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September 15, 2006 A Prism Business Media Publication Vol. 5, No. 17

IBEW Promotes Alternative Energy

Three Indicted in Big Dig Fraud

NEMA Publishes Two New Guides

Dallas County Requests Bids for Replacement of Motor Drives

Boston Seeks Contractor for Fan Coil Replacement

Business Brief

Washington Program Reduces Workers' Compensation Costs


NECA 2006 Boston

IEEE IAS 41st Annual Meeting

ESMO 2006

Sponsored Q&A Partners
A panel of professionals answers your questions on a variety of topics
Tony Locker Tony Locker
Resistance Grounding

Frank Kiffin-
Bruce & Brian
Power Generation

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    Around the Circuit
    IBEW Promotes Alternative Energy
    At the 37th International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) International Convention in Cleveland, the Washington, D.C.-based organization stated that alternative energy may be the union's best chance for job growth. This statement comes after years of focusing its membership on the manufacturing and construction industries. According to the union, construction and upkeep of wind turbines, solar panels, and hydrogen fuel cells will drive new jobs, although currently the alternative-energy industry provides only a small portion of work for unionized electricians.

    "I think, quite honestly, the future lies in energy cells," says Ed Hill, IBEW president. Recently, the union has lost jobs because of companies moving operations overseas, competition from foreign businesses, and the shrinking U.S. auto industry. But Hill said some union locals are landing jobs in solar-power development, especially in Western states.

    AEMC® New Ground Resistance Testers
    AEMC's new rugged digital ground resistance tester with automatic calculation of test results, Model 6470, performs grounding resistance, earth coupling measurement, soil resistivity, and bonding tests. This easy-to-use and accurate instrument measures up to 512 test results that can be stored in internal memory for later recall to the display or downloaded to a PC for analysis and hard copy reports with automatic fall of potential plots.

    Three Indicted in Big Dig Fraud
    On Aug. 30, three project managers for Mass. Electric Construction Co., Boston, were charged with overbilling for work done on the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority's Big Dig project under a scheme that allegedly scammed the government out of more than $80,000. A federal indictment alleges that Steven M. Bowers, 54, of Fairhaven, who was senior project manager for the company on an Interstate 93 tunnel contract, defrauded the federal government from January 2003 through June 2005 by submitting bills falsely claiming that work done by apprentice electricians was completed by higher-paid journeymen. Two other managers, Brian DiRie of Winchester and Richard Joyce of Norwood, have agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to submit false claims, according to U.S. Attorney Michael J. Sullivan.

    NEMA Publishes Two New Guides
    Rosslyn, Va.-based National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) recently published KS 2-2006, "Distribution Equipment Switch Application and Maintenance Guide, A User's Reference" and RV 3-2006, "Application and Installation Guidelines for Flexible and Liquidtight Flexible Metal Conduits." The first publication is a guide containing instructions for the proper installation, operation, and maintenance of distribution equipment switches rated 600V or less. It covers application and maintenance information for distribution equipment switches that are rated at not more than 600V and 6000A with or without a horsepower rating; with or without provision for fuses; with current-carrying parts and mechanisms enclosed in metallic or non-metallic cases or that are enclosed when mounted in an enclosed switchboard or panelboard; and manually operable by means of external handles.

    The latter standard offers practical information on correct usage and industry-recommended practices for the installation of flexible metal conduit (FMC) and liquidtight flexible metal conduit (LFMC) in accordance with the National Electrical Code (NEC). The guides may be viewed and a hardcopy purchased by visiting NEMA's Web site.

    FYI for the DIY
    IDEAL is the
    Brand to Buy

    For do-it-yourself home electrical projects, use the tools and supplies the professionals do from IDEAL. They're the leader in wire connectors, wire strippers, voltage testers, and more. Pick up IDEAL products at your local home center. For more information, visit

    Project Watch
    Dallas County Requests Bids for Replacement of Motor Drives
    Dallas County Public Works, Dallas, is accepting bids for the replacement of variable-frequency motor drives at the Frank Crowley Criminal Courts Building. A pre-bid conference is scheduled for Sept. 20 at 11:30 a.m. CDT. Bids for the contract are due on Sept. 28. For more information, visit Dallas County's Public Works Department's Web site.

    Boston Seeks Contractor for Fan Coil Replacement
    The Boston Public Health Commission is inviting bids for a fan coil replacement project. Scope of work includes replacing four electric control valves and thermostats in two unit ventilators; removal and disposal of five horizontal fan coil units; and supplying and installing five new units, as well as the valves, sensors, actuators, and piping. An on-site walkthrough is scheduled for 10 a.m. EDT on Sept. 20. Bids are due by 2 p.m. EDT on Oct. 27. To download a pdf of the bid documentation, visit the commission's Web site.

