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Case Studies

Alarm management

Drax Technology’s AMX alarm management system offers multiple buildings monitoring for building operators. Keith Minster, Product Manager at Drax Technology, says: “Professional fire alarm contractors choose our AMX software and SMaRT interfaces to centralise the monitoring and management of multiple alarm systems, which may be installed in a single building, several buildings on a site, or distributed over a wide geographical area.”

But premises can often have separate fire monitoring networks using different protocols installed over time by various contractors. AMX can connect and centralise systems. Keith says: “Our software can work with many types of systems, which communicate data in a variety of differing formats, and bring all the information together, presented in a single, coherent and easy to understand user interface.”

AMX software runs on a dedicated PC and can interpret the data from a variety of systems. Security or safety staff in a central control room can monitor the status of the fire-safety infrastructure in real-time. They can isolate devices, identify faults and access control panels remotely. AMX maintains an electronic log of events such as alarms, tests and maintenance, and generates reports that help verify maintenance is being carried out correctly and show compliance. Each fire system is connected to the central AMX computer by a SMaRT interface unit. The computer at the heart of this unit is Fitlet, a fanless computer from Tiny Green PC, the size of your hand, packing a 1GHz AMD A4 quad-core CPU. The Fitlet communicates with the central computer over the building’s IT, using standard TCP/IP over Ethernet.

SMaRT interfaces were originally controlled by FitPC – a UCFF powered by Intel CPU. When Tiny Green PC updated its range to include a new generation of micro pc with AMD processors as well as new interfaces such as USB 3.0, Drax chose Fitlet. Keith says: “We evaluated potential alternatives, which have entered the market since we first chose the FitPC. Obviously, reliability and quality are extremely important to us, as this is a life-safety application. Fitlet is robust and reliable, just like the FitPC, with all the connectivity we need, and a convenient 12V DC input that works well with our existing power supply and backup battery. It was also the only computer we could find that meets all our requirements and comes with a suitable bracket to enable straightforward and secure attachment in our enclosure. We chose Fitlet based on its own technical merits, as well as our previous positive experiences with FitPC.”

About Drax Technology

Drax Technology supplies the AMX management system in the UK, Europe, and further afield such as the Middle East and India, through accredited distributors and fire-safety specialists. A recent major project saw more than 20 interfaces in a prison in the north west of the UK to monitor fire and general alarm systems. In the last year, Drax has also provided SMaRT interfaces for use in Bath and Coventry universities, and Imperial College in central London.


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