Spartan Stores operates over one hundred locations throughout Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana under the Family Fare, Glen’s Market, D&W Fresh Market, Felpausch Food Center, and VG’s Grocery brands. Its operations are headquartered Grand Rapids, Michigan, where the company originally opened as a coop in 1917. Spartan Stores continues to flourish in the 21st Century, and it recently added office space at its corporate headquarters to accommodate additional personnel. Because cubicles would populate the open space, Spartan Stores hired ASCOM Communications Contractors of Holland, Michigan to design a masking system that would allow its employees to focus amid the noise of conversations, as well as afford them privacy in those conversations. ASCOM used the Ashly Pema 4125.70 combination processor/four-channel amplifier to give Spartan Stores a reliable and cost-effective sound masking system.
“The Ashly Pema 4250.70 gives us all of the processing power we need – including the noise source itself – and four 250-Watt amplifier channels in just two rack spaces,” said Tim Vandermeer, project manager at ASCOM. “We divided the space up into multiple zones so that each could be precisely equalized to meet the sound masking NC 40 standard. Moreover, if they come back to us to request paging functionality or music playback, we can simply add the feature. That’s always a much better answer than, ‘sure, but it will cost you a bunch extra.’ We can also add scheduling, if they like.”
In addition to the Ashly Pema 4250.70 and the necessary wiring, the only other component in the system is a collection of forty Atlas M1000 loudspeakers. For more effective masking, the loudspeakers are installed above the suspended ceiling facing up. “Although the DSPs and amplifiers of some other manufacturers can often be challenging to connect to, the Ashly products are always fast and trouble-free,” he added. Vandermeer used SysTune to tailor the Pema 4250.70’s equalization curves to precisely match the prescribed sound masking frequency response.