GE’s Industrial Solutions business officially opened its new Advanced Manufacturing Lab (AML) in Plainville, Conn., on Nov. 19. The AML is using robotics and automated manufacturing systems to design and build production lines for the new GuardEon molded case circuit breaker (MCCB) platform to be launched in 2015.
“The new lab is another example of GE’s investment in the future of our electrical distribution business to better serve our customers,” said Bob Gilligan, CEO of GE’s Industrial Solutions business, in a press release. “We are making unprecedented investments in our business to deliver the global MCCB platform faster than ever before, while introducing innovative design-for-manufacturing development methods and launching a modern, advanced manufacturing plant.”
The press release said within the next 24 months GE will completely reinvent and revitalize its MCCB offering to provide a modern, comprehensive, global industrial circuit breaker portfolio. Available in 2015, GuardEon will be a platform of four frames, accessories and trip units designed and launched in less than three years — significantly faster than typical industry development time. This accelerated delivery schedule will be achieved using GE’s FastWorks methodology to speed development while incorporating continuous customer feedback throughout the design and development process.
The GuardEon product line will be built at a new Circuit Breaker Center of Excellence (COE) in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. The company has been producing circuit breakers in Puerto Rico for years and has a veteran workforce to support the new manufacturing techniques to be used in the factory.
The company is using a bevy of state-of-the-art and product development and design techniques to develop the GuardEon line, including “Voice of the Customer” in the concept stage to factor in what customers would like to see in a new breaker line; outside product design specialist to help produce an attractive-looking product; and three-dimensional printers to produce prototypes of the breaker.
Much of this development is taking place in the Advanced Manufacturing Lab and the NPI Accelerator Lab in the Plainville, Conn. The NPI Accelerator Lab features a collaborative workspace with a machine shop, product tear-down area and 3D printing prototype production and assembly capabilities, which enables GE engineers to design, develop and deliver new products faster than ever before. In addition, GE’s High Current Test Lab offers high-voltage capabilities for on-site, quick-cycle prototype testing, ensuring products’ robust design, superior performance and standards compliance from launch date.
Capital Tristate hosted its Industrial Tradeshow at Hager Hall in Hagerstown, Md., on Nov. 6. Dozens of key manufacturers participated with their latest technology and industrial offerings with on-site demonstrations for attendees. In addition, specialists from Capital Tristate were on-site to discuss automation and controls, energy maintenance services, vendor-managed inventory, and , kitting and assembly. Nearly, 200 Capital Tristate customers and guests attended, where they enjoyed food, drinks, demonstrations and door prizes. Among the door prizes, awarded every 15 minutes, were mountain bikes, grills, a Yeti cooler, a Green Egg smoker, and various sports related items.
Atlanta Light Bulbs, Inc., Tucker, Ga., has been named as the winner of the Small Business category of the 23nd annual Georgia Family Business of the Year awards by the Cox Family Enterprise Center in the Michael J. Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University.
The Georgia Family Business of the Year awards honor and recognize the positive contributions provided by family firms who have successfully combined business with family. Companies are chosen on the basis of proven business success, multigenerational family involvement in the business, positive linkages between family and business, contributions to industry and community, and innovative business practices and strategies.
Atlanta light Bulbs Inc. is a family firm that invests in the community, and educates consumers about technological advances in LED and solid-state lighting. The company also serves its customers by helping to lower their overall energy consumption by offering energy audits, retrofit services, and lighting consultations. Since its incorporation in 1981, the firm says it has become a a premier lighting source in metropolitan Atlanta and nationwide through its expansion to AtlantaLightBulbs.com in 1998. Atlanta Light Bulbs is a member of the National Association of Independent Lighting Distributors, National Association of Electrical Distributors, US Green Building Council and a member of the Cox Family Enterprise Center.
Laurie Gross, president of Gross Electric; Stacey Butts, interim executive director of the Sight Center; Lynn Ritter, education coordinator of the Alzheimer's Association; and Joe Gross, V.P. of Gross Electric, gather on the course after a successful fundraiser.
According to Joe Gross, the company has hosted golf outings for many years as a way of thanking their customers. Last year was the first time the company decided to add a fundraising component to the event, and they intend to continue this into the future.
Klein Tools, Lincolnshire, Ill., announced the winner of its 2014 “Head of the Class” Award for instructor of the year. Roy Smith, a Great Lakes region finalist from Alpena, Mich., received the most votes out of the six finalists from thousands of votes cast. Smith is a Utility Technology Program head instructor at Alpena College who has almost quadrupled the yearly student enrollment as well as designed and developed a pole yard training lab.
