Author Archives: Kristine

How to Select the Correct Tools for Proper Terminations

Properly terminating electrical wires is important to avoid terminal failure and potential electrical fires. Thomas & Betts has been working on improving that process for years, and now are introducing the biggest step forward in compression connections since 1957 when they trademarked “Color-Keyed” connections to reduce installer errors.

The Smart Tool+ is Thomas & Betts’ latest crimping tool, which is capable of identifying connectors and digitally recording data and uploading it to the Cloud.

Identifying Connectors

Pressing the scan button on the Smart Tool+ will cause its display to prompt to “Scan Smart Crimp.” Simply position the smart connector near the scanning location at the bottom of the tool, and the Smart Tool+ will show the smart connector material and size. The Smart Tool+ automatically recognizes and adjusts to Color-Keyed smart connector material and size based off a small chip included in the smart connector.

Crimping With Smart Connectors

Using the Smart Tool+ allows you to accurately crimp and assess the quality of your crimp.  Here are the five easy steps:

  1. Position stripped wire into connector
  2. Place connector into the crimp head
  3. Jog the Smart Tool+ trigger until red indicator will flashes to verify it is properly in place
  4. Press and hold backup release valve if the crimp head needs to be re-opened
  5. Once everything is in place, press and hold trigger.

An indicator will light to signify whether or not the crimp is successful:

  • Solid green (successful)
  • Flashing red (distance or pressure not met)
  • Solid red (failed)

The Smart Tool+ keeps track of the crimps you’ve done and their data on different worksites and jobs. Temporary placeholders for site and job names can be used on the field and updated later.

 Crimping With Standard Color-Keyed Connectors

Smart Tool+ works with the standard Color-Keyed Connectors you already use. If you run out of smart connectors, there’s no need to worry. You can use the buttons on the Smart Tool+ to select the connector material and size, and the tool will record the data the same as a smart connector.

The Smart Tool+ is great tool in various markets you already use Thomas & Betts Color-Keyed Connectors in:

  • QAQC Jobs
  • Power Critical installations
  • Data Centers
  • OEM Equipment Manufacturers
  • Industrial Installations
  • Commercial Installations
  • Maintenance & Repair

Using the Smart Tool+ with the App

Where does all the data go from the Smart Tool+? Thomas & Betts has a free mobile app that works on Apple and Android tablets or phones. The tool can work offline, and stores crimp data until it’s convenient for you to transfer it to the mobile app. The crimp data can be uploaded to the cloud by installers, supervisors, and system administrators. After successfully uploading data to the cloud, active memory is automatically erased.

Thomas & Betts’ Smart Tool+ may be the right choice to help you make foolproof crimps, track data, and save time and money. If you are interest in the Smart Tool+ or have any questions, please contact us or your French Gerleman Account Manager.


Are You Compliant with New Wiring Devices Standards?

No matter the industry, you cannot be too safe when it comes to electrical wiring. The National Electric Code (NEC) is regularly updated to stay at the forefront of safety. Any hazards must be evaluated and have preventative control implemented. This includes identifying threats, creating a plan and training employees on following through. Hubbell Wiring Device-Kellems offers a variety of key products, rated for the new NEC standards.

Advantage™ Series Switch-Rated Pin & Sleeve Devices

 Advantage™ Series Pin & Sleeve Switch-Rated Devices meets NEC Requirements for both motor and branch disconnecting. Available in both 30 and 60 amp, the series can be used with existing IEC Pin & Sleeves, which makes it flexible and provides cost savings. There’s no doubt when you’ve made a successful connection, because when the shuttle is locked into place, LEDs illuminate.

Most importantly, Hubbell’s Advantage™ Series is designed to be clean and safe. The products can withstand extremely hot temperatures, and being sprayed at high pressures from various angles. The devices are designed for superior water ingress protection and can withstand the toughest environments.

Watertight Devices

Hubbell’s line of Watertight Devices include plugs, connectors, and receptacles; FD boxes and angled adapters; portable outlet boxes and covers; straight blade devices; Twist-Lock® devices; duplex receptacles; and spare parts.

These devices are ideal for harsh, wet conditions including water treatment plants, food/beverage processing, agriculture, outdoor entertainment and factories.

