Hoffman Thermal Audits Provide Solutions to Cool Electronics and Maximize Equipment Life

Hoffman thermal audit maximizes equipment life

Summer’s coming, and the time to begin protecting your electronics, before it’s too late, is today. As temperatures rise, industrial electronics can overheat, causing malfunction and even complete device failure. In fact, statistics show that for every 18°F over room temperature, the life expectancy of an electronic device drops by 50%.

To determine thermal heat loads, and examine the stress placed on electrical devices by excess heat, Steiner is offering a FREE THERMAL AUDIT to be conducted by its Hoffman-trained and certified expert.

A thermal audit can identify problem areas and produce compelling evidence of excess heat that can affect performance and potentially damage critical equipment.

Are Your Electronics in Danger?

Keeping electronics cool is essential to maximizing the life cycle of electronic devices, reducing mean time between failures (MTBF), cutting capital expenses, and keeping production humming along.

Heat is generated internally by electronic components and intensified by external sources. Inside a cabinet, uncooled components can generate as much trapped heat as a home furnace.

Heat sources include:

  • AC power supplies
  • Controllers, drives and servos
  • Transformers and rectifiers
  • Processors and server racks
  • Radio equipment
Thermal energy from an electrical enclosure is measured during a thermal audit.

To cool the electronic and its components, the thermal energy must be transferred away from the device. There are a few basic ways to cool industrial enclosures, including using a sealed enclosure that utilizes a heat exchanger, an A/C unit that uses a fan to circulate fresh air through a cabinet, or via conductive cooling in which the heat radiates through the cabinet.

Without these measures, temperature variations can lead to everything from nuisance problems to shutdowns. Tripping can become a source of frustration, and heat stress can affect loop controllers, PLCs and more.

At high temperatures, drive performance can be derated, and I/C-based devices can behave strangely creating unusual output such as voltage fluctuation. At low temperatures, cooling below the dew point can lead to condensation and promote corrosion.

For instance, MOSFET transistors, which are voltage-controlled field effect transistors made from metal oxide and silicon components, can falter from excess heat. High temperatures can change the properties of the silicon oxide. The higher the temperature, the higher the threshold voltage that triggers an open gate. At too high of a temperature, the gate may not open at all.

Another potential heat-related hazard pertains to wiring insulation. With increasing temperatures, elasticity and strength of the insulation are reduced, and ductility can temporarily increase.

What is Tested During an Audit

When a facility is audited, the inspector looks at all the factors that could affect temperature increase. Typically, a Hoffman thermal audit examines:

  • Heat load of enclosed electrical equipment
  • Temperature ratings of the installed equipment (upper and lower limits)
  • Ambient temperature (typical and extreme)
  • Environmental conditions
    – Clean air (Type 1)
    – Dirty or wet environment (Type 12, Type 4/4X)
    – Closed- or open-loop cooling systems
    – Indoor or outdoor enclosure location
  • Maintenance and frequency of access requirements

When finished, a report is developed that will provide recommended thermal management solutions. These best practices are designed to keep electronic components cool and help minimize unplanned failures.

A thermal audit helps determine best practices for managing thermal energy.
A thermal audit helps determine best practices for managing thermal energy. Free Hoffman Thermal Audits are available from Steiner Electric.

Essentially, by removing the waste heat, efficiency can be increased while downtime and operating costs are reduced.

Allowing electronic components to run hot can be a gamble that could require a company to prematurely replace industrial drives, cause hours of automation system downtime, and create out-of-warranty conditions when cooling is not used.

Authorized Distributor

As an authorized distributor of Hoffman enclosure products, Steiner has a full-time, Hoffman-trained expert on staff. Hoffman is a leader in the design and manufacture of engineered thermal management systems for virtually any cooling application.

A thermal image captured during a thermal audit.

With Hoffman you get more than 100-combined years of thermal management engineering experience backed by extensive in-house test facilities that rigorously test computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling, thermal cycling, salt fog, sound chamber and airflow.

Request your free Hoffman Thermal Audit, or for more information, please contact your Steiner Hoffman representative or call 1-800-STEINER (783-4637).

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.

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.

