Monthly Archives: May 2016

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French Gerleman Columbia Branch Spotlight- Standing Together to Support our Families

You might not realize how close-knit our locations are as part of the French Gerleman family. Our Columbia, MO, branch is located in a city with attractions such as the University of Missouri and The District with unique restaurants and shops as well as many great annual festivals.

The Columbia branch features 17 full time employees who cover 27 mid-Missouri counties from Highway 65 to the west, Highway 19 to the east, south to Rolla and north almost to Iowa. But what sets our Columbia branch apart is its talented and giving team members.

“When we have customers to take care of, we rally the team together. Everyone wears a lot of hats, and we make sure to help each other out and keep the customers’ best interests in mind,” said Mike Lincoln, Columbia Branch Manager. “We train our employees for several roles so they can step up when another team member needs assistance. By being a close-knit team, we are well equipped to serve our customers in a quick and efficient manner.”

The Columbia team is very close, and they are rabid supporters of each other’s children and families, jumping at the opportunity to support each other. If there is a crisis in the area, the French Gerleman team bands together to help out in any way they can. They are also very involved in the community, from hosting Red Cross blood drives at their branch to working with Welcome Home, Inc. to support veterans.

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Speaking of veterans, Mary Brown, a French Gerleman employee, has a son who is currently active duty in Iraq. Kyle DePriest is a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army. He is a Bradley Master Gunner who is stationed out of Fort Riley, KS, but is currently on a nine month deployment. The Columbia branch joined together to collect items to send overseas to the military. To see the team jump at the opportunity to support Mary’s family and the military is simply heartwarming. If you’re interested in donating items to be sent overseas, simply email Mary at mbrown@frenchgerleman.com or call her at 573-886-3025.

columbia shipment

“The entire Columbia office rallies together to support each other’s families,” said Mary Brown. “Whether someone’s child has a fundraiser for school, supporting a charity, or the way the team has stepped up to gather donations to send to Iraq, we always know we can count on our supportive and outstanding team.”

The branch is located at 1815 Vandiver Drive in Columbia and is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Our phone numbers are 573-474-4194 or 800-283-3122 (toll-free).  If you need a part or technical support outside of normal business hours, you can access our emergency service line by calling either of our phone numbers.

 


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French Gerleman Product & Technology Expo 2016 Video

Thanks to everyone who came out to our Product and Technology Expo at the St. Charles Convention Center! We had a great turnout with nearly 400 attendees from more than 200 companies. The Expo show floor was filled with more than 70 booths of vendors and industry representatives. Educational breakout sessions were held on more than 40 topics.

This event was a great opportunity for customers to get hands on experience with products they might not have seen before, and ask vendors questions firsthand.

If you were unable to attend our Expo, be sure to check out our recap video!

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend our event, from the customers, vendors and French Gerleman employees who helped make this Expo a great success. We hope to see you all again next year!


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Brady Presents the Five Steps for HazCom for GHS Implementation

OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HazCom) full compliance deadline is fast approaching on June 1, 2016.  At our Product and Technology Expo, Brady gave us a closer look into labels, Safety Data Sheet (SDS) changes, and top questions. To help you gauge your compliance, review the five steps to compliance and key questions and checklists presented by Brady.

Step 1: Develop a written Hazard Communication plan.

Develop a written HazCom plan that documents and outlines how your company responds to hazardous chemicals.  The plan should include a summary of the hazardous chemicals and contain your hazard communication program or policy.  Documenting your organization’s policy for dealing with hazardous chemicals will help you inform and properly train your employees.

Step 2: Inventory all of your chemicals.

Taking inventory of all of the chemicals being used throughout your facility is the most effective way to understand your chemicals and pave the way for GHS compliance.
Safety Data Sheets

Step 3: Establish and maintain a complete library of Safety Data Sheets (SDS).

Now that you have inventoried your hazardous chemicals, it’s time to find the new SDSs for all chemicals in your facility.  Going forward, chemical manufacturers and distributors should provide an SDS with your new orders, but it is your responsibility to track down SDSs for chemicals currently on site and maintain your collection of SDSs going forward. Employees should have easy access to chemical SDSs at all times.

Step 4: Label all production finished goods, storage containers, pipes, and tanks.

All employers are required to update their workplace containers with new GHS-compliant labels.  The intent of the new labelling system is to clearly communicate the chemical hazards to your employees (and customers). GHS labels include the product name, hazardous ingredients, applicable physical and health hazard statements, a “Danger” or “Warning” signal word and pictogram(s), along with supplemental and contact information.

Step 5: Train and communicate the elements of Hazard Communication to your workforce.

Regular employee training is essential to the success of your Hazard Communication program.  It’s critical that your employees know how to read and interpret the hazardous chemical labels and SDSs to better protect themselves from chemical hazards.  Make sure employee training (and re-training) is a priority!

Check our Brady’s whitepaper on Five Steps to Hazard Communication Compliance to learn more.

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Five Key Questions to Ask Yourself:

  1. How many different chemicals do we use in our facility?
  2. Do we use secondary containers for our chemicals?
  3. Have I estimated the annual quantity of labels we’ll need?
  4. What’s my current labeling solution? Is it effective? Can it print in color?
  5. Do I need to print labels right away or can I wait a few days?

Your GHS Checklist:

  • Reinforce previous employee training and continue to re-train for new employees or new chemicals added to your facility
  • Document the inability of any supplier to provide SDSs (deviations)
  • Assign personnel to be responsible for labeling and make sure they are properly trained
  • Evaluate label printing systems, if needed, or preprinted labels from suppliers
  • Audit and stress test your HazCom plan and update as necessary
  • Stay ahead of the GHS deadline!

