Magazine Article


Today’s Photo Business Owners: Looking Beyond the Plug

ZeroSurge Power Quality Filters
ZeroSurge Power Quality Filters
ZeroSurge Power Quality Filters
Don’t experience a catastrophic meltdown—protect your high-end equipment and your business against unexpected power surges.
ZeroSurge Power Quality Filters
ZeroSurge Power Quality Filters

If you’re in the imaging industry, and you own your business, you’re probably well aware that it can be quite an expensive endeavor. Built around costly equipment and computer systems, a successful photo business can have some pretty daunting price tags associated with it, especially when it comes to acquiring the right equipment, which can range from film processing machines to self-serve photo kiosks.

Many photo business owners are probably thinking that after these costs are incurred and the equipment and computer systems are running as expected, it’s pretty much smooth sailing and business as usual. While that can be true, the fact that many of these business owners take their equipment for granted is a huge mistake, one that can prove to be devastating from the moment they’re plugged in.

Power—that’s the one thing that all this equipment has in common. Whether it’s the computer that’s used for day-to-day transactions, accounting, and inventory control, or the one-hour photo kiosk that customers flock to your store to use, they’re all electronics-based and depend on the outlets that they draw their energy from. It’s important that photo business owners look beyond the plug when purchasing their equipment and imaging systems and think about getting the most out of their investments and extending the life of their electronics. Think about the devastation that could afflict a photo business if suddenly the expensive kiosks, film processing equipment, or high-end printers that are essentially the heart of their operations suffer sudden damage or are destroyed. It would be catastrophic. That could easily become a reality for any business, all due to a simple power surge.

Without proper protection from power surges, imaging business owners are putting themselves at risk of suffering crippling damage from the same electrical outlets that help their businesses run. When it comes to running a photo business of any size, today’s professionals need to make the protection of their digital assets a top priority. Losing equipment to a power surge can be very costly—for repairs or replacements—and it’s almost inconceivable what the loss of data and important information that is stored on computers could mean. In addition, the downtime and inconvenience to customers could be even more damaging, resulting in lost revenue. Surge suppression should never be an afterthought.

Before running out to buy a surge protector, it’s important to understand that there are different kinds, and that the market is flooded with those that offer inadequate protection. In department, hardware, office supply, and even grocery stores, you can find surge protectors for sale, ranging anywhere in price from $8 to $200. But serious thought must be given to the level of protection that you’re getting, regardless of price. Would a surge protector that looks like nothing more than an average power strip give you the peace of mind that you hope to get for the expensive equipment that you plan to entrust to it? More than likely the answer is no.

At the heart of many surge protectors available today is a small electronic component called an MOV (metal oxide varistor). The role of the MOV is to divert surge current; however, MOVs wear out with use. As more surges are diverted, the MOV’s life span shortens, and failure becomes imminent. How soon? How many surges can they handle? No one knows until failure occurs! There’s no forewarning or visual indications given—just failure. And while failing, they can reach very high temperatures and actually start fires. It’s the use and incorporation of the MOV technology that allows manufacturers to price their surge protectors so low.

Nothing less than 100 percent surge protection with 0 percent failure should be considered for a modern imaging business. For a business that relies on interconnected computing devices as well as advanced and costly photo equipment, such as kiosks and developing/printing stations, Zero Surge’s power quality filters are especially suitable, ranging from the economical 2R-Series, featuring two outlet units, to the more fully featured 8R-Series, with eight outlets and a built-in circuit breaker to prevent overloading. Zero Surge offers 15- and 20-amp 1U rack-mount units or modular units if mounting is not required. The company’s patented series mode power quality filters offer unparalleled powerline surge protection and reliability that can be effortlessly integrated into any business setting.

Unlike products that shunt excess surge energy to the “ground” wire and utilize tiny, inexpensive metal oxide varistors to divert surge current, Zero Surge’s power quality filters perform as a tranquilizer on the surge current and reject even the most destructive surges, repeatedly, without wearing out.

So in essence, a photo business owner needs to look beyond the plug. Take a look at your equipment. Is it plugged right into the wall outlet? Is it plugged into a typical MOV power strip? Take a step in the right direction and do what’s right to ensure that your business is protected and that your customers won’t feel the unneeded effects of a power surge. Make sure your equipment has the superior surge protection it requires.