“Roy Smith has been an instructor for 20 years,” said Tom Barton, product marketing manager for Klein Tools. “His knowledge and skill from years of experience and his dedication to building relationships with both his students and the industry have gained the respect of many.”
Smith received $500 in cash and $500 in Klein tools for his school when he captured the “Great Lakes” regional title. The grand prize adds an additional $500 in cash and $500 in Klein tools for his school plus Klein Back-to-School Kits for each of his fall 2014 students (a $50 value per kit), which includes a Klein hi-viz t-shirt, a pair of Klein safety glasses, a Klein flash drive, six Klein carpenter’s pencils and a Klein camouflage dual zone lunch cooler.
The American Red Cross in New Mexico received $6,990 from Albuquerque-based Summit Electric Supply after the Albuquerque Isotopes scored 699 base hits during the 2014 regular baseball season. Summit supports the American Red Cross locally and nationally, and has made it a tradition to participate in the Albuquerque Isotopes Charity Banner Program.
This year, Summit donated $10 for every Isotopes base hit during the regular AAA baseball season. In previous years, Summit donated $100 for every home run the Isotopes scored at home during regular season.
Albuquerque Isotopes mascot Orbit joined Summit Account Manager Greg Carpenter for a check presentation on the Isotopes field on August 29. Carpenter presented Summit’s donation to Josett Valdez-Negley, the American Red Cross in New Mexico Interim Regional CEO, and to Regional Chief Development Officer Betsy Skye Smith.
Every once in a while you run across a unique branch location, but how many electrical distributors can say they have a location with a world-class mural of a whale? The Baltimore branch of CapitalTristate/Sonepar occupies Baltimore’s Russell Street Building, which displays conservation muralist Wyland’s 46th mural in his series of 100 “Whaling Walls” throughout the world. Entitled “Extinct Atlantic Gray Whales,” the 5,200-square-foot painting was created in 1993.
Unfortunately, the 21 years that have passed since its painting led to significant deterioration of the landmark. So, in May of this year, the property management company that owns the building, St. John Properties Inc., reached out to a local mural restoration company after obtaining Wyland’s permission to restore the work. Preparations began at the end of May and the restoration continued through the end of June. The mural artists meticulously cleaned the mural before beginning work, and referred to photos taken of the original piece while they did their painting.
One entire panel of the mural had to be redone freehand because the damage to the original was so severe. Scorching heat and torrential rain made the work painstaking and difficult, with lots of starts and stops, but the month-long restoration has reinstated this iconic landmark as something to look for when coming into and out of Baltimore.
If you are ever in Baltimore, check out the restored mural. The branch is close to the NFL Baltimore Ravens’ stadium and the home of the MLB Baltimore Orioles.
Full-line electrical distributor Interstate Electric Supply, Boise, Idaho, launched a new website at www.interstateelectricsupply.com to provide a more user-friendly way to navigate through the latest information about Interstate Electric’s products and services.
“The new enhancements will ensure a welcoming and productive experience for our visitors,” said Tim Young, district manager for Interstate Electric. “We feel the new content will help guide visitors to energy solutions best suited for their needs.”
Other website features include forms to request product or pricing information, service requests, credit applications and live links to Interstate Electric’s most popular lighting fixtures; Interstate Electric news and training events; and information on Interstate Electric’s comprehensive services, including service reports, summary billing, kitting, and inventory improvement.
Interstate, part of Crescent Electric Supply, serves customers in Ontario, Oregon, and Boise, Caldwell, Lake Fork, Meridian, and Nampa, Idaho.
The legendary electrical genius Nikola Tesla was in the news last month with this announcement on theoatmeal.com that Elon Musk, CEO of the Tesla electric vehicle company, has donated $1 million to the Tesla Museum, on the 158th anniversary of the great man’s birth.
Tesla is one of the unsung heroes of the electrical industry. While Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse won widespread praise for the genius and inventions that help form the foundation of today’s electrical grid, Tesla is a somewhat tragic figure who arguably contributed just as much to this business but spent his last years broke, and, apparently, with a strange love for pigeons.
