Today´s topic of INDUSTRONIC functions is the “Parallel Group”, where one subscriber establishes a voice connection to a pre-defined group of several members. Within the group you can then flexibly decide at which intercom station you want to answer the call.
Communication with a Group of Several Members
Communication with a parallel group constantly changes between a point-to-multipoint and a point-to-point connection. Each time one subscriber establishes a voice connection to a parallel group, all members of the group can hear the message simultaneously (point-to-multipoint). As soon as one member of the group answers, only the calling subscriber can hear this message (point-to-point). All other members of the parallel group cannot listen during this time and are indicated as busy, which means that they cannot establish or receive other calls.
The following illustration shows the communication procedure in general.
A typical application example for a parallel group is that you can install two intercom stations at two different places in a plant which are favorable for the operator, e.g. at the beginning and at the end of a long rolling mill train. Depending on the place of installation, the operator can flexibly decide at which intercom station he wants to answer a call.
Download a more detailed version of the Parallel Group here.
See also my previous article about two-way communication.
This week our apprentice Meike reports about her educational trip to Malta.
Hello, my name is Meike and I have been in training to become an industrial business management assistant at INDUSTRONIC since 2014. This apprenticeship takes two and a half years. Besides taking part in the regular lessons, I am also specializing in ‘international management and foreign languages’. A prerequisite for joining this additional qualification is the higher education entrance qualification (the German ‘Abitur’) or a similar level of education.
During my apprenticeship, I will gain experience in different divisions of the company ranging from Supply Management, Financial Accounting, Project Management to Marketing and Sales. The main focus is on the International Sales as well as on the International Project Management department where I can practice my English and Spanish skills.
In order to further improve my knowledge of English I travelled to Malta for five weeks last year. This educational trip was organized by my vocational school in Bad Mergentheim. The Republic of Malta is an island state located in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily. After attending a one-week language course in the ESE (European School of English), the other students and I completed a four-week internship in a Maltese company. I gained experience in the Marketing department of an architect’s office. At the weekends, we had the opportunity to explore the Maltese Archipelago, consisting of the three islands Malta, Gozo and Comino. In my opinion, the most beautiful sights are the capital city of Malta, Valletta, the Azure Window on Gozo and the Blue Lagoon on Comino.
Through this trip I could further improve my language skills and learned a lot about the office life in a foreign company. I had the chance to meet people from around the world and get to know new cultures. This time was great for my personal growth and I can recommend this trip to all students who want to expand their own horizon.
I am very thankful to INDUSTRONIC and my vocational school for making this unique experience possible.
If you are interested in an apprenticeship or an internship at INDUSTRONIC, we regularly offer interesting training positions. Visit our job page to view our current vacancies.
Feel free to send us your application: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our main market Oil & Gas is suffering from the low price of oil. Despite this fact, we are happy that INDUSTRONIC systems are enjoying growth in number and volume.
The market is increasingly characterized by major international projects. Our worldwide network makes us the right partner for this kind of project.
In terms of technology, hybrid systems remain state of the art. They combine the advantages of both IP technology and digital 2-wire technology. Nowadays, Ethernet is used in almost all industrial plants. Nevertheless, the digital 2-wire technology will be present in the industrial sector for a long time.
Software is becoming increasingly important. Soon, you will be able to purchase and activate software-based communication functions of INDUSTRONIC independently from the hardware. The advantage especially for the end user: communication functions become the center of attention.
It is our vision that the communication requirements are detailed and prioritized in the specification. We would be more than happy to assist you in this decision-making process with our 50 years of expertise.
Q37: What makes INDUSTRONIC’s communication philosophy so special?
A: Our 50 years of experience make us prefer “commando-speak” (half-duplex) but we also offer telephone functions (full-duplex). The variety of possible combinations of functions with numerous priority options – including redundant setup – is surely unsurpassed.
Q38: How has your product range evolved over the decades?
A: Starting with relay technology we advanced our products from electronic to digital technology and are now transitioning to IP technology.
Q39: On a global scale product cycles continue to get shorter, how do you deal with this situation?
A: Due to our continuous product management our components have a long life cycle. Product changes are usually driven by technological progress like the current transition to internet based solutions. Even then we still offer the possibility to connect with prior technologies.
Q40: What changes have you witnessed in regard to your customer chain?
