Steiner 100th Anniversary Will Call Counter Sweepstakes Winners

Updated: December 2, 2016

In celebration of Steiner Electric’s 100 year anniversary, silver dollars have been raffled off to lucky winners that have entered the 100th Anniversary Will Call Counter Sweepstakes eligible by visiting any of Steiner’s 9 convenient locations. The sweepstakes started on August 8, 2016 and will run until November 12, 2016.

Click any image below to bring up the slideshow viewer to see each current winner. You can also get the latest sweepstakes updates and view winner announcements by following Steiner on Twitter and searching for the #SteinerSilverDollar hashtag.

Silver Dollar Winners

  • Luciano D. – 2011 Medal of Honor Silver Dollar
  • Josh M. – 2013 5-Star General Silver Dollar
  • Mike P. – 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame Silver Dollar
  • John K. – 1991 Mount Rushmore Silver Dollar
  • Ed H. – 2004 Thomas Alva Edison Silver Dollar
  • Jordan B. – 2000 Library of Congress Silver Dollar
  • Bill J. – 1990 Eisenhower Centennial Silver Dollar
  • Greg F. – 1991 USO 50th Anniversary Silver Dollar
  • Bryan A. – 2015 225th Anniversary of the US Marshall Service Silver Dollar
  • Jim K. – 1995 US Olympic Games Track Atlanta Centennial Silver Dollar

At the end of the sweepstakes, 100 grand prize winners will be drawn on November 14, 2016 to each receive a $100 Steiner Gift Card. Individuals are allowed to enter once per day through the duration of the sweepstakes, and the same person can win more than one of the grand prizes. The more you participate, the better the odds are of winning.

To enter the 100th Anniversary Will Call Counter Sweepstakes, come into any of Steiner’s 9 convenient locations. For more information and additional sweepstakes rules, click here.

 

 

Guide to Workplace Safety with Personal Protective Equipment

Worker safety is an important responsibility for employers – needing to implement specific procedures to prevent injury. Some procedures are as simple as a rule prohibiting employees from walking through construction zones without goggles, vests or other personal protective equipment. This article will cover safety gear designed to be worn, such as hard hats, vision protection, hearing protection and more. Future posts in this workplace safety series will cover other types of safety equipment.

Hard Hats

Hard hats protect from falling objects, debris and electric shock. Those in the construction industry typically require the use of hard hats and other personal protective equipment (or PPE). The suspension bands that are present in hard hats allow for a spreading of the helmet’s weight and the force of any impact over the top of the head.

Hard hats should be replaced once they show signs of damage (dents, cracks, penetration, or fatigue due to rough treatment). It is important to inspect hard hats for damage and signs of fatigue each time they are used. Aside from visual inspections, another way to test a hard hat is to grasp it in two hands and apply force by squeezing the hat. If you hear creaking or other unusual sounds, it is time to replace the hard hat.

While OSHA has no specific provision for an expiration date, manufacturers are allowed to determine if their equipment expires on a specific calendar date. A generally accepted rule is to replace the support strap yearly and to replace the hard hat every five years. Harsh chemicals and extreme temperatures can make a hard hat degrade more quickly. Be sure to check with the manufacturer for guidelines on hard hat replacement and maintenance.

A hard hat may also expire if OSHA adopts more rigorous requirements. It is essential to regularly check OSHA standards for changes that may require your PPE to be updated.

Eye Protection

Construction sites, factories and office parks are all examples of workplaces where employees and patrons can be susceptible to eye injury, which is why it is important to prepare and prevent any such accident with safety glasses. In fact, an estimated 90% of workplace injuries could be avoided with the proper use of safety eyewear.

Safety goggles and safety glasses provide an effective way to protect eyes against any workplace eye injury. For instance, in a construction site, workers may experience dust, particles and tools that could pose as risks causing potential eye injuries.goggle

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to make sure their workers have proper eye protection. Most workplace eye injuries are preventable, which is why it is imperative that employers invest in eye protection equipment for their workers.

