System Studies Incorporated is a privately owned and operated company serving telephone companies in the field of cable pressurization. Originally formed in 1979 as a Partnership between Robert A. Simpkins and William D. Simpkins, the company became incorporated in 1980. Diane Simpkins Bordoni joined her brothers in the family-owned and -operated company in 1983 and now serves as the Chief Financial Officer. Currently, there are approximately 40 employees working in two Santa Cruz, California locationss. We also employ four regional field engineers who serve customers directly throughout the United States. Although the bulk of our business is in the United States, several years ago we began marketing our products and services internationally. We now serve customers in both North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Scandinavia.
System Studies got its start in cable pressurization back in the early 1980s when it wrote the Cable Pressurization Engineering Guidelines for Wisconsin Bell. The acceptance of these guidelines eventually led to the engineering of eight offices in the Green Bay, Wisconsin area. Shortly afterward, we were contracted to provide statewide engineering services for Wisconsin Bell and for South Central Bell in Kentucky. These efforts firmly established System Studies as a successful provider of design and engineering-related technical services. During this time, System Studies also began writing the first comprehensive Cable Pressurization Theory and Practice manual, which would provide the reference material for subsequent Cable Pressurization Engineering, Maintenance and Management Seminars. The completion of the first edition of the Theory and Practice book was followed by a request from Illinois Bell for our first Cable Pressurization Maintenance Training class. In relatively short time, System Studies was contracted to write the engineering guidelines for Illinois Bell and teach the first Cable Pressurization Engineering classes.
Software DevelopmentWith engineering, training, and writing services comprising the bulk of our early business, System Studies soon began work on what has now become the industry's most successful cable pressurization analysis, dispatching and alarming software. Called PressureMAP™, this software program has evolved over the past 25-plus years from a single user, localized monitoring system to a powerful multitasking, multi-user, system capable of being run in a centralized monitoring operation over a local (or wide) area network. The newest release of PressureMAP (Version 28) runs on a Linux operating system (CentOS 5.5). Each PressureMAP system has the capability of monitoring up to 250 individual offices and providing concurrent alarm distribution to 72 alarm centers.
Hardware DevelopmentIn the mid-1980s we introduced our first hardware product: the Flow Finder™. The Flow Finder is a simple device that is installed at key locations along an air pipe route to provide a convenient and accurate means of measuring air pipe consumption. The immediate success of the Flow Finders helped define subsequent product development efforts. Our High Resolution Flow and Dual Transducers work in conjunction with a Flow Finder to provide accurate remote flow readings. Our Flow Finder Manifolds incorporate built-in Flow Finders to provide individual flow readings to cables and a measurement of total incoming flow from the air pipe.
To complement our PressureMAP software and provide important device pair diagnostic capabilities, we introduced our 289 Loop Surveillance System (LSS) in 1991. The 289H LSS Monitor™, expands device pair diagnostics and offers support of multiple transducer types (both resistive and current loop output). It provides remote monitoring of up to 1,000 pressure, flow and contact alarm devices on both dedicated and subscriber circuits. Because the monitor shares the PressureMAP database, it does not require additional onboard memory components or separate device programming. Two of the most important features of the 289H LSS are: 1) its ability to check for continuity on working device pairs, and 2) its ability to read both mechanical (resistive output) and solid-state (loop current output) transducers.
Recognizing the need for an LSS monitor for smaller central offices, System Studies next developed the 289H mini monitor. The 289H-M LSS Monitor™ provides all of the capabilities of the 289H, but it contains one of four types of rely cards: 1) 50-pair dedicated, 2) 25-pair dedicated, 3) 25-pair subscriber, or 4) 24-pair dedicated, plus 8-pair addressable. This makes 289H-M a cost effective, fully functional monitoring solution for small remote offices.
In 2004 we introduced our Universal Stand-Alone Monitor™ which provides both a common, LAN-accessible interface to the variety of cable pressurization monitors being used by telephone operating companies, and true stand-alone capability for the 289H LSS equipment. The USAM is a small computer with a single office database that can be used with a 289H or 289H-M (mini monitor) as an independent, stand-alone system, or it can be integrated into the multi-office version of PressureMAP. The USAM also provides secondary, independent monitoring for air dryers via 24 binary contact points, 15 control contact closures, and a power relay to allow remote booting of an attached monitoring system.
Another System Studies contribution to cable pressurization monitoring was the Dial-a-Ducer™, which has since been discontinued due to parts unavailability. This combination transducer/contactor was a direct dial-up device that provided pressure, flow and contact alarm readings. These readings were then sent to PressureMAP or to a digital pager. They could also be accessed directly via a standard telephone handset. The Dial-a-Ducer was an ideal device for installations in small remote central offices or CEV huts to monitor copper cables on the field side of a fiber or multiplexed feeder cable.
To further expand upon the monitoring capabilities of the Dial-a-Ducer and to offer a more up-to-date replacement, we introduced the uM260 Micro Monitor™ in early 2006. This small stand-alone unit monitors up to four binary devices, 16 resistive or current loop transducers, and one control relay. Like the Dial-a-Ducer, the Micro Monitor can be installed in small central offices, CEVs and other dry, secure locations where there is a need for reliable, low cost monitoring and alarming.
In 2011 we began to utilize the uM260's rapid device scanning and reporting capabilities for copper telephone cable theft detection. Together with our CopperWATCH™ software, the uM260 makes it possible to monitor up to eight individual cable sheaths, detect and confirm a cable theft in progress, and provide almost instantaneous alarm notification for asset protection and law enforcement personnel.
SummaryDuring our decades of involvement in the field of cable pressurization, System Studies Incorporated has traveled from Alaska to Venezuela to provide instructional classes for more than 8,000 people. We've engineered over a thousand central offices, and we have performed data entry and leak locating consultation for most U.S. operating companies and several international companies. Whether it be consulting, technical support, writing, innovative software and hardware products, System Studies provides a full spectrum of support for your air pressure system.
Please give us a call if you'd like to find out more about what we have to offer, or to suggest ways in which we can better assist you with your cable pressurization needs. We value your input and look forward to continuing or establishing a new working relationship.