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Wireville.com

Issue: January 2012
By: Frank Bisbee


Datacom/Telecom Glossary
In This Issue

Bits N' Pieces


Bisbee's Buzz

Our mission is "build the integrated infrastructure to electrify, illuminate, and communicate in a safe and secure green environment."

Chemicals in communication cabling - What you don't know can kill you.

Our knowledge of the arcane chemical industry has substantially increased, but there is still much to be learned and risks to be exposed. Chemicals used in consumer products, including communication cabling, rain gear, stain-resistant carpeting, microwave popcorn bags and fast-food packaging, appear to limit children’s disease-fighting immune responses, a study found.

Children At Risk

The research by Danish investigators, is one of the first to examine the effects of perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs, on the immune system. It showed that children with the highest levels in their blood had the weakest responses to childhood vaccines. Higher chemical exposure also led to less infection- fighting antibodies to keep disease at bay, the study reported.

Decreased antibody levels may signal a weakened immune system that could have long-lasting implications, said Philippe Grandjean, the lead author and chairman of environmental medicine at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense. The reduced vaccine response suggests a rising public health threat, he said. “If that’s true, it’s quite worrying,” said Grandjean, who also serves as an adjunct professor of environmental health at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. “It could affect the response of the immune system to infectious diseases and how we respond to microorganisms in general.”

EPA concerns increased

Environmental experts and regulators worldwide have grown increasingly concerned that perfluorinated compounds, which are both water and grease resistant, are toxic, long-lasting and can accumulate over time. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency started restricting their use a decade ago. www.epa.gov  

Research on the human-health consequences is in the early stages, and more work is needed, the agency says.

DuPont Co, the largest U.S. chemicals company by market value, uses one common type of PFC as a processing aid, the company said in a statement. Trace levels of the compound, known as perfluorooctanoic acid, can be found as unintentional byproducts in some consumer products made with DuPont materials, the company said.

The Wilmington, Delaware-based company plans to stop making, buying and using the compound dubbed PFOA by 2015, and has already introduced some new products including nonstick cookware without it. However, they have not eliminated the use of PFOA in the manufacturing process of Teflon® FEP used in cabling products for datacom. www.ewg.org

Faroe Islands Children

The researchers tracked 587 children born in the Faroe Islands, a fishing community located northwest of Scotland. The high consumption of seafood on the 18-island archipelago is linked to exposure to PFCs, which were at similar or lower levels seen in American children, the researchers said.

Children who had levels of major PFCs that were twice as high in their blood at age 7 as their peers also had half the antibody concentrations for tetanus and diphtheria compared with the other children, the study found.

Those with the most exposure to PFCs by age 5 were significantly more likely to have insufficient protective antibody levels two years later, the researchers said.

Prenatal exposure to PFCs reduced the children’s ability to produce antibodies years later, the study found. Higher levels of PFCs in the mother’s blood were linked to fewer antibodies produced by the children at age 5. The pollutants can be transferred through placenta and breast milk, Grandjean said.

Only a handful of medical conditions, radiation treatment and cancer drugs have a similar effect on reducing the immune system’s response to immunizations, he said.

Alternatives Needed

The U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the EPA, the Danish Council for Strategic Research and the Danish Environmental Protection Agency funded the study. It will appear in the Jan. 25 edition of Journal of the American Medical Association.

Manufacturers should look for alternatives to PFCs, and phase out their use once safer products are developed, Grandjean said by telephone. Until then, consumers should look for products that are certified and marketed as PFC-free, he said.

“It’s possible and it’s a matter of consumer choice,” he said, pointing out the recent wave of products that are free of bisphenol-A, a chemical used to make some plastic containers, that has been linked to a range of medical problems. http://jama.ama-assn.org/

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

Recently, a major cabling contractor (and a BICSI member) commented that like many others in their industry, they are proud to let our customers know that the cabling they utilize for projects is RoHS compliant, even though it is not required in the USA.

The core of the RoHS directive is:  Lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB's) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) are all identified and restricted by EU-RoHS. All are known to be hazardous and toxic to the general public and surrounding environment. The directive defines the limits in part per million (ppm) for each chemical. The products that fall under these restrictions must comply with the EU-RoHS directive by July 2006 or they will not be allowed to be sold in the European Market. RoHS is not a requirement in the USA. It should be.

CAT6 RoHS Compliant Cables in the air system means a safer IAQ (Indoor Air Quality).

Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS); the definition and aim of the RoHS directive is quite simple. The RoHS directive aims to restrict certain dangerous substances commonly used in electronic and electronic equipment. Any RoHS compliant component is tested for the presence of Lead (Pb), Cadmium (Cd), Mercury (Hg), Hexavalent chromium (Hex-Cr), Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), and Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE). For Cadmium and Hexavalent chromium, there must be less than 0.01% of the substance by weight at raw homogeneous materials level. For Lead, PBB, and PBDE, there must be no more than 0.1% of the material, when calculated by weight at raw homogeneous materials. Any RoHS compliant component must have 100 ppm or less of mercury and the mercury must not have been intentionally added to the component

Don't Play The "Ostrich Game" When It Comes To Staying Current

As an example, depending on the discipline that you’re in, it’s generally accepted that human knowledge is now doubling every two to three years.

If that is a true statement, in 50 years, 95% of everything we know will be discovered in those 50 years across all domains.

Another way to look at it is that it means we only know 5% today of what we will know in the next 50. You look at research papers and patent applications and you can see a skyrocketing explosion of human knowledge.

Up until the 1900s, human knowledge doubled every 100 years or so. Today, it is every five years. That is the type of trajectory that we are on."

The need for speed is an insatiable appetite. We have learned that researchers are already working on multi-terabit per second Ethernet to carry the coming information flow. Some forecasts almost a zettabyte (one billion terabytes) may be flowing across the network by 2015.

Change can be: exciting, scary, overwhelming, and unbelievable. Rest assured that CHANGE IS INEVITABLE.

Our mission remains to build the integrated infrastructure to electrify, illuminate, and communicate in a safe and secure green environment.

But that's just my opinion,

Frank Bisbee - Editor

"HOTS - Heard On The Street" Monthly Column

www.wireville.com

Jacksonville, FL  32257

frank@wireville.com

 

The Optoelectronics Industry Development Association (OIDA) offers a unique workshop

Optical Communication Networks: Quantitative Metrics in the Data Center Workshop/Roadmap Report Session---confirmed presenters:

Ray Beausoleil, Hewlett-Packard

Bill Garrett, Verizon Technology

Chris Janz, Ciena

Dan Kilper, Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs

Donn Lee, Facebook

George Papen, UC San Diego

Clint Schow, IBM

Vijay Vusirikala, Google

Adel Saleh, UC Santa Barbara

Sunday, 4 March 2012 - Los Angeles, CA, USA

Held in tandem with the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC)
and the National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (NFOEC)

The Optoelectronics Industry Development Association (OIDA) invites you to a unique workshop that features:

A full-day program featuring guest speaker presentations and strategy-focused panel discussions.

A post-workshop Roadmap Report as well as presentation slides and video recordings for attendees and OIDA members.

An evening networking reception.

All attendees will receive a free registration for the OFC/NFOEC Exhibit (4-8 March, 2012).

OIDA Members: $250; Non-Members: $400; Students: $150

Register Online Today

Program Description:
The Optical Communication Networks: Quantitative Metrics in the Data Center workshop will quantify metrics related to optical communication within data centers, including projections for those metrics to 2022. The workshop extends the work begun at a two-day October 2011 program that focused on aggregation networks-the networks between end users and longer haul networks. The aim of the March 2012 workshop is to provide useful and coherent benchmarks and targets for system vendors, component suppliers, funding agencies, and other stakeholders in the future communications infrastructure. An outcome of the March 2012 event will be a comprehensive roadmap report that will be distributed to OIDA member companies.

Discussion Topics: Panel discussions will focus on quantitative metrics for future data centers, and explore questions such as:

What will be the data rate and latency requirements in the backplanes?

What will be the power limitations at the system level and at the optics?

How does this translate to system and port cost?

How will these be affected by future architectures?

These metrics will help identify bottlenecks and future requirements and direct R&D funding.

View the Workshop Schedule

 

The Fiber Optic Connector Isn’t What It Used To Be

In the development of fiber optic technology over the last 30 years, many companies and individuals have invented the "better mousetrap" - a fiber optic connector that was lower loss, lower cost, easier to terminate or solved some other perceived problem. In all, about 100 fiber optic connectors have been introduced to the marketplace, but only a few represent the majority of the market.

Old Design

Most fiber optic connectors are plugs or so-called male connectors with a protruding ferrule that holds the fibers and aligns two fibers for mating. They use a mating adapter to mate the two connectors that fits the securing mechanism of the connectors (bayonet, screw-on or snap-in.) The ferrule design is also useful as it can be used to connect directly to active devices like LEDs, VCSELs and detectors.

The big silver connector is the Deutsch 1000, what was probably the first commercially successful fiber optic connector. It was really a "pin vise" holding a stripped fiber. The nose piece is spring loaded and was pushed back when the connector was inserted into a mating adapter. The fiber stuck out into a drop of index matching fluid on a plastic lens. This solution was state of the art in the late 70s, yielding about 3 dB loss. Many users remember it as the connector on the front panel of the original Tektronix OTDR.

The Biconic, the yellow body indicating a SM version. Developed by a team led by Jack Cook at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, NJ, the Biconic was molded from a glass-filled plastic that was almost as hard as ceramic. It started with the fiber being molded into the ferrule. This lasted until the company could get a 125 micron/5mil pin insert into the plastic mold, at which point the fiber was glued into the ferule with epoxy. When singlemode versions first appeared, the ferrules were ground to center the fiber core in the ferrule to reduce loss. Since it was not keyed and could rotate in the mating adapters, it had an airgap between the ferrules when mated, meaning loss was never less than 0.3 dB due to fresnel reflection. Usually MM Biconics had losses of 0.5-1 dB and SM 0.7 dB or higher.

The advent of the ceramic ferrule in the mid-80s in Japan changed the connector designs forever. The ceramic ferrule was hard and precise. Fibers were accurately located for alignment and ferrules could be allowed to touch. Adding in convex ferrules for PC (physical contact) between connectors reduced losses to levels below 0.3 dB for both MM and SM varieties.

In the late 90s, small form factor (SFF) connectors became popular, but only the LC (top) has been a runaway success, both in telcos and high bit rate LANs, SANs, etc.

Color Codes

Since the earliest days of fiber optics, orange, black or gray was multimode and yellow singlemode. However, the advent of metallic connectors like the FC and ST made color coding difficult, so colored boots were often used. The TIA 568 color code for connector bodies and/or boots is Beige for multimode fiber, Blue for singlemode fiber, and Green for APC (angled) connectors

The New Design

In 2010 Megladon Manufacturing Group released assemblies that had been Bit Error Rate Tested and certified 10GIG HLC fiber patch cables. Today, this product line ships with an eye diagram and Bit Error Rate test data which enables the installer to deploy with confidence.

Bit Error Rate Certified 10GIG HLC® Fiber Assemblies
As the migration to 10GIG continues in fiber optic networks, many installers and maintenance personnel are challenged when they realize a percentage of the Laser Optimized fiber optic patch cables ordered either have a high bit error rate when mated or develop intermittent issues in a short period of time. What is not known is those products sold as "10GIG patch cables" are not bit error rate tested using an actual 10GIG signal. Instead, the standard insertion loss performance is considered the pass/fail criteria. This does not guarantee an acceptable bit error rate.

Megladon's HLC SCRATCHGUARD® connection technology has been known for more than a decade for its durability and repeatable performance. It is a One Of A Kind patented product that enables business critical applications to operate with minimal connectivity issues. The repeatability of the Hardened Lens and its properties also allows Megladon to bit error rate test and certify the terminated product with an extremely high first pass yield.

"The market has been taught that any multimode fiber patch cable with an aqua jacket will perform in a 10GIG system. The truth is the glass is designed for such a system but the finished patch cable has not been tested with a bit error rate tester. We have not found one manufacturer that will provide bit error rate data with the product. That changed today" said Mike Shannahan, Vice President of Communication Planning Corporation.

In 1997 Megladon Manufacturing created the HLC (Hardened Lens Contact) termination fiber optic products that far exceed industry standards. The HLC® connector has changed the market and taken it to the next level. Megladon's HLC process was developed to meet the growing need for a scratch resistant, highly durable fiber optic mating surface. The ScratchGuard connector technology is a critical step forward in quality and durability. With the fiber optic connector being a critical component, damage to the connector due to handling and repeated use has been a concern and point of failure for network operators. Megladon's HLC ScratchGuard technology has virtually eliminated this problem.

"This is truly a win for the customer. Combining a fiber cable that can tolerate 7.5 mm of bend radius with a nearly scratch resistant connector, the reliability and durability of connectorized cables has just taken a giant step forward.” Stated John Culbert, Pres of Megladon Mfg.

Prysmian Group /Draka Communications, is now the world’s largest producer of fiber optic cables and products.

Prysmian is the leader in fiber and fiber cable solutions, including the most advanced connectorized cables through the combination of BendBright-XST bend-insensitive fiber cable and Megladon's Hardened Lens Connector (HLC) ScratchGuard® connector technology.

Now available in patch cord products, Prysmian / Draka and Megladon have combined two best-in-class technologies to deliver a high performance, highly scratch resistant, bend-insensitive fiber optic cable assembly to the market. The product offering is diverse and includes riser, plenum, and low-smoke zero halogen (LSZH) cables available with ultra or angle polish hardened lens connectors.

The Prysmian / Draka's second generation of bend-insensitive fiber, BendBright-XS has become a product of choice for customers desiring a solid-glass G.657 A&B compliant fiber. With over 150,000 miles of BendBright-XS already in service, Prysmian /Draka is leading the efforts to bring bend-insensitive fiber to the global market.

Global presence keeps Prysmian close to its customers
With its two business divisions, Energy Cables and Systems (cables and systems for underground and submarine power transmission and for underground power distribution) and Telecom Cables and Systems (optical fiber, fiber optic and copper cables and connectivity systems for telecommunications and data communications), Prysmian boasts a global presence with subsidiaries in 50 countries, 98 plants, 22 Research & Development centers worldwide, and 22,000 employees. The widespread and diverse geographical distribution of its manufacturing facilities enables Prysmian to respond to the varying requests and requirements of customers and the market with the utmost speed. http://www.prysmian.com/about-us/worldwide-player/


About Megladon®
Megladon Manufacturing Group Ltd., a subsidiary of TyRex Group Ltd., is recognized as a leader in the fiber optic marketplace. Founded in 1997, Megladon made it their mission to provide customers with fiber optic products that far exceed industry standards. As technology innovators, Megladon created the HLC (Hardened Lens Contact) termination, which has changed the market and taken it to the next level. For additional information on Megladon and their patented processes http://www.megladonmfg.com .

Or for additional information regarding Megladon's variety of fiber optic products please contact John Culbert at 512.615.4687 or by email at scratchguard@megladonmfg.com.

 

Strategies in Light Conference February 7-9, 2012 at The Santa Clara Convention Center Santa Clara, CA

Strategies in Light®  is a business- and market-oriented conference and exhibition on high-brightness LEDs and lighting produced by Strategies Unlimited® and PennWell® Corporation. Over the past 12 years, it has grown to be both the longest-running and the largest conference in the HB LED and lighting industry. This event is the premier annual forum for presenting current commercial developments in high-brightness LED applications and provides unparalleled networking opportunities for component and equipment suppliers, manufacturers, and end-users of HB LED devices.  In addition to drawing record-breaking attendance for five consecutive years, our parallel lighting track, which we have integrated to examine the pressing issues regarding the use of LEDs in lighting applications, has attracted standing-room- only crowds. Other events include LED Japan Conference & Expo/Strategies in Light, Strategies in Light Europe and Strategies in Light China, and recently announced, The LED Show.

John W Maisel. Publisher - Electrical Contractor Magazine www.ecmag.com to Speak at Strategies in Light Conference

Recent and ongoing in-depth market research demonstrates and illuminates the emergence of the electrical contractor as a key specification/brand influence partner across the spectrum of the Lighting Industry. John Maisel will make a presentation at the Strategies in Light Conference, Feb. 7–9, which will focus on research results and what they mean to each member of the lighting channel: suppliers, owners, builders and designers. We will explore changed, long-term, key “market drivers” behind this dramatic bottom line-affecting shift in both the role and scope of activity of electrical contractors. As a bonus to Electrical Contractor readers, use promo code SLELCD when registering, and receive $100 off. Register now!

More

The LED Integrated Systems Revolution: The Electrical Contractor's Role

Thursday, February 9              9:30am – 10:00am

Speaker:
John W Maisel. Publisher - Electrical Contractor Magazine www.ecmag.com

Recent/ongoing in-depth market research demonstrates and illuminates the emergence of the electrical contractor as a key specification/brand influence partner across the spectrum of the Lighting Industry. This presentation will focus on research results and what they mean to each member of the lighting channel: Suppliers, Owners, Builders and Designers.  We will explore changed, long term, key “market drivers” behind this dramatic/bottom line affecting shift in both the Role and Scope of Activity of Electrical Contractors.

John Maisel is the Publisher of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR Magazine. His 30+ year career includes successful sales, management and publisher responsibilities, including McGraw-Hill and Reed.  John is a frequent speaker at FOLIO events and Electrical Industry management seminars. One of John’s passions is leading Editorial and Sales teams to better understand, focus and capitalize on unique growth opportunities within their markets.  Before the publishing business, John served in the U.S. Marine Corps.  SEMPER FI.

 

Prices On Data Plans For Smartphone And Tablet Customers May Soar

Leading the way, AT&T Inc plans to sharply raise prices on data plans for smartphone and tablet customers from next week, calling the move a response to an explosion in wireless usage.

The No. 2 U.S. carrier dropped a controversial $39 billion bid for Deutsche Telekom's U.S. wireless unit T-Mobile last month, bowing to fierce regulatory opposition but leaving AT&T to try and find an alternative to address its shortage of wireless airwaves.

From January 22, AT&T customers will pay $20 for a 300-megabyte monthly data plan, up from $15 for 200-mb currently. Users with higher requirements can also opt for $30 for 3 gigabytes -- versus $25 for 2 GB previously -- or $50 for 5 GB, up from $45 for 4 GB.

AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel estimates that data usage is increasing 40 percent every year, spurring the company to offer more upfront. Consumers are rapidly migrating to video and music.

The new prices affect only new customers; existing customers can stick with their current plans or upgrade as needed, AT&T said in a statement.

 

Lynn Electronics Blends Performance And Security In The New (Made In America) Optilock RJ45 Patch Cords

Lynn Electronics, Ivyland, PA  www.lynnelec.com  has announced the release of their newest product line, Optilock-5E and Optilock-6 secure locking RJ45 patch cords.  Optilock patch cords are the perfect solution to safeguard network connections from unauthorized access or accidental removal.  Designed with the IT professional in mind, Optilock patch cords feature a slim line locking RJ45 connector and boot system to ensure connection integrity is maintained.  Ideally suited for network ports and devices located in public areas to prevent tampering and accidental disconnections. 

SECURITY IS TOO IMPORTANT TO IGNORE.  This product is an important device that blends top performance on the network with the physical security of the network. Government buildings, hospital data centers, enterprise data centers, schools and all other installations where mission critical network connections are needed will benefit from the security that Optilock patch cords offer.  Optilock patch cable’s unique locking boots are slim line and flush with the RJ45 connector making them perfect for high density patch panels and switches.  All Optilock cords are manufactured in the USA and fully comply with the TAA (Trade America Act) and the BAA (Buy America Act). optilock@lynnelec.com 800-523-6075 - Toll Free

 

MSG Pulls Plug On Time Warner Cable

Regional sports network MSG pulled its feed from Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) after its contract expired on Dec. 31, leaving subscribers without games from the NBCA's New York Knicks and the National Hockey League's New York Rangers, Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils.

Time Warner Cable subscribers will be able to watch some Knicks games and hockey games on NBC or NBC Sports Network, the Comcast-owned cable sports network formerly known as Versus. But the dispute could see some hardcore hockey and basketball fans jump to Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) FiOS TV or AT&T's (NYSE: T) U-verse TV. Verizon and AT&T won an FCC ruling late last year that compelled MSG to offer the telcos the HD version of its network.

If the dispute lasts for several weeks, some Time Warner Cable subscribers in the New York metropolitan area could jump to AT&T or Verizon. While many Time Warner Cable subscribers in the Buffalo area are big hockey fans, Verizon doesn't offer FiOS in Buffalo.

 

What does the future hold? - Article by Robert Reynolds Jr. from TED magazine

What does the future hold? By Robert Reynolds Jr.

The world is changing quickly. Just look at the advancements in technology as well as the changing demographics of our workforce. Organizations today must be flexible, adaptive, and resilient to compete in today’s business landscape. So how does one prepare for the future and all of the changes it presents?

For many companies and organizations, a commitment to strategic planning is the key to long-term success.

In the book Execution, authors Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan discuss how strategic plans must reflect the real world and link to operational plans. They also need to be tested for feasibility in the context of the organization’s capabilities. To execute well, one must have a plan that provides clear direction for the organization and engages employees to deliver positive results. A good strategic plan will provide the flexibility to capitalize on today while preparing for tomorrow.

At Graybar, our strategic plan has been in place for several years now and has success-fully guided our company through times of economic growth and recession. In fact, our strategy was built around four key concepts: growing profitably, improving performance, innovating through technology, and winning with people. These four pillars have been at the foundation of our business the past few years, and we continue to adapt our tactics to capture opportunities in a dynamic business environment.

NAED can help

If you don’t have a strategic plan or are thinking about updating your existing plan, NAED can help.

NAED members can now take advantage of the “Strategic Planning 101 Toolkit,” which is perfect for companies that have never completed a formalized strategic plan or individuals who would like to brush up on their strategic thinking skills.

The toolkit offers best practices and includes modules that focus on getting started, setting the framework, identifying strategies, and keeping the plan alive. Participants will also learn about:

• Key decisions that should be made be-fore beginning the strategic planning process

• The components of strategic planning

• How to identify the critical success factors for a strategic plan

• Internal and external strategies, including “Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats” (SWOT) analysis

• How to implement, execute, and communicate your strategic plan within your company

Nobody knows what the future holds, but a good strategic plan is like a road map to help guide your organization through all economic conditions. More important, NAED has the tools to help your organization prepare for the future.

If you are ready to get your company’s strategic plan in place, visit naed.org/nlc or contact Customer Service at customerservice@ naed.org. NAED Region Manager Brian Peters is also available to help you get started. He can be reached at 888-791-2512 or bpeters@naed.org.

Reynolds is chairman, president, and CEO of St. Louis-headquartered Graybar. Reach him at reynolds@graybar.com.

Reprinted with permission from The Electrical Distributor magazine

Have you seen the new tedmag.com homepage yet? They have redesigned it to bring you more of the industry news and information you need every day. Plus they have some great new interactive and multimedia content. Check it out and let them know what you think! www.tedmag.com  www.naed.org

 

The High Importance of Low Voltage - article by Dan Carazo from TED magazine

from TED magazine    September  2011              

Interviews: Sonepar, Communications Planning Corp., H.B. Frazer, Marvin Bochner Inc,

The High Importance of Low Voltage

A few decades ago, low-voltage communications cabling was often referred to as “sissy wiring” by many in the electrical contracting industry. But that’s changed.

Gone are the days when most electrical contractors were happy to pass on handling datacom or network cabling only to install power distribution systems and lighting fixtures in buildings.

Technological advances have dramatically changed the role of today’s electrical contractor. And economic reality has reprioritized the value proposition of low voltage work as ECs have been forced to re-tool their operations in order to remain competitive in a vastly smaller construction and remodeling market.

Today, along with power distribution and lighting, the EC’s work day is just as likely to include low voltage applications such as structured wiring systems, copper & fiber optic networks, datacom, telecom, broadband, RF wireless/WiFi, voice/VoIP, audio/video, home theater, PoE, security/access/CCTV, or IP-based lighting and building systems controls.

