Attendees of Electric West 2002 in Las Vegas proved they were in town to learn by packing the conference rooms right from the start. First-day presentations focused on topics such as power quality, lighting, the NEC, project management, claims management, and fiber optics.

Richard Loyd, cables and standards consultant, R&N Associates, kicked off the day’s first power quality session with a presentation on grounding, harmonics, and EMF design. He demonstrated the latest software technology for designing new and evaluating existing installations of power wiring for electromagnetic compatibility in industrial, commercial, and residential facilities. In addition, David Pereles, power quality products manager, Fluke, led a hands-on course for troubleshooting PQ problems using portable, handheld test tools. Using power quality meter provided by Fluke, participants learned how best to uncover problems at receptacles, branch circuits, and service panels.

Those looking for the latest information on the lighting industry had several sessions to choose from. Roy Sierleja, senior lighting product specialist, GE Lighting Institute, discussed recent developments in light sources and fixtures, with a special focus on extending product life and improving efficiency. James Benya, principal, Benya Lighting Design, discussed how to provide better lighting designs for high-end residences through the use of specialty low-voltage lighting, fiber optics, and new control systems. Joe Knisley, senior editorial consultant, EC&M magazine, rounded out the session track with a presentation on commercial lighting installation techniques and maintenance issues. Technologies discussed included electronic ballasts, compact fluorescent and metal-halide lamps, LEDs, fiber optics, occupancy sensors, and T-5 lamps.

Here’s what some attendees had to say about the quality of the sessions they attended.

“Good session, information very relevant to issues occurring in the industry today. I’ll be able to use at home!” Rick Higgins, vice president, Chaparal Electric Co., Inc., Albequerque, N.M.

“Very good presentation. Well organized, fast-paced, and interesting. Useful information.” John Martin, owner, City Electric, Concord, Conn.

“Good practical lighting design tips without losing site of being cost effective.” Charles Lack, pre-construction services manager, AC Electric, Bakersfield, Calif.

And when the attendees weren’t taking part in the sessions, they could be found roaming the exhibit floor, examining the products and services of more than 230 exhibiting companies. Everything from the smallest electrical connector to the largest transformer was available for inspection and review on the show floor.

EC&M and CEE News magazines did their part to bring some excitement to the show floor when they announced the following finalists for this year’s EC&M/CEE News Product of the Year Platinum Award.

  • Advance Transformer Co. - e-Vision ballast

  • Arlington Industries - Gard-N-Post

  • Arlington Industries - Snap2It

  • CabloFil - UFCN

  • Encore Wire - Colored Feeder

  • Fluke - Fluke 337

  • Gardner Bender - Wire Tracker

  • Grasslin Controls - Multi-Volt Time Control

  • Ideal Industries - LAN Tek 7

  • Ideal Industries - Kinetic Super Wire Stripper

  • Klein Tools - Journeyman Pliers

  • Klein Tools - Klein-Kurve

  • Meterman - Meterman DM 73B

  • MGE UPS - Galaxy 3000

  • Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp. - Sawzall cordless reciprocating saw

  • Pass and Seymour/Legrand - Home Network Bracket

  • Ray Practical Technologies - Pull It 3000

  • Siemens Energy and Automation Inc. - Siemens Ultimate Load Center

  • Sola Hevi-Duty - SDP Din Rail Low Voltage

  • Southwire - Romex Extra Color

  • Square D - PowerLink

  • Square D - PowerLogic

  • Thomas and Betts - Union dual-voltage box

  • Unicom - Indomation

The awards program was established to honor excellence in new product development throughout the electrical industry. Now that the finalists have been selected, EC&M and CEE News subscribers can vote for the Platinum Product of the Year using the reader service card in the March issues and through online ballots appearing on the Product of the Year Web site. In addition to readers’ votes, the decision of a five-person panel consisting of industry members will weigh in on the final decision. In the event of a tie, the EC&M and CEE News editorial staffs will cast the deciding vote. The winner will be announced at the Electric 2002 show in New York City in June.