Ear Protection

Another issue that is common in the construction industry is the possibility for loss of hearing. Loud noise is frequent, and like the eyes, the ears need to be protected as well. Drills, power tools, machines, trucks and heavy equipment are just some of the many things found at any given construction site that can cause damage to hearing, and that is why there are many options for ear protection.

ear

Loud noise can cause permanent damage to hearing or hearing loss. Hearing aids, as well as surgery may not be able to correct hearing loss, which is why it is essential to provide preventative hearing loss equipment. Loud noises can also reduce productivity in addition to contributing to workplace accidents, since loud noises make it difficult to hear others communicating, leading to social isolation.

There are several options to combat hearing loss readily available – from ear plugs to hearing protectors. Damage can occur within the ear at noise levels similar to a lawn mower for eight hours. At first it can cause a temporary hearing loss, lasting for up to 14 hours. Repeated exposure to high noise levels can be common at construction sites, which means that hearing may not recover fully.

Hand Protection

Safety gloves are another important piece of personal protective equipment. In many instances, construction sites might deal with sharp edges, dangerous chemicals, dust or flying sparks. Because there are different types of gloves for hand protection, there are many factors to be considered when deciding on a type of glove, for instance:

  • The type of chemicals handled
  • Grip requirements
  • Size and Comfort of Glove
  • Abrasion resistance of Glove

gloves

After the appropriate type of glove is selected for the intended job application, the gloves should be inspected for any tear or puncture before each use. Gloves can be tested for cuts or holes by simply filling them with water and checking for leaks. Any gloves that are discolored may also need review, as they may be the result of overexposure to chemicals – in which case, the gloves would need to be discarded and replaced.

Reflective Wear

The last important piece of personal safety protection covered in this article includes reflective vests or shirts. Reflective vests provide increased visibility of workers, enabling drivers or other employees to see them in low light conditions, ultimately decreasing the chance for injury. One of the primary reasons this is an effective deterrent for workplace injury is that it is especially useful for darker environments – which can range from working indoors during power outages or outside at night – and now that fall is inching closer, the sun will be setting earlier, which means less daylight hours. Reflective safety vests should be visible from a good distance. These vests primarily help prevent collisions or vehicular-related injury.

vestSafety is a concern for all employers, and there are several things that can be done to prevent injuries or workplace accidents. Many accidents can be prevented with the right type of PPE. Find the right safety equipment or contact Steiner at 1-800-STEINER (783-4637) for more information.

 

OEMs Find Cost Savings Through Subassembly at Steiner Mod Shop

Steiner’s Mod Shop and Assembly offers original equipment manufacturers kitting, sub-assembly and product modification. Together, these services provide cost savings, convenience and increases in operational efficiency. The Steiner Mod Shop provides services and modifications for several types of products, including Scaffolding Transformers, Power Cables and Modified Enclosures.

Kitting

Kitting provides cost reductions during the order and shipping process. It offers the benefit of preassembling several individual items into one kit that is ready-to-ship. This affords greater efficiency over picking and packing each individual item as the order is received.

OEMs use MRP systems, which make parts management easier. In order to reduce processing times through kitting, it is essential for the OEM to ensure the correct parts are available for assembly.

Sub-Assembly and Product Modification

A Sub-assembly is a collection of parts put together separately but designed to be incorporated with other units. They are used in the making of a larger assembly or final product.

subassembly

Steiner’s Mod Shop offers a way of removing labor-intensive processes that can delay production. Steiner’s mod shop allows businesses to streamline the production process, reduce ordering costs and simplify the supply process. This provides the benefits of a reduction in labor hours and storage space required for inventory components.

Steiner’s product modifications include:

  • Completed din rail assemblies
  • Multiple part consolidation
  • Pre-wired components
  • Sub-assemblies
  • Wiring harness
  • Custom whips

Electric Yoke Assembly

The Mod Shop

The process begins with a phone call – and together, Steiner and each customer collaborate to identify the opportunity for a cost-effective solution. Every solution is a customized approach delivered to the customer based on their individual needs.