These days, the vast majority of electrical contractors install systems for power, control, communications, and security and safety while also being tasked with the challenge of integrating these systems to automate the affected structure and maximize the functionality of the combined systems.

In 2010, Renaissance Research & Consulting concluded several in-depth market research projects commissioned by the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and Electrical Contractor magazine. The research was focused on the types of work and impact on design and specification by the electrical contractor in 2009. The findings show that the EC is far more involved with low-voltage systems than was previously thought.

According to the, 2010 Electrical Contractor Profile survey, over 96% of more than 1000 ECs surveyed have installed and maintained low-voltage systems. The majority have handled low-voltage lighting, including controls and ballasts, and commercial or residential automation work. The study also indicated that 62% of the ECs had designed and installed communications low-voltage cabling/connectivity.

The Independent Electrical Contractors association website also presents a high percentage of IEC member company activity in such areas as phone (42%), data (40%), alarm/security (35%), video (32%), and building automation (25%). 

Riverside Electric Company, established in 1922 and one of the oldest electrical contracting firms in the Southeast, and is a good example of today’s full service EC. Riverside Electric, an active NECA member, strives to provide “one-call-does-all service” by providing new construction and renovations to commercial, industrial and residential customers.

The company offers installation and repairs of interior lighting, site lighting, new and upgraded electrical services, motor control center wiring, control wiring and PLC assemblies. In addition, Riverside can handle all the low voltage needs including home/office networking using fiber optics and category 5e and CAT 6 cabling, home automation, smart house wiring, telephone switch installations and security camera networking.

Driven by customer expansions, Philadelphia-area electrical contractor H.B. Frazer Company has gained most of the company’s low voltage/network business from area hospitals, universities, and pharmaceutical companies.

According to Daniel Drake, project manager, H.B. Frazer Company’s Frazer ComTech division expects this trend to continue over the next year or two, however, Drake believes low voltage work has become less important to most traditional electrical contractors primarily due to “More competition, more difficult competitive bidding, lower margins – or no margin – and more management costs involved.”

In recent years the way traditional electrical contractors approach or interact with the low-voltage/networks markets when competing with low-voltage specialists has changed.

“Electrical work is more likely than before to lead to low voltage work,” explained Drake. “Relationships developed during electrical work and bidding are more likely to push the low-voltage work towards the electrical contractor, rather than requiring separate low-voltage bidders.”

In Drake’s experience, electrical contractors without low voltage divisions are becoming less likely to compete for contracts because of the failure of their low voltage attempts.  “Some have closed their low voltage divisions because of failure,” said Drake.

However, over the past five years, Don Block, president of NorthEast Electrical Distributors, a Brockton, Massachusetts unit of Sonepar USA, has observed that the low-voltage/networks business has become much more important to traditional electrical contractors.

“ECs are facing increased competition, as more and more electrical contractors open up professional divisions to serve the low voltage/network business,” said Block who oversees operations with 32 branches that serve six New England states, including metropolitan Boston.

Tony R. Lutzi, sales manager, for the Florida Sales Division of Marvin Bochner, Inc., a Miami-based NEMRA member manufacturer’s sales representative serving Florida, has seen the low-voltage/networks sector become more important to most traditional electrical contractors.

“Contractors are moving laterally into areas that were specialist markets in order to gain more market share,” said Lutzi. “The ‘standard’ electrical contractor has been competing in his own C&I market since the drop in the residential market. Contractors and sub-contractors are now bidding on all project categories.”

In some cases Lutzi said this is diluting quality standards. “Resi contractors that want to do commercial work frequently under bid the quote to write the jobs; some can’t handle the scope of work needed and leave the job over budget and incomplete,” explained Lutzi.

Lutzi claims this has degraded the quality of work produced and sabotaged the region’s bidding market. “Contractors are now hiring people with the necessary skills for low voltage, fiber optics, security, and A/V, and we are in the process of training contractors in these fields thru the manufacturers we represent,” said Lutzi.

“We are engaged with all segments of the electrical contractor market as well as contractors that exclusively serve the LV market,” said Block. “Many ECs have either opened their own low-voltage and networks divisions that include separate sales, installation and service offerings, or they are using subcontractors to help service that market.”

Block maintains that by adding LV capabilities, contractors make it possible to bring in added revenue, but potentially more important to their long-term growth, it also gives the EC access to higher quality client markets, such as the highly sought after university and hospital institutional market. 

Impacting the LV market is the fact that with increasing frequency building owners and construction firms now prefer the simplicity of assigning the responsibility to a single contractor for all things electrical: electrical power, communications networks, building controls and security infrastructure.

“This is all part of how the low-voltage and network business is being included in all specifications for electrical contractors,” explained Block. “So, ECs have a choice to either service the business themselves or via subcontractors, but it is a given that it will be included in their scope of work.”

This then begs the question, are most traditional electrical distributors currently capable of supporting contractor customers with knowledgeable low-voltage/networks expertise?

“Not so much,” said the rep, Lutzi. “Some are trying. Specialty distributors like ADI, CSC and Accu-Tech live in these markets and cater to these contractors wholly. They don’t stock lighting fixtures or switchgear. They are a one stop shop for the LV and security contractor.”

H.B. Frazer’s Drake was more blunt. “Most electrical distributors are completely unable to support low voltage projects and have no low voltage expertise,” said Drake. “They also do not have the brands and pricing necessary to provide the low voltage materials at reasonable prices.”

Sonepar USA’s Block agreed that there is definitely a need for improvement on the part of distributors to be able to support the LV business needs. “As low voltage/networks become more ingrained into the standard electrical package, the entire industry needs to become more educated, better train its people and also strive to offer the complete product package including products, systems and warranties,” said Block.  

(Part Two)

tED interviewed datacom industry veteran Frank Bisbee, president of Communications Planning Corporation, a full-service communication contractor and consulting firm located in Jacksonville, Florida for this article. Bisbee has over 40 years of experience in the datacom networking industry and is editor of "HOTS - Heard On The Street", a communications cabling industry newsletter  (www.communicationplanning.com).

Q: How important has low-voltage work become for traditional Electrical Contractors?

Bisbee: Today, the ECs are reaping billions of dollars from the previously ignored telecom/datacom market, and their market share is growing. The integration of systems in many buildings is driving automation toward “smart buildings”.  Intelligent building systems maximize cost-effective use of the utilities and substantial energy savings over traditional methods. The ECs, employing design/build offerings on technology across the scope of traditional power and low-voltage, are taking a bigger bite of the market.

Over the past two months, we searched the websites of electrical contractors in major cities around the U.S. to see how many offered communications cabling. We checked out more than 270 EC websites and found that fewer than 50 of these ECs did not state that they offered low-voltage cabling (Editor’s note: approximately 18% did not promote LV capabilities). We believe more than 80% of the ECs have expanded beyond the traditional power offerings for a host of reasons. Revenue tops the list of drivers.

Q: How have Electrical Contractors been affected by the increased demand for low-voltage network-based datacom and security applications?

Bisbee: As the industry experienced the worst economic downturn in recent memory, ECs tightened their belts and looked at every opportunity they could find to expand their declining revenues. Providing dual capabilities by providing expertise across both power and cabled networks has boosted many EC’s business revenue. Meanwhile, local governments also felt the budget pinch and looked at the licensing of electrical contractors, including the more recent licensing of EC’s specialty for limited energy (read: low-voltage) cabling, as a new source of revenue. Permitting – the requirement and enforcement of job permits for the low-voltage cabling has been adopted in all states and enforcement has ensured general compliance. The ECs already had the license to do the work and embraced the enforcement that prevented most of the small unlicensed communications contractors from competing for the project revenues.

Q: Have the manufacturers taken advantage of this shift in the EC market?

Bisbee: Many of the major manufacturers of low-voltage technology and products (including security) continue to lack marketing support for and a focus on the electrical contractor. Today, the electrical contractor wears many hats, but if you check the advertising in electrical trade publications, you see that many manufacturers still don’t get it. It is as if many major manufacturers of security and communications products haven’t figured out what, where, and how electrical contractors buy their products.

Q: Will demand for voice, data, video communications, and security fizzle out?

Bisbee: The communications industry has challenged the EC to tackle the information technology (IT) requirements for networks supported by low voltage and fiber optic cabling. Many local area networks (LANs) have been upgraded to handle the increased transmission speeds and the exploding demand for additional bandwidth. However, many experts forecast a need to upgrade the LANs to fiber optic backbones in order to meet future speeds and volume of traffic. While the high voltage distribution systems remain relatively stable, the low voltage picture is showing strong signs that we may see a rewiring of America in the next decade.

(Sidebar)

Datacom’s History

The electrical contractor’s move into the low-voltage market began about 40 years ago. In 1968, the Carterfone Decision opened the door for competition in the communications world. No longer did you have to rent the wiring and the telephone systems from the operating telephone company. This milestone was the beginning of customer-owned communication cabling. The subsequent divesture of AT&T and the deregulation of the U.S. telecommunications industry added more opportunities for the ECs to add low-voltage communications cabling to their service offerings. During the decade from 1970 to 1980, communications contractors and interconnect vendors dominated the communication arena.

The 1980s brought the PC and the need to network. LANs and structured wiring designs went through an intense migration of newer and faster networks. Like the PC, most networks were obsolete within 3 years. At the time, when it came to datacom networks the ECs were still mostly on the sidelines. However, the 1990s brought more opportunities for the ECs to add communications and datacom cabling to their bids to provide traditional power.

-- Frank Bisbee, President, Communications Planning Corporation www.communicationplanning.com  & Editor of HOTS - Heard On The Street monthly e-zine www.wireville.com

Dan Carazo is one of the top authors in the technology and electrical industry. His achievements include being published in many of the communications industry magazines. Currently, Mr. Carazo provides B2B marketing services for a host of electrical and communications industry organizations. www.carazocommunications.com

Prior to forming Carazo Communications, Dan was responsible for global marketing and brand management for two different mid-market B-to-B
manufacturers each with annual sales in excess of $250 million. Carazo spent eight years directing the re-positioning, re-branding, and launch of the corporate brand identity for both of these business units following mergers and acquisitions.

Early in his career, Dan worked as a director of creative services at leading New York B-to-B ad agencies. His marketing campaigns won both increased market share and advertising awards for clients such as Hercules Chemical, Glaxo, Schering-Plough, Lederle Labs, Siemens, Henry Schein, Sperry, and Upjohn. Then, as global marketing manager for Sulzer Metco, a $260 million division of a Swiss industrial group, Carazo directed global branding and supported technical sales of industrial surface protection coatings by generating over 8,500 engineering sales leads.

In 2000, He directed the re-branding and launch of Cooper Wiring Devices, a US$300 million division of Cooper Industries, a US$4.7 billion
Fortune 400 electrical manufacturer. As Marketing Manager for Cooper, Dan was responsible for all print and online marketing, including launching numerous products for residential, commercial, and industrial applications.

Today, Carazo Communications provides marketing services to both manufacturers and distributors in the electrical industry.

Our involvement includes working as a columnist for The Electrical Distributor Magazine, the trade publication of the National Association of Electrical Distributors. Each month, he interviews executives at industry manufacturers about marketing trends in major electrical product categories. Whether involved in corporate marketing management, or providing ad agency marketing services, his efforts have consistently delivered outstanding results for clients in numerous technical, industrial, and bio-medical industries. He can be reached at dcaraz@optonline.net

Reprinted with permission from The Electrical Distributor magazine

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What price copper? Article by Joe Salimando from TED magazine

2012 estimates for the price of this red metal are running the gamut.

by Joe Salimando

Given a specific set of facts, one need not be a savant to figure out what “should” happen. For copper, however, that’s not the way the world works. Case in point: Several months ago, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) assessed global “apparent” refined consumption in 2011 at roughly 21.7 million tons, with production falling short of 21.5 million tons. Had one had that info in advance, a safe prediction might have been that prices would rise. Yet spot-market copper prices fell during the summer and into the fall. While there are multiple reasons for this drop, most focused on China’s buying.

So what happens this year? Let’s start with the ICSG’s outlook: The production vs. consumption shortfall will increase just a bit (refined output up 3.4%; refined use up 3.6%). Does that help?

See the table below. Forecasts for averaged prices for the 12 months ending Dec. 31, 2012, are, well, all over the place. A favorite might well be the MF Global “range” of $2.63 to $4.22—a “Why bother?” forecast if anyone ever saw one.

2012 copper price forecasts

Source                                                  Date                             2012 Avg. Price

ABN AMRO (VM Group)                         September                    $3.31

Codelco                                                            10/4/11             $3.00 to $4.00

Economist Intelligence Unit                     10/14/11                        $4.06

Goldman Sachs                                     10/21/11                        $4.38

MF Global ("trading range" prediction)      October                         $2.63 to $4.22

Nataxis Commodity Markets                   11/4/11             $4.47

Scotia Bank                                          10/3/11             $4.00

Southern Copper (producer)                    11/4/11             $4.00

Standard Chartered                                9/29/11             $5.01

Trefis*                                                   10/26/11                        $4.60

UBS AG                                                            10/14/11                        $3.50

Data obtained from Internet reporting and reading of company reports; “date” = approximate date prediction was made public; *figure is that source’s forecast for 2012 average copper price “realized” at South American mines owned by Freeport McMoRan; source: “tED” research

Note that several serious single-number (average for the year) forecasts shown here fell from earlier predictions. For example, the ABN AMRO number is 18% lower than its earlier forecast, as is the Goldman Sachs forecast. Nataxis’s forecast was lowered 7.1%, and so forth.

What happened?

Copper’s 2011 tumble took it down roughly 28%, from $4.60/lb. to $3.32/lb. What happened? That depends on who is doing the analyzing. Some blamed China’s tightening of its economy, along with shenanigans involving the use of copper to obtain hard-to-get loans (see this column in the July issue of tED). But China’s most recent GDP growth estimate came in at 9.7%.

Fears of economic stagnation or worse in 2012 also reportedly drove copper prices down. The Globe and Mail (of Toronto, Ontario, Canada) reported in October that a former high-ranking Chinese official predicted that 2012 could bring China’s first annual trade deficit since 1993.

In mid-October, China officially revealed the size of its copper inventories: roughly 2.1 million tons—higher than annual U.S. demand. However, this revelation was greeted with skepticism from some quarters—as China was said to have a vested interest in overstating its inventories in the hopes of driving spot-market copper prices down.

More recently, prognosticators have claimed copper’s near-future price increase (or collapse) will depend as well on what happens in Greece and the rest of Europe and whether that helps drive the planet into a more severe 2012 recession. Predictions accompanying that (such as this one on seekingalapha.com: http://bit.ly/qLZ2rP) claim copper’s price will fall below $3/lb.

It’s worth revisiting this fact: Recent copper market price predictions have emphatically demonstrated that human beings are helpless in the face of real-world developments. We are, literally, no better than blind when it comes to the day after tomorrow (certainly, for copper prices). One year ago, this column included a prediction of copper at $5.40/lb., which didn’t happen (not even close).

Sure-thing bets for 2012

Here are three things one can predict for copper in 2012:

1. Volatility. The price will bounce.

2. China, which accounts for more than one-third of world consumption, ostensibly has already tightened more than other countries. In theory, if Chinese weakness develops, that country’s central bankers may have created for themselves more leeway to respond by loosening credit conditions. Of course, that doesn’t mean they’ll do precisely that.

3. Wildcards will come out of the woodwork. Examples: Japanese copper demand jumped in 2011 due to the need to bolster the nation’s electricity infrastructure following the nuclear plant disaster that resulted from the tsunami. Peru’s production fell in 2011, and that nation imposed $1 billion in new fees on mining companies, according to reports.

Further, much of what’s been happening is interlinked. Many Americans were surprised to learn, in reporting on the European credit mess, that Europe —not the United States—is the largest market for Chinese exports. So what does that mean for China’s economy (and copper demand) if the European sovereign debt mess gets messier? If a double-dip recession strikes in 2012 and Europe gets the worst of it, does China suffer as a direct result?

On the other hand, there’s this perspective from an eight-page special report on copper in the September ABN AMRO (VM Group) report: “The fact that mine supply growth could coincide with a slump in Western demand in 2012-2013 will not be lost on the Chinese…. China will see lower metal prices as a chance to beef up its strategic stockpiles and working stocks…. China will not so do immediately; rather, it will exercise patience, waiting, by and large, for metals prices to bottom be-fore wading in.” (Download a PDF of the report here: http://bit.ly/v4ZTXM.)

However, after reading that report and several others that are freely available, it’s become apparent that the only response one can offer is, “How do they know?”

Salimando writes for “tED,” tedmag.com, and eleblog.com from Fairfax, Va. He can be reached at ecdotcom@gmail.com.

Reprinted with permission from The Electrical Distributor magazine

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CommScope Now Offering Copper-Alternative Grounding Wire to Telecommunications Industry

--Theft Deterring Solution also Helps Reduce Maintenance Costs--

HICKORY, NC, January 12, 2012—The ongoing volatility of copper pricing has created a major concern for the telecommunications industry, in which telecoms operators traditionally use copper ground wire for network grounding and bonding. Rising copper prices negatively impact operating costs by increasing the price of wire and maintenance costs, as copper wire becomes an attractive target for thief's intent on stealing it for sale to recyclers.

To help the industry battle these issues, CommScope, Inc. has developed a copper-alternative grounding wire designed to deter copper theft and lower maintenance costs for telecoms and data applications.

The GroundSmart® Copper Clad Steel solution has been designed for use in subsurface grounding grids, as well as inside and outside plant bonding applications. As a global leader in infrastructure solutions for communication networks, CommScope has been manufacturing copper-alternative solutions for various industries for nearly 30 years. As copper theft continues to grow as a global problem and copper raw material costs increase, the use of Copper Clad Steel alternatives have gained acceptance in more and more applications.

“Companies trying to protect their copper infrastructure have been going to extreme measures to deter theft, many of which are neither successful nor cost effective,” said Doug Wells, vice president, Outside Plant Solutions, Broadband, CommScope. “Companies have increased security around their plants, going as far as laser etching their cables so they can be traced when they are stolen. Others have coated cables with a special liquid that leaves a stain detectable under ultraviolet light. Despite efforts like these, thieves continue to steal copper because of its rising value. The result is costly damage to networks and growing service disruptions.

Copper theft has become such an issue that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a warning stating that copper theft is a threat to critical homeland infrastructure. Also, in a 2009 survey published by the Electrical Safety Foundation International, utilities in the United States reported approximately $60 million in losses and 450,000 minutes of outage time annually because of copper theft.

GroundSmart Copper Clad Steel is specifically designed to disperse fault currents and lightning strikes at a lower total cost of ownership compared to pure copper. It is an electrical conductor that has copper metallurgically bonded to a solid steel core. This solution also makes it less susceptible to theft by increasing the resistance to cutting and drastically decreasing the scrap value. GroundSmart Copper Clad Steel can be jacketed with a polyethylene coating and printed to disguise and distinguish the wire from solid copper alternatives. For inside plant bonding and grounding applications CommScope produces a Copper Clad Aluminum version. The combination of these two metals result in a product uniquely suited for electrical applications where both cost and weight-to-conductivity issues are important. You can also be confident that the National Electrical Code (NEC) allows for CommScope’s Copper Clad Aluminum and Copper Clad Steel grounding solutions as alternatives to solid copper.

GroundSmart Copper Clad Steel and Copper Clad Aluminum benefit from a specialized CommScope BiMetals® technology and manufacturing process. The products are created by bonding different metals into a single conductor, resulting in a low-cost lower risk alternative to using solid copper. This unique solution is produced at the CommScope facility in Statesville, NC, that is ISO 9001 and ISO 14000 registered.

GroundSmart and CommScope BiMetals are registered trademarks of CommScope, Inc.

About CommScope
CommScope (www.commscope.com) has played a role in virtually all the world’s best communication networks. We create the infrastructure that connects people and technologies through every evolution. Our portfolio of end-to-end solutions includes critical infrastructure our customers need to build high-performing wired and wireless networks. As much as technology changes, our goal remains the same: to help our customers create, innovate, design, and build faster and better. We’ll never stop connecting and evolving networks for the business of life at home, at work, and on the go.

 

CABA NewsBrief

www.caba.org Continental Automated Buildings Association

Large Building Automation

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BPI issues second open invitation for subject matter experts
The Building Performance Institute (BPI) is calling for subject matter experts (SMEs) surrounding the development of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Guidelines for Home Energy Professionals project. All SMEs will earn up to five BPI continuing education units (CEUs) for their participation, and be invited to take a free certification exam for the area in which they participated. This exam will be an alternative version to ensure participants can gain certification without taking exams in which they provided input. Building Performance Institute (BPI) (1/18)

Case study: Siemens unit's China strategy
This exclusive case study from the Financial Times focused on Siemens Building Technologies, a division of German industrial group Siemens that focuses on building automation, describes how the firm entered the low-end market for fire detection systems in China. Financial Times (1/17)

First demand response project launched under U.S.-China smart grid cooperative
An agreement has been signed by Honeywell and the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA) to implement China's first smart grid demand response project. Under the Honeywell-TEDA agreement, Honeywell will conduct a demonstration project using its automated demand response (Auto DR) technology at select facilities within the TEDA development area, including office buildings, government and commercial facilities, and industrial plants. Metering.com (1/10)

BIM use for faster project delivery
Boston University is using BIM to help save time -- about 10% -- in the construction of its new 122,000-square-foot student center. Part of that savings comes from the ability to build some of the MEP systems ahead of time. Building information technology "allows us to bring the architects, engineers and subcontractors together to coordinate the building months before anything gets installed," said Christopher Fogg, virtual construction engineer at Bond, a Boston-area construction company. "The visual aspect is worth its weight in gold." Boston Herald (1/8)

Building sensors help NASA facility achieve sustainability
A new building at the Ames Research Center of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in Mountain View, Calif., is slated to receive LEED Platinum status because of its features and design that promote energy-efficiency. The two-story "Sustainability Lab" has 5,000 wireless sensors that regulate indoor temperature and air flow, as well as solar panels and geothermal wells that provide energy. The building also made use of recycled materials. Forbes (1/10)

RFID technology's latent potential increases project efficiencies
Less than 10% of the construction industry has adopted the use of radio frequency identification technology despite its relevance to safety management, inspection compliance and property protection. "Quite honestly, there are a lot of other things I'd love to have my foreman doing than looking for tools," said Ethan Cowles, a senior risk management consultant at FMI Corp. in Denver. "Keeping track of your equipment, knowing whether something is accounted for and sparing the manpower it takes to count widgets or track down tools could be a massive savings." Business Insurance (1/15)

Landis+Gyr acquires remaining stake in Ecologic Analytics
Landis+Gyr, a leading global provider of integrated energy management products, announced that it has completed the transfer of ownership for all of the remaining stock of Ecologic Analytics, bringing Landis+Gyr's ownership to 100 percent. Ecologic Analytics is a global leader in meter data management (MDM) software, which transforms advanced metering infrastructure data into accurate, timely and actionable information for electric, natural gas and water utilities. ARC Advisory Group (1/11)

Opinion: Why aren't all buildings green?
There's no reason for buildings today to not be energy-efficient, says Mario Seneviratne, a Dubai-based engineer responsible for the first green building in the United Arab Emirates. Natural daylight, efficient electrical systems and other components should be universal, he argues. "By now we should stop talking about green buildings. All our buildings should be green," Seneviratne says, adding that "cost-effective measures" and "return on investment" justify the effort. The National (1/12)

Memoori Research releases report on global smart grid market
A new report from Memoori Research on the global smart grid business estimates that $2 trillion will need to be invested globally by 2030 in order to expand the smart grid. Sales of smart grid systems in 2010 stood only at $16 billion, clearly showing the business still has a long way to go. EcoSeed (1/12)

