25 Jul 2019

Lyondell Basell is nearing its completion of the $55 million, 89,000 square-foot centralized operations center in Morris, IL. Lyondell’s Morris Complex is one of the largest chemical plants in the Midwest. The new facility will feature a a state-of-the art control room, maintenance shops, offices and testing laboratory, and is scheduled to be completed in August of 2019. With more than 400 employees and contractors onsite, the plant is a strong civic supporter investing time, energy and resources into the community.

LVS, along with Meade Electric and Harbour Construction, were contracted to complete the new Operations Center. We are substantially complete with this project that started in late 2017. LVS was contracted to do a design-assist for the for the Structured Cabling, Fire Alarm SystemSecurity System (Access Control and Video Surveillance), and Overhead Paging Sound Masking System Vesda System. This project is a complete solution of all our services – a one-stop shop for all information technology systems. 

 

We are grateful to be a part of such a monumental project for our community! We are looking forward to a successful project completion & to continue building our relationships with Lyondell, Meade Electric, and Harbour Construction as a trusted low voltage contractor. Get in touch with us here for any questions or comments!

11 Jul 2019

Technology trends in our personal life are now driving trends in our work and business life. Software as a Service (SaaS), aka the Netflix Model, has changed the way our businesses operate on a daily basis. People are demanding more and demanding it now. Seriously take a minute to think how much technology has changed in the last 10 years… Today we are able to click a button online and have our products delivered to our door in less than two hours. Where can we possibly go in the next 10 years? Yes, the cloud, co-located data centers, and IoT (internet of things) will still drive change – but what’s the next big trend that will change the way we do business yet again? 

That’s a complicated answer and no one really knows. But, businesses can at least prepare for the possibilities by always looking into the future. We’ve learned by now that if you aren’t looking ahead, you will lose money investing in the wrong ways. By the time you adapt to changes in 2019, all your competitors are in 2025. 

One thing is for certain: Cabling is the infrastructure that supports business operations today. It will always be that way. The only change is the amount of bandwidth and amount of data & devices connected. Some think that cables will eventually go away with wireless, but they forget that those wireless access point that give them a wireless option, still need to be wired. So, while the cabling needs and designs will change, the importance of cabling will continue to grow.

The best copper cable today is the Category 6a cable. It can support 10 Gbps speed at 100 meters (that’s a lot). How will we ever need more than that?! But we will. Back in 1990, Category 3 cable was created to support 10Gbps – which at that time, very few devices would even support that much speed. Category 7 is next, but is not widely available. It will be even thicker, filled with more copper to support even more distance and speed. Which at some point, we’re going to run into physical issues with using copper. 

Now, in comes fiber optic cable. Fiber is made from thin strands of glass. Instead of sending a signal over copper, fiber sends bursts of light through the thin glass strand. This different cable construction allows for fiber to have much higher bandwidth and distance limitations compared to copper. We mainly use fiber for underground (outside plant) or backbone (riser) cable. The main difference between the two is the cost. Fiber is more expensive and it always has been. But, as fiber is produced more, the cost will come down and the differences will be minimal. Today’s devices do not directly support a fiber connection, so converting to fiber ports may be a big change we see in the future. Currently, some wireless access points and security cameras take a direct connection.  Fiber can support speeds over 100Gbps and has been tested at a terabyte per second.

As a low voltage contractor, some of our work is spend ripping out and replacing old cable with new ones. We are also installing a lot of fiber within our projects and will continue to see an increase in those installs. We aim to be a resource for our customers in making sure they are making the most educated decisions for their future needs. And so far, the future is fiber. 

Get in touch with us here!

(referenced here)
03 Jul 2019

Campus Safety and Security Data put out a report that stated between 2012 and 2104, there were 62,787 burglaries, robberies, and vehicle theft within college dorms throughout the United States. That number being ONLY reported crimes. Fast forward to 2019 and it is continuously on the rise. We can all agree that security in education is one of the most important investments the institution can make. Especially student housing. College campuses become millions of students homes for 4 years. 

 

With the high number of students living in dorms, allows for people to come and go as they please. This makes it difficult to keep track of who is coming in and out at certain times of day. Access Control systems can be a part of the solution to keep our youth safe.

Old School

Most college dorms are still only using the lock and key system as it did for nearly a hundred years. These days, it just isn’t enough. Keys can be copied, shared, or locks picked. There are also multiple doors – to get into the residence, dorm room, laundry room, etc. It just isn’t practical anymore. With an access control system, everything can be programmed with one key fob. Each student would have a fob that gives them access to whichever areas allowed and keep them out of areas they are not supposed to be in. 

High Student Turnover 

The majority of colleges & universities require their students to live on campus, especially for freshman year. More housing opportunities are available as your seniority increases. This means that dorm residents are moving in and out every semester. Instead of tracking down thousands of keys every semester (not to mention having to change locks) administration can discontinue the student’s access to their old dorm. It makes it a much simpler, cost-effective process. 

The Unknown 

There are a lot of young adults running around in one place on a college campus. It can be a challenge to track who is coming in and out of a building and when. Having an access control systems allows universities to collect data on what time and where students and faculty are leaving and entering different areas of the campus. In addition, CCTV are a perfect companion to access control. This will then show video surveillance of who is entering and leaving facilities. 

A lot of colleges and universities have already implemented access control and video surveillance campus wide. Given the amount of burglaries and school shootings happening, we have to act and protect our youth. As the challenges continue to arise, we are dedicated to helping institutions design a security system that will help them provide a safe environment for their students and faculty.

As the summer continues on, LVS is hard at work installing upgrades and changes for our school district and university  customers before the new school year begins. If your institution is looking to upgrade its security, please get in touch with us here and we will work to design a system that is right for your needs.