In one instance, Steiner worked with a customer whose workflow required the continual reordering of 10 individual parts. Through the help of the mod shop, the customer can now order a single customized kit, providing a more streamlined process that improves operating efficiencies.

Modified products are made for each customer – meaning they are all custom-fit for each application and company – and because of this, customers are confident they are getting exactly what they need when ordering. For instance, companies that provide scaffolding rely on Steiner to provide the power solutions to operate their scaffolding through custom power cord assemblies and transformers. In other applications, customers count on Steiner for custom modifications of safety switches.

Production managers, material managers and purchasing managers are just some of those that have been able to reduce processing costs and improve operational efficiencies from Steiner’s mod shop services. Industries that have used and benefited from Steiner’s modification items include package equipment manufacturers, suspended access manufacturers, and food packaging manufacturers.

Benefits of utilizing Steiner’s Mod Shop and Assembly include:

  • Reduced labor costs
  • Faster turn-around times
  • Reduction of component inventories
  • Simplified ordering processes
  • Increased production levels

Find out more about Steiner’s Mod Shop and Assembly by calling 1-800-STEINER (783-4637).

Choosing The Right Fastener Depends On The Intended Application

Deciding on the right fastener is a vital part to completing a successful job. Various projects can require the use of several different types of fasteners, such as nails, screws, nuts, bolts, and anchors.

The use of a wide variety of fasteners has a long history – for instance, what resembles a modern-day screw is thought to have been around since about the 3rd century BC in Greece and by the 1st century BC, wooden screws were often used in the Mediterranean world. Nails are thought to have been created in ancient Egypt around 3400 BC.

fasteners

In this article we’ll cover a summary of some of the most commonly used fasteners – particularly, screws, nails, anchors, staples, nuts and bolts. Additionally, examples of applications will be provided to help offer direction on how to choose the right type of fastener for use on a particular project.

Fasteners and Their Applications

Screws

Different types of screws are used for differing job applications. For instance, some types of screws might be more suited for outdoor projects manufactured to withstand certain elements. In other applications screws can be utilized in areas that are not meant to be visible providing a cleaned finished exterior look.

Steiner has several types of screws available – from anchor screws, cap screws, locking screws, drive screws, eye screws and more. The advantage of screws is that they securely hold in place, rarely loosen, and can also be easily removed when need be.

Screws have a variety of different types of heads – for example, Pan heads are one of the most common types of heads that are found on a screw. They are rounded and have short vertical sides that provide a low profile once they are driven into a surface. Flat heads are countersunk and designed to sit low in the surface which the screw is drilled into.

Oval heads provide a combination of pan and flat head types with the head being slightly rounded. The oval head provides a more decorative finish. Truss heads have rounded tops with a large and flat underside. This provides a very low profile that still stays above the line of the surface.

heads

Just as the type of screw used depends on the application or project – likewise, the type of nail used depends on the application. Like screws, some nails are for use indoors and others outdoors.

Nails

Nails can be easily installed – using an air gun makes installing nails even easier. Nails provide a low cost and are useful for construction projects such as securing cabinets and shelving or installing roof panels.

There are two general rules that can help with the selection of the type of nail that can be used in any given project. The first is that the nail should be at least 3 times the length of the material that the nail will be nailing through. For example, if you are nailing 1/2″ sheathing on an exterior wall you should use a nail that is at least 1 1/2″ long. 1/2″ x 3 = 1 ½″. The second rule is that the nail used should be able to penetrate the item being nailed to and not completely go through it. Using the same example of a ½” sheathing, you will need a nail that will be 1 ¼” long. ¾” + ½” = 1 ¼”.

Bolts

Bolts are to be used when nails aren’t applicable and screws don’t provide a strong enough hold. A bolt is a type of screw that is used for holding together objects, while the nut is a small metal object that is fastened to the bolt. Nuts and bolts are almost always used together. Nuts and bolts are extremely secure and have a high load bearing.

