November 21, 2014

All Call

Today´s topic in my series of INDUSTRONIC functions is the “All Call” which allows to establish a call to all employees in your facility.

One Subscriber Speaks – the Others Listen

An all call provides communication in one direction (unidirectional) where one subscriber speaks and all others listen simultaneously (Point-to-Multipoint connection). Subscribers and targets can be acoustic output devices of any type (e.g. speakers, intercom stations, etc.), audio interfaces, SIP subscribers and/or radio subscribers.

You use it if you want to transmit information to all subscribers of a communication and public address system. Therefore, all speaker zones of an industrial plant are combined to broadcast important messages to all employees.

Communication Procedure

The operator at Station A presses the corresponding key to establish the all call, keeps it pressed and speaks into the microphone (Push-to-Talk). All subscribers listen to the announcement simultaneously.

The following illustration shows an all call which consists of Station B, C, and D as well as the Speaker Zones A and B.

All Call

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Priorities

For an all call, you can assign different priorities to the intercom stations used. Usually a control room intercom station has a higher priority than an outdoor intercom station. This means that the control room can interrupt an active all call established by an outdoor intercom station and trigger its own call.

Pre-tones and Warning Beacons

It is possible to play back a pre-announcement tone prior to an all call or the actual message. A positive effect is that listeners stop their conversations or noisy activities to focus on the announcement that follows.

Furthermore, there is the option to activate flashing warning beacons which indicate the call visually.

Download a more detailed version of this blog article as PDF here.

November 13, 2014

Sirens – Mass Notification since 1819

Siren

A siren is an acoustic device which is normally characterized by a high-pitched whine rising
up and down.
They have always served primarily as a mass notification system in military and civil areas.
Especially with disaster alerts like fire or flooding, sirens are used to effectively warn and inform the public.

In industrial sectors, sirens are mostly used as an extensive (several sq. km) alarm system
for broadcasting fire or gas alarms, for example.

Moreover, sirens are implemented for signaling purposes like notification of breaktime in industrial applications.

In general, there are three types of sirens:

  • Mechanical sirens
  • Pneumatic sirens
  • Electronic sirens

Mechanical sirens were designed as motor sirens until the end of the last century. Read more »

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November 7, 2014

The Engineers of Tomorrow

Around 20 kids from nine to twelve years spent one day at INDUSTRONIC to learn about the company and the job of an electronic engineer.

Elmar Ehehalt with a bunch of kids eager to learn more about the job of an engineer

Elmar Ehehalt with a bunch of kids eager to learn more about the job of an engineer

Every year, a local youth organization which is called “Stadtjugendring” organizes activities for children during their school vacations. This fall, INDUSTRONIC offered them the chance to be “an engineer for one day”.

The children had a lot of fun exploring the different intercom stations

The children had a lot of fun exploring the different intercom stations

In the morning, the children were welcomed by our instructors Elmar Ehehalt and Stefan Pfisterer. First, they got a brief introduction of the company, our target markets and the products we are selling. Then, the kids were guided through the premises and visited the production hall, the testing room and our warehouse with the shipping area.

After lunch, the kids could try out different tasks which are part of an engineer’s daily routine. At three workstations, supervised by some of our trainees, they could explore the following activities:

– Soldering of electrical components

– Programming at the computer

– Wiring of different intercom stations and communicating with them

At the end of the day, the young engineers had learnt a lot of new things about the job of an engineer at INDUSTRONIC. Who knows, maybe some of them will come back for an internship in a few years.

October 30, 2014

Group Call

In my last two blog articles I described different ways of bidirectional communication. This time I would like to give you an insight into a unidirectional communication method where a call is established to a pre-defined group of members – the group call.

One Subscriber Speaks – the Others Listen

For a group call, one subscriber speaks and all group members listen to the message simultaneously (Point-to-Multipoint connection). The individual groups can be configured depending on project and customer-specific requirements.

In complex industrial plants often many different group calls are defined which address individual areas or buildings (e.g. factory building, warehouse, etc.). For example, if faults occur in the course of a process, the employees in the corresponding areas can be informed by an announcement.

