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VOLUME 38 NO. 08 • AUGUST 2018
SPECIAL FEATURE: SOFTWARE & APPS
44 COMPETITION Win a waterproof action camera courtesy of Hamilton
SPECIAL FEATURE: TEST & MEASUREMENT
GETTING THE 18TH EDITION MESSAGE OUT With the publication of the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations, Hager is gearing up to ensure the industry gets the support it needs to get compliant. All parts of the electrical industry are affected by the changing regulatory landscape set out in the recently published 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations. Both product manufacturers and professional electricians are now in the process of ensuring they are fully compliant – whether it’s creating new product specifications or understanding new installation responsibilities – once the regulations become mandatory from January 1 2019. It is a major milestone for the industry, as the 18th Edition looks to further improve current safety standards, provide clarification around existing regulations, and open the door for new technologies and methods to be incorporated in the future across the industry. Hager, as a leading product manufacturer, has for some time focused on ensuring that the industry and electrical contractors are supported through this period of transition, so that by the turn of the year everyone is fully up-to-speed with the new regulatory world.
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Turn to page 12 for full story.
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CONTENTS VOLUME 38 NO. 08 • AUGUST 2018
Special features: Software & Applications
Regulars 4 Editorial
20 Project Focus
Safe as houses.
7 Industry News Construction Sector Deal, 18th Edition and WEEE non-compliance.
CP Electronics details how its latest project saw the company work with DEUS LLC, a lighting manufacturer in Russia, to help bring X5 Retail Group a brand-new lighting layout in its warehouse. explains ways in which contractors can boost their 32 simPRO profitability with job management software.
30 Key Issue
15 Contract News Introducing low carbon solutions, providing cabling for Network Rail, and ensuring gas safety.
Ian Ballinger, certification manager for FireAngel, explores how smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarm legislation currently in place for England and Wales differ to those in Scotland.
18 Training Apprentice exchanges and college electrical training.
Pottle of Vespula takes a look back at the origins of 34 Bob electrical certification, and what the future has in-store. Simmonds of Metsec Framing explores how 36 Ryan collaboration can promote efficiency and project success – and how BIM can aid in a collaborative approach.
Win a waterproof action camera courtesy of Hamilton Litestat.
59 Company Showcase Sponsored content from around the sector.
Parry, Scolmore Group, looks at how apps are making 38 Marie life easier for contractors and installers. Buckingham at Schneider Electric discusses the ways 40 Gary in which new software can help make electricians’ lives safer and simpler. Martin, director of technical at ECA, looks at ways the 42 Steve electrotechnical industry is embracing digital applications,
despite some barriers.
Test & Measurement
exactly is an RCD, what does it do, and how should it be 46 What tested? Peter Wade of portable test equipment expert Megger, tells all. explains how it is investing in the future of the 48 Seaward industry by training the next generation of innovators to
23 Breaking boundaries The gender gap in the electrical industry is common knowledge – but Pier Consulting tells ECN about the success story of one female apprentice who has overcome the obstacles.
26 The estimation game Shaun Hurworth at Glen Dimplex Heating & Ventilation, outlines just what makes estimates so difficult, and explains why exact quotations may be little more than guesswork.
28 The path to a smarter future In one all-encompassing show, EI Live! will challenge industry norms, push the boundaries, and launch a platform on which a smarter, brighter future can be established.
develop novel test and measurement technology. best way to minimise damage caused by an electrical fault is 50 The to spot it as early as possible. Thermal imaging is one solution – Flir offers its advice on getting the right camera for the job. trainer Miles Best, from training specialist Electrician 54 Professional Courses 4U, assesses the latest Bosch thermal camera. Enefer, devices product manager at Crabtree, talks to ECN 56 Dave about achieving time and cost savings in periodic circuit testing.
August 2018 | 3
SAFE AS HOUSES
afety is always at the forefront of what the electrical industry does – whether that be the safety of contractors themselves, or the public at large. It’s a crucial part of the sector, but because it’s so ubiquitous, sometimes it’s difficult to look at it with a fresh pair of eyes and see what needs to be done to monitor, maintain and improve safety. In this month’s Key Issue, Ian Ballinger of FireAngel discusses the current legislation in place for the installation of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in England and Wales, and how they stack up against
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Kayleigh Hutchins, Editor
the updated laws in Scotland. Are England and Wales falling by the wayside when it comes to fire safety? Should they be looking north for an example of the kind of legislation that’s needed to avoid another tragedy like Grenfell? Our special feature on test and measurement takes a closer look at saving time and money – while maintaining safety – with periodic circuit testing. Peter Wade of Megger weighs in on residual current devices (RCDs), how they provide an extra layer of protection and how they should be tested. The apps and software feature, meanwhile, turns the focus to the common misconceptions around building information modelling (BIM), and how apps can be used to make
the contractor’s life easier, safer and more efficient. The industry can sometimes be slow on the uptake with new software – but it’s important to embrace new ways of thinking that can make a difference both on and off-site. What are the barriers stopping the sector from adopting these new systems? As the unexpected summer heatwave hits the country, you might be starting the summer holiday slowdown – but if you have any ideas for articles, letters or suggestions for what you want to be reading more about, don’t hesitate to get in touch, and send an email to kayleigh@ allthingsmedialtd.com. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the sun while we still have it – and wish you well on any well-deserved holiday you might be planning!
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INDUSTRY NEWS OECD REPORT INDICATES WEEE NON-COMPLIANCE THROUGH ONLINE MARKETPLACES
PEUGEOT PARTNER WINS MOTOR TRANSPORT FLEET VAN OF THE YEAR AWARD
Eucolight has welcomed the OECD report, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and the impact of online sales, to which EucoLight members contributed. Recognition of the online WEEE noncompliance challenge (free-riding) faced by producer compliance schemes is a vital first step to addressing the problem. EucoLight endorses the recommendation to define multi seller online platforms as ‘producers’ of the products that they list from non-registered companies, and that transit through their fulfilment houses. The report indicates that online WEEE noncompliance is hindering the efficiency of WEEE systems, affecting around five to 10% of the total OECD Electric and Electronic Equipment (EEE) market. This issue affects especially small devices, such as LED lamps. EucoLight has been promoting policy responses to tackle WEEE noncompliance and is actively facilitating the debate among stakeholders and institutions, and to identify possible solutions. EucoLight secretary general, Marc Guiraud explains, “WEEE schemes, which aim to make producers responsible for the environmental impact of the products they sell, have been key in increasing recycling and collection rates. When producers selling online avoid their obligations, they impose an unfair burden on the rest of the system and on compliant producers. Non-declared products prevent correct calculation of collection rates, and therefore achievement of the collection targets.”
The Peugeot Partner has been awarded ‘Fleet Van of the Year’ by Motor Transport magazine. The Partner beat off competition from the Fiat Ducato, Iveco Daily, Nissan NV200 and Vauxhall Vivaro to take the award. In reaching their decision, the judges took into consideration productivity (including reliability and vehicle uptime), fuel efficiency, driver acceptance, dealer support and total cost of ownership. Other factors that were taken into account included customer service, warranty, finance packages and after-sales support. In presenting the award, the judges’ comments included, “PEUGEOT continues to make in-roads into fleet and businesses with its range of competitively priced products that enjoy a reputation for reliability. “The Partner van is at the forefront of the brand’s growth, and despite operating in a fiercely competitive segment, continues to grow market share. “PEUGEOT has invested heavily in its dealer network, which has impressed our
panel – particularly with parts supply and delivery. The greatly improved electric model is winning customers across fleets, and its small footprint makes it ideal for inner city operators.” The judges also commented on the build quality of the vehicle and also the increasing driver acceptance of both diesel and electric vans: “As the market sector migrates down the GVW range, this is the strongest product available in the sector.”
Staged at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London’s West End, the Motor Transport Awards reward high standards of professionalism in all areas of fleet transport operations. The 50-strong judging panel includes some of the bestknown and respected people in the transport sector. The Fleet Van of the Year Award was collected by Louise Neilson, head of business sales at PEUGEOT Motor Company.
TRADE BODIES RESPOND TO CONSTRUCTION SECTOR DEAL The government’s newly announced Construction Sector Deal has been broadly backed by ECA, the electrotechnical and engineering services trade body, and the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA). Both bodies support the focus on more highly skilled apprenticeships, digital processes, and whole life value. The attention given to SMEs, productivity and supply chain collaboration is also welcome. However, both bodies agree with the June 2018 FSB report, Chain Reaction, that more decisive and speedy action by government is needed to ensure SMEs are onboard and protected before the industry can deliver any real productivity gains. Rob Driscoll, ECA deputy director of business policy and practice, commented, “Our sector is ready to play an important role in apprenticeships, digitalisation and securing whole life value. In light of the devastating wider impacts of insolvencies like Carillion’s on the industry’s capacity to deliver, fast and effective action is required to help the supply chain. “Specifically, we need to see government ensure that new, fairer approaches to contract and payment practices
will ensure the 99% of industry that are SMEs are not unfairly disadvantaged, carry reduced risk and experience collaborative supply chains. We are here to help the Construction Leadership Council and government make that happen.” Alexi Ozioro, public affairs and policy manager for BESA, added, “The whole industry eagerly anticipated the sector deal and what exactly it was going to say. Now we have it, we are broadly pleased. It is good to see government note the current business model is unsustainable and acknowledge that unfair payment is damaging the industry. Without question, the industry needs monumental reform in a postGrenfell and post-Carillion environment; not to mention in the midst of the housing crisis.” The Construction Sector Deal looks to form ambitious partnerships between government and industry, to transform the sector’s productivity through innovation, development, and a more highly skilled workforce. Worth £420 million, the deal aims to increase the digitalisation of the construction industry, and build new homes quicker, cheaper and with less disruption.
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Industry News.indd 7
INDUSTRY NEWS CROWDS FLOCK TO LIVE 18TH EDITION CINEMA EVENT NICEIC and ELECSA’s live cinema event saw a broadcast on the new 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations beamed via satellite to 40 cinema screens simultaneously, with more than 6,000 electricians from across the UK in attendance. Several of the 40 cinema screens sold out in advance with Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham, Southampton, Bristol and Leicester all recording more than 200 attendees at each location. The 18th Edition seminar was broadcast from the Faraday Theatre, in the Royal Institution. Hosted by industry experts Darren Staniforth and Alan Wells, the talk focused on the changes included in the new regulations and what it will mean for electricians in their day-to-day work. It also included a section on the history of electricity, and how Michael Faraday demonstrated his discoveries to the public way back in 1824.
The seminar was hosted by BBC TV star Ore Oduba and featured some key insights from industry experts, including: Mark Coles, head of technical regulations at the IET, Robin Earl from Dehn, Simon Rawlinson from Siemens and David Garrett from Electrium. The seminar went through all seven sections of the new book, with discussions on the major changes in each section. This included discussions on the introduction of Arc Fault Detection Devices (AFDDs) and Surge
IET AND BSI PUBLISH 18TH EDITION IET WIRING REGULATIONS The 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations has published. The essential publication for all professionals working in the electrical industry forms the national standard to which all new and amended electrical installations in the UK are to comply. The IET urges all electrical professionals to ensure they are familiar with the changes before the new requirements come into effect from January 2019. Significant changes include: recommendations for Arc Fault Detection Devices (AFDDs) in AC final circuits, requirements for devices for protection against overvoltage, a change to the requirement for the methods of supporting wiring systems within buildings against their premature collapse in the event of a fire, and a new appendix focusing on energy efficiency. Changes have also been made to the requirements for electric vehicle charging installations with PME supplies (the most common form of earthing in new installations), as well as new guidance for the design and erection of electrical installations that have local production and storage of energy for optimising efficiency. The changes to BS 7671 come from the revision of international and European standards, of which the UK is obliged to take on the technical intent. JPEL/64 members represent the UK on many of these international committees and the content to be included is discussed in terms of the impact on UK industry, before a new update to BS 7671 is agreed and published.
Protection Devices (SPDs) which have been included as recommendations to improve safety within certain electrical installations. NICEIC and ELECSA’s marketing director, Mark Smith, commented, “We wanted to try something new and on a grand scale, however, the most important part was that everyone got to see the same seminar and that we were able to communicate a single, consistent message to the industry, which will only increase electrical safety.”
NETWORK RAIL SHOWS ‘EXEMPLARY LEADERSHIP’ ON PAYMENT Network Rail has set a great example on fair payment, which others should now follow, say BESA and the ECA. The two trade bodies applauded Network Rail’s decision to ban retentions and adopt project bank accounts as part of its new five-year investment programme. Large contractors who work with the railway operator will also be obliged to pay their own supply chains within 28 days under new terms of engagement. This decision affords greater protection and certainty of cash flow to supply chains. It will come into effect during the next funding period for Network Rail, which runs from 2019 to 2024, and will include around £48 billion worth of projects. ECA CEO Steve Bratt commented, “I am delighted to see such a positive development in the fight against unfair payment practices. Network Rail’s decision should signal to the wider industry that true change can, and must, happen. We urge as many clients as possible to follow suit, and show support for immediate reform. “The unprecedented support for the Aldous Bill from over half a million businesses and trade body members, as well as one in four MPs, is also telling of the need for change. Network Rail will hopefully be the first of many clients to take bold steps towards fairer business practices and start to show that lessons have been learned from Carillion.” “Network Rail has shown exemplary leadership and foresight,” said BESA’s public affairs and policy manager Alexi Ozioro. “This demonstrates not only that reform can happen, but can happen very quickly. If a major client like Network Rail can do it, so can everyone.” Debbie Petford, BESA’s head of legal affairs, added, “Network Rail’s Tier 1 contractors are now contractually forbidden from withholding retention payments. Hopefully this will trickle down the supply chain. We will wait eagerly to see if this happens, but Network Rail is setting a great example to the wider industry.”