When a bolt runs through the nut, it creates a strong bond that is able to handle great amounts of stress. Sizes vary for multiple types of projects. To tighten bolts and nuts, tools will be required. They can also be easily removed.

fastener-images

Anchors

Anchors come in several different types – there are concrete anchors, pipe anchors, screw anchors, wall anchors and wedge anchors. Anchors are usable for projects involving walls. Many types of anchors can be used to join wood or metal with concrete, mortar, brick, tile or stone.

Staples

Staples are another common fastener used in construction projects. The crown of a staple can bridge materials that are butted together. The crown also provides a bigger surface area than other fasteners, which can be helpful with thin materials.

While staples can be installed very quickly and serve as a great temporary fastener, they also have the added convenience of being loosened or removed easily. Staples can be inserted through the use of a staple gun. Some staple guns use arched staples for fastening small cables, e.g. phone or TV, without damaging the cable.

Planning any construction or building project involves several factors. Choosing the right fasteners is a key component to completing a successful project. Before purchasing fasteners, contractors should understand the intended application for each type of fastener to ensure their proper use. Additionally, with the right fastener, finding the right tool is also a necessity before starting construction.

Steiner has a wide selection of fasteners in addition to the tools needed to properly install those fasteners. Find tools and fasteners on www.steinerelectric.com or visit your nearest Steiner location.

Hurricane Season Reminds Us Kohler Generators Protect Against All Severe Storms

We seemingly hear about a category 5 hurricane storm that the National Hurricane Center describes as causing catastrophic damage hitting the United States every few years – and the Atlantic hurricane season, which directly impacts the U.S. is upon us once again officially set as the timeframe between June 1st through November 30th. While Atlantic hurricanes have the greatest impact on the eastern seaboard they also bring about severe storms that can reach the Midwest causing damage from floods and high winds leading to power outages and other potentially harmful hazards.

While storms derived from hurricanes in the Midwest may not be as frequent, Midwestern businesses certainly need to be prepared for severe thunderstorms brought about by movements of differing air masses and unstable atmospheric conditions during the same seasonal timeframe. Research conducted by the Midwestern Regional Climate Center estimates thunderstorms cause an average loss of $2.8 billion per year. Businesses can do several things to prepare for these damaging storms and keep their employees and patrons safe including installing industrial generators that quickly provide backup power in the event of an outage.

 Preparation

On average thunderstorms occur 55 days a year in the Midwest. Their byproducts including hail, tornadoes, heavy rains, high winds, and lighting can cause downed power lines, floods, uprooted trees, and other hazards that can lead to power loss. Power outages can last for days or even weeks making it vital to plan ahead for potential power loss.

kit

There are several things that can be done for preparation of power loss:

  • Basic necessities such as food and water should be prepared and stocked.
  • Emergency kits should be on hand that include flashlights and extra batteries.
  • Have a first aid kit of medications, band aids, tape, scissors, antiseptic solutions, gauze and hydrogen peroxide.
  • Landscaping – trimming trees and shrubs minimize the risk of damage caused by branches in the event of a storm with powerful winds.
  • Have a power generator on location and ready to provide backup power.

How Kohler Generators Work

When there’s a power outage caused by a severe storm or other event, Kohler power generators start and stop automatically. The automatic transfer switch monitors electricity that comes from the utility. When power fails, the generator will automatically start. The transfer switch shifts the power from the utility to the generator.

The Kohler Generator will then supply power until the utility power is restored. Once the utility power is restored, the transfer switch automatically transfers the power from the generator back to the utility. The Kohler generator will subsequently revert to standby mode automatically, and be ready for the next power outage.

Kohler generators are thoroughly tested. In just 10 seconds, Kohler generators can power climate control systems, servers, and lighting – all at once! Kohler generators are so reliable that nuclear power plants and hospitals trust Kohler to power their facilities.

gen

Steiner Power Systems is the authorized Kohler Power Distributor in Northern Illinois and Northwest Indiana for Kohler Generator sales, service and rental. For more information and to speak with an experienced Kohler Generator application engineer, call 1-847-956-3098.

Understanding The 5-Step Process to Mechanical Safety

With the increasing use of automation, requirements for protecting machinery and operators have evolved and become more complex. The improper use of machines can lead to safety hazards when the correct operating protocols are not followed. Thankfully, advancements in technology have allowed for integration of protection devices into the work process, helping to reduce safety risks and improving productivity.