 

 

 

Want Lighting Incentives? Check New Ground Rules

If you are considering a lighting upgrade or you are bidding on a lighting job for the Standard or the Public Sector that would require ComEd incentives to facilitate, it is imperative that you follow new certification guidelines passed by Illinois legislation. Non-compliance will result in a loss of financial incentives.

The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) requires the installing contractor to be certified in order to receive any utility incentives.  According to Steiner Electric’s Lighting Division, contractors must fill out the application, send the appropriate “good standing” business form, an insurance form that has been notarized, and then mail that packet to the Commission. Then, the ICC will review the application.

According to an email from the utility:

“If the end user does not do a self-install, they must have a certified contractor install the material or the they will not qualify for a rebate. The new program goes into place on January 1, 2018, and includes any projects that are given extensions from the 2017 program year … ”

In accordance with the Future Energy Jobs Act, the Illinois Commerce Commission requires a trade ally company, i.e. contractors and home builders, to certify as an Entity Installing Energy Efficiency Measures.

To assist your company in complying with the new guidelines (Section 16-128B of the Public Utilities Act, and 83 Ill. Adm. Code (Part) 462), Com Ed has put the appropriate forms necessary to apply for the certification on its website. The forms can be found at the Illinois Commerce Commission’s Energy Efficiency Measures Installer website: https://www.icc.illinois.gov/Electricity/authorities/EEMI.aspx,

At this website, contractors can find:

* Part 462 Application Form

* Part 462 Application Instructions

* Part 462 EE Measures Installer Rules

For tips on how to fill out and submit Energy Efficiency Measure Installer Certification Application, visit the Illinois Secretary of State website (where trade allies can obtain documentation stating that their company is in good standing with the state): https://www.ilsos.gov/corporatellc/CorporateLlcController.

For additional information, contact your Steiner lighting representative or contact us at 847.956.3185.

 

Siemens Circuit Breaker Expands Design Possibilities

Siemens 3VA Molded Case Circuit Breakers

A circuit breaker such as the Siemens new 3VA molded case circuit breaker line is an essential piece of safety equipment that protects critical infrastructure from the harmful effects of short circuits and overloads.

MCCBs rank among the most important safety components in low voltage power distribution.  An estimated 30 million MCCBs are installed each year around the globe.

Siemens 3VA5 molded case circuit breaker.

The new UL-certified series of 3VA molded case circuit breakers from Siemens was designed for low-voltage power distribution in buildings, infrastructure, and industrial applications. But the line was not just designed to protect devices today, but to grow as applications demand and needs change.

Siemens 3va electrical circuit breaker line is built around a modular concept with a variety of models and accessories.

Steiner Electric has placed in inventory Siemens 3VA products that meets the needs of Chicago-area contractors, electricians, MROs, OEM personnel and more.

The 3VA Family

This wide-ranging list of devices include multiple circuit breaker types, auxiliary switches and alarms, a variety of trip options, and the lugs and wire connectors that keep it all together.

 

Siemens 3VA5 circuit breakers are available in 125 A and 250 A
Siemens 3VA5 circuit breakers are available in 125 A and 250 A frames with a variety of options for each.

Steiner offers these breaker boxes based on two Siemens 3VA5 frame families.

  • The 125 A frame is a 3-pole breaker box with 25 kA @ 480 V interruption rating that come in models that trip at 15 A, 20 A, 50 A, 100 A, and 125 A.
  • The 250 A frame has a 35kA @480 V interruption rating, and trip circuits are rated at 150 A, 200 A, 225 A, and 250 A.

Both devices require minimum space because of their compact design. The footprint for the 3VA5 125 A frame model is 3 in. by 3.8 x 5.5 in. and the footprint for the 250 A frame is 4.13 in. x 4.21 x 7.28 in.

Safe Tripping

For safe operation, the 3VA5 Siemens circuit breakers are based on the concept of thermal magnetic trip units (TMTUs). These TMTUs are two separate tripping mechanisms – thermal and magnetic—that are built into the same device.

In a thermal-magnetic circuit breaker, the trip unit includes elements designed to sense the heat resulting from an overload condition and the high current resulting from a short circuit.

