Building the next-gen data centre: global, connected, ready for business

With modern business defined by data and by connectivity, tomorrow’s data centre will bear little resemblance to today’s models.

What we currently think of as a data centre is being superseded by next-gen digital infrastructure architecture: global in scale and defined by the business services it delivers and the user/consumer requirements that it satisfies. According to a recent Gartner, Inc. report, infrastructure and operations people tasked with data centres will have to focus on “enabling rapid deployment of business services and deploying workloads to the right locations, for the right reasons, at the right price”.

These super-charged requirements, and that unstoppable focus on data, mean the most robust, reliable and flexible infrastructure – physical, electrical and network – will be paramount. Gartner also added that, by 2025, eighty percent of enterprises will have shut down their traditional data centre versus ten percent today. The key word is “traditional”.

With the rise of next-gen digital infrastructure architecture, workload placement becomes a critical driver of successful digital delivery. That, in turn, is underpinned by performance, availability, latency, scalability, and so on. Indeed, Gartner suggests an “ecosystem” is required to enable “scalable, agile infrastructures”.

What’s the best way to engage with this era of digital transformation, interconnect services, cloud, edge services and Internet of Things (IoT) if you’re planning or preparing to replace your data centre? The optimum digital infrastructure architecture (aka modern data centre) to meet requirements for the next five, ten or 15 years will, as ever, depend on each organisation’s priorities. There’s no simple answer. For some, a major step will be to ensure the strongest physical foundations including cabling, pathways and security. Many organisations will need an effective way to “bridge the gap” from old-world data centre and stacks into converged networks and infrastructure. At the same time, data centre infrastructure management tools can help improve energy efficiency and reduce costs. Perhaps a through line in all situations is ensuring the right connectivity solutions: to increase network throughput, reduce latency, improve agility, ensure scalability, and so on. That way, you’re not only ready for opportunities presented by the Internet of Things – you’ll be ready for the Internet of Everything.

To learn more about ensuring you have the right connectivity solutions at your core, read the report: https://pages.panduit.com/finance-all.html

The Potential for A Technological Revolution Requires Wire Harness Standards Harmonization

Whether you’re talking about the automotive, energy or telecom industry, standards have been the core of every technological revolution. Now, with the recent publication of ANSI/UL 62275, wire harness manufacturing can finally experience its own.

Up until now wire assembly has been a very manual industry, relying heavily on people and processes to manufacture the materials. But with ANSI/UL 62275’s adoption of IEC 62275 in the U.S. and harmonizing of CSA C22.2 No. 62275 (Canada), NMX-J-623-ANCE (Mexico) and IEC 62278 (Europe), a substantial opportunity has appeared for manufacturers to promote high value, consistent quality, and a safe and efficient application.

Regional standards bodies around the world.

The harmonization of wire harness standards includes participation from several regional standards bodies.


This harmonized standard for cable ties for electrical installations – including plastic and metallic cable ties, mounts and integral cable tie mounts – will provide wire harness component manufacturers test procedures to conduct rigorous tensile strength, minimum operating and installation temperature, vibration, corrosion, flame and plenum tests, among others, through one organization.

As a result, when a global component supplier is selected to ship to the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, or other regions that accept these harmonized standards, customers can be assured of the delivery of a product that is high quality and of performance at lower installed costs with reduced risks. Without harmonization, a wire processing company may be required to use different products based on the end destination.

Base standards for wire management products have historically always included regional standards from the Association of Standardization and Certification (ANCE Mexico), ANSI/UL Underwriters Laboratories-US, CSA Group (CSA Canada) or EN/IEC (European Standards), resulting in varying benchmarks for compliance testing and certifications. Due to this complexity, wire management customers have not always had the consistent benchmark of performance and quality that they deserve, which has often resulted in unexpected total business costs.

