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Wireville.com

Issue: August 2009
By: Frank Bisbee


Datacom/Telecom Glossary
In This Issue

Bits N' Pieces


BISBEE’S BUZZ

 Did you really think that $48 dollar Rolex was the real deal?

Ain't spam grand?  Every day we are inundated with hundreds of spam emails proclaiming values and deals beyond belief.  My daddy used to say, "If it seems to good to be true, it probably is…".  The $48 Rolex watch is obviously a counterfeit.  In the communications industry there are some counterfeit products.  Some are even labeled and packaged to look identical to the 'real deal'. 

Imagine that you found out that the installed cable did not meet the transmission requirements of the product you thought you bought, AFTER you just completed the installation a 700 station cabling system for a call center and bank.   While this is not a common occurrence, it does happen.  What safeguards can be put in place to minimize the chances of a horror story like this happening to you? 

The pace of technology in the communications network industry is moving so quickly that a purchasing agent would have to be dedicated to new products and improvements on a full time basis.  If the purchasing agent gave each vendor with a new product 15 minutes seven days a week, at the end of a year, the first vendors would be back in line with more new products and no decision would ever be made.  That is not a practical solution. 

Now, add to the frustration, the need for product testing and quality control and bingo - now you need another dozen or so full time employees.  Also, don’t forget the million- dollar test lab.  The problems are more than just evaluating the product on a stand-alone basis, now you have to put it to work in a real network to calculate the actual performance with other components.  To do that type of testing, you will require some real "high dollar" techs.  Throw that in your budget. 

There are powerful resources available that give real insurance to the quality control challenge. We have researched the communications industry and found a set of solutions from an unexpected source.  The world's largest electrical/datacom distributors, have programs for the communications cabling and infrastructure industry.  These programs meets the challenges of insuring integrity to the purchasing process with a level of quality control that we have found to be superior to all other product sources. 

Counterfeits or faulty products happen.  There are many things that a contractor could do to reduce or eliminate this scenario.  The most sensible approach to insuring you won't have this problem is the DISTRIBUTOR programs. 

By now, you should have gotten part of the message about why the DISTRIBUTOR is a "no-brainer" for the contractor.  Let's add a few other bonus points to the distributor value.  Face it; the distributor is the communications cabling and connector markets largest buyer.  For the manufacturers, maintaining the best working relationship possible with a distributor is an absolute must.  The distributor is the focal point for the products to meet, combine, and create the network systems required in the marketplace.  We don’t buy parts anymore.  We buy systems.  The systems must be integrated and maximized.  We buy system parts, but not "parts" parts. 

Today the process of developing a design and evaluating alternatives for the cabling network infrastructure is more challenging than ever before.  Functionality, performance, life-cycle term, and budget are thrown into the mix along with the entire technical specification.  In the world of communications infrastructure, using a distributor is a logical tool for the contractor.  However, we still see many contractors failing to use or capture the values available from the distributor. 

A distributor has more purchasing power than any other buyer in the marketplace.  The distributor is a high-volume repeat customer with the ability to enhance the manufacturer's product value.  The DISTRIBUTOR commands and delivers competitive prices far more effectively than any contractor could ever hope to achieve.  Day after day, the DISTRIBUTOR is one of the biggest buyers in the world.  When there is a problem with a product, solutions must be found, remedies must be negotiated.  Once again, the DISTRIBUTOR gives the contractor the big hammer to resolve technical "boo-boos". 

The time to find out about glitches or mismatches is not "after the fact".  The communications infrastructure was once a formula of 80% labor and 20% materials.  Today that formula has evolved to 52% labor and 48% materials.  Once the installation has been performed, a change-out could cost the contractor the entire labor investment.  That scenario is a death sentence for the contractors' profitability.  If you think lawyers are the solution for that type of problem, you have a lot to learn.  Your best bet is having a distributor that will go to bat for you with the manufacturer, using their clout to get the best resolution possible. 

It's one thing to make the sale. It's another thing to deliver it.  There are no mystical gurus in the back room at the contractors' office with a database of current connectivity solutions and the costs.  However, we found out that the DISTRIBUTOR can add virtually all-available information to develop the solution.  This is a great equalizer for any contractor to compete in the marketplace. 

INVENTORY

Everybody knows that the customer will wait until tomorrow to order the network that they want yesterday.  Timetables and availability on the labor side is somewhat controllable by the contractor. Cables, connectors, and other required materials, are a challenge of inventory and usually outside of the control of the contractor.  Maintaining large inventories to service their customers is not a good business practice for the contractor.  We have all seen inventory building up in the contractor's warehouse AND that sometimes adds up to a small fortune.  Much of the contractor inventory that is not installed immediately usually ends up as junk.  Out of date, obsolete, or incomplete materials mean wasted dollars.  Most contractors don't manage inventory on a small basis. As an option, the contractor should turn to the distributor to offer that part of the business solution for their customers. 

Having all of the materials for the communications network is only part of the solution.  We must have the peripherals.  We need labeling and record systems.  We need testers and analyzers.  We need to stay abreast of technology, codes, and standards.  We also need to be able to predict the future.  Building barriers to obsolescence requires a vision for the future.  Planning for the future challenges while delivering today's solutions, is imperative.  Anything less is usually unacceptable.  If you are a contractor, you do not want to go it alone. 

Good advice: Use the DISTRIBUTOR. Capture their values and add them to your total solutions package.  This approach is the least expensive and most effective business insurance available. 

REMEMBER: SAFETY IS TOO IMPORTANT TO INGNORE

Never drive and text. No exceptions

But that’s just my opinion,

Frank Bisbee
"Heard On The Street" Monthly Column
www.wireville.com
4949 Sunbeam Rd, Suite 16
Jacksonville, FL 32257
(904) 645-9077 office
(904) 645-9058 fax
904-237-0365 cell
frank@wireville.com

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Connected Home Research Council Family Ecosystem Forum

Sep 9, 2009 Atlanta, GA

Connected Home Research Council Family Ecosystem Forum, hosted by Whirlpool Corporation

in Atlanta, GA, will bring together leading companies dealing with the integration of consumer electronics and other cutting-edge technology throughout the home.  Scheduled for September 9, the Forum will gather leading organizations to examine current trends in the digital and connected home space and to explore future research opportunities. www.caba.org

Trapeze Networks Awarded Two More Breakthrough Patents

New Intellectual Property Covers New Location Based

Access Control, Identity-Based Networking

Press Release

Source: Trapeze Networks

On Monday July 20, 2009, 5:00 am EDT

PLEASANTON, Calif., July 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The United States Patent Office has awarded Trapeze Networks (NYSE: BDC - News) two more breakthrough wireless networking patents. The patents advance the company's position in wireless network security and role-based access control.

"Awarded patents are important because they protect our intellectual property and give us the ability to add differentiated value to our products without any third party hindrances," said Ahmet Tuncay, chief technology officer of Trapeze Networks. "These recent inventions make wireless networks more secure and easier to configure and deploy. Trapeze Networks' position as an innovator is strengthened in important ways with the award of these two patents."

One of the newly awarded patents is "methods and apparatus for controlling wireless network access privileges based on wireless client location," (7,551,574) which is a quintessential patent that coverts client accesses controls enforcements based on client location.

Media Heaping Praise on Trapeze Networks' Innovations

Devin Akin, founder and president of Certified Wireless Network Professionals, writes in his blog, ". . .Trapeze brought a gun to a knife fight," and "This day should be remembered." Later in his posting, he writes, "If this doesn't put Trapeze squarely in Gartner's 2009 'visionary' quadrant, somebody must be asleep at the wheel at Gartner." And regarding the fact that the technology has been awarded a patent, Akin writes, "In a nutshell, this means they own it, and it [expurgated] to be anyone else ..."

Craig Mathias, a columnist for Network World and the president of Farpoint Research, writes in his column, ". . .you gotta love this idea," and ". . .as Trapeze's announcement shows, the innovations around horizontal applications of RTLS in the enterprise are arriving. . ."

Naomi Graychase of Wi-Fi Planet, writes, "The new Trapeze RF Firewall is a tactical, location-based approach to enterprise network security that specifically seeks to prevent intrusions like the type of parking lot attack that so famously breached the TJX networks in 2005-2006 and compromised 45 million customer payment cards."

The specific patent being praised is US Patent 7,551,574, received on June 23, 2009 and covers a method and apparatus for controlling wireless network access privileges based on wireless client location.

Trapeze Networks' SmartPass Patented Tool

The second patent Trapeze Networks received, (US Patent 7,551,619, also received on June 23, 2009) covers client roaming between VLANs (tunneling) based on credentials on a database stored in a switch or somewhere else. This is technology built into Trapeze Networks award-winning SmartPass software. SmartPass is a software product that gives IT managers full control over client access to the wireless LAN. Network managers can fine tune access and authorization on the wireless LAN to an extent never before possible, both for primary users and guests on the network.

Tuncay says, "This particular patent also covers the operation of redundant switch databases (tunnel affinity) and determining location of clients based on log-in operations, so it is broad and powerful."

About Trapeze Networks

Trapeze Networks, a Belden Brand, is a leader in enterprise wireless LAN equipment and management software. Trapeze was the first company to introduce NonStop Wireless - delivering unmatched reliability to the enterprise wireless LAN and its solutions are optimized for companies requiring mobility and high bandwidth such as healthcare, education, and hospitality. Trapeze delivers Smart Mobile(TM) providing scalable wireless LANs for applications such as Voice over Wi-Fi, location services, and indoor/outdoor connectivity.

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2009 Recovery Act Economic Stimulus Funds

Key Contacts and Resources

Congress passed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) on February 13 and President Obama signed it into law on February 17, 2009. The ARRA contains significant tax, investment, and spending provisions impacting energy efficiency, Smart Grid, and infrastructure projects. NAED members can now take advantage of information compiled by NEMA (the National Association of Electrical and Medical Imaging Equipment Manufacturers) on the ARRA, better known as the 2009 stimulus package. Click here to access a pdf containing a list of websites outlining energy-efficiency incentives and programs. More information is available through the NEMA Economic Stimulus webpage, www.nema.org/gov/economic-stimulus.

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5 Reasons to use the Online NFPA Journal Buyers Guide Today!

Over 1400 manufacturers and 700 consultants are just a click away!

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Visit the online NFPA Journal® Buyers’ Guide TODAY!  www.nfpa.org

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Sacred Heart Goes Solar


Kingston, Massachusetts July 1, 2009—Old Colony Memorial Plymouth, MA

Sacred Heart High School has built and activated a solar energy system for the Student Activity Center on its Kingston campus. Fred Paris of Plymouth, a solar and wind energy professional, designed and managed the project for Sacred Heart, and Burke Electric of Hanover installed the system, under the direction of school administrators.

Solar energy or photovoltaic systems (PV) are defined by size, expressed in watts, Paris explained. Sacred Heart High School’s system is more than 11,000 watts and classified as a “grid-tied, net-metered PV system.”

During the school year the Student Activity Center, which houses a gymnasium, locker rooms, faculty offices, the art room and a chorus rehearsal room, uses energy from the photovoltaic system first, and then relies on NStar for backup. During school vacations, on weekends, or whenever the school is closed, the energy generated by the PV system feeds back to NStar for credit – literally running Sacred Heart’s electric meter backwards. Early tracking shows a 53 percent reduction in the Student Activity Center’s utility bill for April 2009.

Paris explained that the Sacred Heart PV system is web enabled, so staff, students, parents and others can monitor the output of the system on the Internet in close to real time.

(view2.fatspaniel.net/PV2Web/merge?&view=PV/standard/HostedDetail&eid=194824)

The monitoring is very sensitive; a user is able to observe the change in power output as the weather changes, as a cloud passes over the campus, for example.

As part of the analysis for the PV system, Paris arranged for a third-party energy audit of every building on the school’s campus. The audit showed that Sacred Heart’s attention to efficiency in lighting, motors and electrical systems lowers the electrical demand and proportionally increases the percentage of energy contributed by solar. Auditors suggested only minor improvements – proving that years of energy diligence at Sacred Heart High School have paid off both financially and environmentally.

“It is really a good feeling to see the system generating energy as early as 6 a.m. and watching the kilowatt-hour curve increase as the day goes on,” Paris said. “We looked at wind energy for the campus, and I have been involved in several turbines, but in this case it just didn’t make technical or financial sense.”

Solar is quiet, environmentally friendly, has no moving parts, installs faster, and is extremely reliable. The energy is predictable right down to the kilowatt and can be expected to last for 25 years or more, without industrializing the skyline.

“The social, financial and technical aspects of renewable energy are being woven into many high school and college curriculums in science, mathematics, physics and business,” Paris, who also teaches wind energy systems at Massasoit Community College, explained. “It’s good to have a productive example right on campus.”

At Sacred Heart, environmental awareness and individual social responsibility is integrated into course work throughout the curriculum. Be it the school’s proactive stance in energy conservation on campus or through its long-standing environmental student organization, G.R.E.A.N. (Globally Responsible Environmentally Aware Network), care for the environment is an integral part of the Sacred Heart culture and mission. 

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ACUTA Hurricane Preparation Checklist to Colleges/Universities is a powerful guide

Just in time. The 2009 Hurricane Season started June 1st and the tropics are already churning.  ACUTA, the Association for Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education, has made available a communications- and networking-focused hurricane preparation checklist to all higher education institutions. Remember: Safety is too important to ignore

The 13-page document covers a broad range of pre-storm and post-storm activities and considerations, tailored to the needs of the college and university information communications technology personnel who make up ACUTA’s membership. ACUTA is the only international association dedicated to serving the needs of higher education information communications technology professionals. It represents nearly 2,000 individuals at some 780 institutions.

The checklist can be accessed by both ACUTA members and non-members through the ACUTA website (www.acuta.org), specifically at this URL: www.acuta.org/?2026 or by searching for “hurricane checklist.”

“Colleges and universities play an important role in disaster preparedness and recovery for both their campus constituencies and their communities in general,” said Dr. Walt Magnussen of Texas A&M University, past president of ACUTA. “In the event of a major disaster such as a hurricane, these schools often provide emergency medical care, temporary shelter, communication services, and a variety of other functions in addition to providing for the safety of life and property on campus.”

Magnussen added, “I can’t overemphasize the importance of maintaining communication services to a campus community during an emergency situation.”

In the wake of the devastation wrought by hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, ACUTA began working closely with the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS), a technical planning and standards development organization, and its Network Reliability Steering Committee. As a result, ACUTA adapted a master ATIS checklist to the specific needs of information communications technology professionals at colleges and universities.

The checklist covers areas such as emergency facilities and lodging, creation of contact lists, physical power and fuel, staffing, computer and network services, damage assessments and other post-storm activities, and training.

“One major advantage of the hurricane preparation checklist is that it covers very extensively the basic considerations, and schools can build on those to add specific activities and preparations of their own,” said Jeri Semer, executive director of ACUTA. “Our goal in preparing this checklist is to do what we can to help our members and others contribute to the health and safety of everyone on campus.”

About ACUTA
ACUTA, the Association for Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education, is an international non-profit educational association serving colleges and universities. Its core purpose is to support higher education information communications technology professionals in contributing to the achievement of the strategic mission of their institutions. ACUTA represents nearly 2000 individuals at some 780 institutions of higher education, with members ranging from small schools and community colleges to the 50 largest U.S. institutions. ACUTA’s Corporate Affiliate members represent all categories of communications technology vendors serving the college/university market. For more information, visit www.acuta.org or call 859-278-3338.

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AFL Telecommunications Introduces Drop Cable Storage Solution

Spartanburg, South Carolina - July 30, 2009


AFL Telecommunications introduces the new Drop Cable Storage Unit (DCSU), designed to store and organize the slack from a fiber drop left at a Fiber Distribution Terminal (FDT). The DCSU can also be used for the organization or storage of any unused multi-fiber drop in the placing of a multi-port terminal from VATS splicers. Manufactured with weather-resistant light weight aluminum, the DCSU contains a keyed bracket mount that prevents twisting and can manage up to 12 fiber drops when laid flat into the raceway with minimal slack required at the terminal. With spring-type lockable fingers to hold fiber drops and cable, no tie-wraps are required.

The DCSU is supplied with strand mount hardware that meets Telcordia® specifications. Optional hardware to mount to poles or in below grade hand holes is available. Galvanized strand clamping devices accommodate 1/4" to 7/16" strand and meet ASTM specifications A153 and B695. The DCSU's are constructed from aluminum with a baked acrylic enamel finish, and using an optional longer bolt, are stackable.

Patent pending. For additional information, visit www.AFLtele.com.

About AFL Telecommunications
AFL Telecommunications is an industry leader in providing fiber optic products, engineering expertise and integrated services to the Electric Utility, Broadband, Telco, OEM, Private Network and Wireless markets. It has operations in the U.S., Mexico and the U.K. AFL Telecommunications is a division of Fujikura Ltd. of Japan.

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Anixter International Inc. Announces Share Repurchase Program

Glenview, IL -  Anixter International Inc. (NYSE: AXE - News) announced on July 31,2009  a share repurchase program under which the Company may repurchase up to 1 million of its outstanding shares with the exact volume and timing dependent on market conditions. Anixter noted that all previously announced share repurchase programs had been completed.

Anixter currently has approximately 35.6 million shares outstanding.

About Anixter

Anixter International is a leading global distributor of communication products, electrical and electronic wire & cable, fasteners and other small parts. The company adds value to the distribution process by providing its customers access to 1) innovative inventory management programs, 2) more than 425,000 products and over $950 million in inventory, 3) 232 warehouses with more than 6.5 million square feet of space, and 4) locations in 270 cities in 52 countries. Founded in 1957 and headquartered near Chicago, Anixter trades on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AXE. www.anixter.com

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Belden Announces Plans to Close Plant in Leominster, MA

Belden announced plans to cease production activities at one of its manufacturing plants located in Leominster, Massachusetts by July 2010. The facility manufactures wire and cable products for enterprise applications throughout the United States. The production will be moved to other existing Belden manufacturing facilities located in Leominster, Massachusetts, Monticello, Kentucky, and Nogales, Mexico.

There will be approximately 170 associates affected by these actions who will be eligible for severance benefits from the Company.

This action is part of the restructuring initiative the Company announced in December 2008.

About Belden

Sending All the Right Signals - from industrial automation to data centers, from broadcast studios to aerospace, from cutting-edge wireless communications to consumer electronics, Belden people are committed to delivering the best signal transmission solutions in the world. Belden associates work in copper cable, fiber, wireless technology, connectors, switches and active components to bring voice, video and data to your mission-critical application. With 2008 revenue of $2.0 billion, Belden has manufacturing capability in North America, Europe and Asia. To obtain additional information contact Investor Relations at 314-854-8054, or visit our website at www.belden.com.