LBNL and U.S. DOE release energy information handbook
The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy have released the Energy Information Handbook: Applications for Energy-Efficient Buildings Operations. This free book guides commercial building owners and operators who have no experience with energy information systems in understanding how to analyze the energy use of buildings, and use their analysis to lower energy costs by operating buildings more efficiently. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (1/15)

Cooper Controls unveils net-zero advanced metering system
Cooper Controls announced it is offering net zero-energy building (ZEB) developers a complete energy monitoring solution through its new Venergy Advanced Metering System. The comprehensive solution from Cooper Controls provides complete energy monitoring for all electric and non-electrical load types including lighting, HVAC, plug loads, photovoltaic, water and gas, amongst others. The solution enables schools, commercial and government facilities, and other organizations to save energy and money and meet LEED and other energy codes. SmartGridElectronics.Net (1/10)

Ericsson to provide Coventry University with telelearning technology
A collaboration between Coventry University and Ericsson is set to bring learning to the mobile age. Ericsson will make it possible for teachers to give live lessons to up to a half-million students online. From their smartphones, students can listen and interact with the lecturer and tutors who are also online. Reuters (1/9)

New IEEE P1901.2 standard for low-frequency, narrowband power line released
IEEE announced that IEEE P1901.2™ – Standard for Low Frequency (Less Than 500 kHz) Narrow Band Power Line Communications (PLC) for Smart Grid Applications — has entered its final approval process in the Working Group. Letter ballot on the draft standard supporting indoor and outdoor communications over low-voltage power lines opened 20 December 2011 and will continue through 25 January 2012. IEEE (1/10)

Canada introduces new innovation commercialization program
The federal government recently announced the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program (CICP), another way to advance the state of technology for smart grid implementations. This program can assist with demonstrations of new Canadian technology and help utilities get an edge on emerging technology. Public Works & Government Services Canada (PWGSC) (1/17)

Wireless makes waves in the building automation market
IMS Research’s latest report “The EMEA and Americas Markets for Building Automation Controllers, Software and Sensors – 2011 Edition” has found the air waves in buildings are increasingly being filled with signals from building automation systems. In 2011, wireless sensors accounted for just over 15% of the 21 million building automation sensors shipped in the EMEA and the Americas markets combined. The number of wireless sensors is forecast to increase to over 25% of total building automation sensors in EMEA and the Americas by 2015. AutomatedBuildings.com (1/12)


Click here for CABA's Industry Events Update

Home Systems

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Online Americans prefer video streaming to downloading, CEA says
More than half of Americans going online at home watch streaming or downloaded video, the Consumer Electronics Association reports, and those online video viewers prefer streaming to downloading by a more than 3-1 ratio. "The rise of mobile broadband has resulted in the emergence of connected devices that are able to stream content directly from the Internet, and services that allow consumers to store and access content without the need of a hard drive," noted Chris Ely, CEA's manager of industry relations. Home Media Magazine (1/17)

Lutron appoints Pessina president
Michael W. Pessina has been appointed President of energy-saving light control manufacturer Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. In his 35-year career with Lutron, Pessina has acquired broad experience in the engineering, quality assurance and manufacturing areas. After being promoted through several management positions, he was appointed to senior vice president in 2000, to executive vice president and chief operating officer in 2002, and to President, Office of Product Development in 2009. Pessina is also a member of Lutron’s Executive Board and Lutron’s Advisory Council. Lutron (1/5)

Time Warner Cable announces IntelligentHome service partnership
Time Warner Cable, ahead of International CES in Las Vegas, revealed plans to expand its IntelligentHome service in partnership with iControl Networks. The home management system, which is currently offered in upstate New York and Southern California, enables users to remotely manage home video, security, heating, cooling and lighting. GigaOm/earth2tech blog (1/9)

HomePlug, IEEE advance home-networking technology
The HomePlug Powerline Alliance this week announced the HomePlug AV2 specification, which it says will provide "gigabit-class" broadband networking speeds carried over electrical power lines. Meanwhile, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers reports that its IEEE P1901.2 standard covering low-frequency narrowband power-line communications for smart-grid applications is in the homestretch of the approval process. Telecompetitor.com (1/10)

Video: Somfy shows off its home automation system at CES
Somfy demonstrates its TaHomA home automation system at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show. CABA's YouTube Channel (1/15)

Verizon taps InstallerNet for home-monitoring service
Verizon and InstallerNet announced at CES that they have reached a deal under which InstallerNet will become the professional installer of choice for Verizon's new Home Monitoring and Control service. Dealerscope (1/10)

Netgear expands home networking portfolio at CES
Netgear is introducing several new models in its line of wireless networking products for the home market at CES. The models include the Powerline Nano 500 adapter, priced at $120, and the N900 four-port Wi-Fi gaming adapter, set at $80. ZDNet/Between the Lines blog (1/9)

Toshiba to offer smart home products in the U.S.
Japan's Toshiba Corp. said it plans to enter the smart home energy market in the United States at the end of this year. Toshiba will use Swiss-based Landis+Gyr, which the electronics manufacturer bought in a $2.3 billion deal last May, to move into the smart grid market in the United States. Reuters (1/8)

Crestron creates cloud-based interoperability initiative for consumer electronics
Crestron introduced its Crestron Connected initiative, which provides the framework for a distributed cloud-based control system. Collaborating with leading manufacturers of commercial and home electronics products, Crestron is embedding its control platform intelligence in a wide selection of source equipment and display devices such as Blu-ray Disc players, flat panel HD TVs, and audio/video receivers. Crestron (1/9)

AlertMe teams with Lowe’s to offer smart home tech to North America market
AlertMe announced a commercial partnership with Lowe’s, the second largest home improvement company in the world, to provide smart home technologies to North American consumers. Based on AlertMe’s multi-protocol smart home platform and home hub, the partnership will deliver a cloud based home management system for the retailer’s new Iris service in North America that will give customers the ability to monitor and control their home from anywhere using their Smartphone or computer. Iris will be introduced in mid-2012 in selected stores. HomeToys.com (1/6)

HomePlug Powerline Alliance introduces AV2 specification
HomePlug Powerline Alliance has made yet another stride forward in the home networking race that leverages existing powerline wires with the introduction of its new AV2 specification. The new AV2 specification offers a number of elements to enhance performance and coverage for powerline-based broadband networks while remaining interoperable with the existing broad base of HomePlug AV / IEEE 1901 compliant products. FierceTelecom (12/1)

Siemens wins CES awards for wireless technology products
Siemens Hearing Instruments, Inc. announced that the miniTek® wireless remote streamer for hearing instruments has received both the prestigious Best of CES and Fan Favorite Awards in the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) 7th Annual Best of CES Awards. With Siemens miniTek’s intuitive wireless controls, users can select from multiple audio sources, including their high tech gadgets, and directly stream audio into their hearing aids. For example, hearing aid wearers can connect wirelessly to TVs, smartphones and MP3 players with the push of a button—allowing them to listen in stereo through their hearing aids at their preferred volume, without disturbing others. Bloomberg (1/12)

Integration is a prime focus for Google
The future of Google, and of the technology industry, is all about integration, said Eric Schmidt, the company's executive chairman, who argues that only when all devices can connect fully will technology arrive at its potential. "You really want to be able to walk into your house and, through your Android device, have all the devices in your house adjust because you've walked in. The TV should know that you've come in and turn on to your favorite show," he said at CES. Computerworld (1/2)

Broadcom unveils four faster Wi-Fi chips at CES
The International Consumer Electronics Show was a major launchpad for a new, faster generation of Wi-Fi that goes about three times faster than current gear, with at least one major silicon vendor announcing and demonstrating a set of chips for the IEEE 802.11ac standard. Network World (1/5)

Video: Siri now can control Crestron home automation systems
Carnes Audio Visual LLC can now enable an iPhone 4S to communicate and control a Crestron home automation system through Siri voice command. YouTube (1/10)

Verizon draws initial conclusions from home-monitoring network
Verizon is learning about customer wants and needs, gaining insight on its smart-home-services initiative now that it has been in pilot mode for a bit. Customers tend to like package offerings, over stand-alone product options, and 95% of users are installing their own smart-home devices. GigaOm (1/15)

Member Press Releases

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Financing HVAC and Building Controls with Section 179D Deductions
Building owners often face a dilemma when considering replacing or updating their HVAC system. Although operating an energy efficient system saves money for business and building owners in the long run, many are concerned by significant first cost. Fortunately, there are strategies that may be initiated to fund energy efficiency projects by significantly lowering the business or building owner’s tax burden.

Other Items

Encelium's New Polaris 3D Lighting Control Software Application Available On December 15
AMX and ViewSonic Partnership Simplifies Projector-Controller Integration

Global Caché and Cortexa Build Partnership

AMX Ships Digital Signage Software that Streamlines Management of Enterprise-Scale Deployments Ahead of Schedule

EMerge Alliance Presented New DC Power Applications at Greenbuild 2011

AMX Begins Shipping RMS Enterprise, Software Connects AV Assets on Unprecedented Scale

Encelium Technologies to Exhibit at Greenbuild 2011 in Toronto and Conduct Rogers Centre Tour

Bedrock Learning Launches New Business Support CDs for Professional Integrators

CMMS and EAM Software Provider Unveils New Brand and Marketing Launch

CABA members can post their media releases by logging into the CABA Web site.

  CABA Research Spotlight

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The Costs and Benefits of Smart Meters For Residential Customers
This white paper from the Institute for Electricity Efficiency provides a framework for quantifying the costs and benefits of residential smart meters from a wide variety of perspectives across a range of electric utility and customer types. Drawing on previous research, utility pilots and analysis, it shows how the magnitude of both costs and benefits might vary according to different utility and customer parameters. While results will vary by utility profile and customer engagement type, the white paper provides a framework that is general enough to be adapted by individual utilities and regulators in conducting their own analysis. Read the full report as published in CABA's Public Research Library. Paid CABA membership provides you access to the world's largest collection of connected home and intelligent building research: CABA Member Research Library.

  Education & Training 

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Verizon Wireless to host CABA's Digital Home Forum
CABA's Digital Home Forum event, to be hosted by Verizon Wireless at its Verizon Center in Basking Ridge, NJ on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 will bring together leading companies involved in the integration of consumer electronics and other cutting-edge technology throughout the home. Register now and receive 15% OFF your registration. CABA invites organizations to use the event as an opportunity 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. Also the next CABA Connected Home Council (CHC) meeting will be held Thursday, March 22, 2012 and all Digital Home Forum attendees will be invited to attend this complimentary meeting chaired by Michael Clay of Verizon Wireless. The face-to face meeting is scheduled from 9 am to 11 am ET at the Verizon Center in Basking Ridge, NJ for attendees, and by conference call for non-attendees. Seating is limited so please confirm your attendance for both the Forum and CHC meeting with Tony Disipio at 613.686.1814 x228 or disipio@caba.org.

Webinar on commercializing Canadian innovation
Public Works & Government Services Canada (PWGSC) is managing a $40M pilot program aimed at helping Canadian technology companies sell their NEW innovative products and solutions to the Canadian federal government. Only new innovations and systems are eligible (i.e. they have never been sold commercially). If a proposal is successful, PWGSC can give a federal government department up to $500K to purchase, test, and showcase the technology. The money does not have to be repaid and should result in additional sales for the companies involved. There is a free webinar on the program on January 18th and free information seminars in Nanaimo on January 24th and Vancouver on February 9th.

Webinar Replay: Smart Grid Educational Series; January 2012
Moderated by Erfan Ibrahim, Founder and CEO of The Bit Bazaar LLC – A Marketplace for Digital Ideas (formerly of EPRI), the purpose of this online educational series is to bridge the knowledge gap in the industry and inspire a new generation of students, researchers, engineers, and policy experts to understand the technical, policy and business requirements to enable Smart Grids and develop the skill set to design, build and manage the infrastructure in a commercially viable way. The first webinar in this series will feature the Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE).

Special CABA Offer: 50% off ARC Advisory Group's Annual World Industry Forum
The 2012 ARC World Industry Forum will focus on asset management, production efficiency, product quality, safety, sustainability, and supply chain efficiency, to help you develop winning strategies. It will provide the ideal environment for industry executives to collaborate, share ideas, and find new ways to attack their most pressing problems. The event includes sessions on the major issues facing our industry, with multiple tracks that enable executives to explore these topics from different perspectives. Dynamic roundtable discussions will provide an intimate opportunity for attendees to ask questions and share experiences with the speakers and their peers. Owner/operators, solution providers, and technical experts will all benefit from this experience while simultaneously contributing to the community’s body of knowledge. CABA members can attend this event for 50% off. Use source code CABA2012 when registering.

 CABA News

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CABA adds CES 2012 videos to YouTube Channel
CABA has added interview videos from some of the most innovative companies that exhibited at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week. Organizations that have been profiled include Texas Instruments, Corning, Greenpeak Technologies, Schlage, Somfy, Philips, Stanley Black & Decker, Yale, Lutron, LG, Pella, DLNA, Parrot, Toshiba, Qualcomm, Global Cache, UnitedHealth Group, Monster, Samsung and the ZigBee Alliance.

CABA to profile smart grid for intelligent buildings research
CABA will be unveiling its "Smart Grid's Impact on Intelligent Buildings" research study on Monday, January 23, 2012 during ASHRAE/AHR Expo in Chicago. This research assessed the business opportunities around the integration of smart grids into intelligent controls and building automation systems within the commercial buildings market. The following organizations sponsored the research completed by CABA and BSRIA: Belimo Air Controls Inc., Cadillac Fairview Corporation, CommScope Inc., CoR Advisors, Diebold Incorporated, Energent Incorporated, GE Energy Services, Grundfos Pumps Corp., Honeywell International/Tridium, Hydro-Québec, InfoComm International, Ingersoll Rand/Trane/Schlage, Johnson Controls, Legrand/Ortronics, Natural Resources Canada, Philips Research North America, Priva North America, Public Works and Government Services Canada, Robinson Solutions, Schneider Electric, Sempra Utilities, Shell International Inc., Siemens Industries Inc., Southern California Edison, US General Services Administration (GSA), Verizon, and Viridity Energy. If you are with one of these organizations and wish to attend the live presentation, please contact Tony Disipio (disipio@caba.org) for meeting or webinar logistics.

CABA seeks sponsors for AHR and IBS events in January
CABA hopes to see you at the 2012 AHR EXPO, in Chicago, IL on January 23 -25, 2012. In February we look forward to seeing you at the International Builders Show in Orlando FL. February 8 – 11, 2012. CABA traditionally holds a reception at each of these events. CABA members and attendees find them a great networking opportunity, providing a chance to explore future CABA initiatives and research opportunities. If you would like to learn how your organization can become involved as a sponsor for the Intelligent & Integrated Buildings Council Reception at AHR (Siemens and Johnson Controls already committed) or the CABA reception at the IBS 2012, please contact George Grimes, CABA's Business Development Manager, at 613.686.1814 x226 or grimes@caba.org.

CABA introduces BiQ Awards, Johnson Controls & Siemens sponsor reception
CABA’s Integrated & Intelligent Buildings Council (IIBC) will be presenting the first annual Building Intelligence Quotient (BiQ) Awards. CABA hopes you will join us at the IIBC meeting and reception, Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place for the presentation of these prestigious awards. For more information on the BiQ go to: www.caba.org/biq. If you would like to attend the Awards presentation, please contact disipio@caba.org as space is limited. The meeting, sponsored by Johnson Controls (Diamond Sponsor) and Siemens (Silver Sponsor), will be held at 3:30 pm and the reception will follow immediately afterwards at 5:30 pm with drinks and appetizers. And don’t forget to visit the CABA exhibit at the AHR Expo in the South Hall at booth #3642.

SMART QUOTE = You can fool all the people all the time if the advertising is right and the budget is big enough." Joseph E. Levine American Film Producer

www.caba.org Continental Automated Buildings Association

 

ShoreTel Reinforces Commitment to Resellers with Program and Systems Enhancements

Latest investments in reseller tools and resources demonstrate ShoreTel’s channel leadership

SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- ShoreTel Inc. (NASDAQ:SHOR - News), the leading provider of brilliantly simple IP phone systems with fully integrated unified communications (UC), today announced Certification Central, a new learning management training system associated with ShoreTel University; an updated reseller dashboard, a critical partner relationship management tool; and a revitalized store for resellers, for quick and easy access to print-on-demand ShoreTel collateral and other demand creation tools – all available internationally. Mirroring the brilliant simplicity of its Champion Partner Program, ShoreTel strives to provide resellers with easy-to-use tools that support a successful business relationship, while delivering some of the best product and service margins in the industry.

These updates made to the Champion Partner Program are specifically for the benefit of the reseller community. ShoreTel relies on an outstanding network of channel reseller partners to deliver end-to-end solutions that produce a competitive advantage for customers. To learn more about becoming a ShoreTel certified reseller, visit http://www.shoretel.com/partners/resellers.

ShoreTel University Certification Central

ShoreTel’s new Learning Management System, now known as Certification Central, has been revamped to provide easy-to-manage tracking of courses, certificates and calendars to provide a higher level of service to the reseller. These changes have made managing certification requirements for ShoreTel’s brilliantly simple Champion Partner Program even easier.

ShoreTel’s ongoing dedication to training enables resellers and customers to learn via the method that best fits an organization’s individual needs – whether that’s classroom, Web or self-paced training. Every certification class is available in person and online – giving both resellers and customers access to training-on-demand or in-person. Additionally, training “labs” can be accessed remotely, so participants can experience real-life scenarios without needing their own equipment.

Champion Partner Dashboard for Resellers

The enhanced reseller dashboard continues the company’s tradition of making it easy for resellers to do business with ShoreTel and provides comprehensive benefits not found with most other vendors. The dashboard is a one-stop-shop for reseller partners to instantly take a pulse on their business. Summarizing a reseller’s current status and key partner metrics, the all-in-one dashboard reflects the requirements achieved for the present Champion Partner tier and highlights any gaps. The dashboard also provides daily updates for resellers to view and analyze their total ShoreTel business, customer satisfaction, TAC utilization, certified resources and details of their customer support contracts.

Reseller Store Updates

Accessible from the website dedicated to resellers and their customized dashboard, resellers can easily co-brand collateral – such as brochures, reference guides, solution briefs and product specification sheets – in just a few simple steps. Customization is completely free to resellers and can be locally printed and delivered by ShoreTel’s vendor, for ultimate ease and convenience. It’s a one-stop-shop to building a successful demand creation activity -- whether lunch-and-learn, trade show or customer appreciation event.

Quotes

“Remarkably, ShoreTel’s partner reseller programs, tools and resources rival those of our billion-dollar competitors – while delivering even higher levels of partner satisfaction and margin performance. ShoreTel’s 5-Star Partner Reseller Program, as recognized by Everything Channel, is a 100-percent channel-driven model, reinforcing ShoreTel’s commitment to brilliant simplicity in making it easier for resellers to do business with us. This means resellers can be confident they will earn more in a ShoreTel partnership.”
- Tom Hamilton, senior director of worldwide channels at ShoreTel.

“CNP now regularly customizes the ShoreTel literature with our company logo. It has made our process so much more simple and efficient and really helps us to distinguish CNP as a top ShoreTel Partner. ShoreTel is one of few companies offering such comprehensive tools in one, easy-to-access location; I don’t know of any other company that offers as many resources for its partners under one roof.”
- Brigitte Carr, CNP Technologies, LLC.

Related Links & Conversation

Subscribe to ShoreTel’s blog.

Follow ShoreTel on Twitter and Facebook.

#ShoreTel, #UC

About ShoreTel

ShoreTel, Inc. (NASDAQ: SHOR - News) is the provider of brilliantly simple Unified Communication (UC) solutions based on its award-winning IP business phone system. We offer organizations of all sizes integrated, voice, video, data, and mobile communications on an open, distributed IP architecture that helps significantly reduce the complexity and costs typically associated with other solutions. The feature-rich ShoreTel UC system offers the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO) and the highest customer satisfaction in the industry, in part because it is easy to deploy, manage, scale and use. Increasingly, companies around the world are finding a competitive edge by replacing business-as-usual with new thinking, and choosing ShoreTel to handle their integrated business communication. ShoreTel is based in Sunnyvale, California, and has regional offices in Austin, Texas; United Kingdom; Sydney, Australia; and Singapore. For more information, visit www.shoretel.com.

 

S+LSS Cool Tools: Labeling Tools = Cabling without labeling is a job unfinished by Jeff Griffin

Published: December 2012 - the ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine. www.ecmag.com

“Cable infrastructure is very expensive and highly labor--intensive to install, and the first and most important step in preserving this investment is to label it,” said Frank Bisbee, editor of the online electronic magazine Heard on the Street (www.wireville.com).

This advice applies to security, surveillance, alarm and control systems, and communications and datacom networks.

For large projects, labels may be printed in the office or warehouse and taken to the job site. When a lower volume of labels is required, or customized unique identifier labels are needed, printing them on-site may be the best option. In those situations, there is an impressive selection of portable labeling tools that quickly and easily produce labels on a variety of materials in different sizes. The latest models are easy to operate with one hand.

“The volume of capabilities in today’s portable printers is impressive,” said Stewart Landy, North America product manager for portable printers, Brady Worldwide Inc. (www.bradyid.com).

“Portable printers have gotten much easier to use,” Landy said. “Built-in software has simplified the way to create complex labels. Printers offer large screens with what-you-see-is-what-you-get technology, so the user views the label being created before it’s printed—no need to waste label materials on ‘test’ labels.”

In addition, the latest portable printers offer the same variety of materials as many of the desktop printers, allowing them to make up to 2-inch-wide labels and to use specialty materials to create reflective labels, glow-in-the-dark labels, raised-panel labels, and more.

Volume capabilities have also increased on today’s portable printers. They can print up to 1.5 inches per second, making it easy to print large labeling jobs without being tethered to a computer and desktop printer.

Panduit (www.panduit.com) Product Manager Chris McConnell said intelligent label cassettes automate the setup process and save the last file printed.

“PC connectivity of today’s label printers allows printing from labeling software, file transfers and system upgrades,” McConnell said. “There are expanded offerings of industrial labels in both die-cut and continuous formats. Incorporation of market-based labeling application wizards make label design quicker and easier, while ensuring conformance to industry standards. Enhanced capabilities very easily allow creation of customized and complex labels.”

Brady’s Landy said the most common labeling needs for building security and control systems are equipment and hardware identification, wire and cable marking, and bar code labeling for security checkpoints with a variety of labels available for different applications.

“Self-laminating and other types of vinyl labels are best for curved surfaces, like wires and cables, while polyester is best for flat, smooth surfaces, like equipment and hardware,” Landy said. “There also are a number of specialty label material that are ideal for security projects as well. Glow-in-the-dark and reflective label materials can be used for equipment and device identification. In case of a power outage or fire, glow-in-the-dark identifier labels can be easily seen in the dark, and the reflective labels reflect the light of a flashlight for quick identification.

“Raised-panel labels are a popular specialty label because they offer significant cost savings. These labels can replace engraved tags on equipment identification and security check points. They are far less expensive than engraved tags and can be printed using an in-house label printer.”

Landy said bar code labels are becoming increasingly important as security technology and inspection tracking software continues to progress.

Instead of touch tags, which are highly noticeable and stick out from the surface, Landy said security managers are now using bar code labels as checkpoints throughout their security and inspection routes.
“Bar codes provide identification on the security device and also serve as points of reference that security managers can scan to track their inspection intervals,” Landy said. “Used in conjunction with inspection-tracking software, bar codes provide documented proof that the person was physically present at the inspection point. It also allows the security manager to access a tracked history of inspections for the specific device, or review post-installation requirements for inspecting. This documentation is vital for audits and emergencies.”

Advances in labeling software focuses on ease of use.

“Software is becoming more visual and intuitive for the user, enabling them to find the information they need faster and easier,” Landy said. “The easier the software is to use, the higher the employee productivity level can be. Many labeling software programs are now integrated with adjacent desktop applications, like Microsoft Excel, AutoCAD and Microsoft Visio. With the support of software, labels can be designed and printed directly from these programs, which offers a number of time-saving benefits.”