‘TAP THE APP’ TO WIN WITH POWERLOTTERY The Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) is challenging everyone in the electrical and energy industries to ‘tap the app’ and play powerLottery to win big cash prizes, while helping hundreds of people in the sector to have a better quality of life. The charity’s number one fundraising stream, powerLottery is a fun and easy way to show your support and help the charity to support thousands of people with practical and financial support. Thanks to the new EIC powerLottery app, players can now register, play and check results in just one quick and easy click. When you tap the app, you can choose to purchase between one and
ten lottery numbers each month at the cost of as little as £1 per month to be in with a chance to win 15 cash prizes of up to £1,000. powerLottery provides the charity with 30% of its annual income which is directly handed out in financial grants to the industry through the charity’s employee assistance programme, which includes the practical participation, apprentice, pensioner, and the family and employee support programmes. In the past year, the EIC has given financial assistance grants to 672 people, as well as direction and guidance to 4,154 people. You can show
your support and help the charity to make a difference to thousands of industry colleagues lives by entering powerLottery today.
8 | August 2018
Industry News.indd 8
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INDUSTRY NEWS BUILDING TECH LIVE LIGHTS THE WAY FOR SMART BUILDINGS Building Tech Live will be coming to the NEC on October 9 to 11, as part of the construction industry’s largest event, UK Construction Week (UKCW). Evolving from last year’s Smart Buildings show, and following feedback from visitors and exhibitors, Building Tech Live will cover the latest technological advancements in IoT (Internet of Things), lighting, automation, security, communication technology and more. Visitors will get practical experience of IoT in the Gooee IoT Arena. The arena will showcase Gooee’s award-winning IoT ecosystem with its partnered companies, and includes a number of keynote speakers and interactive sessions. The Building Tech Live Theatre, supported by Voltimum and ECA, will cover sessions on smart homes, cyber security, fire safety and prevention, and will showcase new examples of the sector’s use of augmented reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence. Expert speakers will include Professor Prashant Pillai, professor of cyber security at the University of Wolverhampton; Steve Martin, director of technical at ECA; David Williams, head of strategic marketing at Schneider Electric, plus many more. Linking in with UKCW’s ‘Future of Construction’ theme, the Innovation Trail will feature the latest thinking in
SCOTTISH WHOLESALER HELPS LOCAL PEOPLE BACK INTO WORK Unemployed people in Glasgow are being helped back into work thanks to an ongoing partnership between a local electrical wholesale and trade supplier, and a national support organisation. The Stax Trade Centres warehouse branch on the Queenslie Industrial Estate now employs four full time workers who have all been able to find their way back into employment, thanks to the joint efforts of Stax Trade Centres and Working Links. “We have been involved with Working Links for over two years now and the partnership has brought benefits for everyone involved,” explained Gary Anderson of Stax Trade Centres. “We have been able to provide work experience for a number of people via Working Links, and four of them have gone on to gain permanent roles working in our packing and administration departments. “Working Links does a great job in helping unemployed local people find their way back to the world of work, and we’re delighted to play our part in that process. The vast majority of our 89 employees live within three miles of the store, so we feel it’s especially important that we do our bit to help the local community. Through Working Links, we’ve really benefitted by finding local people who are ready to work and keen to take the opportunities we can offer them.” Working Links is a leading provider of tailored services which help people maximise their potential. The organisation has helped many people improve their lives, and its involvement with companies such as Stax Trade Centres is an essential element in their work. “We really value the opportunities which a company like Stax Trade Centres can offer to our clients,” added Bob Taylor of Working Links. “By working together in this way, we can make a real contribution and help create positive outcomes for people in the Glasgow area.”
products, systems and ideas for the building technology sector with exhibitors including Canon, GEWISS, Kore, My Smart Box, and Okappy. Free CPD sessions will cover topics such as BIM and cyber security, while major debates around national and international construction issues will take place on the UKCW stage. Speakers already confirmed include Phil
Wilbraham, expansion programme director at Heathrow; Bridget Rosewell OBE, commissioner at the National Infrastructure Commission; Ben Derbyshire, RIBA president; and Ruth Davidson, National Housing Federation executive director. Free visitor tickets for the show are available at ukconstructionweek.com/building-tech-live
UK NEW VAN MARKET DECLINES 5.8% IN JUNE British light commercial vehicle (LCVs) registrations declined in June, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 35,182 new vans and pickups were registered, representing a -5.8% decline on June 2017. Small, medium and large sized vans all saw demand fall in the month, down -18.2%, -7.3% and -6.4% respectively. Meanwhile, the number of pickups joining British roads increased in June, up 4.1% to 5,019 units. Year-to-date, 180,696 new LCVs have been registered, a drop of -2.3% on the first half of 2017, with the bulk of the decline in the market for vans weighing more than 2.5-3.5 tonnes. However, demand remains at a high level, up more than a third (35.7%) on the same period five years ago. Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “UK van registrations have fluctuated throughout the first half of this year, reflecting variable buying cycles which are a natural feature of the market. Despite this and recognising the fact that demand is still at a historically high level, the overall trend is downwards, with Brexit uncertainty and its negative effect on business confidence threatening long-term growth.”
SELECT CALLS FOR MORE STRINGENT ELECTRICAL SAFETY CONTROLS IN PRIVATELY RENTED PROPERTIES SELECT has responded to a Scottish government consultation paper on Landlord Registration. The consultation recently took place by the Scottish government’s Landlord Registration team. SELECT has called for more stringent controls over the vital electrical inspection and testing performed by private landlords prior to registration. Darrell Matthews, managing director of SELECT, said: “Private landlord registration has been mandatory since 2004 and a robust application process is critical to keep the people of Scotland safe in privately rented accommodation. “Our members operate to the highest standards of electrical installation and testing, and firmly believe that the government should hold private landlords to the same exacting standards.” One of the key areas in the consultation relates to a proposal to expand the ‘prescribed information’ which landlords have to provide when letting a property. The proposal, as worded in the consultation, is that landlords provide information that ‘a property meets the specific requirements relating to gas, electrical, and carbon monoxide safety.’ SELECT has responded by stating that landlords should be required to submit written evidence that they have had electrical inspection and testing undertaken and that fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide detectors are fitted and operational.
MOVERS & SHAKERS… Nexans has appointed Christopher Guérin as chief executive officer. Guérin has been with Nexans since 1997 and since 2014 served as senior executive vice president, Europe and telecom/ datacom, power accessories business groups, and member of the group management board. Darrell Matthews has been appointed by SELECT as its new managing director, replacing Newell McGuiness. Matthews, who has been working in tandem with McGuiness during a handover period, has a wide range of commercial experience, most recently with industry bodies such as EEF, the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institute of Directors. Flexicon has welcomed Paul Mildenstein as its new managing director, based at the Coleshill UK facility in the West Midlands. Mildenstein will lead the Flexible Conduit International business unit. Marshall-Tufflex has appointed Craig Haskins as its new international sales manager overseeing African and Caribbean markets, UK export houses and new product ranges for MarshallTufflex’s international portfolio. Matt Palmer, who previously worked in Marshall-Tufflex’s UK customer services team, has also now been appointed as international sales co-ordinator.
10 | August 2018
Industry News.indd 10
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THE RIGHT SUPPORT Hager explains how its ‘Regs Live’ platform has been designed to make achieving 18th Edition compliance as straightforward as possible.
n order to help support the electrical industry get compliant, Hager has created an integrated communications campaign, ‘Regs Live’, as a unified platform from which to get important 18th Editionrelated advice, guidance and recommendations out to the industry. ‘Regs Live’ offers the industry the means to access the information it needs in a manner that suits the individual. This includes the availability of in-depth training courses provided by Hager experts, which sets out both the significant changes to the regulations and, importantly, how it will practically affect day-to-day installations and electricians’ responsibilities.
Tell me about the changes to the wiring regulations Sure, let me help...
Country-wide support Hager has visited various parts of the UK during 2018 with the ‘Regs Live’ regional roadshow. Many electricians have used this opportunity to come along and meet Hager’s technical experts face-to-face to find out for themselves what they need to know. A handy bitesize guide to all things 18th Edition has been created authored by Hager’s technical team. It provides a quick and accessible overview of what has changed as a result of the 18th Edition, including reference to product changes that become mandatory next year.
‘Reg the Bot’ Hager has also utilised other innovative communication tools to engage with electricians. Early July saw the launch of ‘Reg’ – Hager’s very own 18th Edition chatbot. Users can access the chatbot using Facebook Messenger, via the Hager Facebook page. Here, the industry-leading initiative provides a primary information source for electricians keen to know more about the 18th Edition changes. Designed by Hager’s experts, users of the chatbot are finding it simple to navigate around the subject matters of interest to them so they can speedily uncover the right information they require. The 18th Edition headline changes include the use of arc fault detection devices (AFDD), correct RCD selection, surge protection, overload protection of devices, and the incorporation of devices within enclosures. Each of these are broken down into accessible sections that ensures contractors can find what they are interested in without delay.
“Early July saw the launch of ‘Reg’ – Hager’s very own 18th Edition chatbot.”
Users can ask ‘Reg the Bot’ any questions they have on the 18th Edition, confident that the answers provided are accurate and helpful in terms of enhancing their current knowledge levels and pointing them in the right direction about what to do next. Many hundreds of two-way online conversations have already been held between ‘Reg’ and the electrical community. They are highlighting some of the key areas of interest and concern for electricians.
Key concerns A prime example is the new onus on contractors to carry out risk assessments to determine whether surge protection devices are needed on future electrical installations. This is a new departure for many contractors and it is important that they get up to speed swiftly before they potentially fall foul of the revised regulations.
Analysis of the online conversations that have already taken place, and which are of most interest to users of the bot, points to the topic of surge protection as a priority area. ‘Reg’ is providing straightforward guidance so that professional electricians are fully armed with knowledge that will keep them compliant going forward. It is in the best interests of the industry that all stakeholders pull together during a time of change. Hager fully recognises a responsibility to play its part in ensuring that electricians feel fully confident, ready and prepared for the day the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations come into full effect. For members of the professional electrician community wishing to benefit from the advice available via the Hager ‘Regs Live’ 18th Edition chatbot, simply visit the Hager ‘Regs Live’ Facebook page and send a message to begin a conversation. Hager, hager.co.uk
12 | August 2018
FCP – Hager.indd 12
Tell me about the changes to the wiring regulations Sure, let me help...
Reg. Are you ready for all of the changes coming with the 18th edition of the wiring regulations? Reg is here to help. Reg is Hager’s very own 18th Edition expert chatbot. From simple explanations of the key changes in the 18th Edition regulations, to product information and advice, Reg is available 24/7. Contacting him is easy. Simply visit the Hager ‘Regs Live’ Facebook page and just send a message to begin a chat. Easy, convenient and straightforward. Let’s get chatting today. Visit facebook.com/HagerRegsLive
Stay up to date with 18th Edition Training
Places now available at over 20 locations across the UK Now the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations has been released, itâ€™s a requirement for electrical installers to get up to speed with the new qualifications in order to work competently. Premier Training Academy are bringing the City & Guilds 2382-18 course to a venue More near you. venues to be anounced!
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CONTRACT NEWS EARLY ENGAGEMENT WITH UPONOR PROVIDES LOW CARBON SOLUTION FOR KINGSTON UNI Heating, cooling and plumbing specialist, Uponor, has designed and installed its TABS (Thermally Active Building System) at Kingston University London’s showpiece Town House development. Constructed on the Penrhyn Road campus in Kingston-upon-Thames by Willmott Dixon, the BREEAM ‘Excellent’ project has been designed by Grafton architects. Offering a variety of facilities, including an LRC (learning resources centre), dance studios and flexible teaching spaces alongside a covered courtyard, cafes and attractive new landscaping, the development
will contribute to the university’s aim of reducing carbon emissions by 35% by 2020. Uponor’s TABS will help to deliver this carbon reduction strategy by providing a highly efficient, fit-and-forget cooling solution. Using air source heat pumps and solar panels as its main energy source, the Uponor TABS will heat and cool the building using water that will flow through pipework embedded in the structure, utilising the thermal mass of the semi precast concrete building to store and exchange thermal energy. The building has been designed with a very open aspect and a minimalist aesthetic characterised by fair-faced concrete, glass and wood. As the TABS pipework is embedded in the structure to provide heating and cooling, the clean lines and open spaces of the design are not compromised by wall mounted units or voids. The building is due to be opened in time for the 2019/20 academic year, but early engagement was critical to the success of the TABS element of the scheme and Uponor first became involved with the 15000m2, five-storey project around two years before construction began.
NETWORK RAIL CHOOSES AEI CABLES FOR SIGNALLING Network Rail has chosen specialist cables from AEI Cables for a range of signalling needs across its infrastructure – meeting the highest standards of rail accreditations. The cables will provide power for train protection warning systems, playing an essential part in ensuring the smooth running and reliability of the rail network. They ensure the transmission of signals and a continuous power supply across all trackside signalling equipment, with a voltage rating from 650-1,100V and an operating temperature range from -25 degrees to 85 degrees, complete with insulation including Low Smoke Zero Halogen (LSZH). Stuart Dover, commercial manager of AEI Cables, said, “There can be no compromise when it comes to quality of products for these requirements where large numbers of people move about. “We are working closely with Network Rail to ensure we can fulfil all needs for safety, reliability and continuity of service for its passengers from design and manufacture, to technical advice and installation.” The approval covers the whole range of cables within Network Rail Specification NR/L2/SIG/00005. Through the manufacturing capability of parent company Ducab, AEI Cables provides a Total Solutions service for rail from one source for infrastructure, signalling, rolling stock and power supply. Meeting the latest LUL (London Underground Limited), EN, Railway Industry Association and other relevant national and international standards, the service includes technical advice, design and supply. AEI Cables’ products meet all Network Rail standards as well as a number of European standards supporting interoperability and standardisation across the European rail network. With the support of Ducab, AEI Cables is a trusted expert working with all partners in the rail industry.