The thermal safety component works on thermal inverse-time, meaning the higher the current, the faster the breaker trips. The thermal element is a bimetallic strip, which means it has two different metals bonded together that have different thermal expansion characteristics. As that strip warms up, the thermal differences cause the metals to twist and bend and eventually contact a trip bar causing the contacts to spring open.

The second safety component is the magnetic trip. The circuit breaker has a trip unit that senses a magnetic field generated by current to detect a short circuit. This type of circuit breaker trips immediately when a short circuit occurs, but delays an appropriate amount of time before tripping in the event of an overload.

Array of Design Options

Steiner offers a wide range of Siemens’ internal accessories that can fit in any of the 3VA products. They can be adapted flexibly, quickly and easily to individual specifications. Color coded for simple installation process, they are designed to always be installed at the correct position in the circuit breaker.

A door mounted rotary operator. Just one of the many options available from Steiner.
A door mounted rotary operator. Just one of the many options available from Steiner.

Accessories include multiple operator options, including door mounted rotary operators that come either with illumination, which provides a clear indication of the switching position, and without an illuminating kit.

Also available is the Max Flex flange mount operating system that allows the user to locate the circuit breaker almost anywhere within an enclosure. It uses a flexible cable that connects to a breaker operator mechanism and a handle located on the enclosure’s flange.

Also available are auxiliary and alarm switches that can be integrated with all sizes of Siemens breakers. The switches snap for easy installation and to swap out as needs change.

3VA9, UL, UVR undervoltage release
The Siemens 3VA9, undervoltage release switch.

Auxiliary switches can be used to operate indicator lights, relays or other accessories to provide the breaker’s status. Alarm switches indicate that the circuit breaker has tripped due to an overload, short circuit or ground fault. A shunt trip will trip a breaker remotely, and an under voltage trip release will activate when voltage shuts off or dips.

So, when looking to install new or replacement breakers, consider the 3VA5 products that offer myriad design possibilities.

Hubbell Disconnect Switch Enhances Safety with LED Phase Indicators

Hubbell Insight Circuit Lock with LEDs

The National Electronic Code requires that disconnect switches be in the line of sight of a user, motor and the equipment the motor drives. This allows the motor to be shut down for maximum safety. Now, Hubbell Wiring Device-Kellems has upgraded its 30amp disconnect switches to include LED lights that takes this line-of-sight visibility to the next level.

The company has introduced technology, dubbed inSIGHT™, that incorporates six LED phase-indicator lights. Three LEDS show the status of the line side and three lights represent the load side wiring. The electrical status of each phase is within sight and clearly displayed on the cover so that users are provided a secondary way to confirm make/break on all phases prior to removing the enclosure cover. For example, if there is a welded contact or dropped phase the operator can determine that a problem exists (see Fig. 1).

Hubbell non-metallic disconnect switch with LED lights

With an ever growing focus on safety improvements, Hubbell disconnects provide a difference you literally can see.

Hubbell phase-indicating disconnect switches are available in non-metallic, and stainless steel square top and sloped top versions. Replacement covers are available for upgrades to existing installations.

LED lights from Hubbell Wiring
Fig. 1: LED lights provide users with the status during different phases of line and load wiring.

The 30A Circuit-Lock Disconnect Switches are available with or without a jog switch to slowly move the motor forward or in reverse. Customers have the option to either purchase the entire disconnect unit or an LED replacement cover for compatible existing 30A Disconnect Switches.

As with most NEC-certified disconnect switches, when locked in the “off” position, the high-visibility red rotary handle complies with OSHA lockout/tagout requirements. When in the “on” position, the cover cannot be opened.

Hubbell's stainless steel sloped top disconnect.
Hubbell’s stainless steel sloped top disconnect

Designed to be tough, reliable and provide exceptional performance in the most grueling conditions, the disconnect switch’s IP69k rating means that it can withstand high-pressure, high-temperature washdowns. The units have been tested to withstand extremely hot water (176degF) and high-pressure water spray (1450psi) from various angles. In other destructive testing, the device is placed in a dust chamber for 8 hours while a vacuum attempts to pull dust into the sealed housing.