Environmental data has also been heavily integrated into the desktop software space. New software programs offer “wizards” for common labeling applications. Simply select the manufacturer and model of their patch panel, and the software will automatically direct the user to the appropriate patch panel label.

Another improvement in labeling software is bidirectional communication between the software and printer. The latest software versions can identify the label material within a printer and automatically generate the label type and size—before the user even enters any information into the software, making it no longer necessary to waste time searching for the correct label type to input into the software.

What should buyers consider when evaluating labeling products?

Key factors, Landy said, are durability of the printer and labels, ease of use, capability of printing a variety of sizes and types of labels, and capability of the printer to operate both alone or connected to a PC. Also, printers and the label materials must withstand tough, industrial environments. Regular labels will smear, fade or fall off, making them an unreliable form of identification.

McConnell said the choice of labeling products centers on ease of use, productivity and total cost of ownership.


GRIFFIN, a construction and tools writer from Oklahoma City, can be reached at up-front@cox.net. Jeff “The Toolman” Griffin is an industry expert on the tools we use to install and maintain the infrastructure. His articles are an excellent training supplement for those technicians just starting out or simply trying to keep current. He is a real credit to the ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine. One more reason ECMAG is number one.

Reprinted with permission from the ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine www.ecmag.com this publication serves the unique and specific informational needs of 60,000 electrical/low voltage contractors documented to work in all areas of integrated systems. Additionally, their website reaches more than a million and a half readers each month. This powerful publication is the leader in addressing INTEGRATED SYSTEMS.

 

Retired/Bored Husband Syndrome – Humor -  Start the year with a smile…

After I retired, my wife insisted that I accompany her on her trips to Target. Unfortunately, like most men, I found shopping boring and preferred to get in and get out. Equally unfortunate, my wife is like most women - she loves to browse.

Yesterday my dear wife received the following letter from the local Target:

Dear Mrs. Harris,

Over the past six months, your husband has caused quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and have been forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against your husband, Mr. Harris, are listed below and are documented by our video surveillance cameras:

1. June 15: He took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in other people's carts when they weren't looking.

2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.

3. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, 'Code 3 in Housewares. Get on it right away'. This caused the employee to leave her assigned station and receive a reprimand from her Supervisor that in turn resulted with a union grievance, causing management to lose time and costing the company money.

4. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a bag of M&Ms on layaway

5. August 14: Moved a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.

6. August 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told the children shoppers he'd invite them in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department to which twenty children obliged.

7. August 23: When a clerk asked if they could help him he began crying and screamed, 'Why can't you people just leave me alone?' EMTs were called.

8. September 4: Looked right into the security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked his nose.

9. September 10: While handling guns in the hunting department, he asked the clerk where the antidepressants were.

10. October 3: Darted around the Store suspiciously while loudly humming the ' Mission Impossible' theme.

11. October 6: In the auto department, he practiced his 'Madonna look' by using different sizes of funnels on his chest.

12. October 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through, he yelled 'PICK ME! PICK ME!'

13. October 22
: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumed a
fetal position and screamed 'OH NO! IT'S THOSE VOICES AGAIN!'

14. Took a box of condoms to the Check Out clerk and asked where the fitting room was?

And last, but not least:

15. October 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile, and then yelled very loudly, 'Hey! There's no toilet paper in here.'
One of the clerks passed out.

Start the year with a smile…

 

THE FIVE RULES OF CLOUD COMPUTING LITIGATION - article by Carlini

“Once you get into Cloud Computing and past the glossy euphemisms, you better watch out for the real rocks in the road,” observes James Carlini.

Cloud computing is the major approach that most organizations should be adapting for their applications in this new era of mobile computing.”  You have all read the ads and the articles that hype it, along with all the overnight experts that tout how they know that Cloud Computing is the universal solution for today’s and tomorrow’s organizations.  Now, let’s get back on the ground and understand what some of the real potholes and obstacles are on the road to a more efficient and effective IT infrastructure.

RULES OF THE ROAD, RULES OF THE CLOUDS

There are many “experts” out there touting all the positive aspects to Cloud Computing but like anything else, there are issues and concerns to address.

First, no technology runs by itself.  If you think Cloud Computing and shared resources don’t need support and administration on YOUR side of the cloud, you are sadly mistaken.

Rule Number One: Make sure you have the proper oversight on this service as well as its vendor(s) upfront.

Second, a good contract for services should define the roles and responsibilities on both sides.  This follows Rule Number One.  You should know what the service vendor  provides and what the actions are that your organization needs to perform.  Read the fine print as you will find it still needs you to have some hands-on management. 

Don’t rely on the vendor to take care of everything.  And if the vendor is smart, the contract is very well-defined and does not leave anything for interpretation later down the road. 

Rule Number Two:  Make sure your contract is well-defined as to roles and responsibilities.  By doing this, you insure what you need to do is crystal clear and this actually applies to (and protects) both parties.

Third, make sure you have a complete diagram of the network configuration that has been developed for you.

This is very critical and in most cases when problems arise, I ask for the Network Configuration Map that shows the total configuration of the Enterprise.  At best, there is nothing up-to-date and at worst, which is mostly the case, there is nothing to review.

How can you possibly manage something when you don’t even have a diagram to review what you have in place?  How do you know the vendor is delivering on what they have promised?  How do you modify it, when you need to add or subtract people?  I could go on and on with this because it is so important and yet so overlooked. 

When I see there is no Network Configuration Map, I immediately know there are real problems with this organization and their whole infrastructure, let alone their Cloud Computing applications.

Rule Number Three: Make sure you have an up-to-date network configuration Map that someone can refer to when looking at the current environment as well as later when you are going to modify it.

Fourth, periodic reviews of the service and the performance of the vendor are critical.  You get what you pay for.  Just as there are no such things as a $5,000 new Rolls-Royce, there are no such things as great mission critical application for your company that is only $49.95 a month.

Rule Number Four: Remember that YOU manage the vendors, the vendors don’t manage you.

Fifth, don’t rely on traditional advisors (lawyers and accountants) to give you the insights you need to develop cloud computing applications.  You are looking at technology for your organization, talk to a technologist, not a lawyer or an accountant.

Rule Number Five:  You don’t get Superman by paying Jimmy Olson wages.  Make sure you get the people and skills sets you need to support both the planning and the implementation of the infrastructure.

Learn From Experience Or Get Burned By Experience

The latest litigation I am working on focuses on the lack of the user getting involved in taking responsibility to manage their system and now want to litigate against the provider because of their internal failure to do what was outlined in the contract that they signed.

Litigation costs money, even if you are in the right.  With all the people hyping cloud computing, you better have the right advisor to give you an honest opinion on whether or not you’re getting into a good deal before you sign the contract.

CARLINI-ISM :  Just like all the technology before it as well as after it, “Cloud Computing” is not a silver bullet, nor a universal solution. 

Carlini will be speaking at the BICSI Winter Conference in Orlando, FL in February.  His topic is, “Selling Into Next-Generation Intelligent Building Campus Markets”.  He is also used as an expert witness in civil and federal courts.

Copyright © 2012 – James Carlini  - All rights reserved.

Contact him at James.Carlini@sbcglobal.net

Or 773-370-1888

 

Tackling Communication Technology In A Doctor's Office

Challenge: Design, & Install The Information System For A Doctor's New Office.

The project is a highly complex technical challenge that is far more complicated than a commercial business moving. Why? There are life safety issues to be considered as well as the business side of a family care medical practice.

From the old location:

Phone system with an auto attendant (they also use a live answering service)

6 phones and 5 lines plus a dedicated FAX line to the Fax machine

Computer LAN - switch, server, 5 workstations

A broadband line from a local carrier to provide high-speed Internet access that is always on and faster than the traditional dial-up access.

UNIVERSAL CABLING SYSTEM to be installed in the new office for maximum flexibility. Any station jack can provide any service (voice or data).

CABLE SELECTION IS IMPORTANT ON MANY LEVELS.

(Operation, Performance, Safety & Environment)

First, we determined that the new office space will employ a return-air plenum HVAC service. We must use CMP (code approved) cable. We also want to use a cable that will deliver the performance needed today and over the next decade. We shopped the market and placed our order with Commodity Cables www.commoditycables.com for numerous boxes of CAT6 4pr UTP CMP cable. We checked the UL listing and tested the cable for Cat6 performance. The technicians reported the cable was pliable and as easy to work with as the leading competitors. The price was slightly lower than the major manufacturers CAT6 cable. We recommend Commodity Cables products.

Meeting the new standard in healthcare network infrastructure (ANSI/TIA-1179)

Commodity Cables Inc. cabling solutions address the ANSI/TIA-1179 standard

Support the network demands of advanced patient care

Provide a pathway for higher speed migration

Network connectivity, density and design for every work area

Cable that delivers ample bandwidth, high-density solutions

Meet the increasing demand of digital media (EMR)

Prepare your network for government regulations including HIPAA, ARRA, ONCHIT and the HITECH Act

Enable telemedical collaboration with real-time, high-resolution video

Communication Planning Corporation is very proud to let our customers know that the cabling we utilize for projects such as this, is RoHS compliant.

          The core of the RoHS directive is:  Lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB's) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) are all identified and restricted by EU-RoHS. All are known to be hazardous and toxic to the general public and surrounding environment. The directive defines the limits in part per million (ppm) for each chemical. The products that fall under these restrictions must comply with the EU-RoHS directive by July 2006 or they will not be allowed to be sold in the European Market. RoHS is not a requirement in the USA. It should be.

COMMODITY CABLES CAT6 CMP RoHS Compliant Cables in the air system means a safer IAQ (Indoor Air Quality).

Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS); the definition and aim of the RoHS directive is quite simple. The RoHS directive aims to restrict certain dangerous substances commonly used in electronic and electronic equipment. Any RoHS compliant component is tested for the presence of Lead (Pb), Cadmium (Cd), Mercury (Hg), Hexavalent chromium (Hex-Cr), Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), and Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE). For Cadmium and Hexavalent chromium, there must be less than 0.01% of the substance by weight at raw homogeneous materials level. For Lead, PBB, and PBDE, there must be no more than 0.1% of the material, when calculated by weight at raw homogeneous materials. Any RoHS compliant component must have 100 ppm or less of mercury and the mercury must not have been intentionally added to the component.

Proper cable support hardware was installed from the communications room (rack and patch panels) to the jacks. We used the ever dependable ERICO CADDY® Electrical Fixings, Fasteners and Supports including J-hooks and other related hardware. www.erico.com   The CADDY line features over 700 products for conduit/cable, beam/purlin, stud wall, drywall, ceiling and acoustical applications.

Safety is too important to ignore. Whenever a firewall was penetrated, our Factory Certified Fire Stop Technician installed the proper hardware from Unique Fire Stop Products (manufacturer of split sleeve and smooth penetrator systems for penetrating fire barriers). Unique Fire Stop Products uses intumescent sealants. Fire codes were complied. www.uniquefirestop.com

THE EQUIPMENT ROOM : The Rack & Ladder With UPS

The rack was properly grounded and power was extended to the Para System MinuteMan® 1500 Rack mounted UPS. www.minutemanups.com  The Minuteman UPS protects the LAN and the telephone system from surges and power outages. Individual UPS units are used at the PC workstations. Para Systems, Inc. is a leading provider of power protection and management products including the Minuteman® line of Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) for computers, servers, peripherals, voice and data communication systems, security systems and other mission-critical equipment.

The rack (with proper grounding) was bolted to the floor and bolted to the overhead horizontal ladder. The plenum approved CMP CAT6 4pr UTP station cables were installed overhead to the telephone/ datacom equipment room and terminated on the top CAT6 48 port patch panel A. Other services such as the LAN and Telephone stations were terminated on the CAT6 48 port patch panel B installed below. CAT6 patch cords allow the user to choose any station location for any service desired. Adequate cable management hardware was installed on the rack for the cables and patch cords.

Shelf units were also installed on the rack to accommodate the future installation of the LAN PC Server with RAID, monitor, keyboard & mouse. This will allow server administration and management without interfering with the workstation personnel.

A fire resistant painted 3/4" plywood backboard was installed on the rear wall, to mount: The Telephone System, The Computer LAN Switch, Alarm, Telco, & CATV  DEMARCs. All crossing cables, wiring and cords to the rack are mounted across the ladder to eliminate tripping hazards.

The electrical contractor installed stub out conduit from the outlets to the plenum space with pull cords. Planning makes the job go much smoother and faster.

THE WALL OUTLETS: We used the Siemon Z-Max CAT6 Jacks. Priced reasonable, installs very fast, but highly durable, even delivering CAT6 performance after multiple insertions. www.siemon.com  Cable runs and jacks were also installed at locations deemed appropriate for growth and future needs. The category 6A UTP Z-MAX™ outlet offers best-in-class performance in every critical specification, exceeding all Category 6A performance requirements, including alien crosstalk. Its innovative features not only accelerate and simplify termination, but remove installation variability for consistently high and repeatable performance - every termination, every time.

High-Visibility Icon System - Printed icons allow designation for voice / data applications and also provide an additional color coding option

Compact - Slim and side-stackable for high-density applications. Supports "pass-thru" feature to mount from the front or rear of a faceplate

Guided Termination Features - Lacing channels guide correct conductor placement while 2-sided color-coding provide wiring verification before and after lacing

Enclosed IDC Terminations - IDC terminations are fully enclosed in the outlet housing for robust protection

Robust Hinged Cable Retention - Hinged clip accommodates multiple cable diameters

Spring Door Option - Minimizes exposure to dust and other contaminants as part of the Category 6A UTP Z-MAX cabling system.

TESTED & LABELED

After the station cabling was installed and connected at both the patch panel and the jacks, the cable performance was tested with the Fluke Networks DTX1800 cable analyzer. www.flukenetworks.com  All Commodity Cable station runs passed CAT6 with significant headroom. Then all cables were labeled at both ends in accordance with the latest TIA standards using RHINO Industrial Labeling Systems (www.rhinolabeling.com).  “With the Rhino templates for components, we are able give our installers a means to have a complete standards compliant solution that includes meeting the TIA 606 labeling requirements” stated Kevin Moy, CPC's project manager. Communication Planning Corporation is focused on the goal of maximizing the system as a barrier to obsolescence. The infrastructure is vitally important to the operations of this family medical care facility.  www.communicationplanning.com

Other Design Considerations Used In Healthcare Facilities

ANSI/TIA-1179 Recommended Cable Densities

Protected Pathways – pathways carrying data cables may need to be separated from other services, such as gases and liquids, that may share the above-ceiling spaces; additionally, these pathways must be fire-stopped.

Higher Bandwidth Demands – from transmitting imaging files (MRI, images) to video consultations, networks must work at higher speeds; will need to support 10 Gb/s speeds in critical areas and 40G or 100G in the core.

Data Storage – new government regulations require long-term storage (7 years up to a lifetime), which means constant additions of servers and SANs to the hospital’s network.

Size of TRs - dependent upon the number of applications, rather than the number of users or the floor size served by the TR.

Work Area Outlet – each of the hospitals' networks should be easily identifiable within the outlet using color-coded modules or icons. Additionally, outlets may need to be located in non-traditional locations, such as on a ceiling or on an overhead boom in an operating room. Stainless steel wallplates are available for critical care areas, to make cleaning and sterilization easier.

Outlet Densities – as more equipment is network-enabled, outlet density is dependent upon the number of applications needing to be accessed at that workstation; more outlet connections correlate to additional bandwidth.

MUTUOAs – for retrofit applications, multiple user telecommunication outlet assemblies permanently mounted on a wall or in an architectural column are an option for areas where frequent re-arrangements are required.

No office is complete without TELEVISION

Coaxial cable was also installed to support CATV to screens in the waiting rooms and an office for future telemedicine broadcasts. All the Series 6 coax cables were CMP and run to the DEMARC area in the communications equipment room.

Technology and Privacy Issues

We conducted several system reviews of the medical office after the move and uncovered an area of concern. The insulation in the walls (particularly the exam rooms) provided insufficient sound suppression. They could rebuild the walls for a small fortune, or use technology to correct the problem area. The management had requested a quotation for a background sound system with music. After some research, we found an affordable sound masking system with music that would mask leaking sound and provide comforting music.

HIPAA Privacy for Doctors and Medical Professionals – Technology Plays An Important Role

You know that HIPAA requires medical professionals to safeguard medical records by all reasonable means. You would never put patients’ paperwork on open display, but you might not fully realize what is transmitted verbally. Whether it’s in the open waiting room, through the walls, or via a telephone conversation, the human voice travels. And what has become ordinary and routine to medical staff is very private and personal to your patients. They expect professionalism, which includes safeguarding their medical histories in every way possible.

Sound Masking & How it Works

Perception is everything, and the patients need to feel valued and important enough that you took the proper steps to safeguard both their records and their conversations. Those steps include sound masking. Rather than re-design your entire office or hospital, you can install a simple, but effective sound masking system.

Similar to the concept of “white noise,” sound masking systems employ compact speakers in areas where speech is heard to add low level background sound to an environment. This low level noise fills in the spectrum of sound around building occupants to create an almost undeterminable low background signal, thus drowning out undesired speech or distracting sounds. Contrary to what you may think, sound masking systems use the lowest level of sound necessary for covering, and ultimately are not louder than the gentle “whoosing” sounds typical of an air conditioning system.

Why is sound masking the best solution?
While adding absorption techniques such as carpet and fabric interiors can help ease sound leaks, they also require extensive cleaning and maintenance to remove airborne contaminates, and may deviate from desired aesthetics. Sound masking systems do not give off VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) or contribute in the collection of dust mites or allergens. Rather than tearing out, replacing, or re-designing the office or building, sound masking systems can offer a nearly invisible solution. In addition, modern systems require almost no maintenance cost. The VoiceArrest system requires no tuning and uses a paltry 6 watts of electricity. As in any business, the customer/patient experience cannot be underestimated. Thriving practices grow because their patients have a great experience and high levels of satisfaction. While most physicians and office managers know this, sadly, office acoustics are often overlooked. The effects can be significant: a good “beside manner” can be undone by an overheard conversation from the exam room next door. Increase a patients’ satisfaction level and thereby grow your practice by making simple and relatively inexpensive improvements to the acoustics in your office or building.

HIPAA Resources

HIPAA Privacy Regulations
HIPAA Oral Privacy Requirements
HIPAA FAQs
4 Common HIPAA Mistakes

VoiceArrestTM   300 provides state-of-the-art sound masking

Suitable for spaces ranging from small (50 sq. ft.) to large (3000+ sq. ft.). 

Powered by a standard low voltage power supply. No specialized installation is needed.

Ideal for any open workspace including call centers, pharmacy counters, bank teller windows, hospitals, clinics and counseling offices, law offices and other settings where acoustic privacy is required by law (HIPAA & GLBA) or management desires improved productivity and workplace comfort.

Inconspicuous white-noise emitters are mounted in the ceiling out of reach. Privacy levels are adjusted with a wireless remote. Optional: Music sources can be selected and easily added.  

Able to provide coverage up to 3000 square feet of floor area from a single low voltage power source by adding Emitters as needed. Coverage meets ASTM and E1041 requirements for spatial variation & temporal uniformity. Each Emitter covers 100 sq. ft.

Competition: Most other sound masking units are installed above suspended ceilings (in the plenum). These require extensive engineering analysis. Time-consuming, costly adjustments are needed to compensate for the acoustical effects of the ceiling tiles and plenum insulation.

Cost & Practicality: The high cost of engineering analysis and components of other products make them ill-suited to spaces smaller than 5,000 sq. ft. In addition, their sound spectra are ill-suited for open applications. They were designed for high-walled cubicles.

Unobtrusive Sound Volume: The sound volume they require to meet ASTM standards for "Normal Privacy" in open spaces is intrusive & unpleasant.

Minimal Work Needed: Extensive electrical work above the ceiling tiles may be needed (typically by an electrical contractor).

Portability: Competitor installations are "permanent" and can't be moved easily.

Usability: Modifying the sound level of other products is difficult.

Flexibility: Retrofitting their systems to occupied spaces may be disruptive and expensive.

Technical Specifications - VoiceArrestTM   300

Fits any tile ceiling:  Installation is simple; use the included 2-1/8" hole-saw to cut through ceiling tiles ranging from ½" to 1-1/2" thick.

Coverage: Each Emitter provides coverage for approximately 100 sq. ft.

Power supply: Basic unit powers up to 50 speakers. Units available to power up to 300 speakers. Low voltage-- includes a UL-rated modular power supply and 20-ft. long power cord which plugs into a standard outlet. 

Networking: Units interconnect simply with standard modular cable. The Emitter includes a 16-ft length of plenum-rated modular cable with connectors

Wireless remote controller makes it easy to change settings when required.

Other considerations were also addressed.

Network printers and scanners - moved and reinstalled

FAX machine & printer - moved and reinstalled

Access control - doors - not required at this time

Video surveillance - not required at this time

Emergency lighting - installed by a specialty licensed contractor

Fire alarm system - installed by a specialty licensed contractor

Burglar alarm system - installed by a specialty licensed contractor

In summary, technology plays an increasingly major role in the practice and administration of our healthcare, from large hospitals to an individual doctors' office. Even in tough economic times, the medical sector continues to grow and upgrade with new technology to improve the healthcare delivery systems.

As a final note: Get an ELECTRICIAN! A medical office is NO place for a DIY'er or carpenter to be doing electrical work. Period.

Frank Bisbee is president of Communication Planning Corporation and publishes a widely read monthly newsletter on the communications industry "HOTS - Heard On The Street" e-zine on www.wireville.com

 

NECA 2012 - Las Vegas  Sept. 29th Thru Oct. 2nd = North America’s most important electrical event -  Mark Your Calendar

North America’s most important electrical event assembles the industry’s experts to address the issues that affect your business everyday such as:

Best Practices

Energy Audits & Energy Economic Modeling

Labor Relations

Management

NEC 2011 Code Changes

NFPA Compliance

New Markets & Market Recovery

Business Development

Project Labor Agreements

Workforce Productivity

Smart Grid

Electric Vehicles

Transmission and Distribution

Energy Solutions: Solar/PV, Wind, Hydropower and Storage

Security and Life Safety

BIM

http://www.necaconvention.org/?fa=attendee_info

 

Are America's corporate royalty keeping pace or letting their shareholders sink? Kodak failed to ride the digital technology wave

Each and every company that doesn’t check over their shoulder or even better, step outside and look at the entire field, ahead, beside, and behind, will fail. And, as importantly, you cannot believe that everyone else is waiting…

The demise of the Kodak empire is an amazing story. And this report is very informative. What I find most fascinating is how a powerhouse business can simply die off as it proves incapable of making decisions to save itself. How, I ask, could Kodak management see a run-away train bearing down on them twenty years ago and still fail to get the company off the tracks to safety? 

What amazes me most is that the evaporation of Kodak's revenue has taken this long. Back in the 1980s and 1990's when I was an ad agency art director, most professional photographers spent a small fortune for yellow Kodak packaged film, paper and chemicals. But it was 20 years ago that I saw ominous signs that Kodak was becoming vulnerable to competition. Green Fuji photography products began showing up with growing frequency. First with pros. Then Fuji began to erode Kodak's preeminence with hobbyists.

What should never be forgotten when we look at the demise of a company like Kodak is that this is not a new phenomenon. New Technologies alter the competitive landscape. And those who are blind to shifting sands will eventually suffer severe consequences if they cannot change and adapt.

Before Ford marketed cheap autos there were leading makers of buggies. In 1990 phone companies could charge rather high fees for long distance calling. Today, millions use Vonage and other Internet-enabled communications. Did any of the buggy makers change their business model and survive? Will AT&T be vibrant 20 years from now?