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CABA NEWSBRIEF

Thursday, July 23, 2009

www.caba.org

CANASA appoints new Executive Director
The Canadian Security Association (CANASA) announced that it has appointed Mr. Jean-Francois Champagne as its new Executive Director. Prior to joining CANASA, Champagne has been part of the electronic security industry for more than 15 years most of which were working for security product manufacturers. CANASA (7/21)

Tridium's smart home technology featured by U.S. Department of Energy
Tridium’s Smart Home Technology is being showcased in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Living Zero Home Tour. The DOE’s Living Zero Home Tour is traveling across the country to show useful and affordable ways people can save energy, reduce their utility bills and to demonstrate the benefits of using energy efficient products and technologies to live more comfortably, use less energy and contribute to a eco-friendly environment. Tridium (7/8)

CEA forecasts CE revenue will fall nearly 8% in 2009
The Consumer Electronics Association last week forecast that U.S. revenue from consumer-electronics shipments would drop 7.7% this year, to $165 billion. Part of the drop, according to the association's Steve Koenig, director of industry analysis, is due to the maturation of some categories, such as video game consoles, MP3 players and digital cameras. Dealerscope (7/20)

Market for IP multimedia phones set to take off
The IP multimedia phone may turn into the "fourth screen" in Americans' homes, according to market researcher In-Stat, based on consumers' increasing need for visual communications. Multimedia phones are expected to bring in as much as $8 billion in annual revenue by 2013, In-Stat said, with the increase in the number of homes with broadband access helping to drive the sales. ElectronicHouse.com (7/16)

Blu-ray disc sales, rentals skyrocket
Sales of Blu-ray discs jumped 91%, to $407 million, in the first half of 2009 even as consumers' home-entertainment spending fell. Digital Entertainment Group said revenue from Blu-ray rentals also increased, by 62%. PC World (7/16)

PlayStation Network reaches the 500-million mark
The PlayStation Network has reached the 500-million mark for pieces of digital content, such as movies and TV shows, that have been delivered to PlayStation 3 and PSP devices. According to this report, the distribution mark is an important one for Hollywood studios, which have been slow to reap the financial rewards of digital downloads. The New York Times/GigaOm (7/19)

U-SNAP Alliance releases first specification for home to grid product developers
U-SNAP Alliance, formed by a group of utility industry leaders to create a low cost connector standard to enable consumer products to communicate with any vendor's smart meter, released its first specification for product developers. The Utility Smart Access Port (U-SNAP) Bus Specification provides manufacturers with guidelines on how to create U-SNAP compliant interfaces to accommodate radios for several popular wireless standards including ZigBee, Z-Wave, Wi-FI, FM, and FlexNet. Utility Products (7/21)

Crestron introduces Prodigy Home Control
Prodigy is a simple to install, easy to use, and exceptionally affordable solution that does not require any special wiring, programming or expensive custom installation. Prodigy home automation solutions include home theater, audio distribution, lighting and climate control. CEPro (7/21)

Security experts at home: no downtime
There's no rest for computer security professionals, assuming they have one or more computers at home. TechNewsWorld polled some experts in the field to find out how they safeguard their personal systems, and we were surprised at the wide range of responses. Some experts really batten down the hatches, while others rely more on common sense than on security software. TechNewsWorld (7/22)

Companies chase the promise of high-tech homes
Hewlett-Packard Co., Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc., among others, are selling systems to centrally store and manage digital media in the home. Other start-ups are also vying to supply software to monitor and manage such technology, which could be a $5 billion a year market by 2011, according to research firm Parks Associates. Wall Street Journal (7/22)

British Gas announces new money saving technology
British Gas has just announced it has signed a brand new agreement with AlertMe.com to trial a new type of technology to help households around the UK cut their gas and electricity consumption. The AlertMe.com system allows an energy kit to be fitted in a home and then connected to the internet. From there the household will have its energy usage monitored by AlertMe.com. Electric.co.uk (7/22)

Smart meters cracking into U.S. homes
The number of smart electricity meters with two-way communications is poised to mushroom in the next two years, according to a study. Research company Park Associates this week released figures for smart-meter installations in the U.S., saying that there are 8 million units installed, or about 6 percent of all meters. As utilities upgrade equipment as part of smart-grid trials, the number of smart meters is forecast to grow to 13.6 million installed next year and to over 33 million in 2011. CNet (7/17)

New research released on home automation industry
Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Home Automation Solutions and Business Issues 2009" report by Mind Commerce LLC to its offerings. The report provides updated information about home automation technologies, standards, organizations, designers and installers. The report also provides an updated vision for the home automation market, including an overview of current business models, global SWOT Analysis for the industry including real-world examples. The report also includes a market segmentation study that contains factors that shape the home automation industry. Research and Markets (7/22)

New environmental targets for commercial buildings in B.C.
Close to 17,000 commercial buildings in British Columbia could soon be energy efficient thanks to a recently signed agreement between the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, BC Hydro and the Building Owners and Managers Association of BC (BOMA). Tumbler Ridge News (7/22)

Cisco to transform energy demand and use with smart buildings
Building on its smart grid initiative announced in May, Cisco Systems has unveiled its Smart Connected Buildings solution, at the Cisco Live event in San Francisco, as a key component for delivering its vision for smart and connected communities. Environmental Leader (7/3)

U.S. Green Building Council's new headquarters earns LEED Platinum
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is proud to announce the Platinum certification of its new Washington, D.C. headquarters – making it the first project to certify under the latest version of the LEED green building rating system. Building Design and Construction (7/20)

HVAC system helps provide cell phone reception
The nation's largest convention center, Chicago's McCormick Place, needed a wireless service boost, and the HVAC system helped provide it. ExteNet Systems installed a proprietary wireless-over-HVAC system in McCormick Place that uses HVAC metal ductwork to distribute signals and create a new indoor wireless network. cse live (7/9)

Green makeovers all the rage in an ugly market
A report by Pike Research, a market research firm based in Colorado, predicts the retrofit market will experience strong growth through 2013 and beyond. Globe & Mail (7/21)

PA state buildings upgrade, achieve savings
Pennsylvania’s Department of General Services (DGS) has completed a project with Siemens Building Technologies to reduce energy consumption at the state government’s Health & Welfare and Labor & Industry buildings. The structures, each 50 years old, are located in Harrisburg, Pa., the state’s capital. GovPro Media
(7/21)

HVAC manufacturers fighting new CSA standard on harmonics
The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) is concerned about the proposed adoption by the Canadian Standards Association of the IEC 61000-3-12 Standard. The association, representing equipment manufacturers, has joined a coalition of 14 similar organizations, including the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating, who were to be sending a letter of concern to CSA regarding the standard. Canadian Consulting Engineer (7/2)

U.S. announces $57 million in funding for smart grid initiatives
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Monday announced $57 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for smart grid initiatives. The funding will be split with $47 million going to eight smart grid projects across seven states and $10.5 million for local governments to develop emergency preparedness plans. Energy Efficiency News (7/22)

Cisco, Intel help power up smart grids
A broad group of companies including giants Cisco Systems and Intel Corp. are working with utilities to draft proposals competing for $3.9 billion in grants recently announced by the Department of Energy. In addition, Cisco is actively engaged in discussions on defining new variations of Internet Protocol standards to serve electric utilities. EE Times (7/21)

DOE, China to research greener buildings, vehicles, energy
Energy Secretary Steve Chu is putting U.S.-Chinese cooperation into energy and efficiency research on the front burner this week with partnerships aimed at breaking ground in energy-efficient buildings, green vehicles and cleaner energy generation. IBM and Duke Energy are among the companies looking to China for new energy-related projects. Green Tech Enterprise (6/16)

MatrikonOPC passes another Milestone in OPC Server Functionality
MatrikonOPC™ is proud to deliver on their commitment for higher levels of OPC Server functionality with the release of the newest version of their OPC Server Framework. Used in all of their OPC Servers, the newest version of the MatrikonOPC Server Framework includes advanced calculation and security options.

Other Items

Global Cache Signs VidaBox as Value Added Reseller
FieldServer Technologies Join Crestron Integrated Partners Program
Distech Controls Wireless Battery-less Solution for Open Building Automation
Distech Controls EC-Net Web-based Multi-Protocol Building Automation Solution for LONWORKS® and BACnet®

CABA Research Spotlight  

Understanding Cost-Effectiveness of Energy Efficiency Programs: Best Practices, Technical Methods, and Emerging Issues for Policy-Makers
This report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency examines how to measure the effectiveness of energy efficiency programs. A combination of the following measurements are recommended: the participant cost test (PCT), the utility/program administrator cost test (PACT), the ratepayer impact measure test (RIM), the total resource cost test (TRC), and the societal cost test (SCT). Additional benefits include greenhouse gas reductions and a portfolio of renewables. Methods and examples for applying these measures are presented. Read the full report as published in CABA's Research Library.

Webcast: Building Controls and Energy: An Integrated Approach to Cost Savings
AutomatedLogic Corporation and Tridium, both CABA members, are sponsoring a webcast by Building Operating Management magazine, focused on building contols and energy. In this 75-minute webcast, you'll learn the keys to energy cost savings by taking an integrated approach to a building automation system's design. The webcast is scheduled for July 30 at 1 pm ET. Register free of charge today!

Webcast: Construction Industry Market Insights
On July 23 at 2 pm ET, join expert economists Jim Haughey, Ken Simonson and Kermit Baker for “Turning Points in Construction,” a complimentary, 90 minute Webcast focused on the key factors affecting the recovery of the construction industry. The Webcast is produced by Reed Construction Data in association with the American Institute of Architects. Register now!

CABA announces agenda for Office of the Future Consortium meeting
The Office of the Future Consortium is a group of progressive utilities (Southern California Edison, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Seattle City Light, Sempra Utilities, National Grid, B.C. Hydro, NSTAR and Consolidated Edison) developing fully-integrated energy efficiency solutions for existing buildings. Leverage the power of some of North America's largest electric utilities by participating in research and development focused on the next generation of utility incentive programs. A face-to-face one day product manufacturers meeting has been scheduled for July 30 in Chicago, IL. Invited industry sectors include: lighting product manufacturers, HVAC equipment manufacturers, furniture manufacturers, plug load device manufacturers, console and metering manufacturers, interior designers, developers/owners, GSA and USGBC. For more meeting details please contact Don O'Connor at oconnor@caba.org or 613.686.1814 ext 226 or Alex Detre at detre@caba.org, 613.686.1814 ext 228.

Agenda announced for Connected Home Research Council Family Ecosystem Forum
The Connected Home Research Council has announced its agenda for its Family Ecosystem Forum, to be held September 9. Hosted by Whirlpool Corporation in Atlanta, this event will bring together leading companies, including Microsoft, Direct Energy, Cisco Systems, CBS Vision, and P&G to examine the integration of consumer electronics and other cutting-edge technology throughout the home. Discussions will surround smart home technology, energy conservation, consumer technology convergence, and existing connected home technology and connectivity solutions that enhance quality of life. The Forum will also include a panel discussion on real world lessons in "aging in place" products and services. Please register today.

CABA now posting news on Twitter
CABA has launched a profile on Twitter (www.twitter.com/caba_news) to keep members and industry stakeholders informed on the latest news and developments in both the home and building automation marketplace.

Click here for CABA's Industry Events Update

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ARTICLE ON AGING INFRASTRUCTURE CONFERENCE

CHICAGO – Some $2 or $3 trillion should be spent on infrastructure in the United States.

Do you understand the ramifications if it isn’t?

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security had a well-attended workshop last week at Columbia University in New York City on the issues of aging infrastructure. We need to make a substantial investment in adding and rebuilding bridges, locks, roads and other elements that make up our infrastructure. This should be the crusade that Congress should fund.

Why? Because it provides short-term jobs as well as huge residual value that promotes better long-term regional and economic sustainability.

Infrastructure is the platform for commerce and trade routes in the global economy. China,

Taiwan, South Korea and other countries understand this and are funding initiatives that go well into the billions of dollars. They understand the concept of building a solid platform for global commerce that will accelerate their gross national product (GNP).

Adding Resiliency, Residual Value

Many people came to this workshop with very focused views from their own disciplines. Aside from various areas of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other federal and state government agencies, there were many from various segments that support the infrastructure.

From structural engineers and bridge builders to mechanical engineers, road builders and academics from leading universities, all were looking for new solutions. Some were focused on utilizing advanced materials and intelligent transportation systems. New preventive maintenance approaches (like monitoring corrosion in suspension bridge cables) were also discussed.

Using embedded sensors in a new application lends itself to what I call the cross-pollenization of technology across different industries. If it’s proven in one industry, why not try to see if there is an application in another industry?

There was a consensus that more emphasis is needed to fund various infrastructure initiatives. What also needs to happen is for everyone to get a better appreciation of the total picture. This means having more of a multi-disciplinary understanding of the linkages between layers of infrastructure and their impact on global economic competitiveness.

Infrastructure Has Been Building For 3,000 Years

In my presentation, I pointed out the need to understand the multiple layers of infrastructure as well as the new interdependencies that are becoming more evident than they were 50 or 60 years ago. Infrastructure over the last three millennia has always been the platform for commerce that helped expand trade routes and commerce.

The now-classic example of what happened between the economic growth of Chicago and St. Louis after the Civil War regarding the restriction of the railroads was also presented. This is a great example of what having a solid infrastructure can do for regional viability and what happens when you don’t have all the layers of infrastructure that your competition has in place.

St. Louis was touted as the “Gateway to the West” for settlers going to California and other Western territories. The railroads (which were just beginning to grow) wanted to use St. Louis as the central hub for their trains. St. Louis listened to the lobbyists of the day (the riverboat owners) and restricted the new layer of infrastructure (the railroads) from coming through St. Louis and crossing the Mississippi River.

Chicago let the railroads create a central hub, and in the next 25 years, they grew both in population and economic growth that dwarfed St. Louis by 1890. St. Louis sunk from its prominence to becoming a second-tier city. Chicago grew faster because the city had an additional layer of infrastructure that catapulted its economic development and population.

We are at the same type of critical juncture again. This time we are focusing on broadband connectivity, which is the latest layer of infrastructure that focuses on providing multiple-gigabit connectivity. As I pointed out in my presentation, many have yet to realize that the three most important words in real estate today are location, location and connectivity.

Intelligent Infrastructure

While defining what this means at every layer of infrastructure was touched upon, it wasn’t finalized.

Finding common ground among those in charge of designing, implementing and maintaining the various layers of infrastructure – as well as common definitions – seems to be the next big step. We can’t compete in the accelerated pace of the 21st-century global economy by relying on 19th- and 20th-century infrastructure.

Carlinism: Infrastructure is the platform for commerce and trade routes.

Check out Carlini’s blog at CarlinisComments.com. Follow daily Carlinisms at Twitter.

James Carlini is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University. He is also president of Carlini & Associates. Carlini can be reached at james.carlini@sbcglobal.net or 773-370-1888.

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Dupont 2Q Profit Skids And More Legal Problems

Chemical maker DuPont 2Q profit tumbles 61 pct on lower sales volume

Lower sales and restructuring charges pushed profits for chemical giant DuPont down 61 percent in the second quarter.

Wilmington-based DuPont on Tuesday reported earnings of $417 million, or 46 cents per share, in the three months ended June 30, down from $1.08 billion, or $1.18 per share a year earlier.

Overall revenues tumbled 24 percent to $7 billion, from $9.3 billion a year ago.

DuPont said it has achieved about $600 million in cost reductions this year, more than half of its $1 billion goal.

DuPont announced that it would cut another 2,000 jobs, on top of 2,500 layoffs and elimination of about 10,000 contractor jobs.

Kullman said the company wants to maintain about 75 percent of its fixed cost reductions for the long term, including the elimination of about half of the contract positions being cut.

With little immediate improvement expected in the car and housing industries, Kullman said DuPont will focus on cost and productivity improvements.

Results for the quarter reflected a $340 million pretax charge for restructuring. That was partially offset by a $125 million in pretax gains, including fewer charges related things such as hurricanes.

For chemical makers, who produce materials used in almost every economic sector, the global downturn has been especially harsh. Volumes declined in all major business segments and were down by double digits across all geographic regions.

Oppenheimer analyst Ed Yang said he was surprised there was no improvement in overall volume compared to the first quarter, given that economic conditions seem to be stabilizing.

Overall, volume was down 19 percent this quarter, including a 27 percent decline in Europe, where a strengthening dollar helped push sales down by 38 percent.

Sales declined by more than 20 percent in all business segments excluding the agriculture and nutrition unit. The performance and material unit saw sales decline by 40 percent.

DUPONT in the Safety arena for asbestos exposure to workers AGAIN

THEN:

Tempers flare as DuPont asbestos trial enters fourth week

Thursday, March 06, 2008

By David Yates

Tempers began to flare last week as the possible billion-dollar asbestos trial of Willis Whisnat Jr. et al vs. DuPont De Nemours wrapped up its third week of testimony on Friday, March 7.

The trial, going on in Judge Donald Floyd's 172nd Judicial District Court, focuses on Whisnat, a pipefitter who smoked throughout his adult life and worked at DuPont's Sabine Works facility in Beaumont. Working back in 1968 as an independent contractor, he was allegedly exposed to enough asbestos fibers to contract mesothelioma - a cancerous lung condition.

The cancer claimed Whisnat's life sometime in the late '90s. He was around the age of 72 when he died.

This week, jurors heard excerpts of depositions given by several former DuPont workers who worked with Whisnat during the late '60s. The workers testified that they never saw Whisnat wearing a respirator - a device designed to filter asbestos dust.

DuPont contends that its safety policies during the '60s and '70s required employees working around "extreme" dust to wear respirators.

However, an industrial hygienist, hired by the plaintiffs, passionately testified that workers were not capable of determining when they were working in "extreme" dusty conditions.

During his testimony, the plaintiffs' expert began shouting at DuPont defense attorney Larry Cotten.

Cotten asked if the man was upset with him. The plaintiff's expert responded by saying, "I'm upset with (DuPont) for not implementing (adequate asbestos safety) programs."

Cotten is an attorney for the Fort Worth law firm Cotten and Schmidt.

The trial to date

The trial began Thursday, Feb. 21 and is expected to conclude sometime in mid March.

According to expert testimony offered by Dr. Edwin Holstein, DuPont was well aware asbestos in the work place was killing its workers in the early 1960s, but did nothing until the government stepped in.

After Whisnat's death, his family joined an ongoing class-action suit against DuPont and several other oil and chemical companies, which was first filed in the Jefferson County District Court on June 4, 1998. The class members claim DuPont negligently and maliciously exposed workers to asbestos when the company knew asbestos dust and fibers created health hazards.

According to medical testimony, Whisnat's chest was riddled with bone-eating tumors, a condition the plaintiffs are attempting to link to Whisnat's seven-year stint at DuPont.

In his opening remarks, plaintiff's attorney Glen Morgan said DuPont's asbestos policies during the '60s, '50s and '40s were so malicious that the company's "right to exist should be taken away."

Morgan is a partner in the Reaud, Morgan & Quinn law firm and represents the family of the late Willis Whisnat .

Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral, is an excellent fire retardant and was wildey used by industrial companies, like DuPont, in the early decades of the 20th century to insulate pipes, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

"The Defendant (DuPont) knew of the toxicity of asbestos prior to the first exposure of Decedent (Whisnat) to the defective and unreasonably dangerous material on its premises," Morgan wrote in Whisnat's suit.

Morgan continues by writing, "Plaintiffs will not seek an amount in excess of $4,100,000,000, excluding pre- and post-judgment interest and costs of court, as compensation for Plaintiffs' damages."

If Morgan has his way and DuPont is forced out of existence, more than 60,000 people would lose their jobs, according to employment figures on DuPont's Web site. However, Morgan did say during opening remarks that he would not ask jurors to award his clients billions of dollars.

Morgan continued by comparing the chemical company to killers on trial who deserve, in his opinion, to be executed. "There are some corporations whose rights … to exist should be taken away."

The plaintiffs maintain that DuPont knew about the dangers of asbestos as early as 1940, but chose to conceal their findings and focus on a defense to protect the company from lawsuits rather than implement policies that would save the lives of its workers.

DuPont's attorneys argue that its 1940s studies only focused on people who were "heavily" exposed to asbestos on a daily basis, like miners for example, not chemical plant workers.

DuPont also argues that the chemical company was a consumer not a producer of asbestos-containing products, placing product liability on the seller - and took steps to protect its employees from asbestos before OSHA implemented asbestos guidelines in 1972.

In addition, DuPont contends Whisnat was an independent contractor, not a DuPont employee, and therefore Whisnat's employer, B.F. Shaw, was directly responsible for his safety. And even though he was not a DuPont employee, the company still protected Whisnat from asbestos by requiring pipe workers to wear respirators.

DuPont protected its other workers by barricading asbestos-laced pipe worksites.

The plaintiffs, however, argue that asbestos fibers can drift beyond the barricade, which only consisted of yellow caution tape.

Dr. Holstein testified that an asbestos fiber is thousands of times smaller than a human hair and can float in the air for hours.

Case No. E159-183-Q

NOW:

June 25, 2009

DuPont sued over asbestos in Argentina

Ex-Lycra plant workers say they were exposed

By ANDREW EDER and AARON NATHANS
The News Journal

DuPont Co. exposed workers in Argentina to asbestos until the late 1990s despite knowing the risks of the material, according to three lawsuits filed Wednesday in Delaware.