    New Flip Clip
    from Cooper B-Line

    The fastest, most inexpensive way to securely hang and level wire-basket tray, saving installers time and money. The Flip Clip can be used with 1/4-in. and 3/8-in. threaded rods, eliminating the need for multiple hanger sizes. The Flip Clip requires only one nut and one tool for installation.

    Web Exclusives
    Business Brief
    Reston, Va-based Truland Systems Corp. recently acquired Blumenthal-Kahn Electric, Owings Mills, Md. Now a member of the Truland group, the newly formed company will be called Blumenthal Kahn Truland Electric, LLC (BK Truland). The company will provide electrical construction, design-build, and electrical maintenance services. Project Executive Bennett Rhodes of Truland Systems will oversee the new operation. John Blumenthal, executive manager of Blumenthal-Kahn, will remain an active member of the BK Truland team. Recently, the firms teamed up to provide electrical construction for The Vue, a development project in Baltimore. The property will include more than one million square feet of hotel, condominium, office, and retail space, as well as four levels of structured parking.

    For more Business Briefs, visit the EC&M Web site.


    Belden® DataTuff®
    Industrial Ethernet Cables

    for Category 5e and Category 6 performance ensure optimal network efficiency and reliability--even in the harshest environments. Copper constructions include rugged unshielded and shielded products. Heavy-duty, all-dielectric TrayOptic® optical-fiber cables are also offered. Go to for Industrial Ethernet Product Bulletin 231.

    Eye on Safety
    Washington Program Reduces Workers' Compensation Costs
    A new program launched in three Eastern Washington counties by the state's Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) assesses when an injured worker may return to work and in what capacity. A University of Washington (UW) study of the Eastern Washington Center of Occupational Health and Education (COHE) recently reported that injured workers treated by doctors enrolled in the program had less disability and lower medical costs, saving the state workers' compensation system an average of $447 per claim. The study tracked 7,162 injured workers treated by physicians enrolled in the Spokane-based COHE between June 2004 and July 2005 and compared their outcomes to workers with similar injuries who weren't treated by a COHE doctor. Workers with back problems, in particular, had better outcomes. In all, the study found the program saved the workers' compensation system about $3.1 million.

    Shows and Events

    The EC&M E-Tradeshow will feature three free webinars on Sept. 20.

  • "Ten Trends That Will Shape the Electrical Market," presented by Jim Lucy, chief editor of Electrical Wholesaling magazine. Learn the latest trends in the distribution market and how they can affect your business and the bottom line.

  • "Power Cable Basics," presented by John DeDad, senior director, editorial and EC&M development. Learn why an MV power cable is a complex and sophisticated product requiring careful testing and handling. Find out how the current-carrying conductor, laminated dielectric, MV insulation, semiconductive shield, metallic shield, and outer jacket work together to control electrical stress and provide mechanical protection. Also, learn about hi-potential and dissipation factor testing.

  • "Hioki 3196 Quickstart Training," a hands-on webinar by PowerCET, will show you how to use the VIEW screen (waveform, vector, and DMM displays) to rapidly identify real-time power quality problems and the Auto Setup for quick monitor installation. You'll also learn how to create custom setups to capture more meaningful data, identify power quality problems using the 3196's simultaneous capture of power quality and energy data, and use Hioki PC-based software with a compact flash card reader to transfer stored data and perform additional analysis.

    Please e-mail your webinar attendance notice to John DeDad.

    NECA 2006 Boston
    Bethesda, Md.-based National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) has scheduled its 2006 conference to take place from Oct. 7-10 in Boston. The event will feature management seminars such as flat-rate service pricing, compensation plans, and the effect of absenteeism and turnover on labor productivity. Sessions planned for this event will cover cost-effective fleet cycling, benefits of submetering, and lighting trends through 2016. For more information and to register, visit NECA's Web site.

    IEEE IAS 41st Annual Meeting
    New York's Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) Industry Applications Society (IAS) will present its annual technical program and conference from Oct. 8-12 in Tampa. Presenters at this year's program will discuss permanent magnet motors, cogging torque reduction in permanent magnet machines, and determination of the thermal convection coefficient for a small electric motor. For more information on the programs and to register, visit the IAS Web site.

    ESMO 2006
    The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) Power Engineering Society's 11th International Conference on Transmission & Distribution Construction, Operation and Live-Line Maintenance (ESMO 2006) will take place from Oct. 15-19 in Albuquerque, N.M. Host utility of ESMO 2006, PNM, will hold all activities at its outdoor facilities site, which will feature live-line demonstrations, construction techniques, safety demonstrations, operation activities, right-of-way management techniques and equipment, and a heavy equipment display area. For more information and to register, visit the ESMO 2006 Web site.
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