Of course it will be the little people who will be hurt the most. The folks like retirees, current employees, vendors, and local businesses who are directly impacted by Kodak finances will continue to suffer as the company admits to having lost its reason for existing. The stock holders who for whatever reason held on are now owners of a business that is nearly worthless. Workers who have ignored the demise of Kodak's film business should not be shocked as they lose their jobs. The Kodak story will be used in business schools as an example of a business that acted -- through arrogance or stupidity -- as if it was impervious to harm from competitors. 

It is always sad when folks are hurt by economic change. But in this case it seems Kodak could have handled that change in a more creative positive way.  Comment by Dan Carazo – industry analyst and marketing guru dcaraz@optonline.net 

Kodak Failed To Ride The Digital Technology Wave.

Kodak's moment has come and gone.

The glory days when Eastman Kodak Co. ruled the world of film photography lasted for over a century. Then came a stunning reversal of fortune: cutthroat competition from Japanese firms in the 1980s and a seismic shift to the digital technology it pioneered but couldn't capitalize on. Now comes a wistful worry that this icon of American business is edging toward extinction.

Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Thursday, raising the specter that the 132-year-old trailblazer could become the most storied casualty of a digital age.

Already a shadow of its former self, cash-poor Kodak will now reorganize in bankruptcy court, as it seeks to boost its cash position and stay in business. The Rochester, N.Y.-based company is pinning its hopes on peddling a trove of photo patents and morphing into a new-look powerhouse built around printers and ink. Even if it succeeds, it seems unlikely to ever again resemble what its red-on-yellow K logo long stood for — a signature brand synonymous in every corner of the planet with capturing, collecting and sharing images.

"Kodak played a role in pretty much everyone's life in the 20th century because it was the company we entrusted our most treasured possession to — our memories," said Robert Burley, a photography professor at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Its yellow boxes of film, point-and-shoot Brownie and Instamatic cameras, and those hand-sized prints that made it possible for countless millions to freeze-frame their world "were the products used to remember — and really define — what that entire century looked like," Burley said.

"One of the interesting parts of this bankruptcy story is everyone's saddened by it," he continued. "There's a kind of emotional connection to Kodak for many people. You could find that name inside every American household and, in the last five years, it's disappeared."

Kodak has notched just one profitable year since 2004. At the end of a four-year digital makeover during which it dynamited aged factories, chopped and changed businesses and eliminated tens of thousands of jobs, it closed 2007 on a high note with net income of $676 million.

It soon ran smack into the recession — and its momentum reversed.

Years of investor worries over whether Kodak might seek protection from its creditors intensified in September when it hired major restructuring law firm Jones Day as an adviser. Its stock, which topped $94 in 1997, skidded below $1 a share for the first time and, by Jan. 6, hit an all-time closing low of 37 cents.

Three board members recently resigned, and last week, the company announced that it realigned and simplified its business structure in an effort to cut costs, create shareholder value and accelerate its long-drawn-out digital transformation.

The human toll reaches back to the 1980s, when Tokyo-based Fuji, an emerging archrival, began to eat into Kodak's fat profits with novel offerings like single-use film cameras. Beset by excessive caution and strategic stumbles, Kodak was finally forced to cut costs. Its long slide had begun.

Mass layoffs came every few years, unraveling a cozy relationship of company and community that was perhaps unequaled in the annals of American business. Kodak has sliced its global payroll to 18,800 from a peak of 145,300 in 1988, and its hometown rolls to 7,100 from 60,400 in 1982.

Veteran employees who dodged the well-worn ax are not alone in fearing what comes next. Some 25,000 Kodak retirees in this medium-sized city on Lake Ontario's southern shore worry that their diminished health coverage could be clawed back further, if not disappear, in bankruptcy court.

It's a long cry from George Eastman's paternalistic heyday.

Founded by Eastman in 1880, Kodak marketed the world's first flexible roll film in 1888 and turned photography into an overnight craze with a $1 Brownie camera in 1900. Innovation and mass production were about to put the world into cars and airplanes, the American Century was unfolding, and Kodak was ready to record it.

"It's one of the few companies that wiggled its way into the fabric of American life and the American family," said Bob Volpe, 69, a 32-year employee who retired in 1998. "As someone at Kodak once said, 'We put chemicals in one end so our customers can get memories out the other.'"

Intent on keeping his work force happy — they never organized a union — Eastman helped pioneer profit-sharing and, in 1912, began dispensing a generous wage dividend. Going to work for Kodak — "taking the life sentence," as it was called — became a bountiful rite of passage for generations.

"Most of the people who worked at Kodak had a middle-class life without a college education," Volpe said. "Those jobs paid so well, they could buy a boat, two cars, a summer place, and send their kids to college."

Propelled by Eastman's marketing genius, the "Great Yellow Father" held a virtual monopoly of the U.S. photographic industry by 1927. But long after Eastman was stricken with a degenerative spinal disorder and took his own life in 1932, Kodak retained its mighty perch with a succession of innovations.

Foremost was Kodachrome, a slide and motion-picture film extolled for 74 years until its demise in 2009 for its sharpness, archival durability and vibrant hues. In the 1960s, easy-load Instamatic 126 became one of the most popular cameras ever, practically replacing old box cameras. In 1975, engineer Steven Sasson created the first digital camera, a toaster-size prototype capturing black-and-white images at a resolution of 0.1 megapixels.

Through the 1990s, Kodak splurged $4 billion on developing the photo technology inside most of today's cellphones and digital devices. But a reluctance to ease its heavy reliance on film allowed rivals like Canon Inc. and Sony Corp. to rush largely unhindered into the fast-emerging digital arena. The immensely lucrative analog business Kodak worried about undermining too soon was virtually erased in a decade by the filmless photography it invented.

"If you're not willing to cannibalize yourself, others will do it for you," said Mark Zupan, dean of the University of Rochester's business school. "Technology is changing ever more rapidly, the world's becoming more globalized, so to stay at the top of your game is getting increasingly harder."

In November, Kodak warned it could run out of cash in a year if it didn't sell 1,100 digital-imaging patents it's been shopping around since July. Analysts estimate they could fetch at least $2 billion.

In the meantime, Kodak has focused its future on new lines of inkjet printers that it says are on the verge of turning a profit. It expects printers, software and packaging to produce more than twice as much revenue by 2013 and account by then for 25 percent of the company's total revenue, or nearly $2 billion.

CEO Antonio Perez said in a statement Thursday that the bankruptcy filing is "a necessary step and the right thing to do for the future of Kodak." The company has secured $950 million in financing from Citigroup Inc., and expects to be able to operate its business during bankruptcy reorganization and pay employees.

On its website, Kodak assured customers that the nearly $1 billion in debtor-in-possession financing would be sufficient to pay vendors, suppliers and other business partners in full for goods and services going forward. The bankruptcy filing in the Southern District of New York does not involve Kodak's international operations.

"To be able to hop from stone to stone across the stream takes great agility and foresight and passion for excellence, and Kodak is capable of that. They have some killer stuff in inkjet printing. It's becoming a profitable product line but what they need is the runway to allow it to take off," Zupan said. "As the saying goes, 'the best way to anticipate the future is to invent it.'"

The company and its board are being advised by Lazard, FTI Consulting Inc. and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. Dominic DiNapoli, vice chairman of FTI Consulting, will serve as chief restructuring officer. Kodak expects to complete its U.S.-based restructuring during 2013.

Kodak failed to ride the digital technology wave. Is your plan focused on change?

 

The Electrical Distributor [tED] Magazine new look on the web

Have you seen the new tedmag.com homepage yet? They have redesigned it to bring you more of the industry news and information you need every day. Plus they have some great new interactive and multimedia content. Check it out and let them know what you think! www.tedmag.com  www.naed.org

 

BICSI News Magazine and BICSI Marketing Materials Win Big!

BICSI’s Marketing Department recently won the distinguished 2011 MarCom Award in three categories. The September/October 2011 issue of BICSI News Magazine was a Platinum Award winner in the Magazine/Association category. Platinum status is presented to the most outstanding entries, recognized for their excellence in quality, creativity and resourcefulness. www.bicsi.org

In addition, the 2011 BICSI Corporate Marketing Opportunities was judged as a Gold Award winner in the Media Kit/Marketing Promotion category, and the About BICSI brochure/card packet received Honorable Mention in the Brochure/Company Overview category.

Administrated and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals, the MarCom Awards is a well-respected international creative competition that recognizes outstanding achievement by marketing and communications professionals. 

 

International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) is the pre-eminent communications technology event for the working world

You've all heard the buzz words – LTE, 700 MHz, narrowbanding, P25, broadband, mobile data, VoIP, smart grid, and more...

At IWCE 2012, get the real information. Learn from other cities, other colleagues, other agencies, other enterprises and the experts in communications technology systems.

At IWCE, see an exhibit hall packed with over 330 leading suppliers showcasing the latest products and services in the communications technology marketplace.  Touch the most innovative technology that will help you do your job more efficiently and effectively. Connect with colleagues from around the world, and attend an expansive conference program of training, workshops and sessions on specific technologies and applications.

Join the global connection at IWCE 2012, the pre-eminent communications technology systems event for the working world.  Feb.22-23, 2012 Las Vegas Convention Center.

From land mobile radio, to wireless mobility… voice, video, data and everything in between… IWCE is the pre-eminent event for education, networking and collaboration.

From Land Mobile Radio... to Wireless Mobility... Voice...Video... Data... and everything in-between — IWCE is the pre-eminent event for education, networking and collaboration in the convergent communications systems marketplace.

At IWCE, http://www.iwceexpo.com/iwce2012/Public  Over 330 exhibitors showcase the latest in convergent communications technology. 

 

Code Article: Answers, STAT! (Electrical installations in healthcare facilities) reprinted from ECMAG

Answers, STAT!

Electrical installations in healthcare facilities

by James G. Stallcup
Published: December 2011

At the end of each workshop on the National Electrical Code (NEC), I allow time for discussion. At a major healthcare facility in Houston, I fielded questions pertaining to installations of receptacles and other related equipment. Here are those questions and my answers, which are based on the 2011 NEC.

What is a battery-powered lighting unit (B-PLU), and how is it supposed to be connected and used in an anesthetizing location?
A battery-power lighting unit is manufactured for backup power for illumination in anesthetizing locations and can be connected to the critical branch circuit in the area ahead of any local switches.

Will the B-PLU provide backup power for lighting in the anesthetizing area until the normal or generator set comes online?
B-PLUs provide power for lighting during the transitional period that the generator set is coming online, but they have the capacity to power the lighting for 90 minutes. The units provide this time (90 minutes), in case the generator fails to come online for some reason. See Section 517.2 in the 2011 NEC that defines a B-PLU that is used for this type of installation.

Has there been a change in the way the insulated equipment-grounding conductor (IEGC) is installed and used in the patient-care area of a healthcare facility? If so, please explain the new requirements.
Yes, there has been a revision to 517.13(B) in the 2011 NEC that requires the following items to be connected to the IEGC: (1) the grounding terminals of all receptacles, (2) the metal boxes and enclosures containing receptacles, and (3) all noncurrent-carrying conductors of fixed equipment likely to become energized that are subject to personal contact and are operating at more than 100 volts.

Note that the IEGC must be sized per 250.122 and 517.13(B)(2). An insulated equipment-bonding jumper is permitted to be connected directly to the IEGC and then to the metal box as outlined in 517.13(B)(1). Table 250.122 was changed to 250.122 so that all of the section requirements are addressed. For example, if adjustment factors, correction factors or voltage-drop problems caused the ungrounded conductors to be increased, the IEGC must be increased if necessary per 250.122(B).

Can an electrical contractor install a receptacle with an insulated-grounding terminal where a customer wants such an installation? Will the 2011 NEC permit this type of installation? If not, please explain why it has been changed.
No, it can’t be installed. Section 517.16 has been revised, and the fine print note in previous versions has been deleted. The new language prohibits isolated--grounding receptacles and circuits to be installed in patient care locations. The Code-making panel accepted this revised wording because they felt safety for patients was more important than installing a redundant grounding path for reducing electrical noise on grounding circuits. Note that inspections have been made where the insulated-equipment conductor was connected directly to the isolated-grounding receptacle terminals and insulated equipment-grounding conductor, removing the redundant grounding scheme required by the 2011 NEC. So, this revised section puts more emphasis on patient safety than it does on reducing electrical noise.

Will 517.17(B) in the 2011 NEC permit ground-fault protection (GFP) to be installed? Can GFP be installed ahead of the transfer switch at the service equipment or at the generator set? Can it be installed on the load side of the transfer switch, or does GFP have to be installed on the line side of the transfer switch?
First of all, revisions and deletions were incorporated into the GFP requirements pertaining to feeders installed in healthcare facilities and permits GFP be installed on the line side but not on the load side of the transfer equipment. Secondly, GFP can be installed ahead of the transfer equipment at the service equipment and also is permitted to locate at the generator set.

Is it permissible per 517.18(A) to use a multiwire circuit to supply power to receptacles located at the patient bed location in a healthcare facility? If so, can two ungrounded conductors from the same phase having an oversized neutral conductor be considered a multiwire circuit?
First, no. The 2011 NEC will not permit branch circuits to be part of a multiwire circuit system when they serve receptacles located at the bed location in general care and critical-care areas. Second, no. It is 200.4 and not 210.4 that prohibits two ungrounded conductors with an oversize neutral to be considered a multiwire circuit to be used for supplying these branch circuits.

STALLCUP is the CEO of Grayboy Inc., which develops and authors publications for the electrical industry and specializes in classroom training on the National Electrical Code and other standards, including those from OSHA. Contact him at 817.581.2206.

Reprinted with permission from the ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine www.ecmag.com this publication serves the unique and specific informational needs of 60,000 electrical/low voltage contractors documented to work in all areas of integrated systems. Additionally, their website reaches more than a million and a half readers each month. This powerful publication is the leader in addressing INTEGRATED SYSTEMS.

 

NECA NEWS December 2011

National Electrical Contractors Association www.necanet.org

New Page on DOE Site Dedicated to EV Infrastructure Training Program

01/03/2012

Established only months ago, the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program had trained and certified 150 instructors and nearly 750 electricians by the end of 2011 and was recently recognized by the Department of Energy with an EVITP webpage added to DOE's Clean Cities site.

more

National Staff Change: New Education Services Manager

12/31/2011

more

Registration Open for 2012 NECA Labor Relations Conference!

12/29/2011

The next NECA Labor Relations Conference will be held March 7-8, 2012, in New Orleans, with a half-day pre-conference workshop on “Inspiring Trust” the afternoon of March 6. Early registration discounts are available through January 31.

more

Green Building Market Growing Dramatically Despite Recession

12/27/2011

Green building is the bright spot in an otherwise tough economy, representing 25% of all new construction activity in 2010, and in some sectors, that rate of growth has been remarkable. And, dramatic growth is expected to continue for several years.

more

LEED-Certified Existing Buildings Surpass New Construction

12/27/2011

As of the beginning of December 2011, the square footage of LEED-certified existing buildings surpassed LEED-certified new construction by 15 million square feet on a cumulative basis. That means a lot of opportunities in providing energy retrofits and renovation work for qualified electrical contractors!

more

Electrical Connection Helps “Shop with a Cop” Reach Children in Need

12/27/2011

The Electrical Connection, a partnership of the St. Louis Chapter, NECA and IBEW Local 1, donated $3000 to the annual “Shop with a Cop” program in support of needy children. The partners have now donated more than $40,000 in its 17-year commitment to the charitable endeavor.

more

From GridSTAR to the Smart Grid

12/17/2011

NECA and industry allies are already working hard to bring the utility electricity delivery system into the 21st century. One of the most promising methods of advancing Smart Grid development is through our participation in GridSTAR.

more

5 Star Electric Brings Holiday Cheer to Ground Zero

12/15/2011

For the second year in a row, volunteers from 5 Star Electric have decked out One World Trade Center in Manhattan with cheerful holiday lights as the new structure rises from the ashes of 9/11.

more

Welcoming New NECA Student Chapter at Arizona State

12/13/2011

With the establishment of a NECA Student Chapter at Arizona State University, there are now 23 of these groups at universities across the U.S. preparing their young members for management roles in the electrical contracting industry.

more

2012 Electrical Project Supervision (Train-the-Trainer) Schedule

12/10/2011

more

NECA Voices Need to Extend Renewable Energy Tax Incentive Program

12/08/2011

Lake Coulson represented NECA today in a joint press conference with other renewable energy advocates today to call for an extension of the Treasury Grant 1603, a tax incentive program designed to address the front-loaded costs to entrepreneurs of installing renewable energy.

more

Explore Panama, and New Opportunities, at the 2012 Cross Border Meeting

12/03/2011

More than just networking, the 2012 Cross Border Meeting, March 7-9 in Panama City, is about building relationships and strengthening your industry at home and beyond borders. Register ASAP!

more

Rooftop Solar Challenge Aims to Streamline Local Adoption of PV Power

12/02/2011

The Rooftop Solar Challenge awards funded by the U.S. Dept. of Energy SunShot program will help reduce the costs homeowners and businesses pay to install solar energy systems, but it’s important to remember that rooftop PV panel installations must be safe, NECA says.

more

 

SCA Tissue Joins BOMA International as a Leadership Circle Partner

(WASHINGTON – January 23, 2012) SCA Tissue, a global hygiene products solution provider and leading away-from-home paper products manufacturer, announced today that it has joined the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International’s Partnership Program. As a BOMA Leadership Circle Partner, SCA pledges to support BOMA’s vital programs in advocacy, education, research and membership across North America.

BOMA International´s Partnership Program, developed in 2004, allows companies to invest in their own success and viability, as well as that of the building management industry. With three levels of participation—Cornerstone Partner, Leadership Circle Partner and Supporting Partner—the Program demonstrates the commitment of leading organizations to support BOMA International with the resources to advance its advocacy, education and research initiatives that benefit the entire commercial real estate industry.

SCA Tissue, develops, produces and markets, towels, tissues, napkins, wipers, skin care, and dispensing solutions. SCA is committed to developing innovations that improve customers' businesses, and their bottom lines, through creative uses of technology and insights, supported by unparalleled, customer-focused service.

“We are very pleased SCA has joined our Partnership Program and we look forward to working together on a variety of programs,” commented BOMA International Chair Boyd R. Zoccola, executive vice president, Hokanson Companies Inc. “With their commitment to economic and social responsibility and excellence in service, they are a natural fit to our Partnership Program and will help us build on our platform of resources and initiatives to serve commercial real estate professionals.”

”SCA is dedicated to our customer segments and sees this partnership with BOMA as an opportunity to further enhance the building management industry,” said Joe Russo, vice president of sales and marketing for SCA Tissue. “Our goal is to continue to provide the key resources for building managers to succeed and excel in their industry.”

***

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

About SCA Tissue
SCA’s North American tissue division is one of the three largest producers of away from home tissue products in North America, supplying paper napkins, tissues, towels, specialty wipers, dispensers and skin care  used in commercial settings such as restaurants, office buildings, schools and healthcare facilities. Tork® products are made from 100-percent recycled content. SCA recycles more than 750,000 pounds of paper a year; on average, more than 60 percent of those tons are post-consumer waste. The first American papermaker to earn EcoLogo™ certification, SCA also has earned Green Seal™ certification on many of its products. The company has more than 2,200 employees in the United States and Canada. More information is available at www.torkusa.com or www.tork.ca.

 

Dow and Teknor Apex Announce Collaboration Agreement for Broad Range of Flexible Vinyl Applications

Houston, TX and Pawtucket, RI, U.S.A. – January 23, 2012 – A change is in the air when it comes to products produced with flexible vinyl compounds. Dow Electrical & Telecommunications (Dow E&T), a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company, and Teknor Apex Company are excited to announce a joint market development agreement for flexible vinyl in several application areas. Under a joint Collaboration Agreement, Teknor Apex was granted exclusive marketing rights in North America for flexible vinyl compounds containing DOW ECOLIBRIUM™ Bio-Based Plasticizers in certain applications such as consumer and industrial products, certain medical devices1, automotive components, and select wire and cable products. Teknor Apex plans to commercialize compounds made with DOW ECOLIBRIUM this year and will introduce the new compounds at NPE 2012 in April. 

“Our relationship with Teknor Apex has provided Dow E&T with a unique opportunity to market beyond the power industry,” says Thorne Bartlett, New Business Development Director, Dow E&T. “Working with a company like Teknor Apex will allow us to bring this sustainable technology to a host of consumer and industrial end products that utilize flexible vinyl compounds, including certain wire and cable construction applications.”

Made from virtually 100% renewable feedstocks, the use of DOW ECOLIBRIUM Bio-Based Plasticizers in flexible vinyl compounds may help cable-makers and durable goods original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40%2 if used instead of traditional diisononyl phthalate PVC plasticizers.

“Environmental Stewardship is serious business at Teknor Apex, and we are committed to the development of innovative compounds utilizing sustainable resources,” said Louis R. Cappucci, Vice President, Vinyl Division of Teknor Apex. “Using DOW ECOLIBRIUM Bio-Based Plasticizers in our world-class compounds will allow both Dow and us to help open doors for those OEMs looking for sustainable solutions in their end products. Compatible with a wide range of applications, footwear, flooring and profiles are among the first targeted areas for our new compounds.”

More information about DOW ECOLIBRIUM Bio-based Plasticizers is available at www.dow.com/ecolibrium.

About Dow Electrical & Telecommunications

Dow Electrical & Telecommunications, a business unit in the Performance Plastics Division of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”), is a leading global provider of products, technology, solutions and knowledge that sets standards for reliability, longevity, efficiency, ease of installation and protection that the power and telecommunications industries can count on in the transmission, distribution and consumption of power, voice and data. Understanding that collaboration is essential to success, Dow Electrical & Telecommunications works together with cable makers, other industry suppliers, utilities, municipalities, testing institutes and other organizations around the world to help develop solutions and create mutual value that will sustain these industries for years to come. For more information, visit www.dow.com/electrical.

About Teknor Apex

A privately held firm founded in 1924, Teknor Apex Company is an international polymer technology company and one of the world’s leading custom compounders of plastics. For U.S. markets, the company also manufactures chemicals such as plasticizers and the nationally branded consumer product, Apex® garden hose. Teknor Apex is headquartered in Pawtucket, RI, USA, operates manufacturing facilities around the world, and sells in 90 countries. Six of the eight Teknor Apex business units focus on plastics compounding, including bioplastics; color concentrates; nylons; thermoplastic elastomers; toll and specialty compounds; and flexible and rigid vinyl. The company’s operations in the US serve customers throughout the Americas. Subsidiaries in China, Singapore, and the United Kingdom serve customers in Asia, Africa, the Mideast, and Europe. Visit www.teknorapex.com.

[1] Dow will not knowingly sell or sample any product or service (“Product”) into any commercial or developmental application that is intended for:

a.  permanent (Long term) contact with internal body fluids or internal body tissues. Long term is a use which exceeds 72 continuous hours (except 30 days for PELLETHANE* polyurethane elastomers);

b.  use in cardiac prosthetic devices regardless of the length of time involved (cardiac prosthetic devices include, but are not limited to, pacemaker leads and devices, artificial hearts, heart valves, intra-aortic balloons and control systems and ventricular bypass assisted devices);

c.  use as a critical component in medical devices that support or sustain human life; or

d.  use specifically by pregnant women or in applications designed specifically to promote or interfere with human reproduction.

Additionally, all Products intended for use in pharmaceutical applications must pass the then current Pharmaceutical Liability Guidelines.

2 Based on lifecycle analysis (LCA) tests conducted by The Dow Chemical Company and third-party reviewed.

™ ECOLIBRIUM is trademark of The Dow Chemical Company ("Dow") or an affiliated company of Dow.

