May 31, 2005

Stahlin to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Robroy Industries

Stahlin Non-Metallic Enclosures will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its parent company, Robroy Industries, at a Centennial Jubilee on June 18 at its Belding plant in Michigan. Robroy Industries was founded in 1905 by Scottish immigrant Peter Mcllroy.

Festivities will include an open house with a plant tour from 10 a.m. to noon, and a brief celebration program and presentation with guest speakers, including United States Rep. Vernon Ehlers, Michigan Rep., Judy Emmons, and Michigan Senator Alan Cropsey.

The company is also sponsoring a coloring contest and scholarship for the local school district with the winning school receiving $1,000 for equipment. A $3,000 scholarship was recently awarded to a 2005 Belding graduate. Both of these winners will be recognized during the program on June 18.

May 27, 2005

Frost & Sullivan presents Eaton with Power Quality Company of the Year award

Frost & Sullivan recently presented Eaton with the 2005 Power Quality Company of the Year award for the second consecutive year. The company received the award at the Excellence in Industrial Technologies banquet in Naples, Fla., for its ability to increase market share and enhance value of product ownership for its existing customers.

Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has demonstrated excellence in terms of business development, competitive strategy, consistent growth, and high-quality products and services, as well as a positive social and economic impact on local and national communities. Frost & Sullivan industry analyst Vishal Sapru credited the acquisition of Powerware Corp. with helping the company win the award.

May 26, 2005

IEEE-USA releases online and print career guides

The IEEE-USA Employment and Career Services Committee recently released two career-planning guides for engineers. An online guide at www.ieeeusa.org helps users focus on what they want to get out of their job, as well as offers techniques for helping engineers achieve career goals like gaining recognition, obtaining financial peace of mind, and working more independently.

The Beyond Job Satisfaction Fieldbook features templates, lessons, and other resources that address the same concepts as the online guide, but in greater depth. The book is based on research among technical professionals and includes topics like networking, managing change, and building an informal influence in the company.

For more information on the fieldbook, visit www.ieeeusa.org.

May 25, 2005

Frost & Sullivan gives MGE UPS Systems the Product Line Strategy Leadership award

Frost & Sullivan recently awarded MGE UPS Systems the 2005 Product Line Strategy Leadership award, which is presented to a company that has demonstrated the most insight into customer needs and product demands. In selecting the award recipient, Frost & Sullivan’s customer-focused marketing analysts interviewed suppliers, end-users, and industry experts. The product lines are compared with customer base demands and the top-ranking supplier is then presented with the award.

May 24, 2005

University of New Hampshire awards energy contracts to Emcor Group

The University of New Hampshire recently awarded long-term energy related operations, maintenance, and consulting contracts to Emcor Group. The new contracts, totaling more than $40 million over a 20-year period, build upon an existing relationship established in May 2004 for the design and construction of a new cogeneration and additional chilled water facilities at the university's main campus in Durham, N.H.

As part of the new multi-year contracts, the company’s Energy & Technology on-site team will manage contracted services for energy infrastructure, including the maintenance of remote boilers, chiller plants, high-voltage equipment, and street and parking lot lighting as well as provide consulting and construction management services to support energy master planning, modeling, and construction management services for energy infrastructure projects.

These contracts are in addition to a $27 million project the company was awarded for the design and construction of a new 7.5MW central cogeneration facility and a new 2,400-ton chilled water plant initially supplying 1,200 tons. These facilities provide HVAC, hot and cold water, and electrical power to the university, a project that’s estimated to substantially reduce energy costs over the next 20 years.

May 23, 2005

Lightolier launches new online project management initiative

Lightolier recently launched a new Web site for designers and architects at www.DesigningwithLight.com that allows users to select and store lighting fixtures for a given application while providing information such as budget pricing, lead times, and technical specifications. Visitors to the site can also build and export fixture schedules. The company also launched a 176-page catalog that gives users application options and specification information for many of the company’s products.

The site features quick-select product search functions and a selection of lighting application guidelines. Users can select from more than 1,000 of the company’s products and store technical specifications, photometry, and installation instructions in a personalized project folder. The site also points users toward supporting distributors and provides contact information for the company’s sales team.

