Product Spotlight: New Eaton’s B-Line Series Conduit Trapeze Support

Product Spotlight: New Eaton’s B-Line Series Conduit Trapeze Support

Traditionally, strut trapeze is used for hanging and aligning conduit. Eaton has developed their new B-Line series Conduit Trapeze Support to cut down on the number of parts needed and installation time, while adding versatility.

Eaton’s B-Line series Conduit Trapeze Support eliminates the need for pipe clamps at every location, and has a Z-shape design for added strength. Most configurations exceed the maximum load ratings defined by UL/NEC requirements. The flange works with ½” or 3/8” ATR or bolts at regular intervals, and can be cut to size on the field or spliced end-to-end.

Because of its structure, the new Conduit Trapeze Support system requires up to 75% fewer parts than the traditional strut support, and can reduce installation time up to 60%.  There are three standard sizes accommodating up to 4” conduit available in lengths ranging from 12” to 120”.

Download Eaton’s guide to learn how Eaton’s B-Line series conduit trapeze support can save you time and money.

French Gerleman stocks BCTS1 and BCTS2 series in several lengths:

Catalog Number Length Max Conduit Holes Approx WT/PC (LB)
BCTS1-12 12” 1 ¼” EMT / 1” RGD 6 0.87
BCTS1-24 24” 1 ¼” EMT / 1” RGD 12 1.61
BCTS1-36 36” 1 ¼” EMT / 1” RGD 18 2.36
BCTS1-120 120” 1 ¼” EMT / 1” RGD 60 7.57
BCTS2-12 12” 2” EMT / 2” RGD 4 0.94
BCTS2-36 36” 2” EMT / 2” RGD 12 2.54
BCTS2-120 120” 2” EMT / 2” RGD 40 8.13

The BCTS3 series accommodates a maximum of 4” EMT / 4” RGD and, like the others, is available in various lengths. These are in stock at the factory, as are additional lengths in both the BCTS1 and BCTS2 series.

If you’re interested in learning more about Eaton’s B-Line series Conduit Trapeze Support, contact us or your French Gerleman account manager.  Browse our website for pricing, stock levels or to purchase this product series online.


Power Quality: Causes & Solutions

Does your company have reliable power quality? SolaHD defines power quality as “the sensitivity of the load to a disturbance in the facility under the customer’s control.”

Poor power quality causes various costly issues; productivity goes down while downtime goes up. Thankfully, your company doesn’t have to become a victim of poor power quality. SolaHD has a wide range of power quality solutions to keep your business up and running.

What causes power disturbances?

According to SolaHD’s research, 70% of all power quality issues are internally generated in a facility and include noise, impulses, power interruptions and voltage fluctuations (sags, swells, and brownouts). Induction loads such as motors, elevators, welders and office equipment are among the culprits which can cause these internally-generated disturbances. Wiring and grounding errors, heavy loads and poorly-specified power conversion products also can create power quality problems.

This leaves 30% of power quality issues resulting from externally generated sources including lighting strikes and utility switching issues. Even with a properly designed distribution system, you must be ready for unavoidable power issues caused by accidents and weather.

Types of power disturbances:

  • Voltage Surge: A temporary rise in RMS voltage that can cause permanent damage to hardware
  • Power Interruption: A loss of power which can cause equipment shutdown and data loss, as well as downtime and safety issues
  • Brownout: While not a complete loss of power like a blackout, a brownout is a drop in voltage which can cause hardware crashes and equipment failure.
  • Voltage Sag: A temporary drop in voltage which can result in hardware crashes and reduce the lifespan of electrical equipment
  • Voltage Transient: A narrow, high voltage impulse which can cause equipment failure or damage and data loss
  • Frequency Variation: Changes to the 60 Hz sine wave that can cause permanent damage to hardware
  • Harmonic Distortion: Distortion to the sinewave which can result in loss of system capacity
  • Electrical Noise: Low amplitude and current, high frequency disturbances which can cause software errors and system lock-ups

Solutions to power disturbances

Power conditioning, surge suppression, filters and UPS systems can provide protection against various types of power quality issues. Products like constant voltage transformers can help regulate voltage levels while providing noise filtering and surge protection.

SolaHD’s large selection of power quality products includes AC and DC UPS systems, both free- standing and DIN Rail mount. Sola offers the three basic UPS technologies of:

  • Off-line
  • Line Interactive
  • On-line/Double Conversion

SolaHD has solutions you need to protect your facility from power quality issues and keep you up and running, including surge protection devices (SPDs) for everything from the service entrance to data and signal-line protection.

If you have questions or are interested in learning more about SolaHD’s solutions to address power quality, please contact us or your French Gerleman Account Manager.  You can also browse our in-stock selection of SolaHD products on our website.


Guardian Fall Protection – OSHA’s New Rule on Walking-Working Surfaces

Slip, trip and fall hazards are the leading cause of worker deaths and lost-workday injuries. However, the existing OSHA standards had not been updated since 1971. OSHA now has a final rule for walking-working surfaces to improve worker safety and bring the standard up to date with the latest technological advancements. New requirements for personal fall protection systems have also been added.  French Gerleman offers a variety of products from Guardian Fall Protection that are compliant with the new OSHA standards.

According to OSHA, the final rule is estimated to result in:
  • 29 fewer worker deaths a year
  • 5,842 fewer lost-workday injuries each year
  • $309.5 million in net benefits

What is the final rule?

The final rule is fully outlined in the OSHA 1910, and provides employers instructions to identify and evaluate hazards for slips, trips, and falls in the workplace, and verify this was completed with a written certification. Employers must also provide appropriate equipment to address hazards identified in the evaluation, and regularly inspect and maintain all walking-working surfaces. Employees should be trained to minimize hazards and use preventative equipment appropriately. This includes training on:

  • Personal fall protection
  • Ladder safety systems
  • Designated areas
  • Dockboards
  • Safety nets
  • Rope descent systems
  • Portable guardrails
  • Ladders

Training must be conducted by a qualified person.

How are workers protected?

The final rule improves worker safety by:

  • Phasing out the use of qualified climbers in outdoor advertising
  • Requiring ladders taller than 24 feet be equipped with ladder safety or personal fall protection systems
  • Implementing criteria for personal fall protection equipment
  • Requiring body harnesses and prohibiting body belts to spread out weight distribution in falls
  • Requiring workers who use personal fall protection to be trained

How are employers benefitted?

While the benefits for employees are obvious, employers also gain more flexibility with more fall protection options to choose from, and greater consistency between OSHA’s general industry and construction standards if they are involved with both. The final rule incorporates technological advancements so employers can now choose more effective, cost-efficient choices, and removes outdated specifications so the rule is easier to understand and follow.

What is covered?

The final rule applies to any walking-working surfaces, whether horizontal or vertical. These include:

  • Floors
  • Stairs
  • Roofs
  • Ladders
  • Ramps
  • Scaffolds
  • Step bolts
  • Aisles
  • Dock Boards
  • Elevated walkways

If you would like more information about the update, contact us or your French Gerleman Account Manager. You can read the full OSHA update here.

Visit our website to purchase or check current stock and pricing on Guardian Fall Protection products.


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 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 in 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 interested in the Smart Tool+ or have any questions, please contact us or your French Gerleman Account Manager.


Protecting Against Surges with Mersen

There are many electrical risks you have to protect against, one of the most concerning being voltage surges. These spikes in power can be extremely dangerous if you do not take the proper preventative steps. Mersen is devoted to providing companies the best in technology and putting safety first, which includes protecting against surges. They have a wide range of products, so it’s important you understand which are the best for you.

What is an electrical surge and where does it come from?

Electrical surges are extremely brief spikes or disturbances up to tens of thousands of volts. These can damage or destroy your electronic equipment. Surges can come from external sources, such as lightning or utility grid switching. However, most surges come from internal facility equipment:

  • Inductive loads stopping and starting
  • Lighting load panels turned on and off frequently
  • HVAC systems
  • Elevators
  • Welders

Why do you need surge protection?

Surge protection is required in the 2017 National Electric Code (NEC), but there are many reasons why you would want it regardless. Surges can damage or destroy your property, result in downtime, and cause safety issues. The cost of being unprotected is high, so it’s important to include power protection at the point of entry, as well as near your sensitive equipment.

To learn more about the Overcurrent and Surge Protection requirements in the 2017 NEC Code, click here to download Mersen’s Guide.

How to choose a device

It’s important to find a reliable surge protective device (SPD) to protect your equipment. Keep an eye out for the following terms when selecting the best SPD for you:

  • Maximum Continuous Operating VoltageMax RMS voltage that may be continuously applied to MOV
  • Nominal Discharge CurrentStress test to measure durability of a product
  • Voltage Protection RatingMeasurement of the limiting voltage (let-through or clamping voltage)
  • Maximum Discharge Current of Surge RatingMeasurement of longevity (not an official UL measurement)

As mentioned, surges can come from internal or external sources, and it’s important that a system is protected where the power enters, as well as near the sensitive equipment. These different types of protection serve different purposes, and it’s important you put the correct type in the correct location. The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) have three location categories which correspond to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) type designations.

  • Type 1/Category C is designed to protect areas with a high risk of lighting strike, like incoming power supply panels, outside overhead lines, and service entrances.
  • Type 2/Category B is designed to protect areas with a low risk of lightning strike, often downstream of Category C, such as feeders, short branch circuits, and indoor service panels.
  • Type 3/Category A is designed to protect sensitive equipment such as outlets/receptacles or long branch circuits, and is always installed downstream of Category B.

Mersen’s SPD Products

There are many ways to protect against surges, and Mersen has a multitude of surge protection, lighting protection and power monitoring products to fit your needs.

  • SPD ComponentsThese are board level components, such as Mersen’s TPMOV and VSP fuses, which include a disconnecting apparatus in the case of a surge event.
  • SPD NEMAThese can be panelmounted and wallmounted for either the whole-facility or point-of-use equipment, and includes their STX and STZ series.
  • SPD DIN-Rail and SPD In-LineThese can be installed within industrial control cabinets, VFDs, disconnect switches or other power equipment for distribution, control and signaling.

French Gerleman has a wide variety of Mersen fuses available for purchase online. If you are interested in learning more about any of these products, or what may be the best surge protection for you, 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.