August 30th, 2017

Consumers have been diving into the internet of things (IoT) via connected devices for quite some time. Most of us sport a fitness device of some sort that collects our health data – activities, heart rate, sleep patterns and more – and records and reports it out over time. We check our smart devices to see what the temp is in our homes, and make adjustments if necessary. We log into our computers to check our security cameras and see if a package has arrived, or whether or not the dog has jumped up on the sofa (again!)

Many businesses have taken advantage of the IoT wave, too. Connected systems that control HVAC, video and security are increasingly common.

Even getting a drink in a restaurant is an IoT experience. Coke Freestyle machines don’t just allow customers to mix their own special drink, they track pump performance and automatically replenish syrup. Data is collected from each machine worldwide so Coca Cola can track trends.

While the IoT is certainly far from tapped out in the consumer sector, applications are gaining steam in the industrial sector, too. Connected devices, equipment and systems are helping manufacturers gain efficiencies in resource allocation, production processes, materials handling and the workforce.

Why does the IoT matter to your business or organization?

Data. From HVAC monitoring to tracking customer patters to keeping tabs on staff, the IoT enables organizations of any size to readily access data for smart decision-making.

Security. Organizations will need to be more cognizant than ever of what devices are connected and how they are connected. Risks extend beyond exposing customer data or some other immediate breach. Last year, hackers used unsecured video cameras to launch a DDoS attack that nearly brought down some of the Internet’s most popular sites, including Twitter and Spotify. Such attacks may open up the possibility of liability for companies that fail to secure devices.

Consumer expectations. The more consumers come to rely on the IoT, the more it will shape their expectations of the services they receive from business, government and other organizations.

Need to know more about how to connect and automate your building systems? Call (502) 632-4322 to talk to a member of our team.

August 7th, 2017

On August 21, the United States will experience a solar eclipse. The path of totality where the sun will be completely eclipsed will cut a 70-mile wide swath from Oregon in the Pacific Northwest to Charleston, SC on the Southeast Atlantic coast.

The path will cut through West Kentucky, with the city of Hopkinsville serving as the epicenter of the eclipse. The point of greatest eclipse – where the sun, moon and earth align perfectly – will take place over Hopkinsville for two minutes and forty seconds at 2:24:41 pm ET on the day of the eclipse.

The last time the U.S. experienced an eclipse of this magnitude was nearly 100 years ago, in 1918.

The eclipse will be a scientific and educational boon, and it will certainly be an economic boon to the areas in the path of totality, particularly Hopkinsville.

What will the eclipse mean in terms of the power grid? Safety and security?

States that rely heavily on solar power will see a significant impact, according to a report in Energy Manager Today. California, North Carolina, Utah and Nevada are all expected to be impacted.

The effect of the eclipse will be the equivalent of shutting down several nuclear reactors at once, according to the report. Fortunately, most customers shouldn’t have any interruptions in service. Utilities have had plenty of time to prepare and test systems, and systems have multiple redundancies built in. That, coupled with the rolling nature of the event should mean the lights remain on even when it grows dark around mid-afternoon.

Communities in the path of totality are expecting significant infrastructure implications. Hopkinsville could more than double its population for the day. All those out of town visitors will rely on apps on their smartphones to navigate and communicate. The increased traffic will surely overwhelm cell towers. In anticipation, additional temporary cell towers are being added.

Traffic is also expected to be a problem, with last minute visitors clogging I-24 and the Pennyrile Parkway. The region doesn’t boast nearly enough beds to accommodate the influx of visitors, so temporary campgrounds are being set up in vacant fields and porta potties are being brought in to address sanitary concerns. Since the late August weather could be hot and steamy, cooling stations are being set up at key areas, too.

EMS responders are training, and officials are considering National Guard support as well.
The takeaway for businesses? Preparation and communication are key for remaining steady during significant events that are beyond your control. Coordination among businesses, government agencies and other partners is key.

July 25th, 2017

The dog days of summer have arrived, and with them peak energy use. Air conditioners are pumping at full blast, and energy managers are dreading next month’s power bill.

