On the Job
C'mon people, we all make mistakes. Some are just
funnier than others. You know you like reading these stories, so why
submit one of your own?
Got a story about a jobsite blunder you'd like to share? Send us your story of
on-the-job mistakes for use in EC&M's Short Circuits column. If
we publish it, we'll send you a check for $25. Read the latest stories
submitted by your fellow readers.
Product of the Year Competition
Do you want the opportunity to win $100? Then visit the
EC&M Web site by June 30 to
your vote in EC&M's Product of the Year competition and help us
to identify the best new product introduced for the electrical industry
When you visit the EC&M Product of the Year
page, an automatic poll will pop up. (Note: If you have a pop-up
blocker program, it may prevent you from seeing the poll. Temporarily
disable the program to allow the poll to appear on your computer.) You
then need to type in your contact information, choose your favorite
product, and click submit. It's that simple.
A panel of nine judges narrowed the field from 114 entrants to 24
category finalists, and now we need your help to determine the Platinum
Award winner. The competition has honored innovation and excellence in
product development in the electrical industry for the past six
The Multi-Tasking Power Quality
Wouldn't it be nice if you could look inside your electrical system and
see what's going on? Troubleshooting would be so much easier if you
could see the volts, amps and harmonic content in real time and take
pictures to document and analyze. Now you can do just that and more
AEMC's PowerPad Model 3945. Record trends, capture transients, events
and screen shots all at the same time. Review it on screen or download
complete database for thorough analysis on your PC with the DataView
software provided. Call (800) 343-1391 or e-mail email@example.com for your free PowerPad
brochure. AEMC's brochure is also available online at www.aemc.com.
Around the Circuit
IES Emerges From Bankruptcy
Houston-based Integrated Electrical Services (IES)
recently said it and all of its domestic subsidiaries emerged from
bankruptcy after filing for protection under Chapter 11 about three
months ago, as reported in the May 26 edition of EC&M's sister
publication Electrical Marketing newsletter. IES, one of the
largest electrical contractors, said the reorganization plan calls for
the exchange of $173 million of senior subordinated notes into 82% of
the reorganized company's stock.
"I am extremely proud that we were able to exit Chapter 11 so
and have emerged from this process stronger and more competitive," said
Byron Snyder, IES chairman, president and chief executive. "Throughout
the process, we told customers, vendors, lenders, surety providers,
employees and other constituencies that we expected this to be an
accelerated process. Being able to deliver on that promise was very
important in maintaining the support of all of these groups in IES. I
want to thank all of those that have helped to make this a reality."
As part of the reorganization, IES will refinance $50 million in
senior convertible notes with the proceeds of a new term loan. The
company will also convert outstanding common shares into about 15%
of the new IES common stock, and issue to management 3%
of the new IES common stock as restricted shares.
NEMA Releases Revised Panelboard
Distribution Switchboard Standards
The Low Voltage Distribution Equipment Panelboard and
Distribution Board Product Group of the National Electrical
Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Rosslyn, Va., recently published two
revised standards covering panelboards and distribution switchboards.
1-2006, Panelboards, and PB 2-2006, Deadfront Distribution
Switchboards, have been revised for the first time since 2000 and
PB 1-2006 is a general standard for panelboards providing
on panelboard types, voltage ratings, short-circuit current ratings,
construction requirements, and test procedures. PB 2-2006 covers
floor-mounted deadfront switchboards rated 6,000A or less, 600V or
which consist of an enclosure, molded-case circuit breakers,
power circuit breakers, fusible or non-fusible switches, instruments,
metering equipment, monitoring equipment or control equipment, with
associated interconnections and supporting structures.
You can purchase the standards for $59 by visiting www.nema.org/stds/pb1.cfm
www.nema.org/stds/pb2.cfm or by contacting Global Engineering
Documents at (800) 854-7179 (within the U.S.), (303) 397-7956
(international), (303) 397-2740 (fax), or on the Internet at http://global.ihs.com.
