Trends Shaping the Future of Connected Smart Buildings: Power over Ethernet

Part 2: Insights from industry expert Casey Talon

Power over Ethernet. Automation. Wireless. The future of connected infrastructures and smart buildings are being shaped today. What do building owners and managers need to overcome to convert commercial facilities into smart buildings? In order to keep up with the latest infrastructure technology trends, we spoke with Casey Talon, a Research Director at Navigant and consultant specializing in market research. In the second part of a three-part series, we ask Casey about the true value of today’s most intelligent infrastructure.

Question for Casey

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is poised to become the new power grid in modern buildings. How will your clients benefit from PoE? What infrastructure considerations should they make as they adopt PoE?

Casey’s response

PoE holds a lot of promise for the smart buildings market. The reduced installation costs, real-time data, and scalability of PoE makes it an attractive technology for smart buildings. While PoE first entered the commercial buildings scene with VoIP phones, the IEEE 100W standard opens the door to more compelling applications relative to smart building goals that benefit from integrating point of sales machines, digital signage, smart lighting, cameras, and other devices as IoT becomes mainstream. Integrating the data streams from smart lighting and cameras, for example, can offer building owners new insight into space use that can inform decisions around leasing or safety.

Building owners will rely on their IT staff or technology partners to define the requirements for their network as they look to implement PoE smart building solutions. Choosing the right cabling and management strategies will help future-proof their buildings as they look to an era of exponential growth in IP-connected devices that need to be integrated for the data analytics that come with IoT. Again, many organizations will struggle to manage a cohesive strategy across their IT and OT systems with existing staff, but understanding the importance of data and the opportunity of smart buildings opens the door to new engagements with service providers.

Benefits of Power over Ethernet

Power over Ethernet promises flexibility for growth, operational efficiency, improved network control and easier, more cost-effective installation. Customers that deploy PoE will also benefit from devices that operate ongoing without the worry of unexpected failure when batteries need to be replaced. To learn more about its significance in today’s smart buildings and how to navigate the opportunities and obstacles of adapting PoE, read our eBook The Role of Power over Ethernet (PoE) in the Modern Connected Enterprise.

There’s more to discover about the latest trends and tech in smart buildings. Join us next time with Casey when we discuss wireless, retrofitting and the emerging Energy Cloud.

Trends shaping the future of connected smart buildings

Part 1: Insights from industry expert Casey Talon

In order to keep up with the latest infrastructure technology trends, we spoke with Casey Talon, a Research Director at Navigant and consultant specializing in market research. As the first part of a three part series, we ask Casey about the true value of today’s most intelligent infrastructure.

Navigant Research’s Building Innovations program focuses on the design, construction, and maintenance of efficient commercial and residential buildings. As Research Director, Casey manages Navigant Research’s Intelligent Building Management Systems research service. This service is focused on assessing market opportunity for data-driven tools for energy and operational efficiency in commercial buildings, go-to-market strategies for intelligent building solution providers, and other major market dynamics.

Question for Casey

 As buildings become more automated, new systems and technologies are finding a home on the network. In what ways does your research suggest this will optimize building functions?

Casey’s response

Best practices in network design and cybersecurity are critical elements of a successful smart building strategy. Deploying individual smart systems that run in isolation can only deliver so much benefit. Facilities management is transformed when systems are integrated, data is accessible, and analytics deliver real business insight and direct automated improvements.

IT/OT convergence is a necessity for smart building success. The market is still maturing when you consider the people side of the equation—this is where the significant challenges lie. A secure, seamless, and future-proof network requires cross-domain knowledge, a bridge between legacy facilities and IT teams. Many building owners and managers struggle with this change management process. There is a lot of room for new partnerships and services to support the conversion of commercial facilities into smart buildings.

Today, building owners look to two core value propositions for investing in smart buildings: optimizing system performance and customizing the occupant experience. New applications translate data from diverse building systems, occupancy, weather, energy, and IoT and building equipment into actionable information on strategic business challenges.

Smart building solutions offer a unified approach to deliver energy savings and other business goals such as tracking customer flow in a store, occupancy rates for rented offices, and time for locating shared assets in healthcare to maximize asset value; these are often challenges that may be even higher priority than saving energy.