Now, by reducing the number of separate standards and testing requirements, high quality and product performance based on the successful completion of test standards has been ensured. While all regional standards ANCE, CSA, IEC and UL have a stability date of December 2018, updated standards will be introduced in 2019. As this switchover nears, it is vital that we start educating customers on these requirements now.

Ahead of the anticipated changes customers need to learn the benefits for their applications. Not only will this provide customers with better products, but we believe that the availability of this harmonized standard will encourage a whole new host of innovation across different sectors – from energy to military and defense and aerospace, to medical devices to the broader industrial market.

History shows that we all win by embracing standards harmonization. Now is the time for implementation and education so that innovation can be right around the corner.

To learn more about how ANSI UL 62275 will forever improve the wire management industry, watch our webinar, Why Global Standards Harmonization is Critical for the Future of Wire Harness.

Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare Uses Technology to Provide Superior Patient Care

A Robust Network Infrastructure Allows for Patient-Centered Care

A robust network infrastructure allows for patient-centered care.

 

The future is here – but not all hospitals have the infrastructure to embrace it. So, when Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare rebuilt with a commitment to patient-centered care, they turned to Panduit for network infrastructure and connectivity solutions.

Challenge

The hospital needed to design a future-forward backbone for its enterprise to accommodate the 178,000-square-foot, four-story main hospital and to connect:

  • physician offices
  • outpatient healthcare services
  • surgical suites
  • the medical office building (80,000 square foot)

Solution

To accomplish this task, Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare relied on Panduit’s enterprise and data center network infrastructure solutions to create a campus-wide network that places the most advanced equipment and techniques in the hands of top medical talent.

Panduit enabled:

  • On-site telecom rooms and data center
  • Fast and secure data transmission
  • Efficient Power over Ethernet
  • Reliable wireless capabilities

Panduit’s TX6A™ 10Gig copper and Opticom® fiber backbone ensure that the entire care team can securely view medical records and test results simultaneously, regardless of location.

In addition, Panduit’s cabinet and cable management products organize and protect critical equipment and cabling from environmental hazards such as dust, heat, and humidity. Panduit’s FiberRunner® cable management system enables customers to manage, organize, and properly route their cables, saving space and ensuring optimal network operation.

Result

With Panduit’s help, Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare now makes technology decisions based on medical and business needs, not infrastructure limitations.

See the infographic case study.

 

 

Key Indicators for Evaluating a Wire Harness Partner

As wire harnesses become increasingly more complex in both scope and scale, wire harness manufacturers can look to leverage the latest assembly innovations to increase their profitability while following strict quality standards to deliver a quality finished product to their end customer. As new research demonstrates, the demand for wire harness assemblies is beginning to exceed the manufacturers’ capacity. Finding the right wire harness solutions partner has never been more critical.

Quality, consistency, and speed are paramount to the success of a wire harness manufacturer. There are several factors that will determine whether a wire harness manufacturer can deliver on these key indicators:

1. COMPLIANCE WITH KEY INDUSTRY STANDARDS AND REGULATIONS
Wire harness assembly has traditionally relied on manual processes to manufacture and assemble the final product, leaving room for workmanship variances and quality errors. Beyond the regulations providing safety for those involved in the assembly process, a great deal of work has been done to drive quality into the manufacturing process to ensure that a safe and reliable product is delivered to the end customer.

Depending on the region you’re in, you may hear responses ranging from IPC/WHMA to ANCE to CSA to IEC and UL. You can learn more about the industry’s upcoming move to global standards harmonization by registering for our upcoming webinar on August 7 at 1pm CDT.

2. CUSTOMIZATION OR TURN-KEY?
Flexibility in wire harness manufacturing often refers to the ability to quickly deliver customized solutions. As manufacturing becomes more time sensitive, wire harness manufacturers are leveraging new technology to meet that demand. Traditional nail and board wire harness boards don’t always provide the required level of speed and flexibility. The introduction of Modular systems have helped reduce the cost of assembly material, allow for rapid prototyping and job changeover, as well as free up precious production space that was once used to store harness boards.

