Schneider Electric Provides Safety Switches For Infinite Applications

Schneider’s Square D Safety switches are vital components to safety and power control. They are a means to disconnect from the electrical load and provide protection to the branch circuit.

When necessary, they can be used to disconnect manufacturing equipment, heavy machinery and light commercial and residential applications from its power source. Users may need to disconnect equipment from its electrical supply for a variety of reasons from scheduled preventive maintenance to emergency stoppage.

The performance of safety switches is important to the safe operation of many industrial applications. In addition, requirements from a variety of organizations  have increased the use of safety switches in many commercial and industrial facilities.

In addition, safety switches are an NEC requirement in industrial and manufacturing facilities.  For instance, a safety switch must be in sight from all motors or manufacturing equipment and not more than 50 feet from the equipment it controls.

A key performance benefit of the Schneider safety switch is its ability to break load. A locked motor can draw six to eight times motor full-load current. In an emergency situation, it’s important to have a safety switch with enhanced load-break features such as those featured in Schneider’s switches. A key element of Square D safety switches is its blade and jaw construction that has been designed to manage heavy motor loads and arc interruptions.

Multiple types of disconnect switches are available, and the switch that work for you depends on a number of factors in your working environment.  Steiner’s expertise can help make the appropriate choice. Steiner stocks a large inventory of safety switches ready for pickup at one of our convenient locations or on-time delivery to your facility or job site, including: general duty, heavy duty and double throw switches in single and multiple pole, fusible and non-fusible.

Here is a look at some of the most common safety switches.

General Duty Safety Switch
Schneider Electric Square D General Duty Safety Switch
General Duty Safety Switch

One of the most go-to safety switches are those that are considered General Duty (GD) safety switches. These are designed for residential and commercial applications and where durability and economy are prime considerations. Typical loads are lighting, air conditioning, and appliances. They are suitable for use as service equipment when equipped with a factory or field-installed neutral assembly or a field-installed service grounding kit as applicable.

  • Voltage: Maximum voltage of 240 V
  • Current Rating: Max amperage of 800 A
  • Enclosure: Available in Type 1 and Type 3R enclosures
  • Certification: UL Listed, File E2875
  • Standard: Meets or exceeds the NEMA Standard KS1
Heavy Duty Safety Switch
Schneider Electric Square D Heavy Duty Safety Switch
Heavy Duty Safety Switch

Visible blade heavy duty safety switches are designed for applications where maximum performance and continuity of service are required. All heavy duty safety switches feature a quick-make, quick-break operating mechanism, a dual-cover interlock and a color-coded indicator handle.

  • Voltage: Maximum voltage of 600 V (ac/dc)
  • Current Rating: Max amperage of 1200 A
  • Enclosure: Available in Type 1, Type 3R, Type 4, Type 4X, Type 5, Type 7, Type 9, Type 12 and Type 12K enclosures
Double Throw Safety Switch
Schneider Electric Square D Double Throw Safety Switch
Double Throw Safety Switch

Double throw safety switches are designed for manual transfer of one load between two power sources. The units are tough and reliable to provide emergency back-up power connections in accordance with Article 702 of the National Electrical Code, ANSI/NFPA 70.

  • Voltage: Maximum voltage of 600 V (ac/dc)
  • Current Rating: Max amperage of 600 A
  • Enclosure: Available in Type 1, Type 3R, Type 4, Type 4X, Type 5 and Type 12 enclosures
Make Selections EZ

These safety-switch options, and others that are more specific in application, come with multiple options such as various difference in amperage and voltage. In some cases, the question is whether to use fusible or non-fusible switches.  Fusible safety switches combine fuses with the switch in a single enclosure. For both fusible and non-fusible safety switches, when the circuit is open, the safety switch disconnects the load from its source of power, while closing the circuit reconnects the load.

The Schneider Electric Safety Switch EZ Selector can guide you to the most appropriate safety switch for your required application.
The Safety Switch EZ Selector can guide you to the most appropriate safety switch for your required application.

With all the product variables from application to enclosure type, voltage to amperage applications, selecting the appropriate safety switch can be a challenge. Schneider Electric has made the process simpler by developing the EZ Selector system.

The EZ Selector tools ask simple “click-to-answer questions,” and the user is self-guided through a process that ultimately leads to the right product for the application.

Order online or call 1-800-STEINER (783-4637) to speak with a Steiner sales representative for more information on Schneider Square D Safety Switches.

Sandvik CoroMill 390 is One Tool for Many Applications

From general milling of standard metals to milling complex deep pockets for producing aerospace components out of modern metal materials, Sandvik’s CoroMill 390 is a versatile cutting tool with broad functionality.

SandVil CoroMill 390 can be used for general milling and complex projects with challenging materials.
Sandvik’s CoroMill 390 can be used for general milling and complex projects with challenging materials.

Sandvik’s “390” cutter family can be used for myriad applications by integrating a large, versatile program, including versions for shoulder milling and long-edge milling. Cutter inserts generate a good, quality 90-degree shoulder and are ideal for ramping and helical interpolation.