There is an important link between optimized building systems and the occupant experience. Optimized performance delivers metrics that satisfy demands for sustainability and occupant-centric operations that increasingly represent brand, thereby connecting investment in smart building solutions to the bottom line. Loyal customers equal sales, happy employees equal productivity, and healthy students equal school success.

Benefits of smart buildings

Advantages of smart buildings go beyond energy savings and optimized building operations. For many organizations, the true benefit of a highly connected building is a more satisfying customer experience, higher employee productivity and satisfaction, better student performance, or even improved patient health. To learn more about the key systems found in digital buildings, the benefits of converging systems onto the IP network and the infrastructure that supports it, check out our eBook The Agile and Efficient Digital Building.

There’s more to discover about the latest trends and technology in smart buildings. Join us next time with Casey when we discuss Power over Ethernet.

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Planning for Wireless Growth in Buildings

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the number of wireless devices in the world is increasing. Five years ago, digital analysts declared that the number of devices had officially surpassed the number of people in the world. And, by 2025, analysts predict there will be 6 to 10 networked devices per person.

wireless demands strain building infrastructure
The number of wireless devices continues to grow, pushing the evolution of wireless access points, as well as Wi-Fi standards and technologies

To keep up with this demand, wireless access points (WAPs) have evolved. Today’s largest WAPs can support up to 200 client devices. This sounds like a lot, until you think about a large office building, university lecture hall, convention hotel, or airport. In facilities like these, large numbers of employees, students, and travelers are connecting multiple devices: a laptop computer, wireless phone, tablet, smart watch, handheld game console, or any number of other connected devices – potentially all at the same time! And, don’t forget building functions: many of the sensors and devices that connect and control lighting, HVAC, and security systems connect wirelessly. Suddenly, those 200 client devices are accounted for pretty quickly.  

Wireless standards and technologies have also evolved to meet demand. In a span of just 10 short years, wireless technology has seen Wi-Fi 4, 5, and 6. The newest standard, Wi-Fi 6, offers improved data rates, better performance in high-density applications, and reduced latency over previous versions, and is poised to become the fastest growing wireless standard in history. And, while Wi-Fi 6 is not yet commonly deployed, engineers are already working on the next evolution: Wi-Fi 7.

This ongoing evolution of WAPs, standards, and technologies makes it imperative that the layer 1 physical infrastructure also evolve. The move to bigger and faster WAPs has put a strain on the underlying network and the cabling infrastructure that supports it.

Install Wireless with an Eye on the Future

Whether you’re looking to add or upgrade WAPs in your building to support your wireless needs today, when it comes to the infrastructure connecting those WAPs, you should consider not only what you need today, but tomorrow, as well. Because, as we can all see, wireless demand isn’t going to decreas.

For two key reasons, Category 6A cabling is the cabling of choice for WAPs:

  • Category 6A supports 10GBASE-T, a requirement for Wi-Fi 6 and 7
  • Category 6A has optimal PoE performance

To ensure your cabling plant can support wireless growth in the future, Panduit recommends the installation of four Category 6A cables per access point. Why four?

  • Many buildings often need to increase Wi-Fi density, and having additional cables in the ceiling makes upgrading Wi-Fi density quick, easy, and cost-effective
  • The Wi-Fi 7 standard is expected to require two 10GBASE-T links, both running over Category 6A cable
  • Therefore, 4 cables are recommended for both increased density and future Wi-Fi 7 needs
  • Installing the 4 cables upfront provides the lowest possible cost

Learn More!

The impacts of these latest Wi-Fi advances are spelled out in greater detail in our new white paper, Wi-Fi 5, 6, and 7: Insights and Impacts on Cabling Infrastructure. Download it today to learn more about the improvements and advances in wireless technology and how to make sure the cabling plant you install to meet today’s wireless needs will grow with your building.

Can your cabling support the demands of the future?

Are you equipped to deliver the healthcare of the future? In the first of our five-part blog series, we explore key areas of consideration to help you make the decisions that will improve the lives of patients, doctors, and nurses.