3. FOCUS ON THROUGHPUT
With wire harness manufacturing being a hands-on industry, the ability to focus – and deliver – on a fast turnaround is essential. As reaction time becomes a bigger part of the industry, the ability to automate the more manual aspects of an assembly will help determine the winners and losers in the industry. One example – automated cable tie installation – reinforces that automation most readily applies to processes that rely on repetitive actions, and that will apply across the most wire harness assemblies.

For decades, Pandit has invented and created wire harness solutions for some of the most important manufacturing processes in the world. Panduit offers comprehensive solutions for wire harness manufacturers, working with leaders across the industry, including:

  • Wire Harness Manufacturers Association – The Wiring Harness Manufacturer’s Association® (WHMA) was established in 1993 to serve and dedicate their resources to the global cable and wire harness industry. WHMA is the ONLY trade association exclusively representing the cable and wire harness manufacturing industry including manufacturers, their suppliers and customers.
  • Cirris Systems – For more than 30 years, Cirris has specialized in cable and harness testing for thousands of applications across consumer devices, hospital and medical equipment, aerospace and more.
  • Delta Sigma Company – An ISO 9001:2008 registered company located in Kennesaw Georgia, Delta Sigma Company specializes in developing systems and tools to automate large, complex, precision assembly and manufacturing processes.
  • Gem Gravure – For over 60 years, Gem Gravure has provided quality printing technology and fluids for marking wire and cable creating product combinations for everything from bottling craft brews to manufacturing electronics.
  • Schleuniger – Schleuniger is a leading international manufacturer of high-precision cable processing machines.
  • Telsonic Ultrasonics – Since 1966, Telsonic Ultrasonics has been a specialist in industrial ultrasonic technology. Telsonic Ultrasonics are certified according to ISO 9001 (SQS) and applies lean production principles.

For more information, read our latest eBook, Best Practices in Wire Harness Manufacturing: Your Guide to Increasing Productivity and Profitability.

Digitizing History for Future Preservation with Data Center Solutions

How the Vatican Apostolic Library Preserved its Manuscript Collection

The Vatican Apostolic Library preserves its invaluable documents with the help of a robust, highly available network infrastructure.

Undergoing a massive data transfer process is not easy, but the Vatican Apostolic Library did just that. Panduit’s previous success in enhancing the connectivity and performance for the Vatican Apostolic Library’s main data center earned it the trust to help digitize and protect more than 80,000 priceless historical manuscripts.

Founded in 1451, the Vatican Apostolic Library’s collection includes precious material from as far back as Michelangelo and Galileo. To preserve the collection and continue to contribute to the worldwide sharing of knowledge, the 15th-century library decided to digitize its antiquated and increasingly delicate manuscripts.

To successfully complete this project, the library’s Belvedere Court building needed a more efficient data center infrastructure to support document storage. The library also needed solutions to address power and energy usage challenges, capacity constraints, environmental and connectivity issues, and security and access control requirements.

Adapting to the constraints of the ancient structure, Panduit developed a solution with security, storage, and power management.

The building now uses hot-aisle containment with hot/cold air separation inside the cabinets for improved airflow – delivering a power savings of nearly 30% compared to the previous system.

SmartZone solutions simplified the library’s network infrastructure, managing, and monitoring rack power distribution units and environmental sensors through a single IP address. For enhanced data center security, the gateways support access via intelligent handles on cabinets.

The Vatican Apostolic Library now has the capability to support the vast amount of data generated by the digitization project, ensuring high reliability and elevated transmission speed. Because of Panduit’s network, people around the world have online access to these invaluable treasures.

Read the full article here.

Delivering a Tasty Recipe for Productivity

Panduit and Noosa teamed up to improve OEE.

 

Noosa yoghurt’s one-of-a-kind authentic Australian recipe was dominating the flourishing yogurt industry. The company’s strong dedication to delivering a quality food product to yogurt consumers in new and different ways propelled it to invest in a $5 million plant upgrade in 2015. As anticipated, this upgrade to their network infrastructure increased production and nationwide awareness of the noosa yoghurt brand. However, it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing.

