Briant Communications don’t only provide data cabling and fibre optic cables for household users. We were recently called out to attend a large industrial site, UBB in Essex. Unfortunately it wasn’t a bakery or biscuit factory, no, just our luck it was a 6 acre waste treatment and recycling plant.
As part of the waste treatment process it is left to maturate for several weeks, meaning that the smell inside swimming pool sized tanks was, predictable. Unfortunately the grot which is left in food containers when they’re thrown into the average household recycling attracts a variety of wildlife, who grow big and plump off of all the scraps which are available. The creatures which cause the biggest problem for us when it comes to fibre optic data communication is rats. They make their homes in the undisturbed, secure spaces where cables and fibre optics are housed and channelled, gnawing trunking and sheaths. And it’s this activity which gives us our biggest headache as the damage to fibre optic cabling is a great deal harder to fix than simply reconnecting two ends of wire, as it would be with metal cable.
Instead the frayed ends of the fibre need to be cut out, bridged, reconnected and tested fully, in order to ensure that they are able to deliver information instantaneously. The data that these particular fibre optic lines were transmitting were operational details of the machinery and sensors used in the process of treating and recycling a huge tonnage of waste from Southern England. Without the monitoring that these fibres provided the plant would need to shut down as the machinery couldn’t operate safely, the sensors wouldn’t be able to monitor the environmental conditions, meaning that the risk to site workers, visitors and the wider population would be unacceptable.
Eat Less Fibre!
Transmitting data via fibre instead of metal cable is preferable in industrial sites such as UBB Essex as it is a very large site with vast amounts of vehicle movements transferring ferrous and non-ferrous metals throughout the premises daily. All these movements and the distances which have to be covered mean that copper wire would need repeaters and would also be prone to magnetic interference, problems which fibre doesn’t suffer from. However, if fibre isn’t installed bearing in mind the environmental conditions and future-proofing accordingly then problems like this arise. Someone may have thought that leaving access for future maintenance was a good idea, not counting that during the composting stage of the recycling method used at this particular plant, the smell of discarded food would attract scavengers and vermin who would make their homes in secure, undisturbed spots. Once rats had located these spaces they made them their homes, and in the process of doing the place up, they chewed through the fibre.
Choose The Right Professionals
Using the specialist equipment and tools that are necessary to fix and test fibre optic cabling doesn’t take long. We were on site at 10pm Saturday and left at 4am the following morning, meaning that the next shift could return to work without significant interruption. As well as fixing and testing all the new connections and terminal points by which the data left the monitors and sensors and arrived in the control room we ensured that rodents would no longer be making their homes in the fibre optic conduits. With a site which covers the area of 8 football pitches and has biological processing & composting facilities like vast swimming pools full of decomposing rubbish it’s impossible to keep rats, mice, gulls and bugs out entirely, but one place they won’t be able to do any more damage is to the data network.
Save Time, Save Money, Save The Environment
Identifying, repairing, and ensuring the problem wouldn’t recur not only got the site back to work without significant delay, that is translatable as a cash saving and a positive environmentally too. The site couldn’t operate without the systems which depend on fast, reliable data transfer, data such as emergency, environmental and operating conditions in the process. Without adequate fire, throughput monitoring, operating temperature, and obstruction detection the site would be dangerous. Now we’ve taken care of the data network the plant is back at capacity and the only one’s facing inconvenience and disruption to their usual practices are the rats.
So while we wish all our installations could take place in the luxury homes of Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Kent, if you’re having a problem with your data network in a retail, industrial or office premises, get in touch by completing our Contact Us form or call on 01273 465377