For instance, to produce precise contours without steps in repeated shoulder milling operations, the company offers close-tolerance inserts and an exact insert position. The smooth cutting action of CoroMill 390 limits radial cutting forces, which minimizes bending and generates good wall perpendicularity.

CoroMill 390 insert size 07
CoroMill 390 insert size 07.

The CoroMill 390 assortment of inserts includes cutters with size 07 inserts in dimensions specifically designed for key slots. With a tool diameter that is 0.3 mm (0.012 in.) smaller than the slot width, a suitable amount of stock is left for the subsequent finishing operations.

In another example, using helical interpolation and linear ramping to create holes from a solid workpiece requires a strong insert face geometry. The CoroMill 390 inserts are developed to withstand the stress caused by steep ramping or demanding interpolation, giving a low-vibration process with even tool life.

Plunge milling using the CoroMill 390 produces less stress on your machine spindle because of its vibration damping attributes. Because of this, it is suitable for unstable machines, deep slots, difficult-to-machine areas, and high-radial engagements such as corners.

Incorporating new steel grade
CoroMill 390 covers many applications with a large, versatile program.
The CoroMill 390 can be used for many applications because of its large, versatile tool program.

CoroMill 390 is made with Sandvik’s robust steel milling grade GC1130, which is made with the Zertivo PVD coating process that reliably performs even in unstable or challenging conditions such as disparate temperature variations.

The Zertivo process includes a complex set of steps, including pumping, heating, etching, coating, and cooling. Process parameters such as temperature, gas flow, and pressure are crucial to the final tool performance.  Each grade is produced with the exact right conditions for that specific grade. The result is improved adhesion between substrate and coating as well as optimized cutting-edge integrity.

The result is great edge-line security and reduced flaking. This makes the insert resistant to chipping.

In addition, the tool’s high-Cr (Chromium) content, in its fine-grain substrate, is optimized to withstand edge-line chipping and cracks arising from difficult machining and demanding conditions, such as temperature variations.

Keep Silent

Some of the tools incorporate the company’s Silent Tools™ technology. Sandvik Coromant’s endmill for small diameters, for instance, available with size 07 inserts, is a versatile cutter ideal for shoulder milling, deep shoulder milling, edging, linear and helical ramping, plunge milling, slot milling and face milling.

Insert sizes 07 and 11 are available with Sandvik’s Silent Tools™ damping technology. The upgraded Silent Tools dampening technology will allow machine shops to machine deep pockets for products such as titanium aerospace frame parts.

Silent Tools™ CoroMill® 390 cutters
Silent Tools™ CoroMill® 390 cutters.

Silent Tools provide light-cutting insert geometries and high-performance grades that deliver low-cutting forces and vibration-free machining for secure, cost-effective milling. The tool holders are designed to minimize vibrations through a dampener inside the tool body.

The CoroMill 390 Silent Tools can be ordered in diameters from 20 to 32 mm. It is available for both the new insert size 07, as well as insert size 11, with options for either cylindrical shank or Coromant Capto coupling.

Challenges and solutions

Sandvik Coromant calls the CoroMill 390 a “go-to cutter.” As evidence of this, Sandvik has detailed some typical challenges and its solutions.

For instance, pocket milling can be challenging to produce efficient and secure cavity opening. Using helical interpolation and linear ramping to create holes from a solid work piece requires strong insert face geometry. CoroMill 390 inserts are developed to withstand the stress caused by steep ramping or demanding interpolation, providing a low-vibration process with even tool life.

Here is a look at some other challenges:

Process: Slot milling
Challenge: Chip evacuation and vibration.
Solution: Insert geometries designed for ideal chip formation and evacuation. When milling with large engagements, vibration often causes rapid tool wear. The light cutting inserts of CoroMill 390, combined with cutters with optimized differential pitch, offer a low-vibration milling process.

Process: Face milling/Key Slot Milling
Challenge: Metal removal rate and surface finish.
Solution: Durable CoroMill 390 inserts are capable of high cutting parameters. -L geometries designed for milling with low cutting forces are perfect for facing surfaces with a shiny finish and close tolerances.

Order online or for more information on CoroMill 390, contact a Steiner Metalworking sales representative at (800) 323-TOOL.

Hubbell SystemOne Floor Box Design Central to More Power and Easy Installs

Find what you need at Steiner FLOOR BOX CENTRAL. Our inventory of Hubbell floor boxes is the largest in the Midwest. Don’t overpay for next-day freight charges. Get your floor boxes today at one of our convenient locations.

While there learn about the variety of Hubbell product SKUs and mass inventory of floor boxes, fire-rated poke-throughs, covers, electrical outlets, HDMI ports, USB plugs, RJ jacks, and other options that make up Steiner FLOOR BOX CENTRAL.

Central to Hubbell’s products is their compatibility. They are designed to work in tandem, including the SystemOne line, and that compatibility lets architects, designers, contractors, owners and all of those in the design chain create an aesthetic that remains constant from the first floor to the penthouse.