What can businesses do to conserve power and control costs? Here are a few simple tips:

 

  • Set the thermostat to 78 degrees while facilities are in use, and 80 or above when not in use.
  • Check all air filters and change as necessary. Service units regularly to make sure they are running at peak efficiency.
  • Install programmable thermostats to automatically adjust according to your desired settings.
  • Replace older equipment with newer, more energy-efficient models.
  • Check in with LG & E about possible rebates for new energy-efficient equipment. LG & E also offers a demand conservation program which may provide your business with modest monthly savings.
  • If you use an outside vendor to providing vending machines in your facility’s break room, check with them to see if the machines are Energy Star machines. If they are not, negotiate for an upgrade.
  • Replace all incandescent light bulbs with more energy efficient CFL or LED bulbs.
  • Don’t forget outside lights. Put outside lights on timers or sensors, or make sure they are shut off during daylight hours.
  • Install motion sensors that automatically turn off lights when rooms are unoccupied.
  • Keep window shades/blinds drawn to block heat, or install screens or film to reflect bright sunlight.
  • Turn off and/or unplug equipment when not in use.
  • Consider flexible work arrangements where appropriate. If employees duties don’t require them to physically be in your office, why not have them work from home? Fewer workers in the office means less demand for lighting, cooling and power.
  • Maximize your landscaping to shade and shelter your building. An ocean of asphalt is not the most energy-efficient setting. A few well-placed trees can block the sun’s rays from heating up your facility.

December 21st, 2016

Recent weeks have brought news of new integrations, products and acquisitions for several ECT Services partners.

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On December 1, HID Global announced the acquisition of Bluvision, adding enterprise Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to its capabilities.
Bluevision offers real-time location system technology, presence and proximity-based location capabilities and condition monitoring solutions as well as cloud infrastructure, gateways, beacons and software as a service (SaaS).The acquisition will expand HID’s real-time asset tracking capabilities and extend HID’s cloud services for access control and related applications.
HID also announced the launch of the industry’s first end-to-end identity access management solution that offers a single credential for accessing doors, IT systems, networks and data. HID PIV unifies physical and IT security systems, a must for government and regulated industries.
On December 5, Shooter Detection Systems announced that its Guardian Indoor Active Shooter Detection System now integrates with Software House’s C•CURE 9000 access control system.
Then integration will provides the ability for instant shot location information, initiation of lock down procedures, capturing live and recorded video from cameras in the incident related areas, and immediate notification to first responders.
On December 15, target=”_blank”>Axis announced it would begin marketing seven new models of Canon network cameras. According to a press release, the cameras include the VB-S30VE, a compact outdoor mini PTZ dome camera, and the VB-H761LVE, an outdoor fixed box camera with 20 times zoom and IR illumination. Most are designed for outdoor surveillance, and all offer HDTV 1080p resolution in full frame rate.
Looking for innovative, effective building integration solutions? We can connect you to the right partners.

March 22nd, 2016

Spring has sprung, and the change in season is a good reminder to review your HVAC and lighting systems to keep them operating at peak efficiency. The following may need your attention:

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Spring HVAC servicing. The weather is getting warmer, and AC units need to be inspected to keep them operating at peak efficiency. A qualified technician will program your thermostat and check related system controls, inspect and test electrical connections and system components, clean and lubricate moving parts, inspect and clean the drain to prevent moisture problems and replace the air filter.

Lighting controls. Now that the time has changed, review your indoor and outdoor lighting timers and adjust accordingly. Need to know what time sunrise/sunset will come to your neighborhood? Check here.

Now is also good time to inspect lighting systems, too. Check for loose wires and replace burned out light bulbs.

Temperature controls. Warmer weather means adjustments should be made to maximize efficiency. During the summer, set air conditioning temperature controls to 78 degrees during peak hours when cooling is needed, and a higher temperature outside of those hours when less cooling is needed.

Air filters. You might be tempted to throw open the windows on pleasant spring days and let the breezy sunshine regulate the temperature in your facility. While spring breezes feel wonderful, they also carry a wealth of pollen and other allergens that could make life miserable for allergy sufferers. Install fresh air filters in systems, and consider purchasing air purifying units to keep staff and guests comfortable.

You’ll find more energy saving tips for businesses here.

March 16th, 2016

After a three-year, $60 million renovation and expansion project, the Speed Art Museum reopened last week.

Check out time-lapse video of the project posted by the Courier-Journal:

The 30-hour opening celebration included music, dance and more, with partner organizations from across the community joining in.

The museum’s new glass façade buildings, which wrap around the original structure, are designed to maximize natural light and showcase the museum’s collection. Too much, light, however, could be damaging to the collection, so the glass walls are embedded with metallic rectangles that filter the light and deflect the harsher rays of the sun. The metallic rectangles are more dense at the top of the building, and graduate as they cascade down the wall.

Most of the interior lighting has also been switched to more energy-efficient, less harsh LED lighting, too.

The interior of the entire museum must be maintained at a constant temperature of 72 degrees to protect the collection, which includes paintings, sculpture, furniture, textiles and other objects, some of which are thousands of years old.

Glass walls, integrated old and new construction and other factors could make temperature control a challenge in such a facility. The Speed is overcoming that challenge with an integrated control system designed by ECTServices.

The Speed is also pursuing LEED building certification.

For more information about the Speed, visit their website.

