With winter approaching, some of the most vulnerable in our society — children and young people — could use a little help to stay warm and Steiner Electric, the Salvation Army and the Rockford community once again stepped up to help area children in need.
For the 16th year, Steiner Electric partnered with the Salvation Army for its annual Koats4Kids drive. Steiner is pivotal in collecting and distributing cold-weather clothing to children in Rockford and the surrounding areas who may otherwise go without during the cold winter months.
“Contributing to this cause is a no-brainer,” says Jeff Nagel, Rockford Distribution Center Manager. “The coats collected this year will be used this year to help children who otherwise might not have a warm coat. It is hard to think of a more worthy cause.”
Nagel points to one of Steiner’s employees who rarely takes credit for his efforts, but gives his time, and carpentry expertise, to this cause. Traffic Supervisor Gene Bullock has been supporting the drive for 16 years, primarily through the construction of sturdy, wooden collection huts.
“Steiner got involved and all of a sudden we needed solid huts to keep the donated clothes dry and clean,” says Bullock. “That is how I started helping this cause. It is a way to give back to the community. With everything going on in the world it is easy to think about other things, but the children have got to stay warm. It is one of life’s simplest human needs. ”
Bullock constructs the tall, wooden huts with spring-hinged doors for easy access. They are built directly on a pallet so that a Steiner crew using a pallet jack and company truck can move them where needed.
Steiner provides all the transportation for the delivery and collection of the huts and barrels to and from 35 donation sites.
Nagel says that donations of the following items are always needed:
Donated items must be in good wearable condition, clean, and not have any holes or stains. Adult sizes are accepted as many kids wear them.
Items donated at Steiner’s Will-Call Counters were transferred back to Steiner’s Rockford facility and then transferred en masse to the Salvation Army.
If you’d like to contribute, it is not too late to help. The Koats4Kids Campaign runs through Oct. 21, and you can donate directly to the Salvation Army’s donation page by clicking here.
Koats for Kids Coat Drive
In 2016, Steiner Electric donated the following items to the Koats for Kids clothing drive.
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.
A phone call in the middle of the night can be a startling and worrisome occurrence, but for the generator rental team at Steiner Electric, it is just another day of the week. The team is available 24-hours, 7-days-a-week to bring power to its clients when the power goes out.
In addition to reacting to emergencies, the Rental Sales department under the Power Systems Division provides a number of other services such as preventive maintenance programs to increase the reliability of in-house generator system. Preventive maintenance services include planned maintenance programs, load bank testing, fluid analysis, and vibration testing (See sidebar, at end.)
As an authorized distributor of Kohler generators, the department rents a range of Kohler models for a variety of applications. “We carry from 20kw to 400 kw, and if someone needs some other model type, we will get it for them,” says Tim Morris, rental manager. “Whatever they need, we will get it for them.”
The team assists contractors, electricians, maintenance people and other customers to select the appropriate generator, transfer switch or switchgear.
“Most electricians know what they are going to need,” says Morris. “They will measure the panel and if it is an emergency no matter the time of day or night, the electrician will usually tell me what they need and we get it to them ASAP.”
Steiner Electric rents the equipment on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. “Some businesses don’t want to buy the generators because then they are on the hook for maintenance and repairs,” Morris adds. “By renting from us, they get our experience and repair capabilities and they do not have to worry about fixing any problems themselves.”
The sales team can also set up the customers who have frequent power failures with an emergency power transfer box, also known as a Powertron Tap Box. The Tap Box is permanently installed and the rented generator plugs into it. The units can help restore power minutes after the generator appears on the scene.
When power goes out, work can stop in places outside the walls where the outage occurred. For instance, an automotive parts manufacturer’s power recently went out, which essentially shut down production at other factories that needed those parts to build the cars.
“As I was coming into work, the emergency service called me and said that we have a customer in Rockford that needs to talk to me right now,” Morris says. “As I’m taking that call, someone else from the (auto parts) company is calling us to tell us they need a generator ‘right now.’ That is how desperate they were. We got a generator up there in a couple hours and got production up and running again.”
In another instance, a high power line that stretched across the DesPlaines river broke and the power line was in the river. It took maintenance crews 3 to 4 days to get the power lines restrung. A food retailer was facing the prospect of disposing of $1 million worth of meat unless they could get power established within 24 hours. Needless to say, Steiner was able to deliver. The food did not spoil.
One of the company’s largest customers is a grocery store chain that keeps a backup, 750kW generator at Steiner Electric. “We store it here, in Elk Grove, and maintain it,” says Morris. “If they have an outage, we deliver where it is needed to protect their food from going to waste until they get their primary power working again.”
Each store has been surveyed and power requirements noted, and so the generator equipment will work basically in any of the company’s locations. “The way they look at it,” Morris says, “they save money by keeping the generator here and maintained so that it can be towed to any store, instead of buying one permanent unit for every store and paying all that maintenance and storage. ”
One of the most valuable services offered by the Steiner generator rental sales teams is a preventive maintenance program that will increase the reliability of the equipment.
The team will schedule maintenance to give the generators a thorough checkup. “One time, a generator had no oil pressure,” says Anthony Luzbetak, a service technician. “We pulled it all apart, replaced the oil pump, replaced the pressure relief valve, pretty much the whole system. When we were done, it ran perfectly.”
While most customers require standard equipment, there are times when some unusual needs must be met.
Typically, most generator applications require 120-240 V single phase, 120-208 V 3-phase, and 480 V 3-phase, but there are some customers who require a 240 V 3-phase unit. “Few people can handle that, certainly most distributors can’t, but we can,” says Morris.
Chicago has a lot of old infrastructure that still use the 240 V three phase, Morris explains. “We built a generator ourselves for one of those projects,” he says. “We converted a generator. We ripped all the wiring out and rewired it and just tapped it for 240 delta. We had to make our own controller. Now that we have it, we think this is a good little unit that is going to be busy.”
Sometimes the rental teams’ expertise can be a life saver. In most instances, the contractor or maintenance person knows exactly where to place the diesel generator. In one case, however, an electrician made a mistake and installed it in the courtyard of a 10-story, U-shaped building. “Every unit in that building was getting diesel-fuel exhaust in their apartments through their windows,” says Morris. “We found the problem, and we wound up having to move the generator almost a football field away.”
Keep Your Generators Maintained Before a Problem Occurs
A preventative maintenance program will increase the reliability of your generator system. In addition to scheduled maintenance and a load bank test, a fuel polishing program will provide early detection of small problems to reduce costly repairs and down time. Our factory-trained technicians can service most makes and models of generator systems.
* Timely and cost effective
* Generators 20 kW-2000 kW
* Paralleling Gear
* Distribution: Pods, Spider Boxes, I-Line Panels, ATS', Cable
* Light Towers
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.
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
Southwire Tools & Equipment’s drill-operated Max Punch XD knockout tool uses an 18V cordless drill and three point dies to deliver up to 4 in. knockouts in 10-gauge mild and stainless steel. It features a two-piece draw stud, replaceable chuck adapter, and is compatible with most industry standard knockout dies.
The Max Punch XD knockout tool is one of the products that is part of a Southwire giveaway promotion. Now, through Oct. 13th, 2017, at all 9 of Steiner’s Will-Call Counters customers can earn free Southwire products when they buy select Southwire goods. For more information on the promotion, click here
The Max Punch XD knockout tool features a flex head ratchet wrench that allows for easy maneuverability around obstacles in the field. The knockout tool operates with a gear drive system, which means “no hydraulics, no ratcheting and no mess,” and can knock out a hole in seconds.
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: