazine information and new calendar

Thanks for always looking out for tED!  We really do appreciate it.  If you are so inclined, you could link to our new media kit site which includes information on the editorial calendar, online, video, conferences, etc.  http://www.tedmediakit.com

If you’d rather link to just the editorial kit, here it is:  http://www.tedmediakit.com/downloads/2011EditCalv1112FINAL.pdf

 

Molex unveils high-current connectors at DesignCon

LISLE, Ill. -- Jan 31, 2011  At DesignCon 2011, Molex has introduced a new version of its EXTreme Ten60Power high-current connectors. The new EXTreme Ten60Power delivers up to 260A per linear inch, representing the highest current density available in a low profile connector on the market today, claims the company.

“We have put the ultimate in Molex power and signal design into this product, which meets the market’s demand for higher wattage in smaller spaces,” comments Ken Stead, manager, new product development, Molex. “The EXTreme Ten60Power blends power and signal contacts in a single low-profile connector housing to achieve the maximum current-to-space ratio.”

Featuring tighter pitch signal contacts than the original Molex 24-signal, 3-row (2.54 mm x 2.54 mm) version, the 25-signal, 5-row (2.00 mm x 1.65 mm) modules are suitable for all board-to-board applications. Additionally, the new HDS modules have both solder tail and press fit options, further increasing design flexibility. The EXTreme Ten60Power modules are available in 250 or 600 volt versions. They have a range of 1 to 10 power blade modules with UL/CSA of 60A per blade and 6 to 40 signals.

The robust contact design accommodates AC (7.50 mm power pitch spacing), DC (5.50 mm) and signal. An array of module options makes the system highly configurable and includes: three different mating lengths - end-mount, top-mount, or side-mount guide modules; voided power positions; and right-angle and vertical mount connectors for co-planar or perpendicular designs. Customers can customize the EXTreme Ten60Power modules to meet individual requirements without tooling costs or long lead-times.

“Solving the power equation on new architectures and system platforms is a major focus for our product development teams,” adds Stead. “The modular Ten60Power system packages all the features needed for optimal design flexibility in critical space-constrained applications where power supply and signal integrity are integral to performance.”

The Molex EXTreme Ten60Power connectors meet UL 1977 current-interruption rating for hot plug applications. The product line comprises the EXTreme Ten60Power, EXTreme LPHPower and EXTreme PowerMass systems, featuring a comprehensive selection of current densities, mechanical envelopes, mating terminations and configurations.

Honored with the 2011 DesignVision Award in the Interconnect Technologies and Components category, the modular system will be on display in Molex Booth 501 at DesignCon 2011, February 1 - 2, Santa Clara, CA. Molex will accept the DesignVision award at a ceremony on February 1st at 4:45 p.m. in the ChipHead Theater on the DesignCon show floor.

For additional information on the complete line of Molex EXTreme Power offerings, visit: www.molex.com/link/ext-power.html.

 

NFPA Board of Directors appoints new members to Standards Council

January 26, 2011 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Board of Directors has appointed two new members, David P. Demers and Richard Paul Owen, to the Association’s Standards Council.

Demers is president of Demers Associates Inc., a fire protection engineering consulting firm he started in 1981. In addition to his 40 years of service at the Lunenburg, Mass. Fire Department, where he retired as deputy chief, he was manager of fire investigations for the NFPA for four years and worked at Firepro Inc. for three years. A graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, he has been the chairman of three NFPA technical committees and part of the NFPA consensus standards making system for the past 29 years. He was also a member of the Massachusetts Board of Fire Protection Regulations for 28 years, having served as Chairman for the last seven.

Owen has been involved in the electrical industry for 38 years, from his start as an electrician working for various contractors to serving as the International Association of Electrical Inspectors’ International President in 2009. He served as senior electrical inspector for the city of St. Paul from 1990 to his retirement in 2009. He has served as member and chair of electrical Code-Making Panel Three and is still representing IAEI on the NEC Technical Correlating Committee. Owen is also a member of the NFPA Technical Committee on Air Conditioning.

The NFPA Standards Council, a 13 member body appointed by the board of directors of NFPA, is charged with overseeing the NFPA codes and standards making process. Generally, the duties of the Council include supervising activities related to NFPA codes and standards development, acting as administer of rules and regulations, and serving as an appeals body.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. www.nfpa.org

 

ShoreTel Expands Partner Ecosystem with Value-Added Distribution

ScanSource joins forces with ShoreTel to meet global demand for business communication solutions

SUNNYVALE, Calif. ShoreTel® the leading provider of brilliantly simple IP phone systems with fully integrated unified communications (UC), today announced it has signed an agreement with a value-added distributor, ScanSource Communications, to distribute its comprehensive line of business communication solutions. This expands the ShoreTel Champion Partner Program to a worldwide, two-tier channel program and positions ShoreTel to continue to build momentum and capture increased market share in the IP telephony, mobility and UC markets.

The addition of two-tier distributors in North America should allow ShoreTel to scale its global reach and better serve the needs of its resellers and service providers with significant opportunities for growth and additional offerings that help ensure world-class customer satisfaction. ScanSource Communications will support the channel with highly skilled technical support and seamless global procurement capabilities. ScanSource Communications provides deep expertise in IP telephony and UC solutions, as well as a proven track record of success in delivering excellent support to their reseller community worldwide.

Resellers and service providers looking to capitalize on increasing demand for simple, easily deployed business communication solutions will find the expanded ShoreTel Champion Partner Program provides access to enhanced technology solutions given ShoreTel’s open platform, new training and certification, sales incentive programs and marketing support. This expanded program will enable them to drive future growth while maintaining a profitable revenue stream. Under the new agreement, ShoreTel will continue to maintain standards for certification and accountability for selecting new resellers, ensuring world-class quality and customer satisfaction. Through ScanSource Communications and other distributors, partners can offer stand-alone ShoreTel products, as well as fully integrated, multi-vendor solutions designed to best meet customer needs.

QUOTES

“ShoreTel is committed to helping our partners and customers grow their businesses by offering comprehensive communications solutions that eliminate complexity and help reduce costs. ScanSource Communications shares this vision, and together we can focus on product and service excellence, while offering support and value on a much deeper and broader scale than ever before.”

  • Don Girskis, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales, ShoreTel

“Today’s announcement marks another significant milestone as ShoreTel continues to build a world-class channel infrastructure. By solidifying existing partnerships and forging new strategic relationships in key markets, ShoreTel is well positioned to meet the growing global demand for integrated voice, data and mobile communications solutions for organizations of all sizes.”

  • Peter Blackmore, President and CEO, ShoreTel

“ShoreTel is a leader in delivering communications solutions resellers need to meet the ever-changing demands of the end user. Through ShoreTel’s unified communications, mobility solutions and IP phone systems, coupled with the value-added services and support ScanSource Communications is known for, we are armed and ready to help our resellers grow their communications business and strengthen their solution offering.”

  • Buck Baker, President, ScanSource Communications

“This distribution announcement will positively help ShoreTel's enterprise market reach capability and provide more vertical market focus. It's a natural evolution of the company’s distribution strategy as growth continues. The focus on customer satisfaction remains a key differentiator for ShoreTel, but the biggest advantage here is the increased efficiency in distribution, combined with the advantages of recruiting more partners of vertical industry segments, which is key for many UC vendors today. The announcement will help bring ShoreTel's U.S. and Canadian strategy more in-line with how it distributes elsewhere in the world.”

  • Rich Costello, Senior Analyst, Enterprise Communications Infrastructure, International Data Corporation (IDC)

“As the economic climate improves, communications providers have the opportunity to accelerate growth through enhancing their channel programs. A two-tier approach can improve access to potential customers and enable greater cost efficiencies and differentiated services.”

  • Megan Fernandez, Principal Analyst, Gartner

www.shoretel.com

 

The World is now FLAT - Article by Tim Kraft

The distance between any two points is the speed of light, through a fiber optic cable. Global fiber optic cables that connect from home to home, office to office across the world have flattened our world. Fiber optics removes geography and time from the discussion. The speed of light in a global communications, changes the way we communicate and global economics. Personal questions of where is my office? Who do I work for? When do I work? In this new environment, you can work from anywhere. You can work for more than one company located anywhere in the world. When your work is subject to your availability and the function you perform. In a flattened global economy, opportunities are endless.

Businesses and cities are subject to the global flattening and the new economic realities. They no longer compete with our neighbors down the street; we compete at the speed of light, against businesses and cities across the globe. It is just as easy to move research and manufacturing down the street or around the world to avoid taxes and regulation. It’s a new world where it is just as easy to have a worker in India as it is to have one in Indiana. Businesses and cities compete on a global scale. It all happens at the speed of light.

How you connect into this glass super highway and into the world is of key importance. Historically, businesses were located along rivers for power and transportation. Cities were built around these businesses. Historically, water was the power that drove the businesses engine and provided for transportation, and supported the population. In the new global economy, successful cities and businesses are NOT built along rivers of water but rather pathways of fiber optic cable. How you hook to the Internet is critical to the success of businesses and our economy. Cities that lack the fiber infrastructure to support global business are the modern American ghost towns.

Metropolitan economic development requires the abundance of fiber optic connectivity. Businesses and consumers need to communicate with its suppliers across town, to the airport, the sea port, the rail yard and to it’s world partners. Education K-12 and higher education are dependent upon fiber cables to deliver world class education.  Political leadership cannot underestimate this new economy. The rules have changed on a global scale. To ignore a global economy is a impossible.

A metropolitan fiber optic infrastructure is the new economic utility. This utility must be properly managed. Government must provide economic incentives for the installation of fiber optic infrastructures across the area and within economic development sites. World class educational requires interschool connections across districts to support traditional and new forms of education. Building  and zoning regulation; all new buildings have fiber optic entry conduits installed; subdivisions have fiber pathways to the home; Street and sidewalk resurfacing requires the installation of fiber conduit systems. Cities that can manage and stimulate the growth of fiber connectivity will prosper and flourish. Businesses and education will prosper in this environment of connectivity.

Quality of life for its citizens and the businesses that efficiently utilize the global Internet will thrive. Successful businesses will provide the economic stimulus. Education, provides an intelligent workforce for the future. The entertainment and communication opportunities for the modern family are limitless.

The world is flat, global fiber networks have changed the world’s economy, and how we live our lives. The distance between any two points is the speed of light. We now compete with the world, from Milwaukee to Mumbai, is less than a second away. Geography and time no longer determine where we work or what we do. How we connect to the glass super highway, the internet, determines the opportunities that await.

Tim Kraft - RCDD

518-330-1188 or tkraft@nycap.rr.com

 

WESCO’s International's earnings jump

Wesco International Inc., South Side, said quarterly earnings jumped about 60 percent to $34.8 million, or 72 cents a share, from $21.8 million, or 51 cents a share, the year earlier.

Sales increased almost 18 percent to $1.33 billion. For the full year, earnings increased 9.5 percent to more than $115 million, or $2.50 a share, compared with $105 million, or $2.46 a share, the year before.

Sales also increased 9.5 percent, to $5.06 billion.

Read more: Wesco International's earnings jump - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/business/s_720209.html#ixzz1Cj3Akixy

 

AFL Launches Two New Fusion Splicers in ARCMaster™ Series
See demonstrations of the 100P+ at Photonics West, Booth #4103

 

SPARTANBURG, SC – January 19, 2011
AFL announces the launch of two new Fujikura fusion splicers, the FSM-100P+ and the FSM-100M+, adding to its current ARCMaster series which consists of the FSM-100M/100P released in August 2010. The new fusion splicers provide further advanced capabilities, including an innovative "end-view" fiber observation system and XLDF (Extra Large Diameter Fiber) splicing capability.

With the number and type of optical fibers for fusion splicing applications rapidly increasing and diversifying beyond telecommunications, additional capabilities were needed to adapt to fiber lasers, sensors, research and development, and the medical field. Features of the new FSM-100M+ and FSM-100P+ include:

End-view fiber observation system
The cleaved ends of the optical fiber are observed in the axial direction by means of a mirror that directs the fiber end image into the camera system, allowing precise alignment and splicing of uniquely structured fibers, such as PM, multi-core, non-circular (hexagonal, octagonal, etc.) or micro-structured "holey" fibers.

XLDF splicing capability
Large diameter fibers up to 1200 µm cladding diameter can be spliced with air-cooled 3mm diameter electrodes that oscillate up/down during splicing. The up/down electrode oscillation produces "Plasma Zone Path Modulation" in order to evenly heat very large fibers. In addition to the original "Plasma Zone Control" fiber and electrode positioning techniques introduced with the 100M/P series, the "Plasma Zone Path Modulation" now provides unprecedented versatility for a wider variety of optical fibers including XLDF.

Enhanced sweep arc technology
The travel range for the "sweep arc" is now increased to +/- 18 mm for improved MFD matching capability and for improved ability to reshape non-circular fibers in preparation for splicing. This (as well as the increased left/right Z-stages travel) also allows for creation of longer tapered fibers.

Split v-groove and height adjustable fiber stage
This revolutionary design provides firm fiber clamping ranging from 60 µm to 1200 µm in cladding diameter.

Features specific to the FSM-100P+
The FSM-100P+ also has three PM alignment technologies. To properly align and splice the ever-increasing and technically challenging variety of PM fibers, Fujikura developed IPA, a new alignment technology. The FSM-100P+ includes both traditional PAS alignment as well as the new IPA technology, providing users with the most comprehensive capabilities on the market for splicing PM fiber. With the new FSM-100P+, the end-view observation system adds a third PM fiber alignment technology, in addition to the traditional PAS and the IPA methods.

About the ARCMaster series
All ARCMaster series of fusion splicers possess a special arc calibration technology which facilities an easy transfer of high end splicing applications from R&D to production by ensuring consistent performance and enables full exploitation of "Plasma Zone" capabilities. In addition, by combining the best features of both cold and warm splice imaging, these new generation splicers offer extraordinary accuracy for splice loss estimation. With a production friendly design, both splicers are consistent with the most popular splicing workbenches in use today. With its low profile, fiber catch points are virtually eliminated.

Customers can now upgrade firmware as new capabilities become available from Fujikura. Upgrading is as simple as connecting a USB cable to your splicer. An industry first!

At Photonics West
The new FSM-100P+ ARCMaster splicer will be demonstrated at Photonics West 2011 in AFL's Booth #4103. On Tuesday, January 23, Doug Duke, Senior Application Engineer, will present "State of the ARC Fusion Splicing Technology" and discuss the entire ARCMaster series of fusion splicers including the FSM-100M/P and FSM-100M+/P+ to attendees. Demo Area 3 (North Hall) at 10:30 a.m.

For additional information on AFL's ARCMaster series, visit www.StateoftheARC.com.

About AFL
AFL provides industry-leading products and services to the electric utility, broadband, communications, OEM, enterprise and wireless markets as well as the emerging markets of oil and gas, mining, nuclear, avionics and medical. The company's diverse product portfolio includes fiber optic cable, conductor accessories, outside plant equipment, connectors, fusion splicers, test equipment and training. Founded in 1984, AFL is proud to offer engineering expertise, exceptional products and reliable service that help our customers improve their business.

AFL has operations in the U.S., Mexico, Europe and Asia. The company is headquartered in Spartanburg, SC, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujikura Ltd. of Japan. For more information, visit www.AFLglobal.com.

About Fujikura
Fujikura is the world's leading manufacturer of fiber optic cables and equipment for installation, measurement, and testing. Fujikura incorporates "Tsunagu" technology making the Fujikura name synonymous with fiber optic fusion splicers. Visit www.fujikura.com for more information.

Contacts

Greg Pickeral
Product Manager, AFL
864.433.5937
greg.pickeral@aflglobal.com

 

Siemon Announces High-Speed 6Gb/s mini-SAS to mini-SAS Four Lane Passive Copper Cable Assemblies

Four lane cables can support 24+Gb/s link performance  - ideal for high-speed storage networking links     

Watertown, Connecticut – February 2, 2011 – Siemon, a leading global manufacturer of IT network cabling and infrastructure systems, announces the release of a new 6Gb/s per lane mini-SAS to mini-SAS external passive copper cable assembly products. These mini-SAS cables support the connection of 6Gb/s Host Controller Adapters to 6Gb/s SAS switches as well as supporting legacy 3Gb/s applications in the installed base.

These external mini-SAS cable assemblies feature low profile backshell design design enables easy access and removal in tight fitting, high-density storage applications.  The assemblies are available in 30 AWG, 28 AWG and 26 AWG cable in standard lengths from 0.5 to 5 meters.

Siemon’s four lane mini-SAS cables exceed the requirements of the ANSI INCITS T10 SAS 2.1 specification as well as the SFF-8088 specification. These cables also support other 3-6Gb/s IO per lane protocol, copper cabled interfaces like SATA-2, SATA-3, RapidIO, XAUI-2, Aurora and NUMA. Mini-SAS four lane cables can support 24+Gb/s link performance and are ideal for low profile storage, server, video and other point-to-point network cabling applications in blade to box, rack to rack and shelf to shelf configurations.

 Electrical test data and product data sheets are available at www.siemon.com/sis.

This interconnect is part of the Siemon's high speed interconnect family, which includes their Moray QSFP+ Active Optical Cable assemblies, QSFP+ and SFP+ passive copper cable assemblies, SFF-8470 CX4/IB/SAS cables and MTP optical fiber Plug and Play solutions as well as a variety of innovative high-performance structured cabling products.

Learn more about Siemon’s high-speed interconnect products at: www.siemon.com/sis

Follow Siemon Interconnect Solutions on Twitter: http://twitter.com/siemonis/

Join Siemon on Facebook: http://www.siemon.com/go/facebook

Read our blog at www.siemon.com/sis/blog

 

Anixter's 4Q profit more than doubles, beat estimates; revenue also higher than expected

On Tuesday February 1, 2011, 3:53 pm EST

GLENVIEW, Ill. (AP) -- Shares of Anixter International Inc. jumped Tuesday after the company said its fourth-quarter profit more than doubled, easily topping Wall Street analysts' expectations.

The stock rose $3.90, or 6.2 percent, to $67.17 in late trading.

The company, based in Glenview, distributes communication and security products, electrical and electronic wire and cable and other components. The company sells these parts to manufacturers, who in turn use them to make products for the education, healthcare, power distribution, security, shipbuilding, telecommunications and broadcast markets.

The company's quarterly profit more than doubled to $31.5 million, or 88 cents per share, in the period ended Dec. 31. That compares with year-earlier earnings of $12.7 million, or 35 cents per share.

Excluding one-time charges, the company earned $1.19 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting 94 cents per share. Analysts typically exclude such one-time items from their estimates.

Revenue rose to $1.43 billion from $1.22 billion. Analysts were expecting $1.35 billion.

Anixter's management said its fourth-quarter sales were strong despite the period traditionally being a weak season, particularly compared to the third quarter, when manufacturers are busy ramping up production to meet holiday demand.

The company reported strong sales gains across all of its major segments, with its electrical wire business improving the most. Anixter added that it saw even growth across its U.S., European and emerging markets.

During 2010, the company swung to a profit, earning $108.5 million, or $3.05 per share. In 2009, it posted a loss of $29.3 million, or 83 cents per share.

Revenue for the year rose to $5.47 billion from $4.98 billion.

The company did not issue any guidance. www.anixter.com

 

Beacon Enterprise Solutions Jerry L. Bowman has been promoted to President & COO

 LOUISVILLE, Ky., Jan. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Beacon Enterprise Solutions Group, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: BEAC) (www.askbeacon.com), an emerging global leader in the design, implementation and management of high performance Information Technology Systems (ITS), today announces Chief Operating Officer Jerry L. Bowman has been promoted to the position of President and COO.

Mr. Bowman, age 52, joined Beacon in September 2009 as Senior Vice President of Global Services and was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in April 2010.  In the year and a half since joining Beacon, Mr. Bowman has been focused on building Beacon into a global provider of ITS infrastructure solutions by increasing sales and support with both existing and new clients.  These changes have positioned Beacon for continued organic growth and scalability.  

"Jerry Bowman's promotion to President is well deserved.  As a respected ITS industry leader for over 20 years, he has brought an impressive amount of expertise and knowledge to Beacon," said Bruce Widener, CEO of Beacon.  "Jerry has been instrumental in realigning our operations and sales organizations to focus on our four core professional services disciplines which provide the highest gross margin.  This realignment has positioned Beacon to effectively address our primary vertical markets and realize the vast opportunities that exist within the strategic marketing relationships established with outside plant, global integrators and Smart Enterprise partners.  Further, Jerry's efforts and thought leadership have been the catalyst in refining and refocusing Beacon's business plan."

"I am proud to be given this additional responsibility with Beacon," stated Jerry Bowman.  "We have spent the last 18 months refining the business strategy and focusing the Operations team on our core capabilities and capacity-related structure. Including Sales and Global Account Management on my team will serve to further align solution development, client expectation and service delivery. This move also complements the teaming and marketing agreements we've put in place over the last 18 months.  Our Sales Division, led by Mark Gervasoni, is focused to identify and integrate global partners and marquee clients resulting in solutions for our existing and new vertical markets.  This new responsibility when combined with the strategic realignments we've announced over the last 18 months, position Beacon to reach and exceed our revenue and margin targets."

Mr. Bowman has served as a member of a number of industry associations and workgroups, and has been a featured speaker and thought leader for various industry publications and organizations.  He serves as the President-Elect of BICSI (Tampa, FL), an educational, credentialing organization and standards body supporting the ITS industry. He has served on the Board of Directors of BICSI for 5 years, and as the Chair of various committees and subcommittees.  

About Beacon Enterprise Solutions Group, Inc.

Beacon Enterprise Solutions Group is an emerging global leader in the design, implementation and management of high performance Information Technology Systems ("ITS") infrastructure solutions.  Beacon offers fully integrated, turnkey IT infrastructure solutions capable of fully servicing the largest companies in the world as they increasingly outsource to reduce costs while optimizing critical IT design and infrastructure management. Beacon is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, with a regional headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, Prague, Czech Republic and personnel located throughout the United States and Europe.

For additional information, please visit Beacon's corporate website: www.askbeacon.com

 

Internet based distributor (CableOrganizer.com) continues to set record sales and looks forward to a healthy 2011

How CableOrganizer.com Started:

It all started back in February 2002, when Valerie Holstein and her husband, Paul, invested $30 into registering a web domain, and began operating CableOrganizer.com from their home garage. Frustrated by the unruly cables around their computers and home theater system, they set out to offer simple but effective products that would help others organize the cord clutter in their homes and offices.

It turns out that they found a niche, and in the passing years they've not only expanded the company's product line to include electrical supplies, network products, home theater components, tools and testers, but also grown out of their garage and into 38,000 square feet of warehouse space in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. CableOrganizer.com has become the one-stop shop that over 250,000 customers worldwide rely upon for over 42,000 products, comprehensive consumer resources, fast order turnaround, and stellar customer service.

Why They’re Different:

Customer satisfaction is our first priority. We pride ourselves on the fact that anyone can dial our toll-free number 24/7/365, and be greeted by a live person on the other end of the line. Our Customer Service Representatives are second to none; they're expertly trained on the products we offer, and you'll find that they're also unfailingly friendly and accommodating, even to the point of referring a customer to one of our competitors if we can't give that person what they need within the time frame he or she requires. As one of our representatives recently said, "if you need it, we've got it… if not, we'll get it!"

CableOrganizer.com is a GSA-certified Woman Owned Business, and thanks to our extensive product line and unsurpassed service, we've had the honor of supplying an impressive lineup of well-respected organizations, which includes NASA, Boeing, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Lucent, Pfizer, Walmart, Kodak, Lockheed Martin, Wells Fargo, and many others. www.cableorganizer.com

Who they Are Now:

Still led by co-founders Valerie Holstein (President and CEO) and Paul Holstein (Vice President and COO), CableOrganizer.com is powered by a diverse group of executives, IT experts, marketing professionals, web designers, product specialists, customers service representatives and logistics personnel from all over the world. In addition to our headquarters in beautiful South Florida, we also operate a subsidiary, CableOrganizer France (http://cableorganizer.fr) out of Rennes, France.

BTW: CableOrganizer.com carries the Megladon Mfg ScratxchGuard® HLC fiber optic patchcords.

Leviton Fiber and Data Center Team Expanding

January 26, 2011 – Bothell, WA:  Leviton Network Solutions announced the addition of two new fiber and data center experts to its roster of talented professionals. Dave Mullen, senior product manager for fiber systems, will be responsible for the company’s line of pre-terminated, make-to-order fiber solutions. Ron Kotwica, data center engineer, will work closely with Leviton’s sales force and specifications team to design and specify data networks, create proposals, and provide additional technical support.

Mullen is a 26-year veteran of the structured cabling industry, including 15 years of fiber optics experience at Deutsch, Stratos Lightwave, and Emerson Connectivity Solutions. He has experience supporting several markets, including data/telecom, military, broadcast, and healthcare. Dave holds a B.A. in Marketing from Wilmington College and a technical degree in laser optics from Cincinnati State College.

Kotwica also brings a wealth of experience to his new role: He has designed, implemented, and supported LAN/WAN networks for 15 years. For the past 10 years he was with SunGard Availability Services’ Disaster Recovery unit, where he provided network planning and integration services, including configuring network hardware. Ron holds a certificate in Computerized Business Systems from Computer Learning Centers, Inc. in Chicago.

“Data center projects now make up more than 20% of all network installations, and pre-terminated solutions are an essential part of those and other fiber projects,” said Ross Goldman, vice president and general manager for Leviton Network Solutions. “Ron and Dave, with their considerable expertise, will be very valuable in helping Leviton serve this growing market.”

Leviton offers a wide range of support to its data center customers, including network infrastructure design, specifications, certified installers and contractors, technical support, and downloadable resources. The company’s full line of data center connectivity solutions, from enclosures and panels to pre-terminated, make-to-order cable assemblies and much more, is available through their extensive reseller network. leviton.com/datacenter.

 

NFPA offers online training courses

Demand for NFPA self guided online courses continues to rise! Discover the value and flexibility of our expanding list of programs for fire protection, life safety and electrical professionals. NFPA's Self Guided Online Courses are developed by NFPA code experts and are ready when you are! These self-guided modules will maximize your training budget while minimizing time away from the office.

Learn at your own pace with:

Invest in your future by staying code compliant! Start an NFPA self guided online course today!

View the full course catalog online. Need training for your entire team?  Email us at onlinecourses@nfpa.org for more information about group training and special rates. For other web based training options, visit www.nfpawebinars.org.

 

NFPA adds $4 million to endowment for Fire Protection Research Foundation

January 26, 2011 –The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) today announced that it is adding $4 million to the endowment for the Fire Protection Research Foundation (Foundation). The Foundation is an independent nonprofit that plans, manages, and communicates consortium-funded research on a broad range of fire safety issues in collaboration with scientists and laboratories around the world.  It is an affiliate of NFPA.

NFPA established a $6 million endowment for the Foundation in 2008.

“Having solid research on fire and life safety issues is fundamental in supporting our codes and standards process and advancing our mission, which is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards,” said Jim Shannon, NFPA’s president. “Committing additional funds to the Fire Protection Research Foundation ensures that important research in this area will continue.”

In 1982, upon approval of NFPA’s board of directors, the Foundation was established to encourage and support independent research to coincide with NFPA’s mission.  Findings from Foundation projects are used by NFPA codes and standards technical committees as they develop new documents and update existing versions, as well as a varied audience in the fire protection community and beyond.

“This recent pledge of additional funds further solidifies what NFPA started in 2008,” said Kathleen Almand, executive director of the Foundation. “Strengthening our operations ensures our ability to continually develop research independently that is shared with those in the fire protection community who have come to rely on it.”