This provides Steiner’s customers with many choices. Hubbell’s concept is the antithesis of Henry Ford’s famous quip that customers could have their cars in any color they wanted, as long as the color was black. That would not cut it in today’s marketplace.  Consumers want choices. That is true of a car and everything else, even devices as tried-and-true as a floor box.

Hubbell’s SystemOne floor box line is now available for concrete, raised access and wood floor applications.

Hubbell provides its range of multi-gang floor box products in various shapes and sizes and in a variety of colors and finishes. If you want a floor box with a rectangular or round cover with nickel coating that goes into a concrete floor, Steiner FLOOR BOX CENTRAL has it. PLUS, we can supply matching poke-throughs with a 8-in. nickel-plated round cover that can be used in wood, tile, and carpet covered floors.

SystemOne Features

Hubbell’s SystemOne floor box line has many features, including:

  • Wide range of colors and finishes from 2-gang to 10-gang boxes that maintain aesthetics throughout a facility.
  • Choice of rectangular or round covers.

    Hubbell’s floor boxes are available with rectangular and round covers.
  • Ability to match floor box and fire-rated poke-through covers.
  • Removable knockouts for 2 in. conduit to meet expanding A/V and data requirements.
  • Easy mount device plates and pre-wired receptacle options.
  • Additionally, they are ADA compliant and feature recessed connectivity, low-profile flanges, and egress doors that hinge inwards.
Expanding Capabilities

Today’s buildings require increasing powerful technical capabilities that also must complement building aesthetics.

While wireless devices are a growing component of any building design or renovation, many, if not most, devices still need wiring. And, these devices are not all conveniently located next to a wall outlet or other receptacle. Today’s commercial facilities such as multi-story schools, hotels, hospitals, retail facilities, and office buildings, require floor boxes and fire-rated poke-throughs to supply a growing and multi-faceted array of equipment with needed power, and needed data access such as USB ports and audio/video technology requiring HDMI outlets.

With this in mind, Hubbell’s SystemOne line enhances functionality and provides increased power, data and audio/visual capacity in a variety of ways.

SystemOne subplate allows for added power, data and A/V capacity.
SystemOne subplate allows for added power, data and A/V capacity.

For example, floor box functionality is expanded with insertable subplates with which installers can create a combination of power options. The boxes can be all power, all data, or a combination of power and data. They can include Hubbell’s USB receptacles that provide 3.8 amps worth of recharging power, and a 20A electrical power outlet as well as HDMI ports, RJ-45/Panduit jacks for Ethernet network cables and more. The options are seemingly endless and growing.

Fast and Convenient

Another great benefit of Steiner FLOOR BOX CENTRAL is the ability for customers to get products fast and without exorbitant overnight freight charges when you pick them up at a Steiner Will-Call Counter. Another option is to have the floor box products delivered directly to the job site.

To take advantage of these savings, buy online and pick up your order at one of our convenient locations. For more information, call 1-800-STEINER (783-4637) to speak with a Steiner FLOOR BOX CENTRAL specialist.

Kohler Natural Gas Generators More Efficient than Ever

Get peak performance from natural gas generators

While diesel has been the conventional fuel of choice for backup generator sets because of its initial capital cost advantages, things are changing as regulations, costs and technologies have evolved, and, because of that evolution, natural gas generators have gained in popularity.

“Over the past 15 years, there have been numerous performance developments in gas generator set technology to improve fuel efficiency, reduce exhaust NOx emissions and increase ratings,” according to Clay Hardenburger, senior staff applications engineer for Kohler Co. Hardenburger is the author of a new whitepaper, Gas Generator Set Performance Characteristics, that takes an in-depth look at characteristics of natural gas powered generators, the fuel used, their applications, and more. (To get a copy of the free whitepaper, click here.)

Kohler's standby commercial generators can run on propane or natural gas.
Kohler’s standby commercial generators can run on propane or natural gas.

“These key development characteristics combined with incentives to develop renewable energy biogas fuel sources have moved the industry forward to consider gas generator sets as the preferred electrical power generation technology for continuous duty applications when paralleled with the utility,” writes Hardenburger. “In addition, recent expansion of natural gas fuel sources in the United States has resulted in low fuel prices, which is also driving the marketplace to utilize gas generator sets for standby and prime applications typically served by diesel generator sets.”

Kohler Co.’s Power Division offers a slew of EPA emissions-certified LP and natural gas generators in the up to 400 kW range, delivering an installation-ready product for residential power and light commercial applications. Kohler also developed a new line of large natural gas generators that are designed specifically for standby, prime or continuous power applications in the North American market. The large gas gen sets range from 425 kW to 1300 kW (and growing). For applications that require larger industrial generator sets, contact Steiner’s Power Systems division experts and they can help you choose the most appropriate generator.

The 14/20 kW RESA Kohler home generator
The 14/20 kW RESA Kohler home generator.

These natural gas generators run on relatively clean burning fossil fuels such as propane. The lower emission gaseous gen sets significantly reduce carbon monoxide and particulate emissions.