We hope this helps you understand GHS and better prepare for the GHS deadline. Check out the full presentation HERE. If you have any questions on your GHS compliance, please give your account manager a call.


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Success Depends on the Crimp: Understanding the UL-486F Standard for Bare and Covered Ferrules

If you were not able to attend our Product and Technology Expo, we didn’t want you to miss out on some great information! Panduit hosted a seminar on Understand the UL-486 Standard for Bare and Covered Ferrules. Let’s dive right in!

First of all, what is a ferrule? Ferrules are terminals that only have a barrel. They effectively prevent straying of wire strands.

But what is the difference between a Pin and Ferrule? They both serve a similar purpose, but the pin terminal is larger. The final connection point with a pin terminal is not on the wire itself, but on the separate pin. The ferrule is smaller for the same wire size. With terminal blocks becoming more and more dense, the smaller footprint is an advantage. The final connection point with a ferrule is on the wire itself, and not on a separate pin.

Panduit slide map

The evolution of ferrule standards started with DIN. Ferrules have been used in applications for many years in Europe, and is required in most control panel applications. Ferrules standards started with DIN and was adopted by CAS in 2004. UL then allowed for the use of ferrules in accordance with UL-508A. Finally, UL and CSA worked with NEMA to develop the current standards that were released in 2014.

CSA listing were based on DIN. Basically, if a manufacturer had their ferrules listed as DIN, you could obtain CSA. However, as more questions arose over time regarding ferrules, CSA realized the need for a true standard which covered more than the Dimensional Requirements and/or references.

As more customers started using Flex Cable, UL saw the need to address the issue, but had not yet finalized a true listing for ferrules. In the interim, UL-508A allowed for the use of ferrules within a control panel with several restrictions. This approval did not offer customers assistance on how to test or inspect the final crimped ferrules.

Finally, in March of 2014, UL released the harmonized UL and CSA Ferrule Standard UL- 486F and CSA C22.2 No 291. This harmonized CSA Group and UL standards for bare and covered ferrules.

UL-486F and CSA C22.2 No 291

General Scope:

  • Intended for field and factory wiring
  • Facilitate connection of stranded wire to a device
  • Suitable for use with 1/0 – 20 AWG stranded wire to a device
  • Terminated in wire connection devices rated for solid conductors
  • Not intended for use in IDC
  • Does not apply to pin adapters covered by UL 486A-486B

Construction:

  • Materials- copper and tin plated
  • Flammability- coverings shall have minimum classification of UL94HB
  • Thermal properties- covering shall have minimum relative thermal index of 80 degrees Celsius

Test Requirements

  • Tensile test- shall not visibly move within the ferrule or be pulled out
  • Mold stress relief- no warpage, shrinkage or other distortion
  • Dielectric voltage-withstand- plastic sleeve shall withstand the applied potential without breakdown

Sampling Requirements

  • Three samples of each assembly requirement
  • Four assembly requirements
  • Conducted for each wire class
  • Conducted for each tool being listed

Ferrule Offerings

  • Standard Ferrules
  • Expanded sleeves
  • Short circuit sleeves
  • Twin ferrules
  • Large wire ferrules up to 500 kcmil (with and without sleeves)
  • Ferrules on reel and mini-reels
  • Tools (hand tools, battery powered, automated wire stripped/crimper)

When selection ferrules and wire terminals, from ring forks, disconnect, lugs, etc., you will want to work with a company who can help ensure the product is not only UL listed, but that the product is installed correctly.

Panduit

Take a look at this photo. Is there anything you can identify which may be an issue?

panduit slide

Did you know?

The leading reason for warranty claims on electrical assemblies is due to poor electrical connections, like the ones pictured here.

To see the full presentation, check out the Product and Technology Expo page HERE.

For more information on ferrules or to get a quote on products, please contact your French Gerleman Account Manager or complete an info request form HERE.


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French Gerleman Product and Technology Expo Recap

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Thanks to everyone who came out to our Product and Technology Expo at the St. Charles Convention Center last week! We had a great turnout with nearly 400 attendees from more than 200 companies.

The breakout sessions were a great opportunity for our guests to hear from some of our top vendors, including: AFC Cable Systems, APC, Brady, Eaton’s B-Line Series Solutions, Emerson Networks/Liebert, Fluke, Greenlee, Hubbell Wiring Device-Kellems, LUTZE, Mersen, Panduit, Rockwell Automation, SolaHD, Universal Lighting Technologies, Wirewerks and more. Our vendors hosted a wide array of seminars on topics ranging from lighting, automation, safety, data centers, wiring devices to product demos like the Steinhauer ModCenter. Attendees left the seminars feeling better informed on current technology and new products.

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The Expo show floor was filled with more than 70 booths of vendors and industry representatives. This was a great opportunity to meet many vendors first-hand. Walking around the expo floor, we heard some wonderful conversations with our guests and vendors. Many vendors expressed the great time they had meeting customers.

It was amazing to see such a wide group of people from industrial companies, commercial entities and construction gathered together to learn more about our products and the latest technology news. The opportunity to network, get hands on with the products and ask vendors questions directly is priceless, and we look forward to offering more opportunities like this in the future.

Thank you to everyone who made it out to our first ever Product and Technology Expo, we hope to see you again at our upcoming events!