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.
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. In the past, companies have relied on separate departments – think engineering, quality, finance and operations – with each gathering their own data and analyzing past performance. This can lead to outdated information and missing cross-functional correlations, making it difficult to implement meaningful change.
For the last five years, WESCO has sponsored community service projects at the National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP)’s annual meeting – and this year was no different. In previous years, WESCO and NAEP have partnered to build hygiene kits for community members in Reno, NV, boxed lunches for homeless or low-income veterans in San Antonio, TX, and backpacks with school supplies for students in need at Florida State University.
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. While there are a lot of variables that come into play, relatively speaking, variables like transmission speeds may be among what’s least important.
The utility industry is faced with a digital transformation. As technology continues to advance, there are more and more opportunities becoming available to improve facilities and processes. Advancements in new technology offer safer, smarter and more efficient production and move away from the power plants of the past. As the demand for data continues to grow, there is a need to improve and digitalize power plants. This is where the digital transformation begins.
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. There is more and more pressure to get services back up and running as soon as possible when an event occurs. This is fueling the need for utility infrastructure resilience and it’s why we see this topic as a trend in the industry.
You’re working on a facility identification project. The first step is to organize your warehouse and figure out how you can improve productivity of your employees. So far, this project doesn’t seem so hard, you just need labels to identify what products are on the racks – right?
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.
High throughput, low latency, network availability, reliability, and security have always been top priorities in data centers. But the recent wave of technological advances — autonomous cars, augmented reality, 5G, and all the other connected objects of the Internet of Things (IoT) — are taking those priorities to a new level and bringing new challenges to IT system administrators and data center managers.
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. To help you prepare before a catastrophe strikes, consider a three-pronged approach to your disaster plan.
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. In 2016 alone there were more than 65,000 killed due to overdoses – that number is higher than the American death rate during the Vietnam War.
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. So it’s important to understand how cold stress can set in and how to insulate your body when faced with prolonged exposure to cold and wet conditions.
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. The event included a community service project and Adopt-A-Hospital in Afghanistan for attendees to participate.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A plant turnaround, or shutdown, is a scheduled stoppage of all or part of a plant’s operations. At one point or another, every facility will experience a turnaround for reasons ranging from maintenance, to repair or replacement of capital equipment, safety upgrades, lighting and energy upgrades or even regulatory compliance.
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.
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.
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. Not knowing what’s going on is, to put it mildly, discomforting. Knowing something has happened without being sure exactly what that might be can be just as frustrating.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Did you know a typical lockout 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.