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BellCommander/Barix Exstreamer System Announce Shift Changes at Bell Helicopter

AUSTIN, TX, December 7, 2006 – AcroVista Software and Barix AG, a pioneer in IP-based audio, Intercom and monitoring, today announced that Bell Helicopter, a leading international manufacturer of vertical lift and tilt rotor aircraft, is using 53 Barix Exstreamer IP-audio decoders across multiple Bell Helicopter facilities as a main element of its new shift notification system. The Exstreamer devices operate in tandem with an AcroVista Software BellCommander scheduling system to broadcast single-tone alarms over a vast public address system. The alarms signal shift, break, and lunch start and stop times for three Bell Helicopter work shifts.

Bell Helicopter operates 14 buildings between five sites in the Dallas-Forth Worth, Texas region. The system was installed in September to comply with a negotiated labor contract stipulation for providing audible tones to employees that denote shift breaks and changes. The BellCommander software resides on two central PCs at Bell Helicopter’s headquarters and automatically sends commands to the Barix Exstreamer devices. The Exstreamers subsequently receive, generate and decode single-tone alarms in the MP3 format for playback over the PA system. The flexibility of the BellCommander and Exstreamer platform allow system operators to schedule the tones at different times for each facility and make scheduling changes on the fly.

Although the Barix Exstreamer is widely heralded in radio broadcasting and other professional audio applications for its ability to generate and replicate high quality audio signals, Bell Helicopter benefits most from the simple integration process of the Exstreamer. “The main reason we went with Barix was the ability to integrate these into our existing wiring infrastructure without trouble,” said Bob Pfeifer, Equipment Engineering Specialist for Bell Helicopter. “Bell Helicopter has a series of time clocks located throughout each facility that is part of our enterprise network. We needed an in-plant public address system for this project but wanted to avoid hard-wiring these speakers in all these different locations. We realized that our time clock infrastructure had the required amount of network drops to support a voice over IP system. From there we simply installed the Barix units and programmed IP addresses in the BellCommander system for communication with each Exstreamer.”

Pfeifer added that the low cost of the Barix units kept the overall project costs to a minimum. The system, as installed by systems integrator Four Dimensions, is designed for scalability. “Four Dimensions’ design allows us to add Barix units to grow the system wherever and whenever we want,” said Pfeifer. “It’s simply a matter of adding new IP addresses and location names to the BellCommander scheduling system.”

Johannes G. Rietschel, CEO of Barix, said that this project highlights the user-friendly, standards-based approach of Barix products and their interoperability with other systems over audio quality. “The openness of our products is paramount to our success as Barix continues to grow into new markets,” he said. “Companies like Bell Helicopter that have embraced the IP environment are discovering a more cost-effective and flexible blend of technologies that are customizable to fit their requirements. While audio quality is essential to the Barix design, we are also committed to delivering a reliable product that is both easy to integrate and interoperable with other systems.”

About AcroVista
AcroVista's patent-pending BellCommander system is an advanced audio scheduling and intercom application utilized by hundreds of clients for school bells, factory horns, store-front audio, hospital announcements, and more. The BellCommander system sends audio to network audio players from Barix and to PC clients at scheduled times. Since the BellCommander utilizes standard computer networks, the system is much more affordable than competitor's products and can be easily maintained.

If your organization has similar requirements for work notification alarms, or if you would like more information on BellCommander, you can learn more about at BellCommander at http://www.acrovista.com/bellcommander or email sales@acrovista.com.