The lawsuits came from former workers at a Lycra spandex plant in Mercedes, Argentina, that was part of DuPont until the sale of its textile unit in 2004.

DuPont knew that exposure to asbestos could harm workers as early as 1964, the complaints said, but the company continued to use asbestos in the heat pipes and machinery of its Argentina facilities until the late 1990s.

The workers, Cristian Dematei, Juan Carlos Laborda and Ceferino Ramirez, are represented by the Wilmington law firm Jacobs & Crumplar. The law firm said more lawsuits would follow.

Dematei, who worked at the facility for 11 years, suffers from asbestosis, a chronic condition that causes shortness of breath and an increased risk of lung cancer, the complaint said.

Laborda worked at the plant from 1968 to 1980, according to his complaint, and suffers from asbestosis and asbestos-related lung cancer.

Ramirez worked at the facility for 32 years before retiring in 1993. He has been diagnosed with asbestos-related laryngeal cancer and asbestosis, his lawsuit said.

The lawsuits allege that workers were never warned of the dangers of asbestos exposure or given respiratory protection.

Amanda Velazquez, asbestos medical paralegal for Jacobs & Crumplar, said: "They need to break the double standard," referring to DuPont stopping using asbestos in U.S. plants earlier.

DuPont spokesman Dan Turner said, "While we have not had the opportunity to review the filing yet, and cannot comment on the specifics, we do find it puzzling that the plaintiff's attorneys have filed the compliant in Delaware rather than the country of origin. The safety and health of our employees, our neighbors and our community has and continues to be DuPont's highest priority."

Velazquez said it makes sense to sue a company in the place where it is based.

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FL Department of Business and Professional Regulation

Cost-Free Customer Service Initiative Gets Good Reviews

Comments to Secretary Charles W. Drago confirm the program is a success

"Quality on the Line" Provides Customers Opportunity to Share Experiences with Secretary

Tallahassee - in May 2009, Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Charles W. Drago announced “Quality on the Line,” a new, cost-free initiative designed to obtain customer feedback.  “Quality on the Line” is an opportunity for DBPR customers to play an active role in their government and inspire positive changes.  By sharing experiences and ideas with Secretary Drago during virtual office hours, customers can enhance service, improve business practices, propose legislative changes, and more.  The first “Quality on the Line” was in South Florida on Tuesday, June 2, from 12 to 3 p.m. It was a success.

 “Challenging economic times call for more creative approaches to engage customers in department enhancements,” stated Secretary Charles W. Drago. “This Web-based forum costs no money, allows customers to interact with me one-on-one, and extends our reach to a broader group of customers who may not have the time to leave work and meet me at district offices.”

Building on the success of “On the Road to Better Business,” when Secretary Drago toured Florida to meet with customers, “Quality on the Line” is intended to gain valuable, unique insight into department processes.  The state has been divided into five districts, and Secretary Drago will hold virtual office hours in each district.  During office hours, he will be at his computer in Tallahassee, reading and responding to customers concerns as they come in from the Web-based form.  Following office hours, Secretary Drago will share his experiences through the “Customers on the Line” blog.  Also, “Quality Buzz” will link to relevant media stories.

The Department’s mission is to license efficiently and regulate fairly.  The Department licenses more than one million businesses and professionals ranging from real estate agents, veterinarians, and accountants to contractors and cosmetologists.  For more information, please visit MyFloridaLicense.com

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FL Department of Business and Professional Regulation Sends Strong Message To Unlicensed Individuals with Record Year-End Results

July 21, 2009 - TALLAHASSEE—When the fiscal year 2008/2009 began last July, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Regulation intended to send a strong message that unlicensed activity would not be tolerated, and investigators hit the streets to stop it.   Division investigators aimed to decrease unlicensed activity through increased proactive enforcement efforts.  They did more than meet their goal; they far exceeded it by performing 64 percent more operations than the previous year.

“I believe that this great increase in proactive enforcement efforts illustrates the department’s commitment to protect the public and provide an even playing field for our licensees,” said Secretary Charles W. Drago.  “This fiscal year, we encourage our licensees and Florida’s consumers to be our partners in this effort by reporting unlicensed activity to DBPR.”

What many may not know is that unlicensed activity can literally leave victims without a roof overhead.  Last week, Division of Regulation investigators in Jacksonville executed a sting operation to arrest unlicensed individuals who left a victim out of money and without a roof over her head.  The story paints a clear picture of the dangers of unlicensed activity.

The division proactively combats unlicensed activity through sweeps, which consists of checking licenses to ensure compliance with state laws, and stings, which consist of undercover operations where known or suspected unlicensed individuals are targeted.  Both operations may result in the arrest of unlicensed persons.  In the past three years, the division has made a commitment to increase these efforts, which is demonstrated in the data below.

Year

Number of Proactive Enforcement Operations

Fiscal Year  2008/2009

505

Fiscal Year  2007/2008

327

Fiscal Year  2006/2007

147

Penalties for unlicensed activity can include a fine of up to $5,000 per incident. Persons engaging in unlicensed activity can be charged with a first degree misdemeanor for a first offense. In addition, any person who acts as an unlicensed contractor during a Governor-declared state of emergency commits a third degree felony.

“The department’s stepped-up enforcement efforts are providing greater protection from unscrupulous activity and helping to ensure that law-abiding, licensed contractors can meet Florida’s building needs,” said Jay Carlson, President of the Florida Home Builders Association and a home builder from Punta Gorda, Fla. “We sincerely appreciate the great work of Secretary Drago and the many law enforcement organizations that have helped crack down on unlicensed activity.”

There are measures consumers can take to protect themselves.  Always check licenses by visiting MyFloridaLicense.com.  Unlicensed activity should be reported to the department via the Web site or by calling, toll-free, 1-866-532-1440.  When hiring a contractor, consumers should:

Always ask to see the contractor’s license.

Note the license number and verify that the license is current and in good standing. To check a license, call 850-487-1395 or visit MyFloridaLicense.com.

Get a Release of Lien covering all workers and materials. This removes your property from the threat of lien. 

Ask any potential contractor for references and check each one.

Beware of scams when contractors ask for all the money up front or will only accept cash.

Beware of contractors who arrive in unmarked vehicles, possibly from out-of-state.

Be cautious of writing checks made payable to individuals, especially when dealing with a company.

Get everything in writing, including a detailed description of the work to be completed, a completion date and the total cost.

Request from the contractor a list of all subcontractors and suppliers who have a contract with the contractor to provide services or materials. 

Don’t sign the certificate of completion until you are satisfied with the work done.

Additionally, licensed contractors are reminded to hire licensed subcontractors when required for work such as plumbing and electrical. 

The department’s mission is to license efficiently and regulate fairly.  The department licenses more than one million businesses and professionals ranging from real estate agents, veterinarians, and accountants to contractors and cosmetologists.  For more information, please visit MyFloridaLicense.com

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Healthcare is making big strides with IT and Technology

Healthcare is a hot market for technology vendors and Health Management Technology provides its 48,250 subscribers with important information about solutions for healthcare IT operations. Through a monthly magazine, an interactive Web site and two e-newsletters, companies have a wide range of options to market their products and services to these decision makers in healthcare IT. For more information, contact Publisher Ken Anderberg at 941-584-0145 or kanderberg@healthmgttech.com. www.healthmgttech.com

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Harger’s Static Floor Bonding Clamp Kit

GRAYSLAKE, IL – August 1, 2009 – Harger Lightning & Grounding proudly introduces their new Static Floor Bonding Clamp Kit (#SFBC3KIT). The SFBC3KIT bonds the static flooring system to the telecommunications bonding and grounding system. The two piece design sandwiches firmly to secure the ground strap and is manufactured from 110 copper alloy. The kit includes stainless steel bolts, lock washers, flat washers and long barrel compression lug. For more information contact Harger’s Sales Department at 800-842-7437.

Harger Lightning & Grounding is a leading manufacturer of lightning protection and grounding equipment, as well as UltraShotTM and Ultraweld® exothermic welding materials for the communications and electrical industries. Harger also provides design and engineering services and specializes in offering total systems solutions for their customers.

301 Ziegler Drive, Grayslake, IL 60030

847-548-8700 • 800-842-7437 • Fax: 847-548-8755

Website: www.harger.com • Email: hargersales@harger.com

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NECA 2009 Convention Hits A Home Run With A Bold Education Program

NECA hits a home run with a value packed Education Program for the attendees at the upcoming NECA 2009 Convention in Seattle (September 12-15) Pre-convention Workshops begin on Friday September 11, 2009.

Our team reviewed the educational program and assessed a value to the available classes. In our opinion, the value for this package if available from another source would be approximately $4,750 per student. Many of the sessions are unique to this conference, timely, and designed to generate revenue for the attending companies. We haven’t seen an agenda this good anywhere else this year.

All Sessions to be held at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center.

http://www.necaconvention.org/convention/?fa=education

Pre-Convention Workshops

* This also entitles you to all three days on the NECA Show floor and all technical workshops and entry into the New and Featured Product Room.

For more info on a session click on the session’s title.

Friday, September 11, 2009

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Significant Changes to NFPA 70E 2009

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Sneak Peak at the 2011 Proposed NEC Code Changes

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Energy Auditing, The Portal to Green Projects

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Lean Construction in Electrical Contracting

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Grounding & Bonding Update

1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

How LED Technology Can Change Your Business

1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

See What No one Else can See & Do What No one Else Does / Thermal Imaging

Saturday, September 12, 2009

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Entering the Green Intelligent Building Market Have you asked yourself any of these questions?

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Fundamentals of LEED®

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

NFPA 70E: The Electrical PPE Compliance Solution

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Workshop Lunch

1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Keys to Business Success in the Solar PV Industry

1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Significant Changes to NFPA 72 – 2010, Profiting from Change

Management Seminars

* This also entitles you to all three days on the NECA Show floor and all technical workshops and entry into the New and Featured Product Room.

For more info on a session click on the session’s title.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

8:00 AM - 8:50 AM

Business Development for the Design Build Market

8:00 AM - 8:50 AM

Data Center Business Opportunities

8:00 AM - 8:50 AM

How the Stimulus Can Electrify Your Business!

8:00 AM - 8:50 AM

Silver Bullets to Improve Project Profitability

8:00 AM - 9:50 AM

Energy Audits- A Portal To Green Energy Projects

8:00 AM - 9:50 AM

Energy Audits- A Portal To Green Energy Projects

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM

Business Development for the Design Build Market

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM

Data Center Business Opportunities

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM

How the Stimulus Can Electrify Your Business!

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM

Silver Bullets to Improve Project Profitability

Monday, September 14, 2009

8:00 AM - 8:50 AM

Building Green: Buildings and Lives

8:00 AM - 8:50 AM

Green Contracting: Federal and State methods for Green Building

8:00 AM - 8:50 AM

Surviving the Market

8:00 AM - 8:50 AM

Vendor Partnering for Better Profit & Performance

8:00 AM - 9:50 AM

Energy Roadmap Guiding Electrical Contractor: Energy Independence Opportunities (2 hour session)

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM

Building Green: Buildings and Lives

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM

Green Contracting: Federal and State methods for Green Building

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM

Surviving the Market

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM

Vendor Partnering for Better Profit & Performance

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

8:00 AM - 8:50 AM

Counterfeit Electrical Products Can Destroy Lives, Property and Your Business

8:00 AM - 8:50 AM

Defined Benefit Pension / PPA

8:00 AM - 8:50 AM

Emerging PV Market Guide

8:00 AM - 8:50 AM

Great Tools for Your Business: NAED’s Green Guides and TED’s Green Room

8:00 AM - 8:50 AM

How to Use Social Media for Business Development

Technical Workshops

* This also entitles you to all three days on the NECA Show floor and all technical workshops and entry into the New and Featured Product Room.

For more info on a session click on the session’s title.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

12:00 PM - 12:50 PM

Selective Coordination in Low Voltage Applications

12:30 PM - 1:20 PM

A New Paradigm in Paperless Estimating Emerges

1:00 PM - 1:50 PM

Gain the Competitive Edge in Seven Simple Steps

1:30 PM - 2:20 PM

Finding Green Projects

2:00 PM - 2:50 PM

The Benefits of the Helmets to Hardhats Program

2:30 PM - 3:20 PM

Increase Productivity and Reduce Risk

3:00 PM - 3:50 PM

Quit Feeding the Monsters: New Techniques to Create a Positive Safety Culture

Monday, September 14, 2009

12:00 PM - 12:50 PM

On Screen Estimating

12:30 PM - 1:20 PM

Cordless Tool Productivity & Innovation

1:00 PM - 1:50 PM

The Arc Flash Hazard and Changes to NFPA 70E

1:30 PM - 2:20 PM

Launch & Grow Your Solar Business

2:30 PM - 3:20 PM

Innovative Ideas Save Time and Money

3:00 PM - 3:50 PM

Lightning Protection Systems

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

11:00 AM - 11:50 AM

Tools and Techniques for Getting the Best Material Prices

12:00 PM - 12:50 PM

Go Green by Achieving Energy Efficiency in the Data Center

12:30 PM - 1:20 PM

Surviving or Thriving? Market Outlook and Opportunities

“This program makes this convention pay for itself and then some…”

Frank Bisbee

"Heard On The Street" Monthly Column

www.wireville.com

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New Carrier Ethernet Tester For Fiber Or Copper From Fluke Networks

Another cool tool for the network gurus.

Imagine an affordable pocket tool that can verify carrier Ethernet links over copper or fiber. Confirm connectivity. Verify VLAN settings. Check for speed or duplex mismatches. Identify authentication or addressing problems or bad ports. Even function as a layer 1-2-3 loopback device for our MetroScope or other test sets. All at a price that's hard to resist. That's the new LinkRunner Duo CE.

And to sweeten the deal, we're offering an IS50 Pro-Tool™ Kit (a $150 USD value) when you purchase a LinkRunner Duo CE before September 1, 2009. The kit includes everything you need to cut, strip, clean and connect network phone and data lines to blocks and jacks. All in a sleek, form-fitting pouch.

Learn more about the LinkRunner Duo CE and download the IS50 Pro-Tool kit redemption form.  View a virtual demo.

www.flukenetworks.com

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Optical Cable Corporation And SMP Data Communications Opened A New Combined Center For Improved Speed And Service

Optical Cable Corporation announced that in July, they centralized the inside sales operations for all of our cabling and connectivity product offerings by Optical Cable Corporation and SMP Data Communications.  Neil Wilkin, President & CEO of Optical Cable Corporation  said “This move has been taken in an effort to continue to improve our service to you—our valued customer.”

Now, whether you are placing an order, requesting a quote or have any other technical or customer service inquiry for Optical Cable Corporation products or SMP Data Communications products you have a single inside sales team contact point. 

Additionally, you will notice that our accounting function has been centralized as well, with all invoices being managed from the OCC corporate headquarters in Roanoke, Virginia. OCC, already recognized as the new leader in the fiber optic cabling market, operations have been upgraded to improve customer service at every level.

In a winning strategic move, Optical Cable Corporation acquired SMP Data Communications in order to offer all of their customers complete and high quality cabling and connectivity datacom solutions.

OCC is now an industry-leading designer and manufacturer of innovative datacom solutions for a multitude of markets.  We offer a full suite of fiber optic cables, copper cables, copper and fiber optic connectors, copper and fiber optic patch cords, racks, cabinets, datacom enclosures, patch panels, face plates, multimedia boxes and cable and connectivity management accessories—all designed to meet the most demanding needs of end-users.

Please contact your OCC Inside Sales Person at 800-622-7711 if you have any questions regarding your new primary contact or if we can assist you in placing an order.  If you have any accounting questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at +1-540-265-0690.

“Thank you for your business. We look forward to continuing to provide the high quality products and services you’ve grown to expect from OCC.”

“Quality and great service are the benchmarks of Optical Cable Corporation and SMP Data. They just keep getting better.”, said Richard Brammer, Director of Cabling Projects at Communication Planning Corp. in Florida.

www.smpdata.com

www.occfiber.com

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Siemon Introduces MapIT G2, the Next-Generation Intelligent Infrastructure Solution for Physical Layer Network Management

MapITâ G2 offers best-in-class user interfaces, 80% higher density and a 75% reduction in power consumption versus competing intelligent infrastructure solutions.

December XX, 2008. Watertown, CT – Siemon, a recognized leader in network cabling solutions, is proud to introduce MapIT G2, a complete upgrade of their popular MapIT intelligent infrastructure management (IIM) solution.  MapIT G2 integrates a powerful combination of innovative Smart Patch Panels, user-friendly Master Control Panels and MapIT software to provide real-time tracking and reporting of network-wide physical layer activity. 

Designed with a higher degree of intelligence, MapIT G2 patch panels and fiber enclosures feature an onboard LCD screen that provides connection status, diagnostics and dynamic label information. The LCD display provides more detailed instructions to technicians versus simple LEDs or traditional non-intelligent panels.  The ability to monitor and display copper and fiber patching fields in real time and perform diagnostics through this onboard interface reduces troubleshooting time and speeds the completion of work orders.

The MapIT G2 Master Control Panel (MCP) collects all network infrastructure data provided by the Smart Patch Panels and Fiber enclosures, monitoring up to 2880 ports in just 1 rack mount space (U). The MCP features an integrated LCD display and keypad, which provide technicians access to key network architecture and diagnostic information.  By providing this interface locally within the patching zone, the MCP virtually eliminates the need for technicians to carry PDAs or directly access the MapIT software server.   The MCP interface allows full end-to-end graphic circuit traces for any channel in the system and can perform extensive diagnostic tasks on any component or port.

The combination of MapIT G2 patching and MCP enables 80% higher density than competing systems, providing a huge reduction in the amount of critical and expensive data center rack/cabinet and floor space.  For example, common IIM systems can require up to 60U of equipment to manage 20,000 ports. MapIT G2 can manage the same 20,000 ports in just 7U!

In addition to improved density, MapIT G2 dramatically reduces power consumption, using 75% less power than other IIM systems for a decided “green” advantage.  This lower power consumption reduces heat generation and energy consumed by thermal management systems.

Available in Category 6A (Class EA)  shielded  and unshielded and Category 6 (Class E) unshielded as well as singlemode and multimode 10Gb/s optical fiber, the MapIT G2 system is fully scalable.  It can handle networks from 24 ports to 65,000 ports in a single patching field, making it equally effective managing a massive data center or a widespread network of small remote sites.

About Siemon

Established in 1903, Siemon is an industry leader specializing in the manufacture and innovation of high quality, high-performance network cabling solutions. Headquartered in Connecticut, USA, with global offices, manufacturing and service partners throughout the world, Siemon offers the most comprehensive suite of copper (unshielded and shielded twisted-pair) category 5e, category 6 (Class E), category 6A (Class EA) and category 7/7A (Class F/FA), and multimode and singlemode optical fiber cabling systems available. With over 400 active patents specific to structured cabling, from patch cords to patch panels, Siemon Labs invests heavily in R&D and development of industry standards, underlining the company's long-term commitment to its customers and the industry.

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SOME DISTRIBUTORS ARE SHOWING SIGNS OF LOSING BUSINESS

Distributor News -- August 6, 2009  TED Web News Archives

Rexel’s U.S. Sales Down 30% In Q2

Rexel SA’s first-half press release, issued July 31, puts the company’s first-half sales in the U.S. down 30.2% “on a constant basis and same [number of sales] days.” For Q2 itself, the decline (same basis) was given as 34.7%.

U.S. sales were put as 627.8 million euros in Q2 and $1.31 billion in the first half. Using the euro-dollar exchange rate now prevailing, that’s $895 million in the quarter and $1.87 billion in the half. Gross margins in the U.S. were 21.6% in Q2 (down 10 basis points) and averaged the same for the half (down 30 basis points).

Sales in 2008’s first half were 1.91 billion euros. At the higher euro-dollar conversion rate of June 30, 2008, that translated into roughly $3 billion in first-half U.S. sales. Loosely translating, then, on a dollar basis, Rexel’s first-half sales in the U.S. could be said to have been down 37.7%.

