Sept. 30, 2005

Business Briefs for the week of September 26, 2005

  • St. Louis-based Graybar, distributor of electrical and telecommunications services and products, announced its Highway to Success sweepstakes. The sweepstakes grand prize is a yellow 5-speed, V-6, 2006 Ford Mustang convertible. To enter the contest, visit the Graybar Web site.

  • UTC Power recently provided seven PureCell 200s to the fuel cell power plant connected to Long Island Power Authority’s grid. The plant is integrated into Verizon’s 332,000-square-foot Garden City Central office call-routing center to provide cooling, heating, and power.

  • Cleco Corporation’s subsidiary, Cleco Power LLC, awarded the engineering, procurement, and construction contract to build a 600MW electricity generating plant to the Shaw Group. The plant, located at Cleco’s Rodemacher Power Station near Boyce, La., will use circulating fluidized bed technology in two 300MW units supplying steam to a single steam turbine generator.

  • Chicago, Ill.-based Bodine Electric Co. recently donated $5,000 worth of DC gear motors to the University of California at Santa Cruz. The motors were used in the final project of a mechatronics class, in which students designed robots capable of shooting targets sighted with infrared LED sensors.

  • PCL Construction Services recently chose Winter Park, Fla.-based Palmer Electric to provide electrical contracting services for two new condominium buildings at Vizcaya in southwest Orlando, Fla. The condominiums are seven stories each; one with 135,000 square feet for 40 units and the other with 55,000 square feet for 14 units.

    Sept. 29, 2005

    ASA applauds Maryland court decision safeguarding subcontractors’ payment bond rights

    The American Subcontractors Association (ASA) recently praised the Maryland Court of Appeals for ruling in favor of the subcontractor in the case of National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa. v. Wadsworth Golf Construction Company of the Midwest. The ruling upheld the trial court’s decision that a payment surety’s failure to respond to a subcontractor’s claim in the manner prescribed in a bond form prevented the surety from disputing the claim, and required the claim to be paid in full.

    In May 2005, the ASA, in conjunction with its Baltimore chapter and the D.C. Metropolitan Subcontractors Association, filed a brief supporting the subcontractor’s position that the lower court’s decision should be upheld.

    Sept. 28, 2005

    Arnco Corp. launches new Web site

    Elyria, Ohio-based Arnco Corp. recently launched its new Web site. The site offers a comprehensive product search, product pricing, and an interactive forum section.

    Each week, Arnco will award a company camouflage hat to the submitter of the best question on the forum.

    Sept. 27, 2005

    NEMA criticizes Massachusetts energy-efficiency bill

    NEMA recently condemned the passage of H.4299, the Massachusetts bill that imposes mandatory energy-efficiency standards on a range of electrical products. According to the association, the bill leaves out important energy players, such as manufacturers and consumers.

    NEMA is in favor of national energy-efficiency standards included in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

    Sept. 26, 2005

    Kentucky completes statewide traffic signal retrofit

    The Commonwealth of Kentucky has recently finished a statewide retrofit of intersections, school flashers, flashing beacons, and advance-warning flashers on state-maintained routes. The five-month project consisted of the installation of an estimated 77,000 RX11 high-visibility LED traffic signals from GELcore, LLC.

    The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Finance and Administration Cabinet’s Division of Contracting and Engineering initiated the retrofit, hoping to reduce operational and energy consumption costs by as much as $3.2 million a year.

    Sept. 23, 2005

    Business Briefs for the week of September 19, 2005

  • The Web Marketing Association has awarded NEMA’s Web site with the 2005 Standard of Excellence Web Award. More than 2,000 sites from 33 countries were entered in the competition.

  • Woodinville, Wash.-based electrical contractor SASCO is now offering turnkey D/B electrical services. For more information about these services, contact the electrical and data contractor’s vice president of global sales, John Spree, at (800) 477-4422, ext. 340.