Technical innovations are driving faster, more accurate diagnoses, streamlined care and better outcomes for patients. By 2021, the health technology sector is expected to reach $280 billion, according the 2019 US and Global Health Care Industry Outlook report by Deloitte*.

What’s more, Deloitte suggests the US healthcare industry is moving towards a model based on value rather than volume. This means keeping people healthy and out of the hospital will be key. Rather than seeing people as patients, healthcare providers should treat them more like members – a shift that could result in greater customer loyalty. The successful deployment and management of wireless technology can ease this transition by providing a reliable, always on network which is critical to the success of future digital tools, workflow and patient care.

But wireless data transfer is only as reliable and fast as the infrastructure that supports it. Data has to be funneled through a cable at some point, and you may find that your existing cabling infrastructure can’t keep up with the demands of the modern healthcare organization.

Too often, cabling is neglected when planning for new technology investments. The reality is that robust cabling is essential for the success of wireless technologies. It provides the reliability and performance that always-on healthcare networks demand. A 10G infrastructure provides the bandwidth to support the most demanding technology, delivering high-resolution imaging across a hospital in moments, while keeping patients and staff wirelessly connected, and medical records secure.

Not investing in physical infrastructure, may mean not getting the best from the wireless technologies that help deliver competitive patient care. Here are four use cases.

Fast and efficient data collection

Wirelessly connecting medical devices to Electronic Health Records systems has reduced the time it takes to enter vitals from 7-10 minutes to less than 1 minute per patient, according to Becker’s Hospital Review**. What’s more, having access to up-to-date test results and medical records electronically enables staff to provide more streamlined care.

Reducing errors

With the help of wireless technology, patient information no longer has to be interpreted and uploaded to a hospital database manually, significantly reducing the risk of errors.

Location tracking

Wireless technology offers the ability to track a patient’s location, providing a sense of freedom and security for those with long-term illness living outside a medical facility. For example, if a patient with Alzheimer’s diseases goes missing, they can be easily located.

It also provides better care in medical facilities. Wireless, wearable sensors track patient movement, alerting nursing staff when someone leaves their room or suffers a fall.

Remote monitoring

Wireless smart devices allow doctors to monitor patients remotely. Medical devices such as vital sign monitors and infusion pumps transmit data to electronic records, giving doctors remote access to critical information. What’s more, doctors can provide patients with advice via video conferencing.

These examples simply scratch the surface of what’s possible with wireless technology powered by high-performance cabling. Our solutions can serve as the backbone for platforms that improve the quality of care today and beyond.

Discover how Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare relied on Panduit’s Enterprise and Data Center Solutions to create a home for high-level medical services to grow and thrive. Learn more now.

https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/life-sciences-and-health-care/articles/us-and-global-health-care-industry-trends-outlook.html

**  https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/healthcare-information-technology/the-connected-hospital-wireless-technology-shapes-the-future-of-healthcare.html

Can your infrastructure meet the requirements of MiFID II?

With GDPR still a prevalent concern across the financial services industry, financial institutions face another major regulatory challenge in the form of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II). In the UK alone, the Financial Conduct Authority received 1,335 notifications of inaccurate transaction reporting under (MiFID II during 2018*).

The directive is multi-faceted. Ostensibly, the EU designed it to offer more protection to investors by introducing greater transparency to asset classes, whether they’re equities, fixed income, exchange traded funds or foreign exchange.

But this has consequences for your underlying networking infrastructure, which is required to support greater and more timely data transactions. This is especially pertinent for trading firms in the High Frequency Trading (HFT) sector, where trimming network latency by nanoseconds results in increased profits and competitive advantage.

With this in mind, MiFID II mandates latency standards across global banking networks. It also requires communication across those networks to be captured and recorded in real-time, and time-stamped accordingly.

Time stamping is a critical factor, requiring correct handling, with uniform latency across a network helping to create a consolidated view of network transactions which all carry accurate time-stamps.

There are certain technical standards for time-stamping that firms must meet under the new directive. Among these are: choosing the clock that you will use as a reference; indicating the type of organizations involved in a trade; defining the type of trade; and the level of time-stamp granularity -e.g. microseconds or nanoseconds. If you, as a trader, are dealing with a dual-listed, cross-border stock that covers two time zones, your infrastructure needs to be sufficiently uniform so you can document well and timestamp accurately. Once again, latency is the key.

