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3M moves into ISDN workplace: Austin eyes swift market penetration.


The 1.7 million-square-foot 3M Austin Center was made for ISDN. From the start, designs for the huge workplace in Texas' capital incorporated Integrated Services Digital Network capabilities.

Now 1300 employees of more than a dozen 3M divisions work at Austin Center, with a network designed to help them bring products to market more quickly than ever.

It used to take two years to take a product from idea to market. 3M now measures that cycle in months, and soon wants to shorten it to eight wees.

Austin Center, noteworthy for its spacious and relaxing common atrium areas, houses the company's telecomm products, electrical and electronic products, Dynatel Systems divisions, Visual Systems division, and Administrative Services.

The center's 2200 lines are served by an AT&T 5ESS Centrex switch connected to Austin Center and a 250-employee manufacturing plant six miles away by fiber-optic cable.

A redundant remote integrated system line unit, located at the remote site, links the two facilities.

From the main distribution frame (MDF) on the lower level, riser cables run to 42 intermediate distribution frames (IDFs) on each floor of each of the nine interconnecting buildings. There is 200-pair riser for lab areas, 400-pair for administrative areas.

One 12-strand fiber-optic cable runs from the MDF to each IDF, and 24 12-strand fiber cables run from the MDF to the computer room.

There are an average of 50 wire station cables from the IDFs to specific work areas, connecting to the information port on each workstation. This portion of the wiring uses a new wire called 4 by 4, two four-pair cables under one sheath.

From the IDFs to workstation are four twisted pairs for ISDN telephone and power, four twisted pairs for general-purpose data, and two shielded twisted pairs for the IBM Type 1 connector for a token ring LAN.

There are 1512 phones at the center, with a capacity of 3255.

An Ethernet backbone connects each floor and building, and is bridged to 3M headquarters at St. Paul, Minn., as well as to the other plant in Austin.

In the communication closets are ISDN power supplies, Synoptics LattisNet concentrators, Cabletron Systems twisted pair Ethernet converters, DEC LANBridge 100s, multiplexers, fiber-optic distribution panels, and other network and conversion equipment. Each closet is within 300 feet of every user workstation it serves.

Employees use AT&T 7506 and 7507 phone terminals, as well as some 7505s, which lack the display buttons for assignable features. ISDN data applications include CRT to host, PC to PC, modem pooling, and private line replacement.

The St. Paul headquarters is phasing in ISDN, and with Signaling System 7 and a 5ESS switch there, Austin and St. Paul will appear as one large communications system.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Nelson Publishing
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Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Tanzillo, Kevin
Publication:Communications News
Date:Mar 1, 1990
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