The Foundation’s work supports NFPA’s advocacy initiatives such as home fire sprinklers, as well as major research programs on fire detection and suppression systems. One of the more notable projects in the early history of the Foundation involved halon, a chemical widely used in fire protection communities, which was found to contribute to the depletion of the Earth’s protective stratospheric ozone layer. During the 1980’s, the Foundation directed research to identify best practices in the management of existing halon resources.

More recently, the Foundation completed several research projects on issues related to the implementation of home fire sprinklers. In 2008, they released a groundbreaking research report titled Home Fire Sprinkler Cost Assessment, which looked at ten communities with sprinkler requirements and found the average cost of installing sprinkler systems to the home builder to be $1.61 per sprinklered square foot.

For more information on the Fire Protection Research Foundation or to view its research reports, visit www.nfpa.org/foundation.

About the Fire Protection Research Foundation
The Fire Protection Research Foundation plans, manages, and communicates consortium-funded research on a broad range of fire safety issues in collaboration with scientists and laboratories around the world. The Foundation is an affiliate of NFPA.

About NFPA
NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.

 

The Legacy Continues at the Siemon Company

SIEMON COMPANY completes another decade of growth and constant quality.

“More of the same - Another decade of progress at Siemon” is in the record books.

 Remember the old adage: “If ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” No truer words could describe the legacy of service and quality that the Siemon Company has given the communications industry. “The last decade of amazing changes and advances in technology have challenged us to the limit. Through all of the turmoil, SIEMON COMPANY has remained a dependable source of products and services that can satisfy the tallest order of cutting-edge technology.” Added Frank Bisbee, Editor of HOTS - Heard On The Street e-zine for the communications industry. www.wireville.com

It may seem strange to hear a company say that it stays ahead of a changing world by not changing.  But based on over a century of success, Siemon has shown that staying true to tradition does not mean sitting still – and the past decade is no exception.

The first 10 years of the new millennium have been tumultuous for the network infrastructure market.  The outstanding pace of technology set the table for a “feast” that was threatened by the “famine” of the massive global economic crisis.  Siemon’s long-held principles had prepared them for both.

Born long after the Great Depression, Carl N. Siemon, the company’s current CEO, is nonetheless a student of its lessons.  His grandfather, Carl M. Siemon, steered the company through the Depression with a conservative management style that still underpins the business today.

"It became ingrained," Carl N. Siemon explains. "It is part of our corporate culture. We are financially disciplined and retain liquidity to sustain us for rainy days – the ones we can predict and those we may never see coming”.  The philosophy served Siemon well in the most recent recession.  

As many companies struggled, Siemon pushed forward with the same focus on technology and quality it always had.  In fact, at the height of the world’s financial turmoil Siemon brought a whole new wave of innovation to market, including  the Z-MAX 6A twisted-pair  copper cabling system, the XLR8 mechanical splice fiber optic line, VersaPOD data center cabinet, next-generation MapIT G2 intelligent infrastructure management solution – to name just a few.  

"Innovation has been the key to our success," says Carl N. Siemon. "This company started with my great-grandfather's dream, and today we’re still pursuing it. Products and technology continue to change but the guiding principles are as strong now as they were in 1903. We build quality products, provide exceptional service, reinvest in technology and make a real effort to understand the needs of the market and our customers. Those goals, more than anything, have kept us at the forefront of the industry."

Already a rare success story with four generations of continuous family leadership, this decade has seen a fifth generation join the company, ensuring that the Siemon tradition of quality, service, innovation and value will carry on.

Company Name:            The Siemon Company

Address:                       101 Siemon Company Drive, Watertown, CT 06795

Phone:                          860-945-4200

Fax:                              860-945-4225

Website:                       www.siemon.com

Product or Service:         Network Infrastructure

Year Founded:               1903

Top Executives: Carl N. Siemon, President and CEO

                                    John Siemon, Chief Technical Officer

                                    CK Siemon, VP Reseller Services

Four generations of family leadership—with dreams, aspirations and sheer determination—have proven that American know-how and good, old-fashioned Connecticut ingenuity can work wonders.

In 1903, the world was ripe with innovation. In the northeast corner of the United States, a transplanted mid-westerner with a flair for chemistry was mixing up his own version of twentieth-century innovation and the American dream. Already an accomplished chemist with experience in the newly emerging field of plastics, Carl F. Siemon combined his unique formula with an equally ambitious $2,500 investment (equivalent to over $50,000 today), to create the Siemon Hard Rubber Company. The company created durable, imitation stag-horn knife handles that offered superior resistance to extreme temperatures.

Three years later, the company entered the fledgling telecommunications market with the 3-pole connecting block, a product that offered superior performance to the standard ceramic connecting block of the day, which had a tendency to crack and break. Fashioned out of durable and moisture resistant compound, Siemon’s 3-pole connecting block soon became a staple product for Western Electric (better known as AT&T).

During the war years, the company saw its first change in leadership. Taking over for his father, Carl M. Siemon steered the company through the Great Depression and into the economic growth of the post-war years. Carl M. relocated the company from Bridgeport to its current home in Watertown and consolidated operations with the Watertown Manufacturing Company, in which it already owned an interest.

The third Carl Siemon took over in 1957 and when telecommunications boomed in the 1960's, Siemon—a long-time supplier to Western Electric (AT&T) negotiated a technology license with AT&T to make and sell the first Siemon brand communications product—its "66" connecting blocks. The "66" block quickly became the standard for installing new telephone systems and helped the company evolve from being a contract manufacturer to being a recognized industry brand. Customers wanted the best and began to ask for Siemon products by name.

In 1982, Carl Siemon turned the company over to his son, the current president, Carl N., who along with brothers John, CK and Hank Siemon, envisioned the company as the leading global supplier in the emerging network cabling sector of the telecom industry. The company began developing and producing innovative connectivity solutions for the computer networking industry..

Today, Siemon is a global industry leader specializing in high-performance network cabling solutions. The company has more than 400 patents specific to telecommunications and a local presence in nearly 40 countries. Siemon Labs invests heavily in research and development and continues to lead the industry by introducing new higher categories of new cabling that exceed industry standards.

"Innovation has been the key to our success," says Carl N. Siemon, current president and the fourth Carl Siemon to lead the company. "This company started with my great-grandfather's dream, and today we’re still pursuing it, with the fifth generation of Siemon family now joining the effort. Products and technology continue to change but the guiding principles are as strong now as they were in 1903. We build quality products, provide exceptional service, reinvest in technology and make a real effort to understand the needs of the market and our customers. Those goals, more than anything, have kept us at the forefront of the industry."

Environmental responsibility, sustainability and leadership have also set Siemon apart from competitors. In fact, the company was the first network-cabling manufacturer to achieve a negative carbon offset status. To do this, Siemon developed more energy-efficient and sustainable manufacturing processes, implemented zero-landfill recycling, increased its reliance on renewable energy sources (like solar power), and focused on conserving forestland. It has also achieved ISO 14001, RoHS compliance and is proactively working with suppliers and channel partners to identify areas where mutual improvements could be made..

In recognition of its green initiatives, the company has won four Green Circle awards. The award is given by Connecticut’s Department of Environmental Protection and is granted to companies and individuals for promoting pollution prevention, waste reduction, natural resources conservation, and environmental awareness.

"We didn't set out to be carbon negative," Mr. Siemon explained. "For 50 years, we have made it a priority to be as efficient and environmentally responsible as possible. Becoming carbon negative was just a natural result of those efforts. Every enterprise - especially manufacturers - produce CO2, but our success proves that there are economical ways to make a real difference.”

The Siemon Company is celebrating its past and positioning itself for the future. With twentieth-century values and twenty-first-century vision, The Siemon Company is living proof that hard work, dedication and a dream can take you far. As Carl says, “nobody knows for sure what the future has in store, but we will continue to try to shape the future of our industry through innovation.. By bringing value and benefits to our customers, channel partners and suppliers, we can create opportunities for our employees and future generations of the Siemon family.”

HOTS  MAY 2001

CABLE INDUSTRY PIONEER, CARL SIEMON, DIES Feb. 14th, 2001

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

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

http://www.wireville.com/hots/hots0105.html

We are almost to the 110 year mark, and the beat goes on…

HAPPY 100th SIEMON

http://www.wireville.com/hots/hots0212.html#26

. The Siemon Company's growth through the last century and emergence in the 21st century as among the most respected manufacturers of telecommunications cabling systems tells the story of one family's desire, and determination to succeed despite the hardships and challenges. It is the story of a company that has over its 100-year life-span had only four leaders; and each one of them was named Carl Siemon. It is the remarkable story of a company's unyielding commitment to its employees, its community and its environment. It is the story today, of four-brothers working together, side-by-side, each and every day to build not just a domestic manufacturing organization, but a true global entity - one capable of delivering the same quality services in Beijing, China and Hamburg, Germany as they are in Hoboken, New Jersey or San Francisco, California.

This is the story of one family's commitment to provide not just for themselves but for the thousands of families that have been touched by Siemon throughout the years - and for future generations as well. www.siemon.com

 

GRAYBAR supports the 2011 NECA Convention. Will you be there?

"Graybar has been proud to support NECA and its members since 1954.  This includes the annual NECA Convention, which continues to be a tremendous opportunity to interact with some of our top customers. In fact, many of Graybar's executives and directors from all over the country attend this important event. As a NECA Premier Partner, we look forward to working with you throughout the year, and we'll see you in San Diego for the 2011 NECA Convention."
Robert A. Reynolds, Jr.  Chairman President and CEO, Graybar Electric Company, Inc.

Visit www.necashow.org for complete details.  Sign Up Today.
It’s Good for Your Business!
Questions? Contact Sue McCart at
770-632-0044 or sue.mccart@necanet.org

 

Electrify – Illuminate – Communicate

The NEW Electrical Contractor is called upon to do it all.

The Rewiring of America is the newest challenge to face the Electrical Contractor (EC). Over the past decade new developments on the technological scene have made “rewiring” an imperative for power, lighting, and communications.

Power

The cost of energy has reached levels never anticipated, and something must be done to monitor, manage, and maximize “power.”  The smart management of energy consumption is one of the fastest growth areas of the electrical industry. Many electrical contractors have added energy management services to their offerings. The payback on these applications is much higher than any other area of customer services. More data is emerging every year to confirm the findings that automated building systems can substantially reduce the cost of “power.” The pages of Electrical Contractor Magazine are filled with examples of the smart building applications and how they are bringing the EC and the customer closer together. Expanding energy services is an important growth area for the EC.

Lighting

The rules for lighting are changing rapidly as the more efficient lighting systems are understood.  Older technologies, like the incandescent bulbs, are getting the heave-ho in favor of the less-costly and more environmentally-friendly LED (Light Emitting Diode). Once again the EC is in the forefront of the changes in the new rules for lighting the workplace and homes across the nation. The EC has become the heir to the opportunity of updating the way we illuminate our world.

Communications

During the past twenty five years, the world has been overwhelmed by the complete revolution of being able to communicate with every corner of the world. The internet has made the flow of information absolutely mandatory in virtually every business and social area of our lives. The demand for speed and the volume of transmitted data has made most of the installed cabling systems obsolete overnight. No sooner had the world been wired for high speed data, when we discovered that the primary media (copper UTP) was challenged to keep up with the growing demand for more speed and a greater volume of information (data). Basically, copper cabling is limited by the rule of “the faster you transmit – the shorter distance it can go.”

Fiber Optical cabling is the best barrier to obsolescence. The FO cables are capable of reaching from the backbone to the work zone and beyond (FTTD) efficiently and with more bandwidth available. We envision that virtually all communications cabling will require upgrades within the next 15 years. In the USA alone, this means almost 40 - 50 million miles of cabling will need to be installed or replaced. Once again the EC is the best choice for this challenge. The competitive edge offered by communications to the world of commerce makes addressing this “rewiring” mandatory.

SMART BUILDINGS

Low voltage cabling (copper or fiber optic) is the nerve system for your operations. The EC can bring these technologies together in converged systems (HCVA, Lighting, Security, Life Safety, Telecommunications, etc.) to automate operations and your building. Continental Automated Buildings Association’s President, Ron Zimmer said  “CABA has many studies confirm that the cost savings, particularly in electricity, can be significant.” www.caba.org

Electrical Contractors Increase Work in the Low Voltage Market Sector
The results of the 2010 Electrical Contractor Magazine Reader Profile Study show that electrical contractor’s work in the low voltage market has increased since the 2008 survey results. www.ecmag.com

▪ 66% of electrical contractors did work in Communications/Systems Connectivity, almost 6 in 10 worked in CII Automation & Controls in 2009.

▪ Significantly more electrical contractors in 2010 said that their firm was actively involved in the Design or Specification of Data Centers and/or the Installation of Data Centers than in 2008.

Category*

20-99

100+

CII Industrial Controls

66%

85%

CII Fire/Life Safety

71%

86%

CII Security/Access

52%

80%

CII Auto. Bldg Sys

43%

69%

Structured Wiring/Cabling

72%

85%

Lighting Controls

89%

92%

Network / VOIP/ Wireless/Broadband

52%

69%

Datacenters

42%

66%

Fiber Optics

48%

79%

Energy Efficient Projects

41%

66%

*WORK PERFORMED IN 2009 (BY # OF EMPLOYEES
WITHIN ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR FIRMS

THE ECONOMY

While many experts debate over the economy and the recession, it is clear that our world has changed drastically over the past few years and it may be years before a complete recovery will occur. We have analyzed marketplace and found the strongest sectors are the GEMs (Government –Education – Medical). These sectors have projected growth of 5%-15% over the next two years. The EC is ideally positioned to provide the POWER – LIGHTING – COMMUNICATIONS infrastructure to meet these needs.

In the recent State of The Union speech by President Obama, he directed our focus to some very important facts and issues. His remarks included, “Our world has changed.  And for many, the change has been painful.  I’ve seen it in the shuttered windows of once booming factories, and the vacant storefronts on once busy Main Streets. I’ve heard it in the frustrations of Americans who’ve seen their paychecks dwindle or their jobs disappear -– proud men and women who feel like the rules have been changed in the middle of the game.

The rules have changed.  In a single generation, revolutions in technology have transformed the way we live, work and do business.  Steel mills that once needed 1,000 workers can now do the same work with 100.  Today, just about any company can set up shop, hire workers, and sell their products wherever there’s an Internet connection.”

The competition for work is intense.  But this shouldn’t discourage us.  It should challenge us. Remember -– for all the hits we’ve taken these last few years, for all the naysayers predicting our decline, America still has the largest, most prosperous economy in the world.  No workers are more productive than Americans.  No country has more successful companies, or grants more patents to inventors and entrepreneurs.  We’re the home to the world’s best colleges and universities, where more students come to study than any place on Earth.

The future is ours to win.  But to get there, we can’t just stand still.  As Robert Kennedy told us, “The future is not a gift.  It is an achievement.”  Sustaining the American Dream has never been about standing pat.  It has required each generation to sacrifice, and struggle, and meet the demands of a new age.

Today, we know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries. America needs to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.  In order to succeed, we have to make America the best place on Earth to do business. The Electrical Contractor has evolved to become one of the most powerful resources in our country because the EC is leading the way into a brighter day. Some experts say that the EC will play a pivotal role in how we handle challenges Economically, Environmentally, and Competitively in the global arena.

The most recent opportunity to challenge the EC is building the infrastructure to handle the needs of electrically powered autos. With more research and incentives, Americans can break their dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.  In setting America’s new goal:  by 2035, eighty percent of America’s electricity will come from clean energy sources.  Some groups want wind and solar.  Others want nuclear, clean coal, and natural gas.  To meet this goal, America will need them all. Electrical Contractors will play a major role in the training and implementation of the infrastructure of electric vehicles’ energy supply system.

Winning the future is rebuilding and rewiring America.  To attract new businesses to the USA, we need the most efficient power system and the fastest, most reliable ways to move people, goods, and information -- from high-speed rail to high-speed Internet. 

Within the next five years, It will be possible for businesses to deploy the next generation of high-speed wireless coverage to 98 percent of all Americans.  The EC is an important player in connecting America to the digital age.  It’s about rural communities in America where farmers and small business owners will be able to sell their products worldwide.  It’s about firefighters who can download the design of burning buildings onto handheld devices; students who can take classes with digital textbooks; or patients who can have face-to-face video chats with their doctors.

The electrical contractor certainly has a bright future as the USA and the world addresses the needs of power, lighting, and communications for the future. All these investments -- innovation, education, and infrastructure -- will make America a better place to do business and create jobs. 

Please send us your ideas, comments to improve our column and get the word out. Your input is important.

Commentary by:

Frank Bisbee - Editor
"HOTS - Heard On The Street" Monthly Column
www.wireville.com
4949 Sunbeam Rd, Suite 16
Jacksonville, FL 32257
frank@wireville.com
tel. (904) 645-9077
fax (904) 645-9058

Reprinted with permission from Electrical Contractor Magazine www.ecmag.com

 

Who is CSC and what exactly does your company do?

Founded in 1972, Communications Supply Corporation (CSC), a subsidiary of WESCO International, Inc. (NYSE: WCC) distributes a full range of IP infrastructure products and solutions. Together, CSC and WESCO form the largest electrical and data communications network in North America, with 400 full service branches, a full-suite of global distribution capabilities and 2010 annual sales of approximately $5.1 billion.

With vast resources at their fingertips, the CSC sales team does more than just provide product. Our tenured sales force has a passionate commitment to understanding your unique business needs and will strive every day to get you the best products, most robust technical expertise and cost-effective logistics solutions available in the data communications distribution business.

“At CSC, we focus on one thing: servicing our customers.  Our people, passion and expertise allow us to understand your organization’s needs and deliver best-in-class products and services.  It’s this guiding principle that has led us to become the fastest growing data communications distributor in the world today.”

David Bemoras, President,
Communications Supply Corporation- David Bemoras, President,
Communications Supply Corporation

PEOPLE.

Just ask one of our customers who they work with at CSC and you'll quickly see a smile come to their face as names rattle off their tongue. Then they'll tell you how much they enjoy working with CSC and how our team members make them successful on the job every day. Our customers react this way because of how we go about our business - more specifically, how we empower our people.

"I can't tell you how many times Ronni at CSC Ft. Lauderdale has saved me. I've been working with her for 12 years and she always delivers."

Steve Romanowsky, Owner,
Dataphone Wire and Cable

PASSION.

When you bring passion to what you do it transforms how you service customers. How you go about solving problems. How you add value to your customer's business. At CSC, our passion for helping you achieve your goals drives the way we conduct business every day.

"When my back's against the wall, I call Shane at CSC. They are people I can count on. And in my line of work, that's huge"

Loren Obrey, IT Manager, Cable Design and Implementation
Apollo Group, Inc./ University of Phoenix

EXPERTISE.

Right now, I. T. infrastructures are experiencing a major transition. From IP convergence, power consumption, bandwidth, carbon footprints, security, storage...the list goes on and on. With all of this change, you need a distribution partner that gets it. A distribution partner with the subject matter expertise to help you deal with changes that are going to fundamentally impact the way business is done in a digitally converged world.

"Building on a seven year relationship, CSC continues to be a strategic partner to Loyola University Chicago; providing competitive pricing, quality products and expeditious delivery of professional services and technology solutions." "Building on a seven year relationship, CSC continues to be a strategic partner to Loyola University Chicago; providing competitive pricing, quality products and expeditious delivery of professional services and technology solutions."

David E. Wieczorek, Network Manager,
Loyola University Chicago- David E. Wieczorek, Network Manager,
Loyola University Chicago

Built by Entrepreneurs.  Run by Entrepreneurs

CSC was founded in 1972 by entrepreneur Nick Ohnell as an independent distributor in New England, servicing the telecommunications industry. With great vision, Ohnell invested in start-up operations throughout the U.S., growing the company to 7 distribution centers by 1996. With continued success over the years - through both organic growth and acquisitions - CSC has grown to have over 900 employees, 50 warehouses and $100 million in inventory in the U.S. To better serve customers, CSC opened its first Regional Distribution Center in 2010 with plans for 3 additional in 2011. In addition, CSC plans to reach new markets with approximately 10 more local U.S. warehouses in this year alone. CSC is headquartered in Carol Stream, Illinois.

In November 2006, WESCO Distribution, Inc. acquired CSC, creating one of the most powerful electrical and data communication distribution businesses in North America. CSC and WESCO share a commitment to unparalleled customer service and a business culture that is focused on continuous improvement.

How did CSC get where it is today? How did CSC get where it is today?

1972: CSC founded in New England to service telecommunications industry

1972 – 1996: Organic growth to 7 regional independently run offices/warehouses

1997: Southwest Wire & Cable acquisition - Low Voltage specialty system cables such as fire alarm, closed circuit TV, sound, building automation and security

1997: GNWC acquisition – expanded geographic coverage and addition of the Lucent (Avaya/CommScope Systimax Solutions) product lines

1998: Diversified Wire & Cable acquisition – additional midwest geographical coverage and industrial markets

1998: Fibertron Corp. - Geographic coverage and fiber optic connectivity and services

1999: CSC opens new 180,000 square foot Headquarters in Carol Stream, IL

1999: Computel - Well established distributor in the New York/New Jersey area

2000: Premium Technologies, Inc. - Seattle and Virginia areas and Federal Government program

2000: CPU - Premier distributor in Maryland, Northern Virginia, and D.C.

2006: CALVERT Wire & Cable and it's Famous Telephone Supply operation

2006: Liberty Wire & Cable

November 6, 2006: WESCO International, Inc. (NYSE: WCC), a leading provider of electrical MRO products, construction materials, and advanced integrated supply procurement outsourcing services, announced the completion of the acquisition of Communications Supply Corporation (CSC)

December 2010: WESCO acquires TVC Communications, L.L.C. – a leading distributor of broadband communication network infrastructure products serving the cable, telecommunications and satellite industries

CSC’s Key Players:

David Bemoras President

Matt Zimmerman Vice President, CFO

Mason Rotelli Vice President, Supply Chain Management, CIO

Frank LaPlante Vice President, Sales & Marketing

Bob Bessler Vice President, Operations

Tim Holloway Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Security Solutions

Lee Osterman Vice President, Government Sales

Jim Reichert Vice President, Strategic Accounts

John Dace President, Liberty Wire & Cable

Mark Myrick President, Calvert Wire & Cable

www.gocsc.com

 

Insurance Ideas – If you an Auto Accident

Uh Oh! You've Had an Auto Accident

It can happen to the very best drivers. One minute, you're driving along without a care in the world, and the next, you're scratching your head wondering how you could have had an accident. Many people don't know what to do after an accident, and those who do are oftentimes so emotional or in such shock that they don't remember. But it's important to keep your wits about you, because what you do after an accident is essential to protecting your interests. That's why it's a good idea to clip this checklist and keep it inside your vehicle or wallet.

Accident Checklist

1.       Keep cool: Staying calm will help you make the best decisions and get the information you need.

2.       Check for injuries: If you or any of your passengers are injured, don't take chances. Call an ambulance.

3.       Notify the police: Even if the accident is minor, contact the police immediately so that a report can be made. Sometimes, there are hidden damages or injuries.

4.       Exchange and collect information: Ask the other parties for their insurance information, including policy numbers. Write down all license tags and driver's license numbers. If there are passengers, get their information as well.

5.       Gather witness information: Collect addresses and phone numbers of all witnesses.

6.       Record what happened: Take note of the weather, road conditions, your driving speed, etc. Use your cell phone to take photos of the cars and surrounding area.

7.       Avoid talking about the accident: Do not admit fault, and only discuss the accident with police, family members and your insurance company.

8.       Don't discuss injuries: Even if you think you're fine, refrain from saying you're not injured. A day or two later you could experience pain related to a hidden injury.

9.       Contact your insurance company: Report the accident as soon as possible.

Stop by your local AAA office, call 1-877-222-5023 or visit AAA.com/Insurance to see how we can help you.

Reprinted with permission from AAA’s GOING PLACES magazine.

 

Trends in Fiber Optic Cabling Termination Styles

Knowing each style's pros and cons will help you make the right selections for different applications.

Reprinted with permission from the January issue of Cabling Installation & Maintenance.

(Note: For the online version of this article that  includes several tables and illustrations, go to http://www.cablinginstall.com/index/display/article-display/1537219536/articles/cabling-installation-maintenance/volume-19/features/trends-in-fiber-optic-cabling-termination-styles.html  )

By Tony Casazza, QuickTreX

In spite of the recession, fiber optic cabling sales have been on the rise for the past five years. This is due in part to modern-day bandwidth intensive applications, growth of fiber to the premise (FTTP) applications, and the notion of some industry pundits who believe that copper cabling is reaching its limits. In addition, the perception that fiber optic cabling is too difficult to install or too expensive, has virtually disappeared. Many people—from homeowners to network managers and system engineers—are discovering that fiber optic cabling and technology is feasible.

Fiber optic installations will likely continue to proliferate for decades to come. Presently there is a growing need for fiber optic cabling installations both inside and outside plant, horizontal or vertical. Given the need and the growth of fiber optic installations, it is important to stay current on trends in fiber optic cabling termination styles and tools—no matter what segment of the industry you are from.

Termination Styles

Heat cure epoxy and polishThis termination style was the original fiber optic termination, which is still popular with high-volume installation or factory assembly houses due to its low cost, low loss and overall dependable and stable performance. This style is typically too cumbersome for field use, and unless done in a controlled environment, the yield will be low. This style of termination also requires the most supervised skills training, especially for polishing.

Easy cure epoxy and polish (hot-melt, anaerobic, etc.)—This termination style is popular with contractors who have been accustomed to this type of termination. While field installable and relatively low cost, low loss, dependable and stable in most environments except those experiencing very hot temperatures, they still require polishing, offer less than 100% yield, and are relatively time consuming.

No-epoxy/no-polish connectors (pre-polished connectors with mechanical splice)This style of fiber optic termination is the fastest and easiest to install, making it a popular choice for anyone who needs to terminate optical fiber in the field. Latest advancements in this type of connector have improved yield, and little or no training is required. The downside is that these connectors are relatively expensive, and although no-epoxy/no polish connectors are dependable, factory terminated or fusion splice type connectors are considered to be more robust and dependable. In addition, proprietary tooling is required, and there is the possibility of back reflection issues with some singlemode applications.

Fusion splice connectors (no-epoxy/no-polish / fusion splice)—This termination style is popular with telcos, long-distance carriers, and the military due to the fact that its performance is as good as a factory pre-terminated connector with very low back reflection. However, this style requires an expensive fusion splicer that can cost more than $7000. The connector costs are at a mid-price point.

Fusion splicing of factory pre-terminated pigtailsAlso popular with telcos, long-distance carriers, and the military, this type of termination method offers performance that is as good as a factory pre-terminated connector with very low back reflection. Again, this termination method requires an expensive fusion splicer, and connector costs are at a mid-price point.

Factory pre-terminated multi-fiber assembliesPopular with end users and installation contractors, this termination type requires no training and no startup costs, and is the best and most reliable factory termination with very low back reflection. These connectors however require precise pre-measurement as well as potential lead time when ordering.

Termination Evolution

Since the late 1970s, various connectors and termination methods have been brought to market. The goal for each new connector or termination method has been better performance (less light loss and reflectance) and easier, faster, and less expensive termination. Early fibers were fragile and difficult to work with, and in the beginning, oven-cure epoxy connectorization was the only game in town. Then hot-melt and anaerobic epoxies made termination a little easier with their no-fuss bonding procedures. However, they still required polishing, which is labor intensive and reduces yield. Early crimp type (no epoxy) designs eliminated the use of epoxy all together but still required polishing. The inevitable demise of virtually all the crimp (no epoxy) connectors was due to their notorious unreliability, and there is only one system on the market today where the manufacturer claims high reliability.