Get your generator locally from Steiner

Steiner Electric, a local authorized distributor of Kohler products, offers an extensive inventory of residential and commercial generators that primarily operate in standby-rated mode utilizing LP or NG fuel.

Models rated for residential and light commercial applications include the 14/20kW RESA models that feature Kohler’s PowerBoost Technology for improved starting power. The generator can easily start and run a 5-ton air conditioner. The 38/48/60kW RCL model offers quiet operation and the Fast-Response II excitation system that delivers excellent voltage response and short-circuit capability using a permanent magnet alternator.  The 60kW ERESB model for light commercial application, which utilizes NG and LPG gas, and depending on voltage achieves

The Kohler 38/48/60 kW RCL generator.
The Kohler 38/48/60 kW RCL generator.

a multitude of standby ratings for both gas types. The 80 to 150Kw ERESD models have numerous features including the Fast-Response X excitation system, and sophisticated control systems.

The Kohler 60 kW ERESB generator.
The Kohler 60 kW ERESB generator.

In addition to Steiner’s large inventory of generators, as a registered, certified distributor of Kohler generators, generator experts are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for emergency situations. In addition, all Steiner generator experts undergo rigorous training programs that must first be completed and are routinely updated.

Burn it Lean, Burn it Rich

These models operate differently depending on the fuel used, mixture of air and fuel, applications and other factors. Often, there are tradeoffs such as between power and efficiency.

To help straighten out the web of generator options, and best understand the unique factors of each, Hardenburger’s whitepaper addresses the

The 80/100/125/150 kW ERESD model generator for light commercial applications.
The 80/100/125/150 kW RESD model generator for light commercial applications.

performance characteristics found in gas generator sets that utilize different fuels and engines, power factor, generator set rating, load requirements, and more parameters.

Fuel sources, for instance, typically come in two categories: methane-based fuels sources and hydrocarbon-based fuel sources. As Hardenburger explains, methane-based fuels such as pipeline natural gas are for use in high-compression ratio, lean-burn engines. Hydrocarbon-based fuel sources such as propane can be used in low-compression ratio, rich burn engines.

Hardenburger says that gas engines are classified as either lean-burn or rich-burn combustion types. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages depending upon the application.

Lean-burn engines are associated with high-electrical efficiencies, and are typically used in continuous parallel with the utility applications as a primary power source because of limited transient response capabilities. Whereas rich-burn engines are usually associated with applications where transient load response is more critical than fuel efficiency. They are typically applied in emergency standby applications where the generator set system is the secondary power source when utility power is not available.

Rich-burn engines are a better choice in applications where large transient load changes above 30% are required. An LPG fuel source can be utilized in these applications without derate if low compression ratio engines are utilized.

Kohler large natural gas generator
Kohler offers natural gas generators at up to 1300 kW. For more information about your application, contact your Steiner Power Systems application engineer at (847) 956-3098.

Lean-burn engines are a better choice in applications where the utility is always present, and the required operational capacity exceeds 8,000 hours per year. Fuel efficiency is a key consideration in continuous applications, so engines with high compression ratios are typically utilized. Heavy hydrocarbon fuels such as LPG cannot be utilized in these applications without significant engine derate.

To help understand the basics of gas generator characteristics, their benefits and tradeoffs, download the Kohler whitepaper, Gas Generator Set Performance Characteristics, or reach out to your local Steiner Power Systems application engineer at 1-800-STEINER (783-4637).



Get a Free Carthartt Jacket or Utility Cart with Steiner Promo

Steiner promo for tools and equipment

An MRO or electrical contractor has to be prepared for just about any contingency, and being prepared often means having the right tool. The good news is that Steiner has a broad inventory of tools, tool accessories and equipment for you, and the better news is that from now until March 15, 2018, if you buy tools, equipment and tool accessories from select manufacturers, you may be eligible to receive a free Carhartt jacket or a utility cart.

If you purchase $1,000 or more in tools, tool accessories or equipment from the select manufacturers below, you will receive a free Carhartt jacket. If you purchase more than $2,500 in tools, tool accessories or equipment from those companies, you can receive a free utility cart. The special promotion runs through March 15, 2018. Limit one offer per customer. While supplies last.

Choose from these select manufacturers:

MilwaukeeKlein ToolsGreenlee

Here are just a few examples of the products available from our leading manufacturers:

  • Pliers
  • Screwdrivers and nut drivers
  • Wire strippers
  • Fishing tools
  • Cable/wire pullers
  • Conduit/pipe benders
  • Power drills and drivers, hammer/drills, impact drivers
  • Driller/drive combinations
  • Power saws/band saws
  • Hole saw kits
  • Blades, bits and other accessories

Siemens SINAMICS V20 Drives Minimize Costs and Maximize Efficiency

When it comes to variable frequency drives, tradeoffs may need to be made. How much power do you need? How much space do you have? The  SINAMICS V20 family of AC drives might just be the answer to these typical questions.

These Siemens-produced, SINAMICS branded VFDs come in a variety of frame sizes and output ratings for when you need a low-power drive to smoothly start and stop a motor or to control speed and torque during operation of an increasing number of a basic motion sequences.