Florida Deemed Hot Spot for Merger
and Acquisition Activity
According to Steve Gido, CFA, a principal with
ZweigWhite, Natick, Mass., the Sunshine State is the most desired
location in the country for external merger and acquisition (M&A)
In fact, Gido's firm has witnessed more than 40 transactions of Florida
engineering, architecture, and environmental consulting firms since
-- with another four announced in the first quarter of 2006.
Following are a few reasons why Gido feels Florida has become such a
hot spot for expansion. An estimated 1,000 people are moving into the
state every day, creating a huge demand for all types of residential,
land development, institutional, commercial, environmental, and state
and local infrastructure projects. The state's economy has also
diversified over the last 30 years, and its low tax environment and
climate encourage new business creation. Management at many firms has
realized it's more realistic to acquire an existing Florida firm with a
strong management team, dedicated staff, strong client base, and brand
name in the markets they serve rather than deal with the obstacles of
opening up a new branch office out of state.
Construction Starts Up 14.2%
The value of construction starts from January through
April 2006, excluding residential projects, increased to $87.9 billion,
according to a recent report from Reed Construction Data. In April
starts increased 8.9% from March and 32.9% from April 2005. From the
beginning of the year through April, the value of construction starts
was 14.2% higher than the same period last year -- a trend that
undoubtedly relates to the higher costs of construction and
New Compression Tool Adds Pressure to the
Connection, Not to Your Hands.
Now you can connect RG-6, RG-6 Quad Shield and RG-59 compression
connectors to coaxial cable with a single, easy-to-use compression
The special design of the OmniSeal Compression Tool
from IDEAL provides a perfect, permanent connection every time that
won't pull off or come loose. Visit www.idealindustries.com
to learn more about the new OmniSeal Compression Tool.
Connecticut School District in Need
of Electrical Upgrade
Fairfield Public Schools in Fairfield, Conn., is
requesting bids to upgrade the interior electrical distribution system
at two of its elementary schools. There will be a mandatory pre-bid
meeting on June 6 at 10 a.m. in the front lobby of Jennings Elementary
School, located at 31 Palm Drive, Fairfield, Conn. Work will begin on
July 5 and must be completed prior to August 29, 2006. Sealed bids for
this project must be received by the purchasing authority at the office
of the Director of Purchasing, First Floor, Independence Hall, 725 Old
Post Road, Fairfield, Conn., 06824 by 11 a.m. on June 13, 2006. For
information on Bid #2006-95, download the bid document.
Contractor Seeks Sealed Bids for
Education Addition in Wyoming
Groathouse Construction, Inc. and the Sublette Co.
School Dist. No. 1 are requesting pre-qualified subcontractor bids for
work, including electrical and mechanical, on 5th and 6th grade
additions in Pinedale, Wyo. Faxed bids will be accepted at (307)
367-4626 until 2 p.m. MT, on June 22, 2006. Sealed bids will be
at Sublette Co. School Dist. No. 1 office, 101 E. Hennick, Pinedale,
Wyo., 82941 until 3:00 p.m. MT on June 22, 2006. Mechanical and
electrical subcontractors must provide 5% bid bond. Successful
mechanical and electrical bidders must provide 100% payment and
performance bonds. A pre-bid meeting will be held June 12, 2006, at 1
p.m., at 101 E. Hennick in Pinedale, Wyo. To receive a prequalification
form and bidding information, fax or e-mail your request to Groathouse
Construction at (307) 742-7124 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contractors Earn Free Merchandise from
Introducing the Great Gear program, a way to acquire free gifts by
collecting and redeeming B-Line Bucks found on B-Line's fastener
Simply remove your B-Line Bucks from the box label and use them to
select from a wide assortment of gear in B-Line's Great Gear catalog.
To obtain a catalog and order forms, see your local B-Line distributor,
or visit our website at www.b-line.com
MDE Electric, a multi-family electrical contractor
in Sunnyvale, Calif., recently announced it is expanding operations by
opening a new branch office in San Francisco to address the growing
number of projects in this city as well as San Mateo and the North Bay.