According to www.atlasobscura.com: “Tesla allegedly loved an all-white pigeon romantically. As the story goes, the bird flew to tell him she was dying with a bright light in her eyes. After the bird died in 1922, Tesla knew that his life’s work was finished. Regarding this beautiful bird, Tesla supposedly said, “I loved that pigeon as a man loves a women, and she loved me. As long as I had her, there was a purpose to my life.”
In an odd twist of fate, Tesla has a street corner named after himself in New York City at 40th and the Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue) where he allegedly spent many hours feeding pigeons in Bryant Park. The street corner was named after Tesla in 1994.
Madison Electric Co., Warren, Mich., one of Michigan’s largest distributors of electrical, automation, HVAC, PVF, plumbing, water management and network communication systems and components, is celebrating 100 years as a family-owned business.
In celebration of its centennial Madison Electric plans to raise $100,000 for local charities to show its appreciation for the community that has supported the company in a century of success. The charitable organizations include Karmanos Cancer Institute, Gleaners Food Bank, Detroit Institute for Children and Michigan Freedom Center. In addition to the fundraising efforts spearheaded by family executive leadership, Madison associates will also participate in planned fundraising events and volunteer activities at the four selected charities throughout the year.
Over the past century, Madison Electric has grown from two men operating their business out of a small building in Detroit to a large corporation with eight locations, 150 employees and $80 million in annual sales. The company was founded in 1914 by brothers Morris and Max Blumberg and has remained under the leadership of their decedents ever since. It enters its second century presided over by Brett Schneider, the company’s president and the great-grandson of Morris Blumberg, marking the fourth generation of leadership.
Along with Brett Schneider, the company leadership team representing the fourth generation of leadership are Brad Schneider, vice president of operations, and Jordan Glass, secretary/treasurer. The company’s third generation of family leaders include Benjamin Rosenthal, chief financial officer; Richard Sonenklar, V.P. and chief information officer; Scott Leemaster, V.P. and general manager; and Jon Waitz, V.P. “Every generation of leadership has made it their goal to leave the company even better than they found it,” said Benjamin Rosenthal, the company’s CFO. “It’s this mentality that drives us to try new things, invest in new technology and expand our offerings.”
Madison Electric Co.’s greatest milestones have been marked by the leadership’s future-focused approach to business. Examples of this include opening branch locations to bring products closer to contractors during the post-World War II urban sprawl; forming the industrial electronics division to provide interconnected products, cable assemblies and production computers during the turn of the century; and investing early into automation, 20 years before it reached the popularity it’s gained today.
Following an appearance on the television show “Shark Tank,” Ilumi Solutions, landed a $350,000 investment from Mark Cuban, billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and today received U.S. Patent No. 8,742,694 from the United States Patent Office for its Wireless Lighting Control System. The issued patent discloses a novel intelligent wireless lighting system intended to simplify and improves the everyday use of intelligent lighting. The ilumi Smartbulb can be controlled wirelessly via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) using an app for iOS or Android. Ilumi solutions is a Dallas-based company specializing in tunable and intelligent next generation LED lighting and control.
U.S. Patent No. 8,742,694 protects the company’s HyperLux™ LED technology and wireless control and meshing used in the ilumi Smartbulbs. The wireless mesh via Bluetooth Low Energy, also known as Bluetooth Smart, provides systematic and scalable networked lighting control from one to 50 ilumi Smartbulbs. Key is the system’s ease of use and implementation, such as the “plug and play”automatic pairing process that makes the intelligent lighting system as easy as screwing in a light bulb. In addition, this scalable and elegant BLE based solution is possible without the complexity of WiFi networks, bridges, or hefty installation costs.
In 2013, the company raised over $200,000 in crowdfunding via Indiegogo and Kickstarter to help bring the ilumi Smartbulb to market. Supporters of the crowdfunding campaign are now some of the first to receive and enjoy the Bluetooth controlled LED lights.
Hubbell Lighting, Greenville, S.C., has introduced a new energy-efficient lighting program for the hospitality industry to help hotels cut electricity costs by 60%, translating to a 5.58% increase in profitability, the company said. The initiative, called “createchange,” consists of two offerings:
* A suite of unique audit tools and other product selection resources implemented with Hubbell Lighting consultants that allow hotels to forecast the economic impact of various lighting retrofit strategies and identify any utility rebates that are available.
* A 90-day risk-free trial program called “Compare in the Air,” which allows customers to validate cost saving estimates in buildings or outdoor environments with up to four Hubbell Lighting products. After the trial period customers can decide to keep the products or return them for a full refund.
