It’s not enough to offer customers an installed telecommunications infrastructure. In order to be successful, an electrical contractor has to guarantee that the system will work.

Warranty-related training offered

Krone, Inc., Englewood Colo., offers electrical contractors a training curriculum that supports the company’s warranty program and allows contractors to guarantee the installed system.

“Our TrueNet certification training program is often the first opportunity for installers to receive formal industry training,” said Mike Sandone, national warranty trainer and senior systems engineer.

The one-day, eight-hour course begins by providing an historical perspective of the voice/data/video (VDV) industry, including a discussion of network topology, the various media that have been used in the past, and current standards.

To recognize the importance of standards in the industry, Krone introduces attendees of the TrueNet program early on to the most current TIA/EIA standards, the motives for their development, how they are developed, and the background of BICSI standards.

“We also discuss standards that are still in draft form but that are expected to be developed in the next 12 to 18 months, including Category 6 cable standards,” Sandone said.

Once the overall knowledge base has been established, attendees begin discussing design guidelines as they relate to the three distinct levels of Krone’s TrueNet product line.

“TrueNet is a full end-to-end cable, including copper and fiber, and connector system for voice and data networks,” Sandone explained.

The TrueNet warranty guarantees the end-user that the new network will not cause any bit errors in the system.

Attendees then discuss design guidelines as they relate to voice applications. Because the network system design dictates which Krone products are necessary to fulfill the customer’s requirements, this part of the training teaches students how to correctly choose the product that will offer the most efficient installation.

“Our Universal Connection allows voice and data fields to be easily interchanged, which can offer challenges to the contractor when installing the system, but also offers customers much more flexibility in how they use the network system,” said Sandone.

Next, students are introduced to design considerations with respect to campus environments and the work contractors perform that just the telephone company once did, such as over-voltage protection.

For the hands-on section of the training, Krone provides an equipment rack that is fully populated with the company’s termination products.

“This is the best way for students to get a full perspective of each product as its applications are being discussed,” said Sandone.

Each student is taken through a step-by-step process for each termination and TrueNet cable product. In addition, each attendee receives an installation kit, which includes various Krone termination products and accessories.

At the end of the day, each student is given a 50-question exam. To pass and receive warranty certification, the student must earn a minimum grade of 70 percent.

“TrueNet warranty training is aimed at contractors that wish to install Krone products,” Sandone said.

Attendees must have at least six months of installation experience. Classes are held as needed across the country.

“Our goal is to make attendees aware of industry standards and the standards committees that exist, as well as providing them with the knowledge and information necessary to efficiently and reliably install Krone products under the company’s warranty program,” Sandone explained. “Krone’s responsibility under the warranty program is to guarantee that no bit errors will be introduced into the computer network through the cabling infrastructure.”

Attendees learn proper installation techniques and methods along with knowledge of the necessary testing procedures to comply with the company’s warranty requirements. End-users receive the best cabling system with the least errors possible.

Recertification program offered

Krone also offers a half-day, four-hour recertification program for existing warranty-certified installers. In this course, students are updated on new warranty requirements and the installation peculiarities specific to TrueNet that go beyond BICSI and TIA/EIA methods in some applications.

This shorter course targets contractors who need to be updated on the company’s TrueNet warranty changes if they are to continue to participate in the program and install Krone TrueNet cable and connector products.

“The recertification program is designed to be temporary and will be phased out once all existing warranty participants are up to speed,” Sandone explained.

The new warranty training program was launched in January 2000. Krone plans to build on the program and to continue to identify areas in which it can improve the level of training it provides.

BREMER, a freelance writer based in Solomons, Md., can be reached at (410) 394-6966 or by e-mail at dbremer@erols.com.