January 31, 2005

Tyco Thermal Controls launches four new Web sites

Tyco Thermal Controls recently launched four new Web sites aimed at North American-based customers that will each cover a specific market: heat tracing, snow melting and de-icing, wiring, and services. Each site is dedicated to a specific set of products and services designed to appeal to the users’ needs and eliminate confusion.

For more information, visit www.tycothermal.com.

January 28, 2005

Lutron donates $250,000 to NAED foundation

Lutron Electronics recently donated $250,000 to the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) Education and Research Foundation. The company’s donation will become part of an endowment fund for the foundation, and the principal amount of the endowment will remain untouched while the interest will be used to commission future projects and research studies.

For its contribution, the company will be recognized at the guarantor level and have a permanent position on the Channel Advantage Partnership Council, which will help select future educational programs and research projects.

January 27, 2005

Corning Cable System and 3Com work together on FTTD product

Corning Cable Systems and 3Com are working together to promote a fiber-to-the-desk (FTTD) product. The companies are combining Corning’s LANscape optical Connectivity product with 3Com’s IntelliJack Switch NJ240FX to offer a FTTD product with long-term reliability and future-proof connectivity.

LANscape includes high-bandwidth optical cable, connectors, and hardware for a variety of environments, and the IntelliJack is a wall-mounted switch with an optical fiber uplink that leverages existing copper connection in desktop devices. By connecting an optical cable to the back of the switch, users can turn a single Ethernet connection into four fully manageable ports.

January 26, 2005

Molex to sell copper and fiber cables in the United States

Molex, a global connectivity manufacturer, recently added copper and fiber cables to its structured cabling system lines in the United States. The portfolio includes three different colors of Cat. 5e and Cat. 6 cables in plenum and non-plenum versions.

The company has sold its own cable throughout Europe and Asia Pacific, and their products are backed by a global 25-year product, system performance, and product assurance warranty when installed by a certified installer.

January 25, 2005

Aeroflex completes acquisition of Racal Instruments Wireless Solutions

Aeroflex recently completed its acquisition of Burnham, Eng.-based Racal Instruments Wireless Solutions. Both companies are now under the Aeroflex brand. The Aeroflex Wireless Division, as it’s known, is part of Aeroflex Test Solutions, which operates eight divisions in the United States and the United Kingdom. This division offers a range of protocol and parametric test solutions for the cellular communications industry.

January 24, 2005

MGE UPS Systems and Wright Line form strategic partnership

MGE UPS Systems recently announced that it has entered into a strategic alliance with Wright Line LLC, a Mass.-based manufacturer of consoles; electronic and server enclosures; and furniture for data and network operation centers, emergency dispatch centers, and control rooms. The companies plan to distribute rack enclosures that are integrated with uninterruptible power supply systems and other power availability products. Wright Line’s direct sales force of about 170 personnel and MGE’s 140 direct and indirect sales professionals will support the integrated enclosure systems.

January 21, 2005

Electrical industry members contribute to tsunami relief

Schneider Electric, Siemens, and LEDtronics recently donated to the relief efforts for the victims of last month’s tsunami in the pacific. Schneider will make a $1 million cash gift to support emergency relief efforts in the hardest hit areas in India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, donate $1 million worth of electrical equipment and drinking water supply systems, and match employees donations up to $1 million

Siemens has made an initial pledge of $1 million Euros and will match all donations from its employees worldwide. LEDtronics also offered to match employee donations and raised $5,000 for the Red Cross tsunami relief.

January 20, 2005

Greenlee launches interactive product demonstration online

To accompany the release of its CMT-80 automatic electrical tester, Greenlee recently added the first in a series of new interactive product demonstrations to its company Web site at www.greenlee.com. Chera Ellis, senior project manager for Greenlee, says the company plans to produce an interactive demo for the majority of future test and measurement product launches.

Users will also find product specifications, typical applications, instruction manuals, and ordering information on the Web site.

January 19, 2005

Nebraska Public Power District to finance new wind farm with bond sales

Nebraska Public Power District recently issued $103.6 million in general revenue bonds to finance projects around the state. The majority of the money will go toward an $81.3 million wind farm to be built near Ainsworth, Neb. The remainder will be used to improve reliability at its largest coal plant and to build a $12 million wellfield near Sutherland, Neb., that will provide water to Gerald Gentleman Station.

January 18, 2005

Schneider Electric acquires Magnecraft products from MSD

Schneider Electric recently acquired the Magnecraft line of industrial relays from United States supplier MSD. The company plans to incorporate the line with its existing Telemecanique and Square D product lines. The Magnecraft product line grossed $14 million in sales in 2004.

January 14, 2005

Ener1 to acquire Giner Electrochemical Systems

Ener1 recently announced that it signed letters of intent to acquire Giner Electrochemical Systems (GES), a privately held Newton, Mass., company that specializes in the development of fuel cell technologies and products. GES is currently owned by Giner, Inc. and General Motors (GM) and will maintain its existing multi-year contracts as well as its research and development relationship with GM.

