Even today, 90 percent of procurement teams measure effectiveness by pure-play cost savings, which for a product or service is traditionally calculated as old price minus new price, multiplied by the volume.
Year over year, school planning strategies emphasize safety and security. The primary goal when planning for a school district is to provide students and teachers with the ability to learn and share in a safe and secure environment.
When it comes to data communications, one of the most critical infrastructure elements is the uninterruptible power supply (UPS), especially when it comes to distributed IT, data centers, or network closets.
According to ONVIA, 46 state agencies' fiscal year-end dates fall at the end of June, while 86% of school districts align with the school year in June. Keep in mind, New York, Alabama, Texas, and Michigan have different fiscal year deadlines.
With the recent healthcare crisis, businesses around the world increased their work-from-home rate from 5 percent to 90 percent in just a few days. As offices slowly begin to re-open, employees will be making their way back into the office, but we will all be adjusting to a new normal. New procedures should be developed, implemented, and communicated to sustain a clean and safe workplace.
As cities, counties, and states begin to re-open amid the COVID-19 pandemic, facilities managers are being bombarded with information about ultraviolet (UV) disinfection. You may be asking yourself, what is it? How can it be used? What are its limitations?
It’s not a tightly held secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a tectonic shift in how the world functions and how it will move forward into a less certain future. As businesses, schools, governments, and communities look to safely reopen and resume some semblance of normal operations, the sheer volume of information and opinions available can overwhelm the senses.
An apple so delicious-looking you can practically taste it on your tongue. A diamond so sparkly it beckons. A silk tie that’s exactly the right shade of blue. What makes these products look so appealing that shoppers are inspired to open their wallets? In a word, lighting.
Students spend countless hours in classrooms, many of which lack natural light. The type of artificial light in the classroom can mean the difference between a productive, comfortable, feel-good environment and one that impedes learning, focus and enjoyment.
Slowly but surely, the world is finding ways to become more energy efficient. From smart metering to the expanding presence of solar photovoltaic power, here are six energy solution trends that are helping businesses, municipalities and consumers pave the way to a cleaner, greener and more efficient future.
You’ve heard of arc flash. You’ve even heard some numbers. And while it’s easy to remember that an arc flash is three times hotter than the surface of the sun, it’s not so clear why that matters, or what your facility should do about it.
Environmentally friendly safety products are better for the environment. But they are also good for businesses. Most of the PPE and safety products that you’re currently using, such as gloves, lockout/tagout kits, and cleaning supplies, have an earth-friendly alternative or can be recycled.
History has far too many high-profile, worst-case scenario examples of network data breaches. These situations drive CIOs and IT pros to invest in transforming IT infrastructure and ensure that corporate info is secure, protected, and highly available.
There are currently 32 models of electric vehicles available for purchase in the United States. By the start of the next decade, it’s projected that more than half of new car sales will refuel by plugging in.
Command centers are crucial for government, military, and utility organizations to communicate effectively and dispatch resources. But to keep this room secure and running smoothly, up-to-date technology is a must.
As we enter a new decade, facial recognition is a hot topic. Media outlets frequently report on the technology as a crime-solving potential or a privacy concern. While both claims are valid, the real story is harder to uncover.
In a perfect world, you’ll always have the right material in the right place at the right time on a construction job. The real world isn’t quite that simple. Organizing your people, inventory, supply and distribution creates a lot of variables that need to be managed efficiently.
Advanced lighting controls, also known as networked lighting controls, are becoming increasingly important in the energy efficiency world. Lighting controls provide a way to enhance energy savings from lighting and even HVAC and mechanical retrofit projects.
Just like any other organization, government agencies generate and store massive amounts of data at local, state and federal levels – from census and employment data, to data about military activities and covert operations.
If you visited any of your facilities and asked, “How often are you pulling your team together to talk about safety?”, what response do you think you would get? Varied responses are an indicator of the need to reexamine how, when, and what your facilities use to talk about safety, and to implement consistency across all locations.
Article originally published Nov. 20, 2017, and updated for accuracy and relevance. While most elements of ladder safety might seem like common sense, OSHA requires that employers take additional measures to ensure that their workers’ safety isn’t compromised. Of several topics covered in the most recent Walking Working Surfaces standard, updates detailing fixed ladder use within general industry settings were a key focus.
With the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) came the requirement for federal agencies to consolidate and optimize data centers by Oct. 1, 2018. But don’t worry if you’re working with some that haven’t achieved all the closure and efficiency improvements that were prioritized in the subsequent Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI).
Every year, WESCO’s Government Partner Network (GPN) brings together our GPN partners, suppliers, and members of our Commercial, Institutional and Government team to network and collaborate. The eighth annual event took place from Nov. 5-7 in Henderson, NV, and gave attendees the opportunity to volunteer and fundraise for a local charity.
2020 is right around the corner, and in the last year, our industry has seen countless technological advances, pushes for sustainability and diversity, and increasing importance placed on streamlined supply chains.
Government contractors are looking for a cost-effective solution to increase their network speed without compromising security. A fiber optic network is one route to go, but it’s expensive and time-consuming to install.
Your security site plan can have a lot of moving parts. For critical infrastructure sites (i.e., power plants – nuclear, gas, electrical or solar, petroleum refineries, data centers, etc.), it’s important to know what’s happening inside and outside, regardless if you’re onsite or not.
If you work in the data communications industry, specifically with the federal government, you’re probably already familiar with the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI), and how it led to the Federal Information Technology Reform Act (FITARA).
