Finalists in the Electrical Distribution category for the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2012 Product of the Year Competition
Cooper Bussmann's surge protective devices provide power quality that is free from damaging surges and overvoltage conditions, with specific modules for photovoltaic, wind power, UL, low-voltage, and IEC applications. These surge protectors feature modular DIN-Rail design with color coding and a rejection feature for end-user ease of identification, installation, and maintenance. They also include easyID local visual indication of surge module status and optional remote contact signaling integration with monitoring systems. All modules feature an IP20 finger-safe design, and where applications require, certain devices are also vibration and shock resistant according to EN 60068-2 standards.
The ArrowLink SPD push-in connectors manufactured by Cooper Wiring Devices utilize a simplified installation process and are designed to increase efficiencies. During the rough-in and trim-out phases, the connectors allow installers to terminate conductors, attach connectors, and mount the device in less time than traditional pigtail installations. These devices connect directly to the building wire, allowing for a reduction in wire volume inside the outlet box. They feature six color-coded terminal openings that provide feed-through capabilities, and a 6-in. #12 AWG ground lead with ring terminal and captive ground screw.
USB wall charger
Cooper Wiring Devices’ combination USB charger with tamper-resistant shutters supports any electronic product that is capable of being charged with a 5 V power adapter. An LED light indicates that the device is charging, and an automatic grounding system eliminates the need for a bonding jumper in the grounded metal enclosure. This product offers durability with injection-molded housing and PVC resin in five colors, as well as added corrosion resistance from a zinc-plated steel mounting strap.
Automatic transfer switch
Eaton’s 400 A bypass contactor automatic transfer switch for critical standby power applications includes a field-selectable, multitap transformer panel, and it permits operation on a wide range of system voltages. This design offers isolated compartments with barriers and an ability to test power-switching elements during the drawout process. The 400 A transfer switch can be equipped with the ATC-300+ or ATC-800 controllers, and may be used to provide emergency power to life safety and other critical loads for maintenance of the main transfer switch without interruption of power to the load.
Remote racking system
CBS ArcSafe developed this RRS-3MBII remote racking system single application tool for GE Magne Blast circuit breakers of all elevating motor voltages and control circuit layouts. This console allows service personnel to remove and install their Magne Blast Switchgear while standing 30 to 150 ft outside the arc flash hazard boundary, reducing the need for a full-body arc flash hazard suit. Operating on standard 120VAC wall power, the console includes a current monitor for comparing and quantifying racking mechanism conditions, radio remote for cordless operation up to 100 ft, and pushbutton controls. No software programming or cubicle or switchgear modification is necessary.
Portable generation switch
Eaton expanded its heavy-duty double-throw safety switches to support 1200 A. Used to transfer service from a normal power source to an alternate source or to switch from one load circuit to another, this 1200 A DT switch is designed for fusible or nonfusible two-source switch configurations up to 1200 A for both commercial and industrial applications. The device features two vertically oriented switches in one enclosure with three-position operation, preventing the two switches from being closed at the same time. Safety features include receptacle compartment safety interlocks, utility isolation without key interlocks, material selection, and a trap door system.
EntelliGuard R Retrofill from General Electric updates legacy circuit breakers with minimal modification, and is compatible with shutters, secondary and neutral disconnects, and position switches in existing breaker cubicles. This unit increases short circuit rating on AK25 and AKR30S while maintaining UL approval, with a single finger cluster design that generates less heat. The trip unit and all indicators are visible through the door, which is available pre-punched with or without holes for pilot lights and RELT switch for all stack widths. Features include the EntelliGuard TU Trip Unit for arc flash protection and selectivity, and field-installable accessories.
Energy meter panelboard
Eaton’s Pow-R-Line lighting panelboards integrate the Eaton IQ35M meter to the panelboard, with a height similar to traditional lighting panels. This entire panelboard is metered with current transformers and wiring, and the factory wiring of the meter eliminates field installation. The IQ35M monitors voltage, current, power factor, and frequency, as well as real, reactive, and apparent power and energy. This device allows the user to verify energy bills, make informed load shifting and shedding decisions, allocate energy costs, and produce an energy profile.
