Industrial automation products distributor Anixter this month is opening a new industrial communications and control lab at its headquarters in Glenview, Ill.
The 4,000-square-foot facility integrates industrial communications, data center and network security solutions from a multitude of vendors so customers can simulate and test the latest industrial network technology.
On the factory floor you might have one machine you purchased in Germany and another system provided from an OEM in Michigan,” says Rob Cotner, director of marketing for Anixter. “In the ICC lab, we verify that they can talk to each other.” Anixter's Infrastructure Solutions Lab is the only distributor-operated lab in the world to be UL-certified, he added. The new ICC lab will specify the right cable for a project, taking bandwidth and environmental performance into consideration. The lab then walks the customer through the benefits of a structured cable environment, IP video surveillance and end-to-end industrial Ethernet solutions. Then Anixter technicians will set up the network the user plans to deploy and test proof of concept.
“Simulations can check interoperability between two manufacturers and provide a hands-on experience to see how the system performs prior to installation,” says Cotner. “And you might be specifying a global solution, so we make sure that the part number will be recognized, carries the appropriate approvals and is available in Australia, for example.”