The Threat Within While stories about tech-savvy hackers and foreign state-sponsored web attacks make the biggest headlines – networks are most vulnerable to data breaches from less publicized culprits: internal users.
Gone are the days of high utility bills and frequently required lighting maintenance. As technology has improved and LED lighting has become more affordable, there’s no need to waste time and money on the lighting of the past.
WESCO’s industry-leading Expert Webinar Series takes you on a deep dive into the latest technologies, tools, and most relevant topics in the business. Partnering with electrical and technology leaders from a variety of best-in-class manufacturers, WESCO’s Expert Webinar Series provides fresh, innovative information that will help you stay at the top of your field.
Profitable construction projects are the result of a successful blend of labor, material, and equipment management. Too often, contractors concentrate exclusively on labor or cost reduction and overlook the opportunity for improvement by implementing material management strategies.
When it comes to video surveillance, nothing is worse than having an incident, thinking you have it on camera via your network video recorder (NVR), and then finding out you had an NVR failure during that time… and you capture nothing!
Employee safety is always a top priority in any business. To avoid the possibility of injuries, the use of high-visibility clothing is important. High-visibility clothing allows workers to be seen in low-light conditions where the risk of injury is high.
Employees working on the job every day – from construction sites to warehouses – often become so comfortable with their daily activities, they can become complacent to the injury risks. Unfortunately, it’s this form of complacency that can result in job site injuries ranging from slips and falls to struck-by hazards.
Without proper cooling components, electrical equipment is exposed to fluctuating temperature conditions that can drastically affect performance and lifespan. The inside of an equipment cabinet can generate and trap as much heat as a home furnace – just imagine the damage those temperatures can cause your equipment.
The wheels of complex construction projects can quickly fall off if you don’t have the proper plan in place – resulting in costly delays. From complicated procurement cycles, material management, and project schedules, there are plenty of moving parts that could jeopardize finishing the job on schedule.
Kitchens and bathrooms are two of the most lived-in areas of a home. That’s why more and more people are investing their time and money on the elements in these rooms, and all it takes to bring life to a space is the right finish.
In recent years, you’ve probably heard people talk about: the internet of things, digital transformation, digital buildings, converged networks, and smart buildings. But, do you know what they mean? Or what makes these words so important in the day-to-day business operations of a company, and how they are related to each other?
Think about all the devices and parts of your life that are connected in one way or another. The information on your cell phone automatically connects to your tablet, which then connects to your laptop and so forth.
Electricity is something we often take for granted. Because it’s so intertwined into our daily lives, from powering your smartphone to providing lighting in even the most obscure locations, we can often forget the dangers that come with it.
In today’s fast-paced manufacturing environment, improving productivity is at the top of every plant manager’s mind. Tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is vital to improving manufacturing performance.
While all elements factor into the complexity of a project, wire and cable play a significant role in the success or failure of a job – especially when you consider that the materials are 15-20 percent of the total spend, and the installation time accounts for almost 20 percent.
Did you know that only about 42 percent of the time on a job site is productive work? The rest of that time is waste. Identifying these areas of waste and reducing labor by just 5 percent has the ability to double a contractor’s profitability.
What do we mean by end-points, and why do they matter? We’re talking about end-point applications, and they’re important when it comes to choosing the right UTP cabling solution for the right end-point application.
When talking about cable ties, you probably remember that time you used one to hold your keys or tools together when you were in a pinch. But do they remind you of race cars or the Mars Rover? They just might now.
There is a growing need to improve infrastructure resiliency in the utility industry. As the threat of unknown natural disasters and events continues to increase each year, being prepared and having resilient infrastructure in place is a top priority.
The construction industry has seen an increase of women on the job site. Year after year, this number continues to grow – but as a primarily male-dominated industry, there are still many things to take into consideration for women.
From tornadoes and hurricanes to floods, earthquakes, and ice storms, Mother Nature has many ways of threatening your business. When disaster strikes, it’s important to have a predetermined plan in place to minimize downtime, injury, and loss of valuable information.
The number of overdoses in the U.S. is growing at an astonishing rate. It’s estimated that 1.7 million people suffer from substance disorders. As deaths related to the opioid overdose continue to grow, it has reached the point that it’s now causing a decline in the life expectancy of Americans.
It went from a tropical storm to a category 2 hurricane within hours. Locals who choose to ride it out have done everything they can to prepare – stocked up on all the necessary supplies and boarded up the house. Now all they can do is wait and hope for the best. The big question on everyone’s mind – will I lose power and if so, for how long?
We’ve always known the internet as the web – but how does big data fit into this intricately woven design? Think of big data as every little detail that goes into this web, and then some. It’s the simplest and the most complex sets of data all in one space. Now, multiple that by 2.5 quintillion – that’s how many bytes of data are in our web.
When thinking about workplace injuries, it’s easy to picture yourself in the warehouse trying to grab a box just out of reach and as you wiggle it off the shelf – you drop it on your foot. Or maybe you are walking through the warehouse and have a near miss with a forklift that didn’t see you coming.
Whether you’re removing snow from your driveway, making work deliveries in cold pouring rain, or just attending a chilly outdoor event, you run the risk of getting a cold stress-related injury if you’re not properly protected or adequately prepared.
Commercial contractors are always looking for ways their projects can be done efficiently and at the lowest cost. Using prefabricated electrical systems from a distributor is one way to do that. With the help of a distributor, commercial contractors can reduce labor costs and deliver cost-effective electrical systems.
When you think of a loading dock, does a flurry of activity and the classic “beep, beep, beep” backup sound come to mind? On a daily basis, loading docks are a hub of activity for shipping and receiving functions that keep the lifeblood of businesses flowing. Unfortunately, about 25 percent of reported warehouse injuries occur on loading docks.