MCCANN PROVIDES MAINTENANCE WORK FOR EAST MIDLANDS ASSET DELIVERY AREA 7 PROJECTS McCann is helping to maintain the trunk roads of the East Midlands by collaborating with fellow contractors as part of Highways England’s Area 7 framework, for the wider East Midlands Asset Delivery Team (EMAD).
McCann successfully secured Lot 3 and Lot 12 in 2016 within the wider Area 7 framework, covering street lighting and technology upgrades across the Midlands. Area 7 is a four-year framework and comprises many different schemes, with McCann acting as the one of several principle contractors across the framework working together in order to carry out significant improvement and maintenance projects. Lot 3 and Lot 12 are worth a combined £4 million and McCann successfully won the contracts based on its previous experience of collaborating with contractors within previous frameworks. Lot 3’s road lighting and electrical works covers the supply of materials, plant and labour for the installation, removal and commissioning of road lighting, illuminated signs, central management systems and other highway electrical equipment. Lot 12 covers the supply of materials, plant and labour for the construction of highway technology works including the supply and installation of specialist technology equipment. It also covers installation, removal and commissioning of traffic signal equipment and safety cameras.
LONDON HOUSING ASSOCIATION INSTALLS GAS SAFETY TECHNOLOGY IN ITS HOMES An Islington housing association is installing life-saving gas safety technology in its 295 London homes. Barnsbury Housing Association has partnered with Gas Tag to protect its tenants. Annual gas safety checks are a legal requirement for all landlords. However, Barnsbury Housing Association’s processes were very paper-heavy and information was locally stored making compliance monitoring resource intensive. Gas Tag works by keeping a geotagged, time-stamped and photo-verified record of all work carried out on a gas appliance. All the information is uploaded to a centralised portal and the Gas Safe Registered engineer verification feature prevents unregistered gas fitters from recording any work through the system. Susan French, CEO of Barnsbury Housing Association, said, “We are a small housing association and Gas Tag offers us the solution we were looking for to help us to operate more efficiently and to manage compliance effectively. “The software greatly improves our asset information because it keeps a track of the paper trail for annual gas certificates, including access attempts, replacement boilers and new appliances in our homes. It’s an extremely practical way for us, as a small association, to bring in new technology and we are delighted that it is being rolled out to our 295 homes.” Barnsbury Housing Association has been providing affordable rented housing in the Barnsbury area since 1967. It was set up by a group of local professionals to save properties on Barnsbury Street from being demolished and to provide more good quality housing in Islington.
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CONTRACT NEWS SCOLMORE’S CLICK SMART CONTROL SYSTEM HALVES INSTALLATION COST
ANGLIA RUSKIN BENEFITS FROM THEISCRAFT’S LIGHTING DESIGN TheisCraft Lighting Controls has supplied the lighting and DALI control system for the redevelopment of Anglia Ruskin University’s Tindal building, including track spots, barn doors and honeycomb louvres. Emergency bulkheads and twin spots have been supplied with self-test emergency functions that helps Anglia Ruskin work towards removing the need for manually checking each emergency light fitting. Anglia Ruskin University is a public university in East Anglia, with main campuses in Cambridge, Chelmsford, Peterborough and London. The 2,500 sqm Tindal Building is a four storey construction located on the fast-expanding Chelmsford campus and is home to the students’ union, student support services, student bar and restaurant, and administration offices. Working to a lighting controls design by TheisCraft’s John Bowden, a total of 160 DALI track spots were installed by Rydan Services Limited over two floors. LAMP Lighting’s white track and spots have been used on the first floor, while black track and spots were chosen for the ground floor, all providing various beam angles for optimum light positioning. Barn doors and honeycomb louvres were attached to some of the track spots to provide a more precise light control. RZB Flat polymero circular pendant fittings have been installed in the lounge area to complement the surrounding décor and linear lighting was chosen for the office areas. For the student areas, warm 3,000K lighting provides the flexibility to adjust the lighting to suit potentially changing spaces and features.
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SELECT headquarters at The Walled Garden near Penicuik, Midlothian has received an update for its ten-year-old building management system with Scolmore’s Click Smart control system. Coming in at around 50% less than the original budget planned, Scolmore’s Click Smart RF wireless control system was installed with little disruption to the original electrical system, but provided an easy to adapt means to control all lighting throughout half of the entire premises. The Click Smart system is a home automation system, which is suitable for both refurbishment and new build projects and, as in the case of the SELECT head offices, can be used to update an existing wiring system to provide added security, energy saving, comfort and control. The RF system is made up of a series of wireless transmitters, receivers and combined units. No additional cables or wall cutting is required to install the system as the receivers can be installed behind light fittings or into suitable installation boxes and the transmitters are powered by battery, so there is no need for any wiring or additional power supply. Following the installation of Click Smart, all lighting in the training centre, boardroom, conference rooms, canteen, rest rooms and reception area at SELECT is now controlled using JA-83P PIR sensors, switching via a RFSA-66M 6-channel multifunction switch receiver installed in the plant room. Signal has been boosted using RFRP-20/B signal repeaters located in various locations through the site. The RF Touch control panel is mounted on the wall in reception to give a general overview and to act as a central control point for the entire system.
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CONTRACT NEWS UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS SELECTS PLANON’S COMPUTER AIDED FACILITIES MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
ZUMTOBEL PROVIDES MODERN LIGHTING FOR TRADITIONAL AUSTRIAN POST OFFICE
The University of Leeds has selected Planon’s computer aided facilities management (CAFM) software. The solution includes BIM integration, space and lease management, and asset and maintenance management. The university required an agile facilities management system that could meet its business requirements while providing best value for money. Planon Universe for corporate real estate and facility managers will be used to maintain and improve the condition of the university’s buildings and assets to a standard that meets statutory compliance whilst minimising costs. It will maximise the use of its direct labour organisation for both reactive and planned maintenance, and maintain a single database and CAD/BIM records of the estates to enable effective management of the assets – providing an improved service to students and staff, with minimal disruption. Matthew Tidmarsh, deputy director – operations at the University of Leeds, explains, “This CAFM system represents a significant business process change for the facilities directorate and especially estates services at the University of Leeds. It will help transform the way in which we manage and deliver a wide range of our services and its potential impact shouldn’t be underestimated.”
In the middle of one of the most vibrant districts of Vienna stands the new Post am Rochus – a blend of new construction and listed building. Lighting planner and designer, Christian Ploderer, worked closely with Zumtobel to create a progressive and contemporary office and service space that still manages to maintain all the charm of the original building. Working closely with architects from Schenker Salvi Weber and feld72, Ploderer has created a multi-layered lighting design for every area. The inclusion of Zumtobel in the project has enabled a holistic lighting concept from one source. A skylight is supported by artificial light to illuminate the elongated 35-metre-high atrium, which connects all the office floors to the old building. No luminaires disrupt the join between old and new, as modern light lines installed in the landings give the space a high-quality feel. PANOS evolution downlights from Zumtobel with a neutral white light colour are barely visible in the concrete ceilings above the connecting stairway, letting their light show users the way.
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PANOS evolution luminaires sunk by the lighting designer into concrete elements around the entrance to the
shopping centre use their light to direct people inside, where fittings from the same family are mounted in the louvered ceiling.
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TRAINING HAMILTON SUPPORTS ELECTRICAL INSTALLATION TRAINING FOR APPRENTICES Hamilton Litestat is providing electrical installation training aids to apprentices at the Kings Langley Campus at West Herts College, Hertfordshire, in an attempt to curb the current industry skills shortage and support the next generation of qualified electricians. Through its relationship with local wholesaler Grant & Stone Hemel Hempstead, Hamilton is supplying West Herts College with purpose-built smart control wiring boards for use during their electrical training courses. These interactive demonstration boards allow the apprentices – typically aged 16-18 – to learn how to wire Hamilton’s smart lighting control and multi-room audio systems and help them gain experience and confidence in wiring smart control solutions.
The Hamilton training boards feature a mocklayout of a house with LED lamps positioned in various rooms. Attached to the board is a four-channel smart dimmer pack as well as a two-channel audio pack. The apprentices can wire up various circuits in the house as requested and control the system using a push-button or touchscreen control plate. There is also the option to download the iOS/Android app and control the system with a swipe of their finger.
“Working with manufacturers, such as Hamilton, gives our students a great insight into their future careers and helps them better understand the industry,” explains Gordon Clarke, head of school, engineering at West Herts College. “Smart technology is now mainstream, and students should be encouraged to work with it. Receiving the hands-on experience that has been facilitated by Hamilton’s support is a really valuable learning tool for our students.”
APPRENTICES REPORT ON EXPERIENCES DOWN UNDER A report comparing the UK and Australian electrical contracting industries has been published by JIB Apprentice Exchange winners, George Stickings and Josh Horton. The two young men, who spent six weeks working in and around Brisbane, provided a detailed analysis on areas such as working practices, skills and competence, the role of apprentices and the industrial relations system. The main recommendations presented in their report were:
J S WRIGHT APPRENTICE WINS TOP NATIONAL AWARD Jack Orrow of J S Wright has received the Heating & Ventilation Apprentice of the Year award for 2018 from Choice Training, one of the industry’s leading training providers. He was presented with a trophy and a certificate by Choice managing director Robert Maw in a ceremony at Choice’s training centre in Dagenham. The 22-year old, who lives in Dagenham, passed the Level 3 National Vocational Qualification in Heating & Ventilation with Choice, and was one of 75 trainees on its H&V courses. Robert Tye, a director of Choice Training, said: “I cannot say how highly Jack deserves his award. He has improved each year as a learner at Choice Training, his practical work has been exceptional, and his exams have been completed with ease.” He added: “Jack is polite, friendly and a pleasure to teach – and a real credit to his company who have shown from winning an award last year that they have the know-how to produce a good tradesperson.” Jack is a member of the J S Wright Academy, which provides a training forum for all apprentices working out of the company’s Birmingham, Bristol and London offices. He is currently helping to install the mechanical services for the new 441-home Keybridge development in London, which incorporates the UK’s tallest brick apartment block.
1. T he belief that a licensing system would help to raise skills and competency and add value to the job title of ‘electrician’. In Australia, all electrical work must be carried out by a licensed electrician; there is a penalty fine of up to 40,000 dollars if this rule is broken. 2T aking best practice from the Australian apprentice training system, which saw electricians joining apprentices in the classroom to help with their learning, and widening the scope of the apprenticeship to include new and emerging technologies. Introducing low voltage rescue and first aid training, so that electricians can help to improve health and safety knowledge and standards on-site, was also highlighted in the report. This CPD is mandatory on an annual basis for licensed electricians in Australia to ensure they are competent in dealing with or preventing injuries or accidents. Whilst not a legal requirement in the UK, the ECS Registered Electrician status has been introduced by the JIB to help raise standards and recognise those working to the current British Standard for electrical installation. The JIB Apprentice Exchange programme is a partnership between the JIB, ECA , Unite the Union and JTL and is funded by the JIB Skills Development Fund. Additional support from the Electrical Industries Charity in 2017 meant that, for the first time, two apprentices could be funded and benefit from the exchange. George, employed by T Clarke plc, is now undertaking a degree to become a quantity surveyor and Josh is in the final year of his apprenticeship at RB Emerson Group and will become an electrician on completion. To download the full report visit jib.org.uk/apprentice-exchange.aspx
18 | August 2018
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BETTER TOGETHER CP Electronics has a long history of working with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to help bolster its energy management solutions. Here, the company details how its latest project saw the company work with DEUS LLC, a lighting manufacturer in Russia, to help bring X5 Retail Group a brand-new lighting layout in its warehouse.
he partnership brought a 50% saving in energy usage to the new warehouse in Tyumen, a huge difference that allowed for great cost savings. The lighting system in the 30,000sqm distribution centre was fully compatible with DEUS’ own DALI control system.
Height of light Previously, X5 Retail Group was struggling to control lighting at heights in its warehouses. The company required detectors that would mount up to 15m to work with its current control system. The entire system also needed to operate off-line utilising the presence detectors and to maintain the lighting set point of 250 lux, even where the luminaires are located at heights of at least 12m.
DEUS focuses on usability and providing a flexible cloud platform to users. Collaborating with CP Electronics on a project like this worked well due to DEUS’ partnership with Legrand, as the company localises all datasheets, user manuals and all other documents into the local language. CP Electronics has experience in providing bespoke solutions to lighting OEMs. Nikita Betyaev, business development director and co-founder of DEUS LLC, explains how the partnership began, “We started working with CP Electronics in 2017 as we were particularly impressed with the standard five-year warranty of CP’s products. We also found the flexibility of products like DALI Network (DNET1) to be particularly beneficial.
“We also won this project against some big-name competitors because our joint CP/ DEUS solution showed the greatest efficiency and flexibility during the pilot installation.”
Easy integration The main lighting of the warehouse comprised 1,500 luminaires equipped with DALI drivers. DEUS LLC utilised its own ME6 DALI control system, which included 32 control routers and 156 EBDHS-DNET1 combined lighting and presence detectors, provided by CP Electronics. EBDHS-DNET1 is a high-bay PIR presence detector and photocell designed to be part of a DALI network. It was utilised in this project because it provides exceptionally sensitive and long-range detection. They are ideal for high-bay lighting control in areas with demanding spaces and increased mounting heights such as warehouses and factories.
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This product also functions as a presence detector, whereby the unit returns occupancy data to the DALI network. Similarly, the photocell provides a lux level measurement value to the DALI network. Overall, it is the perfect solution for system integrators and people who work in the field of building management systems (BMS). The ME6 DALI cloud system was chosen for this project, not only due to its ability to connect with the EDBHS-DNET1 sensors, but also because it offers an unlimited amount of lighting solutions with very little installation skills necessary. It is also easily integrated within the warehouse’s BMS system and provided a higher degree of security than standard solutions.