XClamp Tamper-Resistant Receptacles

The most recent NEC changes were in relation to electrical receptacles.  Tamper-resistant receptacles reduce the risk of injury by preventing foreign objects from making electrical contact. Hubbell’s line of XClamp Tamper-Resistant Receptacles are ideal for use in residential, hospitals, childcare centers, hospitality guestrooms and increasingly in schools, waiting rooms and retail.

According to NEMA, over a 10-year analysis in the U.S., more than 24,000 children under the age of 10 were treated in emergency rooms for receptacle-related incidents. Hubbell’s X-Clamp meets the NEC to help make receptacles safer. In new branch circuits NEC will allow AFCI receptacles as alternate to AFCI breaker. Dorms now also require AFCIs.

If you’re interested in learning more about these or other Hubbell Wiring Device-Kellems products,  contact us or your French Gerleman Account Manager.  You can visit our website to purchase or check current stock and pricing on Hubbell products.


Community Involvement: Rebuilding Together

French Gerleman has partnered with Rebuilding Together for the past 13 years for their Rebuilding Day. Rebuilding Together is a nationwide volunteer organization with a St. Louis chapter, and the day is dedicated to rebuilding or fixing houses to improve the well-being of the homeowners.

Rebuilding Together has a great vetting process for homeowners, so that they can help those who need it most. They choose homeowners who love where they live, but aren’t able to address safety concerns around their house. Rebuilding Together often helps with the elderly, disabled or with low-income households.

The French Gerleman volunteers are assigned to a homeowner and given a list of projects to be completed on Rebuilding Day.  This year, we were assigned a home in Maryland Heights, MO, near our corporate headquarters, with a key goal to address a deck safety concern. Someone had previously tried to repair it, but failed to do so correctly. Since the volunteers are only available to be there in person for one day, there was a lot of preparation involved in the project.  This included drawing up plans for the deck and submitting it to city to make sure it met code ahead of Rebuilding Day.

In addition to rebuilding the deck, our volunteers replaced the basement sliding door with new waterproof French doors and cleanup the landscaping.

French Gerleman’s partnership with Rebuilding Together first started after a customer who was involved with the organization brought it up to one of our sales team members. They thought it was a great idea, so a couple of volunteers from French Gerleman went the first year, and it’s been growing ever since. This year there were 13 volunteers.

“It’s great when you finish up the project and the homeowner asks for a hug; they’re always so appreciative of the work we’re able to do for them,” says Bob Anderson, who was the House Captain for the project. “They are always such nice people, and we are able to come away from the project with some truly great experiences.”

You can learn more about Rebuilding Together on their website.


ergonomic_tools

Why Should You Choose Ergonomic Tools?

 Years of labor can take their toll on workers, but long-term injuries can be minimized with the use of ergonomic tools. That’s why Greenlee is devoted to improving their tools to be more ergonomic to enhance the wellbeing of those who use them.

What are ergonomic tools?

Ergonomic tools are designed not only to decrease injuries, but increase productivity. Ergonomic tools can minimize general soreness, physical wear and tear, and lengthen the careers of workers by improving their health. When tools are optimized for usability, the job gets done faster with less physical strain.

What are the effects of ergonomic tools?

The use of ergonomic tools has been proven to positively impact not only the lives of workers, but also the bottom line of companies. A major utility switched to ergonomic tools and saw a 100% reduction of lost work day cases, a 62% reduction of OSHA recordable cases and a 10% work efficiency improvement saving 25,504 hours of work. Their annual savings came to $7,353,248.

How does Greenlee help prevent injuries?

First, Greenlee looked into what was causing the injuries. The primary culprits were force, repetition and posture. These three components damage tissue, wears down tendons, ligaments and joints, and increases fatigue and the potential for injury.

This damage accumulates over time, resulting in scar tissue, joint damage and loss of range of motion and strength. These injuries almost never fully heal, and can result in inability to work as people age. The workforce is aging as a whole, and it is important to prevent such injuries that can plague workers even after retirement.

Greenlee launched industry-first ErgoLab, which used Electromyography Testing and test-based result to compare their tools, and design them for worst case scenarios. Greenlee aims to reduce occurrences of rotator cuff tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, elbow epicondylitis, low back pain and knee bursitis.

Greenlee’s ergonomic tools feature:

  • Improved grips
  • Decreased weight
  • Improved center of gravity
  • Battery power
  • Improved user posture

Their battery tools are designed to extend users reach to diminish shoulder strain, and their general tools decrease forces that can cause carpal tunnel. Not all injuries can be prevented, but these can be lessened with the use of ergonomic tools, and Greenlee is a good place to start.

