The AV integration industry is all about custom. But one thing that’s pretty hard to customize is the power coming out of the wall, or worse, out of a UPS designed for the consumer market. When it comes to high-voltage, it’s better if the manufacturer does the customizing for you.
Well versed in the AV integrator tradition of equipment modification to satisfy project demands, Middle Atlantic Products has built its reputation on anticipating those needs with feature sets that seem to answer every single specific detail on an install. Recently, the company known for racks, but making quite a bit of headway in the furniture and power products spaces, found a few more features it can add to the latter category. Now awaiting a patent, Middle Atlantic’s new Series Protection technology has been plugged into the product mix.
If you’ve ever done a trade show booth walk-through with Middle Atlantic director of product management and business development Mark Tracy, you know that he genuinely gets excited by all the nifty new product features produced by the company’s equally enthusiastic founder Bob Schluter and his team of engineering geniuses. So it’s not entirely surprising that Tracy gets as wound-up as a toroidal transformer when he lists the possibilities presented by the Series Protection option.
Middle Atlantic’s new line of Series Protection power products includes a hardwired model as well as half-width models to complement the full-width options. The company’s RackLink Power Management System will also offer models incorporating Series Protection technology.
“We work from a combined capabilities standpoint,” Tracy explained, describing the mix-and-match approach that the manufacturer takes with its line of power products—providing protection, monitoring, and control at various levels for battery backup and distribution. “You can add RackLink for control over IP to Series Protection products. So you can get power management with Series Protection, if you choose, or without. Or you can have series protection with no control if you want.”
Pretty much everything is in the offing with Middle Atlantic’s power products, and that’s good, because “power is a necessity in every AV system, but power for AV systems has distinctly different requirements,” Tracy explained. “That's what Middle Atlantic’s whole go-to-market strategy is—we do power for AV applications because AV is what we are all about.”
When it’s not about AV, things can go haywire. For example, some UPS technology might send out nasty square waves that are not very friendly to sensitive AV equipment. As such, “we made sure we had a pure sine wave for AV,” Tracy noted. Similarly, when it moved into MOV, Middle Atlantic overcame the limitations associated with that technology and produced products that were properly rated and introduced no ground contamination into the signal.
Now, Middle Atlantic Products has taken things a step further with Series Protection, which is also gloriously free of ground contamination and is “the fastest-responding series type surge suppression available in the industry,” according to the manufacturer. The patent-pending technology is available in a new family of power distribution units, and every model automatically disconnects devices from sustained over- and under-voltage events. All units also perform automatic recovery after these events.
Middle Atlantic’s product manager for electrical and electronic products, Murray Williams, described the comprehensive approach presented by the newly expanded line. “Middle Atlantic is unique in the market in that we are the only company to offer all possible solutions for surge protection,” he began. “We have products that don't have any surge protection, which you’d use if you already have surge protection. We have single-stage MOV, two-stage MOV with notification, and now we have series protection, which is the top of the line.”
Always thinking about life in the field, the new line of Series Protection power products includes a hardwired model as well as half-width models to save rack space. In addition, the company is expanding its RackLink Power Management System offering to include models incorporating Series Protection technology.
So maybe power really can be customized, to some extent, at least from an application and budget standpoint. “We're not a one size fits all kind of company; we want to do what's right for each application,” Tracy said. “If an integrator needs to value engineer a project, we have products for that. Or when they’re working on high-level, mission critical installations, we have products for that, too. We can work with whatever price range they need for the application they're after.”