May 20, 2005

Schneider Electric donates $25,000 to Electrical Safety Foundation International

Schneider Electric’s North American Operating Division recently donated $25,000 for the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI). The company is ESFI’s only Platinum Beacon sponsor, which means it fulfilled a five-year, $500,000 contribution pledged in 1999 to the ESFI endowment campaign.

Based in Arlington, Va., ESFI’s goal is to reduce electrical-related deaths and injuries through public education. The donation will allow the foundation to sponsor National Electrical Safety Month each May and to produce resources and outreach programs designed to raise public awareness of electrical hazards and safety tips.

May 19, 2005

Mitsubishi Fuso announces 5-year powertrain warranty on four truck models

Mitsubishi Fuso recently added a limited 5-year powertrain warranty to the 36-month bumper-to-bumper warranty on four of its 2006 medium-duty commercial trucks.

The warranty on the class 4 and class 5 FE and FG models now covers the engine, Aistin automatic or Mitsubishi manual transmission, clutch housing and pressure plate assembly, rear axel housing and internal parts on all models, and the front axel and internal parts on 4-wheel-drive FG models for a full 60 months or 175,000 miles from warranty start date.

The warranty on the class 6 and class 7 FK and FM models now covers the engine, Mitsubishi or Eaton manual transmission, clutch housing and pressure plate assembly, rear axel housing and internal parts for a full 60 months or 250,000 miles from warranty start date.

May 18, 2005

Tough times ahead for Omaha trade unions

The Omaha World-Herald recently reported that the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) awarded a major power plant contract to an out-of-state contractor, which could create a serious unemployment problem for Omaha trade unions. Instead of going to a union contractor, as many trades expected, the $630 million job went to the nonunion Nebraska City Power Partners, which is led by San Antonio-based Zachry Construction Corp.

Omaha trade workers have had plenty to do, thanks to projects such as the First National Tower, Qwest Center Omaha, and the MidAmerican Energy plant near Council Bluffs, Iowa. However, John Bourne, business manager for Local 22 of the IBEW says the outlook now is not so good. "The big stuff's just about topped out," Bourne told The Omaha World Herald. He told the newspaper that 170 of his 1,136 active union electricians are unemployed.

OPPD recognizes the trade union concerns, but justified its decision based on the fact that the Nebraska City Power Partners' bid was $30 million less than the next best proposal. Jeff Hanson, OPPD spokesperson, said the contractor and OPPD hope that Nebraska workers will participate heavily on the job, but also acknowledged that workers may not come from union shops. Hanson also told the newspaper that OPPD specified that Nebraska subcontractors should be used whenever possible, which is the first time the utility had required such a stipulation in a contract.

Zachry Construction spokeswoman Vicki Waddy told the newspaper the company usually uses as much as 70% local labor, while the remaining 30% consists of the project management team and specialized workers who are tenured Zachry employees.

May 17, 2005

Total value of new construction up 4% in March

McGraw-Hill Construction recently reported the total value of new construction increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $594.1 billion in March, which is 4% more than the February rate of $569.8 billion. Nonresidential building strengthened in March, increasing to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $138.2 billion, which is 10% ahead of the February rate of $125.8 billion.

The report said that nonbuilding construction starts increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $97.5 billion in March, which is 1% ahead of the February rate of $96.4 billion. Contract value for residential building strengthened, climbing to $358.4 billion, 3% ahead of the February rate of $347.6 billion.

Other areas that saw increases were store construction, which increased 10%, hotel construction (75%), warehouse contracts (32%), and health-care facilities (43%). In addition, construction of public buildings was up 21%, and church construction increased 8%.

In contrast, school construction slipped 7%, office construction fell 1%, construction of transportation terminals dropped 4%, and manufacturing plant construction slid 16%.

May 16, 2005

Legrande North America donates $250,000 to NAED foundation

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.

Legrande North America 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.