In the 1830s when scientist Michael Faraday first generated electricity by spinning a copper disc using the poles of a magnet, the electricity generation was hatched. Since then, humanity has come to rely heavily on coal, wood, gasoline, and other fossil fuel sources to power our lives.
For school-aged children, a classroom rich in digital experiences is a must to ensure that today’s students are ready for tomorrow’s high-tech world. According to a 2017 report from EducationSuperHighway, 88 percent of classrooms had Wi-Fi access, up from just 25 percent in 2013.
Keeping children safe in schools is top of mind in today’s world. Reports from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) show 81 percent of schools use surveillance cameras for safety and security reasons, understandably so.
The seventh annual WESCO Government Partner Network (GPN) Summit held Nov. 6-8 in Tampa, FL, gave WESCO and attendees a special opportunity to give back to the local and global community all while networking with fellow employees, GPN partners and suppliers.
We’ve covered a lot on the WESCO blog this year! Whether it's industry updates and perspectives, new products and technologies, or informative case studies and whitepapers, the WESCO blog is packed with information for you. We hope it has been an asset to you and your business this year.
Consisting of 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments, the human foot is an engineering marvel of the human body — one that needs the utmost protection while on the job.
Assessing the workplace for potential safety hazards often leads companies to invest in signage, labels, personal protective equipment, and other safety products. Floor marking tape is an effective one of these since it’s a simple identifier of hazardous areas, places of caution, safe pathways, and other precautionary areas.
Imagine this – you’re working on a factory floor. Small debris is floating through the air, so as you start your shift, you reach for your safety glasses. Bad news, they’re not where they should be. You can’t start work without your glasses, so you let your manager know.
In today’s retail climate, hardly a day goes by without news of another legacy-brand retailer announcing store closings or financial restructuring. In fact, nearly 7,000 store closing announcements occurred in 2017, setting a new record. With the public’s embrace of online shopping, this trend will likely continue and perhaps accelerate.
In the industrial space, you’re probably familiar with both U.S. and European standards for industrial gloves that protect against cuts, punctures, abrasions and chemical exposure. These standards allow companies to properly compare products to find the best match for their application.
The new operating norms of lower oil prices, heightened safety, and environmental awareness create challenges for inefficient oil and gas companies. They also drive the most efficient organizations to constantly improve and repeatedly find new, consistent methods to preserve or increase their profitability, compliance and reputation.
If you’ve ever been to a large sporting event, convention or rally, you know all too well how slow the Wi-Fi signal can be when many in the crowd attempt to tweet or upload to Instagram at the same time.
Beyond traditional security and surveillance applications, video cameras in manufacturing and assembly environments are tools used to improve personnel management, maintain safety, reduce liability and optimize efficiency. Production and operations managers looking to reduce costs or tighten timelines can deploy cameras in their factory or plant.
Although the modern mining industry has always been well regulated in terms of safety, what has been evident is the increased tolerance and acceptability of sub-standard and hazardous lighting systems being used in underground mining.
The frequency of non-residential fires has steadily increased over the last 10 years, resulting in 80 civilian deaths and over $3 billion dollars in direct property damage per year (NFPA). Factor in the monetary loss from business interruption and the impact is staggering.
As a network cabling contractor, you need to keep an eye on product costs. When it comes to the cabling products you choose, you’re balancing your customer’s needs against what works for your bottom line.
Working with high voltage power systems carries many hazards and inherent risks. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the electrical fatality rate in the mining industry is approximately 8 to 12 times higher than the rate of other U.S. industries.
Article originally published Sept 20, 2016, and updated for accuracy and relevance. There are a lot of variables when it comes to a student’s success in college. Good study habits, passionate teachers, and valuable campus resources all contribute to a positive college experience. But one aspect of campus life that touches students’ lives every day is often overlooked. Believe it or not, a big determinant of campus success is lighting.
In 1801, James Pillans hung a large piece of slate on the wall of his classroom in Edinburgh, Scotland. Using colored chalk to mark on the slate, he had just invented a new mechanism to convey information to his students. By the mid 1800’s virtually every classroom in the United States had a chalkboard — a fine example of mid-19th century game-changing technology.
Facility professionals continue to look for cost effective, easy-to-implement technology to increase the operational efficiency and sustainability of their buildings. This is especially true as increasingly stringent building codes, such as California Title 24 2016 and ASHRAE 90.1-2013, require the use of controls.
Have you ever wondered, “Do I really need a special equipment rack in a seismically active area?” The short answer is “Yes.” Using a rack or cabinet designed for seismic applications may be more costly, but will give you the highest load-bearing capacity in your designated floor space.
At one point or another, we’ve all had the unfortunate experience of someone running the hot water tap during our shower. Imagine that same running shower competing with three or four toilets, sinks, washing machines and spigots. That is essentially what we put our networks through today — whenever demand exceeds supply, someone gets left in the cold.
Electricians often perform repetitive motions, twist their bodies in awkward positions, and handle heavy materials. To protect their field workforce from strains, sprains, and career-inhibiting injuries, many of today's top electrical construction firms are focusing on ergonomics.
The utility industry is filled with risks and hazards that other lines of business do not experience. Electrical work has been repeatedly identified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries as one of the most dangerous jobs.
At any level of education, odds are that your school or campus has a variety of traditional HID lamps. They can often be found in light fixtures in gymnasiums or post top lamps on campus sidewalks. No matter the facility, replacing costly HID lamps with LED technology can have countless benefits to improve energy efficiency, safety and aesthetics.
