May 29, 2006

Business Briefs for the Week of May 29, 2006

  • The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) awarded a one-year contract to Herndon, Va.-based engineering consulting firm DCE for architectural and engineering design services to support the Capital Operating, Maintenance, and Investment Program (COMIP).



  • Pennsylvania Electric Co. employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 459 have ratified a three-year contract including a 3% wage increase in each year.



  • Schneider Electric SA, based in Rueil-Malmaison, France, is buying Loves Park, Ill.-based Invensys Building Systems Inc. from its English parent company and plans to merge it with a company based in Sweden.


May 26, 2006

Business Briefs for the Week of May 22, 2006

  • Sunnyvale, Calif.-based MDE Electric recently expanded its base of operations to San Francisco with a new office, MDE North, at 650 Townsend Street. Mark Lynch has been appointed general manager.
  • Rahway, N.J.-based S.M. Electric Co., Inc. recently implemented key organizational changes. John Murphy has been promoted from executive vice president to president, and Peter Cheche, Jr., former president, is now CEO.
  • Atlanta-based Generac Power Systems recently entered into a marketing agreement with Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc. have announced a marketing agreement. Under the agreement, the two companies will partner in the introduction of a full line of Siemens-branded standby power systems.
  • May 15, 2006

    Business Briefs for the Week of May 15, 2006

  • Represented by Local 270 of the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA), employees of Akron, Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp. recently voted to ratify a five-year agreement that provides an annual wage increase of 3% and extends the current FirstEnergy pension plan for current Local 270 members to Dec. 31, 2011. UWUA Local 270 represents approximately 643 linemen, substation electricians, meter readers, and support personnel in the greater Cleveland area.
  • Greensburg, Pa.-based Scott Electric Co. recently signed an Agreed Consent Order for Permanent Injunctive and Other Relief in response to a lawsuit filed by Square D, Palatine, Ill., that asserts the company participated in false advertising, product disparagement, and trademark infringement. Under the agreement, Scott Electric is permanently enjoined from knowingly marketing, selling, or distributing any counterfeit products.
  • Danvers, Mass.-based TÜV America, Inc. and Dade City, Fla.-based Product Safety Engineering, Inc. (PSE), recently entered into a partnership agreement. As part of the alliance, PSE will provide EMC (electromagnetic compatibility) testing, product safety services, and global certification services to TÜV’s customers in the Southeast U.S. region.
  • May 12, 2006

    Business Briefs for the Week of May 8, 2006

  • San Francisco-based Bechtel Corp. will design and build some 7,000MW in power generating facilities as part of a plan by Dallas-based TXU Corp. to meet the demand for electricity in Texas. TXU intends to invest $10 billion to build up to 11 new power-generating units at nine existing power plant sites.
  • Pittsburgh-based Emerson Process Management was recently selected to upgrade the turbine control system and related hydraulic equipment at Associated Electric Cooperative Inc.’s New Madrid Power Plant in Missouri. Two 600MW coal-based electric generating units comprise the plant.
  • In a ceremony held on May 4 in Faneuil Hall in Boston, OSRAM SYLVANIA, Danvers, Mass., was awarded an Environmental Merit award by the New England region of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its outstanding efforts in preserving New England’s environment. In addition to its energy-efficient products, SYLVANIA has voluntarily reduced energy use by installing highly efficient lighting systems in its facilities.
  • May 11, 2006

    AutomationDirect sponsors robotics team

    The Forsyth Alliance, a rookie robotics team sponsored by Cumming, Ga.-based AutomationDirect made up of students from local county high schools, recently competed in its Regional for the 15th Annual FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics competition at the Gwinnett Civic Center near Atlanta. The team had 42 days to design, build, test, and ship a man-sized robot for the FIRST competition.

    The team’s robot, “Otto,” placed 15th out of 45 teams, and won the “Rookie All-Star” award, as well as the “Imagery” award, which “celebrates attractiveness in engineering and outstanding visual aesthetic integration of the machine and team appearance.”

    May 9, 2006

    Leviton Manufacturing launches “Build on the Possibilities” Program

    Little Neck, N.Y.,-based Leviton Manufacturing Co. recently launched the “Build on the Possibilities” program to help homebuilders market and sell the company’s residential products and systems to homebuyers. The program includes various “packages” that builders can offer their homebuyer customers.

    In addition, the program provides brochures and literature, as well as merchandising aids such as displays, easels, and wall talkers, that explain each of the product offerings.

    May 8, 2006

    Lutron Electronics launches Web site for new line of occupancy sensors

    Coopersburg, Penn.-based Lutron Electronics recently launched a new Web site, supporting its full line of occupancy sensors. The site explains the technology behind the occupancy sensors and provides users with a unique Selection Tool to help them find the right product for their needs.

    Lutron's occupancy sensor website also provides access to the company's free Design & Layout service and complete technical information — CSI specs, installation guides and specification sheets.

    May 5, 2006

    Business Briefs for the Week of May 1, 2006

  • Sparks, Nev.-based Luminoptics recently changed its name to Lumenergi. The electronic ballast manufacturer hopes the name change will reflect its expansion into a range of intelligent lighting control and enabling technologies.
  • Wallingford, Conn.-based Times Microwave Systems recently raised prices through June 30. The company expects the price increases to offset the cost of raw materials used in the production of its LMR cables.
  • A 10% price increase for Magnetic Fluorescent and HID ballast products from Howard Lighting Products, Laurel, Miss., will become effective on June 5. The company credits the price hike to the rising costs of steel, copper, aluminum, natural gas, and freight charges.
  • May 4, 2006

    Orbit/UMI launches windbreaker giveaway

    Until July 31, electrical installers who purchase $500.00 in Los Angeles-based Orbit Industries/UMI products from an authorized distributor will receive a free Nautica-style windbreaker. Installers must submit a redemption form and the original dated purchase receipts with the Orbit/UMI products circled.

    Official redemption forms may be downloaded from the Orbit/UMI Web site.

    May 3, 2006

    Cooper Lighting donates fixtures to ABC home renovation show

    Peachtree City, Ga.-based Cooper Lighting recently donated 155 HALO recessed downlights, including cans and trims, to ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” for installation in a home in Sunrise, Ky. The fixtures were obtained through King Lighting and distributed to builders John Henry Homes, Cincinnati, through Cooper Lighting’s local distributor, Richards Electric, Cincinnati.

    The contractor who completed the installation was Quinn Electric of Erlanger, Ky.

    May 2, 2006

    Siemens plans to expand New Kensington facility

    Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc. (SE&A) will invest $7.2 million to expand its New Kensington, Pa., manufacturing facility. The new facility will support SE&A's growing large drives business, specifically the Robicon Perfect Harmony brand.

    The 30,000 square-foot facility redesign is expected to be completed in March 2007.

    May 1, 2006

    NEMA releases April Electroindustry Business Confidence Index

    Rosslyn, Va.-based National Electrical Manufacturers Association's (NEMA) Electroindustry Business Confidence Index (EBCI) for current North American business conditions measured in the high 60s for the third straight month in April, indicating that industry sentiment has remained at a robust level for much of the first third of the year. With April's reading of 66.7 points, the monthly index has now topped the 50-point threshold without exception for three full years, a prolonged period of favorable conditions.

    For a complete summary of the April 2006 index, including charts and a list of participating companies, visit NEMA’s Web site.