The SINAMICS V20 AC drive family is an economical, compact, rugged and reliable group of drives that bring versatility, and ease of use and installation to 40-hp and under plant and machinery construction, individual automation, and drive solution applications.


With seven frame sizes, the SINAMICS V20 can be individually adapted to the particular application or user requirements using various options such as an external Basic Operator Panel (BOP), connecting cable, filter, braking resistors, shielding, and more.

The power range is:

  • 0.12 kW to 30 kW (1/6 hp up to 40 hp).

The voltage range is:

  • 1AC 200V … 240V (–10% / +10%)
  • 3AC 380V … 480V (–15% / +10%)

The newest and smallest of the SINAMICS V20 family of drives are the FSAA and FSAB models that save more than 30% in mounting space compared to the previously smallest model, the SINAMICS’ FSA model (90 mm (3.5 in.) x 150 mm (6 in.)) . With a width of just 68 mm (2.7 in.) and a height of 142 mm (5.6 in.), the AA and AB models both have the same footprint, but different heatsink depths.

The SINAMICS V20 Quick Selection Guide can help yo determine the most appropriate V20 drive for your application.
The SINAMICS V20 Quick Selection Guide can help you determine the most appropriate V20 drive for your application.

The V20 family of rugged devices, which are IP20 rated and can be EMC filtered, are tailored for operating pumps, fans, compressors and conveyor belts as well as for basic drive applications in the process and manufacturing industries.

Ease of use and installation

One of the V20’S benefits is ease of installation. The units can be wall mounted, push through mounted for efficient cooling, and side-by-side mounted to reduce required cabinet space. Typically, drives need to be 2 in. apart for cooling purposes, but with heat sinks located judiciously to release heat through the top and bottom of the unit.

The unit itself is easy to use. A Parameter Loader makes it easy to program and speed up commissioning. This modular, plug-and-play device easily installs to the face of the drive. The device uses a memory card that allows more than 100 parameters to be installed such as motor specifications, voltage, current speed, application deceleration rate acceleration rate and other pertinent data, says Jovan Cetkovic, Motion Specialist with Steiner Electric.

Additionally, “cloning” is possible by installing the same parameter loader on different drives.

Without the parameter loader, users access a basic operator panel on the face of the drive. Utilizing the BOP, all parameters can be programmed giving the user full control of the drive in terms of speed and other factors.

In addition, there are terminals on the face of the drive that allow for direct wiring for analog I/O control.

The SINAMICS’ V20’s feature a Keep Running Mode that keeps the output load running even in the event of power fluctuations, overvoltage, overcurrent, or other power stability issues.

Energy savings is achieved in several ways. For instance, the SINAMICS V20 drive makes it easy to save money through the use of an ECO mode that ensures that the motor current is automatically adapted to the load state. In addition to that, the drive is capable of DC bus couplings such that a drive regenerating can share power with other drives.

The drive also features a Hibernation Mode that reduces energy consumption when the drive is not in active use.

It also features an integrated braking chopper from 7.5 kW to 30 kW (10 hp up to 40 hp). When a motor is de-energized and coming to a stop, it changes from a motor to a generator producing energy. Resistors dissipate energy so the VFD’s capacitors are not damaged. This power can also be used during drive regeneration.

The V20 drive family has a number of accessories that can be used. For instance, a new extension module is available to increase the number of inputs and outputs of the SINAMICS V20 400V converter.

Mounted onto the converter, the module provides 2 additional digital inputs and 2 relay outputs to the converter. The module increases functionality. For example, it can now be used for multi-pump control, where one V20 can control a maximum of four pumps.

Equipped with connection ports on its front- and backside, the module may be used in combination with other accessories of the SINAMICS V20 such as the BOP, the BOP interface, and the Smart Access web server.

Worldwide access
The SINAMICS V20 Smart Access webserver module option is mounted on the converter. It allows wireless commissioning and operation via smartphone, tablet, or laptop.
The SINAMICS V20 Smart Access webserver module option is mounted on the converter. It allows wireless commissioning and operation via smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

SINAMICS V20 Smart Access is a tiny drive-mounted web server module that turns a mobile device or laptop into a virtual operator panel, allowing it to commission, operate, diagnose, and maintain the AC drive.

An embedded graphical user interface (GUI) enables easy use of the SINAMICS V20 in every phase of operation.  It requires only a few steps to set-up and no installation or download of additional software is needed.  The onboard Quick Set-up Wizard provides users a fast and easy commissioning procedure, enabling all the following: motor data can be entered and checked, connection macros for digital inputs/outputs can be activated, application macros can be selected and activated for pumps, fans, compressors and other devices plus the common and frequently used parameters on the drive can be set for motor start, acceleration, deceleration, and min./max. speed.

For more information contact a Steiner application specialist at 1-800-STEINER (783-4637).

EZ Ways to Select Schneider Pushbuttons

Emergency stops. Restarts. Line changes. These and other functions have at least one thing in common: pushbuttons.