With technology expanding at such a fast rate, the world of education has been working hard to integrate it into classrooms. Many schools have incorporated smart boards, mobile devices, and online lesson plans into their teaching programs. To support digital learning and supply internet connectivity in the classroom, an increasing amount of equipment is required to properly store and protect hardware, networks, and infrastructure throughout campus.
It’s no secret that wireless services have grown to become our “fourth utility” in the last decade. While this evolution has been revolutionary in terms of communications and connectivity, it has also exposed capacity limitations within in-building enterprise and office environments.
Now that summer weather is finally here, staying hydrated throughout your day and at work is crucial to staying healthy and alert. Dehydration is a health concern that can be caused by hot, humid weather or when working around tools and equipment that produce a great amount of heat. Many people don’t think about drinking water until they feel thirsty.
Efficiency on a lighting project is critical to profitability. Contractors seek ways to save time and money — particularly on labor costs — to ensure maximum profitability from every job. While lighting installations come with their own set of challenges, properly managing material can save time and ultimately increase job profitability.
Fall protection has progressively advanced over the years from single lap/torso belts to full body harnesses with significant safety features to quickly restrain a worker in the event of a fall. In industrial and construction settings, workers often need to reach elevated areas to retrieve material or place items for storage.
2017 marked the ten year anniversary of the ratification of the Category 6A standard. At the time of its introduction, the industry hailed Category 6A cable as the future-proof standard for supporting 10GBase-T. However Category 6A has only taken off within the last few years, growing 20%+ annually. There are many reasons adoption took so long.
To continue being successful in today’s competitive world, companies must seek out and implement the latest technologies and software available. With a growing need to run safer, more efficient operations, the mining industry in particular has a lot to gain by leveraging Digital Transformation technologies. Thanks to real-time connectivity delivering actionable data about people, processes and things, the mine of today has transformed.
At temperatures up to 27 million degrees Fahrenheit, the sun is capable of producing large amounts of energy that can be harvested and modified into usable energy for residential and commercial use. Solar energy is reliable and easy to obtain, making it attractive to numerous businesses globally.
In the United States, the publicpower utility industry has found themselves in the middle of a market transformation. Data traffic is increasing exponentially, but rural America is getting left behind with limited access to internet services.
Security team professionals are all too familiar with the task of keeping up with developing technology and improved solutions for campus protection. Frequent, rapid changes make it critical for security management not only to stay abreast of these new technologies, but understand the difference between passing trends and multi-layered security solutions that add value and strengthen a Risk and Vulnerability Assessment Plan (RVAP).
When you are approached with an idea for an automation project presenting challenges too great for your business to tackle with internal resources alone, how do you implement your plan in a way that successfully grows your business? Whether the challenges lie in lack of budget, internal expertise or both, a partnership with an automation systems integrator creates an opportunity for you to successfully grow your business.
With so many different ratings for ingress protection — from NEMA ratings, to UL standards, to the European IEC ingress protection (IP) ratings appearing more frequently in the U.S.— keeping the standards straight can be challenging.
We have all witnessed the increasing pace of technological evolution and the resulting opportunities that evolution creates. Finding ways to leverage those opportunities in the connected real estate market is what “smart” buildings are all about. While the concept of a smart building – or an environment that dynamically responds and adjusts to the occupant’s needs – has existed for many years, the technology needed to make them practical arrived at a slower pace. That has changed drastically in recent years as new smart systems, applications and sensors have flooded the home improvement market. But what about the commercial space? How can we get the same level of performance from our office buildings that we get at home?
Network infrastructure pros are well aware of the revolution happening inside the walls and ceilings of modern buildings and they know what is driving it. It’s the advent of intelligent buildings where virtually every device is connected to network cabling infrastructure allowing building systems to communicate via the IoT. Thanks to advancements in PoE technology, that cabling infrastructure is often expected to go beyond data communications delivering low-voltage power to a variety of end devices.
Healthcare, foodservice and educational institutions often have different requirements for lighting technology compared to residential or commercial facilities. One such requirement may involve additional testing to ensure food, water and consumer safety.
The National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP) Annual meeting is a place for procurement colleagues from schools large and small, public and private across the country to collaborate. The 97th annual meeting of NAEP took place in Orlando, FL from April 8-11, 2018.
Did you know a typical lockout/tagout safety program can contain over 80 separate elements? In addition to creating, maintaining and updating equipment lists and hierarchies, task-specific procedures and workplace regulations such as confined space entry requirements might play an important part.
Over the last four decades the deployment of traditional 12 fiber based connectivity has served the market well. Any data center built to 10G specifications in that time frame most likely used that traditional method.
With the Internet of Things (IoT) driving bandwidth demands higher and higher, healthcare facility and infrastructure managers find themselves facing expensive and disruptive rip-and-replace scenarios for networks not able to scale, migrate, and keep up.
In October 2016, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued the DFARS 252.204-7012 Safeguarding Covered Defense Information and Cyber Incident Reporting clause. These regulations required prime contractors and their suppliers to provide adequate security on all covered contractor information systems.
Article originally published April 20, 2017, and updated for accuracy and relevance. For every mining professional, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is a frequently discussed topic. This organization regulates the mining industry to create safer mines through safety and health rules.
Many of the buildings we see today have communication infrastructure supporting building systems that are disconnected, disparate and expensive to operate. We are rapidly approaching the time when every low-voltage building sub-system will be intelligent, require power and become part of a larger building network. The worlds of operation technology (OT) and information technology (IT) are rapidly joining together.
