Microtest is here to stay

In an editorial in the July issue of Cabling Installation & Maintenance, Arlyn Powell speculated on the impact on Microtest after its acquisition by Fluke Networks ("Reading between the lines...", page 84)

Aug 1st, 2001

In an editorial in the July issue of Cabling Installation & Maintenance, Arlyn Powell speculated on the impact on Microtest after its acquisition by Fluke Networks ("Reading between the lines...", page 84). If he had checked with anyone at Fluke Networks or Microtest prior to writing his opinion, he would have learned that, in fact, this merger of two leading suppliers of LAN cabling test equipment is great, not only for Fluke Networks, but also for Microtest, their customers, and the industry.

Clearly, both companies are highly respected for their technical competence and contributions to cabling standards development. In fact, it was Fluke Networks' respect for Microtest's technology prowess, ability to innovate, and strong position with cabling contractors that led to the acquisition.

The Microtest acquisition represented a substantial investment on the part of Fluke Networks. This means that for a reasonable return on its investment, Fluke Networks needs to see significant ongoing revenues from Microtest products. To that end, Microtest is investing heavily in new-product development and additional enhancements for the OMNIScanner series. In fact, more than $600,000 in new engineering talent was added to Microtest since the offer to acquire was made. Currently, more than $2 million in development resources are assigned to OMNIScanner projects. This is not a product line that is going away.

"The OMNIScanner2 and other Microtest products are essential elements in our worldwide product strategy," said Chris Odell, president of Fluke Networks. "The Microtest Phoenix facility is, and will remain, a key product development center for Fluke Networks."

We would like to assure Microtest customers and suppliers that as a result of this new relationship between Microtest and Fluke Networks, that the organization they have come to know and trust is bigger, stronger, faster, and will now be able to provide even greater benefits to our customers and the marketplace.

Will Ott
Business Unit Manager, Media Test Products
Fluke Networks Inc.

David Coffin
Vice President and General Manager
Network Test & Measurement
Microtest Inc.



Bigger picture on grounding and bonding

I enjoyed the article "Taking the mystery out of grounding and bonding" in your July issue (page 41). It provides a thorough explanation from a telecommunications perspective. I often find in the field, however, that individuals ground for equipment performance as opposed to safety. This may "open a can of worms," as many people are religious regarding their grounding techniques; however, any grounding that is performed must not compromise life-safety ground performance.

The July article referenced an electrical service entrance ground and applicable laws and codes. Unfortunately, some readers may continue to follow their own interpretation: that any piece of metal structure in a building is a suitable ground reference. This is not true, of course. I have seen instances in which installers have compromised the life-safety ground system to achieve what they believe to be correct equipment grounding. In the process, they have created other problems, such as electromagnetic fields.

The article was excellent from a telecommunications installer's perspective with respect to grounding for performance. It would also be beneficial to have a detailed article on how a building grounding system works from the electrical or life-safety perspective, to bring awareness to those who would otherwise gloss over this important topic. As installers, we should remember to "first do no harm" when working on shared facility infrastructure such as ground systems.

Don Kulinowski
Chicago



Cabling Installation & Maintenance Editorial Mission

Designers, installers and owners of premises and campus communication systems are challenged by changing standards, products and technologies. Keeping pace with these changes requires access to current information from experts in voice, data and video infrastructure solutions. Cabling Installation & Maintenance provides analysis and interpretation of standards and technologies, presentation of design and installation techniques, and selection and use of cable and components for premises and campus communication systems.

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