Category Archives: Blog

Communications Room Essential Maintenance

SHARP ELECTRONICS EUROPE LTD – COMMUNICATIONS ROOM MAINTENANCE

Sharp are a long standing customer of Affinity.  Our work has mainly been for copper and fibre network cabling for office adds moves and changes. However more recently we have provided on site maintenance to include UPS Maintenance and Data Room cleaning.

UPS MAINTENANCE

Sharp have mulitple communication rooms spread over a number of floors in their Stockley Park Head Office.  All individual Communcations Cabinets are supported by rack mounted APC UPS’s. They are specified to provide a target autonomy of 20mins in the event of a power outage.  In order to acheive this good UPS battery Health is vital.

Affinity are contracted to provide UPS Maintenance support, which includes one preventative maintenance visit a year.  The operation and health of all the batteries in each UPS is fully tested as part of this work and reported back to Sharp.  Recommendations for replacement for individual battery cassettes if necessary help Sharp maintain the integrity of its communication systems.

COMMUNICATIONS ROOM CLEANING

The first floor communications room at the Stockley Park Head office is the hub of the network.  Ensuring a clean environment helps maintain the reliability of equipment ,reducing the dust levels, within sensative communications equipment.

Affinity recently undertook a clean of the first floor comms room.  It required carefull pre planning with other maintenance staff.  The fire alarm and supression systems needed to be turned off prior to the clean taking place.

The cleaning on the day involved a cleaning team using a combination of manual surface cleaning, and machine cleaning.  Wheeled in air scrubbers, and telescopic cameras were used to assess what areas were difficult to access in the raised floor, prior to special angled vacuum cleaners being used.  The Clean took a day and resulted in Sharp obtaining an ISO 14644-1 2015 Class 7 Certificate .  Communciation Room cleans are now planned on an annual basis.

ABOUT AFFINITY

Affinity are an Independently owned, technology company founded in 2001 by entrepreneurial director’s. Affinity provides all aspects of network infrastructure for clients throughout the UK. Our team of expert people provide the consultancy, design and support services our clients need to make technology work in their business. For more information visit www.affinity-comms.co.uk

ABOUT SHARP

Since our founding in 1912, Sharp Corporation has continuously innovated across many product categories with original products, from the “Ever-Sharp” mechanical pencils where the company name was derived, to the commercialisation of the first Japanese-made radios and televisions, the world’s first LCD electronic calculators, the mass production of solar cells and the development and introduction of AQUOS LCD TV.

Our business now provides a host of market-leading B2B products including our award winning document solutions offering a full suite of multi-function printers and solutions; state-of the-art Visual Solutions incorporating digital signage and interactive whiteboards; and ECR/EPoS systems for numerous vertical markets and applications.

By following our business creed of “Sincerity and Creativity” and being an innovator of products and services, Sharp strives to become a one-of-a-kind company that creates 21st century lifestyles, taking our customers and partners beyond individual products and their capabilities. We will inspire new ideas from technology and are therefore dedicated to employing a team that matches our ambition and excellence.

Sharp is dedicated to improving people’s lives through the use of advanced technology and a commitment to innovation, quality, value, and design. We invite you to find out more about us, the value we place upon our on-going commitment to strong business ethics, and the numerous awards won by our innovative products.

Siklu Microwave Link Opens New Building on time

Seqirus Headache solved by Siklu Microwave Link

The multinational pharmaceutical company contacted Affinity to help meet the timescales to open a prestigious new office in Maidenhead.   The promised install date for the BT connecting ethernet leased line had slipped, giving the project delivery team a big headache.

Seqirus were commited to the original opening timescales. After contacting us we commissioned a detailed site survey within two days. With the willing help of both the Seqirus lead IT Infrastructure engineer and the Facilities Manager the survey was completed.  The proposed link was to bridge a short distance, from the existing Point Builidng to the new building.   An equipment mounting point on protective railings on both roof top plant rooms was suggested and approved.