®Apex is a trademark of Teknor Apex

®The DOW DIAMOND is a registered trademark of The Dow Chemical Company

 

General Cable’s Lawrenceburg, Kentucky And Lincoln, Rhode Island Manufacturing Facilities Receive Industryweek’s Best Plants Award


As Two Of The Best Manufacturing Plants In North America

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, KENTUCKY, January 11, 2012 – Two General Cable manufacturing facilities have been named as winners in IndustryWeek’s 2011 Best Plants Competition.  General Cable’s Lawrenceburg, Kentucky manufacturing facility, which produces communications wire and cable, and Lincoln, Rhode Island plant, which manufactures portable cord, ignition wire and renewable products, has been selected by Penton Media's IndustryWeek magazine, the leading publication among senior manufacturing executives, as two of the 10 Best Plants in North America.  IndustryWeek’s Best Plants Award Program, which started 22 years ago, is an annual salute to outstanding manufacturing facilities across all industries that are on the leading edge of efforts to increase competitiveness, enhance customer satisfaction, and create stimulating and rewarding work environments.

The IndustryWeek Best Plants program is an annual celebration of world-class manufacturing and continuous improvement practices, and demonstrates that manufacturing excellence continues to flourish across North America.  In addition to the operational efficiency of the 10 factories chosen as ‘best plants,’ these facilities share the common trait of an unending pursuit of excellence, recognizing they can’t be leaders in their industries without their employees’ support, involvement and commitment.

In comments about the IndustryWeek Best Plants winners, who are featured in the January 2012 issue of IndustryWeek, Senior Editor, Jill Jusko, states, “The 2011 class of IndustryWeek’s Best Plants winners embodies the types of facilities we like to celebrate: committed to excellence and driven to get better every single day.  The Best Plants honor recognizes a facility’s world-class manufacturing capabilities and its commitment to continuous improvement.  IndustryWeek applauds these high-achievers.

General Cable’s Lincoln plant will receive a commemorative award during ceremonies scheduled for January 19, 2012.  General Cable’s Lawrenceburg plant will celebrate with an award ceremony on January 26, 2012. 

“General Cable is once again pleased to receive this award from IndustryWeek in recognition of our manufacturing excellence,” said Greg Lampert, President and Chief Executive Officer of General Cable North America.  “We use the IndustryWeek competition as a benchmark for comparing our manufacturing performance against the best in North America in all industries.  I would like to commend Mark Thackeray, General Cable’s Senior Vice President of North American Operations; Heather Stolper and Mike Monti, Vice Presidents of Manufacturing and Team Leaders; Paul Furtado, Lawrenceburg Plant Manager; Mike Brown, Lincoln Plant Manager; and their respective teams, for setting challenging goals and providing the work environment for our associates to achieve them.”

“Lean Manufacturing, combined with Six Sigma quality improvement tools, continues to drive major improvements in all our manufacturing operations,” added Mark Thackeray, Senior Vice President, North American Operations. “Our strategy to achieve manufacturing excellence has made General Cable a much stronger company today, despite a tough economy.  Lean Thinking is part of our culture of continuous improvement, along with the engagement and contribution of our associates—something we call ‘OLPC’ or Operator-Led Process Control.  The Lawrenceburg and Lincoln plants are both operating very close to our ideal vision of OLPC.”

“Since 2001, General Cable has had 10 plants selected as finalists in the Best Plants competition.  Nine of those plants have gone on to achieve the title of one of the Top 10 Plants in North America — one of them twice,” continued Thackeray.  “They are Altoona, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., in 2003 and 2009; Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada, in 2005; Tetla, Tlaxcala, Mexico, in 2006; Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A., in 2007; Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S.A., in 2008; Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, in 2009; Franklin, Massachusetts, U.S.A, 2010; and now Lawrenceburg and Lincoln in 2011.  This achievement recognizes our Company’s world-class manufacturing capabilities, as well as the mindset of continuous improvement shared by all General Cable associates worldwide.”

"Our associates come to work committed to make things better every day," said Mike Monti, Vice President and Team Leader, Carol® Brand and Industrial Wire and Cable Product Plants.  "This award recognizes the hard work and dedication of all the associates at Lawrenceburg and Lincoln.  We are very proud of our accomplishments and to be recognized with this prestigious IndustryWeek Best Plants Award."

“Our team has embraced Lean manufacturing for many years, which has allowed us to continually adapt, and quickly and successfully respond to challenges, be it with new customers or new products,” added Heather Stolper, Vice President and Team Leader, Communications and Assemblies Plants.  “With technology and innovation advancements as well as a commitment to continuous improvement, our plants are successful in the global marketplace where they compete.”

The complete list of winners and in-depth profiles on General Cable’s Lawrenceburg and Lincoln plants can be found at www.industryweek.com/iwbestplants.

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 approximately12,000 associates.  Visit our Web site at www.GeneralCable.com.

 

Now Available: The Brand-New 2012 Green Building Square Foot Costbook

If you're looking for an EASY way to estimate the cost of using green materials and technologies you don't have to look any further than the brand-new 2012 Edition of the

Green Building Square Foot Costbook
from McGraw-Hill Construction Sweets

Here you'll find a comprehensive collection of recent LEED® and sustainable building projects along with their square foot costs, broken down by CSI MasterFormat section and adjusted for 2012.

Included are government projects, commercial buildings, schools, retail buildings, medical facilities, residential buildings, office buildings, religious projects and recreational facilities. These projects all reflect the vast array of "green" materials and technologies being used today.

For each building, this book provides a detailed narrative describing its major features and the steps taken to minimize the environmental impact — both in its construction and its operation. You also get a detailed listing of manufacturers and suppliers for each building and the specific "green" products used.

All of the costs are clearly broken out on a cost-per-square-foot basis, along with the primary specifications and full details about the construction team. What's more, the Green Building Square Foot Costbook gives you new insights into the indirect and administrative costs of LEED® certification, as well as a look at the future of Energy Star® and LEED® for multifamily housing.

isbn: 9781557017383 * Fully illustrated * Just $53.95

Questions?
Please call us toll free: 1.888.264.2665

The Green Building Square Foot Costbook is published and distributed by
BNi Building News in cooperation with McGraw-Hill Construction Sweets

BNi Building News | 990 Park Center Drive Suite E | Vista, CA | 92081-8352

 

Graybar, Lutron Give to NAED Education & Research Foundation

Support Helps Foundation Carry on Tradition of Industry Training, Workforce Development  

ST. LOUIS... The National Association of Electrical Distributors today recognized the generous support of distributor Graybar and manufacturer Lutron for their $10,000 donations to the NAED Education and Research Foundation. 

The contributions put the NAED Foundation closer to its $200,000 fundraising goal for the Annual Contribution Campaign ending in June 2012. All funds go toward providing industry-leading education and research programs for the $70-billion electrical distribution channel. 

"Industry support is the lifeblood of the NAED Foundation," said Michelle McNamara, NAED senior vice president and executive director of the NAED Education and Research Foundation. "The generosity from Graybar and Lutron will help the NAED Foundation provide the tools, training and knowledge vital for the success of our members. We are honored and thankful for their support."

For more than 40 years, the NAED Education & Research Foundation has provided members with the latest industry information, valuable education tools and industry research initiatives. Past tax-deductible donations have led to preparatory courses for the Certified Electrical Professional program and the newly launched Branch Manager University, among other initiatives. 

For more information about contributing to the NAED Education & Research Foundation, contact Erika TenEyck at eteneyck@naed.org. 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. 

 

BICSI Community UPLINK, Issue 1 -  2012

Upcoming BICSI Webinar
The next session in the BICSI webinar series will be presented by Adrian Young of Fluke Networks. The topic is "Fiber Test Methods and Troubleshooting" and will be held on January 18. This webinar will show attendees proper test methods for fiber and will also add in a few tips and tricks so it is done right the first time, every time. This low-cost webinar is a great way to learn and earn CECs toward credential renewal without having to leave your home or office! For details and to register, click here.

Become a BICSI News Magazine Writer!
BICSI News Magazine has emerged as one of the information technology systems (ITS) industry’s preeminent trade publications, providing relevant, vendor-neutral and authoritative information. Write an article and share your knowledge with more than 23,000 ITS professionals, achieve recognition among your peers and help advance the ITS industry. Send your ideas to Betsy Conroy, Editor of BICSI News Magazine, at bicsinews@bicsi.org and become a contributing writer today!

Are You Registered for the 2012 BICSI Winter Conference & Exhibition?
The 2012 BICSI Winter Conference & Exhibition is next month! Experience the world-class ITS education that the Winter Conference has to offer at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida, February 12-16. Don't miss exclusive Winter Conference events like the Cabling Skills Challenge, the Annual Business Meeting and the Awards Banquet, which will feature the comedic talents of John Pinette. Click here for more information and to register now!

Who is the Next BICSI Installer of the Year?
It could be you! Use your cabling installation talents to compete for the title at the BICSI Cabling Skills Challenge, taking place February 12-15 at the 2012 BICSI Winter Conference & Exhibition. Apply today—the deadline is January 12. All current BICSI Installers and Technicians are eligible to enter, and those selected to participate will receive a complimentary Winter Conference registration. Click here to download an application form. Prizes will be awarded and the grand champion will walk away with $5,000, bragging rights and the title of BICSI Installer of the Year!

RTPM(i) Opt-in Deadline Extension
BICSI's Registered Telecommunications Project Management (RTPM) program is set for release in the coming months. Until the credential is fully launched, you can become an interim RTPM—an RTPM(i). Click here for more information, including an FAQ and an opt-in form for existing Telecommunications Project Managers (TPMs).

Speak, Exhibit, Sponsor at the Next BICSI South Pacific Conference
The 2012 BICSI South Pacific Conference & Exhibition will be held May 14-16 at the Sydney Hilton in New South Wales, Australia. BICSI South Pacific is currently seeking interested industry professionals to present at the conference. You can also showcase your company's products and solutions by exhibiting at the conference, and show your industry support by becoming a conference sponsor. For details on speaking, exhibiting and sponsoring at the South Pacific Conference, click here.

Save the Date!
The 2012 BICSI Andean Conference will be held May 9-10 at El Cubo de Colsubsidio in Bogota, Colombia. Mark your calendar so you don’t miss out! For more information, click here.

 

CERRO WIRE INTRODUCES STEEL PULLING GRIPS

Simple and reliable wire pulling grip lets you pull four times as much wire per day

Cerro Wire LLC, a leading manufacturer of copper electrical building wire and cable, introduces a complete range of wire equipped with RectorSeal single-use steel pulling grips, the simple, reliable, and durable single-use wire pulling tool that reduces set up time and lets you pull up to four times more wire per day. Pulling grips eliminate waste, saving time and money, especially on larger commercial jobs.

Rated for use on THHN and XHHN wire, these steel pulling grips reduce total set up time for a 4-wire pull to less than five minutes. Eighteen sizes are available, ranging from 1 AWG to 750 MCM.

Made with an extremely durable steel body, the pulling grips are far less likely to fail during an installation than a pulling grip made of aluminum. They also have a shorter body length, which allows them to corner better, further reducing failure risk compared to other pulling grips.

The contractor can receive the wire with all three or four wire lengths on a paralleled reel, ready to pull. At the end of each wire is a steel lanyard, used to pull the wire through the conduit; lanyards are of staggered lengths to stagger the heads, making entry into the conduit and through nineties easier. To complete the pull, a contractor simply attaches his rope to the lanyard. After the pull is complete, the grips are simply cut off and are disposable.

“No more taking hours of expensive labor just to prepare to pull wire by preparing pulling ends,” said Rick McDonald, President of Cerrowire Electrical Distribution. “Contractors using our pre-installed steel pulling grips will add significantly to their bottom line.”

Cerro Wire LLC, a leading manufacturer of copper electrical building wire and cable, supplies its products to wholesale electrical distributors and retail home improvement centers across North America. Cerrowire’s Electrical Distribution Division offers building wire for residential, commercial and industrial use. Our operating philosophy focuses on customer service, low cost operations, simplification and innovation. Our employees operate manufacturing and distribution facilities around the United States. Cerro Wire is a Marmon Wire & Cable/Berkshire Hathaway company. 

Please visit our website at www.cerrowire.com for a complete description of our products and services. For more information, please contact Dale Crawford at 256-773-2522, or via email at dcrawford@cerrowire.com.

 

For State of the Union, TIA Calls on President Obama to Urge Swift Passage of Spectrum Legislation

In Letter on the State of the Tech Industry, TIA President Recommends Adoption of TIA's Innovation Package to Help Create Jobs and Grow the Economy.

Washington, D.C. – In advance of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) called on the President to urge Congress to act swiftly to ensure final passage of wireless spectrum and public safety network legislation. "Auction authority legislation is vital to America's future competitiveness," said Grant Seiffert, president of TIA.

"Growth in the ICT sector not only creates jobs in manufacturing ICT equipment and deploying physical infrastructure, but also leads to economic growth through the creation of new businesses, services, and technologies in other sectors of the economy," Seiffert wrote in a letter to President Obama. "For example, your proposal to develop and deploy a nationwide wireless broadband public safety network would create an estimated 100,000 new jobs in ICT industries and, over time, produce indirect benefits of an estimated $4 to $8 billion per year."

TIA also encouraged the Obama Administration to fully implement the recommendations in TIA's "Innovation Package: A Roadmap for Growing Jobs & the Economy," which was released last year. The Innovation Package provided a concrete set of policy recommendations for the U.S. government to implement to 1) Recapture Global Competitiveness, 2) Drive Investment, and 3) Enable Forward-Looking Technologies.

An overview of TIA's Innovation Package recommendations:

Recapture Global Competitiveness

Market Access & Trade – Securing access to international markets by promoting trade liberalization and market-based and technology neutral approach to regulation in key international markets.

Research & Development – Strategic and robust U.S. investment in telecommunications research including a permanent R&D tax credit, multi-year federal research plans, and a commitment to long-term research will enable the U.S. to remain a technology industry leader.

Education & Talent – The future of the ICT industry in the U.S. depends on providing the necessary support for education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for our students while enacting visa reforms to allow companies to attract and retain the best and brightest minds from around the world.

Tax Reform – The President should continue efforts to engage with Congress on tax reform this year. Lowering the corporate tax burden by 10 percent would increase investment in ICT by nearly $71 billion, which in turn will raise productivity and total business spending on wages, salaries and other compensation by nearly $450 billion while generating an estimated $990 billion in additional capital investments.

Drive Investment

Tax Incentives – Through incremental tax credits, expensing, and bonds, the U.S. Government can increase investment in our nation's next-generation broadband infrastructure.

Market-Based Regulations – A continued light-touch approach to regulations, as well as certainty in the marketplace, will ensure continued investment in a technology-neutral manner.

Enable Forward-Looking Technologies

Spectrum Availability – Innovative, next-generation wireless devices, applications, and services require spectrum availability for fixed and mobile broadband use; this can be achieved through voluntary incentive auctions, flexible regulations and reallocation of federal spectrum where feasible.

Global Cyber Security – Promoting global approaches to cyber security policies in the U.S. and internationally to avoid policies that could negatively impact market access, interoperability and global security.

Green ICT & Smart Grid – Appropriate policies driving ICT's potential to reduce energy consumption in other more energy-intensive sectors through smart grid, smart buildings and travel substitution are key to create jobs and help U.S. industry compete successfully in global markets.

Accessibility – By encouraging collaboration among stakeholders and the usage of voluntary consensus-based standards the U.S. Government can increase the accessibility of technology by those with disabilities, encourage innovation and, in doing so, open up new employment opportunities for this vulnerable community.

Read the full text of TIA's letter to President Obama. Go to TIA NOW Wed., Jan. 25, to watch on-demand video of TIA President Grant Seiffert with an analysis of the state of tech industry and trends for 2012 and beyond.

About TIA
The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) represents the manufacturers and suppliers of global information and communications technology (ICT) networks through standards development, policy and advocacy, business opportunities, market intelligence, and events and networking. Since 1924, TIA has been enhancing the business environment for broadband, mobile wireless, information technology, networks, cable, satellite and unified communications. Members' products and services empower communications in every industry and market, including healthcare, education, security, public safety, transportation, government, the military, the environment, and entertainment. Visit tiaonline.org.

Join TIA at its annual Member Meeting, Conference and Exhibition, TIA 2012: Inside the Network, June 5-7, 2012 in Dallas. For detailed information about the event go to tia2012.org.

View video news programming on TIA Now at tianow.org.

TIA's 2011 Market Review & Forecast, is available for purchase online at the TIA store. TIA members receive a discount of more than 60 percent off of the cover price. Review copies are available for qualified media.

TIA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Read ANSI's report, "Standards Boost Business" at standardsboostbusiness.org/.

TIA's Board of Directors includes senior-level executives from ACS Solutions, ADTRAN, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco Systems, Dow Chemical Company, Ericsson, Inc., FAL Associates, GENBAND, Inc., Henkels & McCoy, Juniper Networks, ILS Technology, Intel Corporation, LGE, Microsoft, Motorola Mobility, Motorola Solutions, Nokia Siemens Networks, Numerex Corp., OneChip Photonics, Panasonic Computer Solutions Co., Qualcomm, Sumitomo Electric Lightwave Corporation, Tarana Wireless, Inc., Tellabs, TE Connectivity, Walker & Associates and WirefreeCom, Inc.

 

Graybar to Open New Branch in Lincoln, Neb.

LINCOLN, Neb., Jan. 11 – Graybar, a leading distributor of electrical, communications and data networking products and provider of related supply chain management and logistics services, will open a new, full-service branch in Lincoln, Neb., on Jan. 16.

The 13,000-square-foot branch is located at 3300 North 35th St., and will serve the Lincoln metropolitan area as well as Lancaster and Seward counties. Area Manager Tom Walz and Branch Manager, Sales and Service Corey Dyrstad will lead the branch’s five employees.

“We’re excited to expand our presence in the Lincoln area,” said Mike Dumas, Graybar’s St. Louis district vice president. “By opening a new, full-service branch, we can work to the advantage of our Lincoln-area customers better than ever.”

The branch will operate from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, with after-hours emergency service available. The branch can be reached at (402) 325-2400.

Graybar, a Fortune 500 corporation and one of the largest employee-owned companies in North America, is a leader in the distribution of high quality electrical, communications and data networking products, and specializes in related supply chain management and logistics services. Through its network of nearly 240 North American distribution facilities, it stocks and sells products from thousands of manufacturers, helping its customers power, network and secure their facilities with speed, intelligence and efficiency. For more information, visit www.graybar.com or call 1-800-GRAYBAR.

 

Leviton LevNet RF Wireless Controls Help University of California Santa Cruz Library Win Two Awards for Sustainability and Innovation

Project honored with “Wireless Innovation Project of the Year” from EnOcean and

“Best Practice Lighting Award” at the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference

Melville, NY, January 9, 2012 - Leviton, a leading global manufacturer of electrical devices, and the University of California Santa Cruz’s (UCSC) Science and Engineering Library’s joint project has been named a recipient of two significant awards. The university utilized Leviton’s LevNet RF, a high-performance line of wireless occupancy sensors, switches and accessories that feature EnOcean’s energy-harvesting technology, to aid in helping reduce the library’s energy consumption by 50 percent. For their efforts, UCSC was awarded the “Best Practice Lighting Award” at the 2011 California Higher Education Sustainability Conference and the EnOcean Alliance’s “Wireless Innovation Project of the Year” award.

“It is exciting to see our LevNet RF wireless lighting control be recognized for helping UCSC achieve their energy reduction goals in this award-winning and innovative project,” said Richard Westfall, Vice President and General Manager for Leviton’s Lighting & Energy Solutions. “Energy conservation has never been more important, from both an environmental and economic perspective, and Leviton remains committed to providing our customers with solutions that help them protect their environment and their bottom line.”

The school was concerned that existing lighting in the library was in use for nearly 20 hours a day, leading to daily energy waste. Daily occupancy of the building varied greatly and did not follow a reliable pattern. Facing time constraints and the potential high cost of conventional wired technologies, the energy team chose to use Leviton’s LevNet RF products to achieve their energy goals.

The LevNet RF receivers were paired to wireless occupancy sensors and light sensors that control the updated and more efficient T8 light fixtures. The wireless light sensors control all perimeter lighting fixtures adjacent to windows and takes advantage of daylight harvesting. With an abundance of ambient lighting, these sensors will keep the lights off resulting in greatly reduced energy waste. The introduction of Leviton occupancy sensors, combined with a lighting upgrade, resulted in an anticipated $48,000 annually savings in energy costs for UCSC. The university was also able to make use of an energy rebate incentive for the replacement of the inefficient T12 light fixtures and an additional incentive was given for the occupancy and light sensors that further reduced the project cost.

The EnOcean Alliance is a 250-member consortium of companies working to standardize and internationalize energy harvesting wireless technology for green intelligent buildings. The award is designed to promote innovation and increase implementation of wireless energy harvesting green intelligent building technology. The California Higher Education Sustainability Conference highlights cutting-edge research, as well as case studies with proven successes in curriculum development, operational programs and community partnerships.

About Leviton

Leviton Manufacturing Company is one of the largest privately held global providers 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 one of the preeminent leaders 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 to be a smart choice, nine out of 10 homes throughout North America have Leviton products installed in them. Builders, electrical contractors and other industry professionals rank Leviton products No. 1 in brand preference. For more information contact Leviton Manufacturing or visit www.leviton.com, http://www.facebook.com/leviton, http://twitter.com/levitonmfg or http://www.youtube.com/user/Levitonmfg.

 

Light Brigade has a new training DVD - approved for BICSI CEC credits

While attending the BICSI Winter Conference, The Light Brigade will be providing information on its new Fiber Optic System Design DVD at booth 400.  Enter a drawing for a free copy. www.lightbrigade.com

The DVD is approved for BICSI CEC credits.  Visitors can pick up their BICSI CEC sheet listing all CECs for Light Brigade courses and DVDs.  They can also request an e-copy via joe@lightbrigade.com

 

List of Top 10 States for LEED Green Buildings Released

U.S. Green Building Council releases list of top U.S. states for LEED-certified projects in 2011

Washington, DC - (Jan. 19, 2012) - The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) today released its 2011 list of top 10 states for LEED-certified commercial and institutional green buildings per capita, based on the U.S. 2010 Census information. The District of Columbia leads the nation, with more than 31 square feet of LEED-certified space per person in 2011, with Colorado being the leading state, with 2.74 square feet per person in 2011.

Other top states include Illinois, Virginia and Washington, with 2.69, 2.42 and 2.18 square feet of LEED-certified space per person, respectively. The top LEED states per capita, including the District of Columbia:

 

Sq. ft. of space to earn LEED-certification in 2011

Per capita

District of Columbia

18,954,022

31.50

Colorado

13,803,113

2.74

Illinois

34,567,585

2.69

Virginia

19,358,193

2.42

Washington

14,667,558

2.18

Maryland

11,970,869

2.07

Massachusetts

13,087,625

2.00

Texas

50,001,476

1.99

California

71,551,296

1.92

New York

36,538,981

1.89

Minnesota

9,591,445

1.81

"Looking past the bricks and mortar, people are at the heart of what buildings are all about," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, USGBC. "Examining the per capita value of LEED square footage in these states allows us to focus on what matters most - the human element of green buildings."

LEED is the internationally recognized mark of green building excellence, with more than 44,000 projects commercial projects participating, comprising over 8 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 120 countries. In addition, more than 16,000 homes have been certified under the LEED for Homes rating system, with more than 67,000 more homes registered.

"Our local green building chapters from around the country have been instrumental in accelerating the adoption of green building policies and initiatives that drive construction locally," continued Fedrizzi. "These states should be recognized for working to reinvent their local building landscapes with buildings that enliven and bolster the health of our environment, communities and local economies."

"This is a great accomplishment for the D.C. metropolitan region and a testament to the drive, commitment and leadership of all those who live, work and play in our community," said Mike Babcock, board chair of the National Capital Region Chapter of USGBC. "We also realize there is still more to do and hope to effectively guide the effort by engaging, educating and encouraging the dialogue around the value of sustainability."

"Being in the top three is a testament to the diversity of stakeholders from across Illinois who understand the significant environmental, economic, and social benefits related to LEED certification," said Doug Widener, Executive Director of the Illinois Chapter of USGBC. "I applaud Illinois' diverse green building community on this outstanding achievement."