Pushbuttons are relatively simple devices. At their most basic, the literal push-a-button to facilitate change, they open and close circuits. They can start an industrial process, stop it, or perform other predetermined functions that humans, interacting with machines, deem necessary.

Schneider's new 30 mm pushbutton is at the forefront of the industry.
Schneider’s new 30 mm pushbutton is at the forefront of the industry.

While simple, they are not simplistic. First, there are literal pushbuttons such as the 30 mm from Schneider (pictured), and then there are sibling products in the pushbutton family such as pilot lights and selector switches.

Then there are the many options available. Many, many options in some cases.

To help its customers, Schneider Electric and Steiner Electric have combined to make things a little easier with new pushbutton selector tools.

At the Forefront of Pushbuttons

First, what are all these options?

Today’s pushbuttons are modular in nature and can be augmented with application-specific accessories that can turn them into aesthetically pleasing, easy-to-use human-machine interface (HMI) components. They can be used in a galaxy of applications from pristine production to harsh process environments and integrated into stand-alone machinery or sophisticated, multi-purpose assembly lines … just about any industry with operations that have been automated, but still require some human intervention is an appropriate use.

Schneider Electric is a leader in pushbuttons, including the Harmony line which is distributed by Steiner Electric. The pushbuttons and signaling devices come in a range of styles that provide easy and reliable operations for industrial applications.

In this Schneider video, Jim Clark, Marketing Director Control and Signaling, says that Harmony offers the best-in-class pushbuttons, pilot lights, and switches on the market.

Harmony pushbuttons, which comply with all international standards, have been designed for OEMs, system integrators, panel builders, and others that build, repair, or customize machinery. For them, Schneider offers a unique and unrivaled depth of push-buttons, pilot lights and switches on the market, Clark says.

Visitors to the EZ Selectors page can create a semi-custom pushbutton designed for their specific application.
Various components and accessories for the Harmony 9001K 30 mm pushbutton.

One of the newest products, and an industry game changer, is the 30 mm Harmony pushbutton that expands on its 22-mm version. The 9001 30mm products include pushbuttons, pilot lights, selector switches, and mushroom head buttons. The rugged 9001 operators can feature chrome-plate bezels, black plastic bezels for corrosion-resistant applications, chrome-plated square bezels that provide multi-function operation, and many, many other options. Contacts, profiles, and additional options can be swapped out for something more appropriate.

So how is selection simpler?

Visitors to the EZ Selectors page can create a semi-custom pushbutton designed for their specific application.
Visitors to the EZ Selectors page can create a semi-custom pushbutton designed for their specific application.

With all these options selecting the appropriate pushbutton can be a challenge. Schneider Electric has made the process simpler by developing the EZ Selectors system.

The EZ Selector tools ask simple “click-to-answer questions,” and the user is self-guided through a process that ultimately leads to the right product for the application.

For instance, from the main EZ selector page, users can go to a product subset such as the 30-mm pushbutton or emergency stop product. From there, they can drill down into the various options to find the appropriate component.

Do you want, chromium-plated metal or plastic as the bezel material? Do you want the operator profile to be projecting, recessed or flush? The lens color can be any of 7 colors in one model or just black, green and red for another.

Once you’ve selected your needed product you can add it to your shopping cart. That is where Steiner Electric comes in. We will facilitate the purchase and either deliver the part or allow you the option to pick it up in one of our 8 conveniently located Will-Call Counters.

To see how it all works, give it try!





Lutron Vive Commercial Lighting Control Solution is Easy to Install and Simple to Manage

Every year, thousands of buildings are built or retrofitted. Every one of these spaces can benefit from lighting control that saves energy, improves comfort, and enhances productivity.

Vive from Lutron is a simple, flexible and scalable lighting control solution that can help the facility manager, owner, tenant, contractor, maintenance personnel and other personnel to reap these benefits. The system is comprised of a full family of wireless devices that can be tied together to enable centralized control, monitoring and system integration.

From conference rooms to entire buildings, Lutron Vive gives users complete lighting control.
From conference rooms to entire buildings, Lutron Vive gives users complete lighting control.

Vive can help buildings meet stringent energy codes, improve building performance, and do so on budget and on schedule. Wireless controls allow you to design options that provide the right functionality for each space in your building.

Vive is simple enough to deliver basic energy savings and robust enough to apply additional lighting control strategies such as time-clock scheduling, energy and system monitoring, demand response, load shed, and seamless integration to BMS via BACNet with software that works on any smart device.

Vive lets you combine lighting control strategies to maximize efficiency such as occupancy/vacancy sensing, daylight harvesting, scheduling, demand response, plug load control, high-end trim, personal dimming control and even HVAC integration.

Vive is a wireless, scalable product. Not have to hardwire each device makes for faster and less expensive installation costs.
Vive is a wireless, scalable product. Not having to hardwire each device makes for faster and less expensive installation costs.