Shared knowledge The CP/DEUS project benefitted from the unique and knowledge-sharing partnership that incorporated the use of successful components. The installation didn’t encounter any obstacles or issues during the process as a result of the intense planning and the trial period whereby they went up against some key competitors. X5 Group preferred this installation to the other competitors because the sensors allowed lighting control scenarios to be programmed in, according to X5 Group’s needs – flexibility was key to the user’s requirements. To keep energy consumption to a minimum, the movement sensors ensure defined detection of different areas. Therefore, this gives a longer service life of luminaires and the lighting detectors provided a 50% increase in energy efficiency. The warehouse is open all day, every day, and as the requirements change by the work undertaken, so do the lighting. The X5 Retail Group required not just a centralised lighting control system, but a guarantee to quickly select the necessary scenarios for managing the facility and its zones. X5 is incredibly happy with the combined DEUS/CP project and found the solution
“The partnership brought a 50% saving in energy usage to the new warehouse in Tyumen.”
to be flexible and secure. Energy saving is a key trend across all industries at the moment, so it was of paramount importance to them to be investing in lighting control solutions. Halving energy consumption was a huge bonus for them, particularly when moving into new and large premises.
Growing demand The story highlights the growing demand for efficient and easy lighting control solutions in warehouses across Europe. DNET1, as part of a wider system, ensured smooth and reliable energy management for the end-user. Partnering with DEUS LLC, CP Electronics brought efficient energy controls to a demanding space with high mounting heights. There are many European Standards that, although not mandatory, provide guidance on how energy should be consumed in places of work. Accompanying this is the Health & Safety Executive’s guidance on minimum lighting levels in new projects; HSG 38: Lighting at Work
highlights how important lighting is for employees’ productivity and wellbeing. It can be easy to forget that the main beneficiary of this innovative and efficient lighting is the warehouse workers themselves. This project ensured that the work spaces were bright in areas that were being used but also could be adapted to the changing working demands. Therefore, if a space that had previously been empty needed to be used, the flexible control system, DNET1 and presence detectors could easily be adapted to meet these new demands. This gives power back to the people using the lighting the most, guaranteeing their wellbeing is preserved; it puts their work and their needs at the forefront of energy management decisions. Moreover, this project showcases how important it is for companies, when investing in new warehouse spaces, to think about how to decrease their energy consumption as well as putting workers’ needs first. CP Electronics, cpelectronics.co.uk/OEM
A knowledge-sharing partnership was key to the success of the CP/DEUS project
The project ensured that the lighting in work spaces could be adapted to employees’ needs
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elissa Smart is the first, newly qualified electrician of our agency’s flexible apprenticeship scheme. She has just won the BESA Wales Electrical Apprentice of the Year award, presented in a ceremony by our managing director, Paul Ingram. Pier Consulting Ltd’s Flexible Apprenticeship scheme was developed in 2014 for mechanical and electrical apprenticeships in the South West and Wales. Our main business is offering temporary and permanent recruitment services for the construction and building services industries, but we decided to offer this scheme in association with BESA after seeing a gradual decline in new entrants to the industry and a widening skills gap. As an agency with existing clients, we make the introduction between apprentices rigorously vetted by our training provider, BESA, and employers who are keen to take on apprentices, but may not be able to make the commitment of the full threefour years of training. We then deal with all the payroll and paperwork, whilst BESA offers pastoral care and organises training through Cardiff and Vale College.
Fully qualified Melissa is our first apprentice to become fully qualified. Having started on a placement for Weston Electrical Services back in 2015, she moved on to work with Nailsea-based Phaze Electrical Ltd, assisting in electrical installations of luxury apartments (Cardiff Pointe), hotels, a care home and student accommodations (Howard Gardens) in Cardiff and Bristol. She demonstrated her abilities and has had a range of on-site experiences, from pulling cable and snagging to helping out in the office, checking drawings and completing reports. At the end of her apprenticeship, she had the initiative to ask for supervisory experience and had men twice her age looking for her direction, in addition to completing testing on-site.
BREAKING BOUNDARIES The gender gap in the electrical industry is common knowledge – but Pier Consulting tells ECN about the success story of one female apprentice who has overcome the obstacles.
She has now been taken on permanently by Phaze Electrical, where she was the first female electrician on any of their sites and has aspirations of project management for the future. Melissa was discouraged from taking up an apprenticeship whilst in college, instead advised to study electrical engineering at university. She does not regret her decision to work on the tools and learn the industry from the ground up.
Melissa Smart is dreaming big, with aspirations of project management in her future.
Melissa’s story About women in the electrical industry Melissa says, “There is a wariness about accepting women in this industry, but it is slowly changing. I have felt a difference even in the last four years. “You do need to have a thick skin,” she adds. “My advice would be to stay open-minded. If someone talks to you in the wrong manner, then call them up on it from the start.
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Melissa has just won the BESA Wales Electrical Apprentice of the Year award.
“Things are slowly changing.” About her choice to be an apprentice over studying engineering in university, she adds, “I think to be able to run or design an electrical project, it’s important to know how to do it from the ground up. That way you know the problems that can occur on-site and you know exactly what you’re talking about. It also helps to earn people’s respect as you prove yourself starting at the bottom of the pecking order.” Project engineer of Weston Electrical & Mechanical Services Ltd, Kevin Watts, says of Melissa’s story, “The construction industry can still be a daunting prospect for women, but Melissa’s positive attitude and hard-working mentality meant she was a respected member of the team.
“She completed work as part of a team and under her own initiative and wasn’t daunted when asked to complete more technical aspects of our installation works. and was entrusted to mark-up drawings and collate information vital to the handover of the job. Melissa could follow instruction clearly but was also not afraid to raise questions or make suggestions on how a task might be improved and that communication made her an asset to the team. I’m sure she will be successful wherever she goes.” Current employer Phaze Electrical Ltd director Rob Hulland also speaks highly of Melissa’s professionalism: “She really showed her capabilities, her confidence, maturity and willingness to learn and proved more of herself than we expected of an apprentice… She wants to lead rather than follow. “We normally take apprentices on right from the start as soon as they leave school. The flexible apprenticeship scheme gives a ‘try before you buy’ aspect, instead of having to work out what an apprentice will be like in a short space of time. It gave us the benefit of seeing Melissa’s capabilities before taking her on”
Investing in the future “The government has set new targets for home building of 300,000 homes a year across the UK and there are predictions of a high growth rate of 4.6% for the Welsh construction sector, whilst apprenticeship numbers continue to fall. It is vital now, more than ever, to make opportunities to
enter into these schemes as accessible as possible,” says Paul Ingram, Pier Consulting Ltd’s managing director. “Melissa impressed from the very start with her aptitude for learning and her capability on-site. She has remained unphased as a woman in what is still a male-dominated industry and has overcome adversity to become a shining example of everything we would want an apprentice to be: ambitious, passionate about what she does and eager to learn and improve. Pier Consulting Ltd are proud to have supported her through the last four years and we will support her in any way we can in her goals.”
“There is a wariness about accepting women in this industry, but it is slowly changing.”
Pier Consulting, pierconsulting.co.uk
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THE ESTIMATION GAME Providing estimated running costs for any heating system, including electric, can be a tricky affair. Shaun Hurworth at Glen Dimplex Heating & Ventilation, outlines just what makes estimates so difficult, and explains why exact quotations may be little more than guesswork.
s a contractor, it can be frustrating to be asked to supply expected running costs for any heating system. Not only does this raise a raft of follow-up questions relating to factors such as expected usage, fuel costs and building efficiency, but it also hints towards an over-reliance on price that might prevent a customer from choosing the most appropriate system for them. The problem is that providing running costs involves a series of calculations based on data that it is impossible to know from a pre-purchase perspective. As a result, any estimate provided may not only be inaccurate – it could be downright misleading for the decision-maker.
Unhelpful or unwise? Admittedly, there are some manufacturers who will supply an estimate of some kind on request, and it is true that producing a running cost value alongside a specification isn’t entirely impossible; it does, however, rely on some fairly large generalisations. The best way to illustrate this is probably to describe how one would go about forming a running cost estimate in the first place. A heating system is designed to bring a space up to the required temperature, and maintain that temperature by replacing any energy which is lost from the space. As such, the running costs for the system come from a combination of the difference between the internal and external temperatures (referred to as ΔT), and the U-Values of the insulators between the spaces. In other words, how much energy
“Electric heating is 100% efficient at the point of use, meaning that every kWh that the heating system draws through the meter becomes heat in the space.”
passes through the insulation from the heated space to the unheated one. Electric heating is 100% efficient at the point of use, meaning that every kWh that the heating system draws through the meter becomes heat in the space. Because Lot 20 legislation introduced minimum compliance levels for the accuracy of thermostats, a heating system will draw the precise amount of energy it needs to keep the room at the set temperature, and this equates exactly to the amount of energy that is lost to the outside space. Let’s apply this to a real-life scenario. If a building has a 10kWh heat-loss at 10ºC ΔT (i.e. it’s 20ºC inside, 10ºC outside, and 10kWh leak through the walls, windows, doors and ceiling) in a set period of time, then any electric heating system will have to draw 10kWh through the meter to keep the space at the temperature of 20ºC. Given that the standard tariff for electricity is currently at 15.4p and 7.5p for off-peak, according to confusedaboutenergy.co.uk, May 2018, if you replace this 10kWh of lost energy using direct-acting heaters then the running cost would be 15.4p/kWh x 10kWh = £1.54 per hour. However, if you were to replace that lost energy with heat stored from the offpeak tariff, then that cost reduces to 75p.
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Even if an estimated running cost can be calculated – should it be?
Hypothetical heating What makes this estimated running cost essentially useless is that we’ve had to invent most of the information used in the calculation. This is because it is extremely difficult to know exactly what the U-Value of all the insulation around the space is, and practically impossible to say what the inside and outside temperatures are going to be at any given time. Of course, compared to the historic monthly cost of heating a building, these
figures may either be vastly overinflated, or extremely conservative. The point is that in order to provide an indication of running costs for a specification, we have had to select certain values. Correctly identifying the kWh heat loss is the real issue, but in order to paint a more attractive picture for a potential customer, all that would be needed to do is to perform the calculation with more favourable values. Not too difficult when external temperatures, which are going to
“The most helpful and cost-saving approach is simply to focus on selecting a system that suits the specific needs of their individual application.”
be weather dependant, and U-Values of the actual building, and even the type and level of occupancy, are likely to be no more than guesswork. In fact, perhaps the only thing it tells us for sure is that using off-peak heating will be the cheapest option in this scenario (and indeed most scenarios). This point is backed-up by SAP calculations, which show that off-peak heating systems offer the lowest running costs in anything other than a very well-insulated space. But, of course, it all depends on the installation in question. Additional running costs might not be an issue, or may be off-set by other aspects of the building’s daytime energy use. Also hot water requirements, or capital cost may be of greater concern. What the above hopefully shows is that, although an estimated running cost can be calculated, this does not at all mean that it should be. Instead, rather than make a purchase based on what is, in essence, an educated guess, the best advice we as manufacturers can give to specifiers and contractors (and, in turn, specifiers and contractors to their customers) is that the most helpful and cost-saving approach is simply to focus on selecting a system that suits the specific needs of their individual application, ideally based on a recognised improvement in the EPC score. Glen Dimplex Heating & Ventilation, dimplex.co.uk
Higher EPC rating, lower running cost
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EI LIVE! THE PATH TO A SMARTER FUTURE In one all-encompassing show, EI Live! will challenge industry norms, push the boundaries, and launch a platform on which a smarter, brighter future can be established. This is a must-attend event for any electrical contractor interested in the concept of the smart home/building.
lready established and marking its ninth year in the market, EI Live! 2019 is the key UK event for contractors who want to find out more about smart buildings or broaden their existing presence in this expanding market. EI Live! offers a format which covers three related and inter-connected sectors, giving exhibitors and visitors a unique opportunity to explore existing
relationships fully, but also create brand new ones. Pre-empting the growth expected in the sector, the show has moved to a new home at the Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre. The venue, which has been newly-built for mid-2018, provides the state-of-the-art facilities that the smart industry deserves, while featuring all the popular requirements both exhibitors and visitors need to have a successful show; ease of load in/out, free parking, and ease of access to the venue itself.
The newly-constructed venue represents a major investment of £30 million. Farnborough is best-known for holding the world’s most famous aviation event, the Farnborough International Air Show, although its convenient transport links has made it one of the South East’s fastest growing exhibition venues. Held over two days, April 30 – May 1 2019, EI Live! will offer ample opportunity for visitors to get in front of key manufacturers, distributors and service providers who can support activity and entry into the smart building sector.
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EI LIVE! #EILiveFuture Revealed in its recent successful #EILiveFuture campaign, the 2019 show will cover smart building products suitable for use by electrical contractors, including smart lighting systems, HVAC, commercial building automation, audio visual systems, and enhanced communication systems. The show also covers home automation, entertainment and audiovisual systems. By pushing boundaries that have yet to be explored by any UK trade show in the automation and AV market, the event has been constructed to deliver a unique nexus of industries, products, exhibitors and attendees, that will drive business and create new opportunities. As the worlds of automation, audio visual systems and smart utilities reach an awareness level and technical sophistication never seen before, all of those involved will need to hone their offering to take maximum advantage.
Why visit? If you are an electrical contractor looking to tap into smart utilities and automation, the show is a must. These areas are expanding all the time and suppliers are looking for new accounts to take the products on, offering full technical support and training. Automated and smart systems as a sector is only going to get larger; forward-thinking contractors need to get on-board now, so as not to miss out. So, why should you consider visiting? Here are 10 key reasons why EI Live! 2019 is the place to be:
Increase profitability: Exhibitors from all of these related fields will be on show, offering visitors a unique opportunity to expand their business and increase profitability.