December 28th, 2015

What mattered to facilities managers in 2015? Three key themes emerge:

The Internet of Things is a thing. Devices, appliances, systems are all interconnected and available at our fingertips through computers, tablets and smartphones. This unprecedented level of control and monitoring capabilities opens up endless possibilities for maximizing efficiency and maintaining high quality. But challenges such as maintaining security and managing complexity are opening up just as rapidly as the opportunities.

Green is here to stay. Facilities managers have always looked for ways to increase efficiencies and save money; now they have an eye toward saving the planet, too. From using eco-friendly building materials and products to conserving energy, facilities managers are under increasing pressure from leaders and the public to go green.

Security is top of mind. Schools, offices and entertainment venues continue to be targets for gunmen, and the frequency of mass shooting events seems to be increasing. More than ever, managers are asking what they can do to make their facilities as safe as possible for the public. Responses include training employees and the public how to keep safe  and turning to automated systems to mitigate threats.

These three themes indicate the increasingly sophisticated skills effective facilities managers must bring to the table, including the ability to identify and collaborate with expert partners like ECT Services to maximize opportunities and meet challenges.

 

 

December 21st, 2015

In the days that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks, James Burton just wanted to make the world a safer place. He enlisted in the Marines, and served two year-long tours in Iraq.

More than a decade later, he still wants to make the world a safer place. In a world where gun rampages seem to occur every few weeks, he sees Active Shooter Detection Services as a means to accomplish that goal.

As a combat veteran, James brings a deep understanding of what it is like to be in an active shooter situation. He understands the stresses that come from surprise attacks, and he understands that perpetrators are seeking out soft targets and attempting to cause the most damage in the shortest amount of time. He’s applied the three As of an active shooter response – assessment, accurate information and appropriate response – and he understands how and why they work.

James sees Active Shooter Detection Services as an amazing piece of technology — the technology assesses the situation faster than humans can because it takes out the confusion, purely using infrared and sound sensors to know what’s happened. It allows for accurate information to be communicated faster since it directly calls the proper authorities, and this allows for an appropriate response to happen faster — and this leads to saving lives.

“Ultimately, I want to make sure my child is safe,” says James, who is now the father of a toddler. “If we can make it mainstream, I fully believe we can save lives.” Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 10.17.07 AM

James is currently meeting with K-12 schools, universities, hospitals, corporate offices and houses of worship to evaluate their needs. He firmly believes that Active Shooter Detection services should be part of all new construction or building renovation planning, just like fire detection and suppression, video surveillance and other safety features. He also notes that existing buildings can  be effectively retrofitted with the system.

To reach James directly, please contact him at (502) 931-1118.

July 10th, 2015

We’re halfway through 2015 now, if you can believe it, and we’re looking back on the great things that have happened this year. Among the many, we were proud to partner with a global company new to Louisville, Computershare.

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 8.54.27 PMComputershare opened new, expanded offices in May in downtown’s Meidinger Tower. This global financial services firm employs over 15,000 people and serves 16,000+ clients in 20 different countries, so we were pretty honored to help make their new space livable with state-of-the-art temperature control, secure access control, and video surveillance. While Computershare is currently occupying two floors in Meidinger Tower, we have begun work on floor #9, and the company plans to expand to five full floors in the next two years. When they do, we’ll be there to help them keep their business running smoothly and securely.

In light of recent developments in the healthcare industry that have cast an ominous air of uncertainty over the downtown Louisville area, the community believes now more than ever in the importance of expanding Louisville’s businesses.  “I felt there’s a real energy in the city,” said Computershare CEO Stuart Irving of the decision to move downtown after evaluating more than 300 cities as potential headquarters for the firm. As the energy, strategic location, and favorable tax rates continue to draw new and booming industries to Louisville, we stand ready to help those businesses run efficiently and safely with cutting-edge security, temperature, and fire detection systems.

September 9th, 2014

At ECT Services, we are proud to bring the “small business” touch to our customers to help us stand out from the big name corporate competitors.  Our sales mentality is relationship driven and customer service focused.  We strive to be seen as a trusted advisor that keeps the customer needs first.

The goal of our account team is to introduce new technology as it becomes available and keep in mind applications that would apply to the individual customer needs.  In the fast-paced world we live in, new technology is constantly creating more effective and efficient ways to simplify managing a facility.  We don’t want to just introduce a product, but rather the entire solution the product can help provide.  We want to be that expert and resource to know your facility and do the research to help you learn about and select the right system for your needs.   We feel that if we truly understand our client’s underlying interests and needs, then we can work toward a full comprehensive solution versus a quick band-aide for the immediate problem.

The key attributes of a sales team is not only be knowledgeable, but also credible and reliable.  We use our engineering resources and office support to ensure that you will have an quick response and a team you can rely on.

We look forward to working with you soon!

Kari Guy

Vice President of Sales

ECT Services, Inc.