Category Archives: Information Services

programmer eating pizza while looking at codes

3 Reasons to Get IT Certification

programmer eating pizza while looking at codesThe field of information technology is among the most dynamic fields in the world. New technologies pop up by the day and IT experts need to be conversant with the changes. As a result, the certifications to become an IT expert keep changing as well. Also, there are multiple certifications one can get and different paths to follow to become certified. Individuals who are new to these IT certifications can be stranded on where to begin regarding getting certification. Some may even wonder the importance of getting IT certification. Here are some of the reasons one should undertake an a+ certification practice test to get IT certification credentials:

Professional Development

Any individual who wants to remain at the top of the game in their field needs to familiarize with the changing technologies. Training for the certification familiarizes you with the emerging fields and thus adds on to the wealth of information you have in your field. You also get the opportunity to interact with other IT experts and grow your network. Certification providers offer vast resources in the form of training materials and online forums that you would not have access to. Passing a certification exam which seeks to validate your expertise leads to personal satisfaction. If anything, you can take the certification exam and ace it to have your name on the paper.

Job Marketability

Some of the certifications you need are a must-have for the level of a career. For instance, new graduates require basic certifications for entry-level job positions. The certification is necessary for skill validation and the essential job experience. Certified professionals will always have an added advantage over professionals who are not certified. Employers also perceive that your pursuit for the certification shows your seriousness in being the best in a particular field. If you are already in the job market, certifications enable you to advance your career easily. Lastly, some senior positions require the candidates to have the relevant certifications.

Css code

Credibility

An expert in a particular field needs to prove their proficiency in the area. Therefore, obtaining these certifications becomes necessary to demonstrate your skills in the field. You may have the skills to carry out specific IT tasks. However, without the certification credentials, you will have to talk a lot to convince potential clients or employers that you are up for the task. The certification papers will in such a case speak for you and reveal your expertise in the particular field.

Regardless of your reason for getting IT certification, the path you choose to obtain your certification should be a mirror of what you want to do in the future. Certifications are not a guarantee to secure a job. You need to develop skills through hands-on experience with what you have learned. Familiarizing with the software, hardware, and technology in the kind of certification you want sets you for success for the a+ certification practice test. The path to follow in achieving certification depends on your certain factors such as the current skill level, your intended career goal, and work experience. Establishing these factors before getting the certification will assist you in choosing the right certification course to undertake.

Why Choose Refurbished Cubicles for New Businesses

Employees relaxing

Small and new businesses are always looking for ways to cut costs, especially if they are still in the startup phase. One of the ways they can effectively save on capital is by choosing refurbished or used office furniture to install in the new office. This is a practice that even large companies do for their economic and ecological advantages. In Salt Lake City, Utah, physical offices can be set up with used office cubicles and other stylish dividers.

Refurbished cubicles have no visible differences compared to brand-new fabricated ones. Of course, new ones will cost more and take a few days to make. With refurbished ones, office staff can enjoy the functionality and professional look of a workstation using pre-owned components that are effectively reinforced and renovated according to the current office layout. However, if your company can afford to invest in brand-new office decor and equipment, you can get new cubicles so that you can customize the color, height, and even thickness of the dividers.

Why Do You Need Cubicles in the Office?

Depending on the nature of their work and their own personality, employees prefer different types of work environments. Installing cubicles in the office helps employees focus better on their work. The cubicle offers a comfortable and private working environment. This also lessens the probability of office gossip and getting distracted with what others are doing at their own desks. Some jobs require a high degree of concentration, so it is best to provide these individuals with some privacy in their workstations.

The Cheaper and More Flexible Alternative

Business situation

Refurbished cubicles look like almost new workstations, and they can be purchased from office furniture suppliers in the community or from online shops. The best thing about this is that they cost just a fraction of brand-new ones. Small businesses can enjoy completely customizable cubicles for their start-up businesses with this cheaper alternative. There are various styles, sizes, and designs that business owners can choose from. Depending on the space and workstation for workers and managers, business owners can pick the colors and designs and have them fitted to the new office space.