Challenge

Although the upgrade allowed noosa yoghurt to increase its operations, challenges developed. The network was growing without standardized methods, so it became cumbersome to troubleshoot, often resulting in costly unscheduled downtime. This was affecting Noosa’s bottom line, so something had to be done.

The 32,000 square foot facility needed to be networked across two production plants and a main office. Panduit Advisory Services, along with Malisko Engineering, recommended a network design that aligns with the Converged Plantwide Ethernet (CPwE) to simplify operations and reduce the total cost of ownership. The Panduit partner ecosystem (Malisko Engineering, Rockwell Automation) collaborated to design and implement a standardized network architecture to improve availability.

This included:

  • a manufacturing backbone
  • an enterprise backbone
  • a spare backbone for scalability
  • Separated enterprise and production zones for limited downtime

Solution

We worked fast with pre-configured technologies including an MDC, zone enclosures with UPS and sloped tops for easy hose down, and a pre-configured IDF which installs 25% faster with 3X cooling capacity. DCF cables keep everything connected and organized. A Panduit certified installer implemented these solutions with a 25-year performance warranty for the utmost reassurance.

Result

The new facility was completed in just six months. Noosa yoghurt’s production capacity increased by 300% and it added 4,000 retailers nationwide in a total of 30,000 stores.

Thanks to Panduit’s partner ecosystem, noosa yoghurt has no problem meeting production demands, and all 50 states are experiencing the tasty flavors noosa yoghurt has to offer.

See how Panduit did it here. 

 

Specifying can help EPCs Improve Productivity and Installation for a Safe Environment

Specifying can help EPCs Improve Productivity and Installation for a Safe Environment

 

Here’s a fact. Electrical standards ensure product safety and reliability.

But, how do you know if a product is reliable if it’s not tested to rigorous standards? Or when it comes time for inspection, how can you ensure it was installed according to the required standard?

For example, something as seemingly benign as using a manufacturer’s lugs with a different manufacturer’s tool can cause a crimp to not be UL certified and thus not pass inspection, leading to costly re-work, cost, and time overruns.

Standards compliance also provides engineers and procurement with a baseline to read beyond a supplier’s marketing and compare products. Be sure that the manufacturer you are considering buying from provides external or self-declaring test reports in line with the standards required for the project. Also, make sure they comply with ALL of the standard’s requirements, and if they don’t, they need to explain why or what parts do not fully comply.

With the global scale of the projects that you work on, electrical standards ensure there is seamless integration when working across borders.

What is UL 467?

This is a general safety standard used in grounding and bonding. Various tests are conducted and requirements provided as a baseline of quality for grounding and bonding equipment.

In Panduit’s case, it provides this for our direct burial compression grounding connectors. All reputable manufacturers of direct burial compression grounding connectors comply with UL 467.

UL 467 provides five requirements: Tensile force strength, in other words, how much force can be applied before any movement is detected between the connector-wire connection.

  1. Short time current, which simulates a fault to make sure the connectors are doing what they are intended to do
  2. Corrosion resistance.
  3. Direct Burial rating or whether a grounding connection can be buried in the earth (dirt or concrete).
  4. Markings such as DB (direct burial rated), AL (for use with aluminum wire only), AL-CU (for use with both aluminum and copper wire

What is IEEE 837?

This is a more stringent electrical standard than UL467 and has only 2 revisions since 1989. It is self-proclaiming by the manufacturer and not subject to a third-party testing agency similar to UL. The manufacturer should provide their test data to show that they comply such as:

  1. IEEE 837-1989 à IEEE 837-2002
  2. IEEE 837-2002 à IEEE 837-2014

There are 3 key elements of IEEE 837-2014:

  1. Pull out test eliminated and UL 467 rating acceptable. This is about half as stringent as the 2002 edition.
  2. Short time current test with a stricter requirement than UL. Used to emulate a utility-scale fault. The short time current rating is about twice as stringent as the IEEE 837-2002 edition.
  3. Sequence testing used to emulate harsh and heavy environmental conditions.