Some height difference between the two buildings meant further elevation with a short pole to clear the parapet wall and to provide LoS to the new building.    Cable routes were confirmed picking up some roof top tray work that already existed, The building riser cupboard then carried the connecting ethernet copper cable to the Seqirus Communications Room cabinet on the fourth floor.  Cable routes and the location of equipment were sensative and needed planning as The Point is a multi tennanted building.

Pre staging assured a smooth delivery

Once fully surveyed, a Siklu EH1200Fx was selected to provide 1Gbps Full Duplex bandwidth between the two sites. Equipment was ordered and Seqirus then completed our pre staging paperwork.  The Silku  equipment was stage tested and pre configured prior to arrival at site.

As the timescales were short, a very busy period then followed of looking to obtain landlord permission to mount the equipment on both buildings.  Affinity provided a detailed installation plan and report, for Seqirus to submit to the landlord.  The approval then followed on the understanding that landlord appointed engineers were to oversee the installation.

Added network Resilience

The installtion was completed over a two day period, and a fully functional ultra low latency Siklu 1Gbps link allowed the customer to move some 200 staff into the new building on time. Although the ethernet fibre service has now been installed the Siklu link will add resilience.  It will also provide lower latency tham the fibre to the whole network.

About Affinity

Affinity are an Independently owned, technology company founded in 2001 by entrepreneurial director’s. Affinity provides microwave link and wired network infrastructure for clients throughout the UK. Our team of expert people provide the consultancy, design and support services our clients need to make technology work in their business. For more information visit www.affinity-comms.co.uk

About Seqirus

In July 2015, bioCSL and the influenza vaccines of Novartis joined forces to create Seqirus, now the second largest influenza vaccine company in the world.

With extensive research and production expertise and manufacturing plants in the US, UK, Germany and Australia, Seqirus is a transcontinental partner in pandemic preparedness and a major contributor to the prevention and control of influenza globally.

Now it’s joined by Seqirus Liverpool in the UK, a Centre of Excellence for egg-based influenza vaccine manufacturing. It is one of the biggest biotechnology sites in Europe and the only injectable influenza vaccine manufacturer in the UK. It also produces the only licensed adjuvanted seasonal influenza vaccine.

The combined influenza vaccine business of Novartis and bioCSL give Seqirus a workforce of over 2,000 employees, significant manufacturing capacity, a commercial presence in twenty countries and product and geographic diversity.

With cutting-edge facilities, technologies and technical expertise, Seqirus will be a reliable supplier of seasonal influenza vaccine with the ability to rapidly respond to pandemic threats.

In Australia Seqirus also continues a long legacy of manufacture of Products of National Significance and markets and distributes a range of vaccines and specialty pharmaceuticals in both Australia and New Zealand.

Seqirus has established a corporate office in Maidenhead, United Kingdom.

AFFINITY AID ANTARCTICA RESEARCH

Affinity were approached by British Antarctic Survey (BAS) to provide a suitable Microwave Link solution to aid their research work. The extreme environment of the winter months in Antarctica presented some challenges for reliability of operation.

After some engineering consultation with Karen Fowler – Communications Engineer at BAS, a solution from affinity partner SAF Tehnika was chosen to fulfill the requirement. A 1.4Ghz Marathon 11 microwave link featuring a totally passive antenna was seen as ideal, due to its relative ease of alignment, long range, excellent pedigree, and the fact that it does not possess any outdoor (ODU) electronics.

An antenna was mounted on the Halley VI research station, to provide wireless backhaul from the connecting antenna on a movable sled (seen in the picture below). Some initial profile work using what terrain based mapping exists for Antarctica with the help of SAF was undertaken for links ranging from 10 – 15km at different positions on the ice shelf.

Due to the location of the work, affinity engineers provided installation training for BAS engineers on the SAF equipment, prior to shipment out to Antarctica. On arrival in Antarctica the equipment was deployed for the first winter, and the results assessed.

MICROWAVE LINK – ASSESSING RESULTS

Although connectivity was stable, the performance left us with some room for improvement. A conference call was suggested with SAF Tehnika, a member of our engineering team, and the communications team at Norfolk Constabulary (existing users of Marathon SAF equipment). They very kindly offered their help.