May 13, 2005

Tampa division of Tri-City Electrical Contractors receives award from ABC

The Tampa division office of Tri-City Electrical Contractors recently won the 2005 Excellence in Construction award from the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the Associated Builders & Contractors. The company won in the electrical, under $1 million category for the Heights at Clearwater condominium in Clearwater, Fla. The 5-story, 116-unit project was completed in June 2003.

The Orlando-based electrical contractor and service provider ranks as the nation's 31st largest electrical contractor and had 2004 revenues of $107.5 million. The company operates divisional offices in Fort Myers, Fla.; Jupiter, Fla.; Ocala, Fla.; and Tampa and has over 1,100 employees statewide.

May 10, 2005

ARC Advisory Group study names Modbus TCP leading Ethernet protocol

ARC Advisory Group recently released a study that names Modbus TCP as the world’s leading industrial Ethernet protocol, in terms of units shipped in 2004. This standing is significant given the current and projected growth of Ethernet in industrial applications, which is forecasted to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 51.4% over the next five years. The market totaled 840,000 units in 2004 and is expected to total just over 6.7 million units in 2009.

May 9, 2005

DuPont announces abandoned cable services

DuPont recently announced its Abandoned Cable Services, which is a suite of services that’s designed to help building owners, property managers, tenants, and corporate network engineers comply with changing building safety codes and standards on cabling. The program was developed based on a concern over the uncontrolled build-up of combustible cables in buildings.

The package will provide assessment services for identification and reporting of abandoned cable hazards in office buildings; planning for infrastructure improvement and management; connections with local labor; and removal and recycling logistics. The services are delivered through professional auditors, the company’s local preferred network contractors, and exclusive recycling technology.

May 6, 2005

GE Consumers & Industrial donates $500,000 to NAED foundation

GE Consumers & Industrial recently donated $500,000 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 regent level and have a permanent position on the Channel Advantage Partnership Council, which will help select future educational programs and research projects.

May 5, 2005

AGC Receives $235,500 in grant funding from DOL

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) recently received $235,500 in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to establish seven new Construction Career Academies across the United States. With the money, AGC will give seven of its chapters more than $20,000 during the course of the three-year grant to start academies in their local communities.

AGC chapters and schools in Alaska, Houston, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Nebraska are set to receive funding. Additionally, each AGC Chapter will be supporting these local schools through matching funds and in-kind contributions.

The grant is funded under the President’s High-Growth Job Training Initiative, which seeks to leverage the publicly funded workforce system more effectively in collaboration with private and public sector partners, and to prepare new and incumbent workers with the general and industry-specific skills demanded by employers.

May 4, 2005

Certification for medium-voltage cable splicers in development

The National Cable Splicing Certification Board recently started to work with the American Institute for Research to define the knowledge, skills, abilities, and duties required of a medium voltage—35kV—cable splicer. Certification in three categories is expected to become available by the end of this year.

Once these requirements have been defined, subject-matter experts will begin writing test items that will certify individuals based on knowledge of OSHA requirements for working in confined spaces, lockout/tagout procedures, electrical safety standards, splicing termination, and competency to perform hands-on cable splicing/terminating in a safe and timely manner.

May 3, 2005

Wisconsin-based electrical manufacturers complete integration

Electronic Technologies International, a manufacturer and assembler of printed circuit boards and electronic apparatuses, recently completed the integration of its company with American Cable & Harness (AC&H), at its Fort Atkinson, Wis., headquarters.

The merger has allowed ETI to add custom manufactured wire assemblies and wire leads to its product inventory. The company acquired AC&H in late 2004 and relocated its operations from New Berlin, Wis., to the new location.

May 2, 2005

Cooper Bussmann offers fuse management program

Cooper Bussmann recently announced its Productivity Protector Program, a comprehensive fuse management program that offers to shorten downtime, increase productivity, reduce costs, and improve safety at industrial facilities.

As part of the six-step program, the company will audit, consolidate, and upgrade a facility’s fuse inventory, install fuse cabinets, identify fuse electrical system hazards, and conduct electrical safety training. The company will also recommend ways to reduce fuse inventory and its related expense, as well as improve protection of equipment and personnel.