Early on, mechanical field splices were considered to be a fast, economical, and easy way to join two fibers together. They co-existed with both epoxy/polish connectors and factory pre-terminated assemblies for years. Then the two styles were married, giving rise to the present day no-epoxy/no-polish connectors, which are currently available in OM1, OM2, and OM3 multimode optical fiber types and singlemode optical fiber.

Factory pre-termination brought forth a huge advantage to those engaged in field installation work. These pre-polished/mechanical splice connectors took away virtually all of the learning curve, consumables, and lack of yield associated with the previous styles. They consist of a fiber optic connector that includes a very short section of fiber that is factory terminated and polished on its end face. Inside of the connector body is a perfectly cleaved fiber end with optical matching gel that basically mimics a mechanical splice. One of the keys to a perfect termination depends heavily on the user inserting a perfectly cleaved fiber that is matched together with the optical matching gel to connect it to the internal factory cleaved and polished fiber. This makes a good reliable splice and thus a relatively low-loss connector assembly.

Until recently, terminating connectors onto singlemode cable in the field was considered impractical. Over the years of modern fiber optic termination, it has become popular to fusion splice pigtails with connector ends that were factory pre-terminated onto the singlemode fiber strands. Hence, fusion splice connectors were born. Instead of using a mechanical splice, these factory pre-terminated connectors are terminated to fiber through the electric arc process known as fusion splicing. Modern fusion splicing is virtually lossless and has the tensile strength of an unbroken piece of fiber.

Fusion splice connector systems are ideal for high-end demanding applications that require the most robust, reliable terminations under the harshest conditions. Basically, these no polish/fusion connector systems are equivalent to factory pre-terminated assemblies. They will tend to have lower loss as compared to pre-polished mechanical splice type (no-epoxy/no-polish) connectors. And even more importantly, fusion splice connectors will have virtually no back reflection, which is vital in critical singlemode applications.

Technology Advancements

Virtually all of the advancements in the manufacturing and technology of fiber optic connectors have delivered benefits to the installation and performance of fiber optic systems. No-epoxy/no-polish mechanical type connectors have come a long way in ease of use, performance, and reliability. Over the past seven years, manufacturers have continually tweaked and revamped these connectors to the point where they are now considered very reliable for most applications. These easy-to-terminate connector systems are now available from several industry manufacturers, and they have become popular for field termination, with several million sold since their introduction in 1993, especially for multimode fiber optic LAN and other field applications.

Due to the fact that fusion splicing machines have decreased in price and increased in features and quality like many other technologies, pre-polished/fusion splice connectors are now gaining traction in the market. Whereas 10 years ago a fusion splicer was big and bulky and cost approximately $25,000, today's units are smaller, lighter and more efficient, and they typically cost $7,000 to $12,000. Due to the tighter tolerances of fibers manufactured in the last 10 years, the less costly "cladding alignment" type fusion splicers have become more mainstream and acceptable for critical work. Although still an expensive tool, the cost of a fusion splicing machine can be easily justified, providing a return on investment in many high-end or high-volume applications.

Termination Considerations

Unlike copper cabling with very inexpensive tooling, fiber optic termination start-up costs are typically much higher. Toolkits required for most no-epoxy/no-polish (mechanical) systems range from about $700 to $2,000 with an average cost of $1,500. These tool kits usually contain a high quality cleaving machine, a proprietary locking (or crimping) device, and other tools and accessories needed for stripping and handling fiber. Since these systems are usually proprietary, installers are limited to using that particular manufacturer's brand of connectors with the tooling. For example, if terminating ST style connectors and the toolkit purchased does not accommodate them, one would need to purchase a whole different new platform. It’s important to be careful when choosing a fiber optic system. Due to the high cost of fusion splicing machines, some installers may also choose to rent a fusion splicer on an as-needed basis.

Due to high startup costs of most other field termination systems, combined with the need for skilled field installation, factory pre-terminated assemblies have gained steadily in popularity over the past five years, even with many veteran installers who are skilled in epoxy/polish termination. Table 2 demonstrates some of the reasons for this shift to factory pre-terminated assemblies.

Most vendors of factory pre-terminated assemblies will allow for customized ordering to the customer specifications, which includes fiber type, length, fiber count, connector style, etc. The most popular connector styles ordered are ST, SC, LC, and MTP/MPO. Most vendors will offer breakouts with 2 or 3mm color coded buffer tubes as standard equipment. A quality assembly should also be accompanied by a test report showing the dB loss on all of the strands. Since the early days of fiber, construction methods for pre-terminated assemblies have been refined and are proven to yield a very high installation success rate. QuickTreX claims a 99.8% success rate for pre-terminated assemblies, proven over 13 years of sales statistics.

Common questions asked by customers ordering factory pre-terminated assemblies include, "How thick is the pulling sock?" and “What is the minimum bend radius for the cable?" Generally these questions as asked in attempts to determine a conduit size for the run. The pulling sock is not much thicker than the cable itself because the connectors inside are staggered. However, installers should not choose a conduit size based on the thickness of the pulling sock, nor should they choose it based on the minimum bend radius of the fiber cable. Conduit size should be determined by how many bends are in the run, the length of the run, and the anticipated pulling force required to install the cable. Generally, it is advisable to oversize the conduit and replace bends with pull-boxes wherever possible.

MTP/MPO Style Connectors

In June 2010, the IEEE released the 802.3ba 40 and 100 gigabit Ethernet standards for OM3 and OM4 multimode fibers. To achieve these speeds, parallel optics is required where the load is split into separate 10 gigabit channels. A 40 gig channel requires eight fibers with four transmitting at 10 gig and four receiving at 10 gig. A 100 gig channel requires 20 fibers with 10 fibers transmitting at 10 gig and 10 receiving at 10 gig. The connector required for both is the MTP/MPO 12 fiber connector. Those anticipating moving to 40 or 100 gigabit Ethernet would be wise to utilize MTP/MPO style connectors today.

A 40 gigabit quad small form-factor pluggable (QSFP) module is designed to split the data load among multiple fibers utilizing an MTP /MPO connector and ribbon fiber assembly. Compliant with SFF-8436, the QSFP features independent transmitter and receiver sections, each with four fibers in parallel. It supports MPO-based multimode fiber interconnects with a transmission distance of up to 150 meters over OM3 multimode fiber.

There are basically three ways of field installing MTP/MPO cable assemblies:

Installing factory pre-terminated MTP/MPO assemblies.

Fusion splicing factory pre-terminated MTP/MPO pigtails onto 12-strand ribbon fiber.

Installing no-epoxy/no-polish MTP/MPO connectors.

Since the technology is rather new and relatively complex, installing factory pre-terminated MTP/MPO assemblies is currently the best option. Presently, only one manufacturer offers a field installable MTP/MPO connector, and because this is a relatively new and complex technology, most industry experts agree that it is prudent to take a "wait and see" approach with this system. In fact, due to their complexity, most fiber cable assembly houses do not even make MTP/MPO assemblies.

Factory pre-terminated MTP/MPO assemblies can be ordered in custom lengths with pulling socks and pulling eyes on each end. The fact that they have only one (or sometimes two) heads on each end facilitates the small size and rigidness of each pulling sock. Therefore as a general rule, factory pre-terminated MTP/MPO assemblies are very resilient to forces that they may encounter during a pull.

Closing Thoughts

Listening to the hype surrounding no-epoxy/no-polish connectors will lead one to believe that they are as good as any other termination type, even fusion splice. While they are a viable connector, they do have tradeoffs and limitations. However, if the highest performance is the main concern, the best options include fusion splice pigtails, fusion splice connectors, and factory pre-terminated assemblies. And as for the use of MTP/MPO assemblies, factory pre-terminated and fusion splice MTP/MPO pigtails are really the only choices with factory pre-terminated assemblies wining out by a mile. Until someone invents a machine that allows an installer to load in the connector, simply insert the fiber, and press a button to achieve a perfectly terminated fiber, there will always be many considerations when choosing a fiber optic termination style.

About the Author:

Tony Casazza, a 30-year industry veteran, is founder and president of QuickTreX, a manufacturer of cabling, connectivity and network components. www.quicktrex.com

Reprinted with permission from the January issue of Cabling Installation & Maintenance.

(Note: For the online version of this article that  includes several tables and illustrations, go to http://www.cablinginstall.com/index/display/article-display/1537219536/articles/cabling-installation-maintenance/volume-19/features/trends-in-fiber-optic-cabling-termination-styles.html  )

 

Telcordia goes to the auction block

Telcordia is once again up for sale. The company's private owners Providence Equity Partners and Warburg Pincus believe they can get about $1 billion to $1.5 billion in an auction for the software vendor.

A report in the Wall Street Journal confirmed that Credit Suisse will oversee the auction and that Telcordia's owners are also considering an initial public offering (IPO) for the company.

In 2005, Equity Partners and Warburg Pincus purchased Telcordia from public sector integrator SAIC for $1.35 billion.

 

“SAY THANKS AUSTIN” LAUNCHES TODAY, USES ONLINE VOTING TO SELECT RECIPIENTS OF $14,000 IN DONATIONS TO LOCAL NONPROFITS

Month-long Event Honors RecognizeGood®’s 2010 Legends for Community Service

AUSTIN, Texas – January 18, 2011 –Today, RecognizeGood® is launching a special, month-long event called “Say Thanks Austin” to honor nine outstanding community volunteers for their service. Using a custom Facebook page, Say Thanks Austin is an opportunity for the public to select their favorite from among nine RecognizeGood® Legends. The Legend with the most votes will receive a $10,000 donation to the nonprofit of his or her choice.

“Say Thanks Austin is a fun way for RecognizeGood® and the online community to shine a light on a few extraordinary people’s good deeds, and, most importantly, to ‘pay it forward’ by providing a donation to worthy nonprofits,” said John Bosch, Principal of the TyRex Group, Ltd., a founding sponsor of RecognizeGood®. “We hope sharing these stories will inspire people to find their own passion for service, and, in keeping with RecognizeGood®’s mission, to publicly acknowledge acts of kindness and philanthropy.”

Say Thanks Austin is an online event beginning January 18 and ending on February 17, conducted through Facebook at http://apps.facebook.com/recognizegoodlegend/. Using a personal Facebook login, people worldwide are able to learn about each of the nine candidates, and can select their favorite RecognizeGood® Legend once per day by clicking his or her “Thank You” icon. The Legend with the most “Thank You’s” will receive a $10,000 Pay-It-Forward donation for his or her charity of choice from the program’s sponsors, The TyRex Group, Ltd and ABC Home & Commercial Services.  The Legends with the second and third most “Thank You’s” receive $2,500 and $1,500 for their respective charities.

These nine RecognizeGood® Legends were selected monthly in 2010 from April through December. The Legend designation recognizes someone who does extraordinary acts of kindness, charity, and good deeds or for continued service over a long period of time. When each was awarded this honor, the recipient received an initial $500 Pay It Forward gift for his or her charity of choice.

Now, Say Thanks Austin will partner with the public to choose the grand RecognizeGood® Legend from among this group of nine for the $10,000 gift. Their collective work represents a diverse group of causes and populations in need, from environmental conservation to healthcare to hunger.

See the following list of Say Thanks Austin candidates, the RecognizeGood® 2010 Legends. For more information on each Legend, visit: http://www.recognizegood.org/deeds?sort=hof

Say Thanks Austin, RecognizeGood Legends

Selected Nonprofit

April 2010

Kay Gooch, Librarian

Helped raise over $100,000 for BookSpring to date

BookSpring

May 2010

Laurie Loew, Give Realty Founder

Donated over $83,000 to charities through realtors’ fees from home sales

Heart House Austin

June 2010

John Ahrns, Naturalist

Dedicated 36 years to protecting the Westcave Preserve

Boys & Girls Club of the Texas Hill Country

July 2010

Dorothy Hodson, Hospital Volunteer

Volunteered more than 33,000 hours over 17 years at St. David’s

St. David’s South Austin Medical Center Auxiliary

August 2010

Eli Apolzon, Special Needs Advocate

Raised $6,400s to buy a new, specialized wheel chair for Cody, a boy with cerebral palsy

Ebenezer Baptist Church

September 2010

Jack & Janelle Hadsell, Soup Kitchen Volunteers

Volunteered for more than 30 years delivering food to local soup kitchens

Angel House Soup Kitchen

October 2010

Don Ames, Nonprofit Fundraiser

Raised more than $500,000 for The Samaritan Center over the past 10 years

Building a Blessing, Riverbend Church

November 2010

Alan Graham, Co-Founder of Mobile Loaves and Fishes

Worked for 12 years to provide food and shelter for the homeless

Mobile Loaves and Fishes

December 2010

Dr. John Oswalt, Co-Founder of HeartGift Foundation

Foundation has performed 100 life-saving heart operations and counting for children from 20 different countries

HeartGift Foundation

About Recognize Good, http://www.recognizegood.org/

RecognizeGood.org is an online public forum where anyone can reward, acknowledge and promote others for their acts of kindness and unselfish charity. Developed in partnership with Austin­based TyRex Group, Ltd., and ABC Home & Commercial Services, the site helps honor the good deeds of others while supporting and promoting charitable giving to organizations.  RecognizeGood® is a part of the Samaritan Counseling Center, Austin and Central Texas.

About The Samaritan Center, www.samaritan-center.org

The Samaritan Counseling Center is a nonprofit organization that has been saving lives, healing emotional wounds and giving hope to Central Texas families for more than 35 years. The nonprofit center offers a range of affordable and accessible counseling services to prevent and treat abuse, develop healthy life skills and strengthen families. The Samaritan Center works with children, adults, couples, families, older adults, veterans and military families from their main office in North Austin or one of their satellite locations in Georgetown, Round Rock and San Marcos. It is affiliated with the Samaritan Institute of Denver as part of an international network of more than 500 counseling centers serving more than 35 states and Japan.

2010 Legends of RecognizeGood® SAY THANKS AUSTIN campaign, currently underway

Welcome to “Say Thanks Austin,” a special, month-long event to honor the nine outstanding RecognizeGood® Legends. These community volunteers were selected in 2010 for their extraordinary acts of kindness, charity, and good deeds. Now, we need your help to select a  grand RecognizeGood® Legend from among this group of nine. Read more about their incredible work below and then pick your favorite by clicking a “Thank You” icon next to the Legend’s name. The Legend with the most “Thank You’s” will receive a $10,000 Pay-It-Forward donation for his or her charity of choice. The Legends with the second and third most “Thank You’s” receive $2,500 and $1,500 each for their respective charities. You can vote once daily from now through February 17, and be sure to tell your friends and neighbors to "Say Thanks" too! Check back throughout the month to see how your favorite Legend is doing. (Austin, TX)

Saying thanks to a Legend is easy, using the following link:

Facebook:  http://apps.facebook.com/recognizegoodlegend  Saying thanks via Facebook is active.

 

Siemon Launches the VersaPOD™ 4-Post Network and Data Center Rack System  - Compatible With Zero-U Vertical Patching and Cable Management

Rapidly deployed adjustable-depth rack integrates with Siemon’s innovative high density Zero-U vertical patching and cable management solutions for a space-saving, versatile rack system

February 7, 2011, WATERTOWN, CT – Siemon today introduced its VersaPOD™adjustable-depth, 4-post rack system that integrates with the same innovative high density Zero-U vertical patching and cable management solutions as offered with Siemon’s popular VersaPOD Data Center Cabinet.  The VersaPOD 4-post rack provides a quickly assembled, stable platform for mounting extended depth active equipment and efficiently managing high-density cabling in both data centers and telecommunications rooms.

The VersaPOD 4-post rack’s headers, 45U vertical rails and depth adjustment brackets all feature symmetrical designs to eliminate orientation errors during assembly. This design also self-squares the rack, saving valuable installation time - VersaPOD 4-post rack can be field assembled in less than 20 minutes.

The VersaPOD 4-post rack is compatible with Siemon’s Zero U vertical patch panels (VPP) for support of copper and fiber patching providing up to 24U of Zero-U vertical patching space between each set of bayed racks or 16U along both sides of a single rack.

Siemon’s Zero-U and existing VPC and RS-CNL vertical cable management channels also integrate with VersaPOD 4-post rack. Mounted between multiple racks or alongside standalone racks, these user-friendly vertical cable management options provide a high capacity, easily accessible and concealable cable pathway solution also referred to as cable highways or zones.  By moving cabling out of congested equipment mounting areas and into dedicated cabling zones, airflow is improved for more efficient thermal management.

Siemon’s new 4-post rack system delivers unique benefits in the Data Center and the telecommunications room alike. By utilizing it’s Zero-U patching and cable management capabilities, more equipment mounting spaces are created without the need for additional racks. For example, baying two racks together, creates an additional 40U of combined mounting spaces, nearly equivalent to adding another rack without the additional cost or real estate.  This ability to support higher density infrastructures and reduce the number of racks requiredalso translates into future scalability.

The 7 ft (2.1m) x 22 in (560mm) wide rack features 45U of standard 19 inch (480mm) mounting spaces and is depth-adjustable from 22-36 inches (560-915mm) in 1 inch (25mm) increments to accommodate a wide range of equipment sizes.  The VersaPOD 4-post rack’s all-steel construction utilizes inward-facing header and footer bars to minimize floorspace comsumption while maintaining full load capabilities and offers 8 ground post locations for simple, secure installation.

For more information on Siemon’s VersaPOD 4-post rack, as well as other Siemon network cabling and connectivity innovations,visit www.siemon.com

Follow Siemon on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/siemoncabling/

Join Siemon on Facebook: http://www.siemon.com/go/facebook

###

About Siemon

Established in 1903, Siemon is an industry leader specializing in the manufacture and innovation of high quality, high-performance network cabling solutions. Headquartered in Connecticut, USA, with global offices, manufacturing and service partners throughout the world, Siemon offers the most comprehensive suite of copper (unshielded and shielded twisted-pair) category 5e, category 6 (Class E), category 6A (Class EA) and category 7/7A (Class F/FA), and multimode and singlemode optical fiber cabling systems available. With over 400 patents specific to structured cabling, from patch cords to patch panels, Siemon Labs invests heavily in R&D and development of industry standards, underlining the company's long-term commitment to its customers and the industry.

 

ACUTA’s 15th Strategic Leadership Forum in April

Focuses on Rebalancing IT for the Future

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, February 1, 2011 – Forward-thinking higher education technology leaders are taking advantage of what many say is a transformational moment to re-invent their organizations.  Information communications technologies are a critical strategic asset that supports the transformations that are taking place in teaching, research, and community involvement. Even as IT leaders develop new visions for their departments and their institutions, they are re-inventing and re-balancing their organizations to emerge from the current economic crisis with technology infrastructure, organizational structures, and business models that bear scant resemblance to the telecom and IT organizations of even a few years ago. The 15th annual ACUTA Strategic Leadership Forum in April will help leaders meet these challenges.

The Forum, presented by ACUTA, the Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education, will be held April 4 and 5 in Orlando, Florida, in conjunction with the organization’s 40th Annual Conference. The Forum blends interactive panel presentations by campus and industry experts with roundtable discussions to maximize participants’ opportunity to learn from each other.

The annual Forum, this year titled “Rebalancing IT for the Future,” is for individuals in higher education with senior strategic-planning and decision-making responsibility. It is open to both members and nonmembers of ACUTA, the only national association dedicated to serving the needs of higher education information communications technology professionals.

The Forum will address a range of strategic issues facing colleges and universities, with particular attention to key areas such as skills and.competencies for the successful CIO of the future; innovation in the role of IT and IT leaders on campus; externalization, consumerization, and democratization of IT; the impact of cloud computing on the institution and the IT organization; and more.

“The Forum provides an opportunity for IT leaders at the highest level to learn from each other as well as explore ideas and compare methodologies in a supportive, collegial atmosphere,” said Jeri Semer, executive director of ACUTA. “In these demanding times, we expect a lively exchange with plenty of practical solutions to take back to each campus.”

The 2011 Forum provides the opportunity for information communications technology leaders to hear not only how their peers are addressing today’s challenges, but also the perspectives of a range of industry thought leaders. Forum presenters sharing their insight and expertise at the Forum include representatives of institutions such as Harvard Business School; Miami University; Excelsior College, Gartner; Florida State University; Texas A&M University; SUNY Empire;.Northwestern; Sewanee, The University of the South; and Indiana University.

Participants in the Forum also enjoy all the benefits of the larger ACUTA conference, which annually attracts several hundred representatives of colleges and universities across North America. The Conference runs April 3-6 and includes its own broad range of informational presentations, networking opportunities, and exhibit area.

The Forum site is the beautiful Hilton Bonnet Creek in Orlando, Florida. More information about the Forum and Annual Conference can be found at www.acuta.org.

About ACUTA
ACUTA, the Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education, is an international non-profit educational association serving colleges and universities. Its core purpose is to support higher education information communications technology professionals in contributing to the achievement of the strategic mission of their institutions. ACUTA represents nearly 2000 individuals at some 750 institutions of higher education, with members ranging from small schools and community colleges to the 50 largest U.S. institutions. ACUTA’s Corporate Affiliate members represent all categories of communications technology vendors serving the college/university market. For more information, visit www.acuta.org or call 859-278-3338.

 

New MasterSpec Communications Library from ARCOM

Salt Lake City, Utah (January 16, 2011) -- ARCOM is pleased to announce the release of the new MasterSpec Communications library at the BICSI Convention in Orlando, Florida, January 16-19, 2011.

The development of the Communications library by ARCOM came as a result of the expansion of the Construction Specifications Institute’s MasterFormat®, the master list of numbers and titles for construction specifications. BICSI and NSCA were instrumental in that expansion and provided the standards and guidelines for the development of the MasterSpec Communications library.

The initial release of the Communications library includes 24 sections in Divisions 27 and 28 (Communications and Electronic Safety & Security), as well as 31 documents in Division 00 (Procurement and Contracting Requirements) and 30 sections in Division 01 (General Requirements). The development of the library involved consulting with communication industry specialists and researching BICSI and EIA/TIA standards and guidelines, among many other resources.

“This new library focuses on specifications uniquely relating to information transportation systems such as structured cabling, communications systems, and security access, surveillance, and alarm systems," said Michael J. King, FCSI, CCS, ARCOM's Vice President of Engineering Specifications. "By including Divisions 00 and 01, we have also enabled the communications specialist to create the overall contract documents for a variety of contract types, including design-build, design-bid-build, single general contractor, multiple contracts, construction management, and commissioning.”

The MasterSpec Communications library will continue to expand as clients provide their feedback and as ARCOM finds additional specialists to assist in such subjects as audio/video communications.

About ARCOM

ARCOM offers the MasterSpec master guide specifications to engineers, architects, and design professionals for use in creating and maintaining office master specifications and for creating specifications for various project sizes, complexity, and delivery. Recognized as the industry standard, MasterSpec is the most widely used specification system in the U.S., with extensive background research information.

ARCOM also develops SpecWare® and SpecAgent®. SpecWare is a family of specification enhancement software tools that dramatically simplifies specification editing, production, and report generation. SpecAgent is a web-based tool designed to work with MasterSpec, streamlining the process of building product research and comparison and manufacturer selection.

ARCOM, which publishes MasterSpec for The American Institute of Architects (AIA), is a Salt Lake City-based firm with an additional office in Alexandria, Virginia. The company employs more than 40 full-time specification development professionals: researchers, specification writers and editors, software developers, technical support staff, and customer service professionals.

CONTACT:

Angie Matinkhah

ARCOM

amatinkhah@arcomnet.com

801.521.9162 x 224

 

BICSI Training Schedule @ Craig Consulting Training Center

January – March 2011

Dates                                                    Class

JANUARY

1/24– 1/28                                 ITS Copper                                (IN 225)

1/31 – 2/4                                  ITS  Fiber                                  (IN 250)

FEBRUARY

2/7 – 2/11                                  ITS Copper                                (IN 225)

2/14 – 2/16                                BICSI                                        DD 120                        

2/17 – 2/19                                BICSI                                        DD 125

2/21 – 2/25                                ITS Copper                                (IN 225)

2/28 – 3/4                                  BICSI                                        PM 125

MARCH

3/7 – 3/11                                  ITS Technician               (IN 350)

3/21 – 3/25                                ITS Copper                                (IN 225)

3/28 – 4/1                                  ITS Fiber                                   (IN 250)            

Items in RED are taught by a BICSI Master Instructor – Contact BICSI

Schedule subject to change based upon Customer requests.

Craig Consulting Training Center

13370 Branch View Lane, Suite # 140

Dallas, Texas 75234

(972) 393-1669

(972) 393-5735

www.craigconsultingservices.com

 

BOMA International Applauds President Obama’s Better Buildings Program

(WASHINGTON—Feb. 3, 2011) The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International commends the Obama Administration’s Better Building Initiative, a new program that aims to make commercial buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next decade through a series of incentives to upgrade offices, stores, schools and other municipal buildings, universities, hospitals, and other commercial buildings.

The new program includes a number of initiatives designed to increase energy efficiency in commercial buildings, including improved tax incentives, more financing opportunities for commercial retrofits and a training program for commercial building technology workers. The program also includes a “Race to Green” initiative that will offer competitive grants for state and municipal governments that streamline standards, encourage efficiency upgrades and attract private sector investment.

“We applaud President Obama’s new energy policy to improve energy efficiency in commercial, multi-family and institutional buildings,” said BOMA International Chair Ray H. Mackey, Jr., RPA, CPM, CCIM, partner and chief operating officer, Stream Realty Partners, L.P. “The initiative includes the critical business incentives, such as the commercial building tax credit and loan guarantees, that are key to meeting the energy efficiency goals of the plan.  BOMA International has been a leader in energy efficiency for years, launching the 7-Point Challenge in 2007 which asked members to reduce energy consumption by 30 percent by 2012. To date, organizations representing three billion square feet of office space have signed onto the Challenge and are transforming the marketplace.”

The Better Buildings Initiative dovetails with BOMA International’s long-term commitment to helping building owners and managers reduce energy use by promoting energy management practices through a variety of platforms. In addition to the 7-Point Challenge, BOMA developed the BOMA Energy Efficiency Program (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.

BOMA published the industry’s first green lease guide, which includes enforceable lease language to ensure tenants comply with a building’s green priorities. BOMA also partnered with the Clinton Climate Initiative to release the groundbreaking BOMA Energy Performance Contract (BEPC) model, which allows building owners to perform major energy retrofits to existing buildings by removing key barriers. Just this month, BOMA International launched BOMA STARS, a new campaign to encourage its members to benchmark their portfolio’s energy management data using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager. BOMA has been a long-time supporter of ENERGY STAR benchmarking.  It is one of the 7-Point Challenge strategies and a prerequisite of BOMA’s 360 Performance Program building designation. BOMA was first recognized with the ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Award in 2007 and has received the award for the past four years, the only real estate association to do so.  In 2009, BOMA received EPA’s highest honor, the Climate Protection Award.

***

About BOMA International
The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is an international federation of more than 100 local associations and affiliated organizations. Founded in 1907, its 16,500-plus members own or manage more than nine billion square feet of commercial properties. BOMA International’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.

 

BRAD MILLER JOINS DOW WIRE & CABLE AS GLOBAL MARKETING DIRECTOR

Houston, TX – January 26, 2011 Dow Wire and Cable, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) and its subsidiaries, is happy to announce the appointment of Brad Miller as Global Marketing Director. In this role, Brad will drive strategic growth initiatives utilizing Dow Wire & Cable’s portfolio of products, technologies and power industry expertise. This will include executing global product launches for solutions in the traditional power and alternative energy industries as well as market segments like personal electronics, building & construction and transportation wires, cables and accessories.