If you have any questions or are interested in learning more about Greenlee’s ergonomic tools, contact us or your French Gerleman Account Manager.


French Gerleman Product and Technology Expo Recap

Thanks to everyone who came out to the St. Charles Convention Center for our Product and Technology Expo last week! We were excited to see lots of familiar faces, as well as some new ones! All in all, we had more than 400 people attend.

We also had 91 exhibit booths representing 77 different companies that guests were able to visit. The day was busy with activity, and it was great to see all the good interactions between exhibitors and guests. Our Product and Technology Expo provides customers with a chance to meet manufacturers face-to-face, new and established, and build relationships with them.

Manufacturers including Rockwell Automation, Philips, Mersen and Guardian Fall Protection presented 48 free training sessions for our guests to attend, covering great topics around automation, electrical, lighting, datacom and personal safety. Both the exhibits and the training sessions offered a good variety of manufacturers and topics.

It’s always amazing to see people from so many different industries come together to learn more about the products we provide and get updates on the latest technologies. Our goal was for attendees to walk away better educated on topics pertinent to their jobs and on the products and services French Gerleman offers to help their companies improve their efficiency and profitability.

Thank you to everyone who came and helped make it such a great day, we look forward to hosting another Product and Technology Expo in 2020!


Don’t Forget to Register for French Gerleman’s Product and Technology Expo

It’s almost here! Our Product and Technology Expo is just around the corner, so if you haven’t registered yet, now’s your chance! Time is running out to pre-register, so go to www.fg2018expo.com to register, see the full schedule of training sessions, get directions and more.

You can also register for live text updates the day of the event by texting “expo” to 31996 for notifications, reminders and special offers via text.

Below you can see a full list of training sessions for the expo, which will be offered FOR FREE. Seminars are ongoing from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24, so make sure to check out our full schedule online to plan which you want to attend.

Automation

  • Specification of DC Management Products for VFDs, Presented by: Bonitron
  • Linear Servo Motors – Electricity vs. Air, Presented by: LinMot
  • Fundamentals of Harmonics & Load Side Motor Protection, Presented by: MTE Corporation
  • Experience the Thin Manager ® Platform ’s Power & Simplicity, Presented by: Rockwell Automation
  • Latest Innovations in Motion Control, Presented by: Rockwell Automation
  • Vibration Monitoring, Presented by: Rockwell Automation
  • Integrate Printers & Scanners with Your PLCs, Presented by: Zebra Technologies Corp.
  • VFD Cable Considerations Per NFPA 79 Edition 2018, Presented by: LUTZE Inc.

 Industrial Network Solutions

  • Industrial Environmental Monitoring with Synap Sense, Presented by: Panduit
  • Intra VUE Industrial Network Monitoring, Presented by: Panduit
  • Industrial Plant Floor Ethernet Best Practices, Presented by: Rockwell Automation & French Gerleman
  • Roadmap to Industrial Cyber Security, Presented by: Rockwell Automation
  • Rockwell Automation ’s FT Analytics & Team One Applications, Presented by: Rockwell Automation
  • The Why-What -How of Smart Manufacturing &Starting Your Digital Transformation Journey, Presented by: Rockwell Automation

 Machine Safety

  • Scalable Machine Safety Solutions, Presented by: Rockwell Automation

 Process Automation

  • Process System Overview, Presented by: Rockwell Automation

 Datacom

  • Critical Secure Power Solutions, Presented by: APC by Schneider Electric
  • Campus Network Cabling & Power Over Ethernet, Presented by: Hitachi Cable America

 Power Transmission

  • Increase Efficiency & Reduce Costs with Automatic Lubricators, Presented by: Lubriplate
  • Electric Rod Actuators vs. Hydraulic Cylinders, Presented by: Tolomatic, Inc.

