There is more to selling and supply than just shipping boxes. Few organisations really understand how synchronisation equipment operates and fewer still can deliver a fully installed and tested system.
We have installed full rack systems such as Primary Reference Clocks (PRCs) complete with Cesium and GPS Primary Reference Sources, right down to simple Distribution Amplifiers.
Our extensive installation experience also includes alarm monitoring, power monitoring and GPS re-radiator equipment, both fixed and wireless.
Our highly skilled and trained personnel have carried out installations in the UK, USA, Russia, Europe and Australasia.
Our installations are backed up with a thorough method statement and follow a rigorous process:
- Project Review Meeting - to ensure the smooth running of your project
- Assembly, Configuration & Soak Test - custom build, configure and site specifics
- Site Survey – to ensure any pre-contract estimates are clarified
- Turnkey Installations – includes fitting of the equipment into a rack, and all necessary cabling and outside work
- Commissioning – to ensure the equipment performs to its specification and work is complete
- Training – to ensure local operations and maintenance staff are familiar with the equipment and management system
- Cut-Over – carried out during periods of low traffic volume to minimise impact of any problems
- Support – Chronos offers a Spares Support Programme (SSP)
- Experience - Chronos has worked with businesses around the World
In line with our ISO 9001 philosophy, we ensure each installation is completed to our customers’ utmost satisfaction.
Whether it is a single site installation, or a two hundred site European-wide project, we have the skills and expertise to successfully manage your project to your timescales and budget.
An example was a new mobile operator in the UK who required 174 sites around the UK to be surveyed, installed, and commissioned within a 9 month timeframe. This was achieved within a 7 month timeframe and came in significantly under budget.
Project Review Meetings
Project Review Meetings are vital for the satisfactory progress and completion of any installation project.
While a number of commercial and technical review meetings may have taken place prior to project award, it is often not possible to completely capture all aspects of the requirement until a commitment is made by the customer. This may be particularly relevant on major multi-site, or multi-country contracts, especially where site access is not available at the quotation or bid stage.
The preliminary Project Review Meeting ensures that all relevant participants, both from Chronos and the client, are present. Firstly to ensure that communication channels between relevant personnel are established and understood and that project responsibilities and tasks are assigned. It is also important to ensure that all uncertainties are tabled at an early stage so that the work will be carried out with minimum of delay.
Dates for all necessary Project Review Meetings are set at this preliminary meeting, thus enabling all parties to have a clear view of the project roll-out plan and critical dates.
The final Project Review meeting will effectively be a wrap-up meeting after all the work is completed, and would involve the technical authority for the project, as well as the commercial contacts.
Build & Test
Build & Test
All equipment undergoes testing in our test laboratory, where it is assembled, configured to customer's specifications, and then soak tested for a minimum 7-14 days.
During this process, we emulate customer specific environments to pinpoint any potential failings prior to deployment including agreed firmware revision levels.
Any dead on arrival (DOA) components/sub-systems are eliminated to ensure the equipment arrives at your site in full working order.
Equipment is available for pre-delivery testing by the customer during this process.
The site survey phase is vitally important to ensure that the installation phase can be completed with the minimum of interruption.
Once the site survey is complete, a report and risk assessment is produced for each site. This would detail the requirements necessary for satisfactory completion of the installation and any aspects of the project which require clarification or additional material other than that previously specified at the time of contract award.
The main aspects to consider during the site survey include:
- GPS antenna position
- Routing for GPS cable from roof to equipment room
- Rack location
- Rack availability, type and suitability
- Power supply availability
- Power supply cabling to the rack
- Type of power supply - AC or DC or both
- Existence and, or, location of Digital Distribution Frame (DDF)
- Familiarisation with DDF architecture
- Routing of sync feed cables to DDF or customer's equipment
- Quantity and quality of external synchronisation feeds from inter-connect partners into the site
- Site access
- Assessment of impedances necessary, eg: 75 Ohm unbalanced, or 100/110/120 Ohm balanced
- Dates for the installation work
- Availability of customer's personnel for installation assistance, cut-over and training
- Types of cable and connectors required by the customer
- The need for any special access equipment, eg: to enable GPS antenna installation
- Need for any special brackets or metalwork for the satisfactory completion of the work
- Availability of customer's engineering staff for external hole drilling or other work not normally allowed for a contractor to undertake
- Network Management - interfacing, data communications network
The installation phase is usually undertaken over a two or three day period using a team of two people. The extent of the work will vary from project to project, but can often include most or all of the following:
- Supply of rack
- Fitting of equipment into the rack
- Cabling of the customer power supplies to the rack
- Cabling the customer alarms to the rack
- Special rack labeling
- Laying and labeling of signal cables for inputs and outputs from the DDF to the rack
- Installation of GPS antenna at suitable position on the roof
- Routing of GPS antenna cable from the roof to the rack
- Laying of cables in the overhead racks or under the floor
- Fitting the appropriate connectors to both ends of cable
- Leaving site clean and tidy
- Observation of local and company health and safety procedures
Other peoples installations are often undertaken by independent sub-contractors, with no experience of synchronisation principles. This can lead to cabling mistakes and poorly labelled DDF's. Chronos therefore usually recommends conducting the installation phase using our own personnel or sometimes one expert supervisor from Chronos and one technician supplied by the customer.
The importance of completing the site survey work prior to the installation is evidenced by problems encountered at the installation stage, for example, the site may not be ready, power supplies may not be available or the customer supplied rack may not arrive or not be in position. Therefore, a smooth installation with minimum of delay or need for site re-visit relies directly on a satisfactory site survey phase.
World Map of Chronos Telecom Installations
Once the equipment and cabling is installed, it is tested to ensure conformity to the relevant standards, for example ETSI or ITU. We also test to customer specific and manufacturers' specifications.
Cables are tested to ensure no dry joints, and all connectors have been terminated correctly. The equipment must be thoroughly tested to its full operational requirements, including simulating possible failures in order to ensure that it will function correctly during its service lifetime.
If the equipment is to be managed from a central Network Management and Control Centre, all the necessary data communication links must be established. This will usually necessitate the 'pinging' of the equipment from the network controller PC at the Management Centre. This may require the availability of the customers specialist network management personnel.
Once all the commissioning is complete, and all training has been undertaken and there is no further work to be done on the equipment, it can be cut-over into the customer's network.
Cut-over usually means changing all the synchronisation paths for the local switches, cross-connects, multiplexers, etc.. These will have been previously synchronised via E1 traffic links.
They should now be synchronised direct from the local synchronisation equipment, and probably by moving links on the Digital Distribution Frame. Cut-over is the most critical part of the operation, and often involved traffic affecting activities. It is, therefore, usually scheduled to happen during periods of minimum traffic such as between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m.
Chronos personnel regularly undertake this out of hours cut-over activity in order to ensure minimum disruption to service, should problems occur. The cut-over process can be quite involved, particularly for certain manufacturers' equipment. Chronos personnel have gained much experience of doing cut-overs in the field, and have also undertaken manufacturers' training courses on switches and multiplexers so that they have become familiar with procedures necessary to ensure smooth and trouble-free network reorganisation.