What is IEC 61914-2015?

This specifies requirements and tests for cable cleats that are used to secure electrical cables. To fully comply, cable cleats must pass tests for resistance to flame propagation, impact, and ultraviolet light exposure, as well as for lateral retention.

Cable cleats provide resistance to electromechanical forces resulting from a short circuit event. IEC 61914-2015 provides testing standards for this product, including the following highlights:

  1. Temperature rating
  2. Adequate resistance to flame propagation
  3. Lateral load testing
  4. Axial load testing
  5. Impact resistance (very light, light, medium, heavy, and very heavy)
  6. Resistance to electromechanical forces (ability to withstand one or more short circuit events at the manufacturer’s declared values of peak short-circuit current)
  7. Adequate resistance to corrosion

Partner with a company committed to meeting the daily challenges you face. Panduit offers a full solution of over 30,000 readily available parts – from cable ties to power connectors, terminals to identification – Panduit products are engineered for all aspects of designing, installing and maintaining infrastructures within EPC environments.

TSB’s ‘IT Troubles’: Why making the right infrastructure choices are more vital than ever






IT and Network Infrastructure

Carefully considering the connectivity infrastructure which underpins your IT systems can make for a vastly smoother operating environment.

 

You may be aware of TSB’s technical woes. Especially if you’re a customer.

Last month, the bank announced it would be upgrading its systems to replace the ones it inherited from Lloyds. After it announced services were back online, customers quickly began complaining. Many were unable to access their accounts at all. Some were able to see the personal details of others through their mobile banking app. Others have seen fraudulent or anomalous transactions on their accounts.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, multiple in-branch services also failed.

In terms of damage to trust in the brand, potentially enormous loss of revenue from normal transactions, and the possibility of regulatory fines, it’s been a tough time for TSB.

To avoid similar service catastrophes, companies need to carefully consider how they select every part of their IT ecosystem. How every part works in harmony with the others. And how they select the companies they choose as vendors and partners.

Infrastructure is no exception to this rule.

Carefully considering the connectivity infrastructure which underpins your IT systems can also make for a vastly smoother operating environment. Preventing the kind of hiccups that can often occur during the upgrade process, when a new (potentially incompatible) framework is ‘layered’ on top of existing systems. Systems that may themselves already exist within a fragile, unpredictable lattice. Which can react explosively when anything new is brought into the mix.

Well planned, well-provided infrastructure means the difference between a stable foundation for the IT department to do great work. And attempting to build a successful user experience and backend on an ever-shifting sea of quicksand.

So, the next time you’re planning an upgrade, remember to ask the important questions first. What are you building? And what are you building it on?

To learn more about ensuring you have the best infrastructure in place to deliver for your organisation, read the report – https://pages.panduit.com/finance-all.html.

How Capturing Near Misses Can Put Facility Safety Managers Ahead of the Game

What is good safety practice today? Recording near misses.

The generally-accepted definition of a near miss is: “An unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness or damage – but had the potential to do so.” In terms of smart business choices, it’s important for company leadership to establish a near miss reporting culture. This kind of safety culture will, in time and in practice, reinforce the opportunity to identify hazards. And, when the hazards are known, action can be taken to mitigate them.

Encouraging employees to participate in recording near miss events doesn’t have to be a challenge. If the practice of making these records comes without blame or negative consequences, then employees are more likely to report. It’s common for employees to be cautious or even afraid to report near misses. Either they may not want to admit a mistake in following safety procedures or they may believe they could be mistakenly accused of some wrongdoing. To have an effective near-miss reporting program, the stigma of blame should be eliminated.

