Monthly Archives: April 2015

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French Gerleman Debuts New Wire Cutting Area Layout

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With the recent increase in popularity of colored wire, French Gerleman’s wire inventory investment has more than tripled.  Because of the added SKUs, we realized we were quickly outgrowing the original layout of our Wire Cutting Department in our Corporate Headquarters and Regional Distribution Facility in St. Louis.

We’re excited to announce and debut the new layout for our corporate Wire Cutting Department that serves not only St. Louis, but offers next day service to all of our French Gerleman branches. We sat down with our Director of Logistics, Alex McKie, to discuss the new wire cutting area layout and what the changes mean for our customers.

“After five months of planning, our team developed and deployed a new, expanded layout for our wire cutting area,” said McKie. “We are thrilled with the results and the resulting efficiencies from our new layout.”

The new Wire Cutting Department layout greatly increased productivity. Since all the wire reels are now able to be stored on racks, we are able to pull wire directly from racks, which is more efficient. The new layout benefits our customers because it has allowed us to bring in more colors of copper wire and expand into aluminum colored wire. We nearly doubled the space to more than 3,000 ft2 and increased from 46 bays to 79 bays.  This allows us to accommodate an additional 164 wire reels, including stock in seven new colors of copper and four new colors in aluminum to date.

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“With the expansion of our wire area, we were able to hire a third person to help meet increased customer demands which now average more than 80 cuts per day. Our old layout could not accommodate three people working simultaneously and now there is plenty of room, and work, for everyone,” says McKie. The new layout also allows space to stage wire for customers to ensure JIT delivery and allows us to help lock in costs in these fluctuating commodities. This helps to insulate customers from price spikes due to rising commodity costs.

The new layout was developed with future expansion in mind. The setup allows for additional racks to be added as inventory and customer demand increases.

At the end of the day, the new wire cutting area was designed to make French Gerleman’s Wire Cutting Department more efficient and improve our responsiveness to customer demands. We are able to handle more daily wire cuts and increase the inventory options to provide our customers a greater wire selection.

To learn more about the wire cutting area and what wires we have available, contact your French Gerleman representative.

 

About French Gerleman’s Wire Management Solutions

French Gerleman offers a wide range of wire management solutions that help save you time, money and material. Enjoy the added convenience of colored wire and reel feeders designed to maximize productivity.

We offer additional services that make doing business with French Gerleman convenient. From product staging to wire cutting, French Gerleman knows customers are focused on saving time and money and cutting expenses out of projects. We strive to offer the most efficient and labor saving products and services available.

Job/Project Services:

  • Staging
  • Storage
  • Delivery and placement
  • Scrap management

Labor Saving Services:

  • Paralleling (single and multi-compartment)
  • Pulling grips/heads
  • Cut to length
  • Tag marking
  • Product ID bands/wraps
  • Prepared reels

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Spring Showers Bring Power Surges

Storm Stock PhotoElectrical power surges and disturbances happen — especially during this time of year. While we may wish to cross our fingers and hope for the best, it’s important to recognize that power issues will happen and understand their impact in order to deploy the best solution to protect your facility.

Power surges occur from many different sources. The most familiar source is lightning, though it’s one of the least common causes. It may be surprising, but the majority of power quality issues originate from the customer’s side of the meter. Research indicates that approximately 80% of a facility’s power quality problems come from internal sources such as electric motors, HVAC systems, lighting, welders, variable frequency drives and other switching devices. The remaining 20% are transient surges generated externally. These tend to receive more attention because they are more immediately destructive while internal surges slowly degrade electronics, which can disrupt productivity.

Transient surges are very short in duration, but very high in energy, and have the ability to destroy a facility’s sensitive electronic equipment. For this reason, it is important that the proper protection is in place to reduce or eliminate equipment damage – especially during the Spring and Summer months when electrical storms are prevalent. It’s important to note that while transients can get induced on virtually any copper wire within a facility, like power lines, often overlooked low voltage data lines (network cables, telephone wires, fire alarm panels, etc.) can be impacted.

SolaHD Surge ProtectorsA single surge protective device (SPD) is typically not enough to ensure reliable power to your facility. Due to the numerous sources and types of power disturbances, maintaining power quality requires a multi-tiered approach.

  • Service Entrance AC Panel: All facilities that employ mission-critical electronic equipment should have a properly sized SPD installed at the main electrical service entrance. Surge protection connected to the incoming power line provides the first line of defense against transient surges caused by external factors such as nearby utility grid switching, lightning or other power disturbances.
  • Distribution Panel AC Power: A quality SPD connected to key distribution panels throughout the facility provides a second level of protection. It also provides a first line of defense against the repetitive internal surge events cause by motor load switching, capacitor bank switching and other internally generated surges. If not properly protected, today’s highly sensitive electronic devices will degrade from repetitious surge damage and eventually will fail.
  • Branch Panel AC Power: Dangerous power disturbances can exist anywhere in a facility. In order to be fully protected, surge protection should also be installed at specific sensitive loads or anything drawing an AC current. IEEE Emerald Book recommends surge protection at critical branch panel-boards, and at specific sensitive loads, including uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), or other mission-critical equipment found within a facility.

SolaHDSolaHD, a French Gerleman partner, has an excellent Power Quality Guidebook that breaks out scenarios of power failure and what product they recommend for each. This is an extremely helpful guide and takes a lot of the fear out of the process.