Business owners also appreciate the flexibility offered of choosing refurbished cubicles and furnishings for their offices. Over time, the business will grow, and the possibility of hiring new people will be realized. Additional office staff means that there is a need to redesign or adjust the current layout. With the availability of used office furniture and refurbished cubicles, new and small companies can easily create appropriate and comfortable workstations for all their staff.

There are no questions about the quality and make of used pieces of furniture because they are usually made by known quality brands and top-quality materials. Aside from getting great quality products, you, as the business owner, will be happy to know that you have made a sustainable choice when furnishing the office space. This is also one of the best ways that businesses and companies can go green and save money without losing the aesthetic appeal and functionality of their office spaces.

Pliers with electrical cables and cable ties

Ways to Build a Good Relationship with Cable Suppliers

Pliers with electrical cables and cable tiesEstablishing a relationship with suppliers is key to the success of any enterprise. It is vital to build and maintain a healthy relationship with distributors and suppliers for unmatched success. For instance, your relationship with cable suppliers in Singapore is crucial and a significant contributor to your overall success.

Your project is unlikely to succeed without a cable supplier, and that may result in loss of a lot of profit. Of course, every business is out there to make a profit, and its chances of thriving are insignificant if it doesn’t have customers. As such, it might be crucial to keep your suppliers involved and strengthen your relationship with them to experience growth.

Maintain Open Communication

Of course, personal and open communication is necessary for any relationship with cable distributors. Cable distributors want assurance that their clients will allow them to voice their concerns. Likewise, entrepreneurs should keep them informed of any development or change in their relationship.

Participate in Meetings

One way to support cable suppliers is to attend their meetings. That will not only keep you informed about their operations but also show them how caring you are and keep you involved. Attending their meetings will also allow you to take an active role in their inner workings and give you the chance to raise your opinion.

technician installing cables

Attend their Events

One way to establish a healthy relationship with your suppliers is to attend their sponsored events. Events are an excellent networking opportunity that you can use to show your support for the business of your distributors. Besides strengthening your relationship with cable suppliers, use these events to meet other business people and build a relationship with them.

Meet Suppliers Face to Face

It is vital to sometimes meet with your cable distributors in person. Although email and calls are reliable and efficient communication avenues, you shouldn’t rely on them solely. Instead, schedule time to meet your cable suppliers in person. Use that as an opportunity to discuss things that are not possible over the phone or via email.

Consider Your Cultural Differences

It makes sense to work with distributors from any part of the world in today’s increasingly globalised market. However, you might need to research beforehand to find what to expect when you’re working with a supplier from a different cultural background. Over time, working with global suppliers have become a standard practice in today’s globalised world. However, entrepreneurs have to take time to solidify their relationship and build rapport with their cable suppliers. For example, an entrepreneur might have to build a personal relationship before working with a Chinese cable supplier.

A healthy relationship with cable distributors comes with a lot of benefits and taking time to know each other can make everyone live an enjoyable life. It is easy to solve any conflict and navigate disagreements with a healthy relationship with your cable distributors. It also gives you negotiation power, and as the relationship grows, you can strike a better deal. As such, it is in your best interest to strengthen your relationship with cable suppliers and capitalise on it to find other lucrative contracts.

programming codes displayed on laptop screen

What is HMI Programming and How You Can Choose Which Kind You Need

programming codes displayed on laptop screenHMI stands for Human Machine Interface. Operators can use this software when they need to manage a system effectively. If you need help in choosing HMI programming software, keep these suggestions mind:

Figure out Your Operational Environment

One of the factors you should consider before investing is where you’re putting your HMI programming. Some HMI programming will be sensitive to conditions like temperature, noise, and vibration. Thinking about these factors before buying can save you money, time, and energy in the long run.

Determine Your Feature Requirements

Different buyers have different needs. You must have a list of the kind of HMI programming you need. The factors you should consider are its features, such as function keys, additional memory, and color display. You might also want to think if you need a simple one or a high-end type of HMI programming.