Every three years, the National Electric Code (NEC) is updated, and as a result industry standards for the installation of electrical wiring and equipment are revised. The full NEC text spans approximately 1,000 pages, broken down into several chapters and annexes, and includes safety information that’s relevant to all industrial audiences.
Did you know that 20 percent of occupational fall injuries involve ladders? Many workplace falls occur from ladders. Falls are a serious concern for both employers and employees. The good news is that ladder falls are preventable if the right precautions are taken.
Some of the most common workplace injuries are often the most preventable with proper education, hazard controls, and work area setup. One of the common mechanisms of sprain and strain injuries in the workplace relates to manually lifting heavy objects. While these injuries could occur in a number of situations, material handling tasks that required workers to bend, push, pull, lift, and lower were the leading causes.
What defines infrastructure as being “critical”? Technically, these are systems and assets, either physical or virtual, which are so vital that their incapacity or destruction would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic stability, public health and safety or any combination of those matters.
The marketplace for physical security solutions is hyper-competitive and isn’t going to change anytime soon. Security Integrators charged with finding products like cameras, video management software, NVRs, cabling, racks and cabinets, etc. are under great pressure to boost profits for every job. If you are like most integrators sources for your security product supply chain range from distributors to manufacturers, online and in some cases even big-box retailers.
Back to school time means college students across the country are eagerly cramming bedding, clothing and (most importantly) their multiple networked devices into dorm rooms that are roughly the size of a coat closet. We’ve all seen scalability in action on campuses throughout the country. Whether funding a dining hall renovation or a greenfield project supporting the expansion of the business school, educational institutions seem to be tireless in their efforts to increase their footprints.
On average, lighting accounts for 16% of a hospital’s total energy consumption and over 40% of its total electricity usage. Areas like waiting rooms and hallways are often active 24/7, making lighting a key priority for every healthcare facility. In spite of this information, a lighting upgrade can often seem like a daunting, expensive undertaking leaving decision makers perplexed. In many instances, a lighting upgrade or retrofit project can be tackled quickly, showing rapid ROI due to provincial rebates, financing opportunities and efficient lighting design. In addition to improving energy consumption, taking advantage of opportunities for improvements on a large or small scale also go a long way in improving dedicated labor time, sustainability goals, patient wellness and worker productivity.
As a veteran-friendly organization, WESCO makes an active effort to hire veterans. WESCO also looks for opportunities to give back to military veterans outside of our organization. Last month, the Government Team fundraised for a national charity to give back to injured veterans.
In September, Conney Safety took home one of three “Best in Show” prizes awarded at the National Safety Council Congress and Expo. As the only distributor to win the honor, we wanted to connect with the Conney Safety team to learn about the design and development of their winning product – the Direct Safety Karbonhex Dusk Glove. On October 19, we met with Conney Safety Brand Manager Missy Taylor, the woman behind the new glove.
It’s been a big year for the WESCO blog! From construction and industrial to government and utility, we’ve covered a lot of new technology, industry trends and standards updates. Whether it’s increasing safety, becoming more productive, improving processes, or increasing profitability, we hope the WESCO blog has been an asset to you and your business.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) drives workplace safety procedures that span multiple industries. On the surface it may seem that different industries such as food and beverage processing and oil and gas drilling and refining should have very different safety standards. In fact, there are several safety standards that are applicable to both due to the similarities in their harsh, wet environments and the types of devices used in them.
After decades as a temperamental light source for industrial use, the high-bay fixture has become a versatile performer thanks to advanced LED technology. You know the type: bright, athletic, resourceful and stylish. They make tough assignments look easy, instantly light up a room and excel at multiple sports. They fit in almost anywhere — and look good out on the town.
Lean manufacturing is a common practice within manufacturing processes that systemically reduces waste and cost while increasing efficiency. While the primary focus of Lean is the production floor, many of the same principles extend beyond to the warehouse. For example, storage of raw materials, subcomponents and finished products is a necessary function for most businesses, however if those tasks are not properly managed they can quickly eat away at profits and compromise customer service.
Think about the last time you were traveling. To find your hotel, call a cab, meet up with your associates, check your schedule and stay on top of emails, you needed one thing – a device and a full charge. The constant need to stay connected has changed our expectations and subsequently changed the hospitality industry.
This year, OSHA made updates to its Walking Working Surfaces standard for general industry, in an effort to bring fall protection requirements more in-line with those for the construction industry. As a result, OSHA estimates the new rule will prevent 29 worker deaths and 5,842 lost-workday injuries each year. In addition, compliance will be easier and more affordable to maintain, since the requirements now overlap industries and many existing ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standards.
When it comes to testing breaker function and safety, it’s possible that there are substantial risks that have gone unnoticed for years. Breakers are typically tested just once a year, in accordance with most manufacturer’s recommendations. However, there are often circumstances where this standard schedule might not be enough to prevent hazardous situations.
As new versions of phones, tablets and laptops hit the market faster than ever before, it’s obvious that technology is ever changing. Quick technological advancements aren’t without frustration. We’re all too familiar with the hair-pulling challenge of finding the right device charger or learning that your six-month-old charger is antiquated. Our business environments are no different. As can be expected, the situation is often more dire than just a sea of Apple iPhone chargers when all you need is a micro-USB.
In the days leading up to making landfall in Florida on September 10, Hurricane Irma was already making history as one of the largest, strongest, and most devastating storms ever recorded. WESCO’s Utility Group recognized that it would take an all-hands-on-deck approach for its Florida utility customers to restore power to millions of people when the storm was over.