  • DuPont Abandoned Cable Services announces the DuPont Motorsports Cable Points Challenge for Contractors. Any registered contractor firm recycling end-of-life copper cables with DuPont will earn points redeemable for Motorsports prizes, including the grand prize, a trip to a 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race and a chance to meet Jeff Gordon.

  • Las Vegas-based Power Efficiency Corp. has partnered with Keltech-Efficient Power Solutions, Ltd., Ontario, to offer energy-saving products for industrial applications, such as conveyor belt systems, air compressors, and agitator and mixers. The partnership will focus on markets in Canada, a signatory to the Kyoto Treaty.

  • Siemens Power Generation has agreed to manufacture, install, and commission its 2.3MW Mk II wind turbines for FPL Energy. Delivery of the turbines is scheduled for 2006 to support the expansion of wind-driven electricity generation projects at the Miami-based utility.

    Sept. 22, 2005

    AGC’s Ken Simonson revises prediction for construction material prices

    Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) recently predicted that construction materials may rise at least 10% next year. Before Hurricane Katrina, Simonson had predicted a rise of 6% to 8%. According to Simonson, contractors may face increases in diesel fuel costs to operate off-road equipment. These increases may also surface as freight surcharges on deliveries to job sites.

    In his report, Simonson also cites possible higher costs and/or supply disruptions for PVC pipe and other construction plastics, tires for off-road equipment, galvanized steel, gypsum products, and cement.

    Sept. 21, 2005

    Appleton announces off-the-shelf shipping for Mercmaster III lighting fixtures

    Rosemont, Ill.-based Appleton has introduced a quick-ship program for Mercmaster III lighting fixtures. With the off-the-shelf program, customers may order up to 25 Mercmaster III fixtures at one time for immediate delivery.

    Mercmaster III lighting fixtures are rated for hazardous locations, such as oil refineries, paint factories, and waste treatment centers.

    Sept. 20, 2005

    Web seminar features advances in high-temperature superconductor wire

    American Superconductor Corp.’s Dr. Alex Malozemoff, executive vice president and chief technical officer, and Dr. Garry Ferguson, director, HTS wire sales, will present a live Web seminar highlighting the latest advances in high-temperature superconductor wire and its applications. The event is scheduled for Sept. 29 at 10 a.m. EDT. An additional seminar will be held Nov. 2 at 9 p.m. EST. To register, visit American Superconductor’s Web site.

    Topics will include the properties of superconductor wire and examples of developments in high-capacity superconductor power cable projects, synchronous condensers for reactive power compensation, ship propulsion motors, and magnet applications.

    Sept. 19, 2005

    OSHA publishes proposed rule on electric power generation and transmission construction

    OSHA has recently proposed an update to its rule on the construction of electric power transmission and distribution installations called Electrical Power Generation, Transmission, And Distribution And Electrical Protective Equip. The update includes the use of PPE and insulating gloves, host/contractor responsibilities, fall protection, grounding, and minimum approach distances. The purpose of the update is to make the rule current and more consistent with the more recent corresponding rules for electric power transmission and distribution systems.

    OSHA estimates that 74 fatalities and more than 400 injuries occur annually among workers involved in electric power generation, transmission, and distribution. Anyone wishing to offer feedback on the updated rule may contact OSHA’s Docket Office at Docket No. S-215, U.S. Dept. of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW, MR. N-2625, Washington, DC 20210 by Oct. 13.

    Sept. 16, 2005

    Business Briefs for the week of September 12, 2005

  • Danbury, Conn.-based Electro Electric recently received a $1 million dollar contract with the U.S. Department of Energy for development of its Bipolar Nickel Metal Hydride energy storage battery. The funding provides for continued development of batteries for utility energy storage applications, such as power regulation and bulk storage.

  • The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and Underwriters Laboratory of Canada (ULC) has certified the sale of Post Glover LifeLink’s isolated power panels and digital clock timers in Canada. CSA and ULC certification ensures that products are manufactured in accordance with Canadian industrial standards.

  • The Memphis, Tenn.-based Thomas & Betts Corp. Electrical Division was granted ISO 9001:2000 certification for the management systems overseeing the design, manufacturing, distribution, and marketing of electrical components at its facilities in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. The certification applies to the company’s distribution center in Byhalia, Miss.; its facility in Orange, Mass.; and its plants in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico; Athens, Tenn.; Southaven, Miss.; Jonesboro, Ark.; and Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

  • Aurora, Ohio-based high-voltage material packaging group Hamby Young recently won the $60 million contract for material procurement and logistics for construction of a 120-mile transmission line and substation in Grimes, Iowa. The L.E. Myers Co. awarded the contract, which consists of construction of a 345/161/15kV substation and a 345kV transmission line from MidAmerican’s Council Bluffs Energy Center to the Grimes substation.

  • In response to a preliminary report conducted by Engineering Systems, Inc. (ESI), Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has increased its ongoing vault-inspection efforts to include testing for moisture in a key transformer fixture. ESI is independently investigating the cause of the underground vault explosion on Aug. 19.

    Sept. 15, 2005

    NPR’s Howard Berkes reports on the electrical restoration efforts in rural Mississippi

    Journalist Howard Berkes recently traveled to rural Mississippi to investigate the relief efforts being made in the wake of the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. Berkes interviewed utility workers and residents for their views on the devastation and restoration.

    To listen to the full report on restoration efforts in rural Mississippi, visit NPR’s Web site.

    Sept. 14, 2005

    Public Service Co. of New Mexico proposes affordable solar-power systems

    The Public Service Co. of New Mexico (PNM) has recently submitted a proposal to the state Public Regulation Commission for approval for buying solar energy from its customers at 11 cents for every kilowatt-hour of energy—approximately $3,100 over 12 years. Under the proposal, customers would purchase solar-power systems and the meter from PNM, preventing the company from having to build a facility to generate that much electricity at a savings of $4.7 million.

    PNM hopes to launch the plan by March 1 in order to increase the amount of solar energy tied to its grid to 1.2MW in the next eight years.

    Sept. 13, 2005

    Contemporary Controls offers online purchasing

    Downers Grove, Ill.-based Contemporary Controls has added online purchasing to its Web site. The capability is available for orders up to $2,000 for its Industrial Ethernet products by clicking on the "Buy Me" or "Quote Me" links on the site.

    Products can be purchased online with Visa or Mastercard and will be shipped through UPS standard or next-day air.

    Sept. 12, 2005

    Osram Sylvania hosts energy efficiency forum

    Danvers, Mass.-based Osram Sylvania recently hosted a forum on energy efficiency at its headquarters. Congressman John F. Tierney, representing the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources, presented his challenge to reduce business energy use by 10% in one year.

    The attendees, business owners in Massachusetts’s 6th District, were presented with government and utility efficiency strategies designed to cut costs by reducing energy use.

    Sept. 9, 2005

    Business Briefs for the week of September 5, 2005

  • Zurich, Switzerland-based technology group ABB recently announced a change in its organization. As of Jan. 1, 2006, the Power Technologies and Automation Technologies divisions will be eliminated, with the remaining business areas falling under separate sections: Power Products, Power Systems, Automation Products, Process Automation, and Robotics.

  • In honor of its 20th anniversary, New York City-based Lilker Associates has established the Engineering with Vision scholarship at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. The scholarship will be awarded annually to qualified mechanical or electrical engineering students.

  • Beaver Aerospace and Defense has ordered seven flywheel power systems from Pentadyne Power Corp., Chatsworth, Calif. The order is rated DX-A2 for national defense and is the first in a series of orders expected to be given to the flywheel manufacturer over the next few years.

  • Traco Electronics recently appointed Wrentham, Mass.-based Power Sources Unlimited as a franchised U.S. and Canadian distributor. Power Sources may now provide technical datasheets for Tracopower products, such as its DC/DC converters and open-frame, enclosed, encapsulated, DIN-rail AC/DC power supplies.

  • Summit Electric Supply recently hosted an open house at the Albuquerque service center in celebration of its 28th anniversary. The event included an ATV giveaway and was attended by more than 450 customers, vendors, and associates.