Think Where You Can Connect Your HMI

The HMI you need depends on your system components. Some machines have single PLC while others may have several or even a ‘variable frequency drive’, which features start, stop, and speed reference. Regardless of your PLC option, you need to connect the HMI programming to an Ethernet, S-485, or a USB.

young programmer coding on computer in the evening at homeConsider Your Data Entry Requirements

Your HMI programming may come in keypad or touchscreen form. Both have their advantages. Touchscreens are as functional as a keypad. There are situations, however, when operators prefer the latter. A good example is typing large numeric data. Keypad, in this case, is the better option. This feature is also great for operators who wear gloves.

Find out Your Software Preference

The type of HMI programming will depend on your requirements. When it comes to software preference, you have three choices. The first one is proprietary software. The company that developed the software owns the program.

This option offers a quick turnaround. Its downside, though, is that you can only use it for specific kinds of hardware platforms. If you ever have any unique projects in the future, you need to redevelop the said software.

The second is Hardware Independent Software. It has pre-built functions, which are third-party software. Any open platform can run this kind of software. It allows more freedom in terms of features and service quality. The disadvantage of this software is that it may not be user-friendly. On top of that, it may lack some specialized functions, which you may need to complete a certain task.

Last, but certainly, not the least, is Open Software. This is for operators who want to create their own functions. It’s open software, so it gives them that freedom. The downside of this, in case you choose it, is that you’ll have to start from scratch when you are building your functions.

When selecting HMI programming, remember to figure out your operational environment, feature requirements, HMI connection, data entry requirements, and software preference. Choosing the most suitable programming for your needs is not a walk in the park, especially when you do not have much of an idea of what you really need. These suggestions, however, make it easy for you to make an excellent choice.

Hometown

Before You Fly: Preparations for an Expat Life

Hometown

Working abroad or planning to live in a new country always sounds like a nice prospect. It will always feel like getting a new canvas to paint your story or having a blank notebook where you can add new chapters to your life. It is exciting, indeed, but it can be stressful and anxiety-inducing at times, especially when you do not have an idea what will actually happen in the future. Leave those thoughts and focus on what you can do.

The transition to a new lifestyle may feel difficult r — you will have a new home, you will talk to people whose language is different from yours, and you may even experience some culture shock. You need to keep in mind that there will always be ways to make things much easier. This is why preparation is always the key.

Here are some of the things you need to do if you want to thrive in a new country.

Build a support network

One of the first things you may experience when you work abroad is homesickness. You will never feel it unless you are far away from home. But you need to make yourself home, too, especially if you are planning to retire in the new country. One of the best ways to combat homesickness is through building a support network. This may include people who came from the same country as yours. You may explore social networking sites or meet with people you know at work.

Prepare your documents

AGent showing the document

The documents you need should be already prepared before you fly. You will have to make sure that you have covered all your bases, as forgetting even one minor document will compromise your journey. As you apply for a job, you will need to secure certain documents from your previous employer, which includes employment certificates. Police clearances and your certificates of degrees will also be needed.

Get the right insurance

It is always advisable to protect yourself, especially that you are going to live there for a long, long time. With that, you may need to get the right health insurance. You will never know what will happen, so you need to have your bases covered. While you are at it, you may want to consider getting a prepaid funeral plan for expats in Spain or wherever you are in the world. The prospect may sound and seem grim, but you are just taking the necessary precautions.

Mind the costs

Finally, you need to research the costs involved when you live in a new country. Remember, you are using a different currency, so you might as well change your spending habits and behaviour. You may change your lifestyle a bit, but see to it that you are not being painfully frugal. You still have some leeway and freedom to indulge in what you want.

Living in a new country is an adventure. And just like other types of adventure, you will need to be more than ready for it.

Read more at ashworthpublishing.com.

7 Health Hacks When Traveling to New Zealand

Wellington, New Zealand

Your place in this world can only be made more meaningful if you are living in a healthy way. What good are all your income and goals in life if you do not have the physical and mental well-being to sustain those lofty goals, ideals, and way of life? You can definitely do this as a traveller or an aspiring permanent resident of New Zealand with these tips:

Mind your food and nutrition

All the precaution in the world is moot unless you provide yourself with the right nourishment. Eat well, and you will have more bandwidth to combat viruses, strengthen your body, and gain more energy for your activities. Your food intake is already half the battle won if you manage to discipline yourself. Having not-so-good eating habits can be detrimental even when you are extra careful in other things.