Make new contacts and cement existing ones: The show’s wide cross section of exhibitors offers the chance to meet new companies and create new opportunities, as well as explore the full potential of existing contacts.
To remain forward-thinking: EI Live! 2019 will provide the crucible within which the UK smart and AV sectors will be forged for the coming years. Make sure you are in the mix of this cuttingedge development.
“If you are an electrical contractor looking to tap into smart utilities and automation, the show is a must.”
Expand your knowledge: The show will offer unique learning experiences, delivered by top professionals, to help you grow your presence in the smart building industry.
Excellent transport links and ease of access: The venue offers thousands of free commercial vehicle-friendly parking spaces – simply drive up, park up and walk in.
To expand on what you already know: In many cases, ‘smart technology’ is merely an upgrade to concepts and products you already fit, so this is the obvious next step.
The show is FREE to attend! How many chances do you get to increase your turnover completely for free? EI Live! is free for all those in the field and related trades.
Match your competitors: Adding a new range of products and services can be a challenge, however, many contractors have already begun offering smart products. Can you afford to miss out?
Network with other professionals: Staying up-to-date with emerging technologies in the industry can be as simple as spending time with your peers. The show provides an excellent chance to network and make new alliances
Show deals: Many exhibitors will be offering deals and packages unique to the event – just another way EI Live! will save you money whilst helping you expand your business.
Don’t forget to check out the website, eiliveshow.com, and watch the event’s big reveal video. While you’re there, why not register your interest in the show. In return, you’ll be kept up-to-date with exclusive news, video content and show announcements. Follow on Twitter @EILiveShow and find the show on LinkedIn by searching EI Live!
REGISTER YOUR INTEREST NOW www.eiliveshow.com
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FIRE BUILDING REGULATIONS – ARE YOU UP TO DATE? Following the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire, Scotland has reviewed its laws regarding the installation of smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms to provide a higher standard of protection. Ian Ballinger, certification manager for FireAngel, explores how legislation currently in place for England and Wales differ to Scotland, and the potential changes electrical professionals should be aware of.
or contractors working on the construction of new build properties, it’s vital that building regulations specific to each separate dwelling are legally adhered to. By conforming to these legislations, and by also taking a proactive approach to each tenant’s safety, installers can ensure all individuals are provided with the highest levels of fire protection. For a number of years, Scotland and Northern Ireland have been at the forefront of providing their residents with higher levels of fire protection, with their building regulations going well above those specified in England and Wales. Scotland and Northern Ireland’s (NI) technical handbooks state a minimum Category LD2 system is required, whereas in England and Wales, an LD3 system is the minimum requirement. These regulations define the legal levels of minimum protection required for each property, and electrical contractors will already be aware of the requirements, however, the regulations in England and Wales could potentially be set to change. Current LD3 requirements include the installation of smoke alarms in circulation spaces that form part of escape routes, such as landings and hallways, whilst LD2 takes this one step further by also requiring the installation of alarms in areas that are either high risk or the principle habitable room, such as the kitchen or living room. Whilst Scotland has been ahead of England and Wales in regard to both fire and CO safety for a considerable time, it has now taken this one step further, following a consultation on the installation of fire and smoke alarms in Scottish homes. The consultation sought views on potential changes to standards required for fire and smoke alarms in domestic properties in Scotland, which closed on December 1, 2017, prompting the Scottish government to implement a change in the law regarding the installation of fire and smoke alarms. The change, which is planned to be introduced
“Electrical contractors are being encouraged to proactively ensure all individuals in all types of properties are adequately protected.”
by Autumn 2018, has been designed to provide a greater level of protection for all types of properties within Scotland, whether these are owned, privately rented, or part of a social housing scheme. The aim is for all homes in Scotland to have an increased level of fire and CO protection by the end of 2020. Under the new changes to Scotland’s Housing Act, all homes should have: •O ne functioning smoke alarm in the room frequently used by the occupants for daytime living purposes (such as a living room) •O ne functioning smoke alarm in every circulation space on every floor, such as hallways and landings •O ne heat alarm in every kitchen •A ll of these alarms should be ceiling mounted and interlinked •C arbon monoxide alarms should be fitted where there is a carbon-fuelled appliance or flue.
Housing minister Kevin Stewart defines the move as, “Enabling everyone to benefit from the same level of protection, regardless of the property type.” Electrical contractors are being encouraged to proactively ensure all individuals in all types of properties are adequately protected from potential fire and CO dangers by installing an LD2 system as standard in properties throughout England and Wales. This is because Scotland’s level of protection is significantly higher than the LD3 requirement specified for properties located within England and Wales, resulting effectively in a postcode lottery of protection determined by geographical location in the UK. However, following the release of Dame Hackitt’s postGrenfell report, it identifies the current system of building regulations and fire safety is not fit for purpose and acknowledges the government is currently in the process of redrafting Approved Document B. The review of Approved Document B is a positive indication that the government is planning to make advancements in England and Wales’ fire and CO safety, which will hopefully follow the same route as Scotland’s latest legislative changes. This is a necessity to ensure all types of buildings have the same level of effective and appropriate fire safety and that their tenants are adequately protected. As the disparity between Scotland, England and Wales’ fire and CO protection continues to be brought into the spotlight, electrical contractors can ensure they are achieving complete compliance at all times by going above and beyond in the protection they provide. By installing interlinked smoke, heat and CO alarms in an LD2 system, professionals can prepare themselves for any future updates in England and Wales’ legislation, whilst also enhancing occupier safety. FireAngel, fireangel.co.uk
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SOFTWARE & APPLICATIONS
MEETING THE DEMAND Growing demand is a good thing for any contractor – but it also means extra work managing new business. simPRO explains ways in which contractors can boost their profitability with job management software.
ith the global population climbing ever higher, and technology continuing to advance, the market for trade service businesses is experiencing fantastic levels of growth. As it expands however, many owners and operators in this sector may find their business models unable to keep up, and staff struggling to meet customer demand and expectation. Growth in any industry means that previously undetected inefficiencies in dayto-day operations and amongst employees will quickly reveal themselves, and become roadblocks to better profits and customer satisfaction. Without proper preparation to meet growing demand, administrative teams and business owners can quickly find profits dwindling and performance succumbing to the pressure. So, in this era of growth and expansion, how can you meet demand and expectations, and improve job profitability? The answer is job management software.
Well managed In 2015, 87% of high-performing companies used project management software, and with the opportunities this tech provides, it’s no wonder why. Technological developments have produced a solution for most businesses in the blue-collar industry that can streamline complicated workflows like job scheduling, accounting, inventory, fleet monitoring and asset maintenance. Job management software is, at its core, a sign of the times. We now live in an age where you can learn about the history of the hammer within a few minutes thanks to an internet-connected screen that fits neatly into the palm of your hand. Everything is far simpler, and business should be too. This software takes several different workflows and neatly places them in a single, online location from which you can quickly, and easily, access various
forms of data – anything from customer details to cost centres to inventory to maintenance scheduling – and execute common business processes.
Simplifying the process simPRO’s offerings are proven examples of the value that job management technology adds to the trade services industry: by minimising the processes required to be used, and optimising workflows by digitising them, simPRO grants office staff the opportunity to maintain a watchful eye over their fleet and efficiently schedule jobs, contact engineers, and quote or invoice jobs. By guiding office and field staff to more capable processes, simPRO allows owners to ensure their business is meeting demand and providing a top tier service that maximises billable hours and ensures customer satisfaction.
Project management software can streamline business processes, supporting company growth
To help you better understand the efficiencies that this kind of software can afford your company, here’s eight ways you can improve job profitability using simPRO’s job management solutions: 1. G et your team to a job faster with speedy scheduling and dispatch tools: Different calendar views mean that your staff can see the best time to quote for a job, and the best employee available to attend it. Automated scheduling notifications for employees also means that everyone is kept informed whenever you add, change, or delete a quote or job. Also avoid unnecessarily sending engineers halfway across town by calculating the distance between a job site and the nearest available employee when scheduling – this feature means you can appoint whoever lives or is working closest to the job to prevent unnecessary travel time.
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4. S ave time by confirming whether you have the right tools and materials before arriving on-site: Using simPRO’s intelligent inventory feature, your staff can track materials from warehouse to van. Opportunity for billable hours can be maximised by removing the risk of having to turn around for the correct tools, and your customer is kept happy when your engineer has everything he or she needs to do the job right the first time.
Easily accessible via computers and smart devices, job management software makes the most of modern technology
2. Keep staff and customers informed with clear job instructions: By using the SMS function that can be purchased as an add-on for simPRO, office staff can keep clients up-to-date and let them know when engineers will be on-site. SMS messages are able to be automated through notifications; this makes keeping your engineers and customers up-to-date a fast and easy process. Up to 100 SMS messages can be sent at any given time from either a phone number or company name so that you can ensure your business is communicating as effectively as possible with both customers and staff. This enhances customer satisfaction and avoids common communication gaps that could result in a customer demanding compensation through a discount of services or credit. 3. A void unnecessary travel time with a mobile app that enables capability and efficiency: simPRO’s Connect mobile app has on-site invoicing options and customer management, meaning that your engineers can invoice before they even leave a site, have visibility of customer information including contact and location data, and capture customer signatures (when they approve a quote ready for a job or sign off on a complete job.) The app also has real-time update capability and geostamping so that you can easily see your field engineers’ travel status, and keep them informed of any schedule changes or activity through push notification to Connect. This increased efficiency will keep your engineers in the field, maximising your company’s billable hours and customer satisfaction.
5. M onitor your fleet and avoid idle time or breakdowns: simTRAC is an add-on or standalone tool by simPRO that has live GPS tracking, detailed reports and a maintenance planner. This means that you can log in from any device with an internet connection to see the location of your vehicles at any time, and receive reports that detail everything from on-site time to travel time through to vehicle speeds. Such a feature allows you to monitor staff and ensure they are performing when it comes to job attendance and travel. The maintenance planner feature of simTRAC allows you to receive alerts when vehicles are due for servicing thanks to its built-in booking system, meaning that you can know what vehicles are out of action, and when. 6. B uild long-lasting and loyal relationships with key customers by offering them the ability to create their own job requests: Using the Customer Portal, another feature offered by simPRO, business owners can provide customers with an online gateway through which they can request quotes and even book jobs themselves. Not only does this reduce admin costs and time, it means your customer is satisfied knowing they can call on you and your business quickly and efficiently.
“Growth in any industry means that previously undetected inefficiencies in day-to-day operations and amongst employees will quickly reveal themselves”
8. Store asset information in an easyaccess location so your staff can be as readily informed as possible: simPRO’s preventative and reactive maintenance features and add-ons allow you and your staff to keep detailed configurable reports of every customer asset you create in simPRO. This, coupled with the availability of simPRO thanks to cloud storage, means that your engineers can quickly and efficiently access whatever information they need – maximising billable hours, and ensuring customer satisfaction through the knowledge that your business keeps detailed records of jobs and products. Even without the maintenance planner add-on, your staff can still pass/fail assets and record test readings.
Truth be told, any way that a business can integrate a proven and effective, systemised approach to operations will help improve its profitability. Adopting, or adapting, even one of these eight suggestions to your business model could lead to an improvement. These ideas are not only meant to encourage your own initiative to better prepare to meet the growing demand of the 21st century, but also to further your understanding of the true value that job management software can bring to any business. The trade service industry is growing with the times and it is up to you as an owner, operator, administrator, manager, or employee in this sector to ensure that your company is taking the necessary steps to align itself on the right path for growth. simPRO, simpro.co.uk, 0800 622 6376
7. E nhance those long-lasting and loyal relationships by introducing memberships to your business: Use memberships to apply a discount to all quotes, jobs, and recurring jobs/invoices for a customer over a specific period of time. This is useful for boosting customer loyalty and revenue, as customers with memberships are more likely to use your services again within the membership duration.
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SOFTWARE & APPLICATIONS
PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE Bob Pottle is a former NICEIC area inspector and co-founder of Vespula electrical certification software, providing software to the electrical industry. He takes a look back at the origins of electrical certification, and what the future has in-store.
The Vespula team, championing electrical certification software
very time a new edition of the Regs appears – and the 18th has just landed on my desk – I think about the changes that have taken place in the electrical industry since I began my career as an apprentice electrician in the mid– 1970s. There were far fewer cars on the road back then, a round of four drinks cost less than a pound, and the electrician’s Bible was the 14th Edition – issued in the year England last won the World Cup (1966, in case anyone still does not know!) Most electricians did not certificate their work, even though, by today’s standards, it took relatively little effort: they signed a single page, on which the test results were not recorded, to say that the installation had been tested. The 18th Edition, in its stylish blue cover, is thicker than its 1966 counterpart, and it requires correspondingly more effort. Certificates now run to many pages, and clients expect to have these ASAP. Not only that, but they want professional documentation. This means that the electrician has to add certification software to the toolbox. The days when a hand-written cert was acceptable are virtually over.
Changing times In the digital age, that was bound to happen, but it has been a painful experience for many contractors, especially the sole traders. The increased demands of certification have added to their workload, while potentially subtracting from their bottom line. In addition to being professionally competent, they now need to be technically savvy.
But if technology has raised the bar, it is also delivering solutions. The best certification software will ultimately save the contractor time and money. It will be cloudbased, and work on any device, anywhere, with an offline facility for those Faraday cage locations (you find out exactly where those are when you least want to, so ‘works offline’ has to mean exactly that.) Otherwise, it is back to pen and paper, and the 1970s. If you had told an electrician 20 years ago that they would be able to complete an electrical certificate, and even sign and send it, from the job, using their mobile phone, they would probably have laughed. But that is becoming standard practice now, even at locations where there is poor internet.