We stock a full assortment of SolaHD products and would be happy to help you identify the proper surge protective devices and power conditioning solutions to provide clean, uninterrupted power to your facility. To help you get started, download SolaHD’s Checklist for Surge Assessment.

 

Ask your French Gerleman representative for information on how you can protect your facility against the surges caused by April Showers!


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Control Panel Security Risks

Hoffman LogoPanduit logo

Cyber-attacks have been big news recently with companies of all sizes suffering breaches and vandalism.  While the importance of data center security is well publicized, have you taken the proper steps to protect your control panels? Enclosure security is important, and necessary, to not only protect your control panel and its valuable information, but to also provide you piece of mind.

Panduit and Hoffman teamed up to release the white paper “Control Panel Security: Identifying and Mitigating Security Risks.” They did a great job breaking down the steps and factors when choosing a control panel security solution in an easy to digest form. Here are their factors to consider:

  1. The value of the information or equipment
  2. The risk level of the control panel environment
  3. The cost to protect the information or equipment
  4. The functionality of components needing EMI protection and/or emitting Wi-Fi signals

To give you a little background, Panduit is a global leader in Unified Physical Infrastructure (UPI)-based solutions. Together with Hoffman enclosures, they have created a partnership that combines the quality, service and innovation of these two leading global brands. Hoffman and Panduit optimize five elements common in the control panel development and life cycle: space optimization, noise mitigation, environmental protection, security and control panel safety.

Even the highest of security measures may not prevent all data attacks, but implementing a well-designed physical infrastructure system can limit the impact and severity of any occurrences. At French Gerleman, we help industrial customers mitigate risk across multiple systems and functional departments throughout the enterprise.

To learn more about limiting control panel and other data security risks, contact our Datacom Team HERE.


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New Web-based Ordering Platform

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To continue providing excellent service and selection, we have enhanced and re-launched fgorders.com, our web-based ordering platform! Our new website is one of the many ways we bring value to our customers by allowing you to place orders and utilize its other features at your convenience.

Why did we upgrade our e-Commerce site?
We wanted to enhance the site’s usability to make it more interactive and improve the overall user experience. We interviewed customers and asked what was desired in an e-Commerce solution. We heard overwhelmingly you were looking for something convenient, easy to use and offered multiple product search options. Our goal is to provide information and technologies that help make your job easier.

A key feature of our new website is REAL TIME INVENTORY levels. It is accurate to the minute through its integration with our business system. This is a big differentiator as most other distributors update website inventory levels nightly, giving you potentially inaccurate inventory information.

Key functionality available on fgorders.com:

  • Up-to-date pricing on all in-stock products
  • Intuitive navigation and improved product search/filtering
  • Real time inventory levels
  • “Job Worksheets” for frequently purchased products
  • Save pending orders for up to 10 working days in your cart, don’t worry about losing your shopping cart!
  • Track orders and shipping status
  • Review up-to-date account information and purchase history

Become a secure online member today by visiting www.fgorders.com, select “Login” and complete the “Request an Online Account” information.

For more information about our e-Commerce solution, contact us at ehelp@frenchgerleman.com. We look forward to assisting you and making your ordering process a breeze.


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Featured Product: eWON Cosy Industrial Routers

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Are you tired of traveling on-site for customer support? With eWON’s Cosy, that is a thing of the past. The eWON Cosy (COmmunication made eaSY) is an industrial VPN router designed to offer easy remote access across the internet, to machines and installations on customer sites or in the field. OEMs and System Integrators can troubleshoot machines remotely without going on site, which drastically reduces support costs and time.

French Gerleman and eWON help to reduce support costs with connectivity solutions starting under $700. The eWON family offers scalable solutions with their industrial virtual private network (VPN) routers with free VPN service.

The eWON Cosy industrial router is designed to offer easy remote access, across the Internet, to machines and installations on customer sites or in the field. With the eWON Cosy, OEMs and System Integrators can troubleshoot machines remotely without the need to go on-site.

Maintenance engineers can establish a secure VPN connection to the machine using Talk2M, eWON’s free, cloud-based remote connectivity service. The router seamlessly communicates on the local area network (LAN) with the PLC and the HMI, and allows remote connection from anywhere in the world with a simple laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Features of eWON’s industrial routers:

  • Secure remote access via Ethernet, serial or USB
  • Easy to set up and use, after all it is communication made easy
  • Firewall friendly
  • Free and secure VPN service
  • Datalogging
  • LAN, wifi and cellular models
  • Alarms and alerts via text and email
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eWON Cosy 131

 

The latest product from eWON is their top selling Cosy 131, which features an SD card reader, 2x Dl, 1x DO and a 24 month warranty. The Cosy 131 is an excellent addition to the eWON Cosy family, including the ever popular Cosy 141. Cosy 141 has a simplified web interface designed for businesses that need a basic, fast and cost effective remote access functionality.

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eWON Cosy 141

 

To learn more about eWON’s Cosy solutions, contact your French Gerleman Account Manager or French Gerleman Product Manager, Paul Eggers at 314-213-5912. We are also hosting a hands-on seminar focusing on the family of eWON industrial routing products on Thursday, April 16, in St. Louis. Stop by and test drive them firsthand!