NO Rack without a smart PDU!

News / 20.06.22

To the AV integrator, power is everything.  The connection of a system to the mains fires up all sorts of solutions, from lighting and HAVAC through to cinema and music.  But how much attention do we actually give the power source?

All it takes is a spike in power or power cut and all of your hard-earned work requires service visits and, at worst, swapping out of kit with a hefty bill attached.  Either way, as the integrator, you are responsible, so do you charge the customer or absorb the cost?  The obvious alternative is to specify an intelligent power supply that removes the majority of these costly headaches at the very beginning of the process.  After all, if the power supply was correct for the application in the first place, then many potential problems can be avoided in advance.

Based in Cologne, Germany, GUDE has been a manufacturer of innovative equipment for the AV and IT sectors for over 30 years. It was founded by Dr. Michael Gude as a student with the vision of inventing technically advanced products. He had already embraced this ambition as a teenager, when he won the prestigious JuniorScience prize at the national level. 

With a focus on smart PDU and smart power supplies, the ISO9001-certified company has developed multiple solutions for AV integrators so that they have the correct power supplies for the applications they are building.  Be it simple multi-way sockets through to IP-based remote power control, GUDE has always strived to offer its customers PDUs that are easy to install yet offer a wide-range of facilities that are as useful to the residential installer as they are to the corporate.  GUDE’s high-quality products allow the optimisation and expansion of infrastructures typically found in networks, servers and media cabinets through to AV systems and multi-room applications. The product portfolio includes smart PDUs (power distribution units), LAN sensors and time servers. Every single product is developed and manufactured in Germany to meet with customers' quality demands for reliable AV and IT infrastructures.

Philipp Gude adds: “We really focus on the AV industry. We have Plug & Play drivers for all major AV manufacture so that every AV integrator can add our smart IP PDUs in less than 5 minutes.”

Examples of GUDE smart power solutions for different scenarios include:

·      For medium sized installations & in 19" racks: Expert Power Control 8031-1 or 8031-4 (16A, switchable 8 x IEC C13 or 8 x type G, input side metering, surge protection)

·      For big AV installations in 19" racks: Expert Power Control 8041-1 (16A, switchable 12 x IEC C13, input side metering, surge protection)

·      For larger installations & in 19" racks: Expert Power Control 8291-1 (16A, The smart AC/DC PDU,switchable 21 outlets: 4 x IEC C13, 12 x 12 V / 24 V und 5 x 5 V, power metering on the input side, surge protection)

By working closely with its customers, the company has earned an excellent reputation in the international AV industry with its smart power distribution products in recent years. The focus on innovative products that support demanding AV professionals in their work in the best possible way has paid off. In doing so, the family-run company constantly works with integrators during product development: The partnership-based contact and personal exchange with a large number of customers repeatedly contributes significantly to the success of product development.

Now headed up by the second generation, Philipp Gude realised that the AV sector required a solution that was not only designed specifically for their own needs but also made perfect commercial sense. After three years in the company, small, medium and large AV system integrators in EMEA rely on GUDE power solutions. Thanks to Philipp’s hands-on approach, integrators trust his eye for detail and appreciate his technical expertise. What drives Philipp Gude every day are enthusiastic and happy customers.

“After my studies a Master of Engineering and working in sales in the IT industry, I joined the AV industry three years ago to help the family business disrupt the AV market with our switched and metered power distribution units. With residential AV systems and home automation becoming ever more complex, we could see that there was an obvious requirement for our reliable and high-quality PDUs in the space, particularly having spoken with key integrators that were frustrated by the lack of dedicated products available at the time. We worked tirelessly to create a range of products that were aimed at the AV integrator, to not only offer the features they needed but that would also deliver on value. And I can tell you, we have conquered the AV market: All the big AV companies rely on our solutions. Do you know why they love working with us? Because we solve major problems.”

As a consequence, GUDE contributes significantly to a changed AV industry and suggests that a reliable switched IP power strip is an essential in every professional AV installation to secure and monitor all aspects of power. The benefits are obvious to the system integrator:

·      Better and faster service because of a remote power cycle and proactive power monitoring

·      Reduced energy bills because of turning off devices when they are not in use

·      Less downtime and increased operational reliability because of Plug & Play temperature and humidity sensors and built-in surge protection

“Our approach is very straight forward and leads to reduced service costs and a faster reaction time”,continued Philipp. “Imagine this practical example, an end customer that wants to watch his favorite soccer game on Saturday night. Then all of the sudden, something doesn’t work and he can’t watch it. He calls his AV service immediately and likes to have a prompt solution. The old way is that the AV service technician has to drive to the customer. This takes in London for sure 2 hours or even more. He arrives at the Luxury apartment and the end customer is already really mad. The service technician turns everything off and on again and everything works again. The end customer asks: ‘What was the problem?’ The service technician replies: ‘I don’t know but the problem is solved now.’ The end customers says: ‘And for that I paid 1.000 Euros? And I also couldn’t watch my favorite soccer game. Thanks.’

As you can see in this example the end customer is really upset and the AV integrator had to drive to a customer at Saturday night and it took him the whole night: 2 hours drive to the customer + 30 minute to find the right apartment and power cycle the whole installation + 2 hours drive back: 4 and ½ hours to solve the problem.

The new way is to install a switched PDU that can power cycle the AVIT devices remotely. End customers call you. You log into the network of the customer. You press power cycle and the installations runs again. This takes 5 minutes. The end customer can watch his soccer game and you saved costs and hustle to drive to the end customer. 10 minutes to solve the problem.”

The benefits and solutions of GUDE‘s approach lead to a world where everything is interconnected and monitored. This is the new world of AVIT where AV merges with the IT world: The pure operation merges into sustainable and proactive management. The AV integrators benefit from the following functions:

·      Demonstrably fewer and less downtimes of critical AV infrastructures because of built-in surge protection

·      Effective troubleshooting in case of AV installation issues: Remote reboot or fully automatic power-cycling thanks to the self-healing function (auto reboot) using watchdogs.

·      Detect AV problems before things get out of hand: Proactive power metering of up to 9 electrical quantities and environmental monitoring by plug-n-play temperature and humidity sensors against overheating

·      Sustainable lifecycle, with products in the field for many years supported by free of charge firmware updates on a regular basis.

·      Saving valuable programming time thanks to seamless integration with the leading AV brands such as Crestron, Control4, Domotz, ELAN, Extron, Utelogy, RTI and Savant due to available drivers free of charge

Distributed and supported in the UK by RGB Communications, GUDE’s approach is a welcome change.  The company wants to be visible and highlights the importance and cost-saving that correctly-specified smart PDUs offer its customers and their customers alike.  As Philipp concludes:

“The complexity of AV systems these days demands that every device in the chain is working to its absolute optimum level. To this end, using the correct smart PDU with built-in surge protection and power management is an essential device to help monitor and maintain systems, aiding the integrator with their service routines whilst also promoting reliability to their customers.  We see that the PDU has moved on from being a required accessory and is now an essential element of any home automation or AV system. Get this right from the outset and the long-term value will be evident for years to come.”

GUDE's full range is available to order from RGB Communications now. Contact our specialists today on 01488 73366 or email to find out more.