Over the last fifty years or so, advancement in technology has created incredible diversity of choice in the world of generation protective relay – however, many operations are relying on the same relay systems they implemented close to thirty years ago without much thought. With options ranging from solid-state, to electromechanical and microprocessing, how can decision makers be sure that they’re using the best tool for the job?
While every company has different challenges when it comes to safety, some training best practices are consistent across industries. OSHA recently made changes to its Walking Working Surfaces standard for general industry. With this update, OSHA estimates that the final rule will prevent 29 worker deaths and 5,842 lost-workday injuries each year. By harmonizing general industry requirements with OSHA's existing construction industry standard and many ANSI standards, the new rule makes compliance easier and less costly.
Today’s data centers face more demands than ever before. The increasing number of connected devices, along with more data and users, has pushed data center managers to find creative methods to efficiently meet network requirements. While lighting makes up a small percent of a data center’s load, it presents a unique opportunity for addressing energy efficiency.
Take a moment and think about the supply bins you have within your warehouse or on a job site. You may have a technician periodically check your bin inventory levels. When items are running low, that technician goes into the warehouse or truck and replenishes the bin.
When it comes to handling hazardous chemicals, workers need the proper equipment to stay safe. Protecting a worker’s face and head should be an employer’s top priority. And while many businesses supply safety equipment, it’s not always used in the right way. A faceshield doesn’t provide the coverage necessary to prevent injury 100 percent of the time. Workers need to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) that protects both the eyes and the face from injury. A faceshield alone doesn’t always guarantee safety.
Over the last decade, rapid improvements in lighting technology coupled with a focus on energy conservation backed by legislation have resulted in a noisy marketplace. Consumers are inundated as big brands compete every day to get their latest products and statistics online.
As consumer demands on networks increase, more businesses are turning to Category 6A cabling for their network infrastructure. This decision is primarily being driven by affordable price, high quality, and exceptional performance. Here are five reasons why you should choose Category 6A cable for your enterprise applications.
While sensors have long played an important role in industrial settings, the intersection of market forces in manufacturing with the Internet of Things (IoT) has recently propelled sensor technology to new heights. Coupled with greater network connectivity and improved machine learning, sensors are now more vital than ever as manufacturers search for ways to optimize value throughout all levels of operation.
Professionals who brave the elements year-round know that summertime often creates particularly harsh outdoor working conditions. Exposure to heat and the sun is not only challenging from a productivity perspective but can lead to serious short- and long-term health implications.
LED lighting in schools can do which of the following? A. Save up to 70 percent on energy costs B. Last several times longer with little or no maintenance C. Provide more uniform, pleasing illumination D. Enhance brand appeal E. Improve student performance F. All of the above
As one of the oldest and most heavily regulated trades in the world, mining faces challenges that are shared across many industries yet uniquely complex due to harsh, changing environments. While the cost of doing business rises due to volatile commodity prices and a shrinking talent pool, decision makers must maintain an urgent focus on safety, efficiency and social responsibility. Mining is well-positioned to leverage emerging technologies in the Internet of Things (IoT) to meet these competing demands. Mine operators can take advantage of IoT data through RFIDs, Radio over IP, and video for greater safety and efficiency.
Mining presents a variety of risks to those working underground. But one of the most dangerous risks in mining electrical work is an arc flash. An arc fault heats the air around it in an electrical enclosure, causing pressure to build and metals to vaporize, leading to an arc flash. The high temperatures destroy even the most powerful metals and the pressure forces shrapnel outwards.
Are you in the market for a new gas detector? You may wonder if you can use the same calibration gas that you’ve been using for the detectors you are replacing or phasing out. Usually, the answer is “no.” The gas values used for older models, even if by the same manufacturer, don’t often match the gas values required for new units. Even if two gas detectors have identical sensors and features, the calibration gas values needed may be completely different.
In its earliest days, industrial automation made waves in manufacturing simply by increasing productivity and reducing high human operator costs. While those advantages are still a major draw for many businesses, the focus has broadened in recent years. Decision makers are now seeking solutions to make their processes safer, flexible and more accurate.
Electrical workers face many dangers on the job, but few (if any) are more devastating than an arc flash. This electrical release of energy can be hotter than the surface of the sun, producing an explosion with the force of eight sticks of dynamite. It is estimated that 10 arc flash incidents involving more than one death occur every day in the U.S.
Today’s data centers come in all forms, from large hyperscale data centers and collocation facilities, to small datacom closets. While the needs of data center managers are varied, numerous and frequently changing, there is one constant — expanding network needs drive bandwidth and speed requirements, and a data center must be able to accommodate. High-speed optics can help meet the increasing demand.
Today’s workplaces are expanding beyond the four walls of an office. As technology continues to evolve, employees are looking for new and alternative workspaces to inspire creativity and increase productivity. This includes taking their work to outdoor spaces. Bringing technology to outdoor spaces has become a challenge for facility managers and property owners who want to increase the value of their workspace while keeping their businesses running smoothly and their employees happy.
By now, you’ve probably heard of some of the benefits of LED lighting. LEDs last longer than other bulbs, reducing maintenance and costs, and can increase productivity. LEDs are also intelligent and hold potential to unlock further savings through the Internet of Things. But is LED lighting really right for your facility? Whether you work in retail, commercial or industrial sectors, answering that question is easier than ever.
Maintaining the security of the electrical grid is recognized as a top priority by most federal, state and local entities. There are 16 critical infrastructure sectors whose security is entrusted to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the electrical grid is what allows the other 15 to function. The financial resources to implement necessary mitigation solutions to deter, detect, protect, respond and recover from an event are limited.