The consequences are even fiercer than with GDPR, as non-compliant companies risk fines of up to €5m, or up to 10% of global turnover**. This is a concern for the 65% of capital market firms across Europe who stated in a 2018 survey that they had no adequate or systematic method in place to monitor trades in accordance with best execution criteria***.

Read this blog to find out how else you should be equipping your network infrastructure to ensure efficiency.  

*  https://www.ftadviser.com/regulation/2019/04/10/more-than-1-000-mifid-ii-breaches-reported-to-fca/

**  https://www.pwc.ch/en/publications/2018/solgari-industry-report.pdf 

***    https://www.finextra.com/blogposting/16488/mifid-ii—one-year-on

Panduit® Technical Engineer Andy Booth Joins IEC Committee on Cable Cleats

IEC 61914- compliant cable cleat solutions help ensure safety during short circuit events

Andy Booth, Panduit’s Technical Engineer has been elected as a US expert on the committee responsible for overseeing the IEC 61914 standard on cable cleats for electrical installations. This ensures that Panduit remains ahead of the game with regards to standards compliance and safety, and puts their new range of cable cleats in a market-leading position.

“Having worked with the committee previously, I’m really looking forward to joining back up with some old colleagues to continue this important work,” said Booth, a chartered engineer with over 20 years of experience in the industry and a senior member of IEEE.

Since its first publication in 2009, the maintenance committee for the IEC 61914 standard have worked towards a harmonized, easy-to-understand technical publication. Its aim is to provide cleat manufacturers with clear, unbiased guidance on the safe cable cleat design and testing. Having representation on the committee further enhances Panduit’s leadership on the harmonization of standards and ability to ensure future product development meets standards requirements.

Cable cleats ensure cables remain contained in the event of a short circuit fault, minimizing disruption and damage to personnel and property. In the U.S., NEC 392.20(C) governs the safety of the cable installations in cable trays but does not currently provide adequate guidance on how to securely contain cables in the event of a short circuit.

The internationally recognized IEC 61914 standard provides the testing methodology and process to ensure cable cleat reliability, including temperature rating, resistance to flame propagation, lateral and axial load testing, impact resistance, corrosion resistance, and resistance to electromechanical forces.

Assurance and insurance bundled together, cable cleats are an investment worth making to help prevent project rework and ensure safety. Panduit’s IEC 61914-compliant solutions—including stainless steel locking strap cleats, stainless steel buckle strap cleats, stainless steel trefoil cleats, and aluminum and polymer cleats—are uniquely engineered for ease of installation in a range of applications and harsh environments.


Learn more about why cable cleats are vital for protecting major infrastructure projects here.  

Supporting Video Games (and Academics) at Universities

With the ever-increasing popularity of video games, it’s no surprise that there’s a day dedicated to recognizing video games and the gamers playing them. July 8 is Video Games Day, so whether you’re more inclined to crush candies or join friends for a round or two (or 10) of Fortnite, today’s your day!

In the world of online gaming, players want fast upload speeds, even faster download speeds, and low lag. When multiple players are using the same internet connection, the required capacity is multiplied by the number of players.

For most of us, that’s a function of our home internet connection. However, there’s one location where this need for bandwidth is crucial because of sheer volume: the college or university residence hall. Gaming consoles are among the average of eight wireless devices students bring with them when they move on campus. (Curious about the others? Phones, laptops and tablets, as well as smart TVs, wireless printers and wearables are among the other common devices.)

What’s a university to do when the primary gaming demographic is the same demographic as their enrollment … and they all want those fast speeds and low lag rates at the same time? Fear not. There are solutions. And the good news is, when wireless coverage is sufficient to support online gaming, it is adequate to support academic needs also!

Look at Coverage and Capacity

Coverage and capacity provide two approaches to improving the performance of a wireless network.

Coverage: With 100 percent wireless coverage in all areas of the residence hall, students and staff will be able to connect and have Wi-Fi service everywhere they need it. If there are areas where interference and dead zones are an issue, a wireless site survey can determine coverage needs and identify any remediation that is needed. It’s also a good idea to keep an inventory of all wireless devices and their operating frequencies to manage and limit interference between devices.