In this blog we’ll define machine safety and take a look at the 5-Step Process to Safety, as well as look at ways of assessing risk, which was originally presented by Fortress Interlocks at Steiner’s 2016 Automation Technology Summer Symposium.

Defining Safety and Assessing Risk

Safety is the freedom from unacceptable risk as defined in IEC 62061 with respect to machinery operation. This provides a definition of safety in terms of risk, and makes clear the importance of assessing risk to achieve safety. [i]

Since the key term in the definition is “unacceptable risk”, a value on a range that determines the threshold between acceptable and unacceptable needs to be established. Various standards can provide guidance on how to determine when acceptable risk has been achieved. Keep in mind that acceptable risk may differ between organizations, so this value is not purely defined in any standard or methodology. The main takeaway is a threshold should be identified prior to starting a risk assessment.

risk-graph

 

We can also define risk in terms of the following equation.

The severity of possible damage + the probability that it will occur = risk in terms of the respective hazard.

To measure the probability, we would need to look at a few factors:

  • frequency and duration of exposure to the hazard
  • available options for avoiding the hazard
  • the probability of an event that can cause the damage to occur

Breaking Down the 5-Step Process to Safety

Step 1: Risk or Hazard Assessment – This initial step requires the limits of machinery to be determined. Next, the hazards are to be identified, followed by estimating and evaluating the risk. Once all these items have been established, if the risk has been adequately reduced, the first step is considered complete.

1st-step-5step

Step 2: Safety System Functional Requirements After assessing the risks, the next step identifies how the machine is supposed to operate in each mode of operation for each person that uses the machine. It identifies special modes such as safe-speed, zone control, etc. In other words, the second step is to confirm that the machines are doing what they are supposed to be doing.

Step 3: Safety System Design and Verification – Evaluate the risks and select control measures for the machine. For instance, if the overall system stopping performance is greater than the access time, a prevention device such as an interlocking guard with guard locking can be added. When applied, opening of the guard shall be prevented unless all hazardous functions covered by the guard have stopped. The goal is to protect both the process and to protect people.

Step 4: Safety System Installation and Validation – Document all stages, design a validation plan, test the installation safety functions and record the results and issue documentation.

Step 5: Maintain and Improve Safety System – A study by the HSE found that more than 50% of all accidents occur during maintenance and machine modification, so the safety cycle process must be used during machine upgrades.

safety-process

The 5-Step Process to Safety provides a framework for identifying potential machine operating risks and mitigating the occurrence of safety issues through preventative measures or other actions. The process is continuous as risk findings must be regularly reviewed. Once an action is taken to remedy an identified risk, that action must be monitored to confirm the potential risk remains at an acceptable level and no other issues have crept into the process that may have raised the risk level.

For more information on automation and machine safety and to speak with one of our application engineers please call 1-800-STEINER (783-4637).

[i] “Why Do We Need Safety?” Henry Toal.: Fortress Interlocks, 2016. PPT.

Powertron Tap Box Is an Economical Backup Power Solution

Being properly prepared for a power outage can be cost prohibitive for many businesses even though maintaining power is essential to operations. That is why the Powertron Generator Tap Box offers an economical solution for providing an emergency power source.

lightning

At any moment, for various reasons, a facility’s power supply can be severed. A power outage can occur due to several factors – storms, construction accidents, animal interference, and more. There are many ways to prepare for this inevitability, such as having emergency kits stocked with vital medical supplies, having adequately stored supplies of nonperishable foods and water, and having a backup power source.