“Making the change to energy-efficient lighting and controls offers hotel owners an incredible opportunity to make their businesses more profitable,” said Scott Muse, president of Hubbell Lighting. “Our createchange program offers the hospitality industry as close to a guaranteed energy and maintenance savings as exists.”
The createchange program includes a comprehensive evaluation of hospitality lighting solutions for lobbies, conference rooms, meeting rooms, common areas, building exteriors, landscapes, signage, parking lots and garages.
With Hubbell Lighting’s Cash Flow Positive program, hotels can receive no down payment, 100% fixed rate, long-term financing usually approved in 24-48 hours that does not impact existing lines of credit or hinder their ability to borrow in the future.
“We are in a situation today where the economic advantages of new lighting technologies are a given,” said Muse. “Now we need to spur adoption. That is why createchange is so important.”
Corrosive conduit manufacturer Calpipe Industries, Inc., celebrated the grand opening of its new corporate offices and manufacturing facilities at 19440 S. Dominguez Hills Dr., Rancho Dominguez, Calif., 90220.
According to Calpipe President Dan Markus, “This state-of-the-art facility will not only provide us with the much needed space to accommodate additional staff as well as manufacturing capacity, but will also enhance and improve our operational efficiencies in serving our ever-expanding customer base.”
Allied Wire & Cable, Collegeville, Pa., a family-owned and operated distributor and specialty manufacturer of wire and cable, was recognized for its contributions to the expansion of U.S. exports in a May 28 ceremony in Washington, D.C. in May. Allied Wire & Cable received the President’s “E” Award for Exports, one of the highest honors available to U.S. companies involved in international trade. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker presented Tim Flynn, Allied Wire & Cable’s president and CEO, with the award.
“Allied Wire & Cable has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion,” said Secretary Pritzker in her congratulatory letter to the company announcing its selection as an award recipient. “The ‘E’ Awards Committee was very impressed with Allied Wire & Cable’s creation of an interdepartmental committee to enhance exports. The company’s participation in international trade fairs and missions was also particularly impressive.”
Allied Wire & Cable was founded in 1988 by brothers, Tim, Dan and Mike Flynn, along with family friend, Chris Burke, in the Flynn family basement in Wayne, Pa., where they did everything themselves, including re-spooling wire by hand. These days, Allied is one of the largest family-owned and operated wire and cable distributors in the United States with warehouses and sales offices in eight states and loyal customers around the world. Allied has also been recognized as one of Pennsylvania’s “Faces of Trade” by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2009. In recent years, Allied representatives have attended trade missions to Turkey, Mexico, Canada and South Africa.
Standard Electric Supply, Wilmington, Mass., has opened a new branch in southern New Hampshire near I-93 in Windham. Located at 8 Rockingham Rd., this location will be the ninth walk-in service center for the organization. The store opened its doors for business on April 7 under the direction of Tom Willis as branch manager with two employees supporting his efforts. While focusing on the details of opening a new store, Willis will be responsible for generating sales and developing a presence in Windham and the surrounding areas.
An official grand opening was held for local residents and customers on June 19 Participating in the event are some of the company’s top electrical manufacturing partners including Philips Lighting, 3M, Eaton, Lutron and Thomas & Betts. Appearing at the event will be the New England Patriots Cheerleaders and mascot and WKLB-Country 102.5’s on-air personality, Hank Morse, who will play music and raffle off concert tickets to an upcoming show.
Standard Electric, a U.S. Electrical Services, Inc. company, has served customers across eastern Massachusetts and southern N.H. since 1952. The nine-location company has a specialty in retail lighting and a healthy presence in the commercial and industrial markets.
Eaton Corp., Cleveland, launched MyEaton, a new website for the company’s U.S. and Canadian distributors, providing personalized access to its expanded electrical solutions. Distributors of Eaton solutions can now access all of the systems they currently use to manage sales and operations on a single, secure website. The new tool makes it easier to do business with Eaton, with cutting-edge functionality to help Eaton distributors improve productivity, demonstrate leadership and increase sales.
Eaton’s dedicated channel organization, which has expanded with the integration of Cooper Industries, is helping distributors capitalize on global megatrends — energy efficiency, utility upgrades and industrial safety. The MyEaton website enables distributors to tap into Eaton’s comprehensive product and service portfolio and the scale of its field sales organization.