Worldwide, Rexel SA’s first half sales were nearly $8 billion, down 17.9% on an “organic same-day” basis. Europe’s first-half sales decline was only 14.3% (“constant basis, same days”) and gross margins there averaged 25.8%, up 60 basis points compared to one year ago.

Some of the 11-page first-half press release (found at www.rexel.com) was dedicated to explaining an amendment to the company’s credit agreement—which was created when it bought the non-U.S. operations of Hagemeyer NV. From what TEDMag can parse from the information presented:

Rexel repaid 9% of the money it drew from its creditors in June.

The company can’t pay dividends on its stock unless it posts an “indebtedness ratio” better than four times.

Capital expenditures can’t exceed .75% of sales unless that ratio improves. Note that .75% of perhaps $16 billion in annual sales is roughly $120 million.

Rexel had to pay $28 million to gain the changes in the credit agreement.

The company’s near-term agenda, it said in the release, is: “to further implement
its three-pronged strategy of seizing market opportunities, defending margins, and deleveraging its balance sheet.”

Anixter’s Sales Down 19% In Q2

Anixter’s $1.22 billion in Q2 sales were down 25% compared to one year earlier. The company noted that the “real” decline was 19%; the rest of the drop came from unfavorable forex conversions and “$50.7 million in unfavorable effects from lower copper prices,” offset by $41 million in sales gains from companies acquired in 2008. WWW.ANIXITER.COM

Additionally, Robert Eck, president/CEO, noted that “additional holidays in [Q2], compared to the first quarter, negatively impacted sales on a consecutive-quarter basis by 4%.”

First-half sales of $2.499 billion were down 19% compared to a year earlier. Gross margins: 22.86% in the first half and 22.65% in Q2. In North America, the company’s enterprise cabling and security solutions sales were down 13% organically, as compared with 2008’s second quarter.

Complicating things for those following the stock was a $100 million “goodwill impairment charge” taken in Q2 on Anixter’s European operations. That caused a net loss in the quarter of $2.53 per fully diluted share. AXE stock fell 11.4% on the week, according to Yahoo! Finance.

Anixter’s Q2 earnings call transcript—which amounts to more than 10,000 words—can be found here. It includes these comments:

On the second half, from Dennis Letham, CFO and executive vice president of finance: “We expect reported sales to decline on a year-on-year basis due to the stronger U.S. dollar and lower spot market copper prices. Assuming the dollar and spot market copper prices continue to trade at approximately the same levels as they have for the past few months, we would expect the third quarter to see the same comparative sales impact from these factors as we saw in the first half of the year.”

On what good news there is, from Eck: “We believe that the success we are experiencing in security and the modest sequential pickup in project business are both driven by our unique approach to distribution which focuses on assisting customers in making decisions based on the products' technical attributes in the customers applications.”

On how things “feel” in the first part of July, from Letham: “The very flat daily sales pattern…continued into the first three weeks of the third quarter so if you stand back and you say how does this environment feel? It actually—I'd point you back to the 2002 timeframe.
“What's playing out here looks a lot like 2002, when we went through a series of quarters where the top line was virtually the same quarter after quarter. And that seems to be that the sort of general feel to market conditions at the moment, which hopefully is a—well, we'll look at it as a glass is half full, as a positive sign that we're in the bottom of this recession and all we're doing is ticking up days until the upturn is about to kick in.”

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Verizon Work Force Reductions Climb to 16,000

To date, Verizon has laid off 8,000 employees, and it says this latest round of 8,000 job cuts will come during the third quarter. Verizon's shares fell to 95 cents, or 3 percent, to $30.55 in trading Monday.

During the second-quarter earnings call, Chief Financial Officer John Killian said that the beleaguered economy's effect on the wireline business will "continue into the second half of the year." However, Killian added that the company will look for other areas where it can cut costs.

Verizon has confirmed that slow demand from business users is forcing the ILEC to reduce its wireline workforce by another 8,000 employees. The operator reported that second quarter net income dropped 7 percent.

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WESCO International, Inc. Reports Second Quarter 2009 Results

 Strong second quarter cash flow contributed to record year-to-date operating cash flow of $205 million - Reduced comparable quarter selling, general and administrative expenses by $37 million - Productivity initiatives will deliver $90 million of sustainable cost reductions

Press Release

Source: WESCO International, Inc.

On Thursday July 23, 2009, 7:00 am EDT

PITTSBURGH, July 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- WESCO International, Inc. (NYSE: WCC - News), a leading provider of electrical MRO products, construction materials, and advanced integrated supply procurement outsourcing services, today announced its 2009 second quarter financial results.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20030508/WCCLOGO )

Consolidated net sales for the second quarter of 2009 were $1,159 million compared with $1,588 million for the second quarter of 2008, a decrease of 27%. Adjusted for the negative impact of foreign exchange, consolidated sales decreased 25.6% for the quarter. Gross margin for the quarter was 19.3%, down 20 basis points, compared to the same quarter of 2008. Selling, general and administrative ("SG&A") expenses were $169.9 million, which were $37.0 million less than the second quarter of 2008 and $17.6 million less than the first quarter of 2009. Operating income for the quarter was $47.6 million versus $96.8 million in last year's comparable quarter. Joint venture income was $1.1 million versus $2.6 million in last year's comparable quarter.

Total debt, net of cash, was $863 million at quarter end, a reduction of $191 million from December 31, 2008. Free cash flow was $67 million for the second quarter 2009 and $199 million for the six months ended June 30, 2009.

Total interest expense for the second quarter of $13.8 million compared to $16.0 million for the second quarter of 2008. On January 1, 2009, WESCO retrospectively implemented the new accounting standard, FSP APB14-1, for its convertible debentures. As a result of this change, $3.8 million and $3.6 million of non-cash interest expense was recorded in the respective second quarters of 2008 and 2009. The overall reduction to interest expense in the second quarter of 2009, relative to the second quarter of 2008, was attributable to lower interest rates and reduced debt levels. The effective tax rate for the current quarter was 24.4% versus 30.5% in the comparable quarter of 2008.

Net income for the second quarter was $26.4 million versus $58.0 million for the comparable quarter in 2008. Diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $0.62 per share versus $1.33 per share in the second quarter of 2008. A total of 42.7 million shares were outstanding as of the end of the second quarter of 2009 compared to 43.6 million shares in the comparable period in 2008.

Mr. John J. Engel, WESCO's Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, commented, "We are taking quick and decisive actions to manage the Company through the global economic downturn. WESCO is currently facing weaker end market demand across most of our served markets. We continue to focus our energies on a series of sales and cost reduction programs and LEAN productivity initiatives to efficiently serve our customers and take market share in this challenging environment."

Mr. Stephen A. Van Oss, Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, stated, "Our cost reduction efforts will continue throughout the remainder of the year. Actions are focused on branch optimization, staffing adjustments, and further elimination of discretionary expenses. Through the second quarter, we have made staffing adjustments of over 900 positions from last year's employment levels. We are on target to reduce overall 2009 SG&A expenses by over $140 million compared to 2008. On a year-over-year basis, gross margins declined by 20 basis points due to a heavier mix of direct ship business. LEAN initiatives are aimed at sales activities and on improving gross margin performance. We anticipate seeing improved gross margins over the remainder of the year."

Mr. Van Oss continued, "Effective working capital management resulted in excellent free cash flow which was directed toward debt reduction. For the quarter, our variable rate debt was reduced by $76 million and liquidity increased to $389 million. We continue to be focused on cash generation, debt reduction and improving the Company's capital structure to maximize liquidity and operational flexibility."

Consolidated net sales for the six months ended June 30, 2009 were $2,339 million versus $3,053 million in last year's comparable period, a 23.4% decrease. Consolidated sales decreased 21.6% for the six months ended June 30, 2009 when adjusted for the negative impact of foreign exchange. Gross margin in the current six-month period of 19.8% was equivalent to the prior year comparable period. SG&A expenses for the six months ending June 30, 2009 were $357.3 million or $61.2 million lower than the comparable period in 2008. Operating income totaled $91.2 million versus $173.9 million last year. The effective tax rate for the 2009 six month period was 26.4% versus 30.6% in the comparable period. Net income for the 2009 year-to-date period was $49.7 million versus $100.7 million last year. Diluted earnings per share were $1.17 per share in 2009 versus $2.30 per share in 2008.

Mr. Engel continued, "Customers are increasingly looking for new ways to streamline their supply chains while improving the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations. WESCO professionals are effectively addressing these needs and are demonstrating a high degree of personal commitment and extra effort in serving our customers each and every day. We're building on our leading National Accounts and Integrated Supply business models, capturing new customers and expanding with current customers. We're also encouraged by our efforts targeting government and stimulus plan opportunities which are expected to provide incremental revenue opportunities as we move through 2009 and into 2010. Our priorities remain centered on providing superior customer satisfaction with our unparalleled product and service offering, and continuing to develop and strengthen our team to ensure that we will emerge an even stronger Company when the economy rebounds."

Teleconference

WESCO will conduct a teleconference to discuss the second quarter earnings as described in this News Release on Thursday, July 23, 2009, at 11:00 a.m. E.D.T. The conference call will be broadcast live over the Internet and can be accessed from the Company's website at http://www.wesco.com. The conference call will be archived on this Internet site for seven days.

WESCO International, Inc. (NYSE: WCC - News) is a publicly traded Fortune 500 holding company, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, whose primary operating entity is WESCO Distribution, Inc. WESCO Distribution is a leading distributor of electrical construction products and electrical and industrial maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) supplies, and is the nation's largest provider of integrated supply services. 2008 annual sales were approximately $6.1 billion. The Company employs approximately 6,400 people, maintains relationships with over 23,000 suppliers, and serves more than 115,000 customers worldwide. Major markets include commercial and industrial firms, contractors, government agencies, educational institutions, telecommunications businesses and utilities. WESCO operates seven fully automated distribution centers and approximately 400 full-service branches in North America and select international markets, providing a local presence for area customers and a global network to serve multi-location businesses and multi-national corporations.

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BUILDINGGREEN IS PROUD TO PARTNER WITH WEST COAST GREEN

- the largest interactive conference on green innovation for the built environment.

Join the community of 14,000 international innovators and entrepreneurs at West Coast Green, returning to San Francisco at the Fort Mason Center October 1-3, 2009, and collaborate to turn passion into action and transform the built environment.

The West Coast Green experience is a feast of innovations, ideas and opportunities designed to expand your business, widen your vision, and stimulate your thinking with the latest best practices and key players in building, business and design:

   * Interactive sessions and summits on topics including Smart Systems, Clean Tech Innovations, The New Energy Economy, Social Innovations and more!

   * Design Charrettes and Conversation Salons facilitated by industry experts that tackle real-world issues and create valuable connectionshttp://tinyurl.com/net4eh

   * Top speakers who share their technical knowledge, on-the-ground expertise, and visionary wisdom while inspiring action and changehttp://tinyurl.com/nvwxon

   * Expo floor featuring over 300 companies showcasing the most current products and technologies; innovations so new that they have yet to hit the market http://tinyurl.com/lyb5wv

Discover what inspires you to create change.

October 1-3, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco CA

Let us know if you have any questions.

Jerelyn Wilson
Outreach Director, BuildingGreen, LLC
Environmental Building News - Jerelyn Wilson (
jerelyn@BuildingGreen.com )

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Ed Brown, The Writing Engineer — www.Writingengineer.com — Announces His Current Projects

Ed used his Integrated Building Systems column in the July issue of NECA’s Electrical Contractor Magazine, www.ecmag.com, to describe the focus on saving energy that was the main theme of this year’s Lightfair International, http://www.lightfair.com/.  According to Tara Tuschinski, Senior Manager, Media Relations, Lightfair International broke all records of attendee numbers this May in New York, welcoming 23,416 registered attendees. Attendees came from all over the world, representing a dynamic cross-section of professions.

In his August IBS column, continues with his lighting theme, by looking at the pros and cons of different approaches to daylight harvesting.

Also in the August issue of Electrical Contractor, Ed will have the third in his series of feature articles on practical problems with implementing renewable sources of electrical energy.

Ed is proud to announce that he will be writing two feature articles about alternate energy  for NFPA’s necplus. www.writingengineer.com

necplus, www.necplus.org,  is a Web-based subscription product offered by the National Fire Protection Association, www.nfpa.org.  It was developed in response to the ongoing need to forward and support the safe and practical use of the National Electrical Code® and to make electrical safety information more immediately and widely available. necplus.org is the most reliable online resource for NEC® and NFPA 70E® standards information and education. It provides a searchable online database of the latest available Codes, updated monthly with:

·   The latest relevant ROPs and ROCs

·   Links to related sections of the current UL White Book

·   PDFs of complex tables

·   Staff notes, illustrations, and detailed examples

·   Monthly feature articles giving in-depth and insightful information

·   Code Topic of the Month to keep you abreast of new requirements, industry trends, and best practices

Ed Brown, Director = The WRITING ENGINEER (ebeditor@writingengineer.com)
A leading independent professional writing service
WRITING, RESEARCH, EDITING & TECHNICAL EXPERTISE
16 W.16th Street 5CS
New York, NY 10011

tel:   212-924-0023
fax:  212-924-9599
cell: 917-743-9499

Electricians Juice Up Ann Arbor NJATC

First of two major union training events comes to town

By Mary Morgan

August 1, 2009

This logo appears on apparel for sale at this weekend's trade show for the National Training Institute for the National Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee (NJATC).

With about 2,000 people coming to town for a week-long electricians training institute starting Aug. 1, the logistical prep for this event is fairly intense. To watch just a small piece of that advance work, The Chronicle swung by the University of Michigan Indoor Track Building on Friday, where dozens of people were setting up for a massive two-day trade show that kicks off the training program.

This is the 20th year for the National Training Institute, put on by the National Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee – you’ll see signs around town referring to both NTI and NJATC. But it’s the first time that the group has held its event in Ann Arbor, bringing an estimated economic impact of $5 million during one of the slowest times of the year for local businesses.

We encountered a bit of economic impact on the trade show floor as well.

David Rozycki, a UM sophomore, got a job helping with the electricians training institute. Later in August, he'll help out with the plumbers and pipefitters convention, also held on UM's campus.

On Friday, David Rozycki, who’ll be a sophomore at UM this fall, was sitting on a stool next to the loading dock. That day he was a designated gofer. On Saturday, he’ll be working the registration table, and during the remainder of the week he’ll be part of the tech crew, making sure projectors and other equipment are functional.

He’d heard about the job through a friend of a friend, and had interviewed for it back in May. He’s one of dozens of staff from this area hired to drive shuttle vans, act as wayfinders (standing at certain key locations and offering directions to anyone who asks or looks lost), be a concierge at local hotels, and do any number of other jobs that make the event run as smoothly as possible.

Security is another job that requires local workers. Southfield-based RSIG Security is providing that service for NTI, and the guard on duty at the trade show told us it wasn’t quite as demanding as a rock concert or sporting event.

Asking that we not use his name, he also revealed that he’d worked security detail for the Rob Reiner movie “Flipped,” when it recently filmed in Ann Arbor’s Virginia Park.

Further back in the cavernous space – transformed with blue carpeting, patriotic bunting and more than 150 booths – we encountered UM sound engineer Tim O’Farrell setting up the PA system for the show.

O’Farrell said that the system was fairly new and required a bit of rewiring. When we noted that he was in the right place to be talking about rewiring, he politely pointed out that there was, in fact, a difference between electronics – his field – and the electrical industry that was putting on this weekend’s trade show.

Tim O'Farrell sets up the PA system for the NTI/NJATC trade show

We might have been more informed about that distinction if we had read any of the 200 or so books that Marty Riesberg and Jim Simpson were placing on display at one of the booths near the center of the venue. Titles included “Applied Codeology: Understanding the 2005 National Electrical Code,” “Sound Reinforcement Handbook” and “NJATC Traffic Signal Technician Student Workbook.”

Simpson, NJATC’s assistant director of curriculum, urged us to return on Saturday when the display looked better. But if we were interested in actually buying one of the books, we’d be out of luck, he said. They weren’t for sale, just for show.

People attending the training sessions might receive some of the books as part of their class. Otherwise, you’d have to order them from NJATC’s official distributor.

He also said that they’d been favorably impressed with Ann Arbor, from what they’d seen so far. They were staying at the Holiday Inn North Campus, but had been able to walk around town and campus to some extent. He said they were looking for a certain building on campus, where training classes will be held, and were apparently looking lost when a woman came up and asked if she could help. It turns out that she’s someone hired to be a wayfinder – though she was off duty at the time. Her instincts for the job are spot on, clearly.

Another person who liked what he saw so far was Mark Cerulla, NJATC comptroller. He was opening cardboard boxes filled with clothing – polo shirts, T-shirts, caps, and such – all with the NJATC logo embroidered on them, which will be on sale during the trade show. He said that though they’d traditionally held the training at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, UM’s support of organized labor had played a large role in relocating to Ann Arbor and the UM campus.

Michelle Spivey hangs shirts with the embroidered NJATC logo

Soon after our conversation with Cerulla as we were leaving the building, someone walked past talking on his cell phone: “It looks like a heat sink – it’s got fins on it!”

You can overhear more of this kind of codeology if you go to the Aug. 5 block party on South Main, hosted by the Ann Arbor Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Ann Arbor Main Street Area Association. The free event runs from 6-10 p.m. It includes a motorcycle and classic car display, and live music by Bluescasters.

NTI runs through Friday, Aug. 7. The following day marks the start of the next union event: the United Association (UA) of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry, which will also bring 2,000 or so people to Ann Arbor through Aug. 14. Most of those training classes will be held at Washtenaw Community College.

This small section of track is one of the few spots not covered by bright blue carpet throughout the UM Indoor Track Building

Denise Jenkins, assistant NTI coordinator, helps two trade show vendors check in

Marty Riesberg, left, NJATC director of curriculum, confers with assistant director of curriculum Jim Simpson as they put out books for display

One of many signs you'll see around town related to the NTI/NJATC

This crate had been delivered to the loading dock of the Indoor Track Building

http://annarborchronicle.com/2009/08/01/electricians-juice-up-ann-arbor/

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2009 NAED HR & Training Conference September 14-16 in St. Louis

Conference Equips HR and Training Professionals with the Tools and Knowledge Needed to Become Key Players in Helping Their Organization’s Bottom Line

ST. LOUISThe National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) invites industry professionals in human resources and training roles to the third annual HR & Training Conference. This year’s theme is “Adding Value to Your Company’s Bottom Line.” Attendees will hear speakers tackle critical issues facing organizations; learn valuable new skills; share and learn what works in best-practices panel sessions; and make and strengthen key industry connections in planned networking sessions. The conference takes place at the Westport Conference Center at Westport Plaza in St. Louis, Mo., September 14-16.

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AFL Telecommunications Achieves Major Milestone

Manufactures and Ships 150,000thkm of Optical Ground Wire

Spartanburg, South Carolina - July 6, 2009
AFL Telecommunications reached a monumental milestone, manufacturing and shipping its 150,000th kilometer of Optical Ground Wire (OPGW), making it the first company in the world to achieve this noteworthy distinction. Since 1985 when the company first began manufacturing OPGW at its Duncan, South Carolina facility, AFL has shipped this high-tech cable to more than 65 countries worldwide – in regions as demanding as the Alaskan tundra to the stunning landscapes of Zambia.

“Optical Ground Wire was the product on which our company was founded nearly 25 years ago,” said Kurt Dallas, Vice President and General Manager of AFL's Cable Systems.  “Since then, AFL's products and services have grown into all facets of telecommunications.  Our ability to succeed and excel in a global market for two-and-a-half decades is a testament to our longevity and commitment to quality. We owe a debt of gratitude to our utility customers throughout North America and the World.  We are already looking forward to the next 150,000 kilometers as our company continues to grow and thrive.”

