Syncing Your Entire Facility with an NTP Server

The benefits of having synchronized time throughout a facility can be endless. Having all analog and digital clocks in a facility displaying the exact same time is proven to streamline workflows and increase the efficiency of the building. These are just the benefits to having a synchronized clock system, but what if you had the ability to take the benefits of this technology further? To completely maximize the benefits of synchronized time, facility managers have the option to sync every device with a time display, down to the coffee maker in the break room, to the exact same time. And how is this accomplished? Multiple devices within a facility can sync to the exact same time with the implementation of an NTP server.

The job of an NTP server is to distribute the time to other computer based equipment within a facility. This could be a device that displays the time, for instance a computer clock, or one that has no time display but still provides a time stamp when operated, like an office printer. Literally any device that has the ability to connect to the facility’s network will be synced to the same time, providing benefits that are justified well beyond the cost of implementing the time server. Three benefits in particular will be discussed in this article.

1. Syncing with Time Attendance

Very often, there are discrepancies in the time workers clock in for work, and the actual time they enter the building. While the wall clocks are displaying an accurate time, the time attendance machine may record a time completely different than the one displayed on the clocks throughout the facility, causing confusion for both the employee and the management in charge of monitoring the employee’s time card. Eliminating this issue is not a problem with the use of an NTP server. By connecting the facility’s time attendance machine to the server via Ethernet connection, it will begin to receive the same synchronization as the facility’s clocks, assuring the record of an employee’s time card is consistence with the time display of the wall clocks.

2. Enhancing Security

In most cases, synchronized clock systems receive their time input from public NTP servers, which are different than the server being discussed in this article. In this case, the NTP server is not internal of the building, but is an external time source, where the facility must breech their firewall to receive the time, opening the building’s network to security issues. With the implementation of an internal NTP server, facilities don’t have to worry about going outside of their firewall to synchronize clocks or other computer based devices to NTP time, giving piece of mind to facility mangers.

3. Syncing Computers

The clock displays from computers can be a very common source of time for their users. For example, while working on a computer, a user has no need to look up at a wall clock since there is a time display sitting at the right bottom hand corner of their screen. However, the issue arises that if this time displayed on the computer is minutes fast of the accurate time on the wall clocks, the user is going to experience some confusion when he or she stands up from their desk chair and receives time from the wall clock. By installing an NTP server, the computers, which are in most cases already connected to the building’s network, will receive time from the same source as the synchronized clocks, providing matching time between their time display and wall clocks.

When making the addition of an NTP server to a facility, the three aforementioned devices that the server can synchronize to are only a fraction of its capability. By implementing this kind of technology into a building, anything that has the ability to connect to the internet will be receiving time synchronization from the NTP server, giving the user or facility manager the choice to sync whatever device he or she feels necessary. And when facility managers do make the decision to implement this technology, they have not only increased the efficiency of their clock system, but they have maximized their use for synchronized time.