Get Modified Enclosures Without the Hassle

Get Modified Enclosures Without The Hassle

Are your highest paid, best-trained employees spending their time measuring and marking up, drilling and cutting your enclosures? Has modifying those enclosures to meet exacting customer specs become a production bottleneck? Do design revisions during the build cycle cause documentation headaches?

If you answered yes to any of these or similar questions, I have one more question for you. Why are you still manually modifying enclosures in house?

Don’t waste time making holes and cutouts manually–let Steiner Electric, the exclusive Hoffman Certified Modification Center in Northern IL, deliver your modified enclosures and back panels to you, on your schedule and ready to populate so you can focus on integrating and providing control solutions to your customers.

Get modified enclosures fast

For contractors that produce electrical and electronic assemblies for end users, modifying enclosures is essential to the panel building process, but the task does not bring the most value-add to a project.

Steiner’s CNC-based Hoffman Certified Modification Center, the ModCenter 293, eliminates the time-consuming and costly manual methods of modifying enclosures. The automated system makes your shop more competitive, efficient, improves your bottom line and can make design changes on the fly.

Reduce your lead times by modifying stocked or quick-ship enclosures and have them delivered to your facility or job site on your schedule. In addition, the quality of the cutouts are higher and turnaround times on custom enclosures and back panels are faster.

Utilizing an automatic tool changer, the machine can use any of 21 precision cutters — a combination of drills and taps for holes and end mills for cutouts. The ModCenter can mill mild steel at 2,000 mm (78 in.) per minute, and it can make a 4- by 4-in. in under 3 minutes. Including filing and cleanup, it can take a person about 15 minutes to manually do that job.

Get precise cutouts and custom enclosures fast with the ModCenter 293.

Considering that a 36-in. by 48-in. electrical enclosure could have 40 to 50 holes and cutouts and a back panel could have as many as 200 holes with taps, the ability to accurately and expeditiously customize enclosures is vital.

Dan Williams, manager of the Steiner Electric Custom Products Group says, “By automating labor-intensive modification tasks we can increase productivity, quality, and flexibility. We can produce holes and cutouts in minutes, not hours, and when we are done the holes are precise and clean and ready to populate.”

From small to large enclosures

The CNC unit handles enclosures up to 93.7 in. by 86 in. and back panels up to 93 in. by 94 in. It can process a variety of materials including mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, PVC, and glass-reinforced plastic (GRP).

Automatic tool changer that holds up to 21 tools.
The tool changer holds 21 tools.

Vertically oriented and operating in multi-axes, the unit grabs a tool and makes all the cuts that it can with that cutting tool, moving along a preprogrammed cutting path, before exchanging the cutter with another tool to continue the process.   The CNC machine operates along these vertical lines, explains Williams. “It rides on this plane, modifying whatever is on the plane.”

A flexible machine, the ModCenter 293 allows for fast changes if needed.  “We are like an on-site job shop,” says Williams.  “Our number one priority is to make sure our customers get the enclosure they need for the job, at a competitive price, and get it on time, every time.”

The ModCenter 293 features software that integrates seamlessly with CAD DXF, DWG, and other file formats to push jobs forward. This saves workers from the laborious job of copying a pattern by hand.

Having Steiner do the modification work may also reduce tooling costs. Drilling holes and making cutouts by hand is hard on tooling. Depending on the enclosure material, drill bits can wear out after about 150 holes. Saw blades, especially when cutting stainless steel, can wear out in just minutes.

With benefits such as precision cutting, fast turnaround times, and labor-savings, outsourcing your enclosure modifications to Steiner can be a good decision in many ways.

To help you select or design the most appropriate enclosure for your application, contact Steiner at 800.783.4637, visit our website, or Email:  modificationcenter@stnr.com

 

Protect Your Motor with Manual Starters and Switches

Schneider Electric manual starters and switches are compact and elegantly designed devices that are primarily used to switch motors ON/OFF. Despite their simplicity, they can reverse the motor depending on the model and protect the motor against overloads, shorts, and phase failures in fuse-less applications. These devices, which are typically operated by toggle or push button, come in a variety of options from reversing and non-reversing to multi-speed choices.

Schneider manual starters and switches come in a variety of options to suit your specific application.

Steiner stocks a large inventory of manual motor starters and switches for pickup at one of our convenient locations or on-time delivery to your facility or job site, including fractional horsepower manual starters with melting alloy overload relays; manual switches that are horsepower rated for self-protected motors; and manual starters with integral horsepower with melting alloy overload relays.