KAMO Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (KAMO Power) is the recipient of the 150,000th cable kilometer. Headquartered in Vinita, Oklahoma, KAMO is a Generation and Transmission (G&T) cooperative serving 17 member distribution cooperatives in northeast Oklahoma and southwest Missouri.

“Having a robust and reliable communications infrastructure is critical to operating a complex electrical network in the most safe and efficient manner possible,” states Walter Kenyon, Chief Technology Officer for KAMO Electric Cooperative, Inc. “AFL's commitment to high quality products and services has played a key role in our ability to monitor the electrical network on a second by second basis, as well as provide the framework on which Smart Grid technologies will be deployed today and in the future.”

AFL and KAMO are celebrating this event prior to the installation of the cable. Starting at AFL's facility in South Carolina, the fiber optic cable was specially-wrapped with a design commemorating the 150,000th km and employees gathered around the reel prior to shipping for a special photo op – a memoir for each who was instrumental in shaping AFL, commencing in this event. From there the cable will travel on a flat bed truck to KAMO Power's headquarters where executives from both companies will participate in celebrating this achievement again. 

Optical Ground Wire (OPGW) is a dual-functioning cable that serves as the ground wire for power lines, while providing a path for the transmission of voice, video or data signals by incorporating optical fibers into the design of the cable. OPGW is placed at the highest point on power utility structures, allowing for fast, cost-effective installations with exceptional reliability.

About AFL Telecommunications
AFL Telecommunications is an industry leader in providing fiber optic products, engineering expertise and integrated services to the Electric Utility, Broadband, Telco, OEM, Private Network and Wireless markets. It has operations in the U.S., Mexico and Europe. AFL Telecommunications is a subsidiary of Fujikura Ltd. of Japan

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BOMA Conference Recap

It was great seeing many of you at the BOMA International Conference last week in Philadelphia. For those of you who missed the conference, read a recap of highlights on our News Page, which includes…

-Insight from top industry executives on marketplace realities and opportunities

-BOMA President Henry Chamberlain’s annual State of the Industry address

-News on the inaugural class of BOMA 360 Performance Building designees

-Winners of the annual Office Building of the Year (TOBY) awards

-Election of BOMA officers, including 2009-2010 BOMA Chair James A. Peck, RPA, FMA

Read the full story here www.boma.org/NEWS/BOMAIN/Pages/default.aspx#063009z

Please feel free to contact me if you have any question, would like to schedule a follow-up interview or need a photo.

Regards,

Laura Horsley

Director of Communications and Editor, The BOMA Magazine
Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA) International
1101 15th St., NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20005
lhorsley@boma.org

Industry Gathers to Map a Road to Recovery at BOMA Conference

BOMA members throughout the commercial real estate industry gathered in Philadelphia, June 28–30, for the BOMA International Conference and The Office Building Show, the industry´s premier gathering and perhaps BOMA´s most important conference in years. For three packed days, attendees networked, shared information and ideas, and were connected to the experts and strategies to help them survive one of the most difficult market cycles in recent memory.

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Sunday General Session Highlights

Mayor John Nutter Welcomes BOMA to Philadelphia

Philadelphia Mayor John Nutter helped kick off the BOMA International Conference by welcoming BOMA members to the city of brotherly "and sisterly" love and thanking BOMA for its leadership in Philadelphia and across the country. Mayor Nutter also recognized BOMA´s leadership on energy and sustainability, refering to the success of both the 7–point Challenge and BEEP.

Panelists Discuss Marketplace Realities and Opportunities

Panelists participating in the "Searching for Value in all the Right Places" Sunday General Session, sponsored by Yardi/SiteStuff, pulled no punches about the stress the credit crisis has had on commercial real estate. Perry Schonfeld, principal with LBA Realty LLC, noted that a "lack of clarity and confidence" in the economy is holding back potential deals. Panelists agreed that asset management will be key as the industry works toward recovery and is more important than ever to stakeholders. Chip Akridge, chairman of Akridge, stressed the importance of keeping clients happy, telling attendees "We have to stay close to clients and find out what they need. This is where it will be won or lost."

Other panelists included William P. Hankowsky, chairman, president & CEO of Liberty Property Trust and T. Patrick Duncan, chairman & CEO, USAA Real Estate Company. The session was moderated by Andrew C. Florance, president and CEO of CoStar Group.

Monday General Session Highlights

Dr. Fareed Zakaria Offers Insight on New Global Marketplace

During the Monday General Session sponsored by ThyssenKrupp Elevator, renowned economist Dr. Fareed Zakaria discussed the political, economic and technology transformations that have redefined the global marketplace. Dr.Zakaria also told attendees that the recovery will not be shaped by the predictions of academics, but by the 300 million unpredictable responses from individuals across the country.

Chamberlain Delivers State of the Industry

During his annual State of the Industry address at the Monday General Session, BOMA President Henry Chamberlain discussed the good, the bad and the ugly playing out across the marketplace in response to the capital credit crisis. While vacancy rates are now close to 16 percent and look to be headed to 20 percent, the billions in capital waiting on the sidelines could spur recovery once we push beyond this difficult cycle. Chamberlain emphasized the role of property management as the best practices value creator in the industry.

Read the State of the Industry Address

Inaugural Class of BOMA 360 Performance Buildings Recognized

Also during the Monday General Session, BOMA Vice Chair Ray Mackey announced the first class of BOMA 360 Performance Buildings. "With this recognition these designees are sending a message to their owners, tenants and prospective tenants that they are optimizing building performance at every level,"said Mackey.

Read more about the BOMA 360 Performance Program Buildings

Other Highlights

A Night to Remember at the TOBY Awards

During the annual Office Building of the Year (TOBY) Awards, sponsored by Securitas Security Services USA, 14 commercial properties were recognized for excellence in office building management and operations in specific categories of building size or type. Other highlights of the evening included BOMA International Chair Dick Purtell honoring BOMA Secretary/Treasurer Dave Stucky with the annual Chair’s Award, and the announcement of three Outstanding Members of the Year from three local BOMA Regions:

Middle Atlantic Region – Louis J. Mantia, BOMA/New York.

Southern Region – Sally Elliott, BOMA/Atlanta

Southwest Region – Karrie S. McCampbell, Dallas/BOMA and Texas BOMA.

James A. Peck, RPA, FMA, was formally sworn in as 2009–2010 BOMA International Chair during the ceremony. In his acceptance speech, Peck told BOMA members "We have had many challenges in recent months and more may be on the horizon, but I´m confident that BOMA is uniquely positioned to strengthen all of our careers through our programs, education and advocacy."

Financing Structures, Operating Trends and Healthcare Reform top MOB Topics

Prior to the BOMA International Conference, nearly 450 healthcare real estate professionals (hospital executives, healthcare owners and managers, lenders, investors, developers) attended BOMA´s annual Medical Office Buildings and Healthcare Facilities (MOB) Conference in Philadelphia. Thought leaders from healthcare real estate companies and hospital systems addressed key issues before the industry, such as the financial wherewithal of health systems, whether the "recession–proof" label many have given healthcare real estate is valid, "clinic" models for ambulatory care, emerging hospital–employed physician models, CMS reimbursements and the effects of potential healthcare reform under a new Administration and Congress.

Renowned Wharton School of Business Economist and Keynote speaker Dr. Peter Linneman told attendees that healthcare was the only sector of the economy, besides the government, not shrinking, and that the "stimulus"effect of spending the trillions of dollars waiting on the sideline could be stunning.

Look for a full recap of the MOB Conference in upcoming BOMA publications, including The BOMA Magazine.

The Value BOMA Members Come for—Education and The Office Building Show

BOMA members packed into the 40–plus Education Sessions offered across five value–driven tracks focusing on the strategies property professional need to survive in today´s turbulent marketplace. Tracks included: Maximizing Asset Value, Building a Sustainable Bottom Line, Leading Effectively in Challenging Times, Going Lean: Managing With Less, Optimizing Building Operations: Tools for Building Engineers

The Office Building Show was bustling with commercial real estate professionals looking for the cutting–edge, cost effective products and services to ensure that their buildings stand out. The best minds, best products and best services were on all on display on the tradeshow floor, including the latest in energy efficient solutions at the popular BOMA Green Pavilion and ENERGY STAR® Showcase.

BOMA/Philadelphia helped attendees connect with history and so much more during the Welcome Party at the National Constitution Center. Sensational entertainment, fabulous food and interactive exhibits and displays made it a night to remember. BOMA/Philadelphia also sponsored a popular "diamond heist" BOMAPAC fundraiser that raised more than $11,000 dollars for the PAC.

Board of Governors Meeting Highlights

BOMA Vice President of Education and Research Lorie Damon, and Vice President with Kingsley Associates Phil Mobley, announced that the Experience Exchange Report (EER) has migrated online with greater functionality, cost efficiency and ease of use. BOMA members participated in live demos of the online 2009 EER throughout the tradeshow in the BOMA booth.

The Board of Governors also voted to adopt the following five new policy positions on:

Voluntary Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction

Voluntary Model Building Energy Performance Program

Voluntary Model Building Energy Performance Program

Commercial Real Estate Credit Crisis

Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits, or REMIC rules

BOMA International´s newest officers and executive committee members were approved during the Board of Governors.

New Officers include:

Vice Chair – Boyd R. Zoccola, Hokanson Companies, Inc., BOMA/Indianapolis

Secretary/Treasurer - Kent Gibson, CPM, Zions Securities Corporation, BOMA/Utah

New Executive Committee members include:

Angelo J. Grima, Grubb & Ellis Management Services, Inc., BOMA/New York

Karrie S. McCampbell, CPM, Transwestern, BOMA/Dallas

Laura T. Ragans, RPA, Manulife Financial, BOMA/Orlando

Perry Schonfeld, MBA, CPA, LBA Realty, BOMA/Orange County

David M. Stucky, City of San Diego, BOMA/San Diego

Look for a full wrap–up of the Board of Governors´ Meeting in upcoming BOMA publications.

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BuildingGreen Launches LEEDuser

New Website Provides Expert Help for LEED 2009

BRATTLEBORO, VT (July 8, 2009) - Responding to the need for comprehensive help with the new LEED rating systems that's based on real-world experience, BuildingGreen, LLC, publishers of the widely respected Environmental Building News and GreenSpec Directory, have created LEEDuser with support of the U.S. Green Building Council.

This new website, at www.LEEDuser.com, provides credit-by-credit guidance for teams working on LEED certification. Included are clear descriptions of credit requirements, tips to streamline LEED submissions, online calculators, and online user forums related to specific credits. LEEDuser facilitates LEED certification for projects using the five recently launched LEED 2009 rating systems: New Construction, Core & Shell, Schools, Commercial Interiors, and Existing Buildings Operations & Maintenance.

"Our goal with LEEDuser is to demystify LEED while supporting projects in achieving the highest possible environmental goals," said BuildingGreen President and long-time LEED faculty member Nadav Malin, LEED AP. LEEDuser achieves those goals with diagrams illustrating key aspects of each prerequisite and credit, an extensive checklist of insider tips, and suggestions to help with project certification. It also provides the official LEED credit language in an accessible online format, and a documentation toolkit with templates, calculators, and samples of typical completed LEED submittals.

"A lot has changed with LEED 2009," said Malin. "LEEDuser will substantially simplify the submission process, saving time and avoiding confusion." BuildingGreen is creating LEEDuser with the consultants at YRG Sustainability and host of other LEED experts and topic-area specialists. The creators of LEEDuser have experience on hundreds of design teams for LEED-certified buildings, as LEED trainers, and as LEED certification reviewers.

LEEDuser is available now in beta release with free registration at www.LEEDuser.com. It already covers the credits that users have found most challenging, and it will continue to expand throughout the summer. Beginning in October 2009 the website will be available by subscription.

Jerelyn Wilson
802-257-7300 ext. 102
jerelyn@buildinggreen.com  For more information, visit www.LEEDuser.com.

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Carlini’s Comments

CHICAGONorth Korea doesn’t have anything that could reach the U.S. Or do they? The threat of nuclear bombs is such a remote possibility today that no one really thinks about it these days. Is this really true?

Perhaps you should rethink that threat when you see how many bombs could potentially come to your city. Check out the nuke-o-meter and plug in your city to find out approximately how much of a threat there is for your city.

Try Chicago. Surprised? I was.

Now put in some of the east and west coast cities. It’s funny how Chicago has a potential of more nuclear missiles that can reach here than places including D.C., New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Can someone explain that to me?

If you read some of the extremists from both sides, you get a range of comments. For example:

New America paranoids have a very special flavor of craziness. It’s the belief that the country will be devastated by an electromagnetic pulse attack and not enough is being done to combat the grave threat.

There are also people on the conservative side saying we better take heed of this type of attack.

In an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack, the damage to power lines, supervisory control and data acqui¬sition control systems (for utility systems infrastructure) and commercial computers would very likely be permanent due to fused power lines and lost data.

This would require replacing the entire electric system in the affected area.

One esti¬mate warns that the likely costs from the detonation of an EMP weapon over the Washington, D.C. met¬ropolitan area could exceed $770 billion. Millions of Americans could suffer death or injury and social chaos could ensue.

Building a better electronic infrastructure should be one of the priorities from the federal stimulus package in order to leave some residual benefits for future generations.

I love the naïve people who put up some nuclear-free zone sign as if that’s going to protect them from reality. That’s like putting on some aluminum foil over your head and thinking that will protect you from radiation.

How Vulnerable Are You From an Attack?

In the era of EMP bombs, you don’t need a sophisticated launch platform and control system that can provide pinpoint accuracy from several thousand miles away. All it has to do is detonate in the atmosphere above the Earth.

An EMP bomb can be launched offshore from a ship or submarine. All it has to do is reach about 100 to 150 miles in the atmosphere, detonate and fry all the unprotected circuits and electronics that are in a thousand-mile radius (or more).

One bomb can devastate much more territory without turning the landscape into toast. Think of it as a giant umbrella over the Earth making vulnerable everything underneath the blast that has unprotected circuits.

That being said, the probability of an EMP attack is more likely than an all-out nuclear attack especially from someone like Kim Jong Il who likes playing the game of chicken. Getting to a point off either coast is not beyond the realm of possibility for countries that at first glance would not even be viewed as a threat.

This type of devastation may not even come from an attack of a rogue nation. It could just be part of the weather.

The strongest geomagnetic storm on record is the Carrington event of Aug. to Sept. 1859, which is named after British astronomer Richard Carrington who witnessed the instigating solar flare with his unaided eye while he was projecting an image of the sun on a white screen.

Geomagnetic activity triggered by the explosion electrified telegraph lines. It shocked technicians and set their telegraph papers on fire. The Northern Lights spread as far south as Cuba and Hawaii. Auroras over the Rocky Mountains were so bright that the glow woke campers who began preparing breakfast because they thought it was morning.

“A contemporary repetition of the Carrington event would cause … extensive social and economic disruptions,” the report warns. Power outages would be accompanied by radio blackouts and satellite malfunctions. Telecommunications, GPS navigation, banking and finance and transportation would all be affected.

Some problems would correct themselves with the fading of the storm. Radio and GPS transmissions could come back online fairly quickly. Other problems would be lasting. A burnt-out multi-ton transformer, for instance, can take weeks or months to repair.

The total economic impact in the first year alone could reach $2 trillion. This could be some 20 times greater than the costs of a Hurricane Katrina or, to use a timelier example, a few TARPs.

Wake Up

There is a time for fear mongering and a time to wake up to the facts. Now is the time to wake up to the facts. The media should be covering EMP bombs rather than the latest political sex scandal.

In all disaster recovery plans for both municipalities and corporations, are there any provisions for EMP protection? There should be because EMP bombs were a threat in the Cold War. If you are at a company or municipality, that might be a question to bring up at the next executive meeting.

Disaster recovery or business continuity plans (unless mandated by regulations like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act) usually are not as viable as you might think. One thing that was clearly evident after Sept. 11, 2001 is that most companies at the World Trade Center that were affected had poor disaster recovery plans. They fell into three categories of preparedness:

For most organizations, the first thing they have to do is dust off their disaster recovery plan or their emergency response plans in the case of municipalities. In some cases, chances are they have not been updated or even tested.

Carlinism: The people who disregard real threats are the same people wandering around after a disaster they thought could never happen and asking what someone else can do for them.

Watch James Carlini’s interview with the Illinois Channel Network on broadband connectivity and economic development that’s currently being broadcast to more than 1.4 million homes. Check out Carlini’s blog at CarlinisComments.com. Follow daily Carlinisms at Twitter.

James Carlini is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University. He is also president of Carlini & Associates. Carlini can be reached at james.carlini@sbcglobal.net or 773-370-1888.

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Does Polystyrene Insulation Belong In A Green Building?

Environmental Building News Says "No"

CONTACT:
Jerelyn Wilson
802-257-7300 ext. 102
jerelyn@buildinggreen.com

BRATTLEBORO, VT, August 3, 2009 - In an August 2009 feature article entitled, "Polystyrene Insulation: Does It Belong in a Green Building?," Environmental Building News executive editor Alex Wilson says there's enough health and environmental evidence to suggest that the answer is "No." Wilson describes various problems with polystyrene insulation, including the hazards of a flame retardant used in it, and recommends that alternatives be used when doing so will not compromise a building's energy performance.

"All insulation materials are green on one level,"
Wilson points out, "because they play a huge role in reducing building energy consumption." But polystyrene insulation may not be the best choice from a health and environmental standpoint. First, the plastic from which the insulation is made (polystyrene) is produced from some fairly toxic chemicals-benzene is a known human carcinogen, while styrene is considered an endocrine disruptor, asthma inducer, and possible carcinogen.

Second, all polystyrene building insulation-both extruded (XPS) and expanded (EPS)-contains the brominated flame retardant HBCD, which European agencies have labeled both a persistent organic pollutant and a persistent bioaccumulative toxin. Despite significant effort, industry has so far been unable to find a substitute flame retardant that will impart fire-resistant properties without adding toxicity risks.

"Polystyrene is the least green of common insulation materials," Wilson writes in the article, which outlines several ways in which polystyrene insulation could be replaced with alternative materials or otherwise be made safer in building applications. In an accompanying editorial in the same issue, Environmental Building News argues that we should look for alternatives: "EBN recommends that use of polystyrene insulation made with HBCD should be avoided in buildings as long as doing so will not sacrifice energy performance or durability."

One solution to the HBCD flame retardant concern would be for manufacturers to offer XPS and EPS for below-grade applications that do not contain any flame retardant. "A lot of people assume that all polystyrene insulation has to be flame-retardant-treated," says Wilson, "but that's not the case." Because there is no risk of fire underground, building codes allow non-treated foam insulation to be used as long as there is at least one inch of concrete or masonry between the insulation and the building interior. "The challenge will be to convince manufacturers to offer products exclusively for below-grade installations," according to Wilson.

Another option is to substitute safer insulation materials for XPS or EPS. The article addresses both above-grade and below-grade options. "Rigid mineral wool performs very well on exterior foundation walls, and it is being used beneath concrete slabs in Europe," says Wilson. Spray polyurethane foam is also being used in Canada and the northern U.S. for these applications.

"Polystyrene Insulation: Does it Belong in a Green Building?" was published in the August 2009 issue of EBN. Access to the full article requires a membership in BuildingGreen.com, but key points can be found in
Wilson's blog on the topic.

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The Hanley Foundation To Present First Annual Hanley Award And $50,000 Grant To A Pioneering Architect, Author, Educator And Visionary

Edward Mazria Receives the 2009 Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Housing

Washington, D.C. July 15, 2009—Santa Fe, N.M., architect and champion of building energy efficiency Edward Mazria, AIA was named this year’s winner of The Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Housing. Mazria was selected from among 18 distinguished nominees by a panel of judges that comprised Michael J. Hanley, president of The Hanley Foundation; Frank Anton, CEO of Hanley Wood; Steven Winter, FAIA, president of Steven Winter Associates; Allison Ewing, AIA, principal of Hays + Ewing Design Studio; and Sarah Susanka, FAIA, principal of Susanka Studios.  

Mazria will receive the award and its $50,000 grant at The USGBC Hanley Award Dinner ceremony November 12 during USGBC’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Phoenix.

