These hallowed words, as Gen. Douglas MacArthur reflected, is not only the motto of the West Point Military Academy, it is the heart and soul, the strength and the goodness, of those sons and daughters who serve in the United States military to protect our freedom and way of life.
On this special day, let us pause and salute all who serve in war and in peace. We pay homage to your efforts and wish you our best.
We especially honor the 30 current Steiner Electric employees who served in the cause of liberty. Steiner also salutes the mothers, fathers, and family members of those who have served this nation at posts around the world.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
* 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
For longitudinal and face turning, Sandvik Coromant now offers CoroTurn 300 metal cutting tools that are designed for high-volume, OD steel-turning operations.
The Sandvik CoroTurn 300 metal cutter features stable insert clamping. Its eight-edged inserts, with 80 degree cutting edges, provide high-chip control, and improved surface finish. The inserts ensure good heat transformation for predictable performance and wear. More edges also mean fewer inserts required, which in turn means better inventory control, and less carbide per edge means less waste and material to recycle.
Keep it Steady
Stable insert clamping for the CoroTurn 300 is accomplished through the company’s patented iLock interface. All machining generates forces on the metal cutting tools and these forces can cause micro-movements of the insert in its seat. Even the smallest movements can negatively affect tool performance and result.
To counter this, the iLock system securely locks the insert in place and provides tool accuracy to within ±0.05 mm (0.002 in.), giving the operator indexing repeatability for a better surface finish and increased tool life.
Tools with iLock design have rails or serrations on the tool holder and corresponding slots on the insert for tight locking. This prevents the cutting forces from affecting the tool position.
Keep it Cool
Another way the CoroTurn 300 offers enhanced chip breaking capabilities is through high-precision (HP) over and under coolant. Coolant from above controls the chip breaking for secure machining while under coolant controls the temperature for long and predictable tool life. Other features of the tool are the Coromant Capto interface in a variety of sizes and the Quick Start (QS) shanks, which enable quick tool changes and easy coolant connections for maximized production time.
John Winter, turning product specialist for Sandvik Coromant, said, “The CoroTurn 300 integrates the latest advances in iLock, Inveio [coating] and high-precision coolant technology to take steel turning into the next century using an insert with eight, 80 degree cutting edges. This is the perfect tool for high volume outer diameter (OD) steel turning applications where tool life and process security is a must.”
Sandvik Coromant recommends only under-coolant when the feed rate exceeds 0.2 mm/revolution and the depth of cut (DOC) is larger than the nose radius of the insert. Under these conditions, over-coolant might cause minor edge wear and increase crater wear in steel, and make it difficult to evaluate this wear. Conversely, if the DOC is either smaller than the nose radius or the feed rate is slower than 0.2 mm/revolution, using both over- and under-coolant is recommended, according to the Website.
For example, in one automotive application (an outer CV joint) a Sandvik Coromant CoroTurn 300 insert with -L4 geometry was used to turn low-alloy steel (P2.1.Z.AN) with 3 bar (43.5 psi; 300kPa) of coolant pressure at a feed rate of 0.35 mm/revolution and a 2.5-mm DOC.
The CoroTurn (CT) insert delivered a 158% improvement in tool life versus an insert with -PF geometry, while the same CT300 insert delivered a 200% tool life improvement using only under-coolant.
Keep it Coated
The eight-edged inserts for the CoroTurn 300 are available in grades GC4325 and GC4315 featuring Inveio coating, a unidirectional crystal orientation for high wear resistance and long tool life. The unique insert design has excellent chip breaking capabilities and less carbide per edge, which reduces the impact on our environment with less material to waste or recycle. Plus, more edges allow for better inventory control.
The coating is applied through a chemical vapor deposit process (CVD) that through a chemical process turns a solid firm into a gaseous deposit onto the substrate.
Typically, when using this process, the coatings’ crystal growth direction is random. When developing Inveio™, Sandvik found a way to control the growth in this coating layer. Researchers were able to ensure that all of the crystals lined up in the same direction, with the strongest part towards the top surface.
The tightly-packed uni-directional crystals create a strong barrier towards the cutting zone and chip and greatly improves crater wear and flank-wear resistance. Heat is more rapidly lead away from the cutting zone, helping the cutting edge stay in shape for longer times in cut.
For more information on the CoroTurn 300, contact your Steiner Metalworking application engineer at (800) 323-TOOL.
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
The M18 FUEL portable power tool line, which includes more than 30 products available from Steiner Electric, features three Milwaukee-exclusive innovations—The Powerstate Brushless Motor, the Redlithium Battery Pack and Redlink Plus Intelligence Hardware and Software—that deliver unmatched power, run-time and durability to the jobsite.
From September 1st through October 31st, 2017 Steiner is running a spectacular promotion on Milwaukee M18 FUEL Kits. Customers can get $100 off a qualifying M18 Fuel Kit when they trade in a professional grade cordless tool. For more information on the promotion – click here.
Instead of brushes that can wear out, Milwaukee engineered more steel and copper into its POWERSTATE brushless motor. This results in longer motor life as a result of reduced friction, less heat buildup, and higher efficiency.