When launching the brand in 2016, Eric Lind, vice president of global specifications, said, “To a building owner or facility manager, Vive represents a scalable, flexible lighting control solution that easily transforms a building one step at a time, or as space needs change, and helps address energy-saving issues. To contractors, Vive represents a reliable, simple, time-saving product that’s versatile enough to control all light sources in any size commercial building. This product addresses the needs of customers on many levels.”

Built around a wireless hub, the Vive system allows you to add components and control as needed.
Built around a wireless hub, the Vive system allows you to add components and control as needed.

Traditional installations can be labor intensive and complex to set up.

Vive, on the other hand, is simple. Wireless control can be installed as much as 70 percent faster than traditional wired lighting controlled solutions. This reduces labor costs and minimizes disruption among workers and those utilizing the space.

In addition, Vive helps meet lighting control code requirements for new construction and retrofits such as for ASHRAE 2010, ASHRE 2013, IECC 2022, IECC 2015, and Title 24-2016.

Wireless installs

Lutron utilizes its Clear Connect® Wireless technology to establish communications with lighting and building controls at a range of 71 ft (22M).

Clear Connect operates on the 435 MHz band wave, while many other wireless technologies operate on the more traditional 2.4 gigahertz band wave. This 2.4 GHz band wave is much more frequently used, and this congestion could create problems that could cause a failure–which might be okay when streaming a movie, but lighting a commercial building is another story.

Lutron chose 435 MHZ band wave because it is less busy; in fact, the FCC puts limitations on the amount of traffic that can operate over this wavelength. The limit makes it a much quieter band, and so the messages are able to get through more reliably.

For the actual installation process, Vive offers wallbox mounting, ceiling mounts, and Vive-enabled fixtures on a standard junction box.

Wallbox mounting allows contractors to replace an existing switch in a standard wallbox to control a group of lights, and it requires no new wiring. For the ceiling mount, PowPak modules mount on a standard junction box in the ceiling to control groups of lights. It saves installation time by eliminating wiring down through walls. Vive-enabled fixtures have wireless control and sensing built into the fixture. No additional wiring is required.

For example, if a contractor or MRO is replacing a switch in a restroom where there is currently a toggle switch on the wall, the installer takes out that toggle switch and puts in either a wireless switch or a dimmer into that location without any new wiring. Simply commission the switch by holding the remote’s button down for several seconds.

Vive is also easy to commission, which is a good thing if the installer and the person starting to use the controls are not one in the same. The person doesn’t have to climb on a ladder to find the load controllers, the Pico remote controllers can find nearby devices based on RF signal strength. Simply holding the button down for a few seconds does the trick.

XCT Sensing Technology

Another strength of the system is its sensing technology. Standard PIR sensors are good at detecting major motion like a person walking; however, they have difficulty detecting less obvious movements.

That is where the Lutron XCT technology comes into play. This “Cross Correlation Technology,” as the company calls it, can take measurements utilizing passive infrared sensors and sophisticated algorithms to distinguish the difference between background noise and actual motion. By fine tuning these waves, the sensor can go beyond simple major movement such as someone pacing the floor, to notice when someone is doing more passive actions such as working at a desk or reading a report and keep the lamps lit.

So, Vive can control that one office fixture or it can also be tied into building management systems. A simple ethernet port ties Vive to other building systems. The BACnet/IP protocol is the primary means of integration. BACnet is embedded or native in the Vive wireless hub, which means no external interfaces or gateways are required to communicate with other systems.

For instance, Vive can be tied into a buildings’ heating, ventilation and air conditioning system and utilize its occupancy/vacancy sensors to heat and cool individual rooms, floors or whole buildings. While some buildings have already begun integrating HVAC control into their building SOPs, in the future this capability might be required by code.

Getting the right bulb

While Vive offers many features and benefits, to

Find the Right LED Lamp for Your Vive Wireless Solution Ensure your lamps and dimmers are compatible with the Lutron LED Compatibility Tool. Check Compatibility For...
Find the Right LED Lamp for Your Vive Wireless Solution. Ensure your lamps and dimmers are compatible with the Lutron LED Compatibility Tool.

light a room or bigger space, it must have the appropriate lamp and controllers for the job. The good news is that Lutron has developed a selector to make the search easier.  

Select the LAMP AND LIGHTING CONTROL to fit your application or contact your Steiner lighting  application specialist for assistance.

For more information on Lutron Vive wireless solutions or LED compatibility, call 1-800-STEINER (783-4637) to speak with a Steiner lighting application engineer.

Steiner a Major Sponsor at the 2018 Electric Association Conference

The Electric Association’s Annual Conference and Trade Show is scheduled for Jan.25-26., and once again Steiner Electric will have a large presence at the event.

The event is located at the Drury Lane Conference Center, Oakbrook Terrace. The trade show portion of the two-day event occurs on Jan. 25 from Noon to 6:30 p.m. and will be host to an estimated 75 vendors.

Steiner Electric will be prominently featured in two locations at the facility. In the lobby, Steiner’s Power Division will highlight its Kohler Generators, including an onsite 30RCL Kohler generator. Steiner is an exclusive distributor of Kohler generators in the Northern Illinois region.