Strategic marketing or labeling that uses the term “food grade” has caused a great deal of confusion in the food and beverage industry. It’s led companies to believe they are buying a food-safe product when, in truth, they may not be. The assumption is that the food-grade product has been subjected to rigorous testing to ensure safety throughout the food and beverage processing environment. But, in fact, there is no industry certification called “food grade.”
Risks are inherent in industrial plants and other settings where workers come into contact with heavy equipment and processes combining metal surfaces, electrical machinery and power systems. GFCI-compliance and watertight connections are critical wherever power components contact moisture, chemicals, weather and other harsh environmental conditions. Industrial operations are at risk anytime unprotected electrical connections are exposed to moisture, metals and harsh conditions.
Physical security concerns are an integral issue for healthcare facilities. These vital organizations are open to the public and serve vulnerable populations. A physical or cybersecurity attack could be devastating to the facility, its personnel, patients and the community. Conducting a risk assessment can significantly mitigate the vulnerabilities of a healthcare facility to ensure a safe environment for everyone.
Article originally published Oct. 20, 2016 and updated for relevance. As applications require more processing power, equipment generates more heat. Excessive heat can cause serious damage to equipment, shortening service life and even leading to catastrophic failure. To keep electrical equipment running at top speed, heat must be managed. Learn why enclosure cooling is necessary and how to oversee heat management according to national standards.
For contractors and integrators, today’s marketplace is hypercompetitive. Every day brings a challenge to get more out of less. Increasing job profitability is the way to stay truly competitive in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
By their very nature, mining operations are high-volume electricity users. Energy costs have a significant impact on the mining industry’s bottom line. The good news is that there is something you can do to improve your energy efficiency without sacrificing your operating efficiency. It’s all about power factor and power factor correction.
While working around live wires, keeping electricity grounded should be every miner’s number one priority. It stops electricity from seeking a worker’s body as the grounding path. Grounding electrical equipment is required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and ASTM International to promote safe work environments while electrical work is done.
Industrial controls systems are facing an enemy that’s only becoming more hazardous – cyberattacks. Last year, one report found that 34 percent of industrial control systems around the globe were breached more than twice in one year. To better protect and secure federal agencies’ networks, new federal guidelines were published that standardize government cybersecurity efforts. The Unified Facility Criteria UFC 4-010-06, released by the Department of Defense (DoD) in September 2016, lists requirements for incorporating cybersecurity into control system design. It is the first complete list of standards and processes for cybersecurity design guidance specifically written for all DoD control systems.
The National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP) Annual Meeting is a place for procurement colleagues from schools large and small, public and private, across the country. But this year’s event also provided an opportunity for conference attendees to give back. WESCO sponsored two community service projects at NAEP 2017 to benefit the local community of Reno, NV.
Imagine a cluttered storeroom with scattered parts in mismatched bins. Nothing is labeled and nothing is organized. Can you imagine how difficult it will be to find the exact part you need, let alone to find that component quickly? A possible solution to organize your facility — and cut down on SKUs — is to implement a kitting program.
While working on an electrical line, promoting electrical safety is absolutely critical. The line you are working on could become energized in an instant, creating a dangerous, even deadly, situation. Lightning, human error, static electricity, induced voltage and backfeed are all serious dangers to line workers.
As a purchasing professional, it can seem like your biggest hurdle is figuring out how to do more with less. Getting the highest quality product for the lowest possible cost can be a challenge. The primary responsibility of a purchasing department is to procure goods and services for an organization, but determining the balance between locally managed and quoted agreements and leveraging the work of other agencies is part of the role. Working together with others can often yield better results than working alone. That’s especially true in negotiating prices. Joining a network of like-minded professionals as part of a cooperative contract provides an innovative way to get better prices and save time.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the average annual fatality rate for power line workers is 56 deaths per 100,000 employees. To keep workers safe, there are several personal protective equipment (PPE) items that should be utilized in the field. One of the most important lines of defense is rubber goods.
When you’re standing or sitting at work for long periods of time, there’s nothing worse than sore legs and feet. Every year, two million sick days are lost to lower limb disorders. Ergonomic injuries come at a high cost. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, $1 of every $3 spent on workers’ compensation comes from insufficient ergonomic protection. It’s clear that taking steps to prevent these injuries is well worth it.
Electrical equipment is only as effective as it is protected. Whether you’re indoors, outdoors, exposed to water, or facing harsh weather conditions, electrical equipment needs to be protected by an enclosure. Choosing the right electrical enclosure requires some knowledge of electrical standards. Ratings from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) provide guidance on what level of protection your enclosure needs depending on the environmental factors it is subjected to.
Slips, trips and falls are some of the most preventable workplace accidents, yet the numbers don’t seem to prove it. Second only to motor vehicles, incidents related to slips, trips and falls account for 15 percent of accidental deaths. They can also cost an employer an average of tens of thousands of dollars per incident.
Did you know that four million workers go to work each day in damaging noise? In just one year, 23,000 cases were reported of occupational hearing loss that was great enough to cause hearing impairment. And these are only the cases that were reported! From these statistics, it’s clear that we’re not doing enough to prevent hearing loss at work. Employers give earplugs and earmuffs to employees, but getting employees to wear them when they need to is another story altogether.
There really hasn’t been a better time to embrace smart lighting. In both subtle and significant ways, this technology is becoming essential to our everyday routines. It is allowing companies to improve employee concentration in the workplace. Cities are getting brighter and safer with the help of LED street lights. Smart lighting is becoming the norm, and it will only get more powerful over time.