“As we continue to grow in the global power industry and its ancillary markets, it is more important than ever to complement our product and technology offering with strategic marketing and branding programs,” said Tim Laughlin, General Manager, Dow Wire & Cable. “We look forward to having Brad on our team to continue and enhance the excellent progress we’ve made in this important facet of our business.”

Miller has been with Dow for over twenty years and previously served as Global Business Director for Dow Fiber Solutions. He also has held a number of commercial roles in Dow’s chemical and plastics businesses. Miller holds a BA from Michigan State University and an MBA from Indiana University. He will be located at Dow Wire & Cable headquarters in Houston, TX, USA.

Dow Wire & Cable, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW), is a leading global provider of products, technology, solutions and expertise for installation and protection in the transmission, distribution and consumption of power, voice and data. www.dowwireandcable.com .

 

CE WEEK TO DAZZLE NEW YORK CITY WITH INNOVATIVE CE TECH THIS JUNE

CEA Line Shows Expands With Second Venue and Weeklong, Citywide Celebration of Consumer Electronics

Arlington, VA – January 25, 2011 – CEA Line Shows, the CE industry’s annual mid-year conference and new technology showcase, this year will expand to include a new citywide industry celebration, CE Week in New York, June 20-24, 2011. In addition to CEA Line Shows and Digital Downtown Conference , CE Week will feature independent conference programs, press conferences and networking events sponsored by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®, producer of the International CES®.

New items for 2011 CE Week include:

  • CEA Demo Suites and Conference, which will focus on residential technology and home theater and will provide an intimate hotel setting for suite demonstrations and private meeting rooms. 
  • The CEA Demo Suites and Conference will include a conference program as well as several networking events for the media and trade. This event will be held at the Affinia Hotel on 7th Avenue, June 21-22. Maureen Jenson, Editor-in-Chief of CustomRetailer, E-Gear and CEDIA’s Electronic Lifestyle magazines, will serve as the program’s conference chair.

“Similar to how the International CES has grown to be a global event each January, CE Week will become our industry’s mid-year celebration of innovative technology every June in New York, the media and financial capital of the world,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA. “June in New York is the right place at the right time for manufacturers to meet the media, introduce new products and showcase the importance of our industry, which is why this event is expanding again this year.”

The CEA Line Shows, which had over 1,500 attendees and 70 exhibitors in 2010, will again be home to the Digital Downtown Conference program, chaired by Natali Del Conte Morris, news anchor for CNET TV and a technology contributor for CBS News.  It will take place on June 22-23 at 7 West 34th Street.

About the CE Week
A weeklong, citywide event in New York City, including CEA Line Shows, Demo Suites and Digital Downtown Conference, organized in association with CEA, the producer of the International CES®, along with Martin Porter Associates and Consumer Technology Publishing Group/NAPCO, publisher of Dealerscope, Custom Retailer and E-Gear Magazines.

About CEA
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $186 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also sponsors and manages the International CES – The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services.  Find CEA online at CE.org.

 

Independent Field Verification of the Structured Cabling System

Why have your Structured Cabling System (SCS) independently verified?

End user and Solution Provider

If you are an end user or solution provider with a comprehensive solution that incorporates the structure cabling system (SCS), you may have procurement requirements for the lowest compliant bidder receiving the award. This can put you in a situation with an unknown installation contractor installing the SCS for your network who has not earned your trust.

You may be able to confirm their references, but the issue is not the quality of the contractor. The issue is the pressure from numerous concurrent jobs that can cause a lack of skilled resources to provide the quality workmanship you expect for your SCS asset.  

SCS Contractor

As a contractor, providing a solution that incorporates the certification and testing of the SCS by an independent firm as an option adds value to your response to a proposal and indicates that you stand behind your work. You would want to give the option of providing the solution due to cost considerations. This will allow the customer the ability to select or refer a firm at their request that provides independent field verification, testing and certification to industry standards.

The quality of workmanship will naturally increase because the contractor is aware that an expert in structured cabling systems, independent of the installation team, is inspecting the physical installation, testing and reporting on the work.

Physical Inspection

A physical inspection should always be required due to the impact poor installation practices can have on the SCS performance, and is not always uncovered during testing.  Independent verification has a positive impact on the installation team by challenging them to perform at a high level therefore supporting the requirement of a physical inspection. This inspection should be performed at least once at the end of the project and could also be performed at different phases throughout the project. For example, inspecting the pulling of the cables to see if excessive force is used would be an indicator of the pulling team’s experience, which could impact the performance of the SCS.     

The physical inspection must have a list of parameters referenced to the standards and BICSI’s manuals. An example would be ANSI/TIA-568-C.0 maximum pair un-twist for category 6 cable shall not exceed 0.5 inch (see chart) or NECA/BICSI 568-2006 for properly verifying the sealing of a floor penetration with putty for fire-stopping. There should be a list of at least 10 installation parameters that when installed correctly will contribute to the optimal performance structured cabling system.

Category

Maximum pair un-twist

Mm (in)

3

75 (3)

5e

13 (0.5)

6

13 (0.5)

6A

13 (0.5)

Should you have 100% verification or percentage of horizontal and backbone drops?

Cost considerations could be a determining factor in your decision to select an independent team to perform your verification, testing and certification of your system. Although the testing aspect of an installation is not a money-maker for the contractor and is usually charged by each test performed, the charge of an independent firm could be considerably different and should be evaluated during your decision process.

Depending on cost consideration, you may elect to physically verify the SCS depending on size, and perform testing for a percentage of your cabling drops. Comparing the results with the contractor’s test will determine the validity of the contractor test.    

Certification or Manufacture Warranty 

Certification of the SCS should take into consideration an individual review of all test reports by an RCDD for compliance with the ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.2 for category 6/6A cabling and 568.B.1 for category 3/5e cabling. One of the areas I have personally seen confusion with is during the review, the customer wants to perform a percentage of the SCS testing and the contractor’s installers performing the test have selected channel testing parameters when testing permanent links. This results in an increased margin for permanent links, which will significantly change your pass/fail results of the permanent links tested, leading to inaccurate results. 

There are many good manufacture warranty programs for your SCS, which extend warranty applications beyond a typical one year parts/labor to 15, 20, 25 years. This could be an alternative to selecting third party verification, but there is typically a premium you must pay so this option should be considered against the cost of a third party. Most of the programs involve the review of testing reports for pass/fail against industry standards but not the physical verification of the SCS outside the manufacturer’s certified contractor performing the work. This does not provide the mental challenge to the installation team that someone outside your company would.  

Conclusion

You have the basic knowledge of independent verification of your SCS and whether you are a contractor, end user or solution provider there can be value to having your SCS verified. It is important to understand that third party verification should also include physical inspection of the SCS. I have seen various approaches, some include the physical inspection take digital photos, have an extensive check list of standards and BICSI requirements to be in compliance with and some just perform the testing and nothing else.

Whatever approach you take, even if it is just to mention “field verification” in a proposal, you will be surprised by how much more attention to detail people recognize and in the end the network that controls the livelihood of your or your customer’s organization is at the mercy of the physical cabling plant and you want to make sure like any investment, it will reap the benefits for years to come.  

Written by: Dennis Mazaris, President

Concert Technologies

43766 Trade Center Place

Suite 130

Dulles, VA 20166

www.concerttech.com

Accelerating the Speed of Technology Rollouts

About Concert Technologies

Concert Technologies has a wide breadth of services designed to complete your technology rollout as quickly and efficiently as possible. With over 175,000 projects completed and almost 15 years of industry experience, we have the system of methodologies in place to provide you with the technology rollout services needed to achieve your business goals.

Learn more about our services

Reprinted with permission from BICSI News magazine www.bicsi.org

 

DAIKIN TO BUILD A MANUFACTURING PLANT IN THE U.S. TO PRODUCE ELECTROLYTE SOLUTIONS FOR THE LITHIUM ION BATTERY MARKET

Daikin Industries announces its decision to become a supplier of electrolyte solutions to the emerging North American lithium ion battery market.  Daikin is uniquely positioned to supply electrolyte formulations that contain fluorinated solvents and additives.  Daikin’s patented chemistries enable manufacturers to build lithium ion batteries with higher energy density, longer life, and greatly enhanced safety. 

According to Adam Brozzetti, Vice President of New Business Development at Daikin, “Our business model is to work closely with each battery manufacturer to establish the optimum electrolyte formulation for their design.  We also plan to continue to push the envelope on battery performance and we are confident that our technologies are ideally suited for this.”

Daikin is currently completing a laboratory facility in Decatur, Alabama that will begin providing samples of electrolyte to battery manufacturers in February 2011. Engineering design for an electrolyte pilot plant and a commercial plant, both to be located in Decatur, have also been initiated.  The pilot facility is scheduled to come on stream in early 2012.  Completion of the commercial plant is targeted for 2013. Capacity for the commercial electrolyte plant has not yet been announced.

Daikin America, Inc., headquartered in Orangeburg, New York, is one of the largest fluoropolymer suppliers in the world.  Daikin provides molding resins, fine powders, aqueous dispersions, melt processable fluoropolymers, and fluoroelastomers for many critical applications.

Daikin America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Daikin Industries Ltd of Osaka, Japan.  Daikin is Japan’s leading manufacturer of air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, and fluorochemical products.

www.daikin-america.com

 

D-TOOLS SI5.5 SP3 UPGRADE NOW AVAILABLE

Latest Service Pack of award-winning software makes it easier than ever to design, estimate, and document integration of low voltage systems

CONCORD, CA - JANUARY 18, 2011 - D-Tools, Inc., the worldwide leader in system integration software, today announced the release of SI5.5 Service Pack 3. The release will be made available to all customers via automatic updates beginning Tuesday January 18th. D-Tools System Integrator is currently used by over 3,000 companies to streamline the design, estimation, and documentation processes associated with the installation and integration of low voltage systems.

Click here to read more ...

A complete list of SP3 features, enhancements and bug fixes is available here.

About D-Tools, Inc.
D-Tools, founded in 1998 and based in Concord, California, is a worldwide leader in accessible, highly accurate system design and documentation software. The company’s flagship product, System Integrator™ (SI), is a total design solution that utilizes Autodesk® AutoCAD and Microsoft® Visio for comprehensive system design, documentation and project management. D-Tools SI allows residential and commercial integrators to streamline their business processes to increase overall revenues while reducing the time and costs associated with the installation and integration of low-voltage systems. For more information, please visit www.d-tools.com.

For more information, contact D-Tools at (866) 386-6571, e-mail at info@d-tools.com or visit D-Tools online at www.d-tools.com

 

FLUKE NETWORKS has a great new upgrade program

Fluke Network announced its most generous trade-up promotion ever for the DTX-1800 Cable Analyzer. From now until the end of March you can receive between $2,011 and $3,500 cash back from Fluke Networks when you purchase a DTX-1800. You have to turn in an old cable certifier to get the rebate, but it can be ANY cable certifier that is Category 5 (or 100MHz) or better. This program is for the U.S. only and cannot be combined with other DTX-1800 promotions but there is no limit on quantity: buy three DTX-1800s and turn in three old certifiers and you will get three rebates of $2,011 to $3,500. See the rebate form for all the details.

www.flukenetworks.com

Trust Your Tester DTX Trade-up Program

Trade in your old tester of any make or model* and get a cash rebate for up to $3500 when you buy a new DTX CableAnalyzer in the U.S. Fluke Networks is built is on a leadership with customer driven innovation and an uncompromising culture to “do it right”.

Trade in your old tester of any make or model* and get a cash rebate for up to $3500 when you buy a new DTX CableAnalyzer

These days, trust is hard to come by.  Claims are made that often don’t pan out. And promises are made, then quickly forgotten.  Fluke Networks is built is on a leadership with customer driven innovation and an uncompromising culture to “do it right”.   You can trust our testers. 

The DTX CableAnalyzer is a state of the art cable tester that has become the first choice of cabling professionals worldwide. It has certified over one billion cabling links and earned more than twenty endorsements from major cabling vendors!  If you’re still using another tester, it is now the time to trade up to the DTX!

Download the Rebate Form

Frequently Asked Questions:

I have an old Fluke DSP series tester that I love.  Why would I trade it in and buy a DTX? 
The DSP series was an awesome product, but technology has changed a lot since it was replaced six years ago .  The DTX will pay for itself in efficiency and enable you to test to the latest standards and technologies.  And we’ll have an easier time servicing and supporting it than your old products.

Does a product who’s manufacturer has gone out of business or sold the test and measurement line qualify?
Yes. Many players have entered and exited the industry, but we haven’t wavered.  Any make and model of Cat 5 (100 MHz) tester and above qualifies for this promotion. 

What do I have to do to get the cash rebate?
Simply follow the steps below.

Rebate process
1. Purchase any DTX CableAnalyzer between January 17th, 2011 and March 31st 2011.

2. Send Fluke Networks the following items:

This form, completed

Trade-in equipment

W-9 form

Dated invoice for your new DTX CableAnalyzer purchase

3. Above items should be mailed to:
        Fluke Networks
        ATTN: Trust your Tester DTX Trade-up Promotion
        6920 Seaway Boulevard, Mail Stop 279F
        Everett, WA 98203 
        

4. Fluke Networks will send you your cash rebate.

*Any cable tester capable of at least Cat 5(100MHz) certification

Terms and Conditions

Offer is good in the United States only and is subject to change. This promotion may not be used or combined with any other promotion from Fluke Networks. These products may not be resold. Allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of rebate check. A valid W-9 and a dated invoice must be submitted. Eligible Fluke Networks DTX units must have been purchased between January 17, 2011 and March 31, 2011. Forms received after April 15, 2011 will not be honored. Any taxes are the responsibility of the receiver. This offer is not available to Fluke Networks distributors, Fluke Networks sales staff, or Fluke Networks’ service centers. P.O. boxes are not accepted for shipping addresses.

Download rebate form

 

FIBER GAINS MOMENTUM IN THE MARKET

NBN Co. inks Corning, Prysmian for Australian NBN FTTH fiber

by Stephen Hardy
January 17, 2011

NBN Co., the company established to oversee construction of Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN), has signed contracts with Corning Cable Systems Pty. Ltd. and Prysmian to supply fiber for the FTTH project.

The Australian arm of Corning Cable Systems received the larger deal. The company reports an initial order of AUS $400 million (US $398 million) from a contract with a potential total value of AUS $1.2 billion ($US 1.19 billion). Corning will supply its FlexNAP terminal distribution system with RPX ribbon cable for aerial installations and its ALTOS ribbon cable for underground installations.

NBN Co. granted Prysmian an initial order worth AUS $150 million (US $149 million) on a contract with a potential total value of AUS $300 million (US $298.4 million) for the supply of ribbon and other multi-fiber cables. In turn, Prysmian will invest around €10 million (US $13.3 million) to manufacture the cables at its facility in Dee Why, Australia as part of a commitment to source in Australia approximately 80% of the value of its NBN contract.

With the signing of the cabling contracts, most of the major items would appear to be in place. NBN Co. has already signed deals with Alcatel-Lucent for GPON hardware as well as with Nokia-Siemens Networks for DWDM platforms.

The controversial NBN FTTH government project aims to create an open-access fiber optic network that will pass 93 percent of Australian homes and businesses within the next 10 years. The project has so far withstood repeated attempts to either scale it back or stop it completely, and was one of the major issues in Australia’s most recent national elections (see “Australia NBN back on -- by one seat”).

FIBER GAINS MOMENTUM IN THE MARKET

 

The Crimp-Free, Push-In Butt Splice From the makers of the Wire-Nut© Wire Connector comes the SpliceLine™ – a revolutionary in-line wire connector

The SpliceLine™ is a crimp-free, push-in wire connector that install in half the time of a traditional butt splice. Perfect for lengthening a short wire in a box, for pre-fab operations, or for surface raceway wiring, SpliceLine™ accepts solid and stranded wire, is UL listed, and is made in the USA by IDEAL, the leader in wire connectors.

Accepts solid or stranded wire

UL Listed splicing wire connector

UL Listed for grounding

To request a sample of SpliceLine™ wire connectors simply send an e-mail with your shipping address to: SpliceLineSamples@idealindustries.com.

www.idealindustries.com

800-435-0705

 

Gain Valuable Public Speaking Experience and be involved in BICSI

Gain industry recognition and valuable public speaking experience by becoming a presenter at an upcoming BICSI Region Meeting.

What Should I Present?
Presentations address current trends in the information technology systems (ITS) industry. Region meetings are planned to allow all BICSI credential holders to receive continuing education credits (CECs), as well as appeal to a larger audience.

Available Speaking Dates:

 

U.S. Southeast Region Meeting
March 11, 2011
Charlotte, NC

U.S. North-Central Region Meeting
March 15, 2011
Troy, MI

 

U.S. Northeast Region Meeting
March 24, 2011
Coraopolis, PA

Canadian Region Meeting
March 30, 2011
Moncton, NB

 

U.S. North-Central Region Meeting
April 14, 2011
Minnetonka, MN

U.S. Western Region Meeting
April 19, 2011
Phoenix, AZ

 

Canadian Region Meeting
April 27, 2011
Lachine, QC

Canadian Region Meeting
May 17, 2011
Vancouver, BC

 

U.S. Western Region Meeting
June 9, 2011
Salt Lake City, UT

U.S. Western Region Meeting
July 19, 2011
Honolulu, HI

 

U.S. Northeast Region Meeting
October 6, 2011
Sturbridge, MA

Canadian Region Meeting
October 13, 2011
Calgary, AB

 

U.S. Western Region Meeting
October 13, 2011
Milpitas, CA

U.S. Southeast Region Meeting
October 20, 2011
Tampa, FL

 

Canadian Region Meeting
November 22, 2011
Mississauga, ON

 

 

Presentations should be no more than 45 minutes long. If you are interested in presenting or have a speaker to suggest, please download an application and submit it to BICSI. If you have any further questions, please contact BICSI at or 800.242.7405 or e-mail regionmeetings@bicsi.org.

Thank you in advance. Your participation ensures that these meetings are a success. Please feel free to forward this e-mail to a colleague or friend who may be interested. www.bicsi.org

 

Gefen ToolBox Shipping High Speed USB Four-Port Extender for Long Range Distances

CHATSWORTH, CA – Digital connectivity solutions provider Gefen today announced that its ToolBox USB 2.0 Extender Long Range (LR) is shipping.

This new 4-port USB 2.0 hub powers multiple computer devices at long distances. Up to 330 feet (100m) can be traversed by portable sender and receiver units that easily fit into any integrated system. Full bandwidth capability offers an instant delivery of multiple USB signals over a single

CAT-5 cable.

Perfect for professional environments that access computer data remotely, the USB 2.0 Extender LR works with both lo- and hi-speed USB peripherals, including cameras, scanners, printers, keyboards, hard drives, DVD burners and more. Any four devices using USB can be extended over the same cable, all remotely powered when operating in the field.

As a new ToolBox product, the USB 2.0 Extender LR comes in a rugged wall-mountable enclosure, offers locking power supplies to eliminate potential disconnects and can be purchased in a cream or black finish to better fit any room décor.

Installation is plug and play simple. The computer connects to the sender unit, while the four-port receiver unit connects to the remote peripherals at the remote workstation. A single CAT-5 cable connects sender to receiver, reaching speeds up to 480 Mbps for an instant, long-range signal delivery.

Additional Information:

http://www.gefen.com/gefentoolbox/gtbproduct.jsp?prod_id=9772

About Gefen:

Gefen supplies a wide selection of signal switchers, splitters, extenders, scalers, converters, KVM, digital signage and home theater accessories that build a solid infrastructure for today’s audio/video and computer systems.

Continual product innovations enable the company to maintain its reputation as a leading resource for installers, integrators and end users alike. The GefenTV line offers professional quality home theater accessories streamlined for plug and play operation. The Gefen ToolBox line delivers portable, wall-mounted solutions for the nuts and bolts of system integration. The GefenPRO line supplies 24/7 technical support and valuable features for demanding professional industries. All products include lifetime support from technical representatives and engineers available for consultation.

 

GENERAL CABLE ADDS TO ITS 17 FREE LINE WITH NEXTGEN® TIGHT BUFFER DISTRIBUTION FIBER

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, KENTUCKY, JANUARY 26, 2011 – General Cable (NYSE: BGC) is pleased to announce that it has added another halogen-free line of cables to its 17 FREE offering.  The new NextGen® Brand UL-Rated Type OFNR Tight Buffer Distribution Fiber Cables will be offered at a competitive price and feature substantiated green properties. 

“NextGen’s 17 FREE line of Type OFNR Tight Buffer Distribution cables, which is more environmentally-friendly, also features a lightweight, flexible design that simplifies installation,” said Greg Carnes, Product Manager, General Cable Fiber Optic Cables.  “These tight buffered fibers are easy to handle and strip for field connectorization.”

With the removal of halogens, which fall into Group 17 of the Periodic Table, General Cable’s revolutionary 17 FREE line does not contain any chlorine, fluorine, bromine or iodine, reducing the overall toxicity of the cable and truly resulting in a more environmentally-friendly “green” product.

“As part of our Green commitment, we continue to find innovative ways to exceed the requirements of our customers,” said Bob Kenny, Vice President and General Manager, General Cable Communication Cables.  “Our 17 FREE product line is a great example of turning end-user feedback into reality and we are working to continue to develop other sustainable 17 FREE cable options, including Electronic cables and Cord products.” 

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced the LEED Pilot Credit 2 in late 2009, which is a credit geared to reducing the release of persistent bio-accumulative toxic chemicals, or PBTs, associated with the life cycle of building materials, including electrical wiring and cable jacketing.  Based on this LEED credit and earlier requests for green products, General Cable, who is a member of the USGBC and the Green Suppliers Network, had its Wire Wizardssm closely examine the jacket of its Fiber and Premise cables, which has led to the successful engineering of these 17 FREE halogen-free versions.

General Cable manufactures a wide range of high performance NextGen® Brand fiber optic cables and GenSPEED® Brand 10 Gig Cat 6A, Cat 6 and Cat 5e copper data communications cables. Also ask about our PanGen and NetGen Structured Cabling Solutions, which, in partnership with Panduit, provide market-focused open-architecture network infrastructure solutions.  Visit us on the Web at www.generalcable.com. General Cable … Delivering solutions that keep you connected.

About General Cable

General Cable (NYSE:BGC), a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Highland Heights, Kentucky, is a global leader in the development, design, manufacture, marketing and distribution of copper, aluminum and fiber optic wire and cable products for the energy, industrial, specialty and communications markets.  With annual revenues approaching $5 billion, General Cable is one of the largest wire and cable manufacturing companies in the world.  It operates 47 manufacturing facilities in 25 countries and employs more than 11,000 associates.  Visit our Web site at www.GeneralCable.com.

Going Green with General Cable

General Cable has accelerated its environmental commitment, addressing its Green Alternative Approach by identifying greener opportunities and promoting green cabling solutions wherever feasible.  This includes promoting our existing green products; partnering with key customers in their green endeavors; identifying and providing resources for green product gaps; and participating as members in the U.S. Green Building Council and collaborative ventures such as the Green Suppliers Network (GSN).

 

Fluke Networks - Free EtherScope LAN Health Check Offer:
Limited-time offer – get free troubleshooting guide with LAN Health Check

Continue, Request LAN Health Check

Get a LAN Heath Check and get a free $35 troubleshooting guide.
How healthy is your network?  Are there hidden issues lurking in the background causing slow performance? Sign up for a no-obligation onsite health check today and discover these issues before user productivity is impacted and users complain.

Sign up for an EtherScope health check between now and April 30th and after your health check is complete, you will receive a free text book “Network Maintenance and Troubleshooting Guide” – a $35 value. Fluke Networks can send you an EtherScope so you can perform the health check yourself, or we can arrange to have an EtherScope specialist visit you to perform the check onsite.

If you're ready to buy now, check out the Advanced Accessories Kit Offer - get a free set of accessories - $895 (USD) value!

With a free LAN Health Check ...

... Get a Free Guide

EtherScope Network Assistant – with one-touch Health Audit turns anyone into an instant problem solver

Start testing with a single click. A quick glance at the status icons shows the overall health of the LAN and the health of critical resources. Intelligent drill-downs assist with root cause analysis and problem resolution. A built-in report records the current health which is useful for documentation and establishing a baseline for future audits.

“Network Maintenance and Troubleshooting Guide: Field Tested Solutions for Everyday Problems”

Real-life networks don’t always behave “by the book.”  Troubleshooting them requires practical intuition that normally comes only with experience. In this book, Fluke Networks’ Neal Allen brings together all that hard-won, hands-on insight: everything you need to discover what’s really happening in your network, so you can anticipate and fix problems before users even notice them.

Get more information, register for LAN Health Check

 

Hitachi Cable Manchester Donates Cable to Ronald McDonald House

Manchester, NH, January 21, 2011 

Hitachi Cable Manchester (HCM) with its manufacturing facility located in Manchester, NH, USA, is pleased to have recently provided support to The Ronald McDonald house of Durham, North Carolina. 

The Ronald McDonald House Charities is a non-profit organization with local chapters currently operating in 51 countries and regions.  Since 1980, the Ronald McDonald House of Durham has allowed families to focus on the health and wellbeing of their critically ill children by keeping families together who are in need of a community of hope, comfort, and empathy.  Their programs provide families with the comforts of home –private bedrooms, inviting community spaces, daily home-cooked meals and stocked kitchen, a play room, computer room and laundry facilities – as well as a network of support through interactions with other families, staff and volunteers. 

HCM donated over 20,000 feet of Category 6 communication cable for the Durham facility to use for an addition currently underway.  Steven Kenney, Marketing Manager for HCM, said, “The issues that some of these families have to deal with are difficult for most to imagine.  Ronald McDonald house provides assistance, much of which is intangible, when families truly need it most.  It is difficult to think of a cause more worthy of support.”

About Hitachi Cable Manchester

HCM is a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., Japan.  Located in Manchester, NH, HCM  manufactures a complete line of high-performance copper and fiber optic cables for the communication industry.  Over 4,000 different cable products are manufactured at this facility. Products include Category 6 and 6A copper communication cables, indoor, indoor/outdoor and outside plant fiber optic cables, as well as round and flat electronic cables.  To learn more about HCM, please visit the HCM website at www.hcm.hitachi.com. 

 

Wheelhouse Enterprises and Upside present: WHITEPAPER: Hosted VoIP Buyer Guide

Read it today at:

http://www.1105data.com/t.do?id=6810298:2907688

Phone calls are crucial to every business, but maintaining a phone system requires paying personnel and making investments in costly equipment. If you're looking for ways to trim costs at your business, you might want to consider opting for a hosted VoIP, or virtual PBX phone system.

A hosted VoIP system offers many advantages over other forms of phone system and can help give smaller businesses a "big business" presence.

In this exclusive FREE buyers'guide, you'll learn:

- What hosted VoIP is and how it works

- The advantages of hosted VoIP systems compared with other types of phone system

- The key features to look for in a hosted VoIP system

- How to find and implement a hosted VoIP system that's right for your business

Read it today at:

http://www.1105data.com/t.do?id=6810299:2907688

 

Pre-Terminated Patch Box … No Work, No Tools, No Mess

ICC's HiPerLink pre-terminated copper solutions is a cost effective approach to a simple ‘plug and play' data cabling system. It can be implemented into any network architecture; data centers, network backbone or straight to the workstation. ICC's plug and play cassettes come with a twist ... they're modular.  Other supplier's plug and play cassettes are fixed.  With ICC, installers can easily change or move modules from the cassette after installation and even with different color modules if they want.

Mobile Patch Box is the newest option in ICC’s HiPerLink solution. This patch box is portable and flexible with six open ports that can be pre-configured with CAT 6A, CAT 6, CAT 5e data, voice, fiber optic, audio, or video modules. ICC can ship the patch box bundled and simply ‘plug and play' the cassette into a telecom or equipment room. It is designed to be installed in open environments where connectivity is not readily available; such as warehouses, tradeshow floors, conference rooms, computer training labs or POS terminals. The box can be screw mounted to a floor, wall or suspended over the ceiling. Two optional magnets can also be used to mount on metallic surfaces. It has a rugged PVC housing making it durable so that it can be left on the floor.

With the Mobile Parch Box HiPerLink solution, anyone can deploy network cabling anywhere quickly and with ease. There’s no termination required, no tools and no mess.  Each cable assembly is factory terminated in Southern California, with a turn-around time of two to four weeks. They are tested to exceed TIA performance standards, test reports included and backed by ICC’s 15-Year Permanent Link Performance Limited Warranty.  There is no need to worry about network downtime. 

Since 1984, ICC has offered a complete line of cooper and fiber solutions for commercial and residential applications including multi-port and communication outlets, cross-connect and patch cords, cable management and raceway system. ICC is committed to product quality (registered ISO 9001-2008), and providing high performance solutions at affordable prices.

Visit us online at www.icc.com
Premium Products • Proven Performance • Competitive Prices…

 

IDEAL LanTEK II Cable Certifiers allow Technicians to Certify LAN Cabling to TIA, ISO and IEC

Standards

SYCAMORE, IL, January 26, 2011 --  IDEAL LanTEK® II cable certifiers offer an all-inclusive solution for installation, maintenance and certification of LAN cabling, with three models designed to meet copper certification requirements from 350 to 1000 MHz, and full fiber optic certification of multi-mode and single mode fiber optic cabling.

IDEAL LanTEK II certifiers deliver unprecedented speed. Complete Category 6/ISO Class E tests are performed in only 14 seconds, including the saving of full graphical data. Test results are displayed on an ultra-bright, high-resolution LCD that faciliates faster analysis and easier navigation of the graphical user interface.

THREE TEST MODELS
Three LanTEK II models are available to allow users to certify all LAN cabling performance categories:

LanTEK® II-350 certifies applications up to 350 MHz which includes Category 5E and 6 (ISO Class D and E);

LanTEK® II-500 with a frequency range of 500 MHz supports Category 6A and ISO Class EA;

LanTEK® II-1000 sweeps to a full 1 GHz for ISO Class FA and other mixed media applications such as CATV over twisted pair.

The hardware of the LanTEK® II achieves many dramatic improvements over its predecessor, the original LanTEK I, such as the larger 4.3" WQVGA display with bright, energy-efficient white LED backlighting. In addition, a new lithium ion battery reduces weight and increases work time to 18 hours between charges.

To meet the expanding storage needs of technicians, the LanTEK II features a large internal memory with capacity for up to 1,700 Category 6 measurements with graphs. Plus, the certifier's standard USB interface supports USB keychain memory drives for quick offloading of saved tests. Push-to-talk (PTT) functionality with the included talk sets eliminates noise.

LanTEK® II certifiers feature IDEAL's patented measurement system which unlike any other certifier allows both channel and permanent link measurements with a single universal test adapter. Users can simply replace the high quality patch cords with a new set of off-the-shelf cords rather than replace costly proprietary modules or hard-wired link adapters.

LanTEK® II also offer the patented DualMODE measurement system that allows a copper link to be tested against two different performance standards with a single Autotest. This makes it easy to test a link to current standards as well as measure the performance margin against future standards with higher performance requirements, all while adding only 1 second to the Autotest time.

IDEAL LanTEK II cable certifiers are immediately available.

 www.idealindustries.com

 

FORD and LEVITON to provide electric vehicle charging stations for Fords line of electric vehicles

NEW FORD FOCUS ELECTRIC TO OFFER CONVENIENT CHARGING STATION WITH PLENTY OF CONSUMER BENEFITS.

Leviton is proud to announce our relationship with Ford Motor Company to provide electric vehicle charging stations for Fords line of electric vehicles.

For details on the agreement please reference the Leviton and Ford press release as posted below.

  • The Ford Focus Electric will offer an innovative home charging station for customers that delivers several benefits for a convenient and simple experience. The unit was jointly developed with Leviton, a leading North American producer of electrical devices.
  • The charging station for the Ford Focus Electric can be easily installed, replaced or upgraded without the use of tools due to its innovative design and mounting bracket, making removal and replacement a simple unplug and plug back in.
  • Other benefits of the charging station include offering an industry-leading price point and 10-year limited hardware warranty, along with being manufactured in the United States out of 60 percent post-consumer recycled materials.

DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 11, 2011 – The Ford Focus Electric offers breakthrough, customer-centered technology, and a home charging station brings convenience and value to match. Jointly developed with Leviton, a leading North American producer of electrical devices, the unit offers a wide variety of benefits for Focus Electric customers.

One of the main advantages of the charging station is the nonpermanent-style installation. The unit plugs into a 240-volt outlet instead of being hard-wired into the electrical breaker box, making removal and replacement a simple unplug and plug back in operation in the event the owner moves.

“We’re delivering an industry-leading charge station that offers customers not only the best value, but also tremendous flexibility,” said Mike Tinskey, manager of vehicle electrification and infrastructure, Ford Motor Company. “It’s just one part of how Ford is making Ford Focus Electric a simple solution for customers.”

Additionally, the unit will be offered at an industry-leading price point and will be manufactured in the United States with a limited 10-year hardware warranty. In keeping with Ford’s commitment to sustainability, the unit’s exterior housing is made out of up 60 percent post consumer recycled material. The unit also is compatible with all upcoming Ford plug-in vehicles.

Complete with attractive design aesthetics, the unit also has a larger power design than the competition, allowing for faster charge times as vehicles accommodate.

“We are pleased to partner with Ford, a world class innovator, as we embark on the electric vehicle revolution.  Leviton has a long history of providing commercial and residential electrical power delivery solutions which are easy to use and backed by industry leading service and support.  Our Evr-Green electric vehicle charging products continue that tradition and add another solution to our growing portfolio of green products and services.  These innovative solutions will help promote the adoption and expansion of electric vehicles,” said Mike Mattei, Vice President and General Manager for Leviton’s Commercial and Industrial business unit.

Ford’s electrification strategy

Electrification is an important piece of Ford’s overall product sustainability strategy. Ford’s aggressive strategy includes the launch of five new electrified vehicles in Europe and North America. In addition to Focus Electric, Ford introduced the Transit Connect Electric small commercial van in 2010.  The company also will launch two next-generation lithium-ion battery hybrids and a plug-in hybrid in 2012. The range of electrified vehicles allows Ford to address a variety of consumer driving needs.

Ford’s electrification strategy also leverages the most fuel-efficient powertrains, the most technically competent hybrids and the company’s global vehicle platforms in order to develop affordable choices for consumers.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 163,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.  

About Leviton

Leviton (www.leviton.com) is the largest privately held global provider of electrical wiring devices, data center connectivity solutions, and lighting energy management systems. Founded at the turn of the 20th century in America, Leviton has grown to become a preeminent leader in the electrical industry. Today Leviton's product portfolio consists of more than 25,000 devices and systems used in homes, businesses, and industry. Proven a smart choice, nine out of ten homes throughout North America have Leviton products installed in them. Builders, electrical contractors, and other industry professionals rank Leviton products #1 in brand preference. To request more information about Leviton’s Evr-Green portfolio, please visit http://www.leviton.com/evrgreen

 

MAXCELL:  A QUARTER OF A BILLION FEET AND GROWING

WADSWORTH, OHIO – Jan. 14, 2011 – MaxCell, the exclusive provider of fabric innerduct solutions for multiple cabling applications, reached an important milestone in 2010, surpassing 250 million feet of cable pathway deployed since its inception in 1999.  That’s a quarter of a billion feet, or enough pathway to make nearly two trips around the earth’s equator.

Global sales of MaxCell were up 15 percent in 2010, the fourth straight year of double-digit growth and the eighth consecutive year of increased sales.  In fact, MaxCell appears to be more popular than ever among cabling contractors worldwide, as the company is on pace to almost double the amount of product deployed every four years.

“MaxCell is perfectly aligned with the global trend toward reducing construction costs and maximizing existing underground infrastructure, which made 2010 a banner year for us,” said MaxCell Vice President Mike Miller.  “Our continued worldwide expansion, including growth in every region of the globe, combined with success in particular segments like fiber-to-the-home and wireless backhaul deployments led to this outstanding performance.”

Miller said MaxCell expects to surpass 300 million feet of product deployed sometime in 2011, helped in part by the recently launched 4G MaxCell.  The next generation of products, which offers easier installation, reduced pulling tensions and greater durability, is ideal for all conduit systems, including congested systems where network operators are looking to maximize their cable capacity while reducing overall construction costs.

About MaxCell

More than 250 million feet of MaxCell innerduct has been installed around the world in a variety of applications, including cable TV, telecom, power/utilities, municipalities, universities, corporate and hospital campuses, and military/government installations.  For more information, visit www.maxcell.us.

 

Mike Holt’s 2011 Seminar Schedule

Register today to see Mike live this summer at one of his dynamic seminars! Whether you are interested in the 2011 Code as it relates to Grounding vs. Bonding or the new NEC Requirements for Solar PV systems, you don’t want to miss this opportunity – REGISTER TODAY!

Come find out why Mike Holt programs set the standard in Continuing Education.

"Mike's programs are the best. Where else can you learn and love it? He is smart, funny and keeps you engaged.”     C. Hartig

Choose your location:

July 29 - 30, 2011
Coral Springs, FL
Marriott Hotel
Day 1 – Business Management
Day 2 – 2011 Grounding vs. Bonding

 August 26 – 27, 2011
Orlando, FL
Rosen Plaza Hotel
Day 1 – Business Management
Day 2 – 2011 NEC Requirements for Solar Power

Are you an instructor?
There is still space left in Mike’s 2-day Train the Trainer program that starts on July 27th in Coral Springs. Click here for more information.

“Anyone who hasn't taken Mike’s Top Gun two day training should seriously consider going...it is well worth the time and money.”         L. Vergeront

Need to get up to speed on Solar?
Upgrade to Mike’s Solar Power Boot Camp. This 5-day program is a must attend for any designer, contractor, installer, inspector or instructor. Mike and a team of experts will educate you on what you need to know to incorporate PV into your business model for the future. They cover the history of PV, site analysis, design and installation, and Mike will teach you all of the NEC Requirements for PV systems. [40 NABCEP hours] Call our office for more information 1.888.632.2633.

Free Apprentice Training
When Mike is scheduled for a seminar around the country, he provides free training in the evening in those areas. This is a great opportunity for you to enhance your apprentice training program and help the next generation of electricians to become even better. If you are a school or association and would like details or to request an appearance, contact Belynda at 888.632.2633 or email her at BelyndaHolt@mikeholt.com.

2011 Seminar Schedule

 

January

 

January 31

CapitalTristate Changes to the NEC 2011

Ellicott City, MD

 

February

 

February 22

Electric West Understanding Important NEC Requirements & Changes

Long Beach, CA

February 23

Electric West Grounding vs Bonding

Long Beach, CA

February 23

Grounding vs Bonding [2 hour seminar]

Orange, CA

February 28 – March 1

Understanding NEC Requirements for Solar Photovoltaic Systems

Denver, CO

 

March

 

March 3

Understanding the NEC [2 hour seminar]

Boca Raton, FL

March 11

CapitalTristate Changes to the NEC 2011

Oxon Hill, MD

March 28

CapitalTristate Changes to the NEC 2011

Ellicot City, MD

March 28

Solar Power

Bel Air, MD

 

July

 

July 27 - 28

Mike Holt Enterprises 2011 Instructor Conference

Coral Springs, FL

July 29

Mike Holt Enterprises Business Mgmt, Workers’ Comp, Safety, Advanced Code Module

Coral Springs, FL

July 30

Mike Holt Enterprises Grounding Vs. Bonding

Coral Springs, FL

 

August

 

August 23-27

Mike Holt Enterprises 2011 Solar Power Boot Camp

Orlando, FL

August 26

Mike Holt Enterprises Business Mgmt, Workers’ Comp, Safety, Advanced Code Module,

Orlando, FL

August 27

Mike Holt Enterprises 2011 NEC Requirements for Solar Power

Orlando, FL

 We look forward to seeing you!

Interested in these topics but can’t make Mike’s seminars? Visit www.MikeHolt.com  for information on the 2011NEC Products and other educational product packages, or call us at 888.NEC.CODE (632.2633).

 

NEMA Announces Smart Grid Interoperable & Conformant Product Strategy

ROSSLYN, Va., February 2, 2011—To further promote the development and deployment of the Smart Grid, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) announces the Smart Grid Interoperable & Conformant™ (SGIC™) testing scheme to promote testing for products and devices based on the Smart Grid standards identified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP).

According to NEMA President and CEO Evan R. Gaddis, the NEMA program provides benefits for a variety of stakeholders, most notably utilities, government, manufacturers, and consumers.

“By a number of definitions, Smart Grid is an investment program,” said Gaddis. “The federal government has invested billions of dollars through the Stimulus Act, which has prompted corresponding investments by utility companies and manufacturers alike. Ultimately, in order for this to be a success, it will also require consumer investment both in terms of in-home devices and electric rates that support utility company deployments.”

NEMA, which was named as a collaborator with NIST on the interoperability framework in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, is creating the SGIC™ program to provide a forum where Smart Grid stakeholders can validate the interoperability of individual grid elements on a consistent, broadly agreed upon, industry-wide basis. 

The first standards targeted under the scheme will be components of the ANSI C12 Suite, a package of standards that provides requirements and performance criteria for electricity metering.   

The smart meter standards, which are published by NEMA, are included on the initial list of "Standards Identified for Implementation" in NIST Special Publication 1108. Because meters are already being deployed, their testing under SGIC is designed to promote the major points that define the Smart Grid adoption process—testing and certification, governance, harmonization, and backward compatibility, all while protecting participants’ intellectual property rights.

The design of the NEMA scheme is intended to conform to the appropriate ISO (International Organization for Standardization) guides for testing and certification, and to be compatible with the recently-released Interoperability Process Reference Manual (IPRM) from the SGIP Testing and Certification Committee.

With a certification scheme in place, utility companies will be better able to support those investments and meet demands for equipment that fulfills interoperable business needs, while simultaneously promoting the confidence for manufacturers to build products that will be accepted in the market.

In making today’s announcement, Al Scolnik, NEMA Vice President of Technical Services, said that the government’s objective of ubiquitous access by vendors is achievable, while striving to provide a better plug-and-play experience for the consumer.

“While product testing has been in place for decades, interoperability testing is a relatively new concept to the electrical products market. Where interoperability was very evolutionary in the Internet, mostly through trial and error, we are moving very quickly to formalize the concept for the grid, simply because we have to,” Scolnik said.

“Consumers are fairly forgiving when their Internet connection goes down, which is not the case when their electricity goes out—a condition that may also subject the utility companies to a penalty. We need to ensure, up front, that a variety of devices are compatible before they are deployed.”

NEMA is confident of its extensive experience as an ANSI-accredited SDO (standards development organization) as a qualification in developing the SGIC™ testing scheme. SDOs rely on a consensus process that includes openness, balance, and lack of dominance among its tenets. By applying this experience in an ANSI-accredited process, NEMA could potentially provide the various testing schemes to future ANSI working groups.

“This is a comprehensive program,” said Gaddis, “and it is imperative that it works across all of the components in the grid.”

NEMA is the association of electrical and medical imaging equipment manufacturers. Founded in 1926 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., its approximately 450 member companies manufacture products used in the generation, transmission and distribution, control, and end use of electricity. These products are used in utility, industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential applications. The association’s Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) Division represents manufacturers of cutting-edge medical diagnostic imaging equipment including MRI, CT, x-ray, and ultrasound products. Worldwide sales of NEMA-scope products exceed $120 billion. In addition to its headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia, NEMA also has offices in Beijing and Mexico City.

###

NEMA. Setting Standards for Excellence

Visit our website at www.nema.org

 

New Survey Shows BOMA 360 Designees Demonstrate Operational Savings and Compete for Tenants

(WASHINGTON—Jan. 24, 2011) A new survey conducted by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International shows that BOMA 360 designees are able to document operational savings, develop new policies and procedures, and attract new tenants because of their designation. The BOMA 360 Performance Program is a groundbreaking program designed to recognize commercial properties that demonstrate best practices in building operations and management. Since the program’s inception in Spring 2009, 180 buildings have been designated. The survey was sent to BOMA 360 designees who have had the designation for a year or more. 

“The findings of the survey clearly demonstrate that the BOMA 360 designation gives properties competitive advantage in today’s market,” commented BOMA International Chair Ray H. Mackey, Jr., RPA, CPM, CCIM, partner and chief operating officer, Stream Realty Partners, L.P. “There is no other program that shows that properties are meeting quality benchmarks in every aspect of building operations and management. The fact that designees are able to demonstrate that the program ultimately enhances asset value is a testament to the quality of the BOMA 360 program.”

According to the survey, designees are already reporting that they have:

Established new operational policies and procedures (32%);

Achieved documented operational savings and efficiencies (28%);

Are attracting or competing for new tenants (20%);

And more than two thirds report earning recognition from owners, tenants and other members of the management team.

"We monitor monthly energy use by BTUs per square foot. The BOMA 360 Performance Program has helped us reduce our building’s BTU’s by roughly 20 percent compared to seven or eight years ago,” said James Morrison, property manager, Robert A. Grant Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, and a BOMA 360 designee. “The BOMA 360 tools and best practices are a yardstick that helps us measure how we’re doing and where the areas are for improvement."

The BOMA 360 Performance Program evaluates properties on six major areas of building management: building operations and management; life safety/security/risk management; training and education; energy; environment/sustainability; and tenant relations/community involvement. The comprehensive nature of BOMA 360 means that every aspect of building performance is assessed and scores are based on how buildings meet an extensive checklist of best practices.

For more information about the BOMA 360 Performance Program, visit www.boma.org/GetInvolved/BOMA360.

***

About BOMA International
The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is an international federation of more than 100 local associations and affiliated organizations. Founded in 1907, its 16,500-plus members own or manage more than nine billion square feet of commercial properties. BOMA International’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.

 

NFPA’s National Fire Codes Subscription Service launches new NFCSS with Handbooks

January 19, 2011 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) today launched NFCSS with Handbooks, a new National Fire Codes® Subscription Service (NFCSS) option that is available for access to enhanced electronic content.

NFCSS with Handbooks will continue to provide all the features and benefits of its current electronic NFCSS subscription, which includes access to current and previous editions of NFPA codes and standards online. In addition, subscribers to NFCSS with Handbooks will now have access to the powerful combination of the national fire codes and NFPA handbooks together in one source.

Written by leading authorities in life safety and fire protection, NFPA handbooks are roadmaps to the codes that help users get up-to-speed on new requirements. NFCSS with Handbooks features commentary distinguished by shading to explain the rationale behind the code; full code or standard text for easy reference, examples of correct applications in specific situations; and hundreds of photos, tables, diagrams and charts that graphically convey code concepts. The service includes PDF and HTML formats of all handbooks.

“NFPA handbooks provide detailed information and in-depth perspectives for their respective codes,” says Christian Dubay, P.E., NFPA vice president and chief engineer. “Providing NFCSS users with the NFPA handbooks in a single location will help users to easily identify and understand the latest code requirements and changes that most affect their day to day work.”

As nearly 25 percent of NFPA’s codes are revised every year, NFCSS ensures that its subscribers continuously have access to the latest version of each code and any modifications or updates to those requirements. The new option of NFCSS with Handbooks will enhance subscribers’ ability to stay apprised of that information. 

For information about NFPA’s National Fire Code Subscription Service, visit www.nfpacatalog.org/nfcss-handbooks .

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. 

www.nfpa.org

 

OmniSeal Pro XL Tool Compression Tool Simplifies Installation of Home Theater and Security Systems

SYCAMORE, IL, January 17, 2011 -- The OmniSeal Pro XL compression tool from IDEAL allows installers of home theater, satellite, CATV and security systems to terminate connectors onto coaxial cable in a smooth, one-cycle full ratchet motion. It provides a permanent, high-integrity connection of F-type, RCA, RG11, BNC and mini connectors.

Because of its universal design, the OmniSeal Pro XL eliminates the need to carry multiple crimp or compression tools. It is factory preset and calibrated to terminate all IDEAL-branded compression connectors. In addition, it can terminate other manufacturers connectors simply by adjusting the tool's plunger depth - no adapters required. There is also a handy 7/16-inch hex socket built-in to install CATV connectors.

The OmniSeal Pro XL is a professional-grade tool. It combines a high-strength aluminum body with a spring-loaded handle featuring a textured Santoprene slip-resistant grip.

 ABOUT IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC.
IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. has been serving the electrical industry since 1916. IDEAL is one of the world's leading manufacturers of professional quality tools and supplies serving installation professionals in the construction, maintenance, data communications and original equipment manufacturing industries.

For more information, contact IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC., Becker Place, Sycamore, Illinois 60178. Or phone 1-800-947-3614, Fax: 1-800-533-4483. On the web, www.idealindustries.com.

 

Peak season for home fires isn’t over; NFPA offers reminders for keeping fire-safe during winter

January 31, 2011 – Half of all U.S. home heating fires occur in December, January and February. That’s according to the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment report, which shows that heating equipment is a leading cause of winter fires. In fact, heating equipment was involved in an estimated 66,100 reported home structure fires in 2008, causing 480 civilian deaths, 1,660 civilian injuries, and $1.1 billion in direct property damage.

NFPA and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) are working together to remind everyone that home fires are more prevalent in winter than in any other season. For more information about the organizations’ joint safety campaign, “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires,” and a complete list of winter safety tips, visit www.nfpa.org/winter.

“Winter fires are highly preventable,” says Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of communications. “Every tragic news story about a devastating winter fire is a reminder that simple precautions can prevent deadly consequences.”

Audio available:  USFA Acting Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines and NFPA's Sharon Gamache explain how to stay safe when it is cold outside. Winter Safety Podcasts (Episode 6: Winter Storms)

Space heaters resulted in far more fires and fire fatalities than central heating devices. Between 2004 and 2008, fixed (stationary) and portable space heaters (excluding fireplaces, chimneys, and chimney connectors, but including wood stoves) annually accounted for, on average, one-third of reported U.S. home heating fires and four out of five associated civilian deaths.

Meanwhile, an estimated 15,200 reported creosote fires – 23 percent of all home heating fires – annually resulted in an average of four civilian deaths, 17 civilian injuries, and $33 million in direct property damage. Creosote is a sticky, oily, combustible substance created when wood does not burn completely. It rises into the chimney as a liquid and deposits on the chimney wall.

One in four heating equipment fires started due to a failure to clean equipment. Other causes include placing a heat source too close to combustibles, and unclassified mechanical failures or malfunctions. Roughly half of all home heating fire deaths resulted from fires started by heating equipment that was too close to something that could burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, or a mattress or bedding.

In addition to heating fires being a concern in the coming months, NFPA would like to remind the public that cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires all year round. This time of year, whether you are feasting on Super Bowl Sunday or simply cooking to warm up on a bitter cold day, it is important to stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling, or broiling. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education

 

Using IP Card Reader bridges to run Physical Access Control as an Active Directory application

Date: Wednesday February 23, 2011

Time: 2 PM (EST) 11 AM (PST)

Register Today at:

http://www.digital.1105pubs.com/t.do?id=6917702:2935042

Overview:

For 40 years the physical security industry has been dominated by proprietary control hardware for controlling door access. IT and security departments constantly struggle with converging or maintaining separate physical and IT security databases. This webinar will educate attendees about how inexpensive powered or POE IP bridges with built-in inputs, outputs and card reader ports allow readers to run on existing networks and eliminate the cost of separate hardware. 

By eliminating control panels in favor of decisions made on servers, attendees will learn how physical security is migrating to a pure IT software application and simple schemas contained within Active Directory or other IT platforms.

In addition attendees will learn how the new architecture allows users to:

- Dramatically reduce overall cost of ownership

- Move physical access control to the policy level using Xacml

- Take advantage of new IT developments including fault tolerant solutions, Software as a Service and the Cloud

- Simplify FIPS 201 deployments

Stephen Pineau

CEO, Viscount Systems Inc.

Stephen Pineau is a veteran of the security industry and has been CEO of Viscount Systems Inc. since 1997. He was previously founder and CEO of a security integrator. Mr. Pineau has written numerous articles on the future of physical security as an IT application and has spoken at various industry events.

A Q&A session will be held during the last 15 minutes of the Webinar.

Date: Wednesday February 23, 2011

Time: 2 PM (EST) 11 AM (PST)

Register Today at:

http://www.digital.1105pubs.com/t.do?id=6917703:2935042

 

A Grand Ole Hotel

Restoration of a Southern Tradition

By Chris Harrell, RCDD

On May 1-2, 2010, Nashville and Middle Tennessee were pelted with more than 19 inches (in) of rain, and by May 4, the waters of the Cumberland River reached a level of 51.86 feet (ft). Hundreds of homes and businesses were either damaged or destroyed by what some call a 1000-year flood. One week after the flood, I received a call that would present me with an opportunity of a lifetime—to help manage the flood restoration of the largest cabling infrastructure of my career.

The Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center and the current location of The Grand Ole Opry House have collectively been a fixture in Nashville, Tennessee, for more than 30 years. In its own right, The Grand Ole Opry had its 85th birthday in October 2010, but my only experiences at the complex include a few trips backstage at the Grand Ole Opry and attending all three of the Nashville BICSI conferences. Little did I know that the next six months of my Opryland experience would show me things that I would probably never see again.

The First Two Months

During the months of May and June 2010, my first order of business was to start building teams and relationships with workers with whom I had no prior experience. Throughout that period, my teams cabled much of the temporary offices and rebuilt the cabling infrastructure for a splice and distribution point, which was affectionately called “The Green Hut.” While one of the lesser parts of the infrastructure in size, The Green Hut does provide network and telephone services to six buildings on the south end of the campus, which includes the General Jackson Show Boat and the Grand Ole Opry House that was scheduled to reopen September 28, 2010.

With a small piece of the puzzle underway, The Green Hut proved to be low hanging fruit in what appeared to be a very lean harvest. All of the cable was outside plant (OSP) and rated for outdoor and direct bury usage. Therefore, the need for replacement was non-existent. The copper lightning protection was replaced, and all feeders that were too short to be reterminated were spliced in the pedestal and reterminated with new splice tails. As for the fiber, it was also OSP and reterminated on new equipment. Within a six-week period, The Green Hut was substantially completed and went on record as our first success of the project.

While assessing the damage to the infrastructure, the scope of the Opryland project continually broadened. With the introduction of a new distribution point, B146 rapidly became a focal point for the remainder of the project. B146 is a major fiber distribution point as well as a telephone intermediate cross-connect point for the Ryman Convention Hall B. It also serves as an optical fiber backbone distribution to Ryman Convention Hall C, Ryman Convention Hall A and the master antennae television (MATV), which distributes audio/visual optical fiber to the entire campus. With the water levels reaching 5 to 12 ft in those places, as with The Green Hut, all horizontal network infrastructures were a total loss. To put it into perspective, the initial estimate to recable the infrastructure of the entire convention area equated to 500,000 ft of horizontal copper cable and 80,000 ft of optical fiber backbone cable.