For a near-miss reporting structure to work well, employers need to create a safety culture and a comfortable atmosphere. The goal is to make employees so comfortable with the process that they will report electrical near misses nearly as freely as they might report that a hallway needs to be cleaned or that a hazard sign needs to be replaced.

For a safety manager to keep ahead of the game, it’s important to understand that near misses can lead to the identification of a hazard. Ultimately, identifying a near miss also allows the root cause to be determined. Once this is identified, corrective action or mitigation steps can be taken to prevent any additional incidents from occurring. This results in avoiding potentially serious injuries and disruptions to operations.

Near misses are common and many consider to be underreported within industry. They also occur with relative frequency in handheld voltage testing, which should further urge a safety manager to create a way to capture the near miss incidents. If knowledge is power, then learning from experience is even more powerful. In a case from the 1997 paper, “Personnel Safety and Plant Reliability Considerations in the Selection and Use of Voltage Test Instruments,” an error in reading the digital display of a multimeter was noted. As the case details: An electrician familiar with an analog multimeter was given a new digital multimeter. When he encountered an over range condition on a voltage measurement application, he interpreted an “OL,” or over-range, indication to mean “zero,” or no voltage present. This misunderstanding of the instrument indication could have resulted in a serious, perhaps fatal, accident.

This near miss demonstrates the importance of managing tools used to carry out a particular task. Facility and safety management should work together to develop a system to manage selection, purchase, training, maintenance, and operation of all safety and test instruments used in the workplace.”

In the 2018 paper, Electrical Investigations: Case Studies, Common Electrical Safety Mistakes, and Lessons Learned , an incident is recalled whereby improper tool usage proves a weakness in relying on portable voltage testers. This case study reveals that an electrician was removing a fluorescent ceiling light fixture and was asked if he had de-energized the circuit. The electrician indicated that he had used his non-contact voltage probe instead of a digital multimeter. The electrician was asked if the voltage probe he was using had feedback to the user to indicate that the battery was good. He indicated no but added that he had replaced the batteries that morning. The voltage probe indicated that the light fixture was de-energized, but when the electrician began removing the fixture he experienced a shock. An investigator that was on site at the time asked him to check the voltage again with a digital multimeter, which confirmed that the circuit was still energized.

Again, these examples indicate the importance of selecting the right tool for the job. A dedicated voltage tester, like an AVT, can eliminate these types of process failure modes by providing a simplified output with a dedicated indicator.

How To Optimize the Maintenance Budget and Reduce Unplanned Downtime

Over time, wear and tear accumulates on electrical equipment and that can lead to unplanned downtime. And, we all know that downtime is waste.

We can safely assume that the major benefits of preventative maintenance are about reducing planned and unplanned downtime, but optimizing a maintenance budget may include this one simple trick: Save time by automating tedious processes or work to make them more efficient.

When electrical maintenance needs to happen, NFPA 70E requires that workers establish and verify equipment is in an electrically safe state. This involves a test for absence of voltage, which – with handheld portable testers, is time-consuming.

The VeriSafe™ Absence of Voltage Tester (AVT) ensures the entire process of verifying absence of voltage is performed in the proper sequence every time. The process performed by the VeriSafe AVT tests the tester itself, verifies installation, checks for voltage, and retests the tester and installation; at the push of a button with no risk of exposure to electrical hazards.

With Panduit’s new VeriSafe AVT, testing for absence of voltage is now safer, easier, and more efficient . The VeriSafe AVT helps the maintenance budget in that it enables employees to verify an electrically safe work condition in a fraction of the time compared to using hand-held portable test instruments. When the maintenance budget is already spread thin, every little bit helps. And, when employees are able to move from job to job and task to task with confidence in their own safety, their time is better spent.

Optimizing a maintenance budget boils down to putting a priority on planning (and planning ahead). Planning for safety is an important first step in maintenance modernization. And, when safety matters, the VeriSafe AVT ensures the entire absence of voltage verification process is performed with reliable results every test, every time.