HHubbell's stainless steel square top disconnect.
Hubbell’s stainless steel square top disconnect

The switch is also certified by the NSF for use in food processing applications, and is UL Listed for Type 4X, which means that it can be used for either indoor or outdoor applications. It is also listed for Type 12 enclosures, which are enclosures constructed without knockouts for indoor use to protect personnel against access to hazardous parts, and to provide ingress protection for the electrical contents.

Features:
* Six highly visible integral phase identification LEDs
* External LEDs provide secondary means of visual confirmation of make/break on all phases
* Cover cannot be removed with switch in the “ON” position
* Certified by NSF for hygiene in Food Processing applications
* Highly visible red handle which meets OSHA LO/TO capabilities
* Available in 30 Amp non-metallic and stainless steel versions, with or without JOG switch
* UL witnessed IP69k and UL Type 4X and 12 Environmental ratings

 

Schneider Electric Acquires ASCO Power Technologies

Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management and automation, has acquired Asco Power Technologies, a leader in the Automatic Transfer Switch  market, for $1.25 billion.

ASCO employs 2,000 people, mainly in North America, and operates 7 manufacturing sites.  ASCO introduced ATS in 1925 and later expanded into surge, loadbanks, and fire pump and control applications. Since December 2016, ASCO has been operating as a autonomous part of Vertiv (formerly Emerson Network Power).

ATS automatically transfers critical loads from the primary source of power to the back-up power source in the event of a power outage. The Asco switches are designed specifically to meet regulations and power voltages used in the U.S.
According to the company, with the addition of the ASCO portfolio, Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Power Platform is further enhanced in North America and around the world especially in terms of applications in healthcare, financial services, data centers and other critical buildings.

What Cities Pay Electricians the Most?

Electricians in San Rafael, CA, earn the highest pay per hour in the country, but Illinois electricians don’t do to bad either, according to a report in Electrical Construction & Maintenance magazine.

For electricians working in the San Rafael area, the hourly mean wage is $48.32 and the annual mean wage is $100,500.

This is substantial greater than the national average. Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics and reported by EC&M, the national average salary estimate for an electrician is $53,560 and hourly wage is $25.75.

Earnings by electricians in the Steiner Electric reach are near the top of the list as well. The Chicago market, for instance, ranked #4 nationally with an hourly mean wage of $38.29 and an annual mean wage of $79,650. The Rockford area ranked #8 in the top 10 list with an hourly mean wage of $37.06 and an annual mean wage of $77,090.

Top 10 Cities for Electrician’s Pay
10. Newark, NJ-PA Metropolitan Area
Hourly mean wage: $36.86
Annual mean wage: $76,670
9. Anchorage, AK
Hourly mean wage: $36.99
Annual mean wage: $76,930
8. Rockford, IL
Hourly mean wage: $37.06
Annual mean wage: $77,090
7. Kennewick-Richland, WA
Hourly mean wage: $37.68
Annual mean wage: $78,380
6. New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ Metropolitan Area
Hourly mean wage: $37.92
Annual mean wage: $78,880
5. Fairbanks, AK
Hourly mean wage: $38.25
Annual mean wage: $79,550
4. Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL Metropolitan Area
Hourly mean wage: $38.29
Annual mean wage: $79,650
3. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
Hourly mean wage: $38.46
Annual mean wage: $79,990
2. San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA Metropolitan Area
Hourly mean wage: $47.04
Annual mean wage: $97,910
1. San Rafael, CA, Metropolitan Area
Hourly mean wage: $48.32
Annual mean wage: $100,500

Get Ready for Winter Work with Steiner

Winter is right around the corner and when the snow starts accumulating and the temperature starts to fall, the season of ice, snow and cold can turn a workplace into a survival of the fittest.

If you or your employees work in the field or in any location where winter weather presents safety concerns, you may wish to take some precautions. Steiner Electric and some of its vendors can help. A Winter Workplace Safety Counter Day has been scheduled to run at our Rockford branch on Oct. 31, from 11am-1pm.

The event will bring vendors of personal protection equipment, heating technology, lighting and lighting controls. Because equipment can also be at risk, technology on display will showcase portable testing equipment that can capture test data and have the information delivered to anyplace around the world.

Keep covered

Winter-related slips and falls, frostbite, hypothermia and more can result in time off work, temporary employee costs, overtime for existing employees, and increased insurance costs.