“With the acquisition and integration of Cooper Industries, and the unprecedented growth of our solutions and capabilities, it became even more important to streamline the online experience for distributors,” said Mark Reinders, vice president of channel at Eaton. “The MyEaton website is part of our broader effort to deliver strong planning and marketing programs to help distributors maximize growth and improve profitability.”
A robust new incentive program that combines the benefits of Eaton’s legacy channel programs can also be accessed through the MyEaton website. The Distributor Advantage program provides financial incentives to support business growth. Additionally, distributors can opt-in to specific marketing programs to drive and support local sales.
Through the secure MyEaton website, distributors can order products, learn about new offerings, review recent purchases and tap marketing programs. Distributors will also be able to access and opt-in to training programs, explore upcoming events, search catalog information, operate Eaton tools and calculators and connect with Eaton experts.
Fuse powerhouse Bussmann is pulling out the stops to market its first 100 years of operation. To commemorate the anniversary, Bussmann’s new parent company, Eaton Corp., Cleveland, has planned a series of events and programs to engage the local community, customers and employees globally to underscore the division’s history of innovation.
To kick off the anniversary celebrations, Eaton unveiled an onsite history museum at the Bussmann headquarters in Ellisville, Mo., near St. Louis, with a timeline that highlights significant milestones in the division’s history. The display includes photos, advertisements and products that date as far back as the company’s inception in 1914.
The division has also launched a micro-site
(www.bussmann100years.com) that pays tribute to the Bussmann centennial. Former and current employees, customers and members of the community can learn more about the evolution of the business, contribute their own stories to help populate the digital archive and hear about upcoming events.
“Eaton’s Bussmann business began in a St. Louis garage in 1914 thanks to the vision of the Bussmann brothers —Joe, Al, Frank, Lee and Harry,” said Ralitza Arafin, director of marketing for Bussmann. “In the ensuing 100 years, the business has evolved into a global leader for fusible circuit protection. We can call a range of utility and design patents our own, and we offer more than 30,000 critical circuit protection, power management and electrical safety products to a variety of markets. It is a legacy that challenges us to drive forward and create the next innovation.”
For the community, Bussmann is excited to be a sponsor of The City of Ellisville’s Concerts in the Park. The Bussmann-sponsored concert will be held on July 31 and will feature “That 80s Band.” The public is invited to bring family and friends for a festive evening of food and fun in Bluebird Park in Ellisville.
Additionally, in October, Bussmann employees will plant 100 trees at St. Louis County’s Queeny Park to symbolize Bussmann’s deep roots in the St. Louis region and its dedication to the division’s future. The 100 oak, red bud and dogwood trees will serve to enhance the landscaping at Queeny Park for years to come.
Border States Electric (BSE) broke ground May 2 on a new 96,000-square-foot branch facility at 605 25th St. S. in Fargo. Building this new branch is phase one of an expansion project and will be completed in spring 2015. The Fargo branch serves customers within an 80-mile radius of Fargo in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. Phase two of the project includes renovating and expanding the corporate headquarters at 105 25th St. N. in Fargo, which will be completed in spring 2016. The new facility will include natural daylight strips, occupancy sensors, a highly efficient HVAC system, the latest lighting systems, regionally produced materials and other features to save energy and water and reduce waste.
“Plans include an enclosed indoor loading area for customer material pickup, convenient access to our city desk and will call areas, a state-of-the-art design studio, space to stage material for customer projects, and more inventory,” said Tammy Miller, CEO. “We have been a part of this community since 1961 and are extremely excited to begin this project, which will create jobs, revitalize underutilized vacant property in Fargo and allow us to grow. We plan to add at least 100 jobs in this community over the next five years.”
During a reception at the recent 2014 NAED Annual Meeting in San Francisco, Robroy Industries invited attendees to meet the best of our new generation of “Extraordinary” heros. Since Vietnam, only six men have received the Medal of Honor. Two of the recipients, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore A. Giunta and U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Ty M. Carter, joined Robroy Industries for a very special evening.
Specialist Ty M. Carter distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Scout with Bravo Troop, 3d Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, during combat operations against an armed enemy in Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan on Oct. 3, 2009.
Specialist Salvatore A. Giunta distinguished himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, on Oct. 25, 2007.
Have you checked out the other galleries available on Electrical Wholesaling? Here's a good one: Giants of Our Times, which is a walk back through the history of the electrical industry by way of ten of the characters who have changed the course of the industry.
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