Photovoltaic switched combiner
The Eaton switched combiner provides a single point to combine incoming photovoltaic strings and disconnect dc power close to PV modules, uniting Eaton’s 600 Vdc solar disconnect and source-combiner box in one enclosure. Fusible versions of this combiner allow isolation of the fuse when the switch is in the “off” position. The fuse holders are hard-bussed to the main disconnect, and the enclosure allows for mounting in vertical or horizontal orientations. Options include surge protection, current monitoring, and wireless communication. This monitor measures dc current per channel, as well as total and average dc current.
Level 2 electric vehicle charging station
The WattStation wall-mount electric vehicle charging station, manufactured by General Electric, delivers a full-cycle charge to a 24 kWh battery in 4 to 8 h. This charging station features ground fault protection, a backlit charging icon, and zero energy consumption when not in use. It can withstand outdoor conditions and can be hardwired or plugged into a NEMA 6-50 receptacle upon installation by a certified electrician or contractor. A mounting plate with heavy-duty screws and a key lock secure the WattStation in place, and GE provides a step-by-step installation video. Features include commerce and card reader capability, user authentication, metering, and open architecture network communications.
Level 1 and level 2 electric vehicle charging stations
Electric vehicle chargers manufactured by Legrand for residential and light commercial applications are weatherproof rated, have built-in ground fault protection, and are compatible with all plug-in electric vehicles. Choices include the Level 1 15 A/120 V charger and the Level 2 20 A/240 V charger. This Level 1 portable charger can be taken on the road, and it plugs into a standard 15 or 20 A receptacle. Level 2 chargers are hardwired to a 20 A circuit, and they charge vehicles in approximately 3 to 6 h.
Schneider Electric’s NF measurement and verification lighting panelboard is factory installed to monitor energy usage at the most granular branch circuit level and provide end-to-end power monitoring and control. The panelboard incorporates individual branch circuit power metering in one device, supporting up to 84 monitoring points through board-mounted individual CTs. This panelboard’s capability can be used to verify sustainable energy conservation measures, provide data for establishing baseline performance studies, and alert users when energy parameters fall outside of an established norm. This device features main metering capability through optionally provided CTs as well as network communications.
Legrand/Wiremold developed this Wiremold Evolution Series floor box that offers high capacity and multifunctional capability for power, communications, and audio/video. The same box can be installed in raised, carpet-covered concrete, terrazzo, polished concrete, and wood floors without additional parts or accessories. Boxes are available in 6-, 8-, and 10-gang configurations for standard, on-grade, and fire-classified applications. Knockout sizes range from ¾ to 2 in., and knockout plates can be removed for greater capacity. The cover of this floor box opens 180 deg and features an egress door system that locks into position when open and automatically closes around cables when closed.
The Wiremold OFR Series overfloor raceway system was designed by Legrand/Wiremold for permanent or temporary installations where access through floors and ceilings is not an option. This system provides four channels of capacity and access to a wide range of power, communications, and A/V connectivity. It attaches directly to floor coverings, including carpet, tile, and wood, with no need for removing or cutting existing floor coverings. The textured black powder finish is paintable and resists scuffing and scratches. This overfloor raceway system includes transition fittings to feed from Wiremold DS4000, 4000, and 2400 Series wall-mounted raceways and from Vista Point5 Architectural Columns.
Wiremold Tele-Power pole extenders are available in 5-ft sections that snap together to create a single standard pole or to extend the length of an existing pole, allowing for on-site modifications. This extender slips securely onto the original pole and can be cut to length. The mounting system ensures that the finished pole is as strong and durable as a single unit. Legrand/Wiremold offers prewired and unwired Tele-Power pole extenders that can be combined in the field to make a single 10-ft pole. Factory-wired units come with two 20 A, 125 V duplex receptacles, mounting hardware, end plate, and ceiling trim.