A: Our projects keep getting larger and the customer chain is getting longer. We cater to international project joint-ventures comprising various end customers with contradictory requirements, to consultants for the basic design of entire plants, to engineering companies for turn-key plants as well as to system integrators as customers for our systems. All of these are our business partners and we support them with our long-standing comprehensive expertise and flexible communication solutions.
Q41: How do you assess the situation in the global market?
A: Hybrid solutions are now state-of-the-art, they interface the advantages of IP technology with the two-wire digital technology.
Q42: What kind of an impact does technological progress have on your products, company and market?
A: Technological progress changes everything: the product, the market and the procedures. This is accompanied by an ongoing cultural transition – on an international level. For us it means a continuous challenge and, at the same time, an exciting endeavour.
Q43: In which ways do you accompany your customers during this cultural transition?
A: As everywhere, on one side we have customers that lay their emphasis on technology while others have placed their focus on highest safety. And often times both sides with their varying perceptions are part of one and the same customer chain. Here, it is our task to achieve some sort of sensible balance for each particular case.
Q44: How do you evaluate this change? As a risk or opportunity?
A: Technological progress cannot be stopped. It is being put into effect somewhat slower in the industrial markets as compared to consumer markets due to safety requirements. Testing new solutions und every customer project is of the highest significance to us.
Q45: Which will be your key markets in the future?
A: Oil & Gas as well as the chemical industry continue to be our most significant industrial applications. We will be everywhere where these industries are or will be.
Q46: Which market segments will become less relevant in the future?
A: We are expanding in all market segments and geographical areas.
Q47: Do you have any particular emphasis?
A: In the future, emerging countries will be of special importance to us.
Q48: How do you assess your industry knowledge?
A: Since we have such a strong market position in our industry our know-how in regard to applications usually exceeds that of our customers. We are therefore more than willing to convey this information to them.
Q49: How do you convey your extensive industry knowledge to your customers?
A: Our focus is still on personal dialog. Increasingly, the influence of phone and video conferences and online information such as our website, newsletters and blog is gaining importance.
Q50: Where do you see INDUSTRONIC and yourself in ten years’ time?
A: Ten years from now we will be the worldwide opinion leader in the field of safety and plant communications for extreme industrial conditions.
We hope you have enjoyed reading the interview. Feel free to ask your own questions if there are any that have remained unanswered.
Special occasions such as INDUSTRONIC’s 50th anniversary call for special activities. In recognition of this milestone, we organized a variety of charity campaigns. During the whole of 2015 we initiated and participated in various campaigns to support or collect money for charitable organizations.
In this article we would like to share some of our experiences with you… Read more »
This week our interview series with Wolfgang Stallmeyer, President and Shareholder of INDUSTRONIC, continues.
We hope you will enjoy reading part 2 of our series “50 Questions to the President”.
Q22: Today in Wertheim, tomorrow in India and the day after tomorrow in Singapore – how do you manage this balancing act?
A: We love the cultural diversity of the world and our customers.
Q23: You have subsidiaries and partners worldwide; how does this contribute to your international success?
A: We excel in those geographical areas where we have strong employees and partners.
Q24: Do you intend to increase your worldwide presence further?
A: In most countries we work with partners who operate as resellers or on commission basis. We already have subsidiaries in the USA and China (sales and service) and will launch a new subsidiary in Singapore in January 2016.
Q25: What significance would a subsidiary in the Middle East have for INDUSTRONIC?
A: A hub in the Middle East could offer support to our partners there. It would be crucial to find the right person for this task.
Q26: You have been designated as a „German world market leader“. Is this motto a mundane phrase? Or does it have real validity?
A: Our customers trust and want German quality. For this reason our components are predominantly made in Germany.
Q 27: How do your systems contribute to the safety of people and machinery?
A: In demanding industrial environments systems like ours – for warning, alarm and evacuation – are mandatory.
Q28: In industrial communications, how does improved operability benefit the safety of human beings and machines?
A: Usability is a key requirement of our products; the necessary technological progress should not be implemented at the expense of easy usage.
Q29: What are INDUSTRONIC’s core competencies?
A: Communication functions tailored to individual customer requirements.
Q30: What differentiates INDUSTRONIC from its competitors?
A: Flexible solutions ranging from pre-busy signalling to plant warning systems with pre-recorded alarm messages which are triggered in case of emergency.
Q31: What do your customers value most about you? What makes INDUSTRONIC so exceptional?
A: Outstanding quality, service, flexibility and great value for your money.
Q32: How do you benefit from the dialog with your customers?
A: A good relationship with our customers is a pivotal requirement to ensure their and our satisfaction.
Q33: Do customers in your market niche place great importance on services?
A: The focus used to be on hardware. Today, software and services are becoming increasingly important. Services range from project pre-design to maintenance agreements with guaranteed response times.
Q34: What is your opinion on the maintenance, product management and security of investment in regard to your products?
A: Our systems are sturdy and maintenance-friendly. We also take special care that installed systems are upgradable in case of extensions and new requirements.
Q35: What can you say in regard to the durability of your communication systems?
A: Our systems are made to last. Even today some of the old relay systems are still running – notwithstanding that they are almost 50 years old and that technical advances and new demands result in more frequent upgrades of communication systems nowadays.
Q36: Is that the standard in your niche?
A: We are confident our systems are extraordinarily durable and long lasting.
Check in with us again soon to read part 3…
50 years of INDUSTRONIC – 50 questions to the President!
At the close of our anniversary year we are starting a new series of “Questions to the President”. In these interviews we will be asking Wolfgang Stallmeyer, President and Shareholder of INDUSTRONIC, to share his thoughts about himself, the company and the industrial communication market.
This interview will give you an in-depth look at INDUSTRONIC.
We hope you enjoy reading!
Q1: This year INDUSTRONIC celebrated its 50th Anniversary. How do you explain your international success?
A: The main determinants of our success are technical ambition, diligence, economical behaviour and a stroke of luck in critical situations.
Q2: INDUSTRONIC is one of the global market leaders in the region, how does a middle sized company accomplish such an achievement?
A: We concentrate on a definite market niche.
Q3: How are you looking to position your company in your niche?
A: Various communication philosophies exist. Our philosophy is based on direct two-way communication with a connection set-up time of max. 200 ms and pre-signalling of busy intercom stations. We want to become the worldwide opinion leader for this communication philosophy.
Q4: What is your corporate philosophy?
A: Our corporate philosophy is reflected very well in our corporate motto: „We are the Engineers of Communication“.
Q5: Can you please define your motto further?
A: We love to develop the communications solutions needed by, and useful to, our customers and their individual situations.
Q6: How many people are employed at INDUSTRONIC?
A: In Germany we have around 160 employees, including our subsidiaries we total more than 180 employees.
Q7: What does INDUSTRONIC offer its employees? Why should professionals choose INDUSTRONIC as an employer?
A: We are an innovative company with attractive job positions and a high degree of direct responsibility.
Q8: What can you say in regard to the work climate at INDUSTRONIC?
A: We operate on a project oriented basis. For this reason we cultivate a cooperative management style.
Q9: What attributes of your employees do you value most? What do you require of them?
A: Self-confidence, openness and quality.
Q10: INDUSTRONIC is a family run enterprise. Does this fact contribute to your worldwide success?
A: Yes, since the decision making process is short.
Q11: How long have you been President of INDUSTRONIC?
A: For nine years now – unbelievable how time flies.
Q12: What do you like about your job as President?
A: The entrepreneurial responsibility.
Q13: Have you learned something new in your function as President?
A: Yes – to express criticism in person and not per e-mail!
Q14: Which experiences do cherish you the most?
A: The visits to our customers around the globe and our company’s Christmas staff parties.
Q15: Tell us about your typical workday, please.
A: Actually there are no typical workdays, each day is different. My tasks alternate between meetings, emails, phone calls and conceptual work.
Q16: How do you achieve balance in your leisure time?
A: Through sports and cultural activities.
Q17: Are you socially committed in your leisure time?
A: I am a member of the lions club – one of the largest NGOs worldwide. Its members are voluntarily engaged in helping people in need. I serve as president of the Wertheim lions club for the 2015/16 term.
Q18: How satisfied are you with your location in Wertheim?
A: The location is ideal for us. Here in the countryside we have access to highly motivated employees while the universities of Würzburg and Aschaffenburg continuously supply us with young engineers. The proximity of Frankfurt International Airport offers easy connections to our customers worldwide.
Q19: Which three activities and experiences do you recommend for visitors to your area?
A: The annual carnival is the cultural highlight of our region. The landscape is very beautiful and inviting to mountainbikers. And, the local wine is outstanding…
Q20: INDUSTRONIC demonstrates a strong social commitment both locally and nationwide. Is this part of your corporate culture?
A: Yes, for us it is a matter of course. Each Christmas we donate funds to local and national charitable projects.
Q21: Which values and principals are important to INDUSTRONIC?
A: Our values reflect sustainable economic success in fair-minded cooperation with our employees, customers and suppliers.
Check in with us in the next weeks to read more…
Not so many years ago speech intelligibility was synonymous with audibility. And audibility is nothing else than good sound coverage which means: ‘Speakers must be 10 to 15 dB louder than the ambient noise’…
…but that is only half the truth.
With the following article we want to show you what can influence speech intelligibility and what are the main factors that could prevent clear speech transmission by a PAGA system.
In physical terms, the sound pressure level (SPL) decreases by 6 dB when the distance is doubled. This means a loudspeaker provides 100 dB at 1 meter distance, 94 dB at 2 meters, 88 dB at 4 meters and so on. This so-called inverse distance law 1/r is only valid within a free field and with point-shaped sound sources.
In reality you will get diffuse reflections (scattering) from buildings and other structures, absorption from surfaces and other obstacles that disturb and affect sound propagation.
Ambient Noise, Signal to Noise and Masking Effects
Imagine you have an industrial plant with many machines and pumps and other sound sources that produce a lot of unwanted noise, let’s say 90 dB(A) in broadband.
Now you can say: I do not care – my loudspeakers can produce a SPL of 125 dB / 1 meter.
But you must consider that the speech intelligibility decreases if our ear receives sound levels above 85 – 90 dB.
This is a relatively new finding which must be considered in the STI (Speech Transmission Index) measurement and analysis. It is part of the so-called masking effect which considers some further psychoacoustic effects.
So be careful with loudspeaker SPLs which clearly exceed 90 dB – that might result in bad speech intelligibility.
Frequency and Loudspeaker Data
Most loudspeaker manufacturers state the maximum SPL at 1 kHz, but the most relevant and ’used’ frequency in human speech is at 700 Hz and speech is a mixture of different frequencies and various modulations.
So it makes no sense to choose loudspeakers that are ‘very loud’ but have a frequency response like a triangle.
Please compare the following frequency plots of two different loudspeakers from different manufacturers.
Loudspeaker A is stated with 108 dB / 1 m; Loudspeaker B with 103 dB / 1 m.
If you select loudspeaker A only knowing the difference of 108 dB vs. 103 dB without comparing the frequency diagrams, you will be possibly disappointed when hearing this loudspeaker in the field.
The more frequency spacing is between the speech or alarm tone and the noise source frequency, the better is the intelligibility and audibility of that information signal. This is another psychoacoustic effect that you can use in your favour.
Often a female speaker is better than a male speaker due to the above mentioned fact.
That is a major factor that can completely disturb the speech intelligibility while the audibility is good.
Where are the distortion sources?
From microphone to amplifiers to loudspeakers – every device in the audio chain could cause distortion. No single device in this chain should be overdriven or operated beyond its specification.
In the last few years, different standards such as EN60849, EN54-16 and IEC 60268-16 were issued which describe and require measurements, calculations and proof of speech intelligibility.
For this purpose and for fast response, the Speech Transmission Index STI was introduced. This index can be calculated with different audio calculation tools and can be measured with modern audio measurement devices.
These standards and tools give us the possibility to develop and install PAGA systems with a highly intelligible speech transfer.
But it is also always a task and challenge to get rid of the barriers that industrial plants put in the way.
As a result we design PAGA and communication systems which can clearly transmit warnings and information to working staff and people – and save lives in emergency situations.
INDUSTRONIC staff celebrates on the Wertheim fair
Every year at the beginning of October the “Michaelismesse” takes place in Wertheim. It is like a very small version of the Oktoberfest, a fair with brass band music, beer and different amusement rides.
Traditionally, the INDUSTRONIC staff goes there to have an enjoyable afternoon together. It is always a good opportunity to talk to colleagues outside the everyday business and get to know them from another perspective.
This year’s visit to the Wertheim fair was planned in an already very busy week with lots of customer visits, training dates and a tough project schedule. Nevertheless, a good share of the employees followed the invitation of the General Management and went there to enjoy themselves. We also welcomed some of our customers who stayed in Wertheim for a FAT procedure on that day. Additionally, many of our service people which were here for a two days training session joined us for a beer or two.
I am sure that everybody had a good time and we are glad that our managers support teambuilding events like this.