Times are changing in manufacturing. The Internet of Things has made its way to the industry and spawned a new term in the process: Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Smart factories are becoming more popular (and expected) thanks to the ability to connect key technologies. Manufacturers who haven’t followed suit yet are encouraged to get moving.
In some industries, things are relatively stable from year to year. While manufacturing was done in much the same way for many years, emerging trends promise to change that. An original equipment manufacturer (OEM) must be resourceful and search for opportunities to stay competitive in an increasingly volatile market. While there may be challenges ahead, applying industry best practices will help any manufacturer operate at the top of their game.
Step outside and you’ll notice that the air is brisk and people are bundled up in coats. Winter is upon us. And while that brings festive parties and holiday deals, winter means extra strains on wire and cable. Cold temperatures and atmospheric changes that come with winter weather can impact the effectiveness of some cabling materials. Prepare for cool weather and winter storms to ensure uninterrupted operation that’s reliable every day of the year.
Article originally published Sept. 2, 2016, and updated for accuracy and relevance. Data centers face ever-increasing demands in today’s digital environment. Using the right fiber optic links is the first step to ensuring an efficient, future-proof data center. Learn the benefits of Base-8 and Base-12 connectivity so you can design a network that reaches long-term transmission requirements.
Contractors are always under pressure to get a job done on time. When they don’t, there can be a negative impact on costs and the client relationship. That’s why it’s ironic that construction is one of the more inefficient industries when it comes to work processes.
In the wire and cable industry, compliance can be a challenging thing. Staying up to date on industry codes and standards is critical to ensuring worker and facility safety. The National Electrical Code (NEC) provides guidance for electrical contractors, inspectors and engineers by standardizing safe electrical practices. And as the industry changes, codes and standards need to be updated. With the 2017 NEC now available, it’s important to know what changes are coming.
It’s not uncommon for contractors to face material management obstacles. Projects are often delayed because of haphazard storage, damaged products and other issues. While some of these problems are out of a contractor’s control, others can be solved with outside expertise, preventative measures, and Lean practices.
Data center cooling has traditionally been tackled one way. Air conditioning units (or CRACs) are placed around the outside wall of the room and aligned with the hot aisle. They then pump cold air underneath a raised floor for distribution in the cold aisle. While this method is generally considered an effective technique, it has a big limitation. It makes air travel long distances through open spaces between the CRAC and the equipment needing cooling. This contributes to inefficiency.
Article originally published Feb. 4, 2016, and updated for accuracy and relevance. In the immortal words of "Game of Thrones," winter is here. Luckily for us, we don't have to worry about facing the army of the dead in 100-foot-high snow drifts. There are, however, plenty of outdoor workers who will be exposed to the harsh elements this season. As conditions start to deteriorate, brush up on these 5 essential tips for every outdoor winter worker.
When it comes to a data center’s power usage effectiveness (PUE), every IT manager wants to get as close to that perfect score of 1.0 as possible. One of the biggest causes of high PUE is an inefficient data center infrastructure – namely, your physical setup. Just like in relationships, the last thing you want is a data center running hot and cold.
For electrical workers, there’s no danger more worrying than an arc flash. Non-contact electrical burns from an arc flash are the biggest cause of electrical injuries in the mining industry. But as dangerous as an arc flash is for mining personnel, companies face further concerns such as lost man-hours, lawsuits, fines, equipment damage and facility downtime. Reducing the risk of an arc flash doesn’t require a complete facility overhaul or redesign. By updating and refurbishing existing equipment, you can create a safer environment economically.
If you went to work today and sat in a gray cubicle, or were surrounded by endless white walls, chances are your mood matched the color of your environment. Bland, cold colors in the workplace could leave us feeling sullen instead of inspired. Adding vibrant paint schemes or accents is not only aesthetically pleasing, but capable of boosting mood, morale and productivity.
If you’re looking for a way to increase safety and efficiencies in your mining operations, using “Lean” methods will help you accomplish that. This Japanese system has swept through global industries, eliminating waste in its path. While 5S has helped mining companies accomplish Lean objectives, many have called for a greater focus on warehouse safety. With the addition of a sixth step, mining organizations are using Lean practices to increase warehouse productivity without sacrificing safety. For workers employed in harsh and hazardous environments, 6S is especially effective in securing worker safety.
Increasing efficiency in the data center can be a challenge, but it’s possible with facility-wide collaboration. Bring together the skills of your IT and operations personnel with an infrastructure management strategy that meets your facility’s needs well into the future. Learn how data center infrastructure management (DCIM) can benefit your facility and how to start implementing your strategy today.
Data center managers often say, “I want my data center to run more efficiently,” or ask “What solutions do you have that will drive efficiency?” While these are important questions to ask, they’re challenging to answer because not everyone has the same definitions of efficiency and success. Some managers consider only the amount of power and cooling being used, while some think it’s all about using whitespace. Others focus on processing and network connectivity.
With retail theft on the rise, many retailers install Internet protocol (IP) cameras for security purposes. But the benefits of video surveillance can go far beyond reducing shoplifting. Many retailers don’t realize that IP-based video is data that can be gathered, stored and analyzed just like any other electronic information.
Just from looking at an open-pit mine, it’s easy to see that mining requires a significant capital investment. Between expensive equipment and a specialized workforce, players in the mining game know that keeping maintenance costs under control is paramount. This year, we’ve seen several trends emerging in the international mining industry. The first step in staying competitive is knowing these trends. The next step is having cost-effective equipment that keeps your mine running.