Take shots for flu or other applicable vaccines

Travel advisories exist for a reason. Make sure that you have adult vaccination for the places that require it. If there is a flu epidemic, carve out some money from your funds to have that flu vaccine. Nothing is worse than getting in between the crosshairs of an epidemic plague that has gone bad. This does not just apply to New Zealand but to all countries you travel to, in general.

Be mindful of accessibility to good healthcare institutions

You may find it hard to get access to basic dental and medical equipment in rural areas. No matter how adventurous you get, make sure that you always have access to good healthcare facilities in case something happens. There’s no telling where you may be or what accidents can happen, but it’s always better to think ahead and make sure that you have these basics at your disposal at any given time, for as much as humanely possible.

Make sure that you have health insurance

Residents and people with work permits of more than two years are eligible for health insurance benefits, which are provided in a mix of public and private provisions in New Zealand’s government. Study reviews online and see which one caters to your needs the most by properly checking out the available brands of health insurance from private entities.

Wear appropriate gear suited to the weather

Whangarei harbour from Mt. Manaia

Avoid the common cold and other weather-induced health problems by dressing up appropriately. There is hot weather from November to March, and cold weather from April to October as a rule of thumb. Prepare some spare outfits for anomalous weather conditions that you do not expect.

Ensure your data’s security

Healthcare data is one of the most easily hacked because it lacks safety features. For any institution that has access to your health data, make sure that the policies on data privacy are in place so that you will not be compromised. Be more inquisitive about these details if you have to; your details about your health and social security and other legal information may be a cause of stress if it falls into the wrong hands.

Know the laws on accidents

In New Zealand, there is reciprocity on emergencies or no refusals on accidents. These default laws operate to the benefit of residents and tourists alike. The more aware you are of your rights and benefits, the better.

Ultimately, health hacks are not really isolated things but a system or a lifestyle that allows you to live your best life. Make sure that you keep these in mind. As a result, you will be able to enjoy more of your travel adventures and daily routines.

Closeup of young male theif in sweatshirt with hood transfering money from bills of stolen credit cards

Don’t Let Your Sites Feed the Black Market

Closeup of young male theif in sweatshirt with hood transfering money from bills of stolen credit cardsEquipment theft is mostly a profitable enterprise for criminals who make away with stuff worth a billion dollars a year. Losing your expensive equipment can affect your ability to deliver your projects on time.

If you’re carrying out a construction project in California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, or Oklahoma, you need a video monitoring tower. These five states have the highest rate of equipment theft in all of the United States. In 2014, there were 1,650 reported thefts in Texas, 918 in North Carolina, 915 in Florida, 660 in South Carolina, and 647 in Georgia. Thieves are classy too; they go after top-notch brands in excellent condition.

A Billion-dollar Heist

It might seem surprising, but contractors are some of the hardest hit targets, often falling victims to vandalism, intrusion, and burglary. Job sites and construction sites incur losses amounting to $1billion from theft each year, according to a 2016 Equipment Theft Report. The report estimated the average value of the stolen equipment at about $29,258. In addition to equipment loss, job sites also experience the loss of other materials such as copper plumbing, which only serves to increase these losses. It also turns out that these sites make the choice targets for criminals because they have inadequate security measures.

Inadequate Security

Unlike conventional facilities, job sites might be a tad challenging to secure. With large construction sites that have lots of open areas, setting up a perimeter fence can be both impractical and expensive. The cost of erecting barriers around an entire property can be prohibitive. Unfortunately, this makes your sites vulnerable and inviting to criminals out for a quick payday.

shredded confidential informationIn some instances, you might have security measures that are easy to deploy in a harsh environment. Remote job sites with poor lighting are especially vulnerable to theft and vandalism. In such places, stolen equipment could go unnoticed for days, and you would still have no idea of how the robbery occurred.