Origins of safety It is all a far cry from the days when the first edition of the Regs appeared, in 1882. The electric light bulb had been patented in 1874, and once the technology had proven itself, the uptake was rapid. Using electricity for domestic lighting, however, inevitably entailed a fire risk, and the testing and certification of electrical works was quickly seen as a necessity. The very first edition of the Regs was driven by this concern for electrical safety. By 1890, fire insurance companies were employing electrical inspectors. A letter to The Times predicted that householders would soon, ‘if they are wise, insist, before they pay the bill, that the certification of a duly authorised and competent electrical engineer […] should be produced certifying that the wiring, etc., has been properly done and with all due regard to safety’ (S. Flood Page to The Times, 17 Feb. 1890). That is effectively the position today. Like so many other things, electrical certification was invented by the Victorians.
Optimising the future
“The best certification software will ultimately save the contractor time and money.”
But what lies ahead? Certification software is developing fast, and all of the emphasis is now on making the capture and presentation of test results as quick and accurate as possible. Validation procedures identify gaps and anomalies, protecting contractor and client alike. Multi-user platforms enable engineers to work simultaneously on a certificate, pooling their resources. Account management tools give office-based supervisors online access to ongoing jobs, offering another level of validation. Outstanding issues can be flagged and fixed before engineers have left a job, saving time and money. The best software places the engineer first, freeing them to use their mobile device to record results as they work their way round an installation. This is the key to efficiency. Hand-written certificates may be history, but too many electricians still record test results on paper, writing them up back in the office. Too few realise how much this increases their workload, while reducing their profit. Most sparks have probably thought that, in an ideal world, a certificate would write itself. That day may be coming. Advances in AI and technology could lead to data entry being automated at the point of data capture. Engineers would then have more time to focus on interpreting test results, as well as recording them. Back in 1882 it was recognised that the dangers inherent in electrical works could ‘only be effectually guarded against by “testing”’, and by employing ‘skilled and experienced electricians’ (The Times, 1 July 1882). Lots has obviously changed since then, but the fundamentals remain the same. Vespula, vespula.co.uk
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BIM offers a structured and comprehensive approach to team working, helping projects to stay on schedule
SOFTWARE & APPLICATIONS
COLLABORATION IS KEY Ryan Simmonds, sales director of Metsec Framing, provider of specialist product solutions to the construction industry, explores how collaboration can promote efficiency and project success â€“ and how BIM can aid in a collaborative approach.
he definition of collaboration is the situation of two or more people working together to create or achieve the same thing. Within this definition sits key elements for success. Co-ordination with other team members or those working on a project is crucial to ensure nothing is missed, as well as making sure there are no
unnecessary duplications. Co-operation is another important area, and one where teams can often fall down through a lack of communication or sharing of vital information. Together, co-operation and co-ordination help to contribute to true collaboration, with all parties working together to achieve a single goal. Ultimately, collaboration is not only mutually beneficial to everyone involved, but promotes efficiency across projects being undertaken.
Benefits galore Collaboration is a method that the construction industry has historically struggled to adopt, but one that has been consistently demonstrated to greatly benefit the industry as a whole. Collaborating on a project from the initial stages brings numerous benefits, including reducing time delays and the need for contingency funds. The appointed design team, contractors, manufacturers and installers all working collaboratively means
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SOFTWARE & APPLICATIONS designs, issues, priorities and construction methods are all agreed upon in the initial stages and fully understood by all parties. Whilst the theory of collaboration can seem abstract, it is a very real requirement for successful projects. If co-dependent elements of a project are executed in silos with no communication or co-ordination, projects can hit stumbling blocks. For example, if the installer of the framing solution on a project has not communicated with the main contractor as to when they are required on-site, the project can either be delayed as the installer is not ready, or alternatively they’ll turn up on-site but not be able to gain access and begin the installation, resulting in wasted days and money. Similarly, if the framing manufacturer and installer have not co-operated and communicated, the project could be delivered before it’s required, taking up valuable space on-site, or be delayed – again resulting in lost days.
Comprehensive approach However, collaboration needs to go deeper, and this is where Building Information Modelling (BIM) is vital. A structured, measured and comprehensive approach to team working, BIM has a fixed set of processes and procedures to guide users and participants how best to employ collaborative methods. Design co-ordination is an in-depth and involved process and BIM’s regular data exchanges ensure that the whole team is working on the same, and most up-to-date, model. The notion of BIM is the process of designing, constructing or operating a building, infrastructure or landscape asset using electronic information. In practice, this
means that a project can be designed and built using data sets and images digitally, even before the first spade goes in the ground. Detecting conflict at early stages means they are addressed and resolved promptly and still during the planning stages. Without BIM, issues are often only picked up at major project milestones and at this point they can be difficult and expensive to rectify.
Building success The objective of BIM is to satisfy the three components of a successful project – namely time, cost and quality – by managing the project using an efficient, collaborative and reliable method of work. Sharing a 3D model with all parties communicates the planned end result in a clear, concise and fully comprehensible way – helping the full project team to understand the requirements and see what they are working towards. However, another crucial element of BIM is the promotion, and adoption, of collaborative working. The digital designs are shared with all parties to outline the work planned and gives everyone the opportunity to fully understand what is proposed and all the requirements. The BIM Execution Plan (BEP) is a critical document as it underpins project integration and is a written plan to bring together all of the tasks, processes and related information. The BEP should be agreed at the outset and defines what BIM means for the project. It outlines the standards being adopted, outputs required, when these should be supplied and in what format, plus any supporting documentation. As a working document, the BEP is regularly reviewed and evolves throughout the project ensuring design teams, suppliers,
“Ultimately, collaboration is not only mutually beneficial to everyone involved, but promotes efficiency across projects being undertaken.”
manufacturers and all other stakeholders have all the relevant information, promoting collaboration between all parties. The BIM Implementation Plan (BIP) is the blueprint for integrating BIM into an organisation’s working practices. This should align to the objectives and aspirations of the organisation, its business partners, its skill base, levels of investment and the nature and scale of projects that it wishes to undertake now and in the future. Hosting both of these documents in a centrally co-ordinated Common Data Environment (CDE) means they can be updated, accessed or extracted at any time throughout the project. Adding all other BIM documents, including the 3D drawings, gives all of those involved in the overall project full visibility and input, promoting a collaborative approach throughout.
If communication and coordination are lacking on a project, it’s more likely problems will occur.
Ensuring collaboration Talking about collaboration and delivering a fully collaborative project through the use of BIM are two very different things, and will have very different outcomes when it comes to a construction project. Whilst there have been moves to adopt a more collaborative approach, using BIM ensures that all stakeholders are consulted at all stages throughout the project and that the most up-to-date documents are hosted in one central location, reducing errors in file versions or timing plans. In addition, the use of BIM means that a design and build is fixed from a certain, agreed point onwards, removing the need for additional contingency budget or project delays due to unplanned changes caused by a lack of communication, co-ordination, co-operation or collaboration. Metsec, metsec.com
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APPS APLENTY As the number of people owning a smartphone increases year on year, so the popularity and use of apps continues to rise. Marie Parry, group marketing director, Scolmore Group, looks at some of the statistics and how apps are making life easier for contractors and installers.
n 2015, 52.7% of the global mobile phone population accessed the internet from their phone. This figure is expected to grow to 61.2% in 2018. In 2020, the number of smartphone users worldwide is projected to reach 2.87 billion, up from 2.1 billion in 2016. It is estimated that globally in 2017, a total of 178.1 billion mobile apps were downloaded to connected devices. In 2022, this figure is projected to grow to 258.2 billion app downloads. In the first quarter of 2018, Android users were able to choose between 3.8 million apps and Apple’s App Store had 2 million available apps. The fact that mobile apps are relatively easy to create compared to computer apps, as well as their considerable lower price, has translated into a growing industry.
Information on demand
Scolmore’s app was developed through consultation with electricians
Using an app to help with electrical work may have seemed unlikely a few years ago. However, electrical professionals are now increasingly using apps that deliver quick answers, manage and customise information consumption and hasten communication. Now, with information at their fingertips, they are armed with ever more powerful on-demand IT capabilities. Tasks that used to demand laborious hand calculations or time-consuming diversions to consult hefty code books – and the conveyance of information via face-to-face meetings, phone conversations and emails – have been sped up and simplified. With so many apps and so much information available, electricians will be looking for those that bring as much material as possible to their fingertips to make their working life easier, rather than having to search through a number of different sources. When developing an app, the most important consideration is the end-user and what they want and need to get the best experience.
When we set out to produce the original Scolmore app back in 2016, the first task was to talk to electricians to get a first-hand account of what features and information they would value in an app to help them at work. Once it was developed, we were keen to ensure that it worked exactly how electricians wanted it to, so we put the app to the test and prior to launch solicited feedback and suggestions from the industry, with a competition targeting a dedicated Facebook forum of 7,000 electrical contractors. This feedback has been taken on board and the original app updated to incorporate a number of tweaks and improvements, as well as some valuable additional features. The aim when we launched the app was to bring valuable information on products and their applications, as well as the latest company and industry news, into the hands of both qualified electricians and apprentice electricians, to provide them with the vital tools and knowledge that will help them perform efficiently and quickly on the job.
Peer reviewed In the same way that manufacturers are continually developing new products and making improvements to existing ones, so in the fast-paced technology-driven world we all operate in, it is important that apps are also reviewed and improved to ensure they keep up-to-date and further enhance the experience of the user. The very latest version of the Scolmore app replaces the previous one to bring more features and access to information, to help contractors and electricians carry out their everyday work on-site. A new ‘quick quote calculator’ has been added – designed to let electricians/ contractors create a quick quote as they are walking around the site. As well as the ability to create a quick quote while on-site, it has an advanced setting which
allows installers/contractors to set up the unit cost of each item and how much they would like to charge for labour. It is also set up so that if a double socket, for example, is added to the quote, it will also automatically add a double back box. With contractors under increasing pressure to complete projects within tight deadlines and budgets, it is vital that they make the most of the tools that are out there to help them make product selections, specifications and purchases quicker and easier. Time saved by the ability to access vital product information, installation instructions and operating manuals via an app can mean money saved.
Apps can provide real-time information, on demand
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SOFTWARE & APPLICATIONS
’APPY CAMPERS Gary Buckingham, product segment marketing manager at Schneider Electric, discusses the ways in which new software can help make electricians’ lives safer and simpler.
here is a good reason why we often call electricians ‘sparks’. For all the advances in technology, there is still danger in any job involving electricity. In the US alone, electrical workers suffer almost 600 electrocutions each year – or a third of all deaths caused by electricity. Technology should be making us all safer and our lives simpler, but in some ways, it has actually made life more difficult for electrical contractors. The plethora of devices on which we rely – including the burgeoning market of Internet of Things devices and ‘connected home’ appliances – is massively complicating electrical systems in both homes and businesses. The growth in complexity is adding time and cost for electricians and panel builders, as well as potentially increasing the danger of electrical shocks and fires from incorrectly-installed appliances. This is already a serious concern; in the UK, for example, there are 70 deaths and 350,000 injuries caused by faulty wiring and electrical equipment in the home annually. Yet, just as technology is constantly being developed to help us in our everyday lives, new software is promising to make life safer and simpler for electricians, panel builders and their customers.
Time well spent There are a number of new apps and software designed to deal with the increasing complexity of electrical installations. Anything that makes installation, use and maintenance safer and faster should be a core part of any installer’s toolkit. One of the main challenges and time-sinks facing implementers is ensuring that all the smart components within a panel or distribution board are connected and working together. This can take up a significant amount of panel builders’ limited time, especially given the proliferation of connected devices in today’s homes and businesses.
MyPact enables them to know if there will be problems before they add a product to the distribution board, cutting the time of selecting the right panel components by a factor of ten. With MyPact, progress is saved in the cloud, ensuring that users can pick up their work whenever they need to, or easily pass the job onto a colleague should they be called away for any reason.
To help electrical contractors in this tricky and time-consuming task, there is now software that automatically detects all the smart devices contained within a panel or board. Using an easy-to-read graphical interface, these apps depict the electrical circuity and show how the components are working together, and how any additions or changes will affect the whole installation. Using an app like this will save significant time during the configuration process, as well as helping the installer construct and configure more panels in less time. The result is less business disruption from electrical downtime, while also lowering the chance that adding new devices to the circuit will cause disruption. Another problem is when incompatible products are inadvertently added to the system. Often the mistake is only realised too late, causing the circuit breaker to trip and the business to be plunged into darkness. Given businesses’ reliance on devices for everything from in-store displays to electronic points of sale to Wi-Fi, it’s vital that they can remove any opportunity for unscheduled outages if they are not to cause damaging downtime for the business. Installers, therefore, need a tool that will enable them to know which products are compatible with the on-premise circuit before they install them. Using a web-based tool like Schneider Electric’s
If used to its full potential, the smartphone can be a valuable multipurpose tools for electricians
Obviously, one of the biggest dangers to electricians is from electric shocks – something that many contractors have sadly come to see as merely an occupational hazard. Fortunately, the latest applications and technologies can remove the need to physically touch potentially-live circuitry. Today, electricians can use an app to work in complete safety by removing the need for contact with the circuit breaker. Instead, users can monitor, control and even perform maintenance on the circuit in safety using their smart device as the main human-machine interface. Software, such as Schneider Electric’s Masterpact MTZ app for the company’s line of air circuit breakers, can also be used to check the status remotely – and it even works in the event of a power outage. Perhaps no amount of technology or software will ever completely remove the element of danger involved in working with electricity. What apps can do, however, is to make many of the processes involved in maintenance much safer and faster, while increasing electricians’ ability to visualise the electrical circuits they’re working with. Of all the tools in the electrician’s toolbox, the smartphone is one of the most powerful multi-purpose tools. Armed with the right apps, the phone or tablet should take pride of place among the screwdrivers, voltmeters and other sundry equipment they use to ensure that they can enable homeowners and businesses to keep the lights (and all the dozens of other powerhungry devices) functioning perfectly. Schneider Electric, schneider-electric.co.uk
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SOFTWARE & APPLICATIONS
UNPACKING THE DIGITAL TOOLBOX Steve Martin, director of technical at ECA, looks at ways the electrotechnical industry is embracing digital applications, despite some barriers.
dvances in software, in addition to a tidal shift in the role it plays in day-to-day life, are radically changing the way installations are designed, developed and managed. And not only in the electrotechnical sector – the construction and facilities management industries are generally embracing new ways of working digitally through software and apps. But the embrace is not always wholehearted. When new technology emerges, a familiar trend can occur among contractors and clients alike. While the benefits of new technology can be clear, there can be a lack of speed or even a reluctance to incorporate it into projects. This could be due to cost constraints, or a lack of information, awareness and expertise, and potentially a combination of all the above.