 Electrical Supply

  • Hazardous Location Code Basics, Presented by: Appleton
  • Driving Efficiency in Panel Labeling, Presented by: Brady
  • OSHA Standard for Emergency Alarm & Warning Systems, Presented by: Federal Signal
  • Switchgear Lifecycle & Maintenance, Presented by: French Gerleman
  • Benefits of Ergonomic Tools, Presented by: Greenlee
  • Wiring Devices : Standards Update, Presented by: Hubbell Wiring Device-Kellems
  • NFPA 70 & Absence of Voltage Testers, Presented by: Panduit
  • Tools for Proper Termination, Presented by: Thomas & Betts

 Surge Suppression & Power Quality

  • Predictive Maintenance & Troubleshooting Solutions, Presented by: Fluke
  • Clean Continuous Power, Presented by: French Gerleman
  • NEC 2017 & UL Changes : SPDs, Presented by: Mersen
  • Power Quality: Causes & Solutions, Presented by: SolaHD
  • Protecting Your Critical Processes from Surges, Presented by: Surge Suppression Inc.

 Personal Safety

  • Keeping People Safe When Working at Heights, Presented by: 3M DBI-SALA
  • Segregating Pedestrians & Forklifts, Presented by: A-SAFE
  • Temporary Boundary Solutions, Presented by: Banner Stakes
  • Arc Flash Fundamentals & Compliance, Presented by: Cementex
  • Walking -Working Surface Standard, Presented by: Guardian Fall Protection
  • Portable Ladder Safety, Presented by: Little Giant Ladder
  • OSHA Update, Presented by: OSHA
  • Safety Culture & Creative Intervention, Presented by: Guest Speaker

Lighting

  • Navigating Lighting Controls, Presented by: Acuity Brands
  • The Current State of LED Lighting, Presented by: Philips
  • Addressing LED Issues, Presented by: Universal Lighting Technologies/Philips Bodine
  • LED Upgrade: Retrofit vs. Replacement, Presented by: French Gerleman

 Operations & Procurement

  • Attracting & Retaining Millennials, Presented by: French Gerleman
  • Inventor y Management & Optimization, Presented by: French Gerleman
  • Advantages of Online & Mobile Purchasing, Presented by: French Gerleman

Full descriptions of these training sessions and their times are on our website. For more information, and to pre-register, visit www.fg2018expo.com.


When It Comes to Motor Repair, You Have Options

Motors are what keep many companies running, so when one needs repair, a quick turnaround is essential. At French Gerleman, we understand minimizing downtime is important, so we make the process as simple as possible for you, and respond quickly.

We offer free pick-up and delivery when you have a motor needing repair. Our delivery fleet is always ready to transport your motor to be repaired overnight or with same day service. This can save you hundreds of dollars in transportation and downtime, and the headache of arranging moving your motors yourself.

Please note, due to variances in our delivery fleet, our free pick-up and delivery offer does have a weight limit which varies by branch. Larger weight motors or father delivery zones may require additional freight charges.  Please contact a French Gerleman team member for additional information.

What is typically included with repairs?

There are lots of reasons a motor may need repair and we address them, ensuring that your motor is cleaned, in working order, balanced, and looking like new when we return it to you.

  • Repair
  • Rewind
  • Paint
  • Balance Rotor
  • Performance Test
  • New Bearings
  • Varnish Windings
  • Steam Clean

When a motor fails, should you repair it or replace it?

If your motor is 25 horsepower and lower, it may be a better investment to purchase a new motor. Consider a cost factor of 60% of the new price when replacing. If a new motor does seem like the best option for you, we have an extensive in-stock inventory and competitive prices. Make sure to contact us for a quote so we can help you get up and running again.

However, often it is more cost efficient to repair your motors. We repair a variety of brands including:

AC Motors
  • ABB
  • Baldor
  • Bodine
  • Leeson/Lincoln
  • Marathon
  • Minarik
  • Reuland
  • Sew
  • Siemens
  • Sterling
  • Teco
  • Universal
  • WEG Electric
DC Motors
  • ABB
  • Baldor
  • Bodine
  • Leeson/Lincoln
  • Siemens

Repairs are also available for clutches, pump motors, hazardous heavy-duty motors, and welding equipment.

Don’t worry, call French Gerleman.

There’s no need to panic if one of your motors goes down. You have options, and you can count on French Gerleman when you have motor repair needs. If you’d like to learn more, contact your French Gerleman Account Manager, or call 314-213-5807 for a quote.


Registration Now Open for French Gerleman’s Product and Technology Expo

French Gerleman’s Product and Technology Expo is next month, and registration has opened!  You can register online, see who is exhibiting, get directions, and more at www.fg2018expo.com. Check in for the Expo starts at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 24, and exhibits continue until 5:00 p.m.

Who should attend?

