From the Field: Reports from Our Field Application Engineers and Installation Teams

By Don Millick

Posted October 29, 2022

At Actall, we spend a lot of time developing innovative real-time locating solutions to staff safety, duress and inventory tracking in complex physical environments. But we don’t do it just for the sake of having state-of-the-art approaches to these problems—as helpful as the solutions are, they really only matter once they’re implemented. 

Our installation process is comprehensive, hands-on and thorough. While our process might be a bit more time-consuming than that of our competitors, we’ve consistently found that putting in the time up front saves a world of headaches and frustration down the line. Here’s a look at the installation process and some recent success stories from me, our Field Engineer.  

Strong Foundations Set up Everyone for Success

Long before we schedule an installation, book flights or tap a trusted integrator team for installation at the facility, our sales and engineering teams are engaging directly with the project owners and architects to provide the best solution and layout of devices as defined by the project specs. We come away from this process with an architectural blueprint that is shared with the installers for accurate device placement and as a reference for creating tuning parameters, defining zones and detailing test points for the various testing phases.

Once our teams have designed a solution for a facility, it’s time for installation. We coordinate with the architects, installers, integrators and end users throughout the entire installation process, making ourselves available for any questions—often in person. We will often complete a site walkthrough during the installation process to confirm everything is going according to plan.

When new requests or changes to the scope pop up, we coordinate with all required parties to ensure a complete solution is being provided. We provide documentation on the system performance as tested by integrators and ourselves, and complete a final walkthrough and test with project owners when the system is fully tuned and operational. Training for integrators, service providers, and end users is also completed at this time. We try to make the process quick and repeatable while providing the best quality support and system performance.

What Makes Actall Different

Both end users and integrators tell us that the more robust testing process we deploy leads to much higher levels of confidence in the system. In the end, that confidence level determines how effectively the system is used in the future. And we don’t leave people hanging: we prioritize responsiveness to inquiries from installers and integrators during the installation process, which can make all the difference when installing and commissioning a new system that could help to save someone’s life

We’re also continuously growing as an organization. Over the past few years, we’ve designed a more detailed testing and documentation process for our installs. This provides the integrators and end users with detailed reports of functionality both during the install and at the time of commissioning. We have also been releasing new training tools and incentives to ensure quality installs without rework. This speeds up the installation and commissioning process considerably, which every project manager can appreciate. 

As Field Engineer, I can provide highly technical feedback to the engineering team that positively affects product development and existing documentation / training, or speed the squashing of a unique, site-specific bug.

Our Engineers at Work

I love sharing stories from the field, and things are busier than ever here at Actall. We will be wrapping up a larger facility in Concord, New Hampshire by the end of November 2022. The site is using a couple hundred locators and our heavy duty tags, which provide the best range and penetration possible from our selection of transmitter tags. 

To the north, a couple sites in Ontario, Canada have been commissioned recently. The sites have an identical structural layout, and the consistency of the Actall system allowed for a repeatable alarm performance at both facilities with minimal changes made in software during setup.

Several sites have completed PC hardware updates to their existing systems recently, which typically includes updating their software as well. We work with the customer and integration teams to ensure a smooth transition from old workstations to new, fully testing existing system’s functionality with new software and PCs. This is a quick and relatively painless way to get a performance and reliability boost on older installs with dated machines. 

We’re Here to Support You

When it’s all said and done, and the last test has been run, we close the installation project. But we’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again—once you’re an Actall customer, you’re a customer for life. We are always available to discuss system issues, answer questions about expanding system requirements or offer training refreshers. We have a fast and cost effective RMA process with easy access to requests via our website, which also allows for anyone to ask a question about the system or request a quote.