AFE-St. Louis's February Meeting with SimplexGrinnell

St. Louis Chapter 26 would like to express a special Thank You to 

Kevin White  - SimplexGrinnell

Wally Rosenkranz - SimplexGrinnell

Scott Vogel - Phillips


along with all the great folks at SimplexGrinnell, for hosting our meeting, providing the dinner and great door prizes!

Thanks to all those members who showed their support by attending. We look forward to seeing you again at next month's meeting. To all our guests, we hope you found this event interesting. This is just one of the many benefits of belonging to our organization. We will enjoy seeing you at the next meeting. We hope that you all join the Association for Facilities Engineering.

Frank Kastl

President-AFE St. Louis (Chapter 26)

The Meeting:

Engineers, Maintenance, Managers, all networking together to share knowledge and have fun.We all started out networking while enjoying the great food and drink provided by our host, SimplexGrinnell. Then it was off to the meeting room which had an array of fire and security equipment set up for the demonstration. This is where we learned the valuable benefits of a completely integrated fire, security, and time clocks from over a 100 years of their experience. This meeting was a great follow up to our meeting with the FBI. As we learned the importance of hardening your target against malicious acts, and this month we learned exactly how to do that cost effectively.

Fire Systems

The Simplex® 4100U Fire Detection and Alarm Platform is a high-end, next-generation distributed network system that combines superior fire protection and information management with lower costs of installation, maintenance and ownership. Kevin White  of SimplexGrinnell started the presentation off  with information about Fire and security. The system Kevin explained was the new Semplex® 4100U – Universal Fire Alarm Platform. This Fire system is designed similar to the PLCs of the manufacturing industry, being it is completely modular and expandable. It will integrate into your existing system allowing you to upgrade to the new system a floor at a time if that is what your budget demands.

 Tip: If you initiate the contact with your fire marshal with a system upgrade plan, before he comes to you, the fire marshal will most likely be more cooperative.

 Initially you may purchase just the control panel, having your existing system hardwired in. The next step would be to convert over a few floors or building at a time to the network. This upgrade method will give you the maximum protect by the new features of the 4100U including internet ready. The folks at SimplexGrinnell are constantly focused on serves rather than just try to sell a product. You choose the system capabilities you need and define the budget you are operating under, SimplexGrinnell will come up with a plan to get you there.

SimplexGrinnell's Central Monitoring operation provides around-the-clock electronic surveillance for thousands of customers across the nation, and specializes exclusively on commercial, industrial and institutional accounts.

With the network addressable nodes of the 4100U, changes to your building layout are cost effective without the need for hardwiring. Also you will greater flexibility to meet the challenges of changing regulations. An example is the growing number of states requiring the ability to transmit unique warning messages depending on area of building and type of warning. The 4100U meets this challenge with standard ability to transmit multiple messages over the same copper wire.



Kevin led into the next half of the presentation which was on the security aspects of SimplexGrinnell equipment. Kevin gave some examples of how complete integration of fire and security will give you greater capabilities than separate stand alone systems. One example was using their easy to program windows software, you can quickly set a CCTV to zoom in on who trips the fire alarm (trigger method) as with ID cards (which the same software can print out) can trip the camera to pan and zoom in.


Philips dominates the surveillance market as the total system solution supplier. From the simplest to the most complex video surveillance system, our number one priority is quality. The second part of the presentation was given by Philips representative, Scott Vogel. Scott gave us hands on demonstrations of the security equipment while teaching us the value and capabilities of a digital CCTV system. first  Scott dispelled the misconception of the cost to convert over to a digital security system. SimplexGrinnell can start you out with a digital converter that conveniently fits where your old VCR was.

The obvious reason to switch over to a digital CCTV system is storage and quality. You can store a lot of CDs in the area a stack of VHS tapes used to be. (click here for storage calculator) They quality will eliminate the environmental conditions which are currently rendering VCR systems useless. Such as dark recording at night, VCRs not being serviced once a year, yielding a scratchy un-viewable video.

 The greatest advantage of upgrading to digital CCTV system is capabilities. With the all the recording stored on the hard drive of a computer and Philips advanced software, you can search by date, time, or even event within seconds. You can set the digital software to record one camera only if there is motion in it’s viewing area, this capability reduces the amount of hard drive storage space needed to store the video images.

 Scott set up the demo with a soda can, using the video software to highlight just the soda can. We could move anywhere in the view of the camera and it would not record, until someone actually moved the soda can (video mask method) that was the search capability, to highlight the soda can and search through hours, days of recordings, until the software seen the can move from highlighted position.

 Another demonstration was using the digital system with digital cameras. Scott was able to adjust for dark settings in several ways. The cameras have iris and shutter speed control to take in more light, switching automatically from color video (for better identification during daylight), to black and white (for better identification during night).

 A reminder of what we learned last month meeting with the FBI:

“Cameras and backups are also a great place to start. Cameras work in all three of the counter terrorism measures. Camera security makes for a hard target, more likely successful prosecution, and reference for future preparation. Backup your videos and your computers.”

 There are many applications for SimplexGrinnell systems in the manufacturing industry too. One example given is to use the trigger method of interface with a barcode reader. If the barcode system fails to read the barcode, the video monitor would zoom in on the bar code number. This will allow the operator to manually read and enter the bar code number into the system, thus saving valuable production time.

SimplexGrinnell brings fire, security and time all together as an intelligent integrated system with options like automatic calling/paging and Internet, LAN and WAN capabilities. After the presentations, we had drawings for the many door prizes SimplexGrinnell provided. (It looked like every one received a prize, I picked a mag light, others picked golf items. :>) Thanks you so much SimplexGrinnell for the valuable information, food, drink, fun and prizes.

 Thanks to those who attended, hope to see more of you in our engineering ranks at our next meeting.

Please see our scrapbook for more pictures.

For more information by SimplexGrinnell, please click on the links below...

·         Major Trends in the Security Industry

·         Finding the Value in Security System Integration

·         Intelligent Fire Notification: A Breakthrough in the Fire Alarm Industry Lower Cost of Installation and Maintenance, Unobtrusive Compliance Testing, Better Diagnostics

·        Assessing Your Fire Alarm System Needs

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