A select group comprising electrical contractors, engineers, plant/facility professionals, and a Code expert met prior to the Electric West Show this February in Los Angeles to evaluate more than 100 entries for the 2003 EC&M Product of the Year competition. Their evaluation criterion was simple: Will this product help me do my job faster, safer, smarter or more profitably?
Now that they've finished their work and narrowed the field down to a select group of 20 products, we need you to help pick the winner of this year's competition. Once you've looked at the following nominees and picked your favorite, e-mail us at email@example.com with your selection or vote online at www.ecmweb.com and follow the directions in the pop-up poll. But don't take too long to make that pick — the deadline for voting is April 15. As an extra incentive for you to cast your vote, we'll even place your name in a drawing for a $100 American Express gift certificate. The 2003 Platinum Award winner will be announced June 10 at the Electric Show in Washington, D.C.
Data center infrastructure support system
PowerStruXure uses a systematic approach to building data centers that simplifies the design, building, and management of data center infrastructure with a fully-engineered and tested system. The product comprises a modular, scalable, N+1 redundant uninterruptible power supply; zoned, intelligent power distribution; and a next generation rack enclosure.
American Power Conversion
Zinc, snap-on fitting
The Snap 2It Zero to 90° connector is a metallic fitting for AC, MC, and ⅜-in. flex. It ships straight, but users can adjust it to any angle between 0° and 90° by loosening the nut, adjusting the angle, and retightening the nut. No tools are required, and no damage is done to the wire. It installs in about 8 sec, saving a full minute per connector over two-screw/locknut styles.
Arlington Industries, Inc.
Portable power quality analyzer
The PNA-600 is a NEMA 4 power quality analyzer built into a rugged and sealed enclosure. The unit is powered by a 950-MHz Celeron or Pentium processor with 256 MB of RAM and features a 20GB hard drive. The other half of the instrument is a color touch-screen display, which connects to the mainframe via a 10-ft cable. Data can be exported via Ethernet or USB interfaces built into the system.
PC card for PQ instrument
The Multi-DAQ TaskCard provides additional value and versatility to the 3-phase, 8-channel Power Platform PP4300 power analyzer. Now users only need one 4-lb tool for power quality monitoring, inrush measurements, fault recording, and data logging.
Circle 503 True rms multimeter plus IR thermometer
The EX470 is a CAT III-600V design that combines a true rms multimeter with a non-contact infrared thermometer with laser pointer. This combination allows the user to quickly and safely locate and troubleshoot hot spots. Other features include high-resolution measurements (0.1mV, 0.1µA, 0.1 ohms, 0.001nF, 0.01 Hz), a large backlit display, 0.1% DCV accuracy, capacitance and frequency functions, and a type K thermocouple input for contact measurements.
Extech Instruments Corp.
Battery-powered crimping tool
The Patriot PAT750-18V battery-activated crimper employs a patented pump, transmission, and piston design to reduce crimping time. With its 360° head rotation design, the tool head can operate in virtually any position. The tool has a 12-ton output force, an audible “pop-off” and visual crimp indicator, and an ergonomically balanced design to lessen fatigue.
Hole drilling and spotting tool
The DrillSpotter features three functions in one instrument. A transmitter/receiver system lets installers know exactly where the drill will exit. The tool also determines wall thickness and proper drill bit length and serves as a metal detector. The unit works on structures as much as 40 in. thick — through concrete, masonry, wood, and plaster.
First Edition Products
Digital bay controller
The SR F650 provides protection, control, metering, monitoring, analysis, and energy management in a single device. The unit can be applied to feeders of any voltage level or used as a component in a complete control system. It features a large display, front RS32 and rear redundant RS485 or fiber optic ports, and an Ethernet port for LAN connections.
Light level sensor and time control
The LightMaster series of lighting controls allows accurate and reliable adjustment of lighting control based on ambient light levels (0.2 fc to 1,000 fc) and time control. Some models combine light level control with electronic 24/7 time controls with lithium battery backup and automatic daylight savings adjustment.
Grasslin Controls Corp., a GE Industrial Systems Co.
Portable cable tester
The LinkMaster PRO Tester allows datacom professionals to map, test, and troubleshoot data and voice communications cable and coax runs. The tester identifies split pairs, shorts, opens, miswires, and reversals, and tests for shield continuity. The unit can also measure the length of UTP, ScTP, and coax without remotes.
IDEAL Industries, Inc.
Modular paralleling switchgear
The PD-300 paralleling switchgear is UL-1558 Listed and labeled switchgear. Load control, synchronizing logic, and system-control are housed in a PLC. Typical switches, annunciators, and meters have been replaced by a touchscreen interface. All load control and synchronizing logic has been moved from third-party hardware-based controls to a software system.
Kohler Power Systems
Fiber optic adapter
The Tracetek fiber accessory for the Lantek 6 and 7 allows datacom professionals to convert a cable certification tool into a fiber optic troubleshooting tool. The module allows users to analyze reflective events along the fiber under test, locate events like bad splices, report distance to events (along with magnitude), and store traces for uploading to a PC.
IDEAL Industries, Inc.
The D3206 and D3208 multi-zone controllers/dimmers are self-contained units used to control as many as six zones of lighting in a room or group of rooms via a series of pushbuttons and “wizard” menus. They offer access to either 186 zones for use in home theaters and dining and living rooms or 248 zones for use in partitioning zones in restaurants, ballrooms, time-of-day scene changes, and other commercial applications.
Leviton Manufacturing Co.
Telephone jack with built-in power supply
The Out-of-Sight PowerJack uses a patent-pending design that features a hideaway power supply. All phone cords and wires tuck behind the device for a streamlined look. The telephone jack allows placement of wall-mounted cordless telephones anywhere installation is desired and no longer restricts installations to the nearest existing receptacle.
Leviton Manufacturing Co.
Remote breaker racking system
The SARRACS remote racking system allows operators to rack breakers from 40 ft away, well beyond their flash boundary. It's programmable to different torque profiles and mechanical requirements, and features digital position control for accurate breaker engagements. The unit is portable and self-contained and weighs about 200 lb.
Siemens Energy & Automation
Photographic infrared thermometer
The PhotoTemp MX6 combines infrared thermometer and digital camera capabilities to take noncontact temperature measurements while documenting them with digital photographs. Users can photograph, share, and store measurement results for instant, accurate verification. They can also create permanent inspection records showing temperature behavior before and after repairs. The unit features a True Spot laser sighting system and a close-focus option to measure objects as small as 6 mm at 300 mm.
Stand-alone suppression device
The Transient Block is a UL approved stand-alone filtering device that installs in series with the ground line of electronic equipment to protect against harmful ground transients, which can affect DC logic systems in electronic equipment. The proprietary technology provides end-users and manufacturers with increased reliability by attenuating transients on the one line never before protected — the ground line.
PVA Enterprises Corp.
Fire-rated cable pathway
The EZ-Path cable pathway requires no firestopping. Its built-in firestopping system automatically adjusts to cable loads. Cables can be added or changed without removal or reinstallation of firestopping materials. The product consists of an enclosed galvanized steel raceway lined with intumescent material and is UL Listed and classified in accordance with ASTM E814 (UL 1479).
Specified Technologies, Inc.
The model 460 voltage monitor protects 3-phase loads from damaging conditions like reverse phase, phase loss, high and low voltages, and voltage unbalance. A microcontroller-based voltage and phase sensing circuit constantly monitors the 3-phase voltage to detect harmful conditions. Four adjustment pots are provided to set nominal voltage, trip delay, restart delay, and unbalance trip point.
Rigid conduit expansion coupling
The XJG-TB features an internal bonding jumper and needs no disassembly during installation. The internal bonding jumper passes UL's 400A ground-fault test, eliminating the need for additional bonding jumpers and straps. The unit is available in sizes from .75 in. to 5 in., is UL Listed, and CSA approved.
Thomas & Betts Corp.