When it comes to personal protection, the head, ears and noses are among the extremities that get cold the fastest and must be protected.

Protective Industrial Products (PIP) will showcase a selection of gloves, head gear, and liners that helps protect workers. Headware includes 2-layer cotton models with mouthpiece, insulated ear barriers, and which have been FR (flame resistant) treated. They come in mid lengths and shoulder lengths.

For its gloves and sleeves, PIP uses Dyneema® and DuPont® advanced fibers as well as other proprietary engineered yarn blends and coatings to meet ANSI and EN standards. Breathable cut resistant gloves allow for dexterous work with wires and other components. Some versions can be used for dry and light-oil applications, and offer good grip and excellent abrasion resistance.

PIP air-assisted heat packs.

PIP will also feature air-activated hand warmers. The Heat Pack Mini Hand Warmers, which uses oxidation from the interaction of iron powder, activated carbon and water when it is exposed to air, provides 8 hours of warmth. It can be activated and reach full temperature in 2-5 minutes. Heating can be suspended at any time by resealing the inserts in an airtight container.

Freeze protection

Frozen pipes can be an aggravating experience for maintenance workers no matter the location.

Pentair’s Raychem self regulated cable.

Pentair’s Raychem products on display include self-regulating trace heating cables that are used for frost protection of pipes, temperature maintenance of process fluids, tank heating, and other applications.

The self-regulating heating cables automatically adjusts its power output to compensate for temperature changes. According to a Pentair video explaining the process, a protective core surrounds two parallel conductors. As the ambient temperature drops, the core contracts microscopically and the number of electrical paths increase and generates heat. Conversely, as the temperatures increases, the core expands and the number of paths decrease.

Pentair will showcase its Raychem QuickNet and Nuheat floor-heating systems.  These products are for installation under tile, granite, marble, stone, laminate and engineered wood flooring.

Also on display is the T2Red electric underfloor heating cable that the company says is ideal for temperature sensitive floors such as wood, laminate as well as for natural stone, and ceramic tiles. The self regulating cable can be cut-to-length on site, and can be overlapped or narrow spaced without danger of overheating, the company says.

Illuminating in the cold weather

Cold weather can also play havoc with lighting, especially fluorescent and high-intensity discharge (HID) lighting.

On display in Rockford will be a series of lamps and ballasts that work well in the cold. In addition to the lamps, some of the latest in lighting-control technology will be on display.

For those looking to replace lighting technology that works well in outdoor cold temperatures, then LED might be the answer as they tend to work better in this environment. Cold weather helps the LED stay cool.

RAB LED wallpack.

RAB will display wall packs and area lighting. Models on display include the RAB HPS Wall Packs for wide light distribution that feature a die-formed aluminum reflector and a prismatic polycarbonate refractor. Metal halide RAB Wall Packs feature symmetrical light patterns to maximize lighting distances between fixtures, while the prismatic optics minimize glare. For security and energy efficiency, RAB will showcase CFL motion controlled Wall Packs that are fully adjustable for 24-hour operation and feature custom applications.

In low-temperature environments such as refrigerated areas, fluorescent lamps can experience adverse performance problems such as “fluttering,” reduced light output and difficulty starting by a traditional ballast.

Philips’s Advance ballast.

Cold weather ballasts from Philips can start the fluorescent lamps at temperatures expected to be below 50°F. Cold weather electronic and magnetic ballasts can be specified for lamps that can start them at temperatures as low as -20°F.

Philips will also be showcasing some of its vast range of LED products.

 

Maintaining machines in the field

Since its 2014 introduction, Fluke Corp.’s Connect technology has won awards from trade show judges, such as the AHR Expo, and from many trade magazine award competitions (EDN, Control Engineering).

The technology allows data collected from a growing number of the company’s handheld instruments such as its multimeters, infrared thermometers, and AC/DC current meters, to be shared via Smartphones to anywhere in the world.

Thermal imager with Fluke Connect.

Fluke Connect Assets is a cloud-based wireless system of software and test tools that gives maintenance managers a comprehensive view of all critical equipment — including baseline, historical, and current test tool measurement data, current status, and past inspection data — enabling them to set up and sustain a preventive maintenance or condition-based maintenance system easily with minimal investment.