Snowballing Costs

When you have equipment stolen from your site, you incur more than the cost of replacing them. When you lose a crucial piece of machinery, it affects your ability to do the work. It means that you’ll fall behind on deliveries and incur additional unnecessary costs to keep your staff there. It can hurt your professional reputation as you pick up a slew of bad reviews if you don’t take sufficient corrective measures.

Credible Solutions

If you have a limited budget, you certainly can’t afford to deploy an elaborate security system. Installing some intruder detection systems might make the costs outweigh the benefits. Thankfully, video analytics make an excellent security option for most job sites. With centrally mounted cameras, you can monitor your perimeter while keeping your gadgets out of harm’s way.

However, you’d still need to take extra measures to keep your equipment safe such as put them in shipping containers at the end of each shift to minimize exposure. In areas where lighting is a challenge, you can opt to use thermal cameras. Pairing a thermal camera with video analytics solves the issue of poor light and can act as a backup for the other visible systems.

How to Maintain a Clean Warehouse

Warehouse

Organising a warehouse is critical to ensuring the better flow of inventory and time management. Warehouse organisation is not just about storing items on shelves; it is about ensuring that the floors are clean and free of debris and objects are stored in a way that they are easy to access.

Proper housekeeping in a warehouse goes a long way in preventing injuries, creating a good impression to visitors, and improving productivity.  With an excellent industrial sweeping machine, you can quickly get rid of dirt, debris, flammables, and hazardous materials. However, this isn’t the only thing you can do. The following tips will come in handy if you want to keep your warehouse clean and organised.

Clear the Clutter

A cluttered workspace limits room for movement in a warehouse and workers can get injured, especially when moving large items. If you need a clean and organised warehouse, the first thing to consider is eliminating clutter. You can start by removing items that are blocking entryways, paths, and staircases. Encourage workers to return things to their storage places after using them and dispose of materials that are no longer needed.

Ensure a Regular Cleaning Routine

The floors in your warehouse will definitely get dirty at one point, and the equipment can be filled with dirt, dust, and grime, which can affect productivity. Schedule deep cleaning on a regular basis to remove dirt, dust, and debris on the floors, walls, and equipment in your premises. If you are using in-house staff, make sure they have the best stuff for cleaning different kinds of dirt and stains. It is also much better to designate personnel to various areas of the building if the cleaning is to be done quickly.

Prevent Falling Objects

Man putting boxes in warehouse shelves

Falling objects are among the most common causes of injuries in warehouses and industrial premises. Keeping stored items in the right storage containers and the proper heights can prevent these falls from occurring or injuring people. Install protections such as a toe rail, board, or net to prevent workers from sustaining injuries. Another thing to consider is stacking materials and boxes straight up and down. You should also place heavy materials on lower storage shelves or tables.

The cleanliness or tidiness of a warehouse has an impact on the performance of employees. Whether you have an in-house team or you rely on an external cleaning company, you have to ensure that the workspace is not only cleaned thoroughly; the items should be arranged in a proper layout that allows easy access. For this to happen, all your employees need to play their role and ensure that they don’t leave dangerous items in places where they might hurt other people.

In the end, when you follow these steps to make your warehouse clean and organised, you will enjoy more efficiency and productivity, which translates to increased profitability. It is important to note that getting an orderly warehouse might take time, but it is worth the effort. Invest in the right cleaning and storage equipment to make the process faster and easier.

AC heater unit in the backyard

7 Signs Your Heat Pump Has Problems

AC heater unit in the backyardDuring the cold season, you will do anything to stay warm. In your home, you will need a heat pump to make life comfortable. However, when using a heat pump, you may sometimes encounter issues.

You may reach a point where you need heat pump installation services. Certain signs will tell you that your heat pump has problems. Here are some of them:

1. Poor airflow

Do you experience little or no flow of air from your heat pump sometimes? That indicates that the ducts or the heat pump have an issue. Dirty coils can cause an inadequate flow of air or dirty air filters. The debris may also have blocked the outside unit.

Cleaning the dirty filters and coils is important. However, you might need the help of a technician if the problem has resulted from a blower that is not working well.