Notable newly certified projects in 2011 include the Treasury Building in Washington, D.C., which is distinguished as the oldest LEED-certified project in the world; the LEED-Platinum Casey Middle School in Boulder, Colo.; the iconic Wrigley Building in Chicago, Ill.; Frito-Lay in Lynchburg, Va., which earned LEED Gold for the operations and maintenance of an existing building; the LEED Silver Hard Rock Café in Seattle, Wash.; Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Md.; Yawkey Distribution Center of The Greater Boston Food Bank in Mass.; the LEED Gold Austin Convention Center in TX; SFO's LEED Gold Terminal 2 in San Francisco, Calif.; the LEED-Platinum Hotel Skylar in Syracuse, N.Y.; and the LEED Platinum Marquette Plaza in Minneapolis, Minn.

In December 2011, USGBC announced that LEED-certified existing buildings outpaced their newly built counterparts by 15 million square feet on a cumulative basis. A focus on heightened building performance through green operations and maintenance is essential to cost-effectively driving improvements in the economy and the environment.

For the full list of LEED-certified projects visit: usgbc.org/press.

About the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
The U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. With a community comprising 79 local affiliates, nearly 16,000 member organizations, and more than 167,000 LEED Professional Credential holders, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. GDP from 2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students. For more information, visit www.usgbc.org, on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About LEED
The U.S. Green Building Council's LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. Over 44,000 projects are currently participating in the commercial and institutional LEED rating systems, comprising more than 8 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 120 countries. In addition, nearly 16,000 homes have been certified under the LEED for Homes rating system, with more than 67,000 more homes registered.

By using less energy, LEED-certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community. Learn more at usgbc.org

 

Unique System For Transforming Purgings Into Valuable Regrind Now Readily Handles Traditionally ‘Difficult’ Plastics

Maguire Adds Polystyrene and Flexible Vinyl to the List of Materials That Are Reclaimable with the Purging Recovery System™ (PRS) and Achieves CE Certification for the System

ASTON, PENNSYLVANIA, U.S.A., January 3, 2011:  Maguire Products, Inc. has enhanced its Purging Recovery System™  (PRS) for transforming purgings into regrind and has received the CE certification required to make the PRS available in Europe, the company announced today.

The PRS is a two-stage system that first slices or planes rock-like purgings into small pieces, then reduces the pieces to uniform, high-quality regrind. Maguire will highlight the new capabilities of the PRS at NPE2012 and present data demonstrating that the system quickly repays its investment cost by reclaiming material that would otherwise be put to waste (Booth 5963).  

A purging consists of the transitional material that passes through an extruder as the operator shifts from one job or color to another; typically it is discharged onto the shop floor, hardens, is scraped up, and is disposed of, ultimately ending up in a landfill. The PRS is the only equipment designed specifically for the rugged work of size-reducing these heavy masses of plastic, according to B. Patrick (Pat) Smith, Maguire’s vice president of marketing and sales.

While the PRS is already used to reclaim purgings of many widely used polymers, the new enhanced design extends its applicability to flexible vinyl, which stretches when worked by cutting blades and can jam conventional granulators; and to shear-sensitive polymers like polystyrene, which can melt as frictional heat builds up in standard equipment. The design improvements permit reclaim of 85 Shore A vinyl, such as that commonly used in wire and cable.   

“PRS systems now in use by injection molders who make multiple color changes consistently recover purgings at a rate of 125 pounds per hour, or 1,000 pounds [455 kg] per eight-hour shift,” said Smith. “If the polymer is worth one dollar per pound, the PRS pays for itself in only 30 shifts. This is accomplished with minimal energy consumption—an average of 7.5 kWh—since the PRS uses three small motors with a total horsepower of 11, as against motor sizes of 100 horsepower or greater for a standard heavy-duty granulator.”

A streaming video demonstrating the features of the system and its mode of operation is posted on the company website at http://www.maguire.com/page.php/prs20.htm.

Low-Cost PRS Does a Job Considered Too Risky for Expensive Granulators

While heavy-duty granulators typically sell in the range of USD $100,000 to $200.000, Maguire offers the PRS for only around $30,000.

“Since a ten-pound [4.5-kg] lump of hard plastic could damage the rotor of a conventional granulator, until now there have been limited options for reclaiming purgings,” said Smith, “yet over time purgings add up to a waste of material valued at thousands of dollars per year.”

The Purging Recovery System draws on the simple concept of the carpenter’s plane. It consists of a table that is split into two levels and a purging containment chamber that, upon startup of the system, moves back and forth over the table. The plane, mounted at the point of disjunction between the two surface levels, is actually a rotor with staggered knives that turns at 1750 r.p.m. With each pass of the containment chamber, the rotor planes away a thin (0.5-in. or 13-mm) slice from the bottom of the purging and propels these pieces into the hopper of a compact granulator beneath the table. As material is planed away from the purging, a pneumatically-driven hold-down plate in the containment chamber keeps the purging in contact with the knives.

The design enhancements that now permit efficient reclaim of flexible vinyl and polystyrene included adjustments to 1) the configuration of the eight rotor knives making up the plane; 2) the clearances around the plane; and 3) the angle of attack between the purging and the plane.

MAGUIRE PRODUCTS, INC., headquartered in Aston, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., is the world’s largest supplier of gravimetric blenders and liquid color pumps and also manufactures loading systems, dryers, auger feeders, and related equipment and software. Its customers include injection, blow, and rotational molders, extrusion processors, and compounders. Founded in 1977, Maguire operates six manufacturing facilities in Aston. The company maintains a network of distributors in the Americas and overseas and has three sales and service subsidiaries that stock, sell, and service auxiliary equipment systems from Maguire and its affiliate, Novatec, Inc.: Maguire Canada, Maguire Europe, and Maguire Asia. Visit www.maguire.com

Maguire Products, Inc., 11 Crozerville Road, Aston, PA 19014 USA. Tel: 1-610-459-4300. pat@maguire.com. Maguire Canada, 299 Basaltic Road, Unit 1, Vaughan, Ontario L4K 4W8. Tel: 905-879-1100. info@maguirecanada.com. Maguire Europe, Vanguard, Tame Park, Tamworth, Staffordshire B77 5DY United Kingdom. Tel: 44-1827-265-850. paul@maguire-europe.com. Maguire Europe (Italy), Maguire Italia SRL, Via Cile, 14, 35127 Padova, Italy. Tel: 39-049-970-5429. Italia@maguire-europe.com. Maguire Asia, Maguire Products Asia Pte Ltd., 15 Changi North Street 1, #01-15, I-Lofts, Singapore 498765. Tel: 65-6848-7117. magasia@maguire-products.com.sg. Maguire Asia (China), Maguire Products Asia Co. Ltd., 7C-02 Majesty Building, 138 Pu Dong Avenue, Shanghai 200120 China. Tel: 86-21-588-23410. mpa@maguirechina.com.

 

NEMA Publishes NEMA SB 7 Applications Guide for Carbon Monoxide Alarms and Detectors

ROSSLYN, Va., January 19, 2012—The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has published NEMA SB 7 Applications Guide for Carbon Monoxide Alarms and Detectors. This document reviews carbon monoxide (CO) detection devices including single and multiple station CO alarms and system-connected CO detectors and sensors connected to a control unit.

The contents and scope of NEMA SB 7-2011 may be viewed at www.nema.org/stds/sb7.cfm. A hard or electronic copy may be purchased for $65 by visiting global.ihs.com or by contacting IHS at 800-854-7179 (U.S. only), 303-397-7956 (international), or 303-397-2740 (fax).

NEMA is the association of electrical equipment manufacturers, founded in 1926 and headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. Its member companies manufacture a diverse set of products including power transmission and distribution equipment, lighting systems, factory automation and control systems, and medical diagnostic imaging systems. Worldwide annual sales of NEMA-scope products exceed $120 billion

 

NFPA National Fire Protection Association NEWS

 

Parks Associates to Co-locate CONNECTIONS™ Conference at TIA 2012 Conference & Exhibition

International Market Research Firm Brings Connected Home Pavilion to TIA Exhibit Floor June 5-7, 2012; Dallas, Texas

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and Parks Associates, the leading international market research and consulting firm focused on the connected consumer and residential technology solutions, have agreed to co-locate the 16th annual CONNECTIONS: The Digital Living Conference and Showcase at the TIA 2012: Inside the Network Conference and Exhibition being held June 5-7, 2012, in Dallas, Texas. In addition, Parks Associates will host a "Connected Home Pavilion" as part of the TIA 2012 exhibition and demonstration area.

TIA 2012 and CONNECTIONS are unique industry events. Focused on innovation and thought leadership, TIA 2012 is the annual gathering of the community of technology suppliers that forms the foundation of global communications, which rely on optimized, secure, scalable and sustainable networks. CONNECTIONS combines consumer research, analyst expertise, and industry knowledge to offer the premier event on new business models and opportunities in digital media/content, mobile applications and services, connected consumer electronics, broadband and value-added services, and home systems.

"Parks Associates has demonstrated a strong record of leadership, vision and high-quality information products focused on a critical area of innovation in the ICT industry: the Connected Home. Together, Parks Associates and TIA will showcase the leading applications, protocols and devices that are converging in the home, ushering in a new era of service delivery and value for consumers, network operators and solutions vendors alike," said Grant Seiffert, President of TIA.

TIA 2012: Inside the Network features multiple educational tracks, including Optical Networking, Green ICT, Network Convergence, M2M & Connected Devices, Mobile Backhaul and more. It also features specialty conferences, technology demonstrations, and a Network R&D Showcase Pavilion, positioning this industry event as the leading business and technology exhibition for the converged network community.

"TIA is at the forefront of global communications innovations, and we are excited about the opportunity to co-locate with TIA 2012. This partnership brings enhanced value to the CONNECTIONS™ community, providing our audience with additional opportunities to network with communications executives and preview emerging products," said Tricia Parks, CEO, Parks Associates. "U.S. unit sales of connected devices will rise to over 500 million by 2015, creating a broad foundation for deploying new communications, bundled services, and entertainment offerings. We are looking forward to this year’s event and a successful collaboration with TIA."

More information about TIA 2012: Inside the Network and CONNECTIONS at TIA can be found at tia2012.org and connectionsconference.com.

About Parks Associates
Parks Associates is an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. Founded in 1986, Parks Associates creates research capital for companies ranging from Fortune 500 to small start-ups through market reports, primary studies, consumer research, custom research, workshops, executive conferences, and annual service subscriptions.

The company's expertise includes new media, digital entertainment and gaming, home networks, Internet and television services, digital health, mobile applications and services, consumer electronics, energy management, and home control systems and security. Visit parksassociates.com.

About TIA
The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) represents the global information and communications technology (ICT) industry through standards development, policy and advocacy, business opportunities, market intelligence, and events and networking. Since 1924, TIA has been enhancing the business environment for broadband, mobile wireless, information technology, networks, cable, satellite and unified communications. Members' products and services empower communications in every industry and market, including healthcare, education, security, public safety, transportation, government, the military, the environment, and entertainment. Visit tiaonline.org.

TIA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

View video news programming on TIA Now at tianow.org.

 

A Shocking Look At Your Fish Tape - next month in HOTS

Next month, HOTS will have a special safety news item featuring the new Volt-Guard™ fish tape product from Ideal Industries. The fish tape you have now could be packing a future shock… not the good kind. http://www.idealindustries.com/

 

CABA in the news UPDATE

CABA Completes 2011 Landmark Connected Home Market Study

December 21, 2011

The Continental Automated Buildings Association has completed a landmark research study that identifies key emerging areas of opportunity in the North American connected home marketplace.

CABA's State of the Connected Home Market 2011 study analyzed the most desired features for connected home solutions, including communications, security, comfort, and energy savings, in order to determine how service providers and consumer electronics manufacturers can combine these features to improve consumer lifestyles.

Using an "ecosystem" approach to uncover market opportunity, three household surveys were fielded, each corresponding with entertainment, family interaction, and home energy management. In all, 2,400 surveys were conducted throughout North America in order to map consumer demography in terms of lifestyle, family dynamics, likely purchases, and decision-making processes for new connected home products and services.

The research found that there has been a significant increase in appeal for connected home products since 2008 and that over 40 percent of both U.S. and Canadian consumers believe connected home technologies provide substantial benefits in terms of safety and security, energy savings, and providing remote control over home functionality.

The study also examined the state of enabled networking technologies, such as high-speed Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Z-Wave, and cloud computing, to evaluate ways to improve adoption and improve consumer education.

"CABA's State of the Connected Home Market study validates past and current trends and characterizes consumers' current and future understanding of the smart home," stated Ronald J. Zimmer, CABA President & CEO. "The research ultimately demonstrated to CABA Research Program participants how to make the benefits of connected home solutions clearer to their customers and updates channel approaches to more easily entice consumers to consider purchase of connected home solutions."

Organizations that participated in CABA's State of the Connected Home Market 2011 study included: 3M Company, ADT Security Services, Best Buy Co., Inc., Broan NuTone, BSH Home Appliances Corporation, Carrier Corp., Consolidated Edison Company of New York, GE Energy Services, Honeywell International, Hydro One Networks Inc., IBM, Ingersoll Rand/Trane/Schlage, Landis+Gyr, Microsoft Corporation, Moen Inc., Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Qualcomm, Schneider-Electric, SecurTek Monitoring Solutions, Sempra Utilities, Shell, Southern California Edison Company, TELUS Corporation, USNAP Alliance, Verizon Wireless and Whirlpool Corporation.


The firms participated in the study through the CABA Research Program, which offers a range of opt-in technical and advisory research services designed to provide industry stakeholders with collaborative market research and R&D opportunities. Zanthus, an independent market research consulting firm, conducted the study, which is the latest in a series of landmark studies that the firm has conducted for CABA every three years since 2003.

The report has been released to its funding partners and will be made available for purchase to the rest of the industry after an embargo period. Companies enquiring for details and pricing can contact George Grimes, CABA's Business Development Manager at grimes@caba.org or 613.686.1814 x226.

###

CABA Completes "Aging in the Connected Home" Research Project

December 15, 2011

The Continental Automated Buildings Association has completed a research study that identifies connected home product, service and business opportunities based on the needs and expectations of North American seniors.

CABA's "Aging in the Connected Home" research project was designed to assist organizations in understanding the opportunities in home health care, new home building, retrofit and remodeling, technology, communications and other services that generate significant value creation by helping seniors remain in their homes longer.

Organizations participating in CABA's project included: Ascension Health, Ingersoll Rand/Trane/Schlage, TELUS Corporation, and United Health Group.

The study found that seniors and their caregivers have a several under-served needs in the course of day-to-day living. Companies that seek to address these unmet needs with products and services, designed not only to meet normal household tasks but meet the unique requirements of the senior population, will see tremendous rewards.

The report determined that areas of new growth potential for the senior market include: nutrition services, remodeling, improved fitness, communication products and enhanced care for chronic conditions.

"Understanding the needs of seniors and their caregivers is vital to designing products, services and home solutions that will enable Baby Boomers to maintain their independence in their homes," stated Ronald J. Zimmer, CABA President & CEO. "It is only through a detailed study of unmet needs, as well as the constraints that prohibit seniors from remaining in their homes that industry will obtain the data necessary to devise the products and services of the future. We are pleased that CABA, through its Research Program, could take steps to create the basis of an aging-in-place innovation program for industry."

Sandra Bates, President of The Innovation Partners and author of the forthcoming book, "The Social Innovation Imperative", conducted the research. Her "Framework for Social Impact" methodology was employed for the study, to identify the critical issues for seniors. The methodology is a six-step research approach specifically designed for analyzing and achieving innovation in the social sector. It is devised to show corporate and non-profit leaders how to identify unmet social needs, then create and deliver products or services to meet them.

"Based on our findings, it is clear that there is substantial opportunity to create new products and services for this highly under-served market which includes not only the elderly, but another large population which is the adult children of these elderly individuals," stated Bates. "The needs of the adult child who is not with the senior daily are substantial. They are very much concerned about their parents' health and well-being and are actively looking for solutions that will assure them that the senior is safe. Several categories of needs were identified for this market that will be valuable to the telecommunications industry, health care, home products, construction products and services, and many other services businesses that are looking for a new path for expansive growth."

CABA's report has been released to its funding partners and will be made available for purchase to the rest of the industry after an embargo period. Companies enquiring for details and pricing can contact George Grimes, CABA's Business Development Manager at grimes@caba.org or 613.686.1814 x226.

Brian Casey of Honeywell Appointed to CABA Board

November 21, 2011

The Continental Automated Buildings Association is pleased to announce that Brian Casey of Honeywell International, Inc. has been appointed to its Board of Directors. Casey who is Vice President & General Manager for Cable & Custom Electronics at Honeywell International, Inc. replaces longtime Honeywell representative Roy Kolasa.

Ronald J. Zimmer, CABA President & CEO said: "We are pleased to welcome Brian Casey to the CABA Board. His appointment brings a high level of expertise to our organization, given his extensive involvement in the building automation sector."

Casey currently is a member of the leadership team at the Honeywell Security Group and is responsible for serving low voltage security, commercial and industrial HVAC markets.

Prior to joining Honeywell, Casey held leadership positions at Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric, Vickers/Eaton, and Comtrol. He has nearly 30 years experience in the commercial, industrial, and automation markets. He has contributed to multiple international standard developments including IEEE 802 (networks), ISA S88 (batch control) and ISO 61131 (automation).

Casey earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the Milwaukee School of Engineering in 1988. He is a senior member of ISA, and served on the board of directors for Interest Group SERCOS and ICS.

"CABA contributes an important perspective to our industry, bringing a unique mix of companies, individuals and organizations together to advance the adoption building automation solutions," stated Casey. "I look forward to helping CABA deliver its core mission - advancing the state of integration of automation for residential and commercial buildings, with CABA serving as the preferred global source of information, knowledge and networking for the industry."

###

Samsung Electronics, Co. Ltd. Joins CABA Board

November 16, 2011

The Continental Automated Buildings Association is pleased to announce that Samsung Electronics, Co. Ltd. has joined its Board of Directors.

Samsung Electronics, Co. Ltd. is a multinational electronics and information technology company headquartered in South Korea. It is the flagship subsidiary of the Samsung Group. With assembly plants and sales networks in over 60 countries worldwide, Samsung has approximately 160,000 employees.

Dr. Yong Chang will represent Samsung Electronics, Co. Ltd. on the CABA Board. Dr. Chang received his Ph.D. degree from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in 1998. He has been with Samsung Electronics since that time as a director who manages new technologies and experiments with standards enabling at the Samsung Electronics Digital Media & Communications R&D Center in Seoul.

"I am very pleased to welcome Dr. Chang and Samsung Electronics to the CABA Board," stated Ronald J. Zimmer, CABA President & CEO. "Dr. Chang's appointment brings additional technology expertise to our association and broadens our exposure to emerging global marketplaces."

Dr. Chang's major areas of interest are machine-to-machine (M2M) standards and technologies, and new business relevant to major vertical markets, which include: the smart home and building segments, e-health, connected consumer electronics and connected car technologies.

Dr. Chang is recognized within Samsung for his work in enabling global collaboration. Dr. Chang has previously served as a co-chair of the WiMAX Forum Network Working Group and currently serves in leadership positions in Samsung's global smart grid and M2M standards collaborations.

"I am particularly pleased to be joining the innovative team on the CABA Board," stated Dr. Chang. "CABA has been long recognized as a leader in the home and large building automation space and I look forward to using my skills and experience to strengthen the organization and help take its services and our industry to the next level."

###

CABA and PEMAC Sign Memorandum of Understanding

November 9, 2011

The Continental Automated Buildings Association and the Plant Engineering and Maintenance Association of Canada today announced they signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at furthering the provision and sharing of high-quality information concerning intelligent building technologies and asset management practices.

The memorandum of understanding forges new cooperation between two leading industry organizations. CABA is an international not-for-profit industry association dedicated to the advancement of intelligent home and intelligent building technologies. PEMAC is a Canadian-based, not-for-profit association providing global leadership, education and certification in world-class maintenance, reliability and physical asset management practices.

Under the agreement, CABA and PEMAC will establish forums for a timely and open exchange of information and establish vehicles for engaging a broad array of stakeholders including the utility industry, regulatory organizations, energy service providers, building automation vendors, telecommunication firms, information technology vendors, consumer groups and government organizations.

"This agreement to collaborate will strengthen the knowledge sharing surrounding building management within both of our respective organizations," said Ronald J. Zimmer, CABA President & CEO. "Through this agreement, CABA will work diligently to ensure its membership is appropriately educated as to the benefits of best-in-class building asset management. PEMAC has provided significant thought leadership on physical asset management and can provide an additional technical foundation to our membership."

"We are thrilled to be entering into a partnership with the Continental Automated Buildings Association," said Norman Clegg, Executive Director, PEMAC. "Our relationship will join the market research expertise of CABA with the technical expertise and integrity of PEMAC. We look forward to collaborating on education and workforce development, because we feel strongly that a prepared workforce with appropriate competencies is one of the most critical elements for success within our respective industry." www.caba.org

 

Major Standards Development Organizations Agree on a Global Initiative for M2M Standardization

Major Standards Development Organizations (the "SDOs"*) -- ARIB, ATIS, CCSA, ETSI, TIA, TTA, and TTC -- recognize that M2M services often rely upon communications networks for connectivity between the myriad of devices in the field and the M2M application servers, and have identified the need for a common cost-efficient, easily and widely available M2M Service Layer, which can be readily embedded within various hardware and software. As a result, the SDOs, meeting over the course of the past several months, have also identified the need for a cooperative M2M community standards activity, and have agreed to jointly address the challenge of common standardized solutions. The SDOs have taken initial steps to form a global initiative for M2M Standardization.

This global initiative will seek to develop globally agreed M2M end to end specifications and reports with initial focus on the Service Layer using common use cases and architecture principles across multiple M2M applications. The initiative will develop specifications that will help drive multiple industries towards the goals of lowering operating and capital expenses, shortening time-to-market, creating mass-market economies of scale, simplifying the development of applications, leveraging the worldwide network for enhanced potential of services, expanding and accelerating global business opportunities, and avoiding standardization overlap. In addition, the initiative will focus on cooperative efforts with other standards organizations and fora, including those representing specific aspects of M2M applications.

The SDOs agree that participation in the global initiative will be open to interested organizations and parties to provide opportunities for various levels of participation and provide flexibility for inputs from all market segments. The SDOs will establish a simple and effective operational structure which is responsive to the needs of the various stakeholders. The initiative will seek to balance regional requirements and differences, and to address their respective timeframes, with the primary goal to support global harmonization and consolidation.

The SDOs have agreed that the global initiative will be established early in 2012 and will then initiate the technical work to meet the challenges of rapidly evolving industries.

Current Participating SDOs*

The global initiative has currently gathered representatives from: the Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB) and the Telecommunication Technology Committee (TTC) of Japan; the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) of the USA; the China Communications Standards Association (CCSA); the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI); and the Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA) of Korea.

Contacts*

ARIB: Kohei Satoh (satoh@arib.or.jp), Masaaki Koga (koga@kddi.com)
ATIS: Susan Miller (smiller@atis.org), Steve Barclay (sbarclay@atis.org)
CCSA: Thomas Li (thomas.lili@huawei.com), Shizhuo Zhao (zhaosz@ccsa.org.cn)
ETSI: Joachim Koss (joachim.koss@cinterion.com), Adrian Scrase (adrian.scrase@etsi.org)
TIA: Cheryl Blum (cblum@tiaonline.org), Herb Congdon (hcongdon@tiaonline.org)
TTA: Byoung-Moon Chin (bmchin@tta.or.kr), Yong Chang (yongchang@samsung.com)
TTC: Tom Tomita (ftomita@ttc.or.jp), Tatsuo Takahashi (takahashi@ttc.or.jp)

About TIA
The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) represents the manufacturers and suppliers of global information and communications technology (ICT) networks through standards development, policy and advocacy, business opportunities, market intelligence, and events and networking. Since 1924, TIA has been enhancing the business environment for broadband, mobile wireless, information technology, networks, cable, satellite and unified communications. Members' products and services empower communications in every industry and market, including healthcare, education, security, public safety, transportation, government, the military, the environment, and entertainment. Visit tiaonline.org.