It is now easier to configure the right motor starter and switch for your application by using the Schneider EZ Selector. When it comes to manual starters and switches, the EZ Selectors make it especially easy to choose from various versions and multiple options of (type F) fractional starters, (type K) manual switches, and (type M, T) starters with melting alloy overload relays.

Application Considerations

Manual starters are designed for low horsepower motor applications. In fact, many small motors use a fraction of a horsepower to run, and Schneider offers manual starters designed specially for these fractional horsepower motors.

The starters are especially suited for being mounted directly onto or near the machine that is controls. They can be used as stop-starts without the need to run extra power cords and wires.

The starters can be chosen based on the type of electronic to be controlled and protected. Is the application a single-phase or three-phase? What is the full-load amperage? Does your application require 1 or 2 pole configurations or 2 or 3 pole configurations?

The environment in which they are to operate is also a primary concern. Some starters must be dust proof or be oil resistant. If a dusty environment, the starter might require a NEMA 12 enclosure that will protect against dust, dirt, and dripping non-corrosive liquids, oil and lubricants. A NEMA 4 enclosure is often intended for outdoor use where extra protection against moisture and wind driven rain is required.

Some models are available in specific NEMA enclosures. Type F fraction HP starters are available in NEMA Type 1 enclosures (oversized and flush-mount enclosure option available), Type 4 enclosures (with zinc alloy die casting), and NEMA Type 3R, 7 and 9 (cast aluminum enclosure).

Various models also have specific operators. For instance, for Type M and T integral horsepower starters, a push button or toggle operator is available in open and NEMA Type 1 enclosure, while a direct acting push button is only available on NEMA Types 4 and 12 enclosures.

Thermal overload is also a consideration to protect a motor against overheating.  For example, the ambient temperature of a cabinet with multiple electronics could become so hot that nuisance tripping occurs.

To solve these problems, many switches, such as the Type M and Type T units, feature melting alloy thermal units. Depending on the thermal load, these starters might necessitate their thermal overload protection adjusted for the heat (See video below). The thermal overload protection developed by Square D has a special alloy in it. When the ambient temperature reaches a certain level, the protective relay undergoes a phase change from solid to liquid and shuts off the motor. This greatly reduces the chance of motor damage.

These considerations are just a few options that must be taken into account when choosing the correct manual starter or switch for the particular application.

Fractional Horsepower Manual Starters

Type F fractional horsepower starters provide overload protection as well as

Type F fractional horsepower starters

manual ON/OFF control for small motors in a variety of industrial and commercial installations including fans, conveyors, pumps, and small machine tools. Available in enclosed or open styles, they come in in non-reversing and two-speed versions to control small single-phase AC motors that have separate windings for high- and low-speed operation.

  • Horsepower rated up to 1hp AC, 0.75hp DC
  • Overload protection provided by melting alloy thermal units
  • Available in 1 or 2 pole configurations for AC single phase motors rated up to 1 hp. Two-pole starters can also be used with DC motors rated up to 0.75 hp.
  • 277VAC Max, 230VDC Max (2-pole only)
Manual Starting Switches

Type K starting switches , which use two switches (one to connect the motor for forward rotation and one for reverse rotation), provide manual ON/OFF control of single- or

Type KG1A Schneider Manual Starter and Switch.

three-phase AC motors, and also for reversing AC motors where overload protection is not required or is provided separately. They are suitable with three-phase squirrel cage motors. The type K 2-speed manual switches may be used with separate winding three- or single-phase AC motors.

Available in enclosed or open style, with compact construction and a 600 V rating, these switches are suitable for a wide range of industrial and commercial uses including small machine tools, pumps, fans, conveyors, and other types of electrical machinery. They can also be used on non-motor loads such as resistance heaters.

  • Available in reversing, non-reversing, and two-speed versions
  • Horsepower rated up to 20hp AC, 2hp DC for self-protected motors
  • Available in 2 or 3 pole configurations
  • 600VAC Max, 230VDC Max
Integral Horsepower Manual Starters
Type M and T Schneider Manual Starters and Switches.

Designed for overload protection and manual ON/OFF control for small single phase, polyphase or DC motors, the Type M and T Integral horsepower starters are available in NEMA sizes M0 – M1, and come with either Push Button (M) or Toggle (T) operators. Options include non-reversing, reversing, and two-speed applications. Typical applications include small machine tools, pumps, fans, and conveyors.

