Northridge, CA (May 29, 2013)—Tasked with installing a new paging and life safety sound system for the FedEx Express World Hub at the Memphis International Airport, Memphis-based systems integrator Technical Support Systems (TSS) opted for Harman JBL AWC82 full-range, all-weather loudspeakers.
The main challenge TSS faced when installing this paging system was adapting the speakers to a noisy environment. It had to overcome an 86dB ambient noise floor in an echo-prone metal building with airplanes and trucks coming in and out, conveyors going all the time and 24-hour a day activity.
In addition, FedEx management wanted to step up its audio system life safety standards and performance. “The area has had a rash of tornadoes recently and people are more aware of the importance of life safety systems than ever before,” commented Chip Benson of TSS. “Those old-style metal paging horns weren’t going to cut it.”
Benson knew that JBL had recently introduced the AWC82 and that on paper it looked like a good solution. “I had never heard the speaker, but design-wise, it looked like exactly what was needed, so I trusted my gut and JBL’s reputation and went with it,” he said. “We were the first to ever take delivery of the AWC82, and delivery was tight—we needed those speakers immediately and they arrived on time.”
TSS installed a total of 100 AWC82 loudspeakers—24 on each of the three levels inside the sort facility and the rest on the outside of the building covering the Hub ramp where the planes arrive. In addition, Benson and crew hung 20 JBL Control 65 P/T pendant speakers in the electrical, mechanical and maintenance shops and installed 40 JBL Control 24CT in-ceiling speakers in a number of offices. The speakers are powered by 13 Crown CTs 2000 amplifiers located in a rack in the head-end in the building’s phone data room.
The speakers and amps are on a 70-volt distributed audio system divided into five zones: sort facility, outside, offices, hub all-call and as Benson calls it, a “bat phone” emergency override. The audio system is tied into the FedEx World Hub’s VoIP phone and paging system, which is linked to all FedEx Hub locations in Memphis. The emergency paging system is connected to FedEx’s meteorology and security departments, which has priority in the event of an emergency.