Capacity: Wireless capacity is the ability of the network to provide reliable, responsive wireless access to the growing number of wireless devices that are competing for bandwidth – in other words, each of those eight devices that students are bringing to campus. This could require more access points in closer proximity, higher power access points, or a mix of both.

Without addressing the wireless needs, you might find that students will take matters into their own hands and bring personal routers, which can wreak havoc with the university’s installed infrastructure. A robust wireless network that meets both coverage and capacity will eliminate these rogue routers before they become a problem.

Increase your Bandwidth

For more than a decade, wireless has been the application driving the need for higher performance cabling infrastructure. The latest generations of WAPs are designed to simultaneously support more than 200 client devices. To get the promised performance, however, the cabling infrastructure that connects the WAP has to perform to those standards.

Wi-Fi 6 (the common name for IEEE 802.11ax) is poised to become the largest and fastest growing wireless standard in history. And, Wi-Fi 7 is fast on the heels of Wi-Fi 6, with significant improvements beyond Wi-Fi 6. If you’re installing or upgrading cabling infrastructure today, you’ll want to be sure it meets the requirements for Wi-Fi 7 at a minimum, so you’re prepared for future generations of access points.

This means Category 6A cabling, to support 10GBASE-T, plus two to four cables per access port. Why four? A minimum of two cables is required to allow for speeds up to 20 Gbps with link aggregation. An additional two Cat 6A cables are then recommended to allow for increased densities over time. It’s easier and cheaper to install the added cables today, than it is to add them later.

Consider Power over Ethernet

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is the new power grid in today’s buildings, with the latest PoE standards allowing for up to 99W of power via the same structured cabling that is moving data to and from the device. Wireless access points are a prime candidate for PoE. With PoE, WAPs can be moved, added and reconfigured at will, without worrying about whether there is an electrical source near the access point.

Once again, Category 6A is the go-to for PoE. The construction of Category 6A cables means they are better equipped to handle the heat rise that comes with PoE. Panduit’s Vari-MaTriX Cat 6A cables are designed with improved thermal capacity, to provide the ultimate in heat rise protection for PoE.

Design for Aesthetics

If you’re adding wireless capacity to existing residence halls, you might not be able to run cabling infrastructure above the ceiling, where that infrastructure typically lives in newer buildings. In cases like this, we’ve seen universities have success using a raceway to contain the cabling infrastructure.

Purdue University successfully added wireless capacity in historic residence halls using a raceway solution plus small diameter cabling. Learn more about the award-winning Purdue project in our Purdue University Case Study.

Game On!

Adding or improving wireless capacity for resident students doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right infrastructure in place, paired with our recommendations above, your students will be ready to game – or study – to their hearts’ content.

Latency is only the start of the challenge

There’s a clear need for a latency standard that can be applied globally across financial institutions. But that’s just one step. The real challenge emerges when you ask why this standard is necessary, and what it means for the future success of your business.

Latency is key to your success because if it isn’t perfectly calibrated, it’ll cost you. According to a study by the Tabb Group, if your infrastructure allows even 5ms of lag, you could lose an astounding $4m per millisecond across transactions.*

The reality is that the demand on your digital infrastructure has never been higher. We live in a world of high-speed financial trading. Data needs to be processed, analyzed, and transmitted at lightning speeds to meet the global, mobile, and 24/7 demands for instantaneous transactions and transfers.

Moreover, when positions change in an instant, latency isn’t just a matter of efficiency. It’s a matter of profitability. Which means that your infrastructure must be up to task if your institution is to remain viable over the coming years.

That’s why it’s vital to have a next-gen digital infrastructure architecture that’s robust and reliable. Joe Skorupa, VP Distinguished Analyst at Gartner Data Centre Convergence, recently commented*, “I have known major financial organizations make multi-million dollar investments only to rip-and-replace them the very next day if a technology comes along that improves their competitive edge.

However, the network hasn’t really changed in the last few decades because network folk are conservative. The reasons are quite clear: if a server in a data center fails, your application goes down; but if your network goes down your entire data center goes down.”

