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 an 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 the same or 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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Categories: Technology
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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Categories: Knowledge
September 12, 2014

Hybrid Systems – Combining Advantages of Centralized and Decentralized System Architecture

A post by our colleague Roland Leuthe, Head of Development “Systems Software” 

In one of our previous blog posts (“Centralized vs. Decentralized System Architecture”) we mentioned that complex functions or the connection of external interfaces cannot reliably be implemented when using a completely decentralized system architecture.

However, the major drawback of one centralized control unit is that a failure of said component leads to  a complete failure of the entire system. Of course, for systems with high safety requirements such as PA/GA systems the central control unit is typically installed redundantly to increase system reliability. In case the main control unit fails, the redundant unit ensures the proper operation of the system.

Central_System

Though a redundant configuration provides increased protection in case of failure it is not recommended for large systems to connect all terminals and external interfaces to one single control unit.

A more sophisticated solution would be a hybrid system architecture. This means that the overall function of a system is distributed to several, locally separated communication nodes. Each node is responsible for one sub-area of the overall system and controls all components and terminals of this specific area. All communication nodes of the overall system can be composed of a flat or hierarchical structure. Read more »

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Categories: Technology
September 4, 2014

Introducing INDUSTRONIC Singapore

Office Building in Singapore

Foreseeing the potential business in Singapore and South-East Asia and considering the growth of its customer base there, INDUSTRONIC
decided to make a major investment in this area.

Consequently, in 2013, INDUSTRONIC was happy to announce the foundation of its South-East Asia Representative Office in Singapore.

It is a great advantage for INDUSTRONIC to have an office with the same culture and time zone as its customers thus offering improved support and collaboration in the South East Asian region.

With Mr. Bobby Tay as Director of this office INDUSTRONIC has found a good business partner to enhance INDUSTRONIC’s presence and to further its business expansion more rapidly in this part of the world. With his many years of industrial experience and his substantial track record his expertise is an additional value INDUSTRONIC brings to its customers.

Six months of busy and enriching activities followed immediately after the opening of the Representative Office.

During this time, our new colleague has been visiting customers in South East Asia, promoting INDUSTRONIC’s products, systems and solutions, exchanging ideas and views among experts, improving knowledge transfer, holding presentations, arranging meetings and much more.

INDUSTRONIC is looking forward to the expansion of its Representative Office.

By assigning more responsibilities, tasks and functions to it, INDUSTRONIC is confident that its customers will benefit from it and that INDUSTRONIC can achieve its main objective: conducting successful projects in close team work with its customers!

To contact Mr. Bobby Tay / INDUSTRONIC’s Representative Office in Singapore, please write an email to:

bobby.tay@industronic.sg

August 28, 2014

Direct Two-way Communication

From unidirectional voice announcements through to conferences with several subscribers – communication and public address systems provide a wide range of functions. For you to gain an insight into the possibilities of such systems I would like to use this blog to introduce you to different functions in the coming weeks and months. This week I would like to start with “Direct Two-way Communication“.

Two-way Communication

In principle, a two-way connection provides communication in both directions (bidirectional) where two subscribers can speak and listen alternately, but not simultaneously. One subscriber speaks and the other listens. Only after one subscriber has finished his message and has released the key, the other can answer.

To establish a direct two-way connection you require at least two intercom stations of any type with one direct call key each. A direct call key is a key with which you can establish a voice connection to a pre-defined target by pressing it down.

You require an individual direct call key for each target. If you want to establish direct two-way connections to 5 different targets with your intercom station, you need 5 direct call keys.

Communication Procedure

To establish a two-way connection the operator at Station A presses the direct call key configured with Station B as target first, 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 presses the direct call key configured with Station A as target, 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.

Direct Two-way Communication

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key Signaling

LEDs at the keys indicating the different connection states are helpful for the operator personnel. I already described the most common types of signaling in one of my last blog articles (please refer to Key Signaling).

Priorities

You can also assign a priority for each two-way connection. This means that an active connection remains busy for other subscribers with the same or a lower priority. The connection can only be interrupted by a voice connection or function with a higher priority.

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