Article was originally published on July 19, 2017, and updated for accuracy and relevance. 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.
Considering a lighting upgrade? It’s an excellent way to save energy and cut costs as well as create a more productive, enjoyable work or learning environment and even potentially boost retail sales. However, before you press go on a lighting upgrade or retrofit project, take a step that can save you money and time and help ensure success: Get an investment-grade lighting audit.
Professionals in the electrical industry often wonder about the top questions to ask when dealing with motor control. Although there are probably eight or ten questions that need to be answered sometime during the life of the order, it's more economical (both dollars and lead-time) to answer them from the beginning.
Automation and control systems are getting more complex. A good panel design takes technical complexity in stride. A great panel design also steps up the space optimization. But a best-in-class panel design accounts for how complex our interactions with control systems have become. Productivity demands timely updates to equipment, lines, and processes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
According to OSHA, approximately three million workers who service equipment face potential injury if lockout/tagout (LOTO) is not properly implemented. Complying with the LOTO standard could help prevent an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year.
May is National Electrical Safety Month, and it’s a crucial cause to honor. Electrical hazards result in roughly 325 deaths and 4,400 injuries every year, according to the National Safety Council. Throughout the month, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) will run a major campaign to increase electrical safety awareness.