The Powertron Tap Box is permanently mounted onto the outside of a building. It connects a mobile generator to the electrical system so that it can deliver temporary or long term electrical power. This power box can power a plethora of applications; including but not limited to:

  • HVAC systems
  • Lights
  • Banks
  • Gas stations
  • Convenience stores
  • Office buildings
  • Hospitals
  • Small businesses
  • Stadiums
  • Universities

Finding electricians, gathering generators and taking the time to find out which switchgear to power may take too much time. For many, a disaster recovery plan needs to address kilowatt size, voltage, cable length and which critical systems need emergency power. Powertron Tap Boxes combined with a contingency plan provide a way to bypass any guess work.

powbox

With a Powertron Tap Box, power can be recovered in just a matter of minutes from the moment the generator arrives. Powertron allows for power to be returned often without the need for an electrician. Powertron ensures that power is quickly restored, allowing businesses to resume normal operations for the short or long term, all without the need of a permanent generator.

Since commercial buildings differ from one another, Powertron can be designed and customized to fit specific requirements. For more information please contact us at www.powertronsolutions.com or call us at 847-956-5000 to speak with an experienced application engineer and learn how to make your business generator-ready and equipped to receive a backup power source.

CribTrack Reduces Costs of Inventory Management

Maintaining costs is critical to business operations, and overlooking the costs associated with inventory management can eat away at margins. Inventory costs for essential consumable and reusable items vary – from smaller items such as light bulbs and batteries to bigger items like power tools.

Inventory control allows for an organizational approach to understanding the frequency items need to be replenished, while also instilling accountability for when inventory is used and by whom. These two operating benefits are just two reasons why organizations implement CribTrack inventory management solutions.

Because CribTrack offers security, flexibility and affordability, organizations count on CribTrack to assist with their inventory management needs – reducing costs and keeping operations running on-time.

Organized Approach Means Keeping Up with Low Supplies

Running out of certain items can slow or halt production altogether. Sending an employee offsite or paying for same-day or next-day shipping to replenish crucial items can be time-consuming and expensive.

CribTrack industrial vending machines prevent these costly problems before they happen by accurately tracking and monitoring inventory levels.

Flexible for Many Applications

An effective inventory management solution needs to be flexible in order to meet the vast requirements of factory floors, workshops, and building facilities. CribTrack vending machines offer that flexibility.

There are several industries that can make great use of CribTrack – such as industrial, hospitals, restaurants and schools. Whatever the application each machine slot can fit several different size items, so each business can make the most out of their machine – items that can fit include batteries, drills, end mills, gloves, tubes, medications, lab equipment, IT equipment, printer supplies, spices and more.

Magnetic Storage Containers

Shelving space can be configured as needed with a maximum capacity of 200 storage positions in each machine. Barcodes can be customized to accurately track whichever item resides in a specific storage bin. The barcode scanner is used to keep track of when items are removed or returned by authorized individuals, and automatic electronic alerts are sent when an item is in need of replenishment.

Monitoring is continuous with CribTrack’s included software. The software has the flexibility to be run on premise or in the cloud to meet the needs of an organization’s IT infrastructure.

Secure Machine Provides Accountability

Because CribTrack requires users to login one of three ways in order to access items, there will be a record at all times of who accessed the machine and scanned out items. There are three cameras as well, in the event that someone was to login and remove any items without using the scanner. The camera would capture a video recording of the event, tracing back to the employee, and maintaining accountability.

CribTrack is tamper-proof and comes with an embedded alarm. It requires users to login either by a PIN code, Prox card or biometric authentication fingerprint scan.

CribTrack Saves Businesses Time and Reduces Costs

Because CribTrack provides an easy-to-use, flexible, and secure industrial vending solution, organizations rely on CribTrack for their inventory management needs.

No Moving Parts

CribTrack saves time and reduces costs. Businesses can optimally maintain inventory levels reducing costs associated with production stoppage and lost items. If you would like to know more about CribTrack inventory management solutions and want to speak with an experienced application engineer, call 1-844-744-CRIB (2742) or email us today.

Kohler Maquigeral Lights the Way to 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Over the last two weeks, thousands of athletes and spectators flocked to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the 2016 Olympics––and Kohler Maquigeral was honored to light the way.

maquigeral

The first city in South America to host the Olympics welcomed over 10,000 athletes, not including 5,000 coaches and team officials, representing 205 countries who vied for the gold between August 5-21.Rio welcomes the 2016 Olympics

As host city, many infrastructure investments were made to prepare for the Games, including the TransOlímpica bus rapid transit (BRT) line.

