September 30, 2003

Westinghouse Lighting and PolyBrite release new LED product

Westinghouse Lighting Corp., Philadelphia, recently announced the finalization of a contract with PolyBrite International, a Goeken Group Company, providing for joint distribution, marketing, and development of LED lights for general illumination. PolyBrite’s patented polymer technology enhances LEDs by intensifying and dispersing the light, and meets a wide range of lighting needs.

“Our agreement with Westinghouse will help us to more quickly finalize product development aimed at replacing general incandescent bulbs and speed bringing our products to market,” says Carl Scianna, president and CEO of PolyBrite International.



September 29, 2003

Pass & Seymour/Legrand introduces jobsite productivity program

Pass & Seymour/Legrand, Syracuse, N.Y., recently announced Configurable Solutions, a new program of wiring devices designed for specific applications to further enhance electrical installation productivity on or off the jobsite. The program is designed to allow electrical contractors to order wiring devices without the parts that are sometimes removed for unique applications. These wiring devices can be modified without mouthing screws, auto grounding clips, and mounting ears, and with straps cut flush, split circuit tabs removed, and in bulk packaging.



September 26, 2003

Generac Power Systems opens technical training center

Generac Power Systems, Eagle, Wis., recently opened a 6,000-sq-ft multi-purpose technical training center next to its manufacturing plant. The center features a large demonstration area with an assortment of working generators, a classroom area, and a kitchen.

“This is a major investment by our company to raise the level of expertise across our dealer service organization,” says Robert Kern, Generac’s founder and chairman.



September 25, 2003

California golf club saves money through energy control

In an effort to cut its energy bill, which comes to almost $140,000 a year, the South Hills Country Club, West Covina, Calif., recently installed a series of controls in its new $7 million clubhouse.

The controls, supplied by Abbotly Technologies, were installed on the larger A/C and refrigeration units to reduce energy consumption. The country club also implemented off peak charging of the golf cars and better monitoring of usage patterns. A two-week performance test found that the new controls will reduce A/C- and refrigeration-related expenses by an estimated 19% and reduce compressor run time by 38% while maintaining room temperature conditions.

The California Energy Commission will be providing 100% financing for the cost to install the Abbotly system with a 5-year 4% loan.



September 22, 2003

Ideal announces cable certifier trade-up program

Ideal Industries, Inc., Sycamore, Ill., recently announced a trade-up program that offers data communications customers a way to trade in their used 5/5e/6 testers for a rebate of as much as $1,000 to use towards upgrading to one of the company’s new cable certifiers.

To participate in the LANTEK Trade-Up program, customers need to purchase either model of cable certifier through an Ideal distributor. Proof of purchase, an RMA number, and the trade-in unit must be sent to Ideal. Customers will then receive their cash directly from the factory.

For more information, visit www.idealindustries.com.



September 19, 2003

Guarantee Electrical acquires Kimsey Electrical Contracting

Guarantee Electrical Co., St. Louis, has acquired Denver-based Kimsey Electrical Contracting, a division of Fischbach & Moore Electric, Inc., to form Kimsey-Guarantee Electrical Contracting. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Kimsey Electrical specializes in commercial and industrial electrical construction, traffic signal and heavy highway work, plant construction and maintenance, and voice/data and fiber optic installations.



September 18, 2003

July Construction activity falls 4%

New construction starts in July slipped 4% from a very strong June, according to the McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge. Both nonresidential building and housing were down slightly, while a more substantial decline was reported for nonbuilding construction, which includes public works and electric utilities. Through the first seven months of 2003, total construction activity was 1% below the same period a year ago.

“The construction industry got off to a sluggish start in 2003, and more recently it has picked up the pace,” says Robert A. Murray, vice president of economic affairs for McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge. “The modest retreat in July was expected, since June was helped by projects that had been previously deferred.”



September 17, 2003

Group receives grant to develop online training for electrical industry

An Oregon-based electrical industry group recently received a $125,000 Workforce Grant, which it will use to develop online training for electricians in Oregon. The group, which comprises Blue Volt LLC, Platt Electric, the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) of Oregon, and National Electrical Contractors Association and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 48 (NECA/IBEW), partnered with Clackamas Community College to submit the grant proposal to Oregon’s Workforce System.

The participating companies formed the cluster to address the electrical industry’s growing demand for a Web-based educational offering. This online training will provide a way for electricians to meet continuing education requirements for license renewal. The introduction of online educational programs is also timely due to the budgetary constraints of and recent reductions in the level of face-to-face and correspondence courses offered by the Oregon Building Codes Division.



September 16, 2003

JT Packard acquires assets of Network International

JT Packard, Madison, Wis., has acquired the assets of Dallas-based Network International’s Power Systems Division for an undisclosed amount, although the division has assets valued at approximately $8 million.

“This purchase not only expands our inventory of surplus equipment, it adds a new warehouse to our nationwide network,” says Peter Drumm, general manager of JT Packard.



September 15, 2003

BICSI announces release of the fifth edition of their design manual

BICSI, Tampa, Fla., will publish the fifth edition of its LAN design manual, Network Design Reference Manual (NDRM), on September 30, 2003. This latest release of the NDRM provides comprehensive, standards-based descriptions, methods, and practices for the design of local area networks. The NDRM is the basis for BICSI’s Registered Communications Distribution Designer/Local Area Network Specialist (RCDD/LAN Specialist) designation. It contains three appendices featuring reference material that covers numbering systems and conversions, IP addressing and subnetting, and network technologies other than Ethernet.



September 12, 2003

EYP Mission Critical Facilities opens Atlanta office

EYP Mission Critical Facilities, Inc., New York City, recently opened an office in Atlanta to serve a growing base of telecommunications and technology clients in the Southeast. The Atlanta office will focus on offering mission critical facilities design and consulting services to area companies and helping to protect critical 24/7 data and communications networks.



September 11, 2003

National Lighting Bureau updates its Web site

The National Lighting Bureau, Silver Spring, Md., recently revamped www.nlb.org. The updated site now provides users with more information categories, including athletic lighting, industrial facilities, and safety and security. Each listing represents a feature of what the NLB calls High-Benefit Lighting, or lighting systems that do more than just light a room.

“Lighting is not installed to provide light,” says John Bachner, NLB Communications Director. “Lighting is used for specific reasons: to help people input data faster and more accurately, to help people avoid hazards of one kind of another, and so on.”



September 10, 2003

AGC joins with engineering associations to develop contract forms

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASEC), to become a sponsoring organization of the Engineers Joint Contract Documents Committee (EJCDC).

As a sponsoring organization, AGC will participate in the decision-making and in the drafting and development of EJCDC standardization forms.



September 9, 2003

Baldor Electric announces partnership with EPA

Baldor Electric Co., Fort Smith, Ark., recently announced its partnership with Energy Star, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) voluntary program for developing and implementing energy efficiency projects. The company recently completed energy improvements in 13 of its U.S.-based manufacturing plants, saving nearly $1 million annually.

“Since our energy surveys and consumption reduction program began in 2000, we have achieved a total savings of 10 million kW-hr,” says Ed Ralston, Baldor Director of Audit Services. “This translates into an air pollution reduction of 13 million lbs of carbon dioxide.”



September 8, 2003

Private nonresidential construction rises in July

Private nonresidential construction had a small gain in July, says Kenneth D. Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). The Census Bureau shows that the overall value of construction put in place edged up .2% in July from an upwardly revised June total to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $880 billion, just short of the all-time high of $883 billion set last January.

Construction of hospitals, medical buildings, and special health-care facilities rose .6% for the month. Two other health-related construction categories also did well in July: drug stores were up 10%, and chemical plants, which include pharmaceuticals, gained 1%.

Automotive sales and service/parts construction rose 5% and 33%, respectively, for the month but on a year-to-date basis, they’re down by 15% and 23% compared to the first seven months of 2002. Electric power construction rose 3% in July but is off 7% year-to-date.



September 5, 2003

Electro Rent expands test equipment product lines

Electro Rent Corporation, Van Nuys, Calif., has recently added new power distribution, control, and communications/data system test equipment to its inventory. The company’s line of test equipment, which includes instruments for power quality, electrical, industrial, fiber optic cabling, and LAN cabling, is now available. The products are designed to serve contractors working in both copper and fiber, for industrial, construction, defense, telecommunications, and utility industries.



September 4, 2003

Advance joins Rebuild America

Advance Transformer Co., Rosemont, Ill., recently joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s Rebuild America program as a business partner. Advance will support state and community partnerships and drive training and educational efforts to improve energy efficiency throughout the nation’s buildings and communities.

Rebuild America is a Department of Energy initiative that connects people, ideas, and resources among communities, states, and the private sector to reduce energy consumption through energy-efficient technologies, renewable energy sources, and energy-efficient operations and maintenance practices. The program was launched in 1994 and serves as a tool for job creation in many communities.



September 3, 2003

NEMA releases standards on fittings

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) recently released FB 2.10-2003, Selection and Installation Guidelines for Fittings for Use with Non-Flexible Metallic Conduit or Tubing, and FB 2.20-2003, Selection and Installation Guidelines for Fittings for Use with Flexible Electrical Conduit and Cable.

FB 2.10-2003 provides guidance on selection and installation criteria for installing fittings for non-flexible metallic conduit or tubing, and FB 2.20-2003 offers guidelines for installing fittings for flexible electrical conduit and cables. Both are in accordance with the NEC.



September 2, 2003

Graybar expands supplier relationship with AFL Telecommunications

Graybar, St. Louis, recently announced an expansion of its supplier relationship with AFL Telecommunications, a division of Alcoa. Under the terms of the agreement, Graybar will stock the complete line of AFL’s Interconnect & Apparatus products, including copper demarcation, fiber closures, and XDSL repeater cases.