Skorupa highlights the latency issue right here. In order to benefit from super-speed transactions, and make the most of your digital transformation, you need to equivalize latency across your entire network. This involves taking an in-depth look at your existing physical infrastructure, and determining where change is required.

Upgrading and consolidating your data centre infrastructure can also help to mitigate risk, and future-proof the business, as this blog post explains [http://panduitblog.com/2019/04/29/datacenter/consolidation-the-pros-and-cons-of-putting-your-eggs-in-one-basket/].

As a trusted infrastructure partner, Panduit can help you tackle your latency issues, and ensure the right networking technologies are underpinning your financial services.

##

*Source: https://datacentrenews.eu/story/opinion-automating-the-data-center-with-ibn, October 2018

*Source: The Value of a Millisecond: Finding the Optimal Speed of a Trading Infrastructure, April 2008

How to ensure your electrical safety program is driving compliance in 2019

Ensuring compliance with an electrical safety program isn’t always easy, but there are plenty of tools available to help you succeed.

As a safety manager, your job is not only to be prepared and consistent with regards to all aspects of plant safety, but also to make sure that everyone else – from management through to janitorial and office staff – prioritize safety as much as you do. Being proactive will result in your facility being in compliance – or not – as well helping to avoid serious injuries and fatalities around the workplace.

A good place to begin preparation is in places that are frequently overlooked. OSHA’s top cited violations tell us that electrical safety falls into this category. Being knowledgeable on the latest updated standards can help modernize your electrical safety programs, while also providing opportunities to address evolving safety concerns with employees so that all are up-to-date on best practices in electrical safety and incidents are avoided.

As one example, OSHA found failing to properly control energy accounted for nearly 10 percent of serious accidents in many industries. Realizing that its existing measures weren’t enough, OSHA recommended the creation of NFPA 70E, a requirement for safe work practices to protect personnel by reducing exposure to major electrical hazards.

OSHA’s general duty clause requires facilities to provide employees with a place of employment that is “free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious harm.” While NFPA 70E is a voluntary standard, with its compliance not required by law, it effectively describes electrical hazards and best practices to mitigate them. Because OSHA regulations are not frequently updated, they will often reference consensus standards such as NFPA 70E as a best practice when issuing citations to the general duty clause.

Implementing NFPA 70E In Your Facility

NFPA 70E helps facilities and employees avoid workplace injuries and fatalities due to shock, electrocution, arc flash, and arc blast during maintenance and construction in industrial plants. There are a couple of areas where you will need to update training procedures within your facility in order to comply with NFPA 70E:

An example of lockout/tagout

Lockout/Tagout (LOTO). Every year workers are unnecessarily exposed to hazardous energy sources during servicing, maintenance, or setting up equipment. By implementing a lockout device to ensure that equipment on the energy isolating device cannot be operated until the lockout device is removed and a tagout device to indicate that an energy isolating device may not be operated until the tagout device is removed, risks such as injuries, asset damage and production downtime are diminished.

When it comes to implementing a LOTO program to adhere to NFPA 70E, three types of employees need to be covered:

  • Authorized Employees are responsible for implementing energy control procedures and performing the required servicing or maintenance. Training for Authorized Employees includes details about the type and magnitude of the hazardous energy sources present at the facility, and the methods for isolating and controlling these energy sources. Authorized Employees must also receive training on machine-specific procedures.
  • Affected Employees operate equipment or work in an area in which an energy control procedure is being implemented. Affected employees are not themselves responsible for locking and tagging out, but must understand their purpose in order to avoid attempts to start up or use equipment during these procedures.
  • Other Employees include office or warehouse personnel who may work in an area where an energy control procedure is utilized.

Verifying Absence of Voltage. When electrical maintenance is needed, NFPA 70E requires that workers establish and verify equipment is in an electrically safe state. This involves a test for absence of voltage. Although NFPA 70E is comprehensive around LOTO guidelines and the need to first verify the absence of voltage, it does not articulate the removal of hazards before this maintenance or inspection begins, therefore increasing risk to the electrician. Eliminating a hazard is the most effective method according to the hierarchy of controls, and should be the first choice whenever possible. NFPA 70E emphasizes the need to work on electrical systems only when they are placed in an electrically safe working condition, but creating and verifying this condition requires more than just de-energizing, as it involves multiple steps to confirm the system is safe and to verify the absence of voltage.