    Sept. 8, 2005

    Siemens Energy and Automation, Inc. supports Hurricane Katrina relief effort

    In response to power outages, Siemens Building Technologies is shipping generators from Florida to the disaster area to support hospitals in the region. Also, Siemens Power Generation is airlifting engineers into the affected areas to assist utilities with damage assessment and to plan for rebuilding.

    Other relief efforts include Siemens Communications, in conjunction with telephone utility Southern Co., providing 420 IP phones in emergency crew command trailers using satellite broadband back to Atlanta to provide access to the entire Southern Co. area. In addition, Siemens Medical is supplying portable imaging equipment to the Houston Astrodome, which is being used as a major evacuee facility. The division is also providing heart monitors.

    Sept. 7, 2005

    NEMA distributes safety brochures to victims of Hurricane Katrina

    At the request of John Minick, NEMA’s field representative in the southeast region, NEMA has printed extra copies of its brochure, “Guidelines for Handling Water Damaged Electrical Equipment” for distribution to electrical personnel in the hurricane- and flood-damaged area. Minick will begin distribution in Lake Charles, La., and make his way east.

    The brochure is designed for use by suppliers, installers, inspectors, and users of electrical products. It provides advice on the safe handling of electrical equipment that has been exposed to water. The brochure may be downloaded at NEMA’s Web site.

    Sept. 2, 2005

    Business Briefs for the week of August 29, 2005

  • OSHA recently approved the addition of 44 new standards to Danvers, Mass.-based TUV America’s Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory scope of accreditation. This raises TUV’s number of accreditations to 61 and qualifies the company to certify a majority of consumer electrical products.

  • Arlington, Texas-based Bob Moore Construction Co. has completed construction on the 300,000-square-foot Riverpark 300 commercial building, and the 55,000-square-foot finish-out of Miller Electric’s regional distribution and training center. Both projects are located in Forth Worth, Texas.

  • The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a patent to Cerritos, Calif.-based Vycon, Inc. for its flywheel energy storage system. The patent, “Energy Storage Flywheel with Minimum Power Magnetic Bearings and Motor/Generator,” identifies a combination of magnetic bearing technologies, high-speed permanent magnet motor/generation technologies, and an aerospace-grade steel flywheel construction for energy storage as the proprietary properties of the system.

  • Cablofil, Inc. recently received the International Organization for Standardization 9001:2000 Certificate of Registration. The award was presented to the Mascoutah, Ill.-based company for its system for manufacturing wire mesh cable tray in compliance with international standards.

  • Four new products from Coopersburg, Pa.-based Lutron Electronics Co. will be included in the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America’s 2005 Progress Report. Lutron’s EcoSystem fluorescent lighting controls, Receptacle for Dimming Use, Fixture Mountable Daylight Sensor, and Sivoia QED shade system will be included in the report, scheduled for publication in the October issue of LD+A, the society’s monthly publication.

  • Carrollton, Ga.-based wire and cable provider Southwire Co. recently announced its acquisition of Decorp, Inc.. Southwire plans to use its marketing and distribution networks to bring the Henderson, Tenn.-based wire manufacturer’s FlatWire-ready technology to a larger market.

    Sept. 1, 2005

    National Lighting Bureau offers advice on the energy-affective nature of lighting

    In a recently released statement, the National Lighting Bureau (NLB) cautions designers to consider lighting’s interrelationships with other building systems when considering earning credit for the overall energy consumption and lighting standards established by LEED. The bureau reports that in cases of poor lighting quality, which may cause employees to struggle with their tasks and have to work overtime, other energized building systems, such as heating, HVAC, and elevators, may be used more. For outdoor lighting, extra security patrols may be needed, causing additional gasoline consumption.

    According to the bureau, designers that plan lighting systems that meet or exceed ASHRAE.IESNA 90.1-1999 or the local energy code, whichever is more efficient, have completed the first step in accounting for lighting’s energy-affective nature. The NLB also encourages designers to use controls and daylighting in their plans.