2. Blowing of inconsistent hot or cold air

Is your unit blowing hot or cold air that is not consistent with temperature settings? You may have set the heat pump in a certain way, but it fails to produce cold or hot air according to how you had fixed it.

Sometimes, it may produce cold air when you had set hot air. In case you experience this, it means the compressor might be damaged. You might need to repair or replace it.

3. Strange smells or noises

A regular working heat pump operates silently. If it produces any sound, you must have been familiar with it. The moment you start hearing different noises, that means its internal parts have been clogged with dirt or the fan is not working well.

Tickling, bussing or rattling sounds indicate a severe problem and you need to call a technician to help you out immediately.

4. Leaking and producing too much moisture

It is normal for a heat pump to produce a small amount of water due to condensation. But if you notice that your house has moisture or is leaking, that indicates a serious issue. Ask a technician to inspect your heat pump to find out where the problem could be and determine the best solution.

5. High energy bills

Person computing bills paymentWhile heat pumps use a lot of electricity, a sudden increase in energy bills is an indicator of a problem with your unit. It can be a dirty filter or something else. You can replace your filter if that is the issue or have your unit checked by a professional.

6. A short cycling unit

Have you ever noticed that your heat pump switching itself off regularly? You may also have difficulty starting it off. In this case, it is putting extra stress and that can damage it if not checked on time. Hire the services of a technician if you experience short cycling.

7. It does not heat your home anymore

Sometimes, your heat pump may stop functioning altogether. It may likewise work but does not produce warm air anymore. This indicates that the thermostat may be having issues. Have it checked so that you can get expert advice.

You deserve to stay in a warm and comfortable home during the cold season. If you experience any of the above issues with your unit, do not hesitate to call for professional heat pump installation services.

Industrial flow meter

The Importance of Flow Meters

Industrial flow meter

Any industrial piping system, whether it’s supplying gas or air, chemicals or plain water needs the ability to accurately measure the flow of whatever resource is being pumped through it. The more accurate the ability to measure throughput, the better the ability to determine inefficiencies and subsequently improve the system.

Small errors scale up

When you’re talking on an industrial scale, the slightest margins translate to huge profits or losses. Being unable to measure accurately to within 2 decimal points could mean millions of dollars lost annually, that you’re not even aware of. This would argue that it’s best to get the flow meter with the highest degrees of accuracy. This way, a company should be able to see how much material is being lost to inefficiency and make amendments.

Knowing what to measure

Some companies are measuring the wrong aspect of their operations. Almost all companies measure their electrical consumption, however not all companies involved in heavy industry measure their use and flow rates of compressed air. When converting electricity to compressed air, you’ll lose 90% of the energy with only 10% becoming useful compressed air. That’s about how good modern compressors are at the moment and that inefficiency cannot be addressed until there’s a breakthrough in technology that transforms the energy landscape.

However, seeing how compressed air is so energy inefficient to make, it’s utilisation should be measured and yet some companies still only measure the energy used to create a resource, not how the resource is expended. Around 30% of compressed air is lost in usage and if this found through a flow meter, it could be addressed and significant savings had. This is just one example where knowing what to measure and having the ability to measure it can improve systems.

Environmental Impact

Man checking flow meter

Improved efficiency does not just mean savings that can be turned into outright profit or reinvested into operations, there is an environmental benefit to being able to improve systems. As obvious as it sounds, the less energy you need to produce something, the less impact you have on the environment and this is becoming increasingly important a factor for many industries.

Being green and as environmentally sustainable as possible is now becoming increasingly mandated by government with some countries imposing fines on inefficient, energy-hungry companies. Often there are incentives for going green too.

However, companies also need to listen to the consumer and be aware of their reputation. In an age of social media, not being green can adversely affect your reputation very quickly causing damage not only to your reputation but to product consumption and investment.

There is no universal flow meter that is able to measure any type of resource flowing through a system. It’s also the case that with different industries, different levels of accuracy will be required for the various systems. Some companies like TOOLKWIP PUMPS provide downloadable guides that should help inform businesses about what equipment they need but it’s also a good idea to get in touch with experts who can give much more in depth guidance. Doing so allows the opportunity to maximise efficiency, be greener and find savings.