BIM it to win it Taking Building Information Modelling (BIM) as an example, the wider industry agrees that it can reduce costs in the design/build/maintenance lifecycle, and save time on projects of all sizes. It is also clear that BIM will be increasingly required by clients and suppliers in the coming years. However, few appear confident when it comes to BIM knowledge and skills, and fewer still are regularly implementing it on their projects today. The same can be said for Building Management Systems (BMS) and the growing demand for smart buildings. Typically, systems (power, fire and security, telecommunications and others) are designed, installed and commissioned independently and vary widely in their complexity. All could rely on powerful BMS software to bring them together, break down silos, and make it easier for operatives to control and monitor a building’s features through a simple interface. However, survey results released in early 2017 by ECA, CIBSE and SELECT show that progress may be hindered by a
lack of pre-existing infrastructure, high cost, and low expertise. Four in 10 clients said they were ‘not familiar’ with the term the ‘Internet of Things’, which has become widely used in the industry in recent years. In terms of the main barriers to installing connected technology in buildings, clients identified ‘the cost of installing it’ (82%) as the main one, with ‘lack of clear advice/ knowledge’ (55%) and cyber security (49%) also considered major factors. Almost four in 10 clients (39%) said that they didn’t take any steps to protect smart installations against cyber threats. In the realm of the back office, software and apps are already revolutionising ways of working. For many contractors, preparing appropriate risk assessments and method statements, can be challenging and time-consuming, even though these are vital to successful contracting. Applications like eRAMS allow contractors and maintenance teams to create, amend, store and print activity-based risk assessments, plus method statements and construction phase plans (CPPs). eRAMS was developed as a response to industry demand by ECA – and it’s already proved to be helpful far beyond electrical or even building services contracting.
New horizons Apps on smartphones and tablets are bringing new dimensions to design and installation, through the use of virtual reality (VR). Users can visualise 2D drawings in 3D, and even walk around rooms in a building and re-arrange elements in virtual space. Mixed reality (MR), which blends the real world with virtual images and holograms, is also something which may become more common as part of the building and installing process. This approach helps give greater insight into the construction of an existing building and the installations within it, in real-time. This will likely evolve to provide more details, such as product and planning information, which will be useful during the design stage – and indeed during the building’s entire lifecycle.
Be smart, stay safe
“While the benefits of new technology can be clear, there can be a lack of speed or even a reluctance to incorporate it into projects.”
The risk of hacking and its impact on unsecured networks is one of the biggest obstacles on the path to digitalisation. This challenge in particular needs to be overcome if we are to prevent contractors and clients from missing out on the potential benefits of software, and to make sure they are not letting their devices become their weak point. Within commercial buildings, security installers need to collaborate with their client’s own network managers, who typically oversee protection against cyber threats. This will demonstrate they can help put the necessary processes in place to secure any new installations or help isolate the network so the security systems can’t be compromised. Given a connected building can potentially provide numerous gateways for cyber-criminals, conversations with the people who lead on cyber-security can be useful in helping them understand which elements of the network need to be protected, and where installers can provide additional support if required.
Stay in the loop Demand for software-enabled solutions will only increase, and those contractors who are ready to provide clients with the right advice, systems and support could be in a position to capitalise on these opportunities – and build long-lasting relationships with clients seeking smarter homes, offices or buildings. There will be a greater demand for systems that incorporate smart technology – as well as the services of the people who install them. Technology such as the Internet of Things, 3D printing, big data, the cloud, VR and artificial intelligence will have a big influence – and apps will be the crucial link that connects it all to the end-user. If carefully considered, the benefits of software applications in our industry – improved job safety, improved accountability, better data capture, time and cost savings, breaking down silos – could far outweigh the risks. ECA, eca.co.uk/eca-podcasts
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ater and electricals don’t mix. No one knows that better than Hamilton Litestat, which is why it developed its Elemento range of weatherproof wiring accessories – a safe and reliable way to deliver power outdoors. This range has now received a design refresh, making it even more robust and suited to outdoor requirements, while also adhering to the latest design trends. To celebrate, Hamilton is giving away a waterproof action camera.
Protect your electricals from water at home, at work and at play The Elemento range includes socket outlets, switches, connection units and enclosures, all of which meet IP66 standards. As part of the design refresh, socket outlets have an easy-to-open
June competition The winner of a 4MP super HD CCTV kit courtesy of ESP is Barry Cator.
To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer the following questions:
Closing date 3. H ow many years’ warranty does Hamilton offer on this product? a) Two years b) Five years c) 10 years
2. E lemento meets which IP rating? a) IP54 b) IP60 c) IP66
1. W hat is the name of Hamilton’s range of weatherproof wiring accessories? a) Poseidon b) Elemento c) Zeus
All entries must be returned by August 31, 2018. The editor’s decision is final. The name of the winner will be published in the October issue of ECN. * Prize is not exchangeable.
To enter, please complete the form below and fax to 01634 673173, or post to: ECN Competition, All Things Media Ltd, Suite 14, 6-8 Revenge Road, Lordswood, Kent, ME5 8UD. Alternatively, you can email your answers and contact details to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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TEST & MEASUREMENT supported by
August 2018 | 45
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The job of an RCD is a vital one – detecting abnormal current flow
SOFTWARE TEST & MEASUREMENT & APPLICATIONS
THE ABCS OF RCDS In modern electrical installations, residual current devices (RCDs) provide an invaluable extra layer of safety. But what exactly is an RCD, what does it do, and how should it be tested? Peter Wade of portable test equipment expert Megger, tells all.
afety is the prime requirement for every electrical installation. It is essential that the best possible protection be provided against electric shock and against fault conditions that could lead to fires. Residual current devices (RCDs) help with meeting both of these requirements. Put simply, RCDs are devices that detect when electric current is flowing where it shouldn’t – most usually to earth. This could happen if, for example, someone touches a bare wire or terminal. In this case, current will flow to earth through their body and they will get an electric
shock, which might be fatal. The job of an RCD is to detect this abnormal current flow and rapidly disconnect the supply to minimise the severity of the shock. It’s not always a person that completes the unwanted circuit to earth, however. Current can flow to earth because of faulty insulation and, in cases like this, the current may be too small to trip the circuit overcurrent protection, but large enough to cause heating in the supply cable, potentially leading to a fire. Once again, an RCD will help to minimise this risk. In other words, RCDs are sensitive safety devices that save lives and protect property, in a way that ordinary circuit breakers and fuses cannot, which is why the most
recent edition of the IET Wiring Regulations requires almost all circuits supplying socket outlets to be RCD protected.
Get protected In practice, this requirement can be satisfied by using an RCD or by using a residual current circuit breaker with over current protection (RCBO). As its name suggests, an RCBO combines the function of an RCD with those of a miniature circuit breaker (MCB) in one unit. RCBOs are used to protect individual circuits but, when RCDs are used, it’s very common to have a single RCD protecting multiple circuits, with each of the circuits having its own MCB.
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TEST & MEASUREMENT To avoid any unnecessary repetition, all references to RCDs in the remainder of this article should be taken to apply equally to RCBOs, unless otherwise stated. RCDs work by monitoring and comparing the currents that flow in the line and neutral conductors of a circuit. If there is no earth leakage, all of the current that flows out through the line conductor will return via the neutral conductor, so the two currents will be identical. If any current leaks to earth, however, there will be a difference between the line and neutral currents, and it’s this difference that the RCD detects. In reality, all circuits have some earth leakage. This can be unintentional – no insulation is perfect – or it can be intentional, as is the case with some types of mains filter circuits used in electronic equipment. A certain amount of leakage can be tolerated, but the function of an RCD is to interrupt the supply when the leakage current reaches an unacceptable level.
The right type Various types of RCD are available, but the most common are Type AC, Type A and Type B. Type AC RCDs will trip if they detect unacceptable levels of AC residual (earth leakage) current, and they are by far the most widely used. Type A RCDs will trip if they detect unacceptable levels of AC or pulsating DC residual currents. Finally, Type B RCDs will trip if they detect unacceptable levels of AC, pulsating DC or smooth DC residual current. Since RCDs perform an essential safety role, it is important that their correct functioning is verified after installation. Dedicated RCD testers are available for this purpose, but today the RCD test function built into a multifunction installation tester (MFT) is often used. In either case, before testing an RCD, any equipment connected to the circuit it is protecting should be disconnected or isolated. An earth loop impedance test should also be performed to ensure that the circuit has a satisfactory means of earthing.
Correct protection Next, it is essential to know whether the primary function of the RCD is fault protection – that is, to guard against faults that may lead to fires – or so-called ‘additional protection’, which is intended to guard against shock hazards. Where an RCD is installed for fault protection‘Disconnection times relate to prospective residual earth currents significantly higher than the rated residual operating current of the RCD.’ Although no specific current for testing is stated, a test is usually carried out at 5 x In (at both 0º and 180º) to ensure that the disconnection time achieved is appropriate for the type and rating of the circuit, and the type of earthing system. For example, an RCD
provided to give fault protection on final circuits of up to 32 A should trip in less than 200 ms when a TT earthing system is in use. Where an RCD is fitted for additional protection, it must have a tripping current (In) of 30 mA or less and, with a test current of 5 x In (again at both 0º and 180º), it must trip in 40 ms or less. This means that with a 30 mA RCD, a test current of 150 mA must be applied to ensure that the 40 ms disconnection time is achieved. Note that it is unnecessary and inappropriate to test RCDs with nominal tripping currents of more than 30 mA, such as 100 mA devices, at 5 x In, as they cannot be used to provide additional protection.
Testing times The standard method of testing RCDs is to create a test current from line to earth so that the RCD operates in the normal way. To carry out this test, connections are required to the line and earth conductors. Some older testers may also need a neutral connection to provide power for the instrument, but this is not necessary with modern battery powered testers. Three-phase RCDs can be tested in a similar way, one phase at a time. Connections for testing the RCD can be made at any point on the circuit downstream of the RCD. The tester can also be connected directly across the RCD, except with a few types of RCBO where the sensing coil for the RCD function is positioned in the device after the terminal. Testing on centre-tapped 110V supply systems can sometimes be problematic. These systems have a voltage of only 55V to earth, and older testers often need a higher voltage to operate correctly. The solution in many of these cases is to connect directly to the RCD, which effectively doubles the test voltage. Newer testers have a wider operating voltage range, so the standard connections can be used. Another special case is testing threephase RCDs where no neutral or earth connection is available. This is possible provided the tester supports the higher operating voltages involved. Testing is carried out one phase at a time, by connecting from the output of the RCD under test to the incoming side of the RCD on one of the other phases.
Meeting requirements The tests described so far will show that the RCD provides protection that meets the requirements of the IET Wiring Regulations. It is also usual, however, to carry out a test at ½ x In to ensure that the device doesn’t trip unnecessarily in response to low levels of earth leakage current. For Type AC RCDs, this test can be carried out at 0º or 180º but, for all other types, it should be carried out at 0º and 180º.
“Safety is the prime requirement for every electrical installation.”
Sometimes, it can be useful to carry out further tests, particularly in case of nuisance tripping – which is more accurately called unwanted tripping. In such cases, a ramp test can be particularly helpful. For this, the test set passes a steadily increasing current through the RCD and records the actual current at which it trips. This shows whether the RCD is operating as expected – a healthy 30 mA RCD should trip between 18 mA and 28 mA – or whether it has become overly sensitive, and therefore liable to trip unnecessarily. Should this test show that the RCD is operating normally, but unwanted tripping still occurs, the next step is to measure the actual earth leakage current in the problematic circuit. This is most easily done with an earth leakage clamp meter, as this needs no direct connections to the circuit under test. If excessive leakage current is found, further diagnostic tests can then be carried out to pinpoint the source of the problem. Whenever RCDs are tested, the final step, after the test is completed, is always to press the RCD’s test button to ensure it trips. A label should also be attached advising the end-user to operate the test button quarterly to check that the RCD is still functioning correctly. RCDs play a vital role in protecting life and property but, so that users can have full confidence in this protection, it is important that they are properly tested after installation. Fortunately, modern RCD testers and multifunction installation testers, like those in the Megger range, make this a straightforward task, provided only that the guidelines and procedures outlined in this article are carefully followed.
It is important that RCDs are properly tested after installation
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TEST & MEASUREMENT
PLUGGING THE GAP Seaward explains how it is investing in the future of the industry by training the next generation of innovators to develop novel test and measurement technology.
ackling the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills gap is a continuing concern for the UK’s electrical manufacturing industry. Recent reports suggest 700,000 STEM specialists will be needed to meet employer demand by 2024. Companies need to think creatively to attract and recruit the staff they so badly need – no mean feat with demand so high. As a solution, Seaward is putting young people at the centre of its vision for the future. Seaward recently announced a £500,000 investment as part of a scheme to revamp its Peterlee manufacturing base; it believes apprentices and fresh talent are the key to their ongoing success – and is committed to recruiting and retaining them.