Due the unique nature of the environment the team suspected two possible issues. The received signal level (RsL) was being reduced by unseen ice obstructions, or a natural phenomenon know as ‘ducting’ was occurring due to the strong nature of the earth’s magnetic field at this latitude.

The team suggested a connecting cable change at Halley to reduce signal loss, and to consider the use of a larger 0.9m grid antenna. This was duly implemented and the results were very positive with much improved throughput. The link operated un interrupted through the following winter in antactica.

THE FUTURE

The Halley V1 research station was recently moved due to the northern movement of a chasm in the Brunt Ice Shelf (which had previously been dormant for around 35 years). The move was completed but a second crack (known as the Halloween crack) has appeared unexpectedly in October 2016, and continues to extend eastwards. Access to the station remains very difficult at present and a decision not to man the station in the winter of 2018, has been taken on safety grounds. Research will continue in the summer months affinity understands.

ABOUT AFFINITY

Affinity are an Independently owned, technology company founded in 2001 by entrepreneurial director’s. affinity provides wireless bridge and wired network infrastructure for clients throughout the UK. Our team of expert people provide the consultancy, design and support services our clients need to make technology work in their business. For more information visit www.affinity-comms.co.uk

ABOUT BRITISH ANTARCTIC SURVEY

British Antarctic Survey (BAS), an institute of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), delivers and enables world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions. Its skilled science and support staff based in Cambridge, Antarctica and the Arctic, work together to deliver research that uses the Polar Regions to advance our understanding of Earth as a sustainable planet. Through its extensive logistic capability and know-how BAS facilitates access for the British and international science community to the UK polar research operation. Numerous national and international collaborations, combined with an excellent infrastructure help sustain a world leading position for the UK in Antarctic affairs. For more information visit www.bas.ac.uk

SIKLU MICROWAVE LINK FOR KALSI GROUP

UK building plastics company Kalsi, approached Affinity Communication System to upgrade its existing microwave link between its Head Office building, and its new plastics plant in Albion Road, in the inner city Sparkhill area of Birmingham.

WHY THIS SIKLU MICROWAVE LINK?

An upgrade was required to carry CCTV images over the link, and although an initial bandwidth requirement of 1Gbps was discussed, Kalsi purchased a full 2Gbps system. The bandwidth delivered by the Siklu microwave link was full duplex and with sub 5ms latency, dramatically increasing their previous capacity.

After some initial survey work and installation planning, the two day installation was commenced. A long cabling run, through the existing factory floor in the Head Office site, to reach a high point at the top of an on site silo was completed first.

The remote end at Albion Road was a much shorter cabling run, but care was needed to mount the antenna correctly and brace it securely off the metal clad fascia that is typical of modern warehouse and office accommodation. Accurate and stable alignment being vital for the Siklu Microwave Link mmW systems to maintain reliability and performance.

Kalsi Group had their own access platforms on site which Affinity were given permission to use after submitting the necessary paperwork. They were used for all external work and to align the small Siklu Microwave link 15cm antenna’s correctly achieve the target ( RsL) and fade margin. Final commissioning prior to going live was then completed and test results recorded.
The link is now in daily active service, and Affinity are retained on a two year full parts and labour service support contract.

ABOUT AFFINITY

Affinity are an Independently owned, technology company founded in 2001 by entrepreneurial director’s. Affinity provides wireless bridge and wired network infrastructure for clients throughout the UK. Our team of expert people provide the consultancy, design and support services our clients need to make technology work in their business. For more information visit www.affinity-comms.co.uk

ABOUT KALSI PLASTICS

Kalsi Group has established itself as manufacturers and suppliers of High Quality Maintenance Free Plastic Building Products. The vast range manufactured by the group compromises of Seven Rainwater Systems, Soil Waste Systems in Ring Seal and Solvent Weld. Underground Drainage, Sewer Systems and PVC-U Cellular Foam Building Products.With our In House expertise in Extrusion and Injection Moulding all products are produced to British Standards and above, using the latest machinery and tooling. For more information please visit: http://www.kalsiplastics.co.uk/