Case Studies

ifm Efector

Challenge

Many departments sharing a large open office area
ifm, headquartered in Essen Germany, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers in the automation industry. ifm’s US operations are located in Exton PA at a 10,000 square foot facility that houses over 150 people.

Workers in the open office areas were often distracted by the conversations being held in the neighboring customer service and technical support call centers. “The noise from the phone calls and video chats were very distracting” says John Isabell, Sales Manager for ifm. Additionally, some workers in the space complained about acoustic distractions from the engineering, design and technical support call center areas. To adequately help their customers, call center workers need to conduct video chats with customers that include some product assembly and demonstrations. This leads to loud conversations becoming a distraction to nearby workers.  The overheard noises were not only distracting to the workers, but customers calling for service or support often complained about the level of noise in the office. The team at ifm needed a solution that could provide a uniform level of sound masking over several large open areas to increase productivity and comfort.

Solution

A Quiet Technology sound masking system calms the noise
A Qt 600 sound masking system was recommended to ifm to solve their acoustic challenges. Each area was separated into their own unique zone to ensure a proper sound masking level for the space. Qt Emitters were installed in the acoustic ceiling tile over each open office areas as well as the corresponding hallways. Qt Emitters offer ifm an unobtrusive and uniform sound masking solution that was easily added to the space with little impact on the worker’s productivity during installation. “The installation had a very low impact on working conditions. The implementation was very easy, we’re very pleased” says John Isabell.

Results

A comfortable and productive work environment with improved customer satisfaction
Since the system was installed, the workers in the space as well as the customers surveyed have commented on the noticeable improvement in the acoustic environment. Mr. Isabell explains, “Employees and customers have noted a change in that the space is quieter with fewer distractions. There is an increased focus, as conversations do not carry through the space. This has not only improved employee productivity, but has also enhanced the customer experience.