There will be a comprehensive mix of more than 80 industry-leading manufacturers presenting dozens of training sessions covering a variety of topics.

Training sessions will cover topics in automation, industrial network solutions, lighting, power quality, data communication, personal/machine safety, and much more. French Gerleman and our partners have extensive industry knowledge that we’re sharing to help make you more competitive and productive.

If you see yourself in the list below, then you’ll want to come and participate in our exhibits and seminars.

  • Electrical Contractors
  • Plant Managers
  • Engineers
  • IT/MIS
  • Property Managers
  • Purchasing
  • Job/Site Foremen
  • Facility Management
  • Maintenance
  • Production
  • Safety/EHS
  • Operations
  • Business Owners
  • Finance

Don’t wait, register for our Product and Technology Expo today! To register or learn more, go to www.fg2018expo.com.


Jan-San Supplies Now Available from French Gerleman

All businesses need cleaning supplies, whether for janitorial purposes or sanitation. Recently, French Gerleman started including distributing janitorial and sanitation (Jan-San) supplies as an extension of our Stock Optimization Program.

What is Jan-San?

Companies often need a baseline of supplies to ensure their employees are properly cared for and to keep their facility running smoothly.

  • Paper Products: paper towels, toilet paper, tissues, toilet seat covers, wipers and more.  We can also help you with breakroom supplies.
  • Skin Care: commonly include hand soap, hand sanitizers and rehydrating lotions.
  • Trash Can Liners: offered in both high density and linear low density in a variety of sizes and thicknesses to fit your needs.
  • Chemicals: typically include cleaners like disinfectants, floor cleaners and degreasers. French Gerleman now offers the complete Simple Green line including the Original Simple Green for industrial applications, Crystal Simple Green for the food and beverage applications and Extreme Simple Green for tough applications. Samples and demos are available upon request. We can provide a site survey of your stocked Jan-San chemicals to identify potentially better solutions for your applications and ways to consolidate the chemicals you use.  Ask us for more information.
  • Equipment: includes vacuums, mops, buckets and more depending on the individual needs of your facility.
  • Hygiene: include feminine hygiene and air care products.
  • Matting: entrance, logoed and anti-fatigue matting solutions to improve facility productivity. French Gerleman has partnered with The Andersen Company, a leader in matting solutions. Ask about our free matting audit.

How it Works

French Gerleman makes it easy by keeping track of your inventory and restocking as needed.  Consolidate your vendors by letting French Gerleman take care of your core Jan-San needs.

For customers that already take advantage of French Gerleman’s Stock Optimization Program, adding janitorial and sanitation supplies is an effortless decision. Not only does it save time, it saves money with better systems, better products and allows you to implement just-in-time inventory.

Environmentally Friendly

French Gerleman focuses on suppliers who manufacture cleaning supplies that are safe for employees to handle, as well as being more environmentally friendly. French Gerleman has partnered with Simple Green to supply much of their selection of cleaning supplies. Simple Green’s high-quality, safe products, are often multi-purpose resulting in fewer cleaners for you to inventory.

If you are interested in learning more about how French Gerleman can help you with your janitorial and sanitation supplies, contact your French Gerleman Account Manager.


Register for French Gerleman’s Bracketology Battle!

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is just around the corner, and with it comes our annual Bracketology Battle! Test your prediction skills to choose the best bracket and win some awesome prizes.

Signing up is easy, just go to our Bracketology Battle site to learn more and create an account. If you participated in previous years, you will still need to re-register for this year’s contest, but you are able to use your previous login information.

Once the tournament field is announced on Sunday, March 11, you can login to pick your bracket. Throughout the tournament, you can use your account to check your scores and rankings.  All brackets must be selected prior to the start of the first game in the Round of 62 on Thursday, March 15.

The top five finishers will win the following prizes:

  1. Best Overall Bracket: Samsung 65”Smart 4K Ultra HD TV
  2. Second Best Overall Bracket: Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR Camera Bundle
  3. Third Best Overall Bracket: Microsoft Xbox One X 1 TB Console
  4. Fourth Best Overall Bracket: DJ Spark Quadcopter
  5. Fifth Best Overall Bracket: Apple HomePod

What if you don’t make it to the top five? Don’t worry, you still have a chance to win. We’re giving away a Yeti Hopper Flip 8 Cooler to five randomly selected participants drawn at the conclusion of the tournament.

Get ready for the 2018 Bracketology Battle, and good luck!