Communication Procedure

The operator at Station A presses the key configured with the desired group as target, keeps it pressed and speaks into the microphone (Push-to-Talk). All members contained in the group listen to the announcement simultaneously.

The following illustration shows the communication procedure.

The picture shows the communication procedure of a group call.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Priorities

You can also assign an individual priority for each group call. This means that an active group call overrides functions with a lower priority. A group call can only be interrupted by a voice connection or function with a higher priority.

Pre-tones and Warning Beacons

It is possible to play back a pre-announcement tone prior to a group call or the actual message. A positive effect is that listeners stop their conversations or noisy activities to focus on the announcement that follows.

Furthermore, there is the option to activate flashing warning beacons which indicate the call visually.

Download a more detailed version of this blog article as PDF here.

October 24, 2014

INDUSTRONIC Exhibits in November and December

Taking care of our customers and informing the industry about our technology are just two examples of our highest priorities.
Therefore, we take the chance to represent and show our company to a wide audience as often as possible.

Especially at the end of each year, various exhibitions all over the world take place.
As INDUSTRONIC enjoys the contact with customers and potential ones we are exhibiting at four trade fairs until the end of 2014. Read more »

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Categories: Industries
October 16, 2014

Audit Time at INDUSTRONIC

This week was all about audits here at INDUSTRONIC. Besides the successful completion of the surveillance audit for our SCC certificate, the internal audit of the quality management system started.Audit

On Monday and Tuesday, an external auditor came to check the documents of our HSE management system (HSE stands for Health, Security and Environment). Such a system is mandatory for receiving the SCC certificate. (Please click here for more information about our SCC certification). The auditor made sure that we meet all prerequisites and comply with the standards. One of these requirements is for example the company’s preparation for emergency situations. All the employees have to be instructed on how to prevent and handle an emergency. This is particularly important for our service people. They regularly conduct operative tasks on the customer’s site and have to be trained especially. Our service process was therefore a main part of the auditor’s inspection. We successfully completed the surveillance audit and got our SSC certification confirmed.

The internal audit of our quality management system started on Wednesday and will take about two weeks. Concerning the requirements of the DIN ISO 9001, an internal audit has to be performed once a year. This includes a check of all processes which are described in our quality management manual. Performing this kind of audit is very time-consuming. That is why our quality manager is supported by some of our colleagues who comprise the audit team. They help to question the employees and to perform the procedure in the different departments. Aside from verifying the observance of the standards, an internal audit is always a good approach to learn about the improvement potential in the company.

October 9, 2014

INDUSTRONIC Blog – One Year Anniversary

Pretty much one year ago we started our blog with the intention of providing insight into our company and covering a selection of technological issues for our readers. Reason enough to reflect whether or not we have been living up to our readers’ expectations.

Well, the team has been very committed and working hard to cover various topics. It is a fun and rewarding project for all of us. As we get together to contemplate on upcoming issues, the positive feedback from readers all over the world has been very valuable and inspiring for us. It is a good basis for starting a dialog. That is our aim – to start a global dialog!

As for living up to our readers’ expectations, we are confident to be covering a wide array of subjects in regard to social as well as technological issues happening at INDUSTRONIC. Of course we are always happy to receive further input from your side, regarding topics you may like to have covered.

We hope you have enjoyed reading our articles as much as we have enjoyed writing them. We look forward to hearing from you and encourage you to comment on our blog posts!

 

one year banner

October 1, 2014

INDUSTRONIC’s Redundancy Concepts – A+B System

Today, I want to introduce you to the A+B System (shared operation) which is a typical redundancy concept for onshore/offshore applications with increased safety requirements. It complies with DNV and NORSOK standards.

For this redundancy concept two independent systems work simultaneously (System A & System B). Often they are located in two different places so that a potential incident (e.g. fire, gas alarm) only affects one system. Both systems are synchronized and connected via redundant cable routes.

By default, all intercom stations and analog lines (e.g. contacts to fire & gas alarm systems) are connected to both systems. The speakers and beacons of the two systems are evenly distributed among the different speaker zones. There is always one speaker or beacon of each system installed per location to provide maximum protection against failures.

