Kentec, a renowned manufacturer of life-critical control systems, has launched its Intelligent Networking Solutions (iNS) providing advanced interconnectivity and monitoring of fire alarm control panel networks - critical where multiple panels are installed across a single site.

The sharing of status information between protected areas is essential to the management of site safety procedures, enabling the correct response when an event such as a fire occurs, for example, the direction of emergency responders and phased evacuation of building or areas.

addressable fire alarm systems

A Transient suppression module (TSM) provides network protection from Transient voltages

The iNS product range provides solutions for advanced networking of addressable fire alarm systems (both new and already-installed legacy panels such as Taktis and Syncro), and Remote Interface Modules (RIM) for simple interconnectivity solutions for non-networkable systems using ethernet networks. A Transient suppression module (TSM) provides network protection from Transient voltages.

  • iNS Network Analyzers

The performance of any networked fire system relies on efficient data flow between panels. Losses in data will slow response times and can result in intermittent fault events as the panels fail to communicate correctly.

fire alarm panels

iNS network analyzers are compatible with the full range of Kentec addressable fire alarm panels, and even though Kentec’s panels use the most robust RS485 data protocols, Kevin Swann, Managing Director of Kentec, says the protocol can still be affected by poor-quality cables and extreme external interference:

“iNS network analyzers are designed to continuously monitor network performance and where possible automatically compensate for changes in data quality and signal strength, ensuring the network is always preforming at its optimum level,”  he says.

fiber optic solutions

iNS network analyzers provide both copper and fiber optic network solutions

“One of the key features of these modules is the monitoring and diagnostics function which not only makes fault finding quicker and easier, but also enables preventative maintenance by highlighting performance issues before a critical failure." iNS network analyzers provide both copper and fiber optic network solutions, enabling Kentec to provide a range of solutions to suit varied requirements with intelligent features to support network performance and diagnostic monitoring.

RS485 analyzers, for example, provide automatic impedance matching against the network cable to ensure the optimum level of performance. While the fiber optic analyzer can provide single mode, multi-mode and Bi-directional fiber optic solutions within a single module using plug-and-play fiber optic transceivers along with unique Digital Optical Monitoring for early warning of network issues.

  • Remote Interface Modules

RIM modules provide straight-forward interconnectivity of panels that are non-networkable or where it is not possible to run cables between panels. RIM modules monitor fire and fault status outputs on a fire alarm control panel and can transmit the active state of these outputs to another remote fire alarm control panel using an existing ethernet network.

This enables two panels to share simple status information i.e. a non-networkable conventional fire panel can be connected to an addressable fire alarm system.

  • Transient Suppression Modules

Using iNS products to manage fire alarm panel networks provides full visibility of network performance"

RS485 copper wired networks can be susceptible to transient voltages which can cause not just physical damage and failures, but also latent damage where the system does not fail but the operational life of the product can be reduced. There are multiple causes to transients, but one of the most common is lightning strikes which can travel along network cabling and damage electronic components within the fire alarm control panel.

Transient Suppression Modules are designed to protect the fire alarm control panel from transients on the network cabling, and can also be used as an RS485 repeater/booster to extend the distance between panel nodes on an RS485 wired network.

mitigates infrastructure degradation

“Using iNS products to manage fire alarm panel networks provides full visibility of network performance and mitigates infrastructure degradation by providing warning of any performance reductions,” concludes Kevin. “A highly valuable range of solutions for building occupiers, designed to make their lives more straightforward.”

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