January 31, 2006

Intermatic CD-ROM helps select proper protection

Spring Grove, Ill.-based Intermatic has recently begun offering a free CD-ROM that features a selection guide program to help engineers, specifiers, and contractors choose the correct surge protection device or TVSS, such as for hirdwired surge protectors, residential and industrial secondary surge arresters, residential hardwired surge protection devices, and telephone/modem/DSL and coax/satellite/cable modem line protection devices. The disk includes product guide specifications and product installation instructions in both Word and WordPerfect formats.

For a free copy of the CD-ROM, contact Mike Boyd at (815) 675-7068 or send an e-mail to mboyd@intermatic.com and request item 300IG10257.

January 30, 2006

3M launches tape sweepstakes

Austin, Texas-based 3M recently began its latest tape promotion. By entering code numbers found on packages of Scotch Super 33+ vinyl electrical tape on 3M’s Web site, buyers are entered in the Richard Petty Driving Experience sweepstakes and have a chance of instantly winning other prizes.

The drawing for the sweepstakes will take place after April 15.

January 27, 2006

Business Briefs for the week of January 23, 2006

  • Sierra Pacific Power recently awarded Denver-based CH2M an engineering, procurement, and construction contract for a 514MW combined cycle facility. The contract’s value is more than $200 million.

  • Las Vegas-based Smarthome, Inc. recently announced the formation of a parent company, SmartLabs, and three sub-companies, Smarthome Direct, SmartLabs Technology, and SmartLabs Design. Smarthome Direct will deal with the retail Web site, and catalog portion of the business; SmartLabs Technology will handle INSTEONTM technology, and SmartLabs Design is the manufacturing arm of the company.

  • Conyers, Ga.-based Acuity Brands Lighting donated more than 50 fixtures to a memorial park located in Rockaway Beach, N.Y. Tribute Park commemorates the 343 firegighters killed in the collapse of the World Trade Center.

    January 26, 2006

    Registration for transmission and distribution conference open

    Transmission and distribution professional may now register for the 2005/2006 IEEE PES Transmission and Distribution Conference & Exhibition at IEEE’s Web site. The event is scheduled to take place from May 21-24 in Dallas, Texas.

    IEEE encourages prospective attendees to register and make hotel reservations early.

    January 25, 2006

    Permlight becomes member of CLTC

    Sacramento, Calif.-based Permlight recently announced its affiliate membership in the California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC). The company believes its membership with accelerate the adoption of LED systems in residential lighting applications.

    The CLTC mission is to stimulate the application of energy-efficient lighting by facilitating technology development and demonstrations, and offering outreach and education activities in partnership with electric utilities, lighting manufacturers, lighting professionals, and governmental agencies.

    January 23, 2006

    Thomas & Betts raffle winners claim prize

    As the grand prize in the “Steel City 100” promotion, Thomas & Betts rewarded five customers, their distributor partners, and their Thomas & Betts sales representatives with a trip to the Richard Petty Driving Experience. The winners drove authentic NASCAR-style stock cars at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Oct. 28.

    The winners were selected from a random drawing of all Steel City 100 entries.

    January 20, 2006

    Business Briefs for the week of January 16, 2006

  • Boise, Idaho-based Washington Group International, Inc. recently accepted a contract by Princeton, N.J.-based NRG Energy, Inc. to provide program management services during development, engineering and design, and construction and commissioning of the fourth power unit at the Big Cajun II generating station near New Roads, La. The 675MW coal-fired unit will bring the station’s total output to 2,405MW and is scheduled to be in commercial operation in late 2009.

  • The groundbreaking ceremony for Albuquerque, N.M.’s Advent Solar, Inc. recently took place in the Mesa del Sol area on the Southest Mesa south of the Albuquerque International Sunport. The 87,596-square-foot, one-story LEED-certified building will cost an estimated $6 million and is expected to be completed by late 2006.

  • Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy has selected Kansas City, Mo.-based Burns & McDonnell to provide permitting, land acquisition, design, and construction for transmission line upgrades in southwestern Minnesota and eastern South Dakota. The $125-million contract includes an 86-mile 345kV line, a 40-mile 115kV transmission line, two substations, and two substation upgrades.

    January 19, 2006

    S&C offers 10-year warranty for automation products

    Chicago-based electronic controls and software manufacturer S&C recently announced a 10-year warranty that applies to nearly all of its automation products. The warranty became effective Jan. 1, 2006, but will also be provided retroactively to automation products manufactured since Jan. 1, 2005.

    According to the company, design improvements and testing and QA activities in the past few years justifies the longer warranty.

    January 18, 2006

    ASTM International proposes revision to corrosive sulfur standard

    West Conshohocken, Penn.-based American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International recently announced a proposed revision to standard D 1275, “Test Method for Corrosive Sulfur in Electrical Insulating Oils.” Under the revision, the standard would provide a means to certify that new or in-service oils either contain or do not contain corrosive sulfur at a dangerous level.

    In the past five years, certain insulating oils have been found to contain corrosive sulfur that can produce copper sulfide deposits as a function of time and temperature in operating equipment.

    January 17, 2006

    IEEE plans to revise three machinery insulation standards

    Piscataway, N.J.-based IEEE has plans to revise three machinery insulation standards. The association will merge IEEE P56, “Guide for Insulation Maintenance of Electrical Machines” with IEEE 432, “Guide for Maintenance for Rotating Electrical Machinery (5 HP to less than 10,000 HP)” into IEEE P56, which will be a guide for maintenance and replacement and to indicate future service reliability of insulation systems in rotating electrical machinery.

    IEEE P429, “Recommended Practice for Thermal Evaluation of Sealed Insulation Systems for AC Electric Machinery Employing Form-Wound Pre-Insulated Stator Coils for Machines Rated 6900 V and Below,” will be updated to reflect current information on test procedures for comparing the life expectancy of two or more sealed-insulation systems according to their rated temperature.