Mark Lynch, who was appointed general manager for MDE North, says the
firm plans to extend the niche it's built in the South Bay multi-family
market to the San Francisco area.
MDE North's services include pre-construction, trench work,
design/build, electrical contracting, telecommunications wiring, and
lighting design and installation. The new branch is currently working
several multi-family projects, including a 148-unit rental property, a
224-unit design/build condominium, a 236-unit apartment complex, a
280-unit condominium project, and the recently completed 25-unit
transitional housing project.
For more business briefs, visit EC&M's Web site.
ClearTrax range taking
connectors feature easy lay-in installation of aluminum or copper
conductors and accommodate a wire range of 1000MCM - 2. Benefits are a
faster and safer connection resulting from reduced cable manipulation
during installation. Visit our web site at www.ilsco.com for additional product
Eye on Safety
OSHA Releases First Aid
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA), Washington, D.C., recently issued a new guide to help employers
and employees develop more effective workplace first aid programs.
Entitled "Best Practices Guide: Fundamentals of a Workplace First-Aid
Program," the literature identifies four essential elements for
first-aid programs: management leadership and employee involvement;
worksite analysis; hazard prevention and control; and safety and health
training. The guide details the primary components of a first-aid
program at the workplace, including: identifying and assessing
risks; designing a written program that is specific to the worksite and
complies with OSHA first-aid requirements; instructing all workers
the program, including what to do if a coworker is injured or ill; and
evaluating and modifying a program to keep it current, including
assessment of the first-aid training course. OSHA recommends that
training courses include instruction in general and workplace
hazard-specific knowledge and skills, incorporating automated external
defibrillator (AED) training into CPR training if an AED is available
the work site, and periodically repeating first-aid training to help
maintain and update knowledge and skills.
Shows and Events
The Power Engineering Society will hold its 2006
meeting June 18-22, 2006 at the Palais des congreÌs in Montreal.
With its theme "Innovation and Reinvestment in Power Infrastructure,"
the conference offers an international forum to address policy,
infrastructure, and workforce issues. Attendees will have the
opportunity to participate in many technical sessions and tours,
committee meetings, and networking opportunities. There will also be
special student events and entertaining companion activities planned
throughout the week. For more information, visit the event's Web
BICSI Link Workshops
With a choice of 32 workshops within four educational
tracks, attendees can get their fill of technical topics, such as data
centers, security, wireless, and diverse business management at the
BICSI Link Workshops, held June 25-28 in Chicago at the Sheraton
Hotel & Towers. You can stay within one track or jump around, choosing
whatever workshops you like. In addition to the flexible educational
sessions, there's also time allotted to see the latest exhibits from
vendors or network with peers in the RCDD lounge. The 2006 BICSI Link
Workshops fulfill the conference/workshops attendance requirement for
RCDD renewal. All RCDDs attending the Link Workshops will receive 15
continuing education credits (CECs). For more information, visit the
EASA Annual Convention
Focusing on the theme "Manage to Win," this year's EASA
Annual Convention & Expo promises something for everyone. Held June
26-29 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the event's lineup includes
informative educational sessions, exhibits, social events, and
family-friendly entertainment programs. Flexible registration options
are also available -- so if you or your technicians and sales people
can't attend the entire convention, it's still convenient and
to come for part. For more information, visit the EASA Web site or download
Harmonics & Power Quality
EC&M, PowerQuality, and PQNewsBeat
present the 2006 Harmonics & Power Quality conferences in Boston from
June 15-16, Seattle from July 20-21, and St. Louis from Sept. 14-15.
Presenters at this year's conferences will include: William Bush,
director of engineering, Signals, Power & Grounding Specialists, Inc.;
Bruce Lonie, president, PowerCET Corp.; Chris Melhorn, engineering
manager, EPRI Solutions; and Alex McEachern, president, Power Systems
Lab. For more information and to register, visit the conference's Web site.
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