Manufacturer Rises to Green Challenge
For Metis Secure Solutions, Oakmont, Pa., and many other security-related companies, green trends provide opportunity. Metis supplies a two-way emergency communication system consisting of an easy-to-manage software command center combined with end-devices that provide voice and data. The system is used at colleges and universities and manufacturing facilities. The emergency communication system integrates with other life safety and security systems and uses three communication paths — Ethernet, WiFi and wireless mesh networks.
When the company found out that low-emissivity (low-e) glass, used to promote natural lighting and increase energy efficiency of green buildings, can interfere with the transmission of wireless communication signals (needed for its emergency communication system) Metis solved the issue by adjusting placement of antennas and reconfiguring the system. Now Metis Secure’s customers can combine emergency communications with green building standards such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines.
“We are adapting our technology to meet the standards emerging with more and more LEED buildings being built,” says Mark Kurtzrock, president and CEO of Metis Secure Solutions.
Another environmental aspect of the Metis emergency communication system is integration with a gas detector that can ensure rapid response to emergency chemical spills and other hazards, thus protecting both people and the environment. An aerospace customer is connecting gas detection sensors using Metis Secure Solutions’ Emergency Help Stations’ I/O functionality to automatically alert and evacuate the plant if a sensor detects a gas emergency. Another customer with an especially green corporate focus is using the Metis system to ensure responsible emergency response related to hazardous raw materials. The system could also facilitate response to a water spill, which could result in mold growth if not addressed. Rapid response could mean the difference between a minor incident and a full-blown environmental disaster.
Green is top-of-mind related to internal company operations at Metis, too, says Kurtzrock. The company works with the local township to facilitate recycling, pays an extra fee to recycle paper and plastic, keeps thermostat settings reasonable and turns out unused lights. The company’s employee base includes an eclectic group of people, including young engineers in some cases just out of school. “You look in our small parking lot, and two-thirds of the cars are Priuses,” says Joanne Pekich, Metis Secure Solutions director of marketing.