The judges had their work cut out for them as all 18 of the nominees submitted for the award by the nominating committee have made significant contributions to advancing sustainability in the industry—whether through the homes they’ve designed and built, their work in research and development, or their efforts to share information through writings and educational outreach.

Mazria’s career and contributions span all of these. From his early award-winning architectural work in the 1970s laying the foundation for siting, energy efficiency, and passive solar design to his groundbreaking The Passive Solar Energy Book published in 1979, the concepts, details, and principles developed by Mazria are unmistakable in today’s modern high-performance homes.

Over the years, Mazria’s architectural work has attracted international attention and his outreach has grown as well. He’s taught architecture at a number of institutions, including the University of New Mexico, the University of Colorado, UCLA, and the University of Oregon.

Throughout his career, he’s never lost sight of his decades-long mission to improve the environmental performance of our buildings through increased environmental awareness and innovations in design and construction.

It is this crucial concern and critical need that motivated Mazria to suspend his architectural practice in 2002 and form Architecture 2030 (architecture2030.org), a non-profit environmental research and education organization based in Santa Fe. Mazria’s research through Architecture 2030 is responsible for placing the building sector at the center of the global warming dialogue. Having shown conclusively that buildings are responsible for half of all U.S. energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, Mazria now focuses on providing well-researched solutions wherein buildings move from being a major contributor to climate change to being a key means to addressing climate change and limiting its impacts.

The organization gets its name from its goal—leading the building sector to reach net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2030—and Mazria has laid out a timeline for measuring progress that has been adopted within a wide range of federal and state legislations, and among industry and environmental circles as well.

“Edward Mazria has had a powerful impact on sustainable housing for more than 35 years,” said Michael J. Hanley, president of The Hanley Foundation and creator of The Hanley Award.  “He has influenced innovative advances in design and technology through his creative architecture, energetic teaching and groundbreaking writing. His current mission with Architecture 2030 brings his vision and leadership to a new level. We are thrilled to name Edward Mazria as the first recipient of The Hanley Award.”

The Hanley Award is sponsored by The Hanley Foundation, EcoHome magazine and Hanley Wood. To learn more about the award program and the people involved, visit the EcoHome Web site (ecohomemagazine.com). To learn more about the 2009 Residential Summit and register for the event, visit the Greenbuild Web site (greenbuildexpo.org/residential-summit).

About Hanley Wood
Hanley Wood, LLC, is the premier media and information company serving housing and construction. Through four operating divisions, the company produces award-winning magazines and Web sites, marquee trade shows and events, rich data, and custom marketing solutions. The company also is North America’s leading publisher of home plans. Hanley Wood Business Media (Washington, D.C.), publishes 30 award-winning residential and commercial construction titles, including BUILDER, REMODELING, CUSTOM HOME, CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION and residential architect.  Hanley Wood Business Media also offers the construction industry’s foremost collection of Web sites, including BUILDER ONLINE, REMODELING ONLINE, and ebuild, the comprehensive online guide to building products, as well as the largest collection of house plans online through ePlans.com and Dream Home Source.

Founded in 1976, Hanley Wood is one of the ten largest B-to-B media companies in the United States. Hanley Wood is owned by affiliates of JPMorgan Partners, which uses CCMP Capital Advisors to manage this investment.

About The Hanley Foundation
The Hanley Foundation supports people and programs working to improve education, health care, the environment, and housing, as well as a variety of humanitarian issues. The Washington, D.C.-based Foundation was created in 1999 by Michael J. Hanley, co-founder and retired CEO of Hanley Wood, LLC.

About EcoHome
EcoHome magazine, along with its Web site and weekly e-newsletters, reaches hundreds of thousands of builders, remodelers, architects, and green building specialists with clear and credible information about green building products, outstanding projects, expert advice on building science and construction systems, and up-to-date news about important research, programs and regulations, and rapidly evolving trends. Last year EcoHome magazine won five national journalism awards, including the 2009 Jesse H. Neal Award for best new publication, and ecohomemagazine.com won min’s national Best of the Web Award for best new Web site (www.ecohomemagazine.com).

About Greenbuild
The U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild International Conference & Expo convenes the industry’s largest gathering of representatives from all sectors of the green building movement.  Three days of extensive educational programming, workshops, a vast exhibition floor and ample networking events provide unrivaled opportunities to learn about the latest technological innovations, explore new products, and exchange ideas with other professionals. Greenbuild 2009 will be held on Nov. 11-13, 2009, in Phoenix, Ariz.  This past year’s conference in Boston drew more than 28,000 attendees and featured more than 800 exhibit booths. Visit www.greenbuildexpo.org for more information.  To view last year’s Greenbuild show, go to www.greenbuild365.org.

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General Cable Corp. Has Acquired Gepco International Inc. and Affiliate Isotec Inc.

 suppliers of cabling products for the broadcast and entertainment industries.

Based in suburban Chicago, the combined companies reported 2008 revenues of about $46 million.  Terms were not disclosed.

Gepco offers a complete line of professional broadcast, entertainment and audio-visual cable; cable assemblies in both standard and custom configurations; interconnect and cable-related accessories; and a full line of optical fiber solutions, General Cable said in a statement announcing the deal.

“With the acquisition of Gepco International and Isotec’s specialty electronic cable business, General Cable expects to significantly expand its share of this important U.S. market as well as leverage General Cable’s global sales infrastructure with this technically superior brand of multimedia cables in markets all over the world. We expect the market for these products to grow at roughly two times GDP in the U.S. and somewhat higher internationally due to ongoing global analog-to-digital conversions,” said Jay Lahman, vice president and general manager for General Cable’s Carol, Gepco and Isotec products.

Gary Geppert, the Gepco’s founder, has agreed to stay with the company. Gepco cabling solutions are a critical component to the broadcast industry’s continuing innovation in broadcast technologies such as the next-generation super or ultra-high definition video, the company said.

Highland Heights-based General Cable (NYSE: BGC) develops, manufactures, and distributes copper, aluminum and fiber optic wire and cable products for the global energy, industrial and communications markets.

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What is Open Architecture?

And, what are its advantages?

The purpose of this paper is to clearly and fully explain why network infrastructure solutions, marketed under a branded name and consisting of either one or two manufacturers’ products, exist in the market today.  This paper will also help illustrate why open architecture, a standards based network solution approach, is a viable alternative with numerous advantages to branded solutions.  We at Hitachi Cable Manchester believe that a well-informed customer will be less inclined to be influenced by marketing hype and more likely to make sound decisions based on fact. 

A little history first…

To better understand what open architecture is all about, we must first review the history of local area networks and how they have developed over the years.

Commercially available local area networks, LANs, had their origin in 1977 with the advent of ARCnet.  John Murphy of Datapoint Corporation developed ARCnet, short for Attached Resource Computer network.  This network provided a data rate of 2.5 Mbit/s, supported up to 255 nodes and operated over common coaxial cable.

At the same time, Robert Metcalfe, who at the time worked for Xerox, was busy developing a network that would allow Xerox computers to share printers.  The network he developed, with the assistance of David Boggs, would become what we now know as Ethernet.  The first generation, known as 10Base5, offered a data rate of 10 Mbit/s over a distance of 500 meters. 

In 1979, Metcalfe left Xerox to promote the development and universal acceptance of Ethernet.  In 1983, the Institute for Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) released the Ethernet standard known as 802.3. Early versions of Ethernet ran on various cable types.  It wasn’t until 1990 that twisted-pair cable was selected for Ethernet. 

As Ethernet continued to grow in popularity, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and the Electronic Industries Association (EIA) collaborated to develop a wiring standard that would accommodate Ethernet and provide the manufacturers of cable and connectivity a benchmark to achieve in regards to construction, performance and testing of their products.  It was believed that if all manufacturers built their products in accordance with the standard, one could safely assume that any jack, when mated to any cable, would provide the level of performance indicated in the standard.  This approach, referred to as open architecture, would grant end users the flexibility to choose from a variety of manufacturers and design a local area network that would meet their specific needs.  Compliance to the standard would ensure that the final product would perform as required.  In 1991, ANSI/TIA/EIA released the standard known as ANSI/TIA/EIA-568 Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard.  The international cabling standard ISO/IEC-11801 is based on ANSI/TIA/EIA 568.

As the importance of networks became more and more obvious in the daily operation of most businesses, network performance also became important.  Network electronics were proliferating and performance levels were quickly rising.  As new, more powerful software came to market, throughput demands began to rapidly increase. More advanced versions of Ethernet were being introduced to the market, including 100Base-T which increased data rates 10-fold over the previous Ethernet version. Forward thinking end users also wanted to be prepared for the next generation of electronics so installing the best available infrastructure components seemed like a wise thing to do.  To that end, manufacturers began to make infrastructure products that surpassed the performance requirements of the standards at that time.  They also wanted to out perform their competitors. 

To keep pace with market trends and to ensure that network infrastructures would be compatible with the latest network electronics, ANSI/TIA/EIA released 568-A in 1995.  This standard was superceded by ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B in 2001, and again just recently in February 2009 with the release of ANSI/TIA-568-C. For the purposes of this paper, we will refer to the current complete standard, 568-B, since not all sections of draft C have been released to date.  By regularly updating the 568 standard, ANSI/TIA offers manufacturers an up-to-date benchmark to which they can build products and also provide consumers a quantifiable measuring stick in the form of test parameters with which they can compare products and thus make educated decisions regarding their network infrastructure purchases.

Once there were standards to build cable and connectivity to, manufacturers had to find a way to differentiate themselves from the competition.  One way was for a company to offer a complete solution, or closed solution.  This one company could provide the jacks, cables, patch cords, racks, etc.  Another option was for a manufacturer to join forces with another manufacturer of a piece of the network infrastructure puzzle and jointly market their products.   Typically, connectivity manufacturers partnered with cable manufacturers.   These partnerships are also considered closed solutions.

The ANSI/TIA-568 standards also helped perpetuate packaged infrastructure solutions by stipulating performance requirements not only for the individual components, but for the installed end-to-end solution as well.  The standards include performance requirements for the permanent link, which consists of the cable with connective hardware at each end.  There are also channel requirements that add patch cords to each end of the permanent link. Since permanent link and channel requirements are established in the standards, manufacturers know how their products need to perform not just by themselves, but also when used in conjunction with other infrastructure components.  The obvious reason for this is to ensure the solution will support the applications intended to run over them. The channel and permanent link requirements are also very important to the manufacturers of hand-held testing devices since these manufacturers program their field testers to test to the requirements in the standard.

Field-testing, which is simply the testing of the finished product at the owners site, ensures that the products are installed properly and that they will meet the performance requirements established in the appropriate standard.  With passing test results, the owner can be confident that the solution will support the applications that are appropriate for that solution, such as gigabit Ethernet over Category 6 or 10 gigabit Ethernet over Category 6A.

Closed Solutions Vs. Open Architecture

In network infrastructure, the term open architecture refers to the practice of using virtually any combination of standards-compliant connective hardware in the design of the network.  The standard, ANSI/TIA-568-B dictates the performance requirements of the network components to ensure that they will accommodate the application that the end user wishes to operate through them.  By employing the open architecture philosophy, the end user has the freedom to choose the products that best meet their specific needs and remain confident that together they will perform as intended.  Just like a standard light bulb will fit into any lamp and work when you flip the switch, so will the network perform when you use components that meet or exceed the standards.   This would appear to be the ideal situation.  There is a wide selection of quality products available and if they all work together, then the customer/end user has virtually unlimited options when it comes to designing their network. 

HCM, Manchester, NH

 
Of course there are also different levels of quality and performance to choose from in the market place.  Certainly a wise choice, especially when it comes to cable for the infrastructure, is to select a company that offers guaranteed performance, a substantial warranty, such as a lifetime warranty, and has the personnel both internally and externally to properly support the customer.  If an issue arises, it’s good to have quick and easy access to the manufacturer.  Other items that can contribute to confidence in a product’s selection are if it is manufactured in the U.S. and if the company offers plant tours.  Generally, companies that build a quality product are proud to show customers how they do it.   This may sound a bit over the top, but if you’re investing hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in your infrastructure, these are not trivial items.

Closed solutions, ones in which a specific cable and connectivity manufacturer are used, typically market the advantages that their solution offers over a standards-based solution.  There are a number of these solutions on the market.  If standards-based solutions are the way to go, then why are there so many closed solutions?  There are a number of reasons why this is the case.

The manufacturers in the closed solution may share sales representatives.  Since many manufacturers use contracted sales representatives, if the sales representative sells the two lines in the solution, as well as other related product lines, the sales representative should be able to achieve a higher level of success.  This can also help grow the relationship with the distributor.  When manufacturers collaborate on a solution and promote some aspects of it, performance, warranty, etc. they hope to differentiate themselves from the competitors and increase sales.  In actuality, the goal of the joint solution is to leverage the name recognition/market presence of both companies in a quest to gain market share.  This may sound a bit nefarious, but in actuality, it’s a very typical business arrangement.  A benefit to the end user may be the fact that when they have questions on multiple infrastructure components, they may only have to deal with one company or one individual.  Another perceived advantage may be the offering of an enhanced warranty.  Seldom, however, is there any financial advantage to choosing a closed solution over an open one.  We’ll discuss this in greater detail further on.

Collaborative relationships between companies are not new, however.  Intel, the highest regarded processor manufacturing in the world, partners with computer manufacturers, such as Dell, one of the best know computer lines, to help better promote their own brand name and as a result, they assist in the sale of more Dell computers.  More Dell computers sold, more Intel processors sold.  Hitachi Cable Manchester does the same by promoting the fact that its fiber optic cables include optical fiber manufactured by Corning, the leader in optical glass manufacturing.  When HCM sells more fiber optic cable, Corning sells more optical fiber.  The relationships mentioned above are simply examples of when one product helps to increase the value of another and thus creates a net gain for both companies. What should also be considered is if that relationship actually provides any increased value to the end user.  Is there a performance gain or some other advantage that can be attributed to the use of that product/solution?

Performance

Is performance of the network infrastructure important?  You bet it is.  Studies have indicated that approximately 50% of network problems are related to the network infrastructure.  In the infrastructure, the cable is typically the most expensive component in the solution and it is certainly the most difficult to remove and replace.  In fact, in many branded solutions where multiple options exist, if one were to compare the lower performing option to the higher performing option, they would find that only the cable has changed.  All other components remain the same.  The cable can also be a limiting factor when it comes to how well the network will perform.  A poor quality cable can impede the transmission and reception of data packets.  The data will most likely get there, but the data throughput will not be optimum.  With many end users, especially those that deal with financial transactions and medical records, poor network performance could be costly in a number of respects.   Only choose well-known cables verified by a known third party such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).  Also, keep in mind that the network is only as good as its weakest link.  So, any gains that could be achieved with high quality cable and connectivity could be negated by use of inexpensive patch cords. 

When selecting an infrastructure, such as Category 5e, Category 6 or Category 6A, one should also consider the lifespan of the network.  A network infrastructure should be able to accommodate today’s applications as well as those soon to be released.  By not choosing the appropriate category level, you could find that you have limited the future performance of the entire network.  It may not seem to be a big deal now, but five years down the road when the latest network electronics come out, it would be a shame to learn that the infrastructure installed can’t accommodate it.  The thought of replacing the infrastructure with a new one may not sound too appealing to those in the finance department. 

Regarding electrical performance, closed solutions will typically identify some perceived advantage that their solution offers over another.  In reality, there may not be any discernable performance advantage provided by that closed solution over an open architecture based solution.  The fact is that performance beyond the parameters of a particular standard, such as ANSI/TIA-568-B.2-1 (Category 6), may not actually aid in the performance of the network.  The applications for which a particular category were intended to carry, such as gigabit Ethernet over Category 6 cable, will perform within the performance range stipulated in the Category 6 standard.  The standards were written to provide performance above what is needed to support the applications running on them.  Leading connectivity and cable manufacturers will build and test their cables to the appropriate TIA standard.  So, if the listed performance of a cable or jack exceeds the standards, and the components have been independently verified by a reputable third party, such as UL, then it will support the application.  If an end user, however, desires enhanced products for a specific application or for a particular installation, then those specific needs should and can be addressed.  Additional performance, often referred to as “headroom”, may be desirable due to a harsh or unusual installation environment. 

The manufacturers in the closed solutions offer higher performing products than other companies.  Right?  In fact, recent HCM testing has shown that when some HCM cable products were mated to connectivity from the better-known solutions, the performance actually exceeded the published test data of the closed solution.  However, it must also be pointed out that the same cable, installed in a different environment by different technicians, could result in different test results.  The installation environment can play a significant role in product performance.  So, before the infrastructure is installed, how can you be certain that you going to get what the marketing literature says you will get?  Therein lies the challenge.  Some end-users request what is called a “bake off”.  This is when cable and connectivity manufacturers are invited to the customer’s location to set up mock network links and test them.  By inviting a short list of manufacturers to this challenge, the end user can directly verify what type of performance they are likely to get.  Manufacturers that shy away from this opportunity may be the ones to avoid. Of course, when you start with high performance components, you are more likely to end up with a high performance solution.

Third-party Verified

Another item to consider is whether the electrical performance marketed by a solution or a component thereof is the result of testing by a known third-party or if it is generated by the manufacturers.  Some manufacturers use the term “compliant” in regards to electrical performance.  Though this may be acceptable for some components of the infrastructure, it may not be for others. What this typically indicates is that the cable’s electrical performance was tested by the manufacturer, itself.    Again, “compliant” electrical performance may be acceptable for some, but the credibility of the manufacturer and the performance level of the product(s) should come into question.  Verification occurs when a third-party does the electrical testing of the cable then provides the manufacturer documentation of the results.  These third parties, such as UL, will permit the customer, such as a cable manufacturer, to print the verification on the cable jacket.  For example, the print legend on HCM’s Category 6A Supra 10G cable reads, “Verified (UL) Category 6A TIA/EIA 568-B.2-10” which indicates it was tested and verified by UL to the Category 6A standard.  Verified product performance is more desirable than performance that is compliant to a standard.

There is also a tendency in the network infrastructure industry to provide exceptional performance data for a particular product or solution and characterize that data as typical or average.  These titles allow the manufacturers virtually limitless wiggle-room.  Without a solid, guaranteed level of performance, they have very little to be accountable for.  And, since handheld testers used by installers to test the infrastructure are preset to test to the limits of the applicable standard, performance outside of the test parameters can’t be verified.  For example, if a Category 6 solution promotes a particular level of performance at 300 MHz, it can’t easily be verified since the field tester will only test to the maximum frequency of the Category 6 standard, which is 250 MHz.  So, the claim can’t be validated.

Listed is another term that is sometimes confused with verified.  Being listed with a testing lab means the cable has been tested for safety purposes.  National Electrical Code (NFPA-70) is concerned with basically two elements of a communications cable construction, flammability and voltage carrying capacity.  The cable must carry 300 volts and be printed with the appropriate flammability designation, such as CMR or CMP.  Testing by an NEC approved third part is required in order to obtain the listing and therefore be allowed to print the flammability rating on the cable.  Electrical inspectors at construction sites look for these markings on cable jackets.  If the cable has no marking or the wrong marking, it may have to be pulled out.  The NEC is not concerned with how well the cables will accommodate gigabit Ethernet.  So, regarding performance, you’re on your own with a cable that is only listed and not verified.

As a note, compliance to some standards or initiatives, such as the Reduction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) initiative is generally acceptable if documentation from the manufacturer can be provided to substantiate the claim.

Warranty

Every end user wants to be certain that the products they have chosen will be backed by a meaningful warranty.  Most closed solutions offer a warranty carried by one of the companies in the solution, usually the connectivity manufacturer, and it covers the entire solution.  The length of these warranties may be 15 or 25 years. Some even offer a lifetime warranty.  These warranties are only available through a certified installer.  So, in order to receive a warranty, the installation must be performed by an installer that has been certified by the solution manufacturer(s).  This ensures that the work is done in an acceptable manner.  This is, unquestionably, a good practice.  Also, as part of their certification process, some companies offer training programs that can be quite informative.  In addition to installers, some manufacturers will allow distributors, engineers and end users to participate in those training programs.  A few of these companies have even had their training programs accredited by trade organizations, such as BICSI (Building Industry Consultant Services International), and can offer credits for attending their training.  It goes without saying that manufacturers that promote the sharing of information and offer training programs are likely to be more responsive to customer inquires and assist them when necessary.  Companies without those tools and personnel may not be as accommodating.  