Initially, the objective for the Opryland restoration project was to splice, reterminate and/or cross-connect all the copper backbone cable. As for the optical fiber backbone, the objective was to remove the damaged portions and splice to new cable or repull the damaged multimode optical fiber cable with new singlemode optical fiber cable. The project plan engaged us to simultaneously perform all of the above on a compressed schedule with little or no room for error. That was a wakeup call that we knew was coming, but one that we would not realize the impact of until the project was nearing completion.

During the first two months, the flood cleanup efforts appeared to have no end, but the areas scheduled for restoration were increasingly released for construction. For the duration of this period, the scope rapidly equated to early morning meetings, late evening project walks and countless sleepless nights. Keep in mind that there were 2,000 restoration and cleanup personnel working 24 hours a day to create a safe and clean working environment for the construction crews. At the same time, there was limited access to the main buildings until the cleanup efforts were substantially underway or complete. Those delays gave our cabling crews a limited amount of time to provide telephone and networking to the mobile offices that would be used by Gaylord personnel and 10 additional mobile offices for the construction management teams.

The cleanup delays also gave us the opportunity to view the ensuing challenge from a distance, but the schedule became more aggressive. My personal challenge was to perform the tasks with personnel with whom I had developing relationships and to change direction at a moment’s notice. Both of those factors would prove to be common threads throughout the project.

Demolition

It takes a special group of people with constant leadership from the top down to achieve the level of quality required. While working in the most undesirable conditions of my 35-year career, our cabling demolition crews successfully removed approximately more than 30 tons of cable covered with mud, muck and a cleaning solution that provided a coefficient of friction that virtually defied the laws of physics. The electricians and cable installers continually worked in close quarters with limited temporary lighting while the restoration cleanup crews continually demanded right-of-way and seemed to perpetually impact even the best of plans.

When most people think of cabling infrastructure demolition, most of us think that it’s simply a task of removing the cable and replacing it with new. The process of cable removal is a simple concept until the design recommendation is produced. This involved:

§         Removing all copper backbone cable that was contaminated on both ends.

§         Splicing all copper backbone cable that was contaminated on one end.

§         Removing all copper horizontal cable that was contaminated on either or both ends.

§         Removing all optical fiber backbone cable that was contaminated on both ends.

§         Splicing all optical fiber backbone cable that was contaminated on one end.

With this recommendation established, an entirely new set of challenges was presented for management as well as for the cabling crews. Those challenges quickly became an opportunity in the Delta Switch Room (DSR), which was located in the lower basement level of the newest part of the hotel and completely submerged by the floodwaters of May 2010.

For networking purposes, DSR is the telecommunications centerpiece of an elaborate utility/personnel tunnel system that connects to Delta Island, the Delta Guest Room Wings and the Star Service Center, which houses the site’s laundry and human resource offices. The higher elevation of the tunnel to the east connects to the oldest part of the hotel, the Magnolia, which was relatively unharmed by flood waters. The utility side of the tunnel system provides space for heating, air conditioning and ventilation duct. It serves as a pathway for chilled water lines, steam pipes and electrical services. It also gives space for a complex infrastructure of cable tray designed for all low-voltage services such as heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) controls, audio/visual cables, closed-circuit TV (CCTV) cables and telecommunications circuits.

While the cabling crews were eager to complete the demolition phase, they could not affectively perform their tasks without fully understanding which cables to remove, which cables to cut and splice and which cables to utilize service loops for retermination while avoiding other cabling infrastructures. Very quickly, a management decision was made to install two optical fiber cable splice points for all optical fiber leaving the DSR to the east toward the higher elevations of the Magnolia area and the flood-damaged first floor of the Delta guest rooms. This decision considerably narrowed the scope of the optical fiber installation. An estimated 50,000 ft of existing optical fiber cable was salvaged, but unfortunately, all backbone cables servicing Delta Island, the convention halls and the Star Service Center were a total loss and quickly slated for reinstallation.

With the DSR cable demolition moving forward, a simultaneous effort to remove all horizontal cables from three convention halls presented yet another fresh set of challenges for all personnel. The project management team now had the opportunity to transform problems into opportunities:

§         Opportunity—Identify horizontal cables for removal.

§         Solution—Build a team to identify horizontal cables only, tag them for removal and carefully remove them from a cable tray filled with cables that were not to be removed. Easy right? Hardly. Most of the cables were twisted, wrapped and tangled with cables that must remain, and all of this had to be done with a fleet of 19-foot scissor lifts using only a headlamp that offered limited temporary lighting.

§         OpportunityIdentify optical fiber backbone cable for the planned splice points or for total removal.

§         Solution—Utilize the in-house resources with Opryland experience to build a team that would trace the optical fiber cables, most of which were over 1000 ft long with no legible cable identifiers. When possible, visual fault locators were used to help identify unknown optical fiber, but when the origin and/or destination were unknown, tracing cable by hand the old fashioned way was the only way to positively identify unmarked fiber.

§         Opportunity—Identify copper backbone cable for the planned splice points or for total removal.  

§         Solution—Build a team to tone and tag 40 years of cable that has outlived its anticipated lifespan by 20 years. Was the cable still good? Absolutely. We needed to simply remove the contaminated part of the cable by cutting it and splicing it at a strategic location. This involved roughly 5,000 phones with an additional 3,500 lease lines for the convention halls. Calculate that backbone across more than 100 telephone intermediate cross-connects with room for expansion, and you have a full-time job for six men over a six-month period.

The Backbone Infrastructure

The hotel backbone includes three main cross-connects—the Main Switch Room (MSR), the DSR and the MATV (fiber only)—and more than 100 intermediate cross-connects, all of which are spread over four networks.

Unlike some of the telecommunication rooms, the MSR is exactly what the name implies. It is home to the main telephone switch that provides telephone service to the entire campus either through trunk lines connected to intermediate cross connects or through remote switching to trunk lines. In either case, all of the telephone numbers are assigned through the switch in the main switch room. Unfortunately, the existing main telephone switch and the remote switch in the DSR were a total loss, but most of the cabling infrastructure was salvageable.

The DSR is located in the tunnel system beneath the Delta section of the hotel. It is different from the MSR in that it is also an optical fiber backbone distribution point to the Delta as well as Star Service Center, engineering and the commissary. Regardless of its elevation, the DSR was completely submerged during the flood. This area proved to be one of the most challenging locations for the identification, removal and replacement of the optical fiber backbone cabling, copper telephone backbone cabling and horizontal cabling to 114 guest rooms and many service related areas commonly referred to as “back of the house.”

The first order of business for the DSR was to decide what to replace and how to replace it. For the areas serviced from the DSR that were above the tunnel level but below the flood waters, that was an easy decision—replace the copper and optical fiber backbone, and if it was multimode optical fiber, replace it with singlemode and LC fiber connectivity.

However, in the interest of a compressed schedule as well as replacement costs, splice points had to be chosen for the optical fiber and copper backbone, leaving the DSR that serviced areas unaffected by flood waters. This decision alone saved an estimated 50,000 ft of 12-strand singlemode fiber, most of which was less than a year old. Thus, the “Delta Splice” and “The Delta Riser Splice” were created.

Say what you will about fusion splicing—it’s easy; it’s fun; it’s a great way to pass the time. Unless one has walked in the shoes of those before him, never pass judgment on the quality of work or the quantity he produces. In a normal situation, when an optical fiber splice is completed, a test is performed. Unfortunately, with a compressed schedule and in the interest in moving forward, this concept was impossible. This situation presented the following opportunity and solution:

§         Opportunity—After the existing optical fiber is identified, pull the 400 ft of the damaged portion of cable back through a full cable tray with multiple horizontal and vertical bends to the proposed splice point. Remove the damaged portion of the cable, and relabel it. Label and replace the damaged portion with new cable ready to be spliced. And in regards to the cleaning solution, there were remnants but the conditions were far more sanitary than I could have imagined. As for temporary power, it was still very sparse, and there was even less temporary lighting. We were literally in the dark, labeling, removing and repulling cables with drop lights and headlamps. Regardless, more than 300 strands had to be spliced immediately and tested at a later date when the DSR was ready for build out and optical fiber terminations.

§         Solution—Build a team of optical fiber experts to work as one unit with few or no substitute resources and with one goal in mind—splice more than 300 strands efficiently and accurately while on a scissor lift with limited lighting. Unfortunately, it would be weeks before the DSR was ready for build-out, allowing for the re-terminating and testing of the optical fiber that was spliced.

With the removal and the replacement processes continually overlapping, material and resource management for the optical fiber backbone soon became autonomous from the rest of the project. As for the DSR copper splicing, all copper distribution for the Delta Guest Rooms were cut on level 1 (level 0 is ground level) and spliced to new copper on termination blocks. A total of five 600-pair cables were spliced at that splice point, all of which were reterminated in the DSR.

In summary, the backbone optical fiber cable consisted of more than 80,000 ft of new 12-strand or 24-strand singlemode armored fiber. This equated to more than 70 new cable installations and 35 existing cables with more than 2500 terminations and more than 5,000 tests performed using optical time-domain reflectomers (OTDRs).

The Convention Halls

The three convention halls—the Ryman “A” Studios, the Ryman “B” Hall and the Ryman “C” Hall—were each affected by flood waters and presented their own sets of opportunities. With all cabling infrastructure devastated in these areas, each manager had his own ideas on how to remove and replace 500,000 ft of cable.

Ryman B Hall and Ryman C Hall

An opportunity that working on Ryman “B” Hall and Ryman “C” Hall presented included:

§         Opportunity—Remove 500,000 ft of category 5e copper cabling from an overstuffed cable tray while working from a scissor lift in the dark. Everything above 15 ft was painted flat black, so while it wasn’t completely dark, we still had limited temporary power points and even less temporary lights. It didn’t help that the all the cables were also black.

§         Solution—Assemble a team of people that can meticulously remove one horizontal cable at a time from station to telecommunications room (TR) without removing the other cables that belong to another entity and could be salvaged.

God bless the young men that had to deal with me or others on the project management team when human error replaced a wise and well-researched decision. I have made my share of mistakes and, honestly, the other project manager and I tried to make a habit of looking at ourselves before we appointed blame. Unfortunately, we are still human, and there were times when we let the pressure of achieving peak performance overpower the need to look at problems from a higher level.

From a management view, the convention halls were probably the most challenging areas of the whole campus in that the work was tedious, the hours were long and the proposed time frame was short. During this portion of the project, we continuously operated more than a dozen scissor lifts for an average 10 hours a day for three months. Each lift consisted of two people in the lift and one ground personnel.

Ryman A Hall—Much different than the other two convention halls, Ryman A is more of a formal studio setting used for meeting space. It, too, provided unique opportunities such as:

§         Opportunity—Carefully remove and replace more than 300 horizontal cables from a facility that was completely remodeled a year earlier. The water level during the flood reached approximately 3.5 ft in this area, just enough to destroy a relatively new cabling infrastructure. Consequently, the affected drywall and insulation were removed, but the light fixtures and ceiling structure remained. Fortunately, about 75 percent of the ceiling consisted of 2 ft x 2 ft removable ceiling tiles. Unfortunately, the ceiling height was 14 ft.

§         Solution—Assemble a group of people with clean hands, good work ethics and an abundance of patience.

Removing and replacing horizontal cables should be easy, but this project involves removing the old and installing the new while working from a lift platform, above a new ceiling grid and in a ceiling full of chandeliers, air duct and fire walls that have to be re-sealed after the penetrations are installed. Planning and implementation met reality at this juncture, but six weeks later, Ryman A convention hall was all but a memory.

 The Show Must Go On

We knew that the show must go on, and The Grand Ole Opry House was center stage. Opening night on March 16, 1974, special guest President Richard Nixon spoke to the sold-out crowd. One year later, Opryland Theme Park, The Roy Acuff Theatre and The Grand Ole Opry House experienced their first flood. Fortunately, the sump pumps beneath the Opry House continually pumped more than 21,000 gallons of water per hour to avoid serious damage to the structure. However, the flood of May 4, 2010, proved to be more than enough to cripple the home of country music for more than five months. When the Cumberland River crested, The Opry stage was covered in more than four feet of water, mud and debris. The Roy Acuff Theatre stage and seating was totally destroyed. The Roy Acuff home, which is located at the entrance to the Grand Ole Opry, took on enough water to completely submerge the basement and three feet of water covered the first floor.

Comprehensively, when the flood waters receded, The Grand Opry suffered massive damage to the cabling infrastructure, the electrical systems, the HVAC systems and the plumbing systems. However, there is salvation—the monolithic concrete supports and structures remained sound, and the building was able to undergo nearly a total remodel. What does that mean to a cabling guy? Rip it out, and start over.

Since I wasn’t the project manger of that part of the campus, it was easy for me. Realistically, I had my own share of challenges that included The Gaylord Springs Golf Course, the Opryland Engineering Building and an optical fiber backbone infrastructure that dwarfed any others in my experience. But for all who entered the Grand Ole Opry House, the demolition was a daunting task to say the least.

Consider for a moment what has taken place in the 36 year history of that facility. It has been host to television shows on the sound stage and the Opry Stage. It has also been home to a live radio show that has not missed a beat since 1925. Therefore, the exponential equation of more than three decades of cabling and ever changing technologies produced an interesting mixture of the inside cable plant.

Once again, our crews were faced with low-level lighting, wet working conditions and working elbow to elbow with every other construction trade. As always, safety was at the forefront as the cleanup efforts took precedence over every other task. In spite of it all, I have to congratulate the people that assumed the task of removing the muddy mess of cabling infrastructure. Much of it was removed from a tunnel system wide enough for an average-sized person to maneuver without any problems. Multiply that by 30, and things gets a little cozy. Complicate that with a couple of pressure washers and record high temperatures, and it gets tough. As for the ground level, situations were very similar until the demolition phase was complete.

As the demolition came grinding to a halt, management prepared for the restoration of the telephone and network cabling infrastructure as well as the optical fiber backbone and the telephone backbone cabling. Along with that comes cable television (CATV) design and implementation. The re-cabling of the Grand Ole Opry proved to be seamless compared to the demolition. It was certainly one of the greatest successes of the project.

By mid August, the campus-wide optical fiber backbone was substantially complete; the inside plant copper backbone at the Opry House was more than substantially complete; the convention center was in the middle of re-cabling and the Grand Ole Opry was set to open in less than six weeks.

Hotel and Convention Center Restoration

With the core teams in place, the reconstruction phase soon eclipsed the demolition phase. Cable removal teams progressively became cable installation teams with a momentum that outpaced their enthusiasm. Remember, these are crews that just removed more than 30 tons of cable from cable trays soaked in a solution that resembled east Texas swamp water. Regardless of the conditions, I promised many of them that they would learn a craft in an industry that has been good to me for more than three decades. Plus, most of them knew that this would not be a 40-hour a week project, so the move to working 60 or 70 hours a week was no surprise.

Typically, the transition from demolition to installation is very clean with a definitive line between the two. In the case of the Gaylord Opryland flood damage, the removal lasted nearly as long as the installation. Consequently, as the crews plow through 500,000 ft of category 5e cable, it became more evident that the initial estimates were low, especially keeping in mind that no one knew the exact distance of many of the horizontal telephone cables. As for the 80,000 ft of optical fiber backbone, that estimate held true for each cable that was individually measured. It would have been impossible to measure every horizontal cable and meet the schedule.

In conclusion, the horizontal cable count was 1.3 million ft of category 5e over the following systems:

·         CCTV

·         Point of sale (restaurants, bars, employee cafeteria, check in/registration and parking)

·         Telephone network

·         Computer network

The Finish Line

Looking forward, there was rumor of a need for a good telephone cross-connect team, but it turned out to be more than a rumor—it was yet another opportunity. Regardless, the defining factors of a good cross-connect team in this instance are talent, resources and bandwidth:

§         Opportunity—Build a team of people to work with the telephone switch vendor and collectively cross-connect and verify every switch pair to all 2,881 guest rooms with the existing handset. This included a new switch, new cross-connect fields, new and existing horizontal drops, existing cable records and existing telephone sets.

§         Opportunity—Cross-connect and test 2,000 administrative phone lines after successfully completing the guest rooms.

§         Solution—Take the lemons, and make some lemonade.

We certainly had the talent. Early in the project, we deployed a team of installers and technicians to tone, tag and trace every cable pair affected by the flood. That equated to nearly every cable pair from the TR to the outlet—my best estimate is about 60,000 pairs. Our team knew the building and the infrastructure as well as the customer did.

By mid September 2010, the switch vendor, the customer and the contractor were all ready to begin the opportunity of bringing dial tone to the masses—one room at a time. The Gaylord teams did an excellent job of producing a project plan and facilitating the space planning as well as the terminal number (TN) assignments for the telephone network switch pairs. In conjunction with the customer’s diligence, the dedication of the cross-connect team and the cooperative nature of the switch vendor, the telephone cross-connect proceeded on schedule. First on the agenda was none other than elevator phones as there is one element of construction that will stop the issuance of a certificate of occupancy—life safety. Included in life safety are fire alarm systems and elevator phones. In order to occupy the building, the elevator phones must ring down to a centrally monitored location, and the fire alarm system must be functional, including the elevator recall.

With the elevator phones in the critical path, the guest room and administrative cross-connect task became secondary. In reality, we worked the guest room cross-connects simultaneously with the elevator phones and the associated cross-connects; with more than 60 elevators to cross-connect, test and inspect, more resources were positioned for cross-connects. Once the elevator phones were tested, those resources were moved into position to expedite the guest rooms for telephone service. As for the cross-connect teams, they gained momentum every day through the transition from guest rooms to administration until all phones were operational.

In Closing

One would like to think the implementation of a project such as this could move forward without flaw by designing, planning and executing. Consider the facts: the project management team and most of the technicians had never seen The Gaylord Opryland campus from behind the scenes, and most of us had never worked on a restoration project caused by a natural disaster. The process was tedious, tiresome and exhausting. However, in my opinion, when one assumes the role of leading a group of people through the physical challenges of repairing the damages of this magnitude, fatigue is just part of the job. In project management, recognizing people’s strengths and weaknesses is first and foremost. I once thought that physical and mental exhaustion only complicates one’s ability to show his or her talents. I now know I was wrong.

In retrospect, I think of the loss of memorabilia and priceless artifacts. I think of the loss of personal property such as homes, cars, clothing and jewelry. And let us not forget the loss of life—21 Tennesseans lost their lives that weekend of the flood. Media images will never effectively depict the devastation.

As for me, professionally, I am the luckiest guy in the world. I worked with some of the best in the business to help pick up the pieces of a national landmark and make it better than before. As for Gaylord and one of the finest hotels in the country, they are survivors in that they beat the odds. Without sacrificing safety, quality of workmanship and basic human sanity, they managed to assemble a facility in six months that under normal circumstances would have required no less than a year. I would not have wanted it any other way. We witnessed what people can really do while under the pressure of what seemed to be an impossible task with an impossible schedule.

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Contributors: James Mason, president, Pro Systems, Inc.; Mark “Smitty” Smith, senior project manager, Pro Systems, Inc.; Robert Mullican, project manager, Pro Systems, Inc.; Michael Matlock, project lead, Pro Systems, Inc.; Chess McKinney, project manager, Gaylord Entertainment; Sondra Basham, project manager, Gaylord Entertainment.

[Pull Quote]

When the flood waters receded, The Grand Opry suffered massive damage to the cabling infrastructure, the electrical systems, the HVAC systems and the plumbing systems. However, the monolithic concrete supports and structures remained sound, and the building was able to undergo nearly a total remodel. What does that mean to a cabling guy? Rip it out, and start over.

Chris Harrell, RCDD, is the president of Associated Power Solutions, Inc. based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. He was contracted as a project manager with Pro Systems, Inc. for the recent flood restoration and renovation of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center following the devastating May 2010 flood. He can be reached at c.harrell@assocaitedpower.net

Reprinted with permission fromm BICSI News magazine www.bicsi.org

 

Going Green with an Eco-friendly
Passive Optical LAN (POL)
Infrastructure

by Dave Swan

Increasing the use of renewable resource materials while decreasing reliance on petroleum-based materials in new construction is a concern of today’s architects. Strategies for improving energy efficiency, reducing CO2 emissions, improving indoor environmental quality and protecting natural resources have become so important that there are internationally recognized certification organizations dealing with these subjects.

To address these concerns, architects are constantly looking for opportunities to reduce electrical and fuel consumption, increase air quality and use more eco-friendly materials. The low-voltage communication and control system that includes LAN supporting voice, data and video delivery is one of the places where architects and design engineers can realize substantial improvements in energy conservation.

Passive optical LAN (POL), an all-fiber LAN solution that operates on proven passive optical network (PON) technology, is a leading alternative to the traditional LAN network that enables architects and design engineers to increase the use of eco-friendly materials while significantly reducing energy consumption and significant costs associated with traditional LAN architectures.

Traditional LANs

Traditional copper-wire-based LANs send high-speed radio frequency signals between a hub and individual computers. In turn, the signals from the multiple hubs are accumulated at a switching/processing machine at a main communications room. The multiple hubs are generally Ethernet switches connected by copper wires to the computers. The main accumulator is an Ethernet switch with optical fiber or copper connections to the hubs. Altogether, these devices comprise a LAN.

The high frequency signals in current copper LANs also require significant consumption of electrical power in the switches, at the intermediate hub locations and in the main switches. These high frequency signals cannot travel more than 100 meters from the switch to the computer on copper wires. These considerations, which include power consumption and distance along with the additional need to provide space for the electronics equipment, have been incorporated into building designs, including the addition of telecommunication closets separate from electrical closets.

In effect, architects have been restricted in building design by the distance and space needs of the copper-based LAN. They have also been forced to include unwanted extra non-renewable plastics and copper for these traditional LANs in their building designs.

POL Networks

A POL is based on proven PON technology that is deployed by leading service providers around the world, providing triple-play services to millions of subscribers worldwide. POL provides enterprises with optical fiber connectivity to any Ethernet end point such as end user devices, access points and wireless controllers and printers. POL greatly simplifies the enterprise LAN by replacing copper-based cables and devices in the traditional LAN setting with optical fiber equipment.

POL networks consist of a high-density aggregation device in the main telecommunication room (TR) that delivers converged services over a PON, extending to the desktop or cubicle and terminating at a work group terminal (WGT). The WGT provides 10/100/1000BaseT Ethernet connectivity to desktop equipment such as desktop computers, laptops, voice-over-IP (VoIP) phones and video phones using regular copper patch cords. The WGT can be as far as 20 kilometers (km) from the aggregation device, alleviating the concern of placing telecommunication closets within 100 meters (m) of work area outlets.

POL uses small passive optical fiber splitters placed in enclosures in a building, usually at every floor; although they could be anywhere or just in the main TR. These splitters and their enclosures, typically 2 to 4 cubic feet (ft3) in size, require no power, produce no heat and can be installed in electrical closets, in their own dedicated closets or even on a wall.

POL Benefits

A POL enables architects and designers to achieve significant savings in every aspect of building construction and design. Not only does POL enhance the use of eco-friendly materials and significantly reduce energy consumption, but it also provides the enterprise with the converged network that rapidly addresses evolving LAN requirements and reduces total life cycle costs. Following are the key benefits of a POL infrastructure:

§         Lowers total cost of ownership with savings ranging from 34 percent to 68 percent

§         Enables reduction in enterprise-wide power and space with power savings ranging from 40 percent to 60 percent

§         Enables space savings because of the 20 km distance between the aggregation switch and the WGT, allowing telecommunication closets to be eliminated from floor designs

§         Reduces non-renewable materials with an estimated 8,000 pounds of plastic and copper saved in a building with 4,000 Ethernet ports when using POL compared to a category 6 copper solution

§         Supports converged networks because the same fiber infrastructure can be used to carry cable TV service, eliminating the need for a separate coaxial network

§         Provides a higher life expectancy of optical fiber infrastructure of 25 years versus 10 to 15 years for copper

§         Lowers management costs

§         Has a highly secure LAN infrastructure

§         Creates virtually unlimited bandwidth potential

Additional structured cabling benefits with a PON infrastructure include lower installation costs because an individual fiber optic cable run will support multiple ports. Optical fiber cables are thinner and lighter, resulting in further reduction of labor costs. There is less cost for closet fit-outs, cable trays, racks, cabinets and fire stop penetrations because of the nature of optical fiber cables. The costs for grounding/bonding backbones are also reduced because optical fiber cable is non‑conductive.

[Pull Quote]

Not only does POL enhance the use of eco-friendly materials and significantly reduce energy consumption, but it also provides the enterprise with the converged network that rapidly addresses evolving LAN requirements and reduces total life cycle costs.

Cable veteran Dave Swan joined AMT’s CATV Division in 2010 as manager for POL business development. He has more than 30 years of sales and management experience, including serving as director of business/enterprise services, manager of business services and sales supervisor for Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. He can be reached at dswan@amt.com.

Reprinted with permission fromm BICSI News magazine www.bicsi.org

 

Labeling: The Road Signs for Structured Cabling

By Al Feaster, RCDD

Cabling without labeling is like roads without signs. Suppose you plan a road trip. As you proceed, you discover that there are no road signs, speed signs, highway numbers, city names or road names. Needless to say, your trip would be interesting. Even with the best GPS system, this scenario would present some problems. With this in mind, let’s look at the miles of cable we place in our buildings for the applications needed to run our businesses.

Road signs and maps are like labels and documentation, but where do we get them? Road signs are placed by the state and federal Department of Transportation, and they give us requirements, limits and information that allow us to use the roads to travel from place to place without problems. Labels and documentation are given to us by TIA and BICSI in the way of standards and practices to allow us to use the structured cabling without problems, so why don’t we always follow and use the standards when labeling the structured cabling? The same way the road signs and maps help save time and make our trip smooth and carefree, labels and documentation can save time, and time saved is money made. In today’s economy, everyone is looking for ways to cut costs and get the most for a dollar. Using the TIA-60-A Labeling Standard for Networks can save time and frustration.

Horizontal Link Identifiers

When there is a circuit that isn’t working, we call our installation contractor who sends a technician out to find and correct the problem. After looking at the faceplate, the technician discovers that the jacks have been labeled “V1” and “D1.” The D1 jack is the problem, but where to start? The technician has to find out where the other end of the horizontal cable is terminated, getting out the toner and starting to search for the telecommunications space where the cable is terminated. This takes time and often requires an extra person to locate the other end of the circuit.

If the faceplate had been labeled as called out in TIA-606-A, the identifier on the faceplate would have read something like “1A-B05.” This identifier would have given the technician the floor, telecommunication space, patch panel and port where the cable is terminated.

It is very clear that a faceplate labeled per TIA-606-A would save the technician time in locating and correcting the problem. Also, consider the consistency that this brings to building infrastructure. Whether that faceplate is in California, Texas or Atlanta, the technician understands the information that the horizontal link identifier provides. This is just one example of how understanding and complying with the standard brings everything to the next level.

Other Important Labels

The horizontal link identifier is only one of the road signs called out in the TIA-606-A standard. In the standard, we also find labels that provide ease of use of the infrastructure, giving direction and information required to support the applications that may run on the installed structured cabling. The following are other examples of important labels:

§         Telecommunications space identifiers tell us where the equipment is located by identifying the floor and space. An example is the label “1A.”

§         Rack and cabinet identifiers tell us where the racks and cabinets are located in the telecommunications space based on the established room grid. An example is the label “AD02.”

§         Patch panel identifiers locate the patch panels on the racks or in the cabinets. This example used the rack unit to establish the identifier, “AD02-11.”

