Flex Cable Connections – Are You Up to Code?

Fred Dorman, Global Solutions Manager, Business and Channel Development

Fred Dorman, Global Solutions Manager, Business and Channel Development

It can be surprising how many control panels, motor control centers and power distribution terminal blocks are wired incorrectly and in violation of UL508A.

Typically, electricians choose to work with flex stranded conductor cable because it is easier to route, bend and pull into place when power connections are needed than rigid conductor cable Continue reading

Is It Time to Beef Up Your School Technology Infrastructure?

School curriculum is changing! You used to have pencils, paper, chalkboards, and if you were lucky, an overhead projector.  Now our children are using computers, iPads, or even learning from the comfort of their own home! The technology advances in the education field are amazing, but what does it mean for a school’s physical infrastructure?  Are they prepared to handle all of these advanced digital materials and learning devices?

We all know that bandwidth requirements are ever-increasing, and if you work in the education field, how can you be prepared to future-proof your network?  With many districts facing these same future-proofing issues, here are six strategies for school IT administrators to consider before embarking on any physical infrastructure technology improvement plan.

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Connect the Unconnected Reliably

Many of us have had to deal with harsh winter conditions in the US over the last couple months which sometimes requires working from home. With mobile devices and high speed internet, our connections to co-workers and plants can continue in spite of adverse conditions. For today’s manufacturing plants, the amount of connected people, plants, data and things is growing exponenoil pic1tially and these connections need to perform reliably no matter the environmental conditions.

Cisco estimates that 50 billion new IP connections to be installed by 2022 will unlock trillions of dollars of business value for manufacturing. Cisco research estimates that only 4% of devices on the manufacturing floor are connected to a network.  Thus, there is a huge industry push to connect all the islands of information that stand in the way of Internet of Things value creation.  The challenges of deployment though are also very real – no one can afford to gamble on reliability or performance of their critical manufacturing processes and risk downtime or worse.

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Measure, Improve and Maintain for Higher Efficiency

Statistics, multiple analysts, and research reports indicate that data centers are often overprovisioned with power and cooling capacity to maintain service levels regardless of actual IT equipment utilization. As you are well aware, this approach has proven to be expensive and inefficient. As data center energy consumption grows it is drawing the attention of CFO’s and corporate responsibility managers who are concerned with the impact of the data center’s operation on the environment and of course, the impact on the bottom line. So how can you improve your data center’s efficiency?

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Building Systems Convergence – Are You on Board?

When you think of all the systems your building operates it can be an overwhelming list!  You typically have communication, computing, power, lighting, security, HVAC and fire life and safety systems right?  All of these systems help a facility function on a day to day basis by providing a means to communicate with one another, power the building, maintain climate and lighting control, and basic engineering and maintenance. But typically, each of these systems run on a dedicated network with various protocols, which aren’t integrated, increasing complexity, staff, and not to mention points of control.

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Mobile Data-The Most Important Tool on Your Jobsite

Jeff Mehrer, Panduit Solutions Director, Industrial Construction

The emergence of Smartphones and Tablets has helped take many industries truly into the mobile workspace.  But it is introducing the construction trades to productivity potential beyond our wildest dreams.

The introduction of SaaS (software-as-a-service) and hosted technologies, as well as the Cloud,  have allowed contractors to broaden their workspace by providing access to data from anywhere an Internet connection is available.  Contractors are creating web portals that allow their workers to access a host of applications that are useful on the jobsite in their everyday business.

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Maintaining Energy Efficiency

New research information from Data Center Dynamics indicates that global data center energy consumption in 2013 has slowed down to 7% growth as compared to 19% between 2011 and 2012. This reduction is attributed to energy efficiency measures, consolidation projects and outsourcing, primarily in mature markets.

Data Center Dynamics Graphic

So, does this mean data center managers and operators can breathe a sigh of relief? Not necessarily. Once energy efficiency improvement goals have been attained, how do you maintain that level of efficiency over the lifecycle of your data center?

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Don’t Miss Us at AFCEA West 2014!

In our last post we announced our partnership with SOLiD in effort to provide enhanced cellular service, both voice and data, as well as carry 2-way radio transmissions and public safety announcements via In-Building DAS Solutions.  In order to promote our partnership, we are pleased to announce that both Panduit and SOLiD will be participating in the AFCEA West event in San Diego, CA, February 11 -13, 2014 at the San Diego Convention Center.

Co-Sponsored by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute, West 2014 is the largest event on the west coast for the U.S. government, armed forces, and the contractors that support them.  This event gives these individuals the opportunity to engage on multiple levels with both their peers and suppliers, as well as attend technical sessions revolving around emerging technologies and equipment relevant to their industry.

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Living in a Material World: How to Select Solar Power Cable Management

Solar ImageMaterial selection is critical to designing and building a photovoltaic (PV) solar plant that will last 15-25 years. If you identify the proper design requirements and obtain the best materials for cable management, you can build a system that meets your expectations and reduces the total cost of ownership of your plant.

Issues you need to consider when building a PV solar plant are temperature, ultraviolet (UV), abrasion and chemical reactions as part of your design and product selection to enable the commissioning and operation of a solar plant to finish on time, require lower maintenance cost and increase your overall return on investment.

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Improving UPS Power Management for Industrial Networks

Power interruptions and power quality are frequent causes of downtime in manufacturing, costing the average operation thousands of dollars each year in lost productivity.

Recovering quickly from an event is critical; when the machinery has recovered and is ready to go, having production wait on the infrastructure to “reboot” is simply unacceptable.UPS-420-x-420

Just that situation can occur—network switches, PCs, and Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) are key parts of modern control systems, and even short “blips” in power can cause restarts that delay device availability for up to several minutes.

As ensuring power to these devices during outages is critical to quick machine recovery, many manufacturers rely on a traditional battery-based UPS (uninterruptible power supply) system as an insurance policy.

However battery-based UPS systems are reliant on battery maintenance. Users must be willing to implement a rigorous program to monitor, maintain and properly dispose of batteries to ensure effectiveness.

Some of the common identified issues with traditional UPS systems:

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