Two kiosk programs that seem to be the furthest along are LinkNYC (operated by Qualcomm, CIVIQ Smartscapes and Intersection – a division of Google’s Sidewalk Labs) and Palo (developed by LQD who was recently acquired by Verizon). Both technologies and approaches are similar. Both offer free, high-speed WiFi, phone service and device charging. Both also offer access to maps, news, city services, directions and so on. And yes, all offer intelligently targeted, hyper-local advertising. LinkNYC is currently deployed in over 500 New York locations and is planning expansion into the UK. Palo kiosks are scheduled to go into pilot testing in the US in 2017.
Although there are certainly community benefits to having access to the internet and city services at every turn, it’s clear that ad-driven kiosks are just the tip of the iceberg. As more and more internet-connected kiosks are deployed, many companies and municipalities are starting to see beyond the ad revenue, focusing more on data collection and analysis that can increase efficiency and improve quality of life.
Flow (another Sidewalk Labs initiative) is hard at work on software that can leverage the kiosks and other connected urban appliances to make metropolitan travel easier and more sustainable. Using data they collect from kiosk sensors, they’re tackling urban transportation issues like city parking and studying trends to help vehicles and pedestrians move through cities more efficiently.
And then there’s the 30-kiosk program designed by Smart City Media which is scheduled for a downtown Washington, DC, rollout soon. While the Smart City Media information kiosks are not currently slated to provide free WiFi, they will be loaded with sensors that record noise levels, temperature, air quality, humidity and barometric pressure. Additionally, the kiosks will interface with sensors placed in nearby business district buildings to monitor energy and water usage, waste production and other information related to building occupancy.
Assuming all the data from projects like Sidewalk Labs, Smart City Media and others can be easily gathered and analyzed, it’s likely that cities and municipal governments may soon enter an era of unprecedented efficiency.
So, how does Universal Air Filter fit into the new cutting edge future of urban connectivity? Put simply, it’s dirty outside. Harsh urban environments require more filter changes, and in many instances, custom filter applications. Kiosks and appliances outfitted with internet-connected sensors will no doubt make our job a little easier as remote maintenance sensors can warn us if temperature, pressure or air flow is operating outside of normal parameters – a good sign that it’s time to replace some filters.
It’s hard to know whether all this hyper-targeted data about our movements and habits will be a good thing or a dystopian nightmare. It all sounds very exciting, but personally we’re not sure we need a talking sign on the sidewalk to tell us it’s time for a libation. We already know that.
According to the most recent Sandvine Internet Phenomena report, streaming video now accounts for over 70% of peak downstream internet traffic in North America. Of that, more than a third of the bandwidth is consumed by Netflix alone. As for upstream traffic, popular cloud services like Dropbox, iCloud and Google Drive are chewing up the majority.
The point is, today’s IP infrastructure is getting hammered up and down, around the clock — and according to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index, broadband activity is only going to intensify in the coming years. In 2010, a little over 20 exabytes (20,000 petabytes) of IP traffic travelled over North American networks and Cisco estimates traffic in 2016 will exceed a zettabyte (1000 exabytes). That number will likely more than double by 2020 leading Cisco to predict that, globally, we’re likely to measure 100-fold growth in IP traffic between 2005 and 2020.
Besides keeping pace with the needs of data hungry users and applications, the challenge for network providers is compounded by the myriad of network types, access device types and new hardware demands. But while end users may find the data consumption numbers and network growth challenges fascinating, they still want to be able to watch Game of Thrones from their cell phones on a transatlantic flight just as seamlessly as if they were sitting in their living rooms.
As a result of all of this, today’s networks need to be faster, more reliable and more efficient at all hours of the day and night than ever before. That means no more taking systems offline for maintenance in the wee hours and no more midnight hotfixes. In this perpetually streaming environment we’ve created, the network needs to be up and performing at peak 24/7/365.
Although air filters only represents one component of the 24-hour streaming puzzle, we know that proper maintenance can mean the difference between network tranquility and all out chaos. Having the right filters, at the right time, delivered in a convenient manner for your equipment and basing your change schedule on Industry Standards are the critical first steps towards minimizing downtime and keeping us all engaged on who controls the Iron Throne. Contact us today and we can help you come up with strategies and solutions that are tailored to your particular network. We’re waiting by the phone – at least we are until season 7 of Game of Thrones kicks off.