Absence of Voltage Testers (AVTs) are permanently-mounted testing devices that are specifically designed to determine if a circuit part is de-­energized prior to opening panels or removing covers to access and maintain electrical equipment. They are designed to automatically run internal diagnostics and administer the live-dead-live type of verification testing with an internal known voltage source and actively indicate the absence of voltage. AVTs also help improve electrical safety through a Prevention through Design approach, making them an ideal option for maintenance and service professionals.

While training can deliver the results a facility is looking for, every plant is different and safety professionals should seek out third-party support in order to better understand the latest standards that can keep them in compliance. For more information on best practices for implementing a modernized safety program, read our new eBook How Understanding the Hierarchy of Controls can Lead to Reduced Electrical Incidents.

Consultative Application Engineering Program to Support Heavy-Duty Equipment OEM Customers

For the many design decisions and application issues encountered, help is needed to identify the cable management products best suited for each application. Panduit provides consultative engineering services to engineers working on Truck, Bus and Heavy Equipment applications. The program, which provides industry best practice recommendations, application specific observations and an optional engineering review, is customized to each OEM customer’s application, resulting in new, innovative designs and products for its customers.

“Panduit draws on its more than 60 years of application engineering experience and robust heavy-duty cable management solutions. We partner with our customers to support their most challenging wire and cable management applications and needs,” said Mark Pfaller, cable tie product strategy manager, Panduit. “From project start through successful completion, we work with designers to identify the right products to achieve optimal application performance for the lowest possible installed costs.”

Consultative Application Engineering is an example of what helps set Panduit apart from many others in the industry. Panduit has moved beyond simply selling customers a product. Having dedicated technical experts providing personalized application support is the culmination of a journey that began more than a decade ago.

“During conversations with our customers, we wanted to better understand their challenges and problems. Taking the time to ask more questions that go beyond a specific product was critical in this journey. Customers helped us recognize a gap that many of them had when it comes to in-house expertise and best practices of specific wire harness applications,” said Pfaller.

This specialized support can be beneficial to both OEMs and the wire harness manufacturer or subcontractor that the OEM may work with for wire harness applications – because they collaborate on producing the best possible final products and both should be knowledgeable in the best practices for the unique applications they’re working within.

The Consultative Application Engineering Program supports OEM design engineers with best practice recommendations, including:

  • Material Review: Panduit will assess material capabilities and call attention to any issues related to high temperature, high vibration conditions, and UV exposure.
  • Installation Practices: Panduit will evaluate installation practices to improve operational productivity and identify opportunities for part consolidation and material use reduction.
  • Tooling Maintenance Program: Panduit will further develop a designer’s tooling maintenance program to promote uptime and reduce the lifetime cost of ownership.
  • Develop Customized Products: Panduit ensures custom solutions are built to optimize every step of the operation for its customer application needs by consulting multiple departments including production, engineering, and quality control.

“The customers who see tremendous value in this service have engineers that are typically very well-versed when it comes to the system they’re working on but they may not have as much expertise in the appropriate wire and cable management best practices for their unique application, so they lean on their partners,” said Pfaller.

Dedicated Research & Development and Testing for OEM Design Engineers

Panduit spends time with each customer to talk about industry best practices, including wire management concepts that have successfully solved problems for other customers and the financial benefits when applying similar solutions to their own applications.

But recognizing general examples don’t necessarily address a customer’s unique needs. A dedicated team of technical sales engineers, advanced product development, and technical application team with deeper expertise provide the next stage of value-added services. Sometimes this means creation of a custom product to fit the exact specification.

Through significant investment in research and development, as well as participation in industry standard bodies to meet new and complex regulatory requirements, Panduit works with its customers’ to meet their exact specifications for the next product cycle, and for technologies on their roadmap in the future. Panduit also ensures rapid integration within and delivery of a high-quality product that is responsible to cost and innovation.

For more information on this program, contact the Panduit Customer Service Group or a local Panduit Sales Representative at 800-777-3300 or cs@panduit.com.