ICS Advent - Wenham Engineering - TIM

ICS Advent Forms Partnership Initiative with Wenham Engineering to Provide Total Integration Managment

Chichester, U.K., April 30, 2001 - When Harlow based precision engineers, Wenham Engineering, found itself supplying and supporting an increasing number of specialized test rigs throughout the world, the issue of holding sufficient stock in-house for prompt delivery without leaving itself short, raised it´s ugly head. ICS Advent, the leading innovator of applied computing solutions provided the ideal answer in the form of a new partnership initiative, making it easier for Wenham to deploy, manage and control its business.

Founded in 1964, Wenham Engineering designs, manufactures and supports special purpose prototype test fixtures and rigs for a range of telecommunications, network and datacomms applications, also writing the controlling software where applicable. The processing aspect of these test rigs is carried out by high quality PC platforms from ICS Advent.

One particular product from Wenham is used to test the durability and reliability of industrial networking cards for a major computer manufacturer. Essentially, Wenham designed a PC-based test rig to simulate the operating environment likely to be faced by the networking cards, which then carries out a mechanical test to ensure that the cards have been assembled correctly and an electrical test to check the boards perform correctly.

Every year as the demand for this particular test rig grows and additional machines are built and installed, the total number out in the field increases and increasing strain is put on Wenham´s ability to service and repair the test rigs. Wenham offers rapid dispatch in case of emergency, shipping a replacement for the faulty or damaged system within 24 hours as any amount of downtime, no matter how short, can disrupt production.

With increasing numbers of PC-based systems to support throughout the world, including deployment in the US, Europe and Asia Wenham wanted to optimize reliability to ensure their systems would not cause manufacturing downtime unnecessarily. Wenham also wanted to somehow increase its available stock volume without drastically increasing costs associated with purchasing additional components, therefore enabling an instant response to increasing order levels. In addition, Wenham didn´t want to completely depleting stock levels in case of an emergency.

Total Integration Management or TIM
The solution for Wenham came in the form of ICS Advent´s recently implemented TIM (Total Integration Management) programme, which was developed in response to market requirements. TIM ensures reliability and consistency for Wenham´s computing platforms and dramatically cuts deployment time.

Tom Sloan, ICS Advent Managing Director and Vice President, EMEA, sums up the new initiative, "Essentially TIM is about partnership. We have always worked together with the customer to define the hardware and software requirements for a system, and to understand their applications, and Wenham is no exception. The knowledge we gain from this process allows us to support that application much more effectively going forward, culminating in the delivery of business critical platforms that are virtually site ready."

Firstly, ICS Advent´s initiative provided Wenham with the ability to define and control configuration and consistency for both the system hardware, respective Operating System and software setup, using a consistent system configuration and parts, therefore improving reliability. Indeed, Wenham doesn´t even have to remove the lid to integrate any additional cards or software into the PC platform, which greatly reduces the time the commissioning engineer needs to spend on site.

Furthermore, as a manufacturer and member of the Intel´s Applied Computing Platform Provider (ACPP), ICS Advent is able to control all revisions of key system elements such as the CPU cards, BIOS and backplanes. For ICS Advent customers such as Wenham, this translates into an effective early warning system. If a fort

hcoming change affects a customers´ system, timely notification is given to ensure that prior compatibility testing can be preformed to ensure a seamless transition to future proposed configurations.

ICS Advent also undertook to load the relevant operating systems, taking full responsibility for installation, hardware compatibility and 24-hour soak testing.

Complete System Integration
The result for Wenham is an effective partnership that enables immediate access to an increased number of complete systems, without the added financial burden of purchasing and assembling the extra systems.

Tony Wenham comments, "We now hold a total of seven complete PC systems in stock, which we primarily use to fulfil orders within 24 hours. ICS Advent holds a further seven systems in stock, which we can also obtain within 24 hours, thereby ensuring we are never without a stock of seven, adequate for our current order levels. In theory, the additional units held by ICS will also enable us to respond to systems that require repair, again without depleting our stock, although since we have implemented the TIM programme, we have not experienced a single fault. This is testament indeed to the reliability offered by ICS Advent and TIM."

Wenham hold seven complete systems in stock on it´s premises and ICS hold a further seven systems, free of charge, ready assembled and soak tested for the required 24 hours.

Wenham continues, "Another big advantage for us is he fact that ICS Advent consistently build off the same platform. This means that we can "borrow" parts from each system in the knowledge that they will exactly match a system already installed in France, for example, again enabling us to provide an instant response to our customers´ requirements. This also means we can easily replace the ´borrowed´ part without fear of incompatibility."

He finishes, "In all, the TIM initiative from ICS Advent enables us to function effectively without the need to worry about dwindling stock levels or system reliability. The partnership we have formed with ICS Advent enables us to effectively service our extremely demanding market, where down-time or lost production time due to delays in equipment deployment is just not acceptable. We can now ship new and replacement systems within 24 hours with total confidence.

About ICS Advent
ICS Advent is focused on helping customers meet the demands of developing and deploying open communications systems (OCS) and next-generation converged networks. The company designs, manufactures and integrates high-availability rack mount computers and single board computers to meet customers specific computing platform, server and application hosting solution requirements.

Founded in 1985, ICS Advent has been the leader in providing stable rack mount computer solutions, PC plug-in board level products for I/O, communications and telephony, and comprehensive integration and support services for more than 15 years to customers in the following industries: applied computing, government, medical and industrial automation and control, and industrial test and measurement. The company has moved beyond this heritage and expanded its market focus to include OCS solutions, such as IP telephony, telecommunications, voice processing and broadcasting/convergence.

ICS Advent products, solutions and services are available through the company´s worldwide distribution network of authorized integration partners and its direct sales channels. Customers can also order products online at www.icsadvent.com or by calling an ICS Advent sales representative at (800) 523-2320. The company has ISO-certified facilities in San Diego,
Calif. and Chichester, UK.

Warren Scott
European Marcoms. Manager
ICS Advent (Europe) Ltd. Tel: +44 (0)1243 523514
Email: wes@icsadvent.co.uk

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