Remote racking system
CBS ArcSafe developed this RRS-3VB remote racking system single application tool for GE PowerVac circuit breakers, allowing service personnel to safely remove and install their PowerVac Switchgear while standing up to 150 ft outside the arc flash hazard boundary in accordance with the NFPA-70E and CSA Z462 Guidelines for Arc Flash Safety.
Remote switch actuator tool
CBS ArcSafe developed this remote switch actuator tool for GE RSA-76 Power Break II circuit breakers. This allows service personnel to safely charge, close, and trip their PowerBreak II switchgear while standing 30 to 150 ft outside the arc flash hazard boundary in accordance with the NFPA-70E and CSA Z462 Guidelines for Arc Flash Safety.
Remote switch actuator tool
CBS ArcSafe developed this remote switch actuator tool for RSA-180 Masterpact NT circuit breakers. This allows service personnel to safely charge, close, and trip their PowerBreak II switchgear while standing 30 to 150 ft outside the arc flash hazard boundary in accordance with the NFPA-70E and CSA Z462 Guidelines for Arc Flash Safety.
Self-adjusting pre-fab ring
This Rapid Ring self-adjusting pre-fab ring designed by Cooper B-Line allows for tool-free installation in as little as 15 secs, available for 1- to 4-gang SKUs. Installation of the system includes four steps: removing the protective plate, connecting the wiring device, positioning the device assembly, and then pushing it into place. Manufactured in the United States by union-made assemblies, the pre-fab ring is self-adjusting to fit finished wall depths of 0.5 to 2 in. and various types of tile. It features a quick-release protective plate with a raised surface for routing, and it fits most standard boxes and brackets.
Time delay fuse
FUSETRON 250 V FRN-R and 600 V RFS-R energy-efficient, dual-element, time-delay fuses are manufactured by Cooper Bussmann and allow for closer sizing to load with smaller fuse amp ratings than non-time-delay fuses on most motor and transformer primary applications. These fuses fit any class K5 or H fuse blocks and holders, and with a 2:1 selective coordination amp ration, they prevent overcurrent events from opening upstream fuses. Features include a 200 kA interrupting rating for protection against fault currents, and insulated end caps to reduce exposure to live parts and to extend air gap distance between blades of adjacent mounted fuses or to housing.
Modular mountable fuse holder
The Cooper Bussmann CH Series of modular finger-safe DIN-Rail mountable fuse holders have a high SCCR rating up to 200 kA, available for electrical systems requiring class CC or midget fuse protection. With a captive, fully backed-out phil-slot screw and a 6 mm wire clamp lug, these modular fuse holders offer ganging of multiple poles and DIN rail mounting without the use of tools. They feature an open fuse indicator, a 4 mm lockout feature in the fuse carrier, and a version rated up to 1000 Vdc for use with solar PV fuses. The manufacturer provides a variety of comb bus bars and a monitoring accessory.
Fusible coordination panelboard
Cooper Bussmann developed this Quik-Spec Coordination Panelboard, which offers flexible, fully fused configurations with options for 600, 800, and 1,200 A mains and branches from 1-600 A, all rated 200 kA SCCR at 600 Vac. It has a footprint up to 40% smaller than that of similar panelboards. The 600 to 1200 A main versions are available with MLO mains and offer a choice of 1-, 2-, and 3-pole branch disconnects capable of holding fuses from 1 to 600 A in a floor-mounted NEMA 1 enclosure. This panelboard features finger-safe CCPB disconnect with a safety interlock feature that prevents the removal of an energized fuse with permanent lockout/tagout provisions.
Loadbreak connector system
The Clēēr Loadbreak Connector system designed by Cooper Power Systems is a 600 A/15 kV single-phase rated loadbreak connector that offers a visible break and a visible ground without de-energizing, un-bolting 600 A terminations, or moving heavy cables. This system can be easily retrofitted; offers a visible break when used for sectionalizing, splicing, or in-line; and features vacuum switchgear with visible, front panel circuit traceability. The loadbreak connector is fully submersible for use in both surface and subsurface installations. This design allows for sectionalizing in tight spaces, while the adjustable bracket allows mounting at various angles for easy access, even from above ground for vault applications.
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey