Extron TeamWork and XTP Systems Facilitate Collaboration at Bayer India

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, high-tech polymer materials, and agriculture. To share research and support the increasing demand for enhanced crops and innovative farming techniques, they recently opened the new Crop Science facility at the Bayer House campus in Thane, India. Bayer executives wanted the AV system in the new building to have the same capabilities and cutting edge technologies as their corporate headquarters in Germany. Integration expert, Actis Technologies, won the Bayer India project to promote facility-wide collaboration using Extron TeamWork® and XTP Systems®.

"Early on, Bayer identified communication and collaboration as key requirements for their office complex in Thane," says Sachin Karekar, Zonal Manager of Key Accounts at Actis Technologies. "Extron’s TeamWork and XTP Systems offer the latest technologies and meet every need at the new facility, including easy tie-in to the head office in Germany."

Extron’s TeamWork and XTP Systems offer the latest technologies and meet every need at the new facility, including easy tie-in to the head office in Germany.

Sachin Karekar, Zonal Manager of Key Accounts at Actis Technologies

Extron Integrated AV Solutions for Collaboration and Communication

The project included multiple meeting rooms on each floor, training and board rooms on the sixth floor, and a multipurpose room on the ninth floor. All Bayer employees are encouraged to schedule meetings and other events in any space within the new facility. "The idea was to set up collaborative systems throughout the building as a common resource, making all floors accessible to the Bayer teams as well as senior management," says Karekar.

The AV system was designed to support sources such as resident computers, satellite receivers, and PTZ cameras along with laptops and other mobile devices. Space size and usage determined the number and type of display devices, from a single flat panel display to multiple projection systems. The final design combined a variety of Extron switching, distribution, and control solutions to maximize efficiency and allow system monitoring and operation from a central location. "With Extron XTP Systems we were able to deploy multiple, robust and expandable digital infrastructures in the rooms requiring extensive video routing," says Karekar. "The ability to transmit video, audio, and control over a single twisted pair cable greatly simplified the integration process."

Collaboration Using Extron TeamWork

The main AV system design goals for the 10 seat meeting rooms were to support HDMI and VGA sources and to be as user friendly as possible. Each meeting room is equipped with a Samsung MD55B 55" LCD display with built-in speakers and an Extron TeamWork 400 collaboration system. The TeamWork system automatically powers the display upon signal detection, and a single touch enables easy input selection. Without assistance from the IT staff, attendees are able to connect their devices and share content with a simple button press. These systems enable Bayer employees to hold productive huddle sessions and ad hoc meetings with AV support that is simple to use.

The TeamWork 400 system includes an HDMI switcher, a system controller, a Cable Cubby® Series/2 enclosure, and four HDMI “Show Me” cables. An Extron TeamWork VGA kit allows connectivity for legacy devices and laptops. Because the collaboration system is pre configured at the factory, the integration team was able to efficiently install and commission each meeting room for immediate use.

XTP Systems Deliver Functionality and Enhance Productivity

Flexible Conferencing with XTP Systems

One round, glass-walled room with an elegant O shaped conference table is used for onsite meetings and secure videoconference sessions with Bayer headquarters. Bayer required flexibility to accommodate both HDMI and VGA sources, and the ability to display all content, including rack-mounted sources.

A 12x8 XTP CrossPoint 1600 matrix switcher was integrated, providing the ideal mix of XTP® HDMI and twisted pair input and output boards for local and remote sources. The HDMI input and output boards provide local connectivity for the rack-mounted Tata Sky DTH set top box and the videoconferencing system. XTP CP 4i twisted pair input boards enable signal extension from any of the connected sources at the table, while an XTP CP 4o twisted pair output board extends signals to four Extron XTP R HDMI receivers. A low profle receiver is mounted to the back of each Samsung 55" flat panel display.

At the table, multiple Extron XTP T USW 103 three input switchers installed under the table provide switching between HDMI and VGA sources. Extron Cable Cubby® enclosures add to the elegance of the room by offering discreet cable access. To further streamline operation within the room, the XTP T USW 103 offered auto-switching for unmanaged source selection and complete signal extension over a single twisted pair cable. The modularity and performance of the XTP System allow Bayer associates to focus on collaboration efforts and tasks without the distractions of a complicated AV system.

Four-way Divisible Space, One XTP CrossPoint Matrix Switcher

The sixth floor includes a four-way divisible space consisting of two board rooms and two training rooms. They are configurable as two briefing centers or one town hall-style meeting space. Each room features one or more Epson EB 1945W projectors with dnp Supernova 100" motorized screens. Three video carts with Samsung 55" flat panel displays are available to augment audience viewing, if necessary.

Another XTP CrossPoint 1600 digital matrix switcher configured as 16x12 provides AV signal routing for all space layouts, playing a critical role in managing content. The support team can easily monitor and configure the system, including the endpoints, through the XTP embedded Web interface or the XTP Systems Configuration Software.

Five XTP T USW 103 switchers mounted beneath the table in each board room perform the same functions as in the videoconference room. To support both HDMI sources and legacy VGA laptops while also fitting inside floor boxes, an Extron XTP T FB 202 two input transmitter was installed in each of the training rooms. They were also set to automatically select the active source, which simplified operation at the unmanaged locations. Actis took advantage of the EDID and audio embedding functions of these transmitters to further enhance system operation.

The carts are equipped with XTP R HDMI receivers to provide simple connection to the flat panel displays. Extron XTP SR HDMI scaling receivers are mounted above the projectors to accommodate the widest range of mobile sources and ensure that the optimal resolution is always displayed. The distance from the XTP CrossPoint® matrix switcher to the furthest endpoint was within the 330 feet (100 meters) transmission capability of an XTP transmitter or receiver. Thus, the XTP System delivered a fully integrated system that reduced equipment requirements for significant savings up front with the added benefit of simplified system maintenance. Additionally, the supported transmission distances allowed the AV equipment to be stored away in nearby equipment closets, resulting in extremely quiet environments for recorded training sessions and global collaborations.

XTP Software Enables Easy System Setup and Configuration

The integration team used XTP System Configuration Software to set up and configure the XTP installations. Actis commented that the software was easy to use and sped both the installation and commissioning process, allowing them to easily meet the tight deadline. The control room staff now uses the software to remotely monitor and support the various AV systems throughout the entire facility.

The flexibility and extensive capabilities built into XTP Systems made this integrated solution the best choice for Bayer's conference rooms and the divisible space. "Bayer wanted the best AV systems available, and they got it with the performance, versatility, and reliability of XTP Systems," says Karekar.

Exceptional Sound with High Performance DMP 128

For amplifying voice and program audio content in each conference room, the sound system includes the Extron DMP 128 C P 12x8 ProDSP™ Digital Matrix Processor, three MPA 152 Plus stereo amplifiers, and two way open back ceiling speakers. The DSP processor supports mixing of eight Shure® MX395B/C boundary microphones, and the built in acoustic echo cancellation feature is very effective at providing clear, natural-sounding conversations between facilities. When sessions involve regional offices with legacy systems, the processor's POTS analog phone interfacing is used to ensure optimal sound. Actis also used the processor to simplify fine tuning of the sound system during integration. "Extron’s DMP 128 satisfied Bayer’s requirement for exceptional sound within the large meeting rooms and clear audio during conference calls with the international offices," says Karekar.

The sound system that supports the divisible space is similar in design to the largest conference room, with the addition of four wireless microphones. A single DMP 128 C P processor supports the individual rooms, as well as combined spaces. For localized sound reinforcement each room includes one Extron XPA 2001 Mono 70/100 V Amplifier that provides 200 watts for a distributed system of Extron SI 3CT LP low-profile ceiling speakers. The Class D amplifier’s fanless convection-cooled design provides quiet operation while generating very little heat at the rack. The ENERGY STAR®-qualified amplifiers offer automatic power-down capability, which eased system maintenance and reduced power needs. To maintain the professional appearance within the divisible rooms, the speakers' white grill and bezel were painted to match the environment.

Extron TouchLink for In-Room and Remote Control

Extron TouchLink® touchpanels provided the intuitive and user friendly operation that Bayer was seeking. They provide controls for source selection, videoconferencing functions, audio level adjustment, display or projector selection, and the ability to power the display devices on or off. Power over Ethernet allows a touchpanel to receive power and communication over the one CAT 5 cable, thus reducing the need for AC outlets in each room. Actis used Extron’s GUI Configurator software to customize the touchpanel with Bayer branding and user preferences.

In the round conference room, the Extron TLP 710MV TouchLink touchpanel provides convenient system control from the wall. During high level videoconferencing sessions, an assistant monitors the content on the touchpanel’s seven-inch, full-motion video display and can switch sources, if necessary. The divisible space includes both wall and table mounted TouchLink touchpanels. The board rooms offer discreet control using Extron TLP 710CV flip-up touchpanels installed in Extron TLE 710 Cable Cubby® enclosures, which are embedded in the table top. Each training room provides an Extron TLP 350MV 3.5" TouchLink touchpanel for convenient system access from the wall.

An integrated Ethernet port on each TouchLink touchpanel allows connection to the room's Extron IPCP 505 IP Link® Control Processor over the existing network. In rooms with projection systems, the processor's eight relays enable touch control to lower or raise each screen. The Web browser-based control interface embedded in the processor streamlined system integration for Actis and simplified AV system operation for presenters. The interface also gives the support team the ability to remotely monitor, control, and troubleshoot the AV equipment, including the connected devices. "From our central control room, my team is able to easily handle AV signal management and monitor the various systems over the network," says Jagannath Patil, Head of IT Operations at Bayer India.

The AV systems can also be controlled from a tablet or smartphone, if Bayer elects to download the Extron Control app to the support team's mobile devices.

Successful Collaboration

Installed and commissioned in less than four months, the various AV systems in the new Crop Science collaboration facility have received praise from the corporate headquarters in Germany, as well as the local employees. All are pleased that the high-performance XTP line so easily ties in with the videoconferencing systems, while still offering support for legacy sources, and provides a future-ready pathway for growth.

"We have come to rely heavily on the AV solutions provided by Extron, and we are confident they will allow us to continue our collaboration efforts well into the future," says Patil at Bayer.

Extron TeamWork collaboration systems let Bayer employees be self-sufficient, enabling them to hold huddle sessions and meetings with a minimum of effort.

Extron TeamWork collaboration systems let Bayer employees be self-sufficient, enabling them to hold huddle sessions and meetings with a minimum of effort.

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