In regards to the warranty holder, it is still unclear why the connectivity manufacturers were the first to hold the warranties.   In a typical infrastructure, the majority of the cost is associated with the cable.  To analogize, it would be as if Goodyear Tire should hold the warranty on the automobile on which their tires are installed.  The tires can represent a substantial percent of the cost of the vehicle, but as the owner, wouldn’t you want the entity with the most at stake to hold the warranty?

The closed solution warranties can be comprehensive, but they can also be very restrictive.  Virtually all closed solution warranties restrict future moves, adds and changes to the network in ways that are not always in the best interest of the end user.  For example, representatives from some of the closed solution companies have been known to threaten end-users by telling them that if they integrate non-solution products into their solution, they could place the warranty for the entire infrastructure in jeopardy.  One could argue that this restriction helps keep inferior products and or installers from interacting with the warranted products.  It can also help exclude competition and ensure that the end user only buys solution products.

HCM believes the customer should have the freedom to choose the products that it desires.  That is why HCM offers a lifetime warranty on solutions that include its cables and connectivity from over 20 different connectivity manufacturers including, Hubbell, Ortronics, Leviton, SMP and Hellerman Tyton.  HCM has worked with these manufacturers over the years and is confident in their products’ performance and the performance of a solution that includes their connectivity and HCM cables.  And, when the solution is installed by an HCM certified installer, HCM will provide a Lifetime warranty on the entire solution.  That’s longer than many closed solution warranties. When a warranty of that length is offered by one of the largest and most stabile companies in the world, it’s worth taking note of. Another feature of an HCM warranty that makes it unique in the industry is the fact that the warranty is transferable.  By simply transferring owner information and providing updated test results, HCM will extend the existing warranty to the new owner. This feature provides significant value to those seeking to sell a facility and building owners who may need to replace a departing tenant.

Value

All marketing claims aside, the best infrastructure solution for the end user should be the one that offers the best value.  Value is determined by looking at all aspects of the potential solutions, such as length and content of warranty, availability of materials, quality of certified installers, customer service reputation, product quality, product origin and, ultimately, price.  Today, more than ever, companies are looking at a greater number of options before coming to a decision.  Many companies who would have defaulted to, “buy what we used last time” are now altering their procurement habits. Companies are doing considerable research into their purchases to ensure they are actually getting what they paid for, especially if the option they are looking at is more costly than the others.  And, this change is welcome by HCM.  Does HCM offer an advantage over the closed solutions on the market?  We believe so.  Closed systems can cost more because competition is blocked out.  Without competition, there’s no need to provide better pricing. There’s no need for anyone to sharpen his or her pencil.  If a closed solution is specified for a project and only the products from those specified manufacturers can be used, is there any incentive for them to offer aggressive or even competitive pricing?  They don’t have to.  They know they have the job.  Open architecture invites all qualified parties to come to the table and show what they can do for the customer.  When this happens, the one who wins is the end user.  The result will be more options to choose from, more price points, and perhaps, even the discovery of a product that offers a better value than those previously being considered.

And, HCM is all about value.  All HCM cables are U.S. made at the manufacturing facility in Manchester, New Hampshire.  HCM customer service, engineering and quality are located at the Manchester, NH facility.  All cables are built using the highest performing materials, including optical fiber from Corning. All category cables are UL verified for performance and guaranteed to exceed the requirements of the appropriate standard.  HCM utilizes trained, certified installers across the country and offers a transferable lifetime warranty on solutions including HCM cables and connectivity from numerous manufacturers.  And, HCM offers BICSI accredited tours of our manufacturing facility and we’d be happy to have you come by.  If you only want to install the most expensive solution, we know who to recommend.  If you are looking for the cheapest products possible, we can give you their names as well.  But, if you are seeking the best value in network infrastructures, you’ve come to the right place.  We are HCM and we are the leader in open architecture. 

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House Passage of Energy and Climate Legislation Creates New Opportunities for Green Building

July 1, 2009 (Washington, DC) – The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) commends the House of Representatives for passing landmark energy and climate legislation Friday that includes several significant provisions to incentivize and accelerate the benefits of green building across the country. 

“From programs that would generate billions of dollars to spur and scale green retrofitting of our existing building stock to inclusion of the GREEN Act, which would create new opportunities for green affordable housing, this bill recognizes that green building is a major part of the solution to our economic and energy challenges,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, USGBC.  “With this federal commitment, green building can help propel the new green economy by creating enormous energy and cost savings for millions of Americans while accelerating unprecedented job creation.”

The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 includes several initiatives or provisions supported by or developed in consultation with USGBC, including:

• The Retrofit for Energy and Environmental Performance (REEP) program, which supports the creation of retrofitting initiatives throughout the country for residential and nonresidential buildings  that may offer a variety of incentives, including credit enhancements, interest rate subsidies, and initial capital for public revolving loan funds.

• The GREEN (Green Resources for Energy Efficient Neighborhoods) Act (H.R. 2336), which provides incentives to lenders and financial institutions to provide lower interest loans and other benefits to consumers who build, buy or remodel their homes in ways that improve energy efficiency. The bill also increases energy efficiency standards for Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) owned and assisted housing.

• The Building Energy Performance Labeling Program, which directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to create model building energy performance labels for new construction, establishing a meaningful and consistent basis for evaluating the energy performance of residential and commercial buildings.

• EPA’s WaterSense program, which receives permanent authorization to designate products as water efficient, as well as funding for state incentive programs for use of water-efficient products.

• Extension of power purchasing authority for federal agencies, which allows the federal government to enter contracts for the purchase of renewable power for a period of up to 20 years.

Green building is critical to the nation’s future economy, energy security, and environment – buildings account for 40% of U.S. energy consumption, 39% of CO2 emissions, and 13% of water consumption. Greater building efficiency can meet 85% of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs.

To view USGBC’s summary of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, visit http://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=6070

About the U.S. Green Building Council

The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. With a community comprising 78 local affiliates, more than 20,000 member companies and organizations, and more than 100,000 LEED Accredited Professionals, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to soar to $60 billion by 2010. The USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students.

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Attention All High Rollers: Visit IDEAL BICSI Booth to Win a New LanTEK II Cable Certifier
-- IDEAL invites BICSI Fall Conference attendees to challenge the one-armed bandit for chance to bring home $8,000 jackpot --

SYCAMORE, IL, July 31, 2009 -- BICSI attendees this year will not need to leave the show floor for the casino experience.  That's because IDEAL's BICSI booth will feature an authentic Las Vegas slot machine to let attendees spin to win a LanTEK II Cable Certifier valued at over $8,000.00.

Fittingly, the BICSI Fall Conference and Exhibition will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, from September 20-24, 2009. Attendees and other high rollers are encouraged to visit IDEAL Booth #303 for a free pull of the lever. Winners receive either a valuable IDEAL giveaway or the chance to "double down" and wager their winnings on a Tuesday night drawing awarding one of three exciting prizes:

The Grand Prize is a 1000 MHz LanTEK II cable certifier. This remarkable new tool performs nine second Cat 5e and 14 second Cat 6 tests with full performance data plus 10 Gigabit Alien Crosstalk testing that's more than 4x faster than other systems. The patented universal adapter systems lets you certify most cabling with off-the-shelf patch cords saving time and money by eliminating the need for proprietary permanent link adapters.

The second-prize winner will receive an IDEAL SignalTEK multimedia qualification tester valued at $995.00. SIGNALTEK™ is a reliable, feature-rich, handheld copper cable tester with a user-friendly graphical interface. It offers true Gigabit performance testing by transmitting 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet packets and measuring errors on the link in accordance with the IEEE 802.3ab Gigabit Ethernet standard.

The third-place drawing winner will receive is an IDEAL DataCom tool kit complete with a comprehensive selection of professional-grade IDEAL tools and testers.

Dan Payerle, Business Unit Manager of the IDEAL Test Division will play pit boss for the BICSI Show: "One quick spin of the reels will be all it takes for a BICSI attendee to go home with the data communication's industry premier cable certifier, the LanTEK II.  This unprecedented opportunity to win is open to all attendees to play. The IDEAL team is looking forward to the most exciting BICSI ever."

For more information, contact IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC., Becker Place, Sycamore, Illinois 60178. Or phone 1-800-435-0705, Fax: 1-800-533-4483. On the web, www.idealindustries.com. Or go to the new www.lantek2.com website to read contest details.

Follow IDEAL on twitter @ideal_sycamore

ABOUT IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC.
IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. has been serving the electrical industry since 1916. IDEAL is one of the world's leading manufacturers of professional quality tools and supplies serving installation professionals in the construction, maintenance, data communications and original equipment manufacturing industries.

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INITIAL DETAILS IN PLACE FOR SCTE CANADIAN SUMMIT 2010

AUG. 4, 2009 (Exton, PA)—Extending the momentum of the event’s successful 2009 debut, the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) today is pleased to announce that SCTE Canadian Summit 2010 is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, March 9–10 in Toronto.

Bruce Marshall, technical director with Mountain Cablevision Ltd., will serve as the program chair for the 2010 event. Marshall, who has been an SCTE member since 1991, is the president of the SCTE Ontario Chapter.

The second annual SCTE Canadian Summit will explore engineering issues specific to the Canadian market and will be geared toward Canadian engineering professionals who want to focus on the exchange of technical information for today and tomorrow. Attendees will be able to expand their knowledge during two productive days of exhibits, technical breakout sessions, general sessions, and networking opportunities.

SCTE Canadian Summit 2009, conducted in early February, attracted more than 600 attendees and featured an exhibit hall that had sold out weeks in advance. The event also featured the presentation of the inaugural Young Canadian Engineering Professional of the Year Award, which will be bestowed at the 2010 Summit as well.

Registration for the 2010 event will be available soon in the Event Calendar section of www.scte.org, along with sponsorship and advertising opportunities.

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) is a non-profit professional association that provides technical leadership for the telecommunications industry and serves its members through professional development, standards, certification and information. SCTE currently has approximately 13,000 members from the U.S. and 70 countries worldwide and offers a variety of programs and services for the industry's educational benefit. SCTE has 68 chapters and meeting groups and more than 3,000 employees of the cable telecommunications industry hold SCTE technical certifications. SCTE is an ANSI-accredited standards development organization. Visit SCTE online at www.scte.org. Follow SCTE on Facebook and Twitter.

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Megladon Announces Improved Reliability on Apex Offset Measurements for APC HLC® SCRATCHGUARD™ Fiber Assembly Product Line

Incorporation of Norland Interferometric technology is latest improvement in validating Reference Grade APC fiber connectors.

Austin, Texas, July 31, 2009 – Megladon Manufacturing has made another momentous step towards improving the quality and performance of Angle Polished Connectors (APC).  By utilizing the HLC termination process and Interferometric equipment from Norland Products Inc., Megladon has drastically increased their ability to make accurate and repeatable APC geometrical measurements.

Historically, interferometers have only been able to measure the apex offset of APC connectors within +/-10um of accuracy.  Due to the nature of the “floating ferrule” and ferrule movement found in the SC APC connectors, it has been difficult to get good reproducibility and accurate results when taking these measurements.  The fiber industry has to date not given the issue much attention, but as our dependency on APC cables increases, it is necessary to address how this issue can deteriorate performance.

“APC connectors should provide exceptional back reflection performance, but if the geometry is at the edge of the specification, high bandwidth transmission will suffer,” says Daniel Hogberg, Product Group Supervisor for Megladon Mfg.  “It is necessary to accurately measure APC connectors to ensure that cables are being manufactured to the appropriate specification, and then to optimize performance.”

Not all interferometers have been able to “master the measurement” and establish a solid point of reference.  “At Norland Products, we have spent many hours developing our CC6000 interferometric system to help us overcome this difficulty,” says Neal Wagman, Sales Manager for Norland Products.  “Our development has enabled us to measure the SC/APC connector quickly, accurately, and very inexpensively.”

Norland Product’s SC APC mount allows for exceptional control in measuring SC APC connectors, and has allowed Megladon to implement tighter controls within it’s manufacturing process.  The new process has enabled measurements with +/-5um of accuracy, and helps Megladon continue setting new standards in back reflection performance and building the best performing APC connectors in the marketplace with HLC technology.

About Megladon Manufacturing Group, Ltd

Megladon Manufacturing Group, Ltd., a subsidiary of TyRex Group Ltd. ®, is recognized as a leader in the fiber optic marketplace. Founded in 1997, Megladon made it their mission to provide customers with fiber optic products that far exceed industry standards. As technology innovators, Megladon created the HLC (Hardened Lens Contact) termination, which has changed the market and taken it to the next level. For additional information on Megladon and their patented processes please visit the company’s website at www.megladonmfg.com or respond by email to scratchguard@megladonmfg.com. For more information concerning Norland Products Interferometric portfolio, please contact Neal Wagman at nwagman@norlandprod.com or www.norlandproducts.com.

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NAED’s TED Magazine Honored with Two 2009 Tabbie Awards
TED Recognized with Bronze Award and Honorable Mention in International Publications Contest


ST. LOUIS… TED magazine, the official trade publication of the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), was recently honored with two 2009 Tabbie Awards. 

This competition, sponsored annually by the Trade, Association and Business Publications International (TABPI), recognized TED magazine with a bronze award for the January 2008 edition in the front cover/photograph category, and with an honorable mention for the February 2008 edition in the best single issue category.  

Online versions of TED’s winning entries are currently featured on the TABPI website at www.tabpi.org. The Tabbies recognize excellence in trade, association, and business publications and expose editors to similar b2b magazines and their local practices across the globe. The 2009 Tabbie Awards featured just shy of 500 entries, with nominations coming from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, France, China, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Germany and India

TED magazine is the primary source of information for the electrical distribution channel across North America. The publication is dedicated to best practices for the electrical supply chain. In addition to its print edition, TED magazine produces up-to-the minute news at www.tedmag.com.

NAED is the trade association for the $70+ billion electrical distribution industry. Through networking, education, research, and benchmarking, NAED helps electrical distributors increase profitability and improve the channel. NAED’s membership represents approximately 4,400 locations internationally.

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THE NECA SHOW

Exhibitor Update

July 2009

Important Info:

Ever Popular Golf Challenge Supporter

We have only three (3) spots left for one of our most popular attendee promotions during the NECA Show. Each year, NECA Show participants look forward to walking the exhibit hall and visiting the booths so they can enter for a chance to play Virtual Golf, and try for a Hole in One! The Closest-to-the-Pin wins prizes, and so do many others.

A "Golf Supporter" is an exhibitor who wants to receive a lot of additional traffic, and the opportunity to talk with potential new customers, all for $1,000. ONLY THREE (3) SPOTS LEFT, so call Julie today at 770-632-0044 or exhibitsales@necanet.org. The deadline is almost here! The Cost / Value ratio is tremendous.

ONLY two (2) Ads Left for Trade Show Map

Put your company brand in the hands of thousands of attendees. Everyone uses the [http://www.necaconvention.org/why/?fa=sponsorship] NECA Show map as a quick reference guide. It is filled with useful information both on and off the show floor. Each sponsor receives company name and logo on the map. The separate pocket-sized map gives the most up-to-date floor plans, program-at-a-glance & exhibitor list. Registration will hand out The Trade Show Map with the Official Show Guide. Additional maps will available around the hall and information booth area.

Inside cover ad - $5,000

Business card Size ad - $1250

Don’t wait any longer – Contact Julie today at 770-632-0044 or

exhibitsales@necanet.org. The printing deadline is almost here!

New & Featured Product Room

Several of you have started sending in your New & Featured Product Room forms and we appreciate your prompt attention to this great opportunity, but many of you haven’t done it yet! This is a great way to get advance exposure on [http://www.necaconvention.org/] www.necaconvention.org NOW, as electrical contractors are registering for the NECA Convention & Show.

And…since this area opens one hour before the NECA Show each day, it is a great way for our attendees to plan their daily “must-see” list as they walk around the show. Don’t miss this very affordable opportunity to showcase your innovation solutions. It’s easy to enter more than one

product. The form is located in the NECA Exhibitor Manual. http://www.necaconvention.org/exhibitors/?fa=manual

Have a Question? Looking for Something?

You will probably find the answer in your NECA Exhibitor Service Manual. http://www.necaconvention.org/exhibitors/?fa=manual We tried to think of all your questions in advance. We may have missed one or two, but we tried to put some thought into helping you

save some time and money, so take a moment to look through this document.

Exhibitor Discount Tickets Available for NECA Opening & Closing Events

The Pacific Northwest “  Emerald  City  ” motif will transform the Sheraton Ballroom on Saturday, September 12 (from 7p.m. to 9p.m.) for the Opening Reception.

http://www.necaconvention.org/convention/?fa=opening

Guests will enter into an eco-friendly landscape of leafy greens, tumbled river rocks and verdant mosses all captured in clear glass adding just the right touch of sparkle. In addition to the illuminated, bright green frosted martini bar, this beckoning oasis will feature coffee and wine/brew tasting stations. There will also be a large selection of sumptuous hors d’oeuvres. Dance the night away with the West Coast’s finest R&B rock musicians, the Freddie Pink Band. http://www.freddypink.com/FreddyPink/Freddy_Pink_.html This is a great way to network with the electrical industries most important customers. Don’t miss out on a great evening.

Prepare to be dazzled with a custom performance by Cirque Dreams is the grand finale for NECA 2009  Seattle  . Our Closing Celebration

http://www.necaconvention.org/convention/?fa=closing will be held Tuesday, September 15, beginning at 8:00p.m. at McCaw Hall. This energetic show incorporates creative and original artistry with some of the finest music, costumes, choreography, and special effects ever

produced.  Cirque Productions has produced some of the most original, inventive and theatrical and acrobatic stage shows for audiences worldwide, including the new “Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy”, most recently the first show of its kind ever to perform on Broadway and now touring the U.S.  through 2010.

The Discount Ticket Form can be found in your Exhibitor Service Manual. http://www.necaconvention.org/exhibitors/?fa=manual

As always, if we can be of service, let us know. We look forward to seeing you in Seattle, and we wish you a successful show!

Contact Julie Duda

Exhibit Sales Manager

770-632-0044

exhibitsales@necanet.org

www.necaconvention.org

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Leviton Launches CAT 6A Component-Rated Connector

New connectors offer industry-leading performance without sacrificing density

July 7, 2009 – Bothell, WA: Leviton Network Solutions today announced the availability of its eXtreme® CAT 6A QuickPort® Connector, the industry's first augmented Category 6 (CAT 6A) connector independently tested by Intertek/ETL to exceed component performance as defined by the ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.2-10 standard.

Leviton developed proprietary internal technologies to achieve greater performance: the new connector uses patent-pending triple-stage compensation to enhance permanent link and channel performance, and features a patented Cone of Silence® and metalized body which effectively eliminates alien crosstalk (AXT) between connectors in patching and work area applications. The connector adds these improvements without increasing size.

“The benefit of using Leviton’s CAT 6A connectors is twofold”, explains Keith Kosanovich, RCDD, Leviton's senior product manager for copper systems. “We have designed and engineered a connector that achieves industry-leading CAT 6A performance without sacrificing density. This translates into real cost savings in required floor space for rack and cabinet applications.”

The eXtreme CAT 6A QuickPort connector is an integral component of Leviton’s complete CAT 6A component-rated system, which includes CAT 6A QuickPort and 110-style Patch Panels, 110-style wiring blocks, and CAT 6A SlimLine patch cords. This advanced system provides guaranteed channel margins over the TIA standard in both short distances typically found in data center applications, and longer distances common in traditional enterprise applications to the work area. Category 6A components are fully backward compatible with all previous categories, including Category 6 and Category 5e, providing a smooth migration path to future high-speed applications such as 10GBASE-T.