Every now and then you’re likely to stumble across a military threat assessment, a conspiracy theory blog or even a summer blockbuster that paints a grim picture of life after any of our national grid networks fail. Hypotheses range from a full return to the stone ages to a world in which Skynet computers are hunting down the human race like animals. Whichever way it actually turns out, it’s clear that a full on grid failure would not be a pleasant experience. Luckily, Universal Air Filter is here to help prevent that from ever happening.
The Power Grid
Put simply, if the power grid goes down, modern society as we know it would come to an end. Because the majority of our society’s systems are controlled by powered devices and interconnected networks, we would say goodbye to mass food production, transportation, product creation, voice and data communications, heating and cooling (with the notable exception of the blazing sun and frigid cold), fuel production and just about everything else that makes modern life bearable and survivable.
The Communications Grid
It’s true that you wouldn’t be able to call your mother or play Pokemon Go if the communications grid failed, but worse than that, the entire command and control structure of our country would be disabled. The early days of a communications outage would likely be the worst since coordinated communication between first responders and local and federal government agencies is typically critical in the first hours and days following a national disaster.
The Water and Wastewater Grid
71% of the Earth is covered in water, but the lack of clean, treated water that normally passes through the water grid would make it difficult to grow food, stay clean, hydrate, and generally survive.
So How Does Universal Air Filter Fit Into All of This?
Putting aside the possibility that our computers may one day rise up to conquer us, the number one reason for equipment failure is overheating. And one of the most common reasons that systems overheat is because of dirty filters. When filters aren’t changed at regular service intervals, dust can build up over time which in turn makes the fan work harder. When the fan works harder, components can overheat which can lead to a full system shut down. Air Filters keep equipment and electronic applications clean, minimizing overheating and maximizing system performance.
So What Can You Do To Help Prevent the Apocalypse?
While there is no “one size fits all” filtration solution, it’s best to keep your equipment protected using solutions to meet the dust filtration and EMI shielding demands of high end electronics. For outdoor applications, you’ll want to be more aggressive with your filtration in order to reduce water, wind-driven rain, salt fog and other harsh contaminants that typically accompany fresh and direct-air cooling systems. For high availability electronics applications specifically, custom air filter assemblies with tailored media configurations allow filters to produce low pressure drop and high dust loading capabilities. As an additional safeguard, fire retardant filter media is available in cleanable open cell foam or disposable non-woven polyester.
OK, Maybe We’ve Been Reading Too Much Sci-Fi
While it’s unsettling to think about the full scale breakdown of any or all of our interconnected grids, it’s unlikely we’ll ever experience it. And if by some chance, one of the grids does fail, it’s unlikely that air filters will be the primary culprit. Most critical networks have built-in redundancies and most systems trigger alarms when network components are operating at compromised efficiency. Alarms trigger, technicians are deployed and the world keeps on spinning.
That said, most people would agree that the best way to avoid disaster is to prepare for it. And the best way to prepare for systems disaster due to filtration is to make sure that you A) have the right filters for your application, B) have plenty of filters readily available when it comes time to replace them, and C) have a regular system maintenance strategy that includes changing your filters regularly.
While UAF might not be able to prevent the total collapse of critical network grids, we can certainly help you ensure that your filters aren’t the root cause. Contact us today.
How often do commercial filters need to be replaced? It’s a common question for design engineers and those who are tasked with servicing and maintaining equipment, but the simple answer is… it depends.
In clean, controlled indoor environments like data centers or switching offices, it’s typically best to change filters 3-4 times a year based on a disciplined maintenance calendar.
For harsher environments, such as outdoor enclosures, or for highly active systems like those used in medical, military or telecom capacities, the frequency of changing filters is exponentially higher. In most cases, the need to replace filters in specialty equipment is dictated by maintenance sensors. When sensors indicate that temperature, pressure and air flow are registering outside of optimal operating parameters, it’s typically a good sign that it’s time to change filters. Replacements in these environments can and still should be performed on a regimented basis but it may take some trial and error to determine the optimal schedule.
Bottom line, filters that are loaded with dust and debris reduce airflow, which leads to inefficient system operation, and in some cases, equipment failure.
Two simple things you can do to minimize the risk associated with clogged filters are to change them regularly and make sure you always have an adequate supply of replacement filters on hand. Developing (and sticking to) a filter replacement calendar is the best way to ensure all systems and equipment function efficiently throughout the year. As for always having replacement filters readily available, feel free to contact us. Universal Air Filter Company is a leading OEM filter supplier providing replacement filters for existing applications and new filter designs to support product development. We’re here to help.
Visit the link below for our general filter service and maintenance guidelines.
Over the last 50+ years, we’ve seen our fair share filtration issues, most related to an end user not changing filters on a recommended interval. However, you’d be surprised how many times we see high energy costs, performance degradation and even outages caused by a filter that was simply not installed correctly.
We believe we make the highest-quality, most exacting filters on the market, hands down. Where we’ve gone a step beyond over the years is in ensuring that all of that precision manufacturing doesn’t go out the window due to improper filter installation and removal. Even seemingly minor variations in the mounting, fittings and seals can lead to issues such as particle buildup on sensitive circuits, reduction of heat dissipation, fans overheating and so on.
After over a half century in the field, visiting sites and working side-by-side with onsite technicians, we’ve identified the primary issues related to filter installation and removal. As a result of these findings, we’ve made uniquely innovative modifications to our filters to minimize the risks associated with mishandling. Here are just a few:
Fastening On UAF filters, you’ll see a variety of options that ensure the filter is mounted properly and is held firmly in place. Fastening features include through-holes, captive panel fasteners, captive nuts, adhesive tape, magnetic tape, and hook and loop tape.
Sealing Air bypass or water ingress is a concern in many applications. UAF carries a variety of gasket/tape profiles in open cell foam, closed cell foam, and EDPM rubber to prevent filter bypass. Tension springs can also be installed to ensure a snug fit between the filter and enclosure.
Removal Filters can be difficult to access and remove after installation. Aside from frustrating the technician, a difficult-to-remove filter can also compromise the integrity of the enclosure. To make it easier to remove and replace our filters, UAF provides a variety of tabs and handles for easy removal. These handles are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials including rigid plastic, thin flexible plastic and sturdy metal.
Specialty Features For our customers that have unique needs and/or equipment architecture, UAF has a variety of other specialty options including hinges, locking mechanisms, brackets, and other unique offerings.
At UAF, we’re constantly innovating our flagship filtration solutions and working collaboratively with our partners to develop custom prototypes and products. That’s the foundation of our business, but these aren’t just products we simply engineer and ship out. We understand that they’re being stored, installed, replaced and removed out in the field and we’re constantly trying to improve the entire end to end process.
For more information on how to install, replace and remove your UAF filter, please contact us.
The RBS 6200 outdoor base station pictured here belonged to a major wireless telecom provider. The unit had been plagued by ongoing maintenance issues and the customer suspected the main culprit might be the air filtration system.
After examining the system, we noted the electronics inside the cabinet required forced air cooling for wattage dissipation and to keep the system operating at ideal conditions; however, the original system design did not include proper air filtration. As a result, the fans and cabinet were exposed to harsh contaminants, causing the enclosure to fill with dirt and debris. Equipment would overheat and alarms would trigger for emergency maintenance. Operating costs for the equipment were skyrocketing due to excessive service calls to remote locations, fan replacements, and additional technical hours spent cleaning internal system components.
UAF’s solution to the problem was a custom metal mesh filter designed for exact fit within the front air intake louver to eliminate air bypass and provide total system filtration. This greatly improved system operating efficiency and reduced overall maintenance expense. The sturdy frame and durable, cleanable metal mesh media turned out to be perfect for this particular outdoor environment.
UAF’s Metal Mesh Air Filter can be configured to fit any enclosure and promote clean, cooling air flow through the system. When it comes to solving time-consuming and costly customer issues, UAF works with operations and maintenance personnel to find the best solution. And a sample filter for fit check and performance evaluation is always free.