Berk-Tek’s Converged Application Score process gets UL verification

Berk-Tek's CA Score is based on the results of a 100-meter, four-connector channel test designed to measure network infrastructure performance under the stress of real-world applications.

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Berk-Tek

Berk-Tek (New Holland, PA), a Nexans company and a top manufacturer of network infrastructure systems, earlier this year announced that the company’s innovative Converged Application Score (CA Score) Process has been third-party verified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

The TEK Center at Berk-Tek developed the CA Score in 2016 in response to the new demands being placed on network infrastructure.

“Reporting a cable’s performance in dBs for various parameters has been a standard practice in our industry for many years. However, those values do not easily correlate to the performance of today’s advanced networking applications. Today’s network infrastructure is connecting and powering lights, cameras, AV systems, and many other building automation systems, some consuming a lot of power and bandwidth. The CA Score addresses that issue,” explains Mike Good, manager of applications and systems labs for Berk-Tek.

Per Berk-Tek, "The CA Score is based on the results of a 100-meter, four-connector channel test designed to measure network infrastructure performance under the stress of real-world applications. The CA score testing involves simultaneous transmission of Voice, Data, Video, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) through a cabling channel. During the test, real-world conditions such as heat and nearby voltage spikes are simulated to stress the cabling as they would be in the installation environment.

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The results of several tests are recorded: Mean Opinion Score (MOS) for VoIP performance, Media Loss Rate (MLR) for Video performance, Bit Error Rate (BER) for Data performance, and Heat Rise for PoE performance. These results are then entered into a proprietary algorithm that calculates the results into a CA Score between 1 and 10. A score of 8.6 or higher is considered excellent and would equate to a near flawless user experience even while under stressed conditions. A score of 10 is theoretically impossible because this would require a room temperature cable to have zero DC resistance and therefore no heat generated when transmitting 100W of PoE."

UL Verification is an objective, science-based assessment that confirms marketing claims by a company. The claim or claims that are UL Verified are subjected to an extremely rigorous audit process. Berk-Tek believes that the UL verification is an important step in changing the way network infrastructure is tested and evaluated.

UL representative David Wuestmann, marketing claim verification program manager for UL states, “During our audit of the CA Score Process, we verified Berk-Tek’s procedural documents, training records, equipment calibration, and system functionality. When we give a process the UL Verified Mark, we are separating fact from fiction.”

“We are very excited that UL has independently verified our CA Score process,” concludes Jim Frey, director of marketing for Berk-Tek. “Berk-Tek recognized years ago that decibel-based testing alone wasn’t the best indicator of how a cable will perform under the stress of converged applications. That’s why we developed the CA Score. Having our process Verified by UL adds a new level of credibility testing that was developed and pioneered by Berk-Tek’s leading engineering team.”

For more information on Berk-Tek’s CA Score, visit www.berktek.us/CAscore.

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