Seaward is investing in apprenticeships to meet the growing skills gap
Since joining the company full-time last year, 22-year-old software design engineer Matthew Frost has become an integral part of the innovative team developing new technology for Seaward products. Matthew, who wanted to work in the technology field from a young age, originally studied computer science before he was offered the opportunity to join Seaward as a junior design engineer.
“Companies need to think creatively to attract and recruit the staff they so badly need – no mean feat with demand so high.”
Matthew says, “I chose Seaward because I felt it would give me more opportunities, and help me improve as a software developer and designer in ways that other companies weren’t offering. In my time here, I definitely feel my instincts have been proved right.” One of Matthew’s key considerations since joining Seaward has been how he can help make jobs of electricians in the field much quicker and straightforward via innovative user-friendly technology. Recent advances mean devices can store test records and allow the smoother and more efficient generation of reports, certificates and the scheduling of future tests. Matthew adds, “One of the first projects I worked on was an Android app that transferred results from one of our instruments and uploaded it to a location of the customer’s choosing. “That app’s now been used as far away as Australia, which I am really proud of! “It’s one of the key things I like about working here at Seaward: a lot of the challenges I face involve creating interfaces that the user finds easy to follow, while still providing them with as much information as possible. “I enjoy the freedom I’ve got when approaching a problem with a project. I’m given the time and encouraged to find new methods. Every day I learn something new from either my own research or from my colleagues. “A helpful part of our process is the design reviews. This is where we can get feedback on our work from colleagues and give them a chance to point out anything we might have overlooked. “Having that extra input from colleagues really inspires me to think about new approaches and solutions.”
Thinking of the future With just 112,000 STEM apprenticeships starting in 2016/17 and only 24% of university leavers working in STEM occupations six months after graduating, it’s essential that companies prioritise recruitment if they’re to compete in the shrinking talent pool. Seaward’s newest team member, 17-year-old Brett Spence, is already
settling into his role as a quality and process engineering apprentice. Brett says, “I’ve always been interested in a career in engineering, and when I visited Seaward and heard about the plans the team has for the future of the business, I was convinced it was the best place for me. “There is so much scope for progression and I can see first-hand the direction the company is going in and how my department has an impact.” Brett’s wide-ranging role involves all aspects of engineering, from product assembly processes to the quality of the finished products received by the end customer – and everything in between. He continues, “I love that no two days are the same. One day I could be helping set up a production line for a new product and the next day I could be carrying out COSHH assessments or working on standard operating procedures. “The support and encouragement has been fantastic – I am given so many opportunities to work on different things and build my skills.”
Diversity is key Seaward offers apprenticeships in a range of departments including engineering, production, marketing and finance. Tom Talbot, HR and customer experience director at Seaward, says, “At Seaward we are committed to recruiting and building the skills of our young people. “The electrical testing industry is full of opportunities to build life-long careers and it’s fantastic to see younger people coming in with fresh ideas and growing into indispensable members of our team. “Continuous professional development is a huge focus for us and there is always scope to progress for those who want to.” For Brett, his future at Seaward is bright. He said, “I can’t wait to see what the future brings – it’s a really exciting time to be in the industry. “I’m in the early stages of my career but my confidence is growing all the time and I can already see how many doors will be opened to me as I progress.” Seaward, seaward.co.uk
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RESOLUTION EVOLUTION The best way to minimise damage caused by an electrical fault is to spot it as early as possible. Thermal imaging is one solution – Flir offers its advice on getting the right camera for the job.
ata centre systems’ failures are costly, not just in terms of revenue loss, but also company reputation and shareholder value. So, it’s critical that any electrical fault is spotted in its infancy before it has the potential to compromise service. A popular method for detecting these faults is thermal imaging. It’s a technology that has become mainstream in the last decade, whose cost has fallen substantially thanks
to its scope of application across many industry sectors. It is also the subject of continuous development, presenting prospective purchasers with a lot of choice. The range now extends from pocketsized models and infrared-enabled smartphones to low cost point-and-shoot troubleshooting cameras and high-end models with every function necessary for the professional thermographer. So how do you assess the best model for your needs? Here are some important pointers to help ensure the scope of your thermal imaging camera matches the scope of your job.
“Consistency of measurement accuracy is a very important factor when determining the value of a camera.”
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Buy the best your budget allows Most thermal imaging cameras have fewer pixels than visible light cameras, so pay close attention to detection resolution. Higher resolution infrared cameras can measure smaller targets from farther away and create sharper thermal images, both of which add up to more precise and reliable measurements. Also, be aware of the difference between detector and display resolution. Some manufacturers will boast about a high-resolution LCD to mask their lowresolution detector when it’s the detector resolution that matters most. For instance, LCD resolution may spec at 640 x 480, capable of displaying 307,200 pixels of image content. But if the IR detector pixel resolution is only 160 x 120, giving 19,200 measurement points, the greater display resolution accomplishes nothing as the quality of the thermal image and its measurement data are always determined by detector resolution. Higher resolution thermal imaging not only provides more accurate quantitative results, it can also be very effective in showing findings in finer details to others. This can help speed the decision-making process for improvements and repairs. As well as clarity of image for effective problem diagnosis, resolution is very important from a safety perspective too. For electrical inspection, there is no point in buying a low-priced, low-resolution troubleshooting camera that can only give you a clear image when it’s six inches away from the target.
Accurate and repeatable results Consistency of measurement accuracy is a very important factor when determining the value of a camera. For best results, look for a model that meets or exceeds ±2% accuracy and ask your supplier for details of how they assure the manufacturing quality of the detector to guarantee this. That isn’t the only criteria, however. In order to produce correct and repeatable results, your camera should include in-built tools for entering both values for emissivity – the measure of efficiency in which a surface emits thermal energy – and also reflected temperature. A cabinet may be hot in the thermal image, but its shiny surface could just be reflecting the heat from overhead lighting or indeed the body heat generated by the camera operator.
A model that gives you an easy way to input and adjust these parameters will produce the accurate temperature measurements you need in the field. Other helpful diagnostics to consider are multiple moveable spots and area boxes for isolating and annotating temperature measurements that can be saved as radiometric data and incorporated into reports.
Standard file formats Many thermal imaging cameras store images in a proprietary format that can only be read and analysed by specialised software. Others have an optional JPEG storage capability that lacks temperature information. Clearly, the most useful is a format that offers standard JPEG with full temperature analysis embedded. This allows you to email IR images without losing vital information. Radiometric JPEGs can also be imported from Wi-Fi compatible cameras to select mobile devices using apps that allow further image editing, analysis and sharing. Also look out for models that allow you to stream MP4 video via USB to computers and monitors. This is especially useful for capturing dynamic thermal activity where heating and cooling occurs rapidly, and for recording motorised equipment or processes in motion. Some cameras feature composite video output for cabling to digital recorders, while others include HDMI outputs. New mobile applications have also been developed that allow streaming video over Wi-Fi. All these capabilities help you share findings more effectively and enhance your infrared inspections and reports.
Software, study the options Today most thermal imaging cameras come with free software, so you can perform basic image analysis and create simple reports. Advanced software for more in-depth and customisable reports is also available, allowing you to take full advantage of your camera’s capability and features. Investigate these tailored software programmes thoroughly to see which makes the most sense for your needs. And finally, don’t underestimate the importance of training. The best thermal imaging camera in the world is only valuable in the hands of a skilled operator.
8newproducts...from thewebsite towatch! As promised, the Emelux website is being expanded month-on-month to include brand new products like those shown below. Suitable for most types of lighting project, covering interior or exterior areas and available with a next day delivery — they can complete a project even when design and purchase decisions are left until the last minute. Emelux products are tested and selected to provide high quality, competitively priced lighting equipment to comply with the relevant safety standards and are CE marked. Please visit www.emelux.co.uk regularly for new and comprehensive product details, and for sales and for any further information, including photometric details, please contact: email@example.com
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www.emelux.co.uk August 2018 | 51
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the website to watch 27/07/2018 11:15
TICKING ALL THE RIGHT BOXES Ethos introduces its new test instrument, the 4285 Calibration Checkbox, designed to make safety more affordable for contractors.
he 4285 Calibration Checkbox has been introduced by Ethos to afford electricians the convenience to check their own test equipment, meaning they can be safe and secure in the knowledge that their meters are operating accurately – reducing the risk of incorrect certification. While it does not replace normal calibration requirements, it does provide a ready check on instrument accuracy, before, during and after testing. The 4285 offers the user checks for continuity testing, insulation resistance, earth fault loop impedance, local earth fault impedance and earth fault impedance plus 1 Ohm, and can be used on most test instrument brands. When using the 4285, it is essential for the user to remember that if the measured values are found to be within the manufacturer’s tolerance, the instrument is suitable for continued use. If the values are outside of the manufacturer’s tolerance, then the instrument should be returned for checking and calibration. Ethos recommends that test equipment is calibrated every 12 months using a calibration specialist, alongside more regular checks using the 4285. Ethos’ partner Automated Calibration Services (ACS) specialise in electrical test equipment calibrations, offering UK-wide on-site calibration alongside its laboratory service in Bristol, checking and repairing:
Key features of the 4285 • 12 comprehensive test points • I nsulation, continuity, RCD and loop test function •C omes in protective hard case •C hecks all leading brands •N ull facility for test leads •E asy to use •T wo-year warranty
For further information, visit ethosinstruments.co.uk, call 0117 938 6400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
✓M ultifunction testers ✓ I nsulation and continuity testers ✓R CD testers ✓L oop testers ✓P ortable appliance testers ✓M ultimeters ✓C lamp meters ✓B attery testers ✓ I nfrared thermometers ✓L ux level light meters ✓S ound level meters ✓C AT scanners and generators ✓T orque screwdrivers and wrenches lus much more ✓P
52 | August 2018
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Perform LIVE electrical tests on EVSE Charge Points Metrel A1532 EVSE Test Adaptor Designed for active testing of EVSE charging stations without opening the box! • Simulates Electric Vehicle connected to Chargepoint – activates power output • Permits Full Electrical Test including Visual Function; Insulation; Voltage & Frequency; Earth Loop Impedance; PFC; RCD and RCM • Works with all Metrel Multifunction Installation Testers • Especially suitable for use with Metrel MI3125BT; MI3102BT; MI3152; MI3155 • Options for charging state output: A. Disconnected B. Charge Ready C. Active Charging (without ventilation) D. Active Charging (with ventilation) E. Pilot (CP) Error • Connect direct to Chargepoint, or include charging cables, plugs and sockets in test path
Available from your local wholesaler. Further information available at: email@example.com | www.metrel.co.uk | 01924 245000
TEST & MEASUREMENT
THERMAL VISION MADE SIMPLE Professional trainer Miles Best, from training specialist Electrician Courses 4U, assesses the latest Bosch thermal camera.
to make the thermal view translucent, and less bright, so you can get a clearer view of the structure you’re surveying.
aunching the GTC 400 C Professional Thermal Camera, Bosch described it as a highquality measuring device designed with the needs and budgets of trade professionals specifically in mind. That turns out to be a pretty good summary of what it has to offer. It’s easy to use. It does what someone like an electrician needs it to do. And it’s robust. Of all those qualities, the most impressive is its user-friendly operation. A thermal camera equipped with such intuitive features would normally cost a lot more, so the price will suit this market very well.
Who needs it?
Before going further, it would make sense to say a little about why professional tradespeople might want to use a thermal camera. Essentially, it shows and records the pattern of heat distribution across a room or, in closer detail, within a particular structure or piece of equipment. That gives a picture of underlying conditions and issues which would be impossible to see with the naked eye. HVAC engineers, plumbers and builders, as well as electricians, have much to gain from thermographic surveying. It reveals, for example: •W eak points and overloads in electrical installations •L ocations and courses of cables and heating pipes in walls and floors •F unctionality of heating systems and presence of vents •S ources of dampness, water intrusion, pipe leakage and draughts •C ondition and effectiveness of heat insulation It’s especially useful for electricians in the commercial and industrial world. Let’s say you’ve been asked by a client to do an electrical installation condition report (EICR). Without having to shut down equipment, which is often not an option anyway, you can search for hotspots in distribution boards, for instance. Loose conductors, high-resistance joints and other faults can be detected by their abnormal temperature.
“HVAC engineers, plumbers and builders, as well as electricians, have much to gain from thermographic surveying.”
For electricians, this not only speeds up survey work but avoids the arcing and sparking hazards of a physical check. For other trades, a variety of problems can be spotted and dealt with sooner – so time is saved and there are no nasty surprises as their work progresses.
Simplicity is the key You can spend much more on a thermal camera than Bosch is charging, but you will be buying more accuracy and functionality than you need. For example, why would you pay extra to measure temperatures to 0.1°C accuracy when 1°C will do? Drawing on its understanding of trade professionals’ practical challenges, Bosch has avoided unnecessary expense. The best thing about the GTC 400 C is you can pick it up and use it straight away – without spending half a day reading a manual. Its pre-settings allow easy selection for the various materials on which you might be working. The camera’s instructions are simple, and we’ve found that students typically get the hang of it within about 45 minutes. Its display and controls are intuitive and self-explanatory. The first thing this camera shows and tells you is how to flip up its protective lens cap. A function button lets you scroll easily through the various options. One I particularly like is the ability
Once you’ve taken your temperature measurements, your thermal images and – to help put them in context – your visual images, you can rapidly share them. The GTC 400 C comes complete with Bosch connectivity. It uses an inbuilt Wi-Fi Hotspot to link your smartphone or tablet wirelessly to the camera and the Bosch Measuring Master app. The app is really easy to work. There’s no messing about with different file formats and other complications. It instantly recognises the device and lets you move files without a problem. With very little practice you will be able to drop them straight into a report format and send it to your client – straight from the work site. Alternatively, you can use the camera’s micro USB and GTC transfer software to transfer files to your computer.
Professional quality A nice compact design, comfortable handhold and clear 3.5-inch colour screen give the GTC 400 C