Kohler new KD1000 series of powerful and quiet generators feature the Kohler-built diesel engine.
Kohler’s new KD series of powerful, quiet generators feature a Kohler-built diesel engine.

Steiner power experts will be on hand to discuss your generator needs from smaller residential generators to the large, industrial KD Series.

In addition, specialists will be available to discuss Steiner’s Powertron tap boxes. New UL-listed models are under development and will be available for purchase later this year. Be the first to learn more about these important, on-site quick connect generator docking stations.

Steiner's new line of Powertron tap boxes are under development and will be available for purchase in 2018.
Steiner’s new line of Powertron tap boxes are under development and will be available for purchase in the first quarter of 2018.

The new Powertron product line ranges from 200A to 800A and is cULus Listed 1008, and includes a Manual Transfer Switch (200A & 400A), Molded Case Breaker (200A to 800A), Phase Rotation Monitor, KIRK® Key Interlock, a Trapped Cable Door that is UL Verified and Patented, and enclosures that are outdoor rated and available in NEMA 3R and NEMA 4X.

At Steiner’s booth in the main trade show hall, we will showcase lighting and lighting control products, electrical devices and more. One of the highlights at the booth will be tuneable white source technology. This tuneable technology enables design flexibility not available with a traditional fixture. With this LED technology, users can adjust the color temperature and intensity of a lamp in real time.

Centrally located across from a lounge area near the facility’s bar, the booth will be staffed by lighting experts who can discuss your application needs.

In addition to dispensing knowledge about the products that Steiner distributes, stop by our booth to spin-to-win our prize wheel, and drop your card for a chance to win our Grand Prize, a Milwaukee Insulated Heated Jacket. 

The conference

The 2018 Electric Association’s Annual Conference will feature education programs covering all industry segments and award CEU’s and PDH’s for participation in workshops.

The event will include two days of conferences, the highlight of which are several seminars discussing the new Chicago Electrical Code. “Participation in this conference allows you to get a head start on all the major changes to the code,” says Carrie Spaeth, executive director of the Electric Association.

Other seminar tracks focus on electrical system design, construction safety, solar energy legislation, as well as lighting education programs.

This conference will feature programs for building owners, facility managers, contractors, electricians and more, covering all segments of the industry.




LENOX Analyzes Band Saw Operations With Site Survey

Are you worried about unplanned machine downtime? Not getting the life expectancy from your band saw blades that you hoped for? Can’t sleep because operator mistakes got you worried about excessive scrap, unnecessary post-production work, employee injuries?

If you are, and at least one survey suggests that you might be, then LENOX, an industry leading band saw blade producer, could have some answers for  you.

And, you don’t have to find room in your budget for a consultant. The analysis is free.

LENOX application specialists will analyze production to improve bandsaw performance and ROI.
LENOX application specialists will analyze production to improve band saw performance and ROI.

LENOX experts will conduct a free Site Survey that documents all aspects of a sawing operation. The detailed study extends beyond blade usage, however, and includes analyzing processes that may diminish inefficiencies or add cost to bandsaw operations.

When completed, the company will receive a clear written report with recommendations covering products, processes, and personnel. Projected cost savings are identified based on agreed to metrics that can be measured and monitored.

In previous benchmark surveys of more than 100 facilities, LENOX found that machine downtime, blade failure, and operator error are the “top-three sources of frustration for industrial metal cutting operations on the shop floor.”

Sound familiar?

To learn more about your operations, LENOX application specialists will perform a series of audits ranging from technology to human performance and determine best practices to improve your operations, and, perhaps, relieve your company’s particular “frustrations.”

They will identify and confirm facility goals, metrics and key challenges. They will observe and record sawing performance, machine conditions and operator practices.

The site survey includes a 13-point audit of bandsaw operations focusing on the most important parameters.
The site survey includes a 13-point audit of band saw operations focusing on the most important parameters.

For instance, as part of the machine diagnostics and assessment portion of the survey, a LENOX application specialist will undertake a 13-point assessment with emphasis on critical sawing parameters such as band speed, band tension, band alignment, feed rate, feed pressure, and fluid ratio.

Additionally, the LENOX application specialists will engage with your staff in an attempt to determine and elevate skill levels. If needed, they can develop a customized training program that may include comprehensive safety training, sawing optimization techniques and trouble-shooting fundamentals as well as new employee training through to advanced operator and preventative maintenance training.

In the end, the application specialists will provide an assessment of your baseline operations, root cause analysis of problems and inefficiencies, and the actions planned to address those issues. The report will contain detailed recommendations to improve productivity, increase throughput and lower total costs.

Sign up today to get your Complimentary Comprehensive Site Survey from LENOX.

Please contact your Steiner Metalworking application engineer
or call 1-800-323-TOOL (8665) for more information.
Lenox' Site Survey Includes
Expert Review of Sawing Operations
Machine Diagnostics and Assessment
Optimized Machine Utilization Program
Comprehensive Operator Training
Guaranteed Cost Savings & Productivity
Ongoing Solutions and Resources