§         Patch panel port identifiers show the port location on the patch panel. An example using both the rack unit and patch panel identifier is “AD02-11:02.”

§         Cable identifiers show the near-end and far-end connections. The cable identifier always shows the near end where the cable is plugged in. An example is the label
“AD02-35:01/AG03-35:01.”

The classes of administration and the labels required by the standard, just like the highway road signs, are not enough to manage the use of the structured cabling. We need to look at a map or, in this case, documentation. Just as the road map shows us how the roads intersect, the exit numbers and the type of roads, the documentation of the structured cabling provides room locations, cable type, test results etc.

Too Much Detail

As I meet with various size end-users across the country, one thing rings loud and clear. Most labeling schemes don’t provide the administration needed to manage structured cabling. One of the problems is there is often too much data being placed on the labels. The following is an example of one company’s labeling scheme for the cable identifier.

                         B01-R201-P1-02-Wa-PA-24

The following is the information contained in the identifier:

  • “B01” denotes the building. This was unnecessary because the company only has one building.
  • “R201” denotes the room where the wall plate is located.
  • “P1” denotes faceplate #1. There were three faceplates in the room.
  • “02” denotes jack 2 on that face plate.
  • “Wa” denotes a T568A wired jack.
  • “PA” denotes the patch panel A.
  • “24” denotes the position on the patch panel

This identifier example includes a lot of information, but it is virtually impossible to fit this label on the faceplate much less on the cable. Is all this information really necessary to have on the label? The bottom line is that it’s simply not feasible to put all the information on the label.

Documentation a Must

Just as we need a map to tie the highways together, we need the documentation to provide and tie the infrastructure together in a way that makes sense. The TIA standard also calls out requirements and recommendations for the documentation needed to complete the management of the structured cabling that runs our applications. In the first three classes of administration, a simple paper-based system is all that is needed or recommended. The documentation is the rest of the story; it gives us the complete picture and enables our understanding of the cabling highway. Table 1 and Table 2 are examples of a link records.

Horizontal Link Record

1A-B47

Cable type

4-pair, UTP, Cat 5e, plenum, mfr. pn: W-12345

Location of work area outlet

Room 125

Outlet connector type

8-position modular, T568A, mfr. pn: Z-45678

Cable length

51 m, 154 ft

Cross-connect hardware type

48-port patch panel, T568A, Cat 5e, mfr pn: X-23456

Service record

Installed and tested by ABC Cabling, 1/12/01; re-terminated at cross-connect 4/22/01 because of broken wire and retested by technician Billy Sykes

Table 1: Example of a horizontal link record

Horizontal Link Record

 

 

LINK IDERTIFIER

ROOM Location

LOCATION OF OUTLET IN ROOM

HORIZ CABLE LENGTH

INSTALLATION  COMPANY

INSTALL DATE

LOCATION OF TEST RESULTS

1A-B01

R112

L Wall

120 feet

XYZ Company

1/21/2009

Data Center

1A-B02

R112

L Wall

120 feet

XYZ Company

1/21/2009

Data Center

1AB03

R112

L Wall

121 feet

XYZ Company

1/21/2009

Data Center

1A-B04

R112

L Wall

121 feet

XYZ Company

1/21/2009

Data Center

1A-C01

R112

R Wall

98 feet

XYZ Company

1/22/2009

Data Center

1A-C02

R112

R Wall

98 feet

XYZ Company

1/22/2009

Data Center

1A-C03

R112

R Wall

98 feet

XYZ Company

1/22/2009

Data Center

1A-C04

R112

R Wall

98 feet

XYZ Company

1/22/2009

Data Center

1A-C21

R112

F Wall

128 feet

XYZ Company

1/22/2009

Data Center

1A-C22

R112

F Wall

128 feet

XYZ Company

1/22/2009

Data Center

Table 2: Horizontal link records

The link records allow you to have all the additional information necessary to manage the infrastructure. It should be noted that documentation is only as good as the input and updates. You can make the documentation as detailed as you choose, but make sure the detail is needed. Many times we add information that doesn’t help manage the infrastructure.  

Closing Thoughts

Even with 50 independent states, we understand the information placed on road signs. They provide us with consistency as we travel the highway system. The road signs, along with the maps, allow us to travel with ease. The labeling required in TIA-606-A will bring consistency to the building infrastructure while allowing us to understand the information that the infrastructure road signs provide. The labeling, along with the documentation, allows us to manage and use the structured cabling with ease. Therefore, it is hard to understand why everyone doesn’t embrace and use industry labeling standards to provide the cabling road signs for our structured cabling infrastructure. Remember, the job isn’t complete without labels and documentation.

[Pull Quote]

It is very clear that a faceplate labeled per TIA-606-A saves a technician time in locating and correcting the problem. Also, consider the consistency that this brings to building infrastructure. Whether that faceplate is in California, Texas or Atlanta, the technician understands the information that the horizontal link identifier provides.

Al Feaster, RCDD, is a national account manager for DYMO Industrial, manufacturer of RHINO professional labeling products. He can be reached at al.feaster@dymo.com.

Reprinted with permission fromm BICSI News magazine www.bicsi.org

 

Security 101: Visitor Management

Please join: Jolly Technologies and Security Products

Topic: Security Begins in the Lobby.  Protecting Your Facility with Visitor Management.

Date: Thursday March 3, 2011

Time: 2 PM (EST) 11 AM (PST)

Register Today at:

http://www.1105info.com/t.do?id=6945298:2907688

Overview:

This webinar will cover the features and benefits of efficient and comprehensive visitor management applications, including:

- Guided processes and ease of use - How to track visitors, contractor and employees effectively

- Defining processes and collecting information relevant to your organization

- Online pre-registration and approval - Fast registration through driver's license and passport scanning

- Self-registration at kiosks - Local, national and international watch list checking

- Automatic host look up and host notification

- Duplicate record checking - Badge design and printing

- Selective access control card issuance - Comprehensive reporting

- Integration with existing IT and security systems

- Scalability and deployment across large organizations

Speakers:

Kurt Bell, VP Sales & Marketing

Mr. Bell provides expert leadership while directing all channel sales development and strategic partnerships at Jolly Technologies. With more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience, Mr. Bell has been instrumental in establishing Jolly Technologies as a world-wide brand while guiding Jolly Technologies to exponential sales growth.

Brett Changus, VP Engineering

As one of the original employees of Jolly Technologies, Mr. Changus has led development on several key technologies while overseeing the US-based development and consulting services teams. From his diverse development background that ranges from UNIX device driver to Windows and Web application development, Mr. Changus is able to draw on his wide expertise to find ideal solutions and new approaches to problems across technologies and industries.  

A Q&A session will be held during the last 15 minutes of the Webinar.

Date: Thursday March 3, 2011

Time: 2 PM (EST) 11 AM (PST)

Register Today at:

http://www.1105info.com/t.do?id=6945299:2907688

 

tED GreenRoom Announces “Greenest of the Green” Award Competition
Winners stand apart from the rest for their innovative efforts to green the industry

ST. LOUIS... tED magazine, the official publication of the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), announces tED GreenRoom’s first “Greenest of the Green” Award program. The purpose of the award is to recognize NAED distributor member companies that have implemented energy-efficiency solutions in their own operations.

As the green movement continues to grow in the electrical distribution community, more companies are taking strides to get on board. Innovative leaders in the industry are not only selling more energy efficiency products, they are also implementing energy efficiency into their operations.

Electrical distributors that have completed one or more of the following activities should enter this contest:

Built or retrofitted a facility with energy efficient products

Implemented sustainable warehouse and/or building enhancements

Installed energy-efficiency products (lighting, sensors, etc.) in the office or warehouse

Installed renewable energy sources

Implemented an energy-saving fleet management strategy

Created and/or implemented a corporate sustainability policy

Achieved or applied for LEED Certification or Energy Star documented score

Winners will be presented with the award at the 2011 National Electrical Leadership Summit in San Diego, featured on the cover of the July 2011 tED GreenRoom supplement, video coverage, and recognition in three NAED/tED electronic newsletters. Visit www.tedgreenroom.com/greenaward to enter the competition by March 31, 2011.

tED magazine is the primary source of information for the electrical distribution channel across North America. The publication is dedicated to best practices for the electrical supply chain. In addition to its print edition, tED magazine produces up-to-the minute news at www.tedmag.com.

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 operates in approximately 4,400 locations internationally.

 

Learn From Your Peers: LEED Stories from Practice

Get LEED right the first time with USGBC’s LEED Stories from Practice. Read, see, and hear about real projects, told from the diverse perspectives of multiple project team members. Come away with effective LEED strategies, best practices, lessons learned and integrative process tips to make your next project a success.
Register today »

Updated LEED201 Online Course: Calling All Prospective Green Associates!

USGBC's popular LEED201 Online Course has been updated for 2011. Self-paced, interactive and all about LEED and sustainable building design. Just what you need to kick-start your pursuit of the LEED Green Associate Credential.
Register today »

 

TRIVIA = Who the heck was KILROY??

In 1946 the American Transit Association, through its radio program, "Speak to America ," sponsored a nationwide contest to find the REAL Kilroy, offering a prize of a real trolley car to the person who could prove himself to be the genuine article.

Almost 40 men stepped forward to make that claim, but only James Kilroy from Halifax, Massachusetts had evidence of his identity.

Kilroy was a 46-year old shipyard worker during the war. He worked as a checker at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy His job was to go around and check on the number of rivets completed. Riveters were on piecework and got paid by the rivet.

Kilroy would count a block of rivets and put a check mark in semi-waxed lumber chalk, so the rivets wouldn't be counted twice. When Kilroy went off duty, the riveters would erase the mark.

Later on, an off-shift inspector would come through and count the rivets a second time, resulting in double pay for the riveters.

One day Kilroy's boss called him into his office. The foreman was upset about all the wages being paid to riveters, and asked him to investigate. It was then that he realized what had been going on.

The tight spaces he had to crawl in to check the rivets didn't lend themselves to lugging around a paint can and brush, so Kilroy decided to stick with the waxy chalk. He continued to put his checkmark on each job he inspected, but added KILROY WAS HERE in king-sized letters next to the check, and eventually added the sketch of the chap with the long nose peering over the fence and that became part of the Kilroy message. Once he did that, the riveters stopped trying to wipe away his marks.

Ordinarily the rivets and chalk marks would have been covered up with paint. With war on, however, ships were leaving the Quincy Yard so fast that there wasn't time to paint them.

As a result, Kilroy's inspection "trademark" was seen by thousands of servicemen who boarded the troopships the yard produced. His message apparently rang a bell with the servicemen, because they picked it up and spread it all over Europe and the South Pacific. Before the war's end, "Kilroy" had been here, there, and everywhere on the long haul to Berlin and Tokyo .

To the unfortunate troops outbound in those ships, however, he was a complete mystery; all they knew for sure was that some jerk named Kilroy had "been there first." As a joke, U.S. servicemen began placing the graffiti wherever they landed, claiming it was already there when they arrived.

Kilroy became the U.S. super-GI who had always "already been" wherever GIs went. 

It became a challenge to place the logo in the most unlikely places imaginable (it is said to be atop Mt. Everest, the Statue of Liberty, the underside of the Arch De Triumphe, and even scrawled in the dust on the moon.)

And as the war went on, the legend grew. Underwater demolition teams routinely sneaked ashore on Japanese-held islands in the Pacific to map the terrain for the coming invasions by U.S. troops (and thus, presumably, were the first GI's there). On one occasion, however, they reported seeing enemy troops painting over the Kilroy logo! In 1945, an outhouse was built for the exclusive use of Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill at the Potsdam conference.

The first person inside was Stalin, who emerged and asked his aide (in Russian), "Who is Kilroy?" ....

To help prove his authenticity in 1946, James Kilroy brought along officials from the shipyard and some of the riveters. He won the trolley car, which he gave to his nine children as a Christmas gift and set it up as a playhouse in the Kilroy front yard in Halifax, Massachusetts .


So now You Know!

 

CSC - Keeping You In The Knowledge Loop

In the short time since “The CSC Market Brief” last appeared in October 2010, raw material prices have continued to dramatically escalate. National publishers including Bloomberg Businessweek and The Wall Street Journal, along with many of the industry leading manufacturers working with CSC, are reporting a similar story: as raw materials increase, so does the cost of manufacturing, and therefore prices. This issue of “The CSC Market Brief” seeks to provide knowledge about:

• How the rapidly increasing price of copper affects the prices of network cabling and data center infrastructure solutions

• How FEP, PVC and oil prices impact manufacturer pricing

• The business challenges surrounding these important products and technologies

As your unbiased industry resource, CSC wants to insure that you are armed with information as you execute your organization’s 2011 business plan. We hope the following is helpful and encourage you

 Sincerely,

Frank LaPlante

Vice President, Sales and Marketing Communications Supply Corporation

www.gocsc.com

 

ANIXTER results show sales improving into 2011

Anixter International Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter Net Income of $0.88 Per Diluted Share, Including a Loss of $0.35 Per Share for an Arbitration Award and a Gain of $0.04 Per Share for Early Retirement of Debt and a Tax Benefit, on Sales of $1.43 Billion

GLENVIEW, Ill., Feb. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Anixter International Inc. (NYSE:AXE - News), a leading global distributor of communication and security products, electrical and electronic wire & cable, fasteners and other small parts, today reported results for the quarter ended December 31, 2010.

  • Sales increased 18 percent from the prior year period to $1.43 billion
  • Operating income increased by 31 percent year-on-year
  • Net income increased by 146 percent year-on-year
  • Current quarter cash flow from operations of $29.7 million

Financial Highlights

(In millions, except per share amounts)

 

 

Three Months Ended

 

Year Ended

(n.m. -- not meaningful)

 

Dec. 31,

 

Jan. 1,

 

Percent

 

Dec. 31,

 

Jan. 1,

 

Percent

 

 

2010

 

2010

 

Change

 

2010

 

2010

 

Change

Net Sales

 

$1,434.4

 

$1,217.6

 

18%

 

$5,472.1

 

$4,982.4

 

10%

Impairment Charge

 

-

 

-

 

-

 

-

 

$100.0

 

n.m.

Operating Income

 

$61.6

 

$46.9

 

31%

 

$266.2

 

$103.5

 

157%

Net Income/(Loss)

 

$31.5

 

$12.7

 

146%

 

$108.5

 

($29.3)

 

n.m.

Diluted Earnings/(Loss) Per Share

 

$0.88

 

$0.35

 

151%

 

$3.05

 

($0.83)

 

n.m.

Diluted Weighted Shares

 

35.5

 

36.3

 

-2%

 

35.5

 

35.1

 

1%


Fourth Quarter Highlights

  • Sales of $1.43 billion increased 18 percent compared to sales of $1.22 billion in the year ago quarter.  Major items affecting current quarter sales comparisons versus the prior year include:

- $19.0 million of favorable copper price effects

- $17.3 million of unfavorable effects from exiting a major customer contract in 2009

- $1.7 million of unfavorable foreign exchange effects

Exclusive of the effects of the above items, sales increased by 18 percent organically.

  • Fourth quarter operating income of $61.6 million improved by 31 percent compared to $46.9 million reported in the year ago quarter.  Major items affecting year-on-year operating profit comparisons included a fourth quarter 2010 expense of $20.0 million ($12.3 million after-tax) related to a previously disclosed arbitration award as well as a fourth quarter 2009 expense related to a $4.2 million ($2.6 million after-tax) exchange rate-driven lower of cost or market inventory adjustment in Venezuela. Excluding these two items from the respective quarter's earnings, operating income improved from $51.1 million in 2009 to $81.6 million in 2010, an increase of 60 percent.
  • Operating margin in the current quarter was 4.3 percent as compared to 3.9 percent in the year ago quarter. Excluding the items outlined above, operating margin in the fourth quarter of 2010 was 5.7 percent versus 4.2 percent in the year ago quarter. The strong operating margin improvement was driven by both a higher gross margin and better operating leverage on higher sales.
  • In the current quarter, an after-tax gain of $0.3 million or $0.01 per diluted share on the early retirement of debt compares to an after-tax loss of $1.5 million or $0.04 per diluted share on the early retirement of debt in the prior year quarter.
  • Other expense in the current quarter was $1.8 million versus $15.9 million in the year ago quarter.  Fourth quarter 2009 included foreign exchange losses of $13.8 million associated with repatriation of cash from Venezuela and the remeasurement of Bolivar denominated assets at the parallel exchange rate. This resulted in a $6.3 million after-tax charge or $0.17 per diluted share.
  • Income tax expense in the current quarter includes a reversal of $1.3 million for prior year foreign taxes while the fourth quarter of 2009 includes a favorable net adjustment of $4.8 million primarily due to the reversal of a valuation allowance. These adjustments resulted in an increase of $0.03 and $0.13 per diluted share, respectively.
  • Net income of $31.5 million, or $0.88 per diluted share, increased by 146 percent as compared to $12.7 million, or $0.35 per share, reported in the year ago quarter.  The year-on-year comparisons were impacted by a number of items in each reporting period, as outlined above.  Excluding those items from both years, net income would have been $42.2 million, or $1.19 per diluted share as compared to $18.3 million, or $0.50 per diluted share in the year ago quarter, an increase of 131 percent.
  • Cash flow generated from operations was $29.7 million as compared to $47.0 million generated in the year ago quarter due to an increase in working capital to support higher sales.

Fourth Quarter Sales Trends

Commenting on fourth quarter sales trends, Robert Eck, President and CEO, stated, "Our fourth quarter sales were not only stronger than we anticipated, but they also were strong enough to overcome the historical patterns that typically produce consecutive quarter sales declines from the third to fourth quarter due to the larger number of holidays in the fourth quarter.  In addition to the better-than-expected year-on-year sales increase of 18 percent, we also experienced a nearly 3 percent sequential increase in sales.  Consistent with trends we have experienced in the last few quarters, higher copper prices added approximately $19 million to revenues in the fourth quarter, but in terms of year-on-year comparisons this increase was offset by the reduction in sales due to exiting a major customer contract in late 2009 and the negative effects of currency translation on reported sales outside the U.S."

"Importantly, sales were strong across all reporting segments with North America, Europe and Emerging Markets, all reporting sales increases between 17 and 18 percent year-on-year," continued Eck.  "Sales growth by end market was also robust, with the biggest improvement coming from the Electrical Wire & Cable end market. In that end market, the building backlog of new project bookings over the past couple of quarters produced higher fourth quarter billings that led to year-on-year sales growth of 30 percent.  The Enterprise Cabling and Security end market as well as the OEM Supply business each produced approximately 13 percent year-on-year sales growth, with the Enterprise Cabling and Security business producing 16 percent growth in sales, excluding the impact of the major customer contract exited in the fourth quarter of 2009."

Fourth Quarter Operating Results

"Strong year-on-year operating profit growth continued the upward momentum we have experienced this year. Fourth quarter operating margin was the highest since 2008.  Excluding the items discussed above, a 60 basis point improvement in gross margin combined with a strong 90 basis point improvement in operating expense leverage due to higher sales, drove operating margin, exclusive of the arbitration award, to its highest level in eight quarters at 5.7 percent. An improvement in sales mix, both by geographic segment and by end market, largely drove the gross margin improvement while the higher volume resulted in improved fixed cost leverage. The incremental operating profit margin of 14.0 percent on the increased year-on-year sales reflects the success of the continued cost management discipline while supporting a growing revenue base."

"Fourth quarter operating expenses of $252.2 million, excluding the above-mentioned arbitration award, represented 17.6 percent of sales compared to 18.5 percent in the prior year quarter," continued Eck. "Excluding the impact of exchange rates and the arbitration award, year-on-year operating expenses increased by $28.0 million or 12 percent, on an 18 percent increase in organic sales. Expense increases were primarily volume related including distribution costs, incentive compensation and operating expenses to support growth in the higher cost-to-serve OEM Supply end market."

Company-wide operating margin improved to 4.3 percent from 3.9 percent in the year ago quarter. However, excluding the arbitration award from fourth quarter 2010 and the inventory markdown in the prior year quarter, operating margin improved by 150 basis points from 4.2 percent in the prior year quarter to 5.7 percent in the current quarter.  Sequentially, operating margin improved by 20 basis points. Both year-on-year and sequential improvements benefited from a stronger sales mix coupled with sales-driven operating leverage on the company's cost structure.

North America operating margin declined to 5.1 percent from 5.7 percent in the year ago quarter; however, excluding the arbitration award from fourth quarter 2010, operating margin would have been 7.1 percent. The 140 basis point improvement from the year ago operating margin was driven by a richer sales mix and higher sales volumes, with a 90 basis point improvement in gross margin and a 50 basis point improvement in operating expenses as a percent of sales. This resulted in a 14.8 percent incremental operating margin on the increased year-on-year sales. Sequentially, operating profit margin grew by 10 basis points in the current quarter.

Europe operating profit was break-even for the quarter compared to a loss of $6.0 million in the year ago quarter. The operating margin in the current quarter was a 260 basis point improvement year-on-year. The 30 basis point decline in gross margin year-on-year was more than offset by the 290 basis point improvement in operating expense as a percent of sales driven by the 23 percent organic growth year-on-year. Sequentially, operating profit margin improved by 80 basis points.

Emerging Markets operating margin improved to 6.5 percent in the current quarter compared to 3.1 percent in the year ago quarter. Without the exchange rate-driven inventory markdown in the fourth quarter of 2009, operating margin would have been 6.1 percent in the prior year quarter. The 40 basis point improvement year-on-year and the 20 basis point sequential improvement were largely driven by strong volume improvement.

Cash Flow and Leverage

"We were pleased to deliver another quarter of solid cash generation, including fourth quarter cash flow from operations of $29.7 million, down from the $47.0 million generated in the year ago quarter," commented Dennis Letham, Executive Vice President-Finance. "For full year 2010, cash flow from operations was $195.2 million, down from the $440.9 million in the previous year when there was a significant reduction in working capital associated with lower sales. The strong cash flow for the quarter and for the full year was achieved despite the increased working capital requirement to support a year-on-year sales increase in the quarter and full year of 18 and 10 percent, respectively."  

"During the fourth quarter we continued to retire higher-cost term debt and replaced it with lower-cost borrowings," said Letham.  "Specifically during the quarter we retired $30.2 million in accreted value of our 3.25% zero coupon convertible notes, bringing the full year 2010 accreted value reduction of these notes to $67.0 million.  When combined with the $133.7 million reduction in outstanding 10% senior notes completed earlier in the year, we successfully lowered the weighted average cost of borrowed capital in the current quarter to 5.6 percent as compared to 7.8 percent in the year ago quarter."

"With the payment of a special dividend of $3.25 per share in the fourth quarter for a total cash outlay of $111.0 million, along with the acquisition of Clark Security Products for cash consideration of $36.4 million, we have increased the financial leverage at year end to 46.9 percent, within our longstanding target range of 45 to 50 percent. With an anticipated continuation of solid positive cash flow in 2011, our near term priorities for the use of cash will be for short-term borrowing reductions. We may also further reduce the outstanding amount of the 3.25% zero coupon convertible notes utilizing available capacity in our bank revolving lines of credit.  Our strong balance sheet position at year end, combined with anticipated positive cash flows, also leaves us well positioned to pursue strategic acquisition opportunities in the coming year as we continue to evaluate the optimal use of these funds," concluded Letham.

Key capital structure and credit-related statistics for the fourth quarter include:

  • Year-end debt-to-total capital ratio of 46.9 percent compared to 44.8 percent at the end of 2009
  • Invested cash of $46.0 million at the end of 2010, down from $72.5 million at the end of 2009
  • Fourth quarter weighted average cost of borrowed capital of 5.6 percent compared to 7.8 percent in the year ago quarter
  • 67 percent of quarter-end borrowings have fixed interest rates, either by terms of the borrowing agreement or through hedging contracts
  • $259.8 million of availability under bank revolving lines of credit at year end
  • $200.0 million of outstanding borrowings under the $200.0 million account receivable securitization facility at year end

Business Outlook

Eck commented, "The strong fourth quarter sales results leave us with increased confidence that the improving economic fundamentals of the past few quarters can be sustained into 2011.  We recognize that on a macro basis sustained growth is still at risk from factors such as sovereign debt issues outside the U.S. and significant pressures to reduce budget deficits at all levels of government within the U.S.  At the same time, we will begin to experience more difficult growth comparisons as the year unfolds due to the strong growth we achieved in 2010.  Nevertheless, we believe that a combination of improved economic conditions and our own strategic growth initiatives positions us well to achieve strong sales growth and improved operating leverage in the coming year."

"Overall, our strategic growth initiatives should continue to improve our market share positions across all end markets and geographic segments while maintaining or improving gross margins.  Specifically, our growth will be fueled by our focus on adding new products to our portfolio where appropriate; developing end market presence in either Electrical Wire & Cable or OEM Supply in countries where our current presence is large but limited to only the Enterprise Cabling and Security Solutions end market; and selectively expanding our geographic presence in countries such as Brazil and China, where our current presence is largely confined to the capital or the principal business city. As an indication of our positive outlook, we committed to investments for future growth during the fourth quarter through our acquisition of Clark Security Products as well as by opening a new operation in Morocco," Eck concluded.

Fourth Quarter Earnings Report

Anixter will report results for the 2010 fourth quarter on Tuesday, February 1, 2011 and broadcast a conference call discussing them at 9:30 am central time.  The call will be Webcast by CCBN and can be accessed at the investor relations portion of Anixter's Website at www.anixter.com.  The Webcast also will be available over CCBN's Investor Distribution Network to both institutional and individual investors.  Individual investors can listen to the call through CCBN's individual investor center at www.companyboardroom.com, or by visiting any of the investor sites in CCBN's Individual Investor Network (such as America Online's Personal Finance Channel and Fidelity.com).  Institutional investors can access the call via CCBN's password-protected event management site, StreetEvents (www.streetevents.com).  The Webcast will be archived on all of these sites for 30 days.

About Anixter

Anixter International is a leading global distributor of communication and security products, electrical and electronic wire & cable, fasteners and other small parts.  The company adds value to the distribution process by providing its customers access to 1) innovative inventory management programs, 2) more than 450,000 products and over $1.0 billion in inventory, 3) 228 warehouses with approximately 7.0 million square feet of space, and 4) locations in 263 cities in 50 countries.  Founded in 1957 and headquartered near Chicago, Anixter trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AXE. www.anixter.com

 

Berk-Tek Hires Market Development Manager

New Holland, PA – February 7, 2010 –Berk-Tek, a Nexans Company, is pleased to announce the addition of Tom Buckley as the new Market Development Manager.  Reporting to Todd Harpel, Director of Marketing, Buckley will be responsible for analyzing and developing new marketing opportunities for both copper and optical fiber cabling products.

Buckley comes to Berk-Tek with more than 15 years marketing experience within the structured cabling industry.  Before joining Berk-Tek, Buckley spent two years as an independent marketing and technology consultant developing business plans for clients in the greater Chicago area.  Prior to that, he spent 12 years at Panduit Corporation where he held various national and global positions including product management, warranty program management and business development. He holds his B.S. in Engineering and an M.S. in Business Administration from the University of Illinois, Chicago. 

“Tom brings a wealth of industry knowledge to Berk-Tek. With his proven experience and reputation, we are looking forward to his contributions to Berk-Tek in his efforts in creating proactive marketing programs within identified key market segments,” states Todd Harpel.