Smaller and lighter than NiCd compact batteries, the REDLITHIUM Battery is 65% lighter and 50% smaller than compact NiCd batteries. It runs cooler and performs in climates below 0°F/-18°C.
Managed by Milwaukee’s exclusive REDLINK Plus Intelligence, the battery offers 1.5 amp-hours of runtime. It features overload protection to prevent damage in heavy-duty situations, while the discharge protection prevents cell damage. The smart city features a temperature management system and individual cell monitoring to help maximize battery life.
Intelligent lighting systems are being widely touted as the future of the lighting industry. With the proliferation of lighting fixtures such as LEDs and others in the market, the smart lighting industry is set to dominate a plethora of applications ranging from commercial to outdoor applications, according to a new industry report.
According to the report, Smart Lighting Market Research Report – Forecast to 2021 from Market Research Future, the global market for Smart Lighting is expected to reach up to $59.973 billion by the end of 2021 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of ~19-21%.
The major factors contributing to the growth of the Smart Lighting market are driven by continuously declining average selling price of LED lamps and the influx of smart apps, the internet of things and remote access and lighting controls.
In terms of components, sensors such as proximity sensors had the largest share in the global Smart Lighting market, and it is expected to grow at the highest CAGR among all the projects considered in the study.
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.
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 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.
Frozen pipes can be an aggravating experience for maintenance workers no matter the location.
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 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.
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.
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.
Contractors have many reasons to install LED lighting and related control technologies into their customer’s homes and businesses. In addition to the increased energy efficiency, cost savings, better lighting control, and other advanced capabilities afforded them by these products, contractors can also win some great prizes in a sweepstakes.
Lutron Electronics Co. is sponsoring the Drive Your Business with Lutron sweepstakes in which contractors can win a new pickup truck, the Ford 150 XLT, plus $10,000 in cash, along with other great weekly prizes.
To be eligible, contractors must purchase $150 of qualifying Lutron products or $100 of Lutron in-wall sensors. Entrants must be professionally employed by, or own, a company whose primary business is electrical installation and/or repair. Complete rules, including ways to enter without purchase, are available at lutron.com/driveyourbusiness.
Lutron offers a wide variety of lighting control products from which contractors can choose. These include products that utilize Lutron’s C•L dimmer technology, as well as in-wall sensors such as the Maestro line.
C•L dimmers are used in numerous models and are available in a range of styles and colors. The dimmers are designed and UL listed for controlling a broad range of dimmable compact fluorescent (CFLs) and LED lamps. They alleviate the traditional challenges of dimming LEDs such as light drop out, lights that do not turn on, and lamps that flicker or turn off unexpectedly as a result of voltage fluctuation.
The dimmers feature Lutron’s HED Technology that uses dimming circuitry the company says was designed for compatibility with most high-efficacy lamps. With HED Technology, the dimmers can dim a mixed load of light sources (i.e. LED and halogen or CFL and LED bulbs) on the same circuit.
Lutron’s in-wall sensors includes the Maestro line of products. These sensors automatically turn lights on when someone enters a room and turns the lights off when the person leaves.
To accomplish this, Lutron incorporates several different types of sensor technology. This includes passive infrared (PIR) technology that detects temperature changes when someone enters a room. The company also utilizes ultrasonic technology that senses when someone is in a room by bouncing ultrasonic waves off objects in a space and measuring the frequency shift, i.e. the changes between the emitted and reflected sound waves.
In addition, Lutron’s products can also be outfitted with both PIR and ultrasonic technologies in Dual-Technology products. Both technologies within the sensor must detect someone in a room to turn the lights on, but only one of the technologies needs to continually sense the person for the lights to stay on. Dual-technology sensors are self-adaptive meaning that the sensors will automatically adjust sensitivity and timing of light levels.
Lutron’s XCT technology recognizes the difference between fine motion, like reading a book, and background noise. Lutron offers PIR sensors with XCT technology, as well as dual-technology (PIR and ultrasonic) sensors with XCT technology.
In-wall sensor products include a Maestro Passive infrared vacancy sensor that automatically control the lights in an area and a Lutron Maestro Occupancy-Sensing Switch with occupancy/vacancy sensor that works with up to nine companion switches. The sensing switch combines a Maestro switch with a passive infrared occupancy or vacancy sensor. The sensor detects the heat from occupants moving within an area to determine if the space is occupied. Based on the feedback from the sensor, the occupancy sensing switch will adjust the load accordingly.
With the purchases of these or other Lutron products, contractors will be eligible to win:
The more than 400 members of the Steiner Electric team wish our customers, suppliers and their families a relaxing and enjoyable Labor Day weekend.
The holiday, established in 1894, salutes the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. The team at Steiner also salutes the hard work of its employees who have helped make the company an industry stalwart for more than 100 years.
In observance of the Labor Day holiday, all Steiner Will-Call Counters will be closed Monday, September 4. On Saturday, September 2, the Elk Grove Will-Call Counter will be open from 7:00am to 11:00am. All other Will Call locations will be closed on Saturday.
We will resume normal business hours. on Tuesday, September 5.