The city constructed the TransOlímpica route to connect the Olympic Park in Barra da Tijuca, in the west zone of Rio, with downtown. This 15 ½-mile-long (25-kilometer) route reduced travel time to the Olympic Park from 2 ½ hours to 30 minutes, with capacity of 55,000 vehicles per day.

tunnel

New within the route was a 1-mile-long (1.7-kilometer) tunnel which took four years to construct. The entire tunnel infrastructure (fire pumps, lighting and signage) was powered by four Kohler Maquigeral container generators, 2 x 550 kilovolts (kVA) each, totaling 4,400 kVA, assembled and installed in just eight weeks.

construct

“The TransOlimpica route is one of the main infrastructure investments for the city of Rio de Janeiro. Kohler Maquigeral Generators will not only run during the games, but be part of the long-term legacy,” said Kai-Uwe Hirschfelder, General Manager – Kohler Maquigeral.

Kohler Maquigeral provides primary and backup power systems. The Brazilian company, acquired by Kohler Co. through SDMO in 2012, has 270 associates with eight sales offices across Brazil and a facility in São Paulo. Maquigeral produces generators from 40 to 1,500 kVA and offers uninterrupted power supply services.

Steiner Power Systems is the authorized Kohler Power Distributor in Northern Illinois and Northwest Indiana for Kohler Generator sales, service and rental. For more information and to speak with an experienced Kohler Generator application engineer, please call 1-847-956-3098.

   generator maguigeral

Basics of Wire – Copper and Aluminum Alloy

Because electricity is an important aspect of our everyday lives, the conductors that are used to carry the energy in places like our homes and businesses need to be in top condition. It’s important to note the different types of conductors, and what each does best; for this reason, we will explore and compare each option available.

copper aluminum

Copper Electrical Wire

Most homes, offices, factories and machines depend on good copper wire for transferring electricity. There are many reasons for this – it is a good conductor, it is easy to mold and bend, it isn’t hard to find, and the price is ideal for many applications.

copper

Copper wiring allows for less insulation and narrower conduits than that of aluminum. Why is this? Aluminum has lower conductivity and needs to be larger in diameter than that of copper in order to carry the same amount of current. Because of this, more copper conductors can fit into a given conduit when compared to that of aluminum. Copper also conducts electricity more efficiently so the connections and terminations of the copper wire do not overheat as easily as aluminum.

Copper can be soldered easily and it is easier for most conductors to be used to transmit power loads because it has one of the highest electrical conductivity rates among metals. Smaller conductors are easier to transport and install, which can translate to reduced overall wiring costs. Copper also doesn’t experience the same expansion and contraction to that of aluminum, making it more stable of a material.

However, copper is less abundant and heavier than aluminum, these drawbacks can make the wire purchase more expensive and installation process more difficult.

Aluminum Electrical Wire

Aluminum wire is lighter and easier to work with, making it easier to shape and bend than copper, and often making the job less rigorous. It can reduce corona, which is an electrical discharge associated with high power transmissions. Due to the abundance of aluminum its biggest draw is its affordability; drastically reducing the overall conductor costs for a given project.

XHHW-2 2

On the other hand, it is a less conductive metal than copper, so an aluminum wire that is meant to carry the same amount of electricity as a copper wire needs to be bigger in diameter, and thus require a wider conduit in many cases – adding to the overall project cost.

If not installed correctly, aluminum wiring can raise the risk of hazardous and potentially life threatening conditions. Aluminum wire expands when it gets warmer, and when it cools it contracts. Loose or improperly terminated connections can result in serious injury or death. As with all types of wire and electrical installations, follow your local electrical code and contact your inspector with any questions.

The appropriate wiring to use for any project depends on several factors, including application for use as well as budget. Whichever you choose, Steiner has the inventory to get your job completed! If you would like to know more about all of the wire options and services available at Steiner, please call us at 1-800-STEINER (783-4637) or stop by any of our nine convenient locations to learn more.