Chapter Corner

Newsroom & Insights: March 2017

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Throughout my career, I have made it a point to follow new and emerging trends within the electrical industry, with an eye on new technology. Today, technology in the electrical industry is advancing at faster pace than it has for decades.

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How the Times Have Changed

I recently did a presentation for one of the local Vo-Tech schools here in Pennsylvania that talked about some of the reasons why someone may want to become an electrician. This was quite fun to do as it allowed me to step into the “way- back” machine and share how some things have changed from when I started in the industry back in the early ’80s (yes, I mean the 1900s) up to today.

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Drilling for Safety

Running drills serves as an important learning tool in many forums and should be considered to be included as part of your safety plan. I’m sure each of us has experienced a drill in one form or another, whether it be on a ball field or as part of a fire alarm drill at work or at school. The process of sounding an alarm and walking through the motions that must occur to demonstrate a preparedness should a real emergency occur is important. Both the act itself and the analysis after the event can serve to raise awareness of opportunities for improvement and recognition of successes. There is much that can be said about the phrase “practice makes perfect;” our challenge is to understand how we can leverage this more effectively with regard to safety.

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PoE and DLVP: Comparing Power Distribution Systems for Lighting and Controls

Interview with Chris Andrews, Product Manager, Low Voltage Lighting & Controls Systems, Eaton

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3 Things to Consider When Specifying Outdoor Power for Your Customers

An explosion in technology is changing the way people live, work, and use space. Wi-Fi, cell phones, and tablets have blurred the lines of where people connect for work and leisure – inside, outside, it no longer matters. As a result, people are spending more time outside for work and leisure activities, and they’re bringing their mobile devices with them. This presents homeowners, businesses, and facility managers with a new challenge – providing the convenience of safe, permanent, and dependable power sources for outdoor events or for charging cell phones, tablets, and laptops outside.

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Electrical Estimating in the Digital Age

In recent years, electrical contractors have begun receiving the bulk of their drawings from architects in PDF or digital form. It is now up to the contractor to figure out what to do with these digital plans. The old “go to” process was to print the whole set and get to work estimating; measuring and counting manually with a set of highlighters and other manual tools. This took up valuable time, and the possibility for mistakes was high. Contractors needed a better, faster, more consistent way of doing their takeoff; thus, the demand and need for an easy on screen takeoff program was born. Estimating software companies were great at calculating the bid, but they did not have a way of counting and measuring from a digital plan.

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Using Digital Tools to Drive Efficiency for Electrical Contractors

The combination of a robust construction market and the ongoing
shortage of skilled labor has created numerous challenges for contractors
across the country. On one hand, contractors are seeing more opportunities
to expand their business into new markets. On the other hand, they’re
strapped for talent to meet demand. With fewer resources available,
it’s become more important than ever to streamline processes and find
ways to do more with less. That’s where digital tools come into play.

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Robots: The Next Wave!

Innovation; it can’t be avoided. It hits almost every industry at the most opportune time; and when it does, it can disrupt the way we do work in such a way that it can bring even large corporations to their knees. Innovators will always seek out weaknesses and leverage new ideas in their efforts to meet customers high demands or expand the market by finding ways to serve previously underserved segments. Like automobiles were to the horse and buggy and like MP3’s are to the music industry, history shows us that advanced technology has been the inevitable disruptor in every industry. Just as we saw the advent of industrial robots revolutionize automobile and other manufacturing plants, we are beginning to see the early stages of this same innovation in construction.

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