Join TIA at its annual Member Meeting, Conference and Exhibition, TIA 2012: Inside the Network, June 5-7, 2012 in Dallas. For detailed information about the event go to tia2012.org.

View video news programming on TIA Now at tianow.org.

TIA's 2011 Market Review & Forecast, is available for purchase online at the TIA store. TIA members receive a discount of more than 60 percent off of the cover price. Review copies are available for qualified media.

TIA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Read ANSI's report, "Standards Boost Business" at http://www.standardsboostbusiness.org/.

TIA's Board of Directors includes senior-level executives from ACS Solutions, ADTRAN, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco Systems, Dow Chemical Company, Ericsson, Inc., FAL Associates, GENBAND, Inc., Henkels & McCoy, Juniper Networks, ILS Technology, Intel Corporation, LGE, Microsoft, Motorola Mobility, Motorola Solutions, Nokia Siemens Networks, Numerex Corp., OneChip Photonics, Panasonic Computer Solutions Co., Qualcomm, Sumitomo Electric Lightwave Corporation, Tarana Wireless, Inc., Tellabs, TE Connectivity, Walker & Associates and WirefreeCom, Inc.

****** TIA Files Comments to USTR Supporting Canada, Japan, and Mexico Joining Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Negotiations

TIA Advocates for Including Multilateral Trade and Regulatory Principles that Will Benefit the ICT Sector, Including Technology Neutrality, Strong Encryption, and Fair and Transparent Resource Allocation

Washington, D.C. – The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), which represents the manufacturers and suppliers of global communications networks, has officially filed comments with the United States Trade Representative (USTR) supporting Canada, Japan, and Mexico joining negotiations of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, which includes countries Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

"The Asia-Pacific region is the largest telecommunications market in the world and holds tremendous opportunity for growth," remarked Grant Seiffert, TIA President. "TIA supports a trade agreement with the TPP countries and would like to see USTR build upon its efforts in the future and extend it to include other countries in the region."

In the filing, TIA specifically urges the TPP to include commitments by countries to be technology neutral, allocate scarce resources in a timely, transparent and non-discriminatory manner, and use a flexible, global approach to the import, use and sale of commercial encryption products. Supporting the inclusion of these market-oriented, technology-neutral principles in the final agreement will help build a strong, global, digital economy based on quality infrastructure, network of services, and a solid legal and commercial framework.

TIA's Trans-Pacific Partnership submissions are available on its USTR filings page at tiaonline.org.

About TIA
The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) represents the manufacturers and suppliers of global information and communications technology (ICT) networks through standards development, policy and advocacy, business opportunities, market intelligence, and events and networking. Since 1924, TIA has been enhancing the business environment for broadband, mobile wireless, information technology, networks, cable, satellite and unified communications. Members' products and services empower communications in every industry and market, including healthcare, education, security, public safety, transportation, government, the military, the environment, and entertainment. Visit tiaonline.org.

Join TIA at its annual Member Meeting, Conference and Exhibition, TIA 2012: Inside the Network, June 5-7, 2012 in Dallas. For detailed information about the event go to tia2012.org.

 

CABA Announces BiQ Award Recipients

January 24, 2012

The Continental Automated Buildings Association today announced the recipients of its inaugural Building Intelligence Quotient (BiQ) Awards.

The annual awards recognize property owners and operators whose buildings achieve the highest rank using CABA's building technology assessment tool.

2012 Gold recipients include:

- Comcast Center, the tallest building in Philadelphia and the 15th tallest building in the United States.

- MaRS Centre, a medical innovation and technology research center located in Toronto, Canada.

- Ottawa Paramedic Service Headquarters, a facility from which all paramedic operations and training are consolidated in Canada’s National Capital.

The 2012 Silver recipient is:

- Three World Financial Center, a skyscraper in Lower Manhattan, New York City.

Recipients were honored today at an awards ceremony during a meeting of CABA's Intelligent & Integrated Buildings Council at AHR 2012 in Chicago.

The Council, in conjunction with the Building Intelligence Quotient (BiQ) Consortium, guides development of the BIQ tool.

CABA’s BiQ ranking tool has three functions. It serves as: a means to evaluate and measure the "value" of intelligent building performance; a design guide for integration of building intelligence in new building projects; and a building automation retrofit action plan tool.

The tool allows property owners and managers to rate a building's intelligence and provides design guidance to ensure that all relevant issues are considered when making a choice of subsystems and their level of integration. Owners and developers with multiple properties can also use the BiQ tool to assess and compare the building intelligence systems in their portfolio.

As more and more buildings are BIQ verified, point scores are aggregated in an anonymous database, enabling users to analyze how their building intelligence design performs in relation both to the median and to buildings that are similar in terms, type and region. Because the assessment is completely online, owners and managers have the ability to change input up to a year, with an option to extend. This allows users to keep their assessment up-to-date as the building intelligence changes through the project delivery stages as buildings are retrofitted.

The modular assessment generates a report that provides benchmark rankings as well as recommendations for improvements in the following categories: communication systems; building automation; annunciation, security and control systems; facility management applications; and building structure and systems.

All building assessments are ranked and the top four receive recognition through annual Building Intelligence Quotient (BiQ) Awards.

“Building intelligence results in higher property values, improved comfort, security, flexibility and reliability while reducing costs and increasing productivity,” stated Ronald J. Zimmer, CABA President & CEO. “CABA is proud to showcase this year’s award recipients who are actively demonstrating the advantage of assessing building technology.”

For more information about the BiQ tool and BiQ Awards, please go to: www.caba.org/biq.

 

Thanks. Goodbye. And Take Care! (NECA) reprinted from ECMAG

by Rex A. Ferry
Published: December 2011

IMGXYZ7822IMGZYXI have invested more than 300,000 air miles and 400 days on the road for the National Electrical Contractors Association over the past three years. However, the most important big number I experienced as president of this organization is the incalculable number of electrical contractors whom I had the pleasure to meet and talk with through my participation in NECA events all over the country. With my term expiring at the end of the year, it is one of the perks of office I’ll miss the most.

Of course, throughout these past three years, the economy has been the dominant topic of discussion in our industry and for our nation. I’m well aware that many electrical contractors have suffered, but I still believe that, once fiscal confidence is restored or our political leaders finally get their act together, our economy will bounce back and put our people back to work.

A lot of that work will be in alternative energy and green buildings markets and other nontraditional sectors. The foundation is already in place, as NECA has made major strides in identifying and developing opportunities for electrical contractors since the establishment of the NECA Energy Solutions Task Force in 2009. More NECA members are becoming true energy managers, whether forced by the cloudy economy to reallocate resources, make tough decisions and move out of the comfort zone (the silver lining!) or motivated by the truth that providing energy solutions is our industry’s future.

And the future looks very bright. NECA has identified several potential new markets for our services, including home automation, electric vehicle supply equipment, alternative and renewable energies, high-end video conferencing facilities, medical technology and healthcare facilities, prefabrication, energy storage, and homeland security. Be assured that our association will continue focusing on new and emerging markets under the guidance of incoming NECA president Dennis Quebe. After all, the leading electrical and technology business units operating on a national level through Quebe Holdings Inc. in Ohio are already addressing these game-changers.

We can be equally confident that Dennis will provide true leadership to help advance NECA’s continuing work on other vital programs, such as business development, government affairs, codes and standards, management education, industry research, and safety. He’s just the kind of smart, hard-working, dedicated guy that we need at this time! I am proud that my friend and colleague will be at the helm, and I’m eager to see where he’ll take the initiatives developed during my term—like promoting zero-energy work sites for zero accidents—and how he’ll lead NECA in dealing with whatever new challenges and opportunities may arise.

I also want to assure my fellow NECA members that we have turned a corner in our relationship with the IBEW, and we can only move forward under President Quebe, who currently chairs our Labor Relations Task Force. Ongoing dialogue between NECA and IBEW at all levels has convinced our labor partners that it is imperative that we collaborate to create flexible working agreements, so we can all get back to work providing customers with the latest technology, which is installed and maintained by the best trained and most knowledgeable electrical workers in the world.

So, what it all boils down to is this: I thoroughly enjoyed presiding as the chief elected officer for an organization I respect so much, and I am grateful for the support and friendship I have received throughout these past three tough years. I leave with no regrets and with overwhelming optimism for our future.

I’d also like to leave you with a personal note.

Through the past 35 columns, you’ve probably gathered that, despite how big and diversified Valley Electrical Consolidated Inc. (VEC) has become, I still consider my company to be a family business. We capitalize on every growth opportunity by encouraging and supporting the talents and potential of our employees. This employee-focused culture empowers creativity and instills an environment for continuous improvement. This approach creates a ripple effect that starts at the families of our employees and resonates all the way to our customers’ bottom line. We feel a caring kinship with colleagues and customers, as well.

So, here’s the closing comment I use in my own company meetings:

“I ask you to ‘know your God.

“Take care of your family. Be that father, mother, brother, sister, aunt or uncle.

“Then I know that VEC Inc. will be taken care of.”

And so will NECA and our industry!

Reprinted with permission from the ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine www.ecmag.com this publication serves the unique and specific informational needs of 60,000 electrical/low voltage contractors documented to work in all areas of integrated systems. Additionally, their website reaches more than a million and a half readers each month. This powerful publication is the leader in addressing INTEGRATED SYSTEMS.

 

Siklu Sold Over 1000 E-Band Wireless Backhaul Links in 2011

Established Leading Position in Millimeter Wave Wireless Backhaul Market

PETACH TIKVA, Israel, January 25, 2012 – Siklu, provider of EtherHaulE-band radios, has established a leading position in the wireless backhaul over millimeter wave market with its strong performance in 2011. With more than 1000 EtherHaul links installed and running successfully under varying weather conditions all over the world, Siklu has solidified its position as a front-runner in millimeter wave systems.

The Siklu EtherHaul solution has been performing stably in trials under diverse weather conditions, from the harsh European winter to the rainy monsoon season in India. Operators also benefit from a small form factor that facilitates fast site acquisition and deployment, as well as plug and play setup that reduces installation time.

“Siklu’s leading position has been achieved through its game-changing design,” says Gaby Junowicz, vice president of marketing and business development at Siklu. “We’re seeing numerous customers standardize on Siklu for their urban wireless links because of the unmatched throughput-price combination.” 

Siklu’s high capacity gigabit wireless backhaul solutions support next generation 4G/LTE and broadband bandwidth requirements, at the lowest cost in the industry. “In order to maintain its leadership position, Siklu will continue to leverage its innovative all-silicon technology to deliver systems perfectly suited for LTE/4G small and picocell backhaul,” Junowicz continues.

Siklu will be exhibiting at Mobile World Congress, February 27-March 1 in Barcelona, showcasing its EtherHaul millimeter wave systems in Hall 2, 2C72, and Hall 6, C50.

About Siklu

Siklu has been committed to reducing the cost of high capacity wireless backhaul solutions since 2008. The company's success centers on an innovative silicon-based design of the millimetric wave radio system and components that has resulted in the lowest cost millimeter wave systems available. The EtherHaul radios deliver Gigabit speeds over the millimetric wave spectrum and are ideal for urban wireless backhaul of macro, micro and picocells. Serving providers around the world, Siklu Communication is based near Tel Aviv, Israel.

 

AT&T plans layoffs in Connecticut

Eroding voices service revenues are forcing AT&T (NYSE: T) to let go another 150 employees in its Connecticut market.

"We are eliminating some positions due to reduced workload in our shrinking wireline business," said spokesman Marty Richter. "The affected employees have a job offer guarantee that promises a job offer in another part of the business within Connecticut, so they have an opportunity to stay on the payroll."

Any employee who's affected by the latest round of job cuts will be able to apply for other jobs in the company.

Overall, the service provider has cut 100 operators' employees in the state and has also announced plans to cut an additional 45 engineer and technician positions. In addition, a report in the Waterbury Republican-American revealed that AT&T will close customer service centers in Waterbury and Old Saybrook.

While traditional wireline voice services continue their expected decline in the state, the service provider is seeing greater demand for its U-verse IPTV service. This has prompted AT&T to ramp up its U-verse workforce, hiring 200 technicians and retail employees in the past six months with plans to hire 50 more.

Regardless of AT&T's reasons, Communications Workers of America (CWA) local President Bill Henderson believes that the job cuts will "continue to deteriorate the already obscenely low 'service levels' in our state."

The timing of the job cuts come as the CWA, which represents 4,000 AT&T employees, gears up to negotiate a new labor contract. The CWA's contract with AT&T expires in April.   

 

New Minuteman® MMS Slimline Surge Suppressors Now Available

New surge products provide compact, stylish protection for A/V, HDTV, workstations

Dallas, TX – January 25, 2012 – Para Systems, Inc. today announced the availability of four new MMS Slimline surge suppressor models. These new products join Minuteman’s existing lineup of quality surge suppression products which range from single-outlet wall-taps to 12-outlet strips with unique rotating outlets. The Slimline series includes two new wall-taps tailored for A/V and HDTV applications, as well as two compact strips suited for workstations, network peripherals, security systems, and entertainment center installations.

The new MMS Slimline products provide protection from electrical spikes and surges that can be devastating to both expensive electronic equipment and valuable data. Each of the four Slimline models offer the features, reliability, and value Minuteman’s MMS series has been known for in stylish, compact, and versatile new forms.

Highlighting the new line is the MMS130RC, an ultra low-profile 3-outlet wall tap which includes coax protection. These units are perfectly suited for placement behind wall-mounted HDTVs, and offer a convenient rotating power outlet and coax connection to aid in routing wires out of sight. A limited lifetime warranty and $75,000 connected equipment protection plan are included.

Two all-new strips, the MMS664S and MMS686SCT are also available. These units provide 6 and 8 outlets, respectively, and offer an ultra-slim design that is perfectly suited for cramped media centers and workstations. The MMS686SCT also offers coax and phone/fax/network surge protection, making it an ideal solution for fail-safe surge protection of expensive electronic equipment including HDTVs, routers, and modems, as well as desktop and laptop computers. A limited lifetime warranty and $75,000 (MMS664S) or $200,000 (MMS686SCT) connected equipment protection plan are included.

The final addition to the MMS line is the MMS660S, a low-profile 6-outlet wall tap. This unit provides an extremely economical solution for adding outlets to a typical wall plug, and its slim design is ideal for cramped spaces under desks and behind entertainment centers. Limited lifetime warranty and a $50,000 connected equipment protection plan are included.

For full information, including specifications and sample installation diagrams, visit http://www.minutemanups.com/slimline

About Para Systems, Inc.

Para Systems, Inc., based in Carrollton, TX, is a leading provider of power technologies.  The company’s Minuteman brand of comprehensive power protection solutions include small to large-scale uninterruptible power supply (UPS) products, a full line of unique surge suppressors, power distribution units, and remote power management systems.  Minuteman products protect telephone/VOIP systems, personal computers, network servers and infrastructure peripherals, security systems, and industrial applications. The Minuteman brand of products is sold through a large network of distributors and resellers.  Para Systems is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Components Corporation of America, headquartered in Dallas, TX, whose roots date back to 1916. For more information, visit www.minutemanups.com.

 

Ideal Announces Rebranding Of Data Communications Business UNIT – January 2012

WHO

IDEAL INDUSTRIES NETWORKS US (formally IDEAL DataComm) is an innovative, leading-edge manufacturer of portable network testing and troubleshooting equipment for LAN Installation, LAN Management and WAN Access. From copper to fiber optics, its testing equipment is developed to handle the complexity of today's networks, while simplifying the process with user-friendly designs. Products include LanTEK™ cable certifiers, LanXPLORER™ network analyzers, SIGNALTEK™-FO fiber optic testers, SecuriTEST™ CCTV testers, VDV PRO™ multimedia cable testers, and the IENet™ PRO twisted pair tester. 

IDEAL INDUSTRIES NETWORKS is headquartered in San Diego, CA. It is an independently operated business unit of IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. (www.idealindustries.com), a privately owned manufacturer of equipment and supplies for professionals in the electrical, construction, maintenance, datacom and OEM industries. 

 WHAT

IDEAL is announcing at BICSI the rebranded of its DataComm business unit as IDEAL INDUSTRIES Networks US to reflect a realigned product mix and sales force focusing on networking technologies. IDEAL INDUSTRIES Networks US will fold Trend Communications into its operations to create a single global brand. The new IDEAL INDUSTRIES Networks logo mirrors and supports its strong global reputation while underscoring its affiliation with Trend. 

WHERE

BICSI Winter Conference & Exhibition, IDEAL Booth #701, Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, Orlando, FL.  

 WHEN

February 12-16, 2012. Private meetings can be arranged for media members at the IDEAL booth with VP/GM Jason Butchko and National Sales and Marketing Manager Rich Jones during show hours or afterward. Please contact Lynn Roberts (IDEAL) or Dan O'Connell (PR firm) to schedule a meeting time. 

  WHY

Rebranding the DataComm business accentuates the company's growing reputation as a world-class provider of network testing solutions, as well as reflects the scope of its current business and global growth strategy.  

 CONTACTS

Lynn Roberts  

lynn.roberts@idealindustries.com

800-435-0705

Dan O'Connell

dan@oconnellpr.com

708-482-0212

 

IDEAL INDUSTRIES NETWORKS names mark barmettler director of engineering

LAN Industry Veteran to Lead LAN Test and Measurement Development Programs

SAN DIEGO, CA, JANUARY 25, 2012 -- IDEAL INDUSTRIES NETWORKS, the networking division of IDEAL Industries, Inc., one of the world's largest manufacturers of LAN Test and Measurement products that improve the quality and lower the cost of data communication, has appointed Mark Barmettler as its new Director of Engineering in the US. Barmettler brings over a quarter century of engineering and research experience to the San Diego based division.  This announcement comes on the heels of the company's recent appointment of Richard Jones as the new Director of Sales & Marketing, Networks US, as part of its systematic approach to strengthening its presence in this fast growing market.

As Director of Engineering, Barmettler will be responsible for leading IDEAL Industries Networks' skilled engineering staff and guiding the company's technology roadmap.

"Mark has demonstrated leadership in the development and implementation of leading-edge technology and will be an invaluable asset as we further establish IDEAL Industries Networks as the leader in the market," said Jason Butchko, IDEAL Industries Networks vice president and general manager. "Mark will play a key role in broadening our portfolio of product solutions designed to enhance the productivity of our customer base."

Barmettler joins IDEAL from his most recent position as engineering director at Megger. While at Megger, Barmettler managed engineering for the datacom product lines and was the driving force behind the LAN certification devices, fiber-optic and RF devices. 

"IDEAL has a long history of developing high performing LAN/WAN products that make our customer's job easier and that they can rely on," said Barmettler. "I am excited to be a part of Ideal Industries and look forward to leading the networks division to an even more promising future."

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.  Visit www.idealindustries.com for more information.

 

Jenne Adds LifeSize Video Collaboration Solutions to its Solution Design Portal, Helping Resellers Capture Unified Communication Opportunities in Video Conferencing

Resellers Can Preview Pricing and Specifications on Leading Video Conferencing Solutions, While Augmenting Their Core Competencies and Increasing Revenues

Avon, OH - January 25, 2012: Jenne® Inc., a leading value-added distributor of IP telephony, audio and video conferencing, data networking and security products, announced that it has added LifeSize as a new vendor in its Jenne Solution Design (JSD) online solution configuration tool. Lifesize, a division of Logitech, is a developer of award-winning video conferencing products and a major Jenne partner. LifeSize offers scalable, enterprise-quality client-server solutions that support high-end HD video collaboration - a category that is a foundational component of unified communications and quickly growing in both enterprise and SMB environments.

The addition of LifeSize video conferencing products to the Jenne Solution Design portal lets Jenne customers view specifications, price quotes and product information, while opening new potential incremental revenue opportunities for resellers in unified communications as they expand their core competencies to include LifeSize's collaborative technologies.

According to an October, 2011 report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc., "the world video conferencing market is expected to reach $14 billion by 2017 and will be driven by factors such as an increase in enterprise mobility and subsequent rise in number of mobile workforce, growing prominence of telepresence and increasing adoption among small and medium sized businesses (SMBs)."*

The launch of LifeSize on this portal makes it easier for VoIP customers to add videoconferencing to their linecards; and conversely, will allow existing video conferencing resellers to explore VoIP solutions as a new opportunity. "This is an exciting time to introduce our customers to LifeSize's video collaboration solutions through the Jenne Solution Design portal," commented Vince Piccolomini, vice president of logistics and business development, Jenne. "Videoconferencing has been gaining momentum in the corporate marketplace for some time, and our portal can now serve as a natural and lucrative transition point for our customers who want to do business in the videoconferencing arena."

The Power Behind the Platform
The Jenne Solution Design tool is a multi-vendor online portal where users can mix-and-match different VoIP products and assemble a tentative, turn key solution. As customers view specs, pricing and other critical details associated with a set of products, they can review changes or substitutions before making a commitment to purchase. This expedient model allows VARs to streamline their purchasing decisions, without the need to for in-depth spreadsheets or long customer service calls. JSD is accessible 24x7, and includes products from Avaya, Panasonic, ADTRAN and various other complementary VoIP vendors.

Powered by eXalt Solutions, the Jenne Solution Design portal offers a more accessible and versatile alternative to stand-alone vendor configuration tools - which typically do not provide the ability to provide quotes for solutions involving multiple manufacturers.

"Our collaboration with Jenne on the Jenne Solutions Design portal has been very successful and goes a long way towards simplifying customer transactions," noted Leslie Swanson, CEO of eXalt. "Essentially, the Jenne Solutions Design portal creates a one stop capability for VARs to to assess customer requirements, spot complementary products and quote complete solutions to their customers."

To learn more about the Jenne Solution Design portal, please visit Jenne's website at http://www.jenne.com, or contact Bill Miller at bmiller@jenne.com, 1-(440) 471-3107.

* Source: Global Industry Analysts, Inc., press release: November 9, 2011: World Video Conferencing Market to Reach US$14 Billion by 2017, According to New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc.

About Jenne®
Jenne Inc., headquartered in Avon, Ohio, is a leading value-added distributor of business telephony, data, audio and video conferencing, and security technology products, including equipment and software for the Enterprise and SMB markets. Since the company's founding in 1986, Jenne is committed to providing value added resellers with a broad product selection, competitive pricing, on-time accurate delivery, outstanding technical support plus ongoing sales and technical training at our own Jenne University. Jenne's strategic alliances insure its continuing ability to meet the resellers' growing needs. More than 150 major manufacturers partner with Jenne including Avaya, Aastra, ADTRAN, Bogen, ClearOne, Extreme Networks, GN Netcom, ICC, Lifesize, Panasonic, Plantronics, Valcom, and Verint. Jenne is dedicated to tracking emerging technologies, offering fresh solutions, new equipment and related applications, accredited training and certification to better serve dealers and resellers.

About eXalt Solutions
eXalt Solutions is the only scalable and measurable cloud powered channel sales enablement (CSE) service. Our patented eXalt Solutions Sales Portals™ power the world's largest channel sales sites (CDW, PC Connection, PC Mall, Tech Data, Ingram Micro, Westcon and Jenne) where vendors can share actionable content, then dynamically mix it with playbooks of what Distributors want to sell, so more VARs than ever before are empowered with the knowledge to sell solutions like the best experts. The world's largest vendors (HP, Cisco, Adtran, Avaya) are able to grow sales by influencing sales behavior of over 20,000 registered channel partners and measuring what impacts sales most. More information about the company and its services is available at www.exaltsolutions.com.

Contact:
Jeff Touzeau
Public Relations
Hummingbird Media, Inc.
(914) 602-2913
jeff@hummingbirdmedia.com


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