 

CABA NEWS BRIEF

Home Systems

§                     Report: Energy efficiency is major force in HVAC
Heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems are the biggest user of energy in the average home, making energy efficiency high on consumers' priority lists. This leads to increased interest in non-standard methods of heating and cooling the home, according to Appliance Market Research Reports, U.S. Appliance Industry Manufacturing Focus 2011: HVAC. ApplianceMagazine.com (1/26)

§                     Honeywell, Haier to collaborate on energy efficient appliances
Honeywell and China's Haier Group announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding for global strategic cooperation on the development and promotion of energy-efficiency products and solutions. Under terms of the MOU, Honeywell and Haier will work collaboratively on new technology that will make household appliances, intelligent home systems, residential heating, building automation, and mass transit more efficient and cleaner. Reuters (1/24)

§                     Verizon could revolutionize home automation
The introduction of Verizon Wireless' 4G-based Long-Term Evolution technology will bring a vital boost to home automation services, according to a reviewer who also cites Motorola's 4Home platform for powering the system. "It is that 4G integration that could give Verizon an edge in mass-market home control," writes the columnist, who cites a laundry list of uses for the home network technology. CE Pro (1/25)

§                     CEA report shows record levels of consumer confidence in tech
Consumer confidence in technology, according to the CEA Index of Consumer Technology Expectations, has notched its highest mark ever for the month of January, even though there was a dip from December levels. "Spending on technology is influenced by regular seasonal purchasing patterns, and in December, technology was atop every consumer's holiday wish list," explained Shawn DuBravac, chief economist and director of research at CEA. "While a drop from December to January has happened every year of the index, the record high this January suggests consumers are still showing a willingness to purchase tech." TWICE (1/25)

§                     USNAP-enabled products available through Home Depot stores
The USNAP Alliance, an industry consortium of major stakeholders and utilities for the Smart Grid, announced that a family of USNAP thermostats with Wi-Fi Universal Communications Modules (UCMs), produced by USNAP member Radio Thermostat Company of America, is available through Home Depot stores under the Filtrete Brand from 3M. USNAP (1/26)

§                     Video: Tour the 2011 NextGen Flex-Home
NextGen's Mary Chamberlain takes you on a full tour of all the new products and ideas at the NextGen Flex-Home at the 2011 International Builders' Show. CABA endorsed the NextGen Flex-Home and sponsored the media reception. NextGen Home Experience (1/25)

§                     Connected home products key to success for consumer electronics in 2011
Global unit shipments of consumer electronics (CE) products will climb 2.6 percent in 2010, partly driven by rising sales of products that play a role in the connected home and that focus on usability—rather than technological wizardry—according to new IHS iSuppli research. IHS iSuppli (1/17)

§                     Japanese robot could alter cell phone experience
If Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Japan's Osaka University has his way, a miniature robot that lets you "feel" the presence of the party on the other line could soon replace the cell phones of today. It turns out the future could be just around the corner as the roboticist said a prototype of the mobile robot would be ready in a few months. CNET/Crave Asia blog (1/24)

§                     Retail site predicts 42-inch HDTVs for $300, Blu-rays for $40 in 2011
Blu-ray Disc players could be priced below $40 this year, with 42-inch LCD HDTVs coming in under $300, according to DealNews.com. After coming in as low as $79 in 2009 and $50 in 2010, the site's research has Blu-ray players available for as low as $39 this year. Home Media Magazine (1/24)

§                     Nielsen study underlines popularity of TV in U.S. homes
A study by The Nielsen Co. reports that more than 30% of U.S. homes contain four or more television sets. The study went on to say that the average U.S. citizen spends nearly as much time watching TV -- 35.6 hours each week -- as he or she does holding down a full-time job. MediaPost Communications/Research Brief (1/21)

§                     GE looks at micro, macro solutions in home-energy control
General Electric, which showed off its "Connected Home" solution at the 2011 International CES, is looking to target residential energy savings both at the appliance and whole-home levels, according to GE marketing manager Mike Beyerle. "We think of it more as the empowered home, where you can collectively manage the loads in your house and appliances." ElectronicHouse.com (1/20)

§                     ComScore: 180 million people per month watch online movies, TV
Online video now is a mature business, with 180 million people watching Web-based movies and TV shows per month, according to Dan Piech, senior product management analyst at comScore. Top reasons for the growing trend on the TV side, Piech said, are watching missed or old episodes, finding greater convenience and seeing fewer ads. MediaPost Communications/Media Daily News (1/19)

§                     A look at universal remotes
The concept of a universal remote control that presides over all sorts of home-based entertainment functions is a great idea, but according to this report, the majority of remotes cannot feature all the function buttons needed for today's plethora of connected devices. Many consumers do not use the universal functions offered and stick with multiple remotes. The New York Times (1/19)

§                     Video: Leviton's Renu® line @ IBS 2011
Leviton has introduced Renu®, a new collection of electrical wiring devices, including switches, outlets, dimmers and wallplates, which feature easily changeable faceplates that are available in 20 popular colors. CABA YouTube Channel (1/25)

§                     Wi-Fi Direct has few takers, but confidence remains
The Wi-Fi Alliance has certified about 20 products for its Wi-Fi Direct standard, but the technology -- which allows devices to link up without an access point -- has gotten off to a slow start. Industry executives and analysts predict that handset makers will eventually embed the spec in their devices. PC World/IDG News Service (1/20)

§                     Slow burning 3-D TV market to catch fire
New research from Databank is confirming other recent reports that following slow growth in 2011, the global 3-D market is set to take off. Specifically, the analyst firm says that the 3-D TV market will grow from 6.2 million units sold in 2010, a share of only 3%, to 33 million units by the end of 2012 and then to form nearly a third (31%) of unit shipments by 2014. This would represent 83 million 3-D TV units. Rapid TV News (1/26)

§                     Whirlpool unveils new product experience facility
Whirlpool Corporation, on the occasion of its 100 anniversary, has launched its new product experience center in Chicago's Reid Murdoch Center. The facility will be used for training and continuing education for trade customers, designers, key influencers and top sales associates. The flexible meeting space includes working kitchens, laundry rooms, garages and outdoor entertaining areas designed to house a variety of meetings, product displays and training sessions. Whirlpool Corporation (1/25)

§                     DLNA launches a program to spur content sharing in networked homes
The Digital Living Network Alliance will launch a software-certification program to help accelerate the development of access solutions for use in the networked homes of the future. According to ABI Research, there are more than 440 million DLNA-certified devices that could benefit from such content-sharing platforms. Vision2Mobile.com (1/24)

§                     AT&T ups the ante in VOD market with rebranding effort
AT&T shifted its footing in the video-on-demand market with the recent renaming of its U-verse On Demand service. The company is now marketing its transactional VOD offering as U-verse Movies. As part of the marketing campaign, which launched Jan. 5, AT&T is touting its ability to bring new movies to consumers as many as 28 days earlier than its rival, Netflix. Multichannel News (1/24)

§                     Building smart homes
Homes are more connected than ever before—right down to appliances in the kitchen. Builders need to make sure they are preparing for this technological revolution, as homes are no longer just composed of building materials. More buyers want these connected devices, and builders need to make sure they have the appropriate networking in place. Constructech (1/25)

§                     Unique new home solar scheme launches in U.K.
There is some good news for U.K. homeowners trying to protect themselves against rising energy bills and looking for a guaranteed return on any investment they make this year. SunShare, a new scheme that launched on January 17, allows U.K. homeowners to invest in solar panels for their home for only a part of the upfront installation costs. Qualifying U.K. homes that install solar panels with SunShare will benefit from free electricity and will also be able to earn more than 1,000 pounds a year from the government backed feed-in tariff scheme. Electric Energy Online (1/20)

§                     Yale demonstrates interactive locks
Yale's ZigBee-enabled electronic door locks can be opened, closed, delayed, monitored and otherwise automated via smart phone, Internet or remote control; touchpad locks are virtually indestructible. CABA YouTube Channel (1/11)

§                     Verizon takes aim at home monitoring and controls
Now in a “pilot” phase in New Jersey, with plans to roll out nationwide by mid-year, Verizon Communications is tip-toeing into the so-called connected home arena with a home monitoring and control service boasting “anytime, anywhere access to lights, thermostats, appliances and monitoring systems,” via smartphones, computers and its FiOS platform. SDM SmartHome (1/20)

§                     Wi3 launches in-wall IPTV/SmartTV home networking product
Solving the problems that exist in homes today of delivering Internet services to TVs, Wi3, Inc. has come up with Wi3 port by combining the MoCA IPTV/ SmartTV standard, the WiFi Direct spec, and a patented in-wall wallport design. IPTV Community (1/14)

§                     U.S. cable giants harness connected TV
The U.S. cable industry has signalled its intentions to harness the potential of connected TVs to extend the reach of its services to more screens in customer homes, while also broadening the service offer. Two of the industry’s giants, Comcast and Time Warner Cable, have announced partnerships with Samsung to enable their ‘TV Everywhere’ multi-screen services, utilizing their online video platforms. Videonet (1/19)

§                     Deloitte argues TV experience will remain the same
If the recently concluded Consumer Electronics Show left the impression that TV as we know it is on the cusp of radical reinvention, the folks at research firm Deloitte aren’t buying the hype. Its media forecast for 2011 sees the medium staying largely the same as it’s always been: a hugely dominant force, with no big changes, such as smart TV, hitting anytime soon. PaidContent (1/18)

§                     Video: Motorola's home control vision
Motorola Mobility, a unit of Motorola Inc., demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) its new home control systems based on 4Home technology, a provider of products that lets consumers control home gadgets such as thermostats or security cameras remotely from their cellphones. 4Home was recently purchased by Motorola. CABA YouTube Channel (1/9)

§                     Appliance and equipment standards are a money maker and job creator
National appliance energy efficiency standards for common household and business products generated about 340,000 jobs in 2010, or 0.2% of the nation’s jobs, according to a report released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP). The energy and related utility bill savings from standards will continue to contribute to a healthy economy over time, and in 2030, the number of jobs generated will increase to about 380,000 jobs—an amount about equal to the number of jobs in Delaware today. ACEEE (1/26)

§                     Telcos make assault on cable’s stranglehold
But now it’s payback time, or so telco executives believe. The new battleground is the television set, which cable TV still dominates, especially in affluent cities. The 6.4 million cable TV customers of Shaw, Rogers and Videotron represent what BCE chief executive officer George Cope calls “the last monopoly” – and he and Telus boss Darren Entwistle hope to smash it. Globe and Mail (1/21)

§                     HAI adds KZValve as connectivity partner
Home Automation, Inc. (HAI), a leading manufacturer of integrated security and home automation, announced that KZValve is their latest connectivity partner. KZValve manufactures motorized valves and controls for water supplies. By connecting a water control valve to an HAI home automation system, the water supply at the home or business can be controlled remotely from a cell phone. When combined with HAI’s existing sensors, the KZValve can react automatically, limiting water damage during emergencies. HAI (1/6)

§                     As the tech community waits, arrival of USB 3 is still a mystery
The third version of the Universal Serial Bus will have a 5-gigabit-per-second data-transfer rate, which is 10 times faster than USB 2, and will cut power consumption by a third, according to this report. Exactly when USB 3, also known as "SuperSpeed USB," will make its debut remains an unanswered question. CNET/Crave blog (1/25)

§                     In-Stat: Installed base of “smart TV” devices to reach over 230 million by 2014
The global installed base of web-enabled stationary consumer electronics (CE) devices is growing rapidly and includes a wide variety of devices. Typically, web-enabled CE devices can execute widgets, small software application programs that directly access an online portal, such as Netflix, Amazon VOD, Pandora, or YouTube. The development and use of Smart TV applications are expected to proliferate over the next five years and, as a result, web-enabled CE device shipments are expected to grow six-fold, surpassing 230 million installed units by 2014, the majority of these in North America and Europe, says In-Stat. In-Stat (1/20)

§                     The Peggy Smedley Show to examine connected appliances
In 2015, revenue from home automation shipments will total more than $11.8 billion, according to ABI Research. The Peggy Smedley Show announced its February 1 edition will feature some of the biggest players in connected appliance industry and delve into when exactly this new innovation will appear in homes across the country. Peggy Smedley Show (1/20)

LIGHTFAIR International is also sponsoring CABA's Intelligent & Integrated Buildings Council Meeting & Reception to be held Monday, January 31 starting at 4 pm at the Renaissance Las Vegas, next door to the Las Vegas Convention Center. CABA will also have an exhibit at AHR Expo, located at booth #N4766.

Large Building Automation

§                     Profile: Confessions of a successful integrator
It takes a lot of good decisions to become a $26.9M integrator, but Signet Electronic Systems strategizes for 2011 by drawing on its bad ones. The firm has held steady through the recession despite competing with more bidders for a smaller pool of new-construction opportunities. Meanwhile, it maintains an extremely strong foothold on New England’s hospital, K-12 education and government/public safety electronics installation markets. Commercial Integrator (1/25)

§                     Fraunhofer lets shoppers buy with gestures
Window shopping takes on a literal meaning as Fraunhofer researchers unveil a digital signage concept that allows shoppers to purchase goods from the shop window. The system uses four cameras to record the 3-D positions of people’s hands, face and eyes allowing them to control the window display to look at and buy goods even after the shop has closed. InAVate (1/21)

§                     Obama signs off clean energy tax break extensions
President Barack Obama recently signed a controversial new tax bill into law, extending key incentives for the biofuel and renewable energy industries as part of a package of measures that also included tax cuts for all Americans. Crucially for the renewable energy industry, the package includes a one-year extension of the Department of Treasury Section 1603 grant program, which provides up-front grants to renewable energy developers in lieu of a 30 per cent tax break. BusinessGreen (1/20)

§                     NEMA launches vids for grids with smart grid educational videos
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has launched its “Vids for Grids: New Media for the New Energy Workforce” (V4G) program with the first two videos of a 12-video series that demonstrates a best practice in integrating new media into engineering core curricula. NEMA (1/10)

§                     Siemon announces new fanout cable assembly for data center interconnects
Siemon, a leading global manufacturer of IT network cabling and infrastructure systems, announces the release of a new QSFP+ (Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable Plus) to SFP+ (Small Form-Factor Pluggable Plus) hybrid passive copper cable assembly. These hybrid fanout cables break a single 40Gb/s QSFP+ connector into four individual 10Gb/s SFP+ connectors, allowing users to connect multiple ports of SFP+ equipment to QSFP+ based equipment with a single, easy-to-manage assembly. Siemon (1/5)

§                     Eaton unveils its Advantage partner program
Eaton Power Quality has launched a new partner program targeting IT resellers in the UK. The company says its "PowerADVANTAGE Partner Programme" aims to strengthen links between Eaton and its resellers, as well as support and develop business relationships between key partners and distributors. Channel Pro (1/12)

§                     Huawei sets up Canadian research centers with Bell Canada, Telus
Huawei has signed memorandums of understanding with both Bell Canada and Telus to create and maintain Joint Innovation Centres in Canada. Each of the partnerships will see the carriers collaborating with Huawei on developing and enhancing broadband wireless solutions, core network products and value-added service offerings. The locations of the new centres will be announced at a later date. ITWorld Canada (1/12)

§                     Keeping up with Standard 90.1
The Standing Standard Project Committee 90.1 (SSPC 90.1) has been hard at work making significant strides in the energy efficiency provisions of 90.1. Its goal was to create a 2010 standard that would be used to build buildings that are 30 percent more efficient than buildings built to the 2004 version of the standard. As ASHRAE 90.1 is under continuous maintenance, the updates are published as addenda and incorporated into the document as supplements between editions. Consulting-Specifying Engineer (1/18)

§                     What will the future workplace look like?
Unless you have been on vacation for the past few years, you are probably aware that the workplace as we know it is rapidly changing. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Businesses can capitalize on the evolving nature of the office by striking a balance that combines virtual and physical work and space. This could ultimately increase productivity and lower costs without sacrificing company culture or individual motivation. CNNMoney/Fortune (1/19)

§                     Going green with building information management
The green trend has also hit the software sector, where more and more green-centric software products are being designed. No technology has had a greater impact on green initiatives in the software market than Building Information Modeling (BIM). BIM makes it possible for 3-D digital models to carry and exchange intelligent information that is maintained throughout the lifecycle of a building project. Information such as material definition, quantity and price can be associated with the building elements contained within the BIM model and can be utilized by many members of the construction team. Green Building Pro (1/24)

§                     B.C. city obtains federal funding for clean energy implementation
The Government of Canada announced a strategic investment of up to $3.9 million from the federal government's Clean Energy Fund for Solar Colwood, a comprehensive three-year program designed to lead the British Columbian city to a clean energy future. More than $2.3 million of the federal funding will go directly to Colwood homeowners and businesses in the form of incentives for clean energy and energy efficiency retrofits. Douglas Magazine (1/25)

§                     Video: Vending machine scans your face and chooses food for you
Kraft has invented a vending machine that analyzes your face to predict what you want to eat. It combines facial recognition with other data to give you a snack, or email a recipe and shopping instructions. While you operate the touchscreen on Kraft's "Meal Planning Solution," a camera analyzes your face to determine your age and gender, the better to anticipate what you want to eat. Gawker (1/21)

§                     Optimum Energy honored at Aventine LEED® Platinum certification ceremony
Optimum Energy, LLC, provider of heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) software solutions that set a new standard in energy efficiency, announced that the Aventine, a Class A office property located in La Jolla, Calif., is recognizing Optimum Energy for the instrumental role its optimization solutions played in helping the Aventine achieve LEED® Platinum. Implementation of Optimum Energy’s HVAC software solutions resulted in permanent energy reductions at the Aventine that contributed to more than 25 percent of the points needed to achieve LEED Platinum. EON (1/25)

§                     Buildings are smart grid consumers too
The smart grid industry spends a lot of time discussing what Smart Grid means for “consumers,” most often in the residential sense. The industry pines over privacy implications and what smart meters might mean for certain demographic groups – and with good reason. But there are utility customers that use a lot more power and pay a lot more for it: commercial buildings, factories, industrial facilities, and major city infrastructure. These same energy-consuming groups also stand to benefit from smart grid applications – like demand-side management (DSM) – on the business side and typically have better automation systems in place than residential consumers to mitigate risk. Energy Collective (1/17)

§                     Smart building will herald new wave in IT spending
The utility industry is largely seen as a dinosaur in its speed of information technology adoption, and it has a relatively small worldwide share of the IT market. But the latest study from International Data Corporation, an IT research company, is predicting that the utility industry will adopt IT at a higher rate than the general business community in 2011, second only to healthcare. Greentech Media (1/13)

Member Press Releases

§                     MatrikonOPC unveils Wonderware ArchestrA Universal Building Automation Server
MatrikonOPC™ released its Wonderware ArchestrA Universal Building Automation Server. The server enables Wonderware applications such as InTouch and InFusion to communicate natively with a wide range of building automation (BA) providing users with easy access to their building automation and facility system data.

CABA Research Spotlight

§                     Technology Contracting: Designing Systems for Efficiency and Interoperability
Johnson Controls reports on the benefits of centralizing responsibility for the management of building automation systems through technology contracting. Instead of subcontracting HVAC, lighting, security, IT networking, etc. to separate companies with separate responsibilities, an overall manager is assigned. This is particularly useful when the building systems are integrated. This approach saves time, reduces risk and blame, cuts capital costs, reduces construction costs, cuts operating costs, and enables system interoperability. The process for technology contracting is described with a few examples. Read the full report as published in CABA's Research Library. Paid CABA membership provides you access to the full CABA Member Research Library.

  Education & Training 

§                     CABA to hold Digital Home Forum
CABA’s Digital Home Forum, hosted by 3M, and to be held Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 3M World Headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota will bring together leading companies dealing with integration of consumer electronics and other cutting-edge technology throughout the home. Attend the forum to learn about current trends in the digital and connected home from a wide range of companies working in this space and explore future research opportunities. Members of CABA’s Connected Home Council will share their research and insights, along with details about their current activities. Forum participants will be encouraged to openly discuss the research strategies as they relate to the industry and their respective organizations. Register now.

§                     Webinar: Deke Smith discusses national green BIM standard
Green Building Pro and Green Building Journal are hosting a live webcast on January 27th at 10am PST with Deke Smith, Executive Director of the buildingSMART alliance. Learn about how to implement BIM standards and what makes up a national system. Attendance is free, and the webcast will be available for on-demand replay at the end of the event. A live chat will be available to connect with other professionals and we encourage questions for the presenter throughout the talk.

§                     CABA Webinar: State of the Connected Home Market 2011
CABA is extending an invitation to your organization to participate in a webinar conference call to discuss the "State of the Connected Home 2011" landmark research study that is scheduled for Friday, February 4, 2011 at 2:00 to 3:00 pm ET.

CABA News

Dr. Jack Jachner of Alcatel-Lucent appointed to CABA Board
CABA is pleased to welcome Dr. Jack Jachner of Alcatel-Lucent to its Board of Directors. Dr. Jachner brings more than 20 years of telecommunications research and development experience to his current position in strategic solutions development at Alcatel-Lucent. In his current role, Dr. Jachner is responsible for the company’s enterprise solution technology directions and partnerships. Learn more.

§                     Elizabeth Jacobs of Siemens Industry Inc. joins CABA Board
The Continental Automated Buildings Association is pleased to announce the appointment of Elizabeth Jacobs of Siemens Industry Inc. to its Board of Directors. Jacobs is Director of Marketing for the Building Technologies Division of Siemens Industry, Inc. She is responsible for market strategy for the division’s control products and systems, and fire life safety business units. Learn more.

§                     CABA releases latest edition of iHomes & Buildings magazine
The Winter 2010 edition of iHomes & Buildings magazine focuses on dashboards for buildings, remote controls that will do more than control your television, and on CABA's intelligent building and connected home research.

CABA undertaking "Aging in the Connected Home" study
The CABA Research Program is undertaking a new research project entitled "Aging in the Connected Home". The purpose of this study is to identify a potential new market space by helping seniors remain longer in their home. Areas of consideration involve understanding the various inputs and outcomes of specific jobs/activities within the home that affect the aging adult as they move about the home and take care of basic necessities. This research project will help organizations understand the opportunities for value creation amongst different groups within this population. Ingersoll Rand and TELUS Corporation have committed to participating in this study. To learn how your organization can become involved in this study, please contact John Hall, CABA Research Director at 613.686.1814 x227, hall@caba.org.

 

NECA NEWS www.necanet.org

February 27 Deadline to Register for 2011 Cross Border Meeting

02/08/2011

From the Welcome Reception on March 26 to the closing dinner on March 28, the focus of ELECTRI International's Cross Border Meeting in Costa Rica is on networking and learning. Registration must be completed online no later than February 27, and participants must make reservations directly with the Paradisus Playa Conchal.

more

NECA Members Urged to Participate in Prefabrication & Modularization Survey

02/05/2011

more

White House Announces Better Buildings Initiative to Rebuild America

02/04/2011

more

Small Business Administration Launches Contracting Program for Women-Owned Small Businesses

02/04/2011

The SBA’s new Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract Program will provide greater access to federal contracting opportunities for WOSBs. Get on NECA's list of WOSBs today!

more

OSHA Renews Charter for Electrical Transmission & Distribution Partnership

01/29/2011

The Electrical Transmission & Distribution Partnership (ET&D), a formal collaboration to reduce injuries, illnesses and deaths among outside line construction and maintenance workers, was founded in 2004. The group’s charter has been repeatedly extended, most recently on January 26, 2011.

more

NECA Releases New High Mast, Roadway, and Area Lighting Standard

01/28/2011

The newest National Electrical Installation Standard focuses on high mast lighting that helps keep large outdoor spaces safely illuminated.

more

OSHA Withdraws Proposal for MSD Column on Injury Logs ... For Now

01/28/2011

OSHA has temporarily withdrawn a proposal to add a column recording musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) on the OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) while the agency seeks more input from small businesses.

more

OSHA Withdraws Proposed Interpretation of Occupational Noise Standard

01/28/2011

OSHA has withdrawn a proposed interpretation that would have “clarified” the term “feasible administrative or engineering controls” in its standard on occupational noise exposure. NECA had protested both the feasibility of engineering out hazards and OSHA ‘interpreting’ rules, rather  than going through the formal rulemaking process.

more

2010 Electrical Contractors Financial Performance Report Now Available

01/27/2011

NECA's newly published 2010 Electrical Contractors Financial Performance Report is a practical tool to help electrical contractors convert management data into useful information for making management decisions and project actions.

more

NECA Releases New AFCI and GFCI Installation Standard

01/26/2011

NECA's latest National Electrical Installation Standard (NEIS) describes installation, maintenance and troubleshooting procedures for Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) and Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs).

more

ELECTRI International – The Foundation for Electrical Construction Selects 2011 Research Projects

01/25/2011

The ELECTRI Council have approved four research projects for funding in 2011, ranging from electric vehicle infrastructure to developing a future energy-efficiency-skilled workforce.

more

NECA & Allies Renew Efforts to Overturn 3% Withholding Requirement

01/23/2011

Unless repealed, a requirement that governmental entities at all levels withhold 3% of the payments they owe to their providers of goods and services will take effect in less than a year. NECA and allies are working hard to head off the threat. This article provides backgound information, key points explaining our opposition, and a brief look at current action.

more

NECA Accepting Entries In Safety Awards Program, Now Through March 1

01/20/2011

Safety-conscious and proud of it? Apply for recognition in the NECA Safety Excellence and Zero Injury Award Program by March 1, 2011.

more

NECA Action Alert: Repeal the Health Care Bill

01/19/2011

Today, the House will likely vote to repeal health care legislation and may even secure some repeal votes from several Democrats. While largely a symbolic action, NECA members should still voice their support for repeal.

more

FREE NECA Safety Webinar, Feb. 3: OSHA's Severe Violators Enforcement Program (SVEP) and New Penalty Structure

01/18/2011

NECA is hosting a free to members safety webinar on Thurs., Feb. 3 when OSHA officials will detail the agency's new Severe Violators Enforcement Program and contractors can ask specific questions about SVEP's potential impacts on their existing safety programs and worker protection policies. Online registration is now open.

more

EC Company Chosen to Lead Portland's Long-Term Solar Strategy

01/15/2011

The City of Portland has contracted with electrical contractor EC Company to lead its long-term solar strategy. George Adams, the new vice president of NECA District 6, is the company's president.

more

Guarantee Electrical Completes $20 Million Project for Metallurgical Coke Plant

01/15/2011

St. Louis-based Guarantee Electrical has completed a $20 million assignment to power and supply all process/instrumentation wiring, equipment commissioning, lighting and voice/data services for a new Metallurgical Coke Manufacturing/Heat Energy Recovery Facility built by SunCoke Energy, only the sixth such facility in the world.

more

Outstanding Safety Performance Earns Multiple Awards for NECA-Member ERMCO

01/15/2011

NECA member firm ERMCO racked up a number of impressive safety awards in 2010. What’s the key to this company’s achievement?

more

www.necanet.org

 

Do You Wish To Add New Business?

Here is an opportunity to learn all about getting into retail communications systems, better known as Point of Sales (POS). There could be as many as nine separate systems in a large retail store that need to be integrated into one working solution. Each system will be discussed for cabling, hardware location and physical installation procedures.

Where is the work? POS systems are located in Supermarkets, Hardware Stores, Pharmacy Chains, Superstore/Warehouse Clubs, Clothing/Apparel Marts, Discount Centers, Restaurant/Bars, Fast Food Chains, Convenience Stores, Hotels, Airports, Stadiums, Casinos just to name a few.

Whether you are an individual who wants to learn this work or a contractor looking for a new business, this is a one of a kind of course.

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To find out more about this, you have one of many methods to reach us:

See our website: www.CSTInstitute

Email: Steve@CSTInstitute.com

Phone: (214) 319-6632


REMEMBER TO RECYCLE, REDUCE AND REUSE

   
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