  • Pilot light and auxiliary contact available
  • Horsepower rated up to 10hp AC (3-phase), 5hp AC (Single-phase), 2hp DC
  • Available in 2 or 3 pole configurations
  • 600VAC Max, 250VDC Max (2-pole only)
  • Available in enclosed or open style
Make Selections EZ
The Schneider Electric Safety Switch EZ Selector can guide you to the most appropriate safety switch for your required application.
The EZ Selector can guide you to the most appropriate manual starter for your required application.

Manual starters and switches come with multiple options. With all the product variables from application to enclosure type, voltage to amperage consideration, selecting the appropriate starter or switch can be a challenge. Schneider Electric has made the process simpler by developing the EZ Selector tool.

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 Manual Starters and Switches.

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.

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.

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

 

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.

 

Square D Road Warrior Trailer Rolls Into Steiner Electric

Industry leader Square D loaded up its new Road Warrior Trailer with some of its newest and most innovative products and is making appearances at three Steiner Electric branches in August.

From ready-to-install (RTI) panelboards to surge protection devices with myriad mounting options, meters, diagnostic devices and energy management systems, the products on display in the Square D Road Warrior Trailer are designed to speed-up installations, reduce mistakes, call backs and component lists.

The Road Warrior Trailer makes three stops at Steiner Electric in August. The first is Aug. 8, from 11am to 1pm, in Elk Grove Village. On Aug. 15, the trailer rolls into Rockford, and two days later it appears at the St. Charles branch from 10am to 1pm.

Units on display include ready-to-install (RTI) panelboards such as the NQ panel, which is designed to meet 240Vac maximum rating applications and offer powerful circuit protection. Additional features showcased include a group mounted (factory installed) SPD unit, finger guard on incoming wires as per new code, and CAFI and DF breakers.

Another line on display is the the HomeLine Plug-on group of circuit breakers and load centers that help contractors save time on installation, and meet NECs code regarding arc and ground fault requirements.

Homeline Plug-on features on display include, Plug on Neutral CAFI and DF breakers, incoming wires finger guard, push-to-test DF breakers, and Group mounted SPD.

Also on display is the QO load center for applications ranging from agricultural to industrial, commercial to residential with indoor and outdoor versions available. The QO is a load center and circuit breaker family that comes in single and three-phase, ¾ in. circuit breaker width, 30  to 400 amps, 2 to 42 circuits and separate flush or surface mounted covers.

Additional features on display for the QO Load Center (Plug on), include the finger guard requirement, Plug on Neutral CAFI and DF breakers, the Qwik Grip wire management system, hinged Trim with adjustable dead front, and Visi-Trip breakers.

Other items on display include EZM corner section metering, Wiser Energy Load Center, which features a new load control with all-inclusive CT’s and communication package for metering, and a whole range of SPDs in unit mount, group mount and side mount.

Come See The Square D Road Warrior Trailer in August
• Elk Grove on Tuesday, Aug. 8, from 11am to 1pm
• Rockford Branch, on Tuesday, Aug. 15, from 11am top 1pm
• St. Charles on Tuesday, Aug. 17, from 10am to 1pm
Lunch provided during each event.

Safety Notice: Milwaukee Expands Warnings on M18 Battery Pack

Milwaukee Tool is voluntarily expanding the warnings and instructions of its M18™ HIGH DEMAND™ 9.0 battery pack (model no. 48-11-1890).  The expanded product warnings, made in consultation with the Consumer Product Safety commission, addresses situations that could lead to a battery pack failure or other safety hazards.  This safety notice does not require users to return their M18™ HIGH DEMAND™ 9.0 battery packs.

Should highly conductive or corrosive fluids get inside the M18™ HIGH DEMAND™ 9.0 battery pack in sufficient quantities, it can cause battery pack failure.

Milwaukee Electric issues safety notice.
Milwaukee Tool issues safety notice.

Failure can include, a short-circuit that, in an extreme situation, can result in smoking or fire, even when not in use. Examples of highly conductive or corrosive fluids include seawater, certain industrial chemicals and bleach or bleach-containing products.

Milwaukee Tool is urging its customers to download, read and understand the expanded warnings and instructions in their entirety at milwaukeetool.com/safetynotices, where they will also find frequently asked questions and answers.

Milwaukee Tool is urging its customers to download, read and understand the expanded warnings and instructions in their entirety at www.milwaukeetool.com/expandedinstructions

Any customers who believe highly conductive or corrosive fluids have entered their M18™ HIGH DEMAND™ 9.0 battery pack should immediately contact Milwaukee Tool at 844.577.5515 (7am to 10pm Eastern Time Sunday through Saturday).