Usually, 50% of the amplifiers are connected to System A, the remaining ones are connected to System B. Under normal operation, the A+B System concept provides full sound coverage. Even in the worst case if one system fails, the sound level is only reduced by a maximum of 3 dB which is barely audible to human ears.

To provide additional protection, there is of course the option to protect main components by backup components in hot stand-by mode.

In conclusion, this redundancy concept provides maximum protection against failures and ensures highest system availability. There is no loss of any warning and alarm functions in case of failure. Due to the possibility to install the two synchronized systems in different locations, a potential incident affects only one system.

A+B System

Continue to follow our blog and don’t miss the announcement of our brochure about redundancy concepts coming soon. It includes an overview on all individual concepts as well as more details on the different power supply variations.

If you want to read all previous articles about this topic, please refer to “Introducing INDUSTRONIC’s Redundancy Concepts”, “INDUSTRONIC’s Redundancy Concepts – Single System with N+1 Components”, and “INDUSTRONIC’s Redundancy Concepts – Duplicated Control System”.

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September 26, 2014

Dynamic Two-way Communication

After already introducing you to the function “Direct Two-way Communication” in my last blog article, I would like to continue with my series on INDUSTRONIC functions. Today’s topic is “Dynamic Two-way Communication” which allows establishing a voice connection to any desired subscriber by using a dial keypad. Furthermore, keys can be saved and the intercom station remains clearly arranged and user-friendly.

Two-way Communication

A two-way connection provides communication in both directions (bidirectional) where two subscribers can speak and listen alternately, but not simultaneously.

To establish such types of voice connections in direct two-way communication mode, so-called direct call keys are used. Each direct call key has always only one specific target configured. A connection to this target can be established via keypress. For complex communication solutions, you therefore need quite a number of such keys.

To avoid configuring an individual direct call key for each target that can be reached, corresponding intercom stations are equipped with a dial keypad. This way, you can dynamically establish a voice connection to any, freely selectable target just by entering a call number. Hence the name “Dynamic Two-way communication“.

After the end of the conversation the voice connection to the last target can be established again by pressing the * key, as long as no other function is triggered or the # key (Delete key) is pressed in the meantime.

Communication Procedure

First, the operator at Station A dials the desired call number via dial keypad. To establish the two-way connection, he then presses the * key (Speak key), keeps it pressed and speaks into the microphone (Push-to-Talk). The subscriber at Station B listens to the message.

As soon as the operator at Station A releases the * key, the subscriber at Station B can answer (step 2). To do this, he also presses the * key on his dial keypad, keeps it pressed and speaks into the microphone (step 3). So both subscribers can speak and listen alternately, but not simultaneously.

The following illustration shows the communication procedure.

Dynamic Two-way Communication

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dial Keypad

The dial keypad layout of a desktop intercom station is the same as for a standard telephone – four rows with three keys each. In contrast, the dial keypad of an outdoor or Ex intercom station has three rows with 4 keys each (see figure below).

Dial Keypad for Ex Intercom Stations

 

 

 

 

 

The individual keys not only have digits assigned, but also different functions.

0 to 9    To dial the desired call number.
*    To establish the voice connection (Speak key).
#    To delete the call number entered or to cancel the dialing (Delete key).

 

Download a more detailed version of this blog article as PDF here.

September 19, 2014

The Spirit of the German Mittelstand

Logo_German Mittelstand (Source: www.bmwi.de)In times of economic crisis you can hear the term German Mittelstand as a reason for the relatively stable economy here in Germany. The small and medium-sized companies are a driving force for the growth of Germany’s economy. But why is that? What is so special about these companies?

Definition

Let us have a closer look at the phenomena German Mittelstand. Therefore, we first have to define the term. Here in Germany, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with up to 250 employees are called Mittelstand. But German Mittelstand implies more than just the size of the enterprises. There is a special spirit around these companies.

Here are some criteria which are typical for German Mittelstand companies:

  • family ownership,
  • independence,
  • special company culture,
  • lean management hierarchies,
  • long-term policies,
  • strong ties to the region.

Read more »

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