The GES senior management team will remain in place though consulting and employment agreements that will extend over the next several years. Completion of the transaction will be subject to various conditions, negotiation, and execution of definitive transaction agreements.

January 13, 2005

Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA enters photovoltaic module market

Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA recently entered the solar/photovoltaic (PV) or module market with a 120W system and a 165W system that contain no lead solder. Designed for commercial and industrial applications, the modules instead feature silver electrodes that offer weatherproofing and high PV module conversion efficiency. The company will initially focus on the southwestern United States through its network of dealers and distributors.

January 12, 2005

IEEE approves standard for testing and inspecting large, rotating electrical machinery

The IEEE has approved a new standard for testing and inspecting large, rotating electrical machinery. IEEE 62.2, “Guide for Diagnostic Field Testing of Electrical Power Apparatus—Electrical Machinery” is designed to help maintenance personnel select proper diagnostic tests and inspection methods by reviewing the capabilities and procedures for each test and by discussing how to interpret the results.

The IEEE is also making revisions to three power generation standards. IEEE 946, “Recommended Practice for the Design of DC Auxiliary Power Systems for Generating Stations,” will include current research results and design guidance for equipping and managing generating stations having DC auxiliary power systems. IEEE C57.19.00, “Standard General Requirements and Test Procedure for Power Apparatus Bushings” will be updated with information on indoor apparatus bushings and other technical content. And IEEE C62.32, “Standard Test Methods for Low-Voltage Air Gap Surge-Protective Device Components (Excluding Valve and Expulsion Types)” will address some technical issues and make changes to harmonize the standard with relevant IEC documents.

January 11, 2005

Hubbell redesigns corporate Web site

Hubbell recently launched an updated corporate Web site at . The company focused the site redesign on improving navigation and ease-of-use for customers, suppliers, and sales representatives. It now features improved search functions and drop-down navigation menus, as well as quick links to company brands and international operations. There’s also a section for investor info that includes the company’s annual report, stock price, and an event calendar.

January 10, 2005

Construction-put-in-place falls in November

The Census Bureau recently reported that November’s construction-put-in-place totaled $1.013 billion at a seasonally adjusted rate. This figure is 0.4% less than October’s revised total of $1.017 billion but higher than the original estimate for October. On a year-to-date basis, spending for the first 11 months of 2004 was up 9% over the same 11 months in 2003.

Private residential construction was 14% higher year-to-date, while private nonresidential and public construction were both 3% higher. Within private nonresidential construction, general merchandise (+26%) non-mall shopping centers (+19%), lodging (+17%) year-to-date, health-care (+10%), and office construction (+5.5%) were all up. On the downside were electric power (–11%), warehouse (–5.5%), educational (–4%), and manufacturing (–1%).

Within public construction, highways and streets and educational were both up +4%, as were sewage and waste disposal (+7.5%), office (+5%), and transportation (+1%), while amusement and recreation was down (–9%). All of the private residential categories saw increases: new single-unit (+20%), new multi-unit (+9%), and improvements (+3.5%). The figures aren’t adjusted for inflation.

January 7, 2005

Safety Technology International celebrates 25th anniversary

This year marks Safety Technology International’s 25th anniversary in business. Jack Taylor founded the Waterford, Mich.-based company in 1980 when he invented the clear fire alarm protectors for manual pull stations known as the STI Stopper II. The family-operated business now markets more than 300 products that protect against the misuse or abuse of fire extinguishers, manual pull stations, exit doors, and other devices.

January 5, 2005

ABC’s Heart of America Chapter presents excellence in construction awards

The Heart of America Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) recently presented its 2004 Excellence in Construction Awards at a ceremony in Overland Park, Kan. Over 250 contractors, architects, and developers attended the ceremony.

The Pinnacle Award, which recognizes excellence in subcontracting, was given to Wachter Electric, Lenexa, Kan., for the Cerner Corp. Data Center, Phase II, in Lee’s Summit, Mo. The following ABC member companies received first place in their category in the 2004 ABC Excellence in Construction awards program:

Electrical Commercial/Institutional - Under $250,000 Affinity Electrical Contracting St. Peters Auto Spa

Electrical Commercial/Institutional - $250,000 to $750,000 Heritage Electric Chateau Avalon

Electrical Commercial/Institutional - Over $750,000 SKC Electric - a division of Faith Technologies Visitation Catholic Church

Electrical Industrial - Over $750,000 Wachter Electrical Serologicals Corporation - Lawrence Facility

January 4, 2005

NECA releases new standard for commissioning building electrical systems

The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) recently released National Electrical Installation Standards (NEIS) NECA 90-2004, “Recommended Practice for Commissioning Building Electrical Systems” (ANSI). NECA 90-2004 is the 27th volume of the NEIS series.

According to Brook Stauffer, the organization’s executive director of standards and safety, this guide marks a new direction for the construction standards program. “Most other NEIS are product-based,” Stauffer says. “But NECA 90 takes a broad ‘horizontal’ perspective across the entire electrical installation.”

The standard is available by calling the NECA order desk at 301-215-4504 or visiting www.neca-neis.org" for a downloadable PDF.