Leviton’s CAT 6A QuickPort Connectors are available through the company’s reseller network. More information is available online at www.leviton.com/CAT6a.

About Leviton Network Solutions

Leviton Network Solutions was created 20 years ago to meet the growing need for telecommunications and high-speed data technologies. Today, the division is dedicated to producing complete network infrastructure systems for the enterprise, data center, government, health care, education, and residential markets. Copper, fiber, and power solutions include structured cabling systems, enclosures, PDUs and much more. All Leviton products are engineered to exacting standards and offer guaranteed performance. For more information, visit Leviton.com.

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New Minuteman Product Provides Remote Power Management

Benefits include reduction in system downtime, elimination of expensive service calls and ‘green’ functionality

Dallas, TX – July 23, 2009 – Para Systems, Inc. today announced the availability of a new two-outlet IP-addressable device that allows users to remotely manage power from literally anywhere in the world. The Minuteman RPM 1521 is designed to eliminate many costly service calls that result in a technician simply rebooting equipment that is locked up. A simple to use interface allows users to send a command via a web browser to cycle power off and on, thus reducing downtime and providing a fast resolution to equipment lock-ups.

Designed for use with security systems, telephone/VoIP systems, plus servers and network peripherals, the RPM 1521 allows each receptacle to be independently monitored and managed, including scheduled shut-downs and reboots. In addition, each receptacle provides protection from surges and spikes that can damage equipment. The secure browser interface manages user privileges via password protection to prevent unauthorized access to the RPM’s control menu.

The “auto-ping” feature monitors and auto-detects the availability of attached equipment. If no response is detected, the RPM 1521 will notify administrators that an attached device is non-responsive. The user can configure the system to send an SMS text message, broadcast an email, and/or send an SNMP trap notification should the RPM detect a noresponse condition. It can also be programmed to perform an automatic reboot when equipment has failed and send the automatic notifications that a power event has occurred.

“As we all know, equipment gets locked up for various reasons and requires a simple reboot,” stated Bill Allen, director of marketing for Para Systems. “At a cost of less than $200, the RPM 1521 can quickly pay for itself when attached devices need to be rebooted and you don’t have to send a technician to a remote location to merely cycle power off and then on.”

This new product offering from Minuteman is especially useful for remote offices where IT managers or technical personnel are not on staff, as well as hard-to-reach locations where equipment is mounted above ceilings, on light poles, or on towers outside a facility.

“One of the more unique features of the RPM 1521 is that it offers ‘green’ functionality by utilizing the scheduling feature to initiate ‘power down’ and ‘power restore’ commands at pre-scheduled times, thus saving wasted energy during periods when equipment is not being used,” added Mr. Allen. “That’s yet another way this inexpensive, highly useful device can easily pay for itself.”

The RPM 1521 is currently available for shipment and can be used in conjunction with several models of Minuteman’s line of uninterruptible power supplies that provide complete protection from all power problems, including battery backup during power outages. All Minuteman RPMs and UPSs are covered under their comprehensive three-year warranty.

Minuteman products are sold through distributors, VARs and on-line resellers. For more information, visit www.minutemanups.com.

About Para Systems, Inc.

Para Systems, Inc., based in Carrollton, TX, is a leading provider of power technologies. The company’s Minuteman brand of comprehensive power protection solutions range from small to large-scale uninterruptible power supply (UPS) products to a full line of unique surge suppressors, power distribution units, and remote power management systems. Minuteman products protect telephone/VoIP systems, personal computers, network servers and infrastructure peripherals, security systems, and industrial applications. The Minuteman brand of products is sold through a large network of distributors and resellers. Para Systems is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Components Corporation of America, headquartered in Dallas, TX, whose roots date back to 1916. For more information, visit www.minutemanups.com.

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SEBC/Green Building Show Offers Complete Track of Green Education

Complimentary Media Registration

TALLAHASSEE – A comprehensive track of green building education – from Green Building 101 to the most advanced tools, techniques and products – awaits delegates to the 31st annual Southeast Building Conference/Green Building Show set for July 30-August 1, 2009 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

“SEBC/Green Building Show is a unique opportunity for builders and green building professionals to hear from green building experts covering the gamut of what anyone would need to know to succeed in this rapidly growing segment of the industry,” said Arlene Stewart, a Gainesville, FL-based energy consultant and chair of the Florida Home Builders Association’s Green Building Council. “In addition, our exhibitors are displaying a wide array of green building and energy-efficient products.”

Among the line-up of green speakers are Drew Smith of TwoTrails, a nationally recognized green home consultant and certifier; Jennifer L. Languell, Ph. D., President of Trifecta Construction Solutions and the Florida Green Building Coalition; and Steve Easley of Steve Easley and Associates.

Smith will explain the three major new-home certifications and the factors that determine which one is best based on each individual builder’s market, goals, and budget. Languell will cover two topics – a Primer on How to Avoid Greenwashing and Where the Green Jobs Will Grow in Homebuilding – while Easley will speak on Building Storm-Resistant Homes as well as Controlling Mold and Moisture in New Homes.

Cindy Hall of Cap Stone Industries will present Green Building 101 as lead-in to Green-specific seminars on such subjects as Marketing Certified Green Developments; Turning Green into Gold (Green marketing); Setting Yourself Apart Through the National Green Standard; Bright Ideas to Build On (sustainable technology through the design and construction of energy-monitored homes); The New Energy Code and How It Will Impact Home Building; Green Landscaping and Water Efficiency; Efficient Lot Design, Preparation, and Development; and Indoor Air Quality.

SEBC also presents the two-day Green Building for Building Professional (July 29-30) course and the full-day Business Management for Building Professional course (July 31), which together qualify participants for the business-building Certified Green Professional (CGP) professional designation.

Details and online registration are available at www.sebcshow.com.

MEDIA REGISTRATION: Media registration is complimentary for working members of the press. Email your media registration request to Edie Ousley at eousley@fhba.com or call 850-224-4316 ext. 12.

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IDEAL Tester Identifies Voltage Conditions That Damage Sensitive IT Equipment

IDEAL Voltage Performance Monitor plugs into branch circuit at the point of equipment connection to detect damaging voltage sags, swells, impulses and Total Harmonic Distortion

SYCAMORE, IL, July 15, 2009 --  While all electronic equipment is designed to handle varying voltage within a specified range, voltage events become a concern when they exceed designed tolerances. The Voltage Performance Monitor (VPM) from IDEAL quickly and accurately identifies voltage events and harmonics that cause IT equipment damage or failures.

"Our VPM tells the technician if problematic voltage events on the circuit are occurring and logs the time, duration, and severity of the event," explained Dave Skowronski, Product Manager for IDEAL. "It gives technicians the power to quickly determine if an equipment problem is related to voltage and if a circuit is safe for new or existing equipment, such as computers, copy machines, or servers. It also lets a technician easily verify the need for a UPS installation or a surge protective device, as well as confirm the protection provided by such equipment."

Because the VPM plugs directly into a circuit at the point of equipment connection, it will "see" exactly what the equipment sees. Logging only those events that exceed designed tolerances, including voltage sags, swells, impulses and excessive Total Harmonic Distortion, the VPM determines if equipment failure is related to a specific voltage event. Time and severity of events are displayed on its bright OLCD screen that inverts when it is necessary to plug-in upside down. Up to 512 events can be stored in the unit's internal memory for review by category or chronological order.

International Standards
The VPM comes pre-loaded with tolerance settings based on 15 internationally recognized standards including ITIC, CBEMA, SEMI and ANSI. Users simply select the appropriate standard for the application and the VPM logs those events while ignoring the rest. Technicians can also set their own custom thresholds to meet specific needs.

Sources of Voltage Problems
The source of 85% of all voltage events originates within a facility. Voltage events can be caused by inadequate supply, undersized wiring, an overloaded circuit, and frequently by other equipment turning "on" or "off" on the same circuit. Voltage quality also changes every time a new piece of equipment is installed in a facility or in a neighboring facility. In addition, voltage events are caused by environmental changes, such as lightning storms, high winds, flooding, physical damage, or utility operations.

Price and Availability
The IDEAL Voltage Performance Monitor (Catalog #61-830) is immediately available with an MSRP of $475 (U.S.) and is backed by a two-year warranty. It works on all 100-240 volt single-phase circuits and ships with four international plug adapters for use in the United States, United Kingdom, China/Australia and Continental Europe. It is CAT III 300V. Also included in the package are a carrying case, a quick reference guide and an instructional DVD.

For more information, contact IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC., Becker Place, Sycamore, Illinois 60178. Or phone 1-800-947-3614, Fax: 1-800-533-4483. On the web, www.idealindustries.com.

IDEAL also offers technicians a 16-minute video overview of the VPM online. Click here to view.

Email request to dan@oconnellpr.com

ABOUT IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC.
IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. has been serving the electrical industry since 1916. IDEAL is one of the world's leading manufacturers of professional quality tools and supplies serving installation professionals in the construction, maintenance, data communications and original equipment manufacturing industries.

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Recognize Good website

www.RecognizeGood.com

You will see a Recognize Good link below. This is a collaboration between Tyrex Group (John Bosch) and the Samaritan Center. This idea is starting to gain momentum.

Regards,

John M Culbert

President & Partner

Megladon Manufacturing Group, Ltd

Office: 512-615-4687

Cell:      512-845-0858

www.megladonmfg.com

TyRex Group, Ltd.

Founding Sponsor

www.RecognizeGood.com

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SBA Offers $10 Million Surety Bond Guarantee

Aids Recovery in Construction and Service Sectors

WASHINGTON - Building on Recovery Act provisions implemented earlier this year, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced today it can now provide surety bond guarantees on federal contracts valued at up to $10 million, if the contracting officer certifies that the guarantee is in the best interests of the government. An Interim Final Rule is available for public inspection at The Federal Register.

Currently, under a related provision of the Recovery Act that was implemented in March, SBA can provide bond guarantees up to $5 million through September 2010 on all public and private contracts and subcontracts.  SBA partners with the surety industry to help small businesses that would otherwise be unable to obtain bonding in the traditional commercial marketplace.  Under the partnership, SBA provides a guarantee to the participating surety company of between 70 and 90 percent of the bond amount.

"Raising the surety bond limit is a critical step in making sure small businesses in the construction and service sector have access to federal contracting opportunities that will help drive economic recovery," SBA Administrator Karen Mills said. "These changes support small and emerging businesses nationwide, particularly construction contractors who have seen their markets hurt by a poor economy and lagging construction."

Additional program enhancements published in the rule include:

a new small business size standard for this program;

authorization for SBA to exercise discretion in deciding bond liability issues;

and,

a definition of "Order" issued under an Indefinite Delivery Contract.

The new size standard (which will be in effect until Sept. 30, 2010) temporarily replaces the current size standard for the surety bond guarantee program. It states that a business is small if the business, combined with its affiliates, does not exceed the size standard designated for the primary industry of the business combined with its affiliates. 

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Codes contained in 13 CFR Part 121establishes size standards for all industries. www.sba.gov/contractingopportunities/owners/basics/GC_SMALL_BUSINESS.html (Note: URL may display on more than one line on your computer screen)

Through its Bond Guarantee program, SBA will also help by guaranteeing bid, payment and performance bonds to protect the project owner against financial loss if a contractor defaults or fails to perform.

Finally, the rule adds a definition for an "Order" issued under an Indefinite Delivery Contract to clarify that SBA bond guarantees apply to individual orders, as well as contracts.

SBA assistance in locating a participating surety company or agent, and completing application forms, is available online.  For more information on SBA's Surety Bond Guarantee Program, including Surety Office contacts, go online to http://www.sba.gov/osg/ , or call 1-800-U ASK SBA.

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Siemon Video Highlights Innovative Z-MAX™ 6A Termination Process

The Fastest Category 6A Termination in the Cabling Industry

Available online at www.siemon.com, the real-time video shows a Z-MAX 6A outlet terminated in under 60 seconds

July 2009 - Siemon, the network infrastructure specialist, has launched a brief online video demonstrating their innovative Z-MAX™ 6A outlet termination process – the fastest category 6A termination in the cabling industry

The new video shows the entire termination of a Z-MAX 6A outlet in real time - including twisted-pair cable preparation, conductor lacing and actual termination with the one-step Z-TOOL™, and takes just under one minute. Both category 6A shielded and unshielded configurations achieve this sub-60 second termination benchmark.

In addition to the user-friendly, fast and reliable termination process, the Z-MAX 6A system offers best-in-class performance margins across all critical cabling performance parameters, exceeding all standards requirements for category 6A and for support of 10GBASE-T.

Robert Carlson, Siemon’s VP of Global Marketing, explained the purpose of the video: “The Z-MAX termination process is both radically innovative and simply intuitive – that can be a tough point to get across. Short of actually terminating an outlet, there is no better way to show cabling and IT Network professionals how fast and user-friendly the Z-MAX termination process actually is – this video is a like a 60 second training module.”

“Moreover, 60 seconds is considerably faster than termination times for other category 6A solutions on the market, so much so that some may assume a level of marketing hype. This real time video eliminates any doubt.”

The real time video is available online at http://www.siemon.com/go/zmax/video

For greater technical detail, Siemon has also created a detailed, step-by-step Z-MAX instructional video: http://www.siemon.com/us/zmax/zmax_termination-process.asp

About Siemon

Established in 1903, Siemon is an industry leader specializing in the manufacture and innovation of high quality, high-performance network cabling solutions. Headquartered in Connecticut, USA, with global offices, manufacturing and service partners throughout the world, Siemon offers the most comprehensive suite of copper (unshielded and shielded twisted-pair) category 5e, category 6 (Class E), category 6A (Class EA) and category 7/7A (Class F/FA), and multimode and singlemode optical fiber cabling systems available. With over 400 active patents specific to structured cabling, from patch cords to patch panels, Siemon Labs invests heavily in R&D and development of industry standards, underlining the company's long-term commitment to its customers and the industry.

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The Future of Grid Interoperability Unfolds at Grid-Interop

Since 2007, Grid-Interop has been a key annual event focused on Smart Grid interoperability standards, technologies and issues.

The Annual Forum for Grid Interoperability

Organized in partnership with NIST and the GridWise Architecture Council, Grid-Interop is a must-attend forum for all those involved with interoperability of the broadest range of Smart Grid devices and systems.

Call For Papers Open to August 15, 2009

From the launch of the NIST Smart Grid Panel to speakers from leading SDOs, Grid-Interop's three day packed agenda will inform and engage attendees on the future roadmap of an interoperable grid.

Mark Your Calendars
November 17-19, 2009

Why You Should Attend

Learn about the NIST Roadmap for interoperability

Meet with key Smart Grid standards experts

Understand the full picture of Smart Grid end-to-end interoperability

Be part of the annual gathering on Smart Grid interoperability

Be involved to create the implementation of Smart Grid standards

A three-day Forum for

Device & system architects

Business systems designers

Electricity consumer groups

Utility and T&D planners

Integrators, application & service providers

Technology & service providers

Environmental groups

Press, analysts & observers

Contact Clasma Events for Sponsorship Opportunities

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Magazine Includes McCormick Among ’50 Hottest’ in Construction Technology

Constructech magazine considered some 200 companies for inclusion in its “Constructech 50 Hottest for 2009” award program. McCormick Systems is honored to be among the winners for the second time in three years.

While in previous years, companies were judged based on the success and growth found solely in the past year, winners of the Constructech 50 Hottest wee evaluated on a continued and dominant presence in the marketplace.

“With deep roots in the electrical contracting industry, the leadership in place at McCormick Systems continues to guide the company in the right direction, building on a strong technology base and forging critical partnerships valuable for its customers,” said Constructech’s editors.

Added Todd McCormick, the company’s president: “It’s an honor to be included in the Constructech IT Playbook, with our company named along with other elite enterprises. It presents a challenge, too, as we want to stay there.” 

“Our plan is to work hard to listen to our customers and keep on top of state-of-the-art technology. We’ll continue to try to match computer technology capabilities with the functionality, speed, and productivity enhancements that Electrical and ABS contractors and estimators need.”

About McCormick Systems

Privately owned McCormick Systems (Chandler, AZ) is the nation’s leader in software used for electrical and ABS estimating and project management. The company’s products enable contractors to quickly produce consistent, profitable estimates for electrical and voice-data-video work, and more.

More information: www.mccormicksys.com or 800-444-4890.

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Electrical Contractor Magazine Is An Award Winner And A Great Publication

www.ecmag.com

2009 Awards

Overall

* 2009 Snap Excel Award, Silver, Magazines—General Excellence for Best Writing, Graphic Design and Overall Packaging, Circulation of 50,000 to 100,000

Design

* 2009 Snap Excel Award, Gold, Media Kit—Judged on Organization, Clarity and Graphic Design

* 2009 Snap Excel Award, Silver, Magazines—Redesign, Security + Life Safety Systems

2008 Awards

Design

* 2008 Tabbies Award, Silver, Front Cover Illustration, Electrical Contractor, April 2007

* 2008 Snap Excel Awards, Magazine Cover Photo Illustration, Electrical Contractor, January 2008

* 2008 Snap Excel Awards, Magazines—Redesign, Circulation More Than 50,000 Electrical Contractor

Editorial

* 2008 Folio “Eddie” Award, Silver, B-to-B, Energy/Utilities/Engineering, Full Issue, Electrical Contractor, March 2008

2007 Awards

Design

* 2007 Apex Awards for Publication Excellence Magazine Design and Layout, Electrical Contractor, March 2007

* 2007 Apex Awards for Publication Excellence Magazine Cover, Electrical Contractor, January 2006

Editorial

* 2007 Folio “Eddie” Award, Silver, B-to-B, Energy/Utilities/Engineering, Full Issue, Electrical Contractor, March 2007

* 2007 Folio “Eddie” Award, Bronze, B-to-B, Energy/Utilities/Engineering, Best Article or Series of Articles, “Successful Succession Planning” Series, Electrical Contractor

Previous Awards

* 2005 Snap Excel Award, Gold, Magazine Cover Photo Illustration, Electrical Contractor, April 2004

* 2002 Folio “Ozzie” Award, Silver, B-to-B, Circulation over 35,000, Best Redesign

www.ecmag.com

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The Freelance Technology Writer And Editor

We found an excellent example of a freelance writer who specializes in Technology. Perry Greenbaum is an industry veteran. He has been working as a freelance technology writer and editor since 1996. He has written more than 350 articles, and edited thousands of manuscripts and other technical publications, chiefly for trade publications and technical media.

Perry Greenbaum has the background to go with the experience. He holds degrees in both engineering and journalism. Many editors that we spoke with have commented about Perry’s skill set. They pointed out that such a combination, although somewhat rare, proves an advantage for writing about technology, business and how the two intersect.

Perry Greenbaum told us, “I tend to write articles by doing thorough background research on the subject before doing telephone interviews. I take pride in accuracy, fact-checking and quoting people that I interview precisely and fairly. In many ways, I am an old-fashioned journalist working in the Internet age.”

Perry lives with his wife and three children in Montreal, Canada. You can reach him at pjgreenbaum@gmail.com.

Perry J. Greenbaum
Freelance Technology Writer & Editor
Montreal, QC  CANADA
Tel:       514.305-1135  
Mobile: 514.515-2076

Perry J. Greenbaum: Brief Bio

I have been working as a freelance technology writer and editor since 1996. Since then I have written more than 350 articles, and edited thousands of manuscripts and other technical publications, chiefly for trade publications and technical media. I hold degrees in engineering and in journalism. Many editors have pointed out that such a combination, although somewhat rare, proves an advantage for writing about technology, business and how the two intersect. I tend to write articles by doing thorough background research on the subject before doing telephone interviews. I take pride in accuracy, fact-checking and quoting people that I interview precisely and fairly. In many ways, I am an old-fashioned journalist working in the Internet age. I live with my wife and three children in Montreal, Canada. You can reach me at pjgreenbaum@gmail.com

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