    January 13, 2006

    Business Briefs for the week of January 9, 2006

  • On Jan. 1 E. Milner Irvin III, a third-generation electrical contractor, became president of NECA (National Electrical Contractors Association) . The Miami-based president and CEO of Riverside Electric plans to focus on the shortage of skilled workers and labor relations during his three-year term.

  • Wallingford, Conn.-based Times Microwave Systems recently announced price increases for its LMR cables, connectors, and accessories. The 7% increase, due to the rise in material costs for metals and petrochemicals used in the manufacturing process, became effective Jan. 9.

  • The 45th Space Wing of the U.S. Air Force has awarded Siemens Building Technologies, Inc. more than $4 million in two separate contracts. Siemens will install and integrate new security access and CCTV system improvements at Cape Canaveral and, under a separate contract, install a new WAN fire alarm system and three associated fire detection systems at Patrick Air Force Base.

  • Las Vegas-based SmartLabs, Inc. recently partnered with electronic home-control software companies Perceptive Automation, Dallas, and Home Automated Living, Laurel, Md. Under the partnership, the software companies will add SmartLabs’ INSTEON dual-mesh home-control networking technology to home-control software.

  • Red Wing, Minn.-based DBI-Sala & Protecta, manufacturer of fall-protection equipment, recently acquired Unique Concepts LTD, Winnipeg, Manitoba-based fall-protection and confined-space rescue equipment manufacturing company. The acquisition is expected to be completed in late January 2006, according to DBI-SALA Chief Executive Officer Pat Velasco.

    January 12, 2006

    International Dairy Queen, Inc. chooses Mule Lighting’s LED-FLEX lighting

    International Dairy Queen, Inc. recently eschewed traditional neon for the signage at its DQ Grill & Chill restaurants. The company chose Providence, R.I.-based Mule Lighting’s LED-FLEX lighting for the accent lighting around the building.

    Unlike neon, which is mounted on special brackets, Mule LED-FLEX fits into a C-channel and bends around corners and is wired with a single lead fed through the building to a low-voltage transformer.

    January 11, 2006

    Bay Electric and M.C. Dean. form SBA alliance

    Newport News, Va.-based Bay Electric Co. and M.C. Dean, Dulles, Va., recently established a mentor-protégé relationship under the Small Business Association’s (SBA) 8(a) program. Through the alliance, Bay-Dean LLC, M.C. Dean will provide technical assistance and resources to support Bay Electric’s pursuit of federal government contracts.

    With the resources of M.C. Dean at its disposal, Bay Electric will have a support staff with more than 300 engineers, 500 electricians, and 500 technicians.

    January 10, 2006

    Staco Energy Products partners with King Commercial Leasing

    Dayton, Ohio-based Staco Energy Products recently partnered with King Commercial Leasing, St. Louis, to offer financing options on capital equipment. Under the partnership, customers may make monthly payments to lease power quality equipment.

    Customers may visit Staco Energy Products’ Web site to estimate payments for finalizing equipment purchase plans.

    January 9, 2006

    AGC distributes nearly $400,000 to Gulf Coast construction craft workers

    The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) recently awarded nearly $400,000, raised through AGC’s Hurricane Katrina Construction Workers Fund, to Gulf Coast construction craft workers adversely affected by Hurricane Katrina. To be eligible for the fund, applicants must be employed by an AGC member firm and have certified losses in excess of $10,000.

    AGC established the fund through its Education and Research Foundation, to provide financial assistance to construction workers in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama who suffered financially from the disaster.

    January 6, 2006

    Business Briefs for the week of January 2, 2006

  • Kohler Co.’s Power Group recently acquired French manufacturer of generator sets SDMO Industries, French generator set maintenance company Béalas Energie Services, and distribution and control-panel electrical equipment producer SOREEL. Together, the three acquired companies employ more than 1,100 associates in France and at subsidiaries around the world.

  • On Jan. 3 Los Angeles-based Solar Integrated Technologies, Inc., provider of commercial building integrated photovoltaic roofs, signed with GE Energy Financial Services for a revolving line of credit for up to $20 million. The credit facility is for a term of up to five years and will be used for working capital and other general corporate purposes.

  • Nashville, Tenn.-based engineering design and facility consulting firm Smith Seckman Reid was recently awarded contracts on more than 140 projects. The awards include electrical and fire protection design services at the Disney Vacation Club Contemporary Resort in Orlando, Fla., the University of Tennessee’s Walter Life Science Systems Improvement in Knoxville, and the Tampa General Hospital expansion in Tampa, Fla.

    January 5, 2006

    American Power Conversion launches Data Center University

    West Kingston, R.I.-based American Power Conversion (APC) recently began offering courses for IT professionals, engineers, and other professionals involved in building or operating server rooms and data centers. Data Center University will include both classroom and Web-based courses covering data center design, build, and operations.

    Data Center University is an educational partner of IEEE.

    January 4, 2006

    Siemens extends contractor incentives

    Atlanta-based Siemens Energy & Automation recently extended its Contractor Advantage Rewards program through the end of 2006. Under the program’s rules, U.S. electrical contrators accumulate incentive points, redeemable for travel or merchandise, by purchasing select Siemens residential, commercial, and industrial products through U.S. electrical distributors.

    To register in the program, visit Siemens’ Web site.

    January 3, 2006

    AVCable extends product line

    Frankfort, Ill.-based AVCable recently extended its professional contractor-grade product line to include Tripp Lite power protection and connectivity products. Tripp Lite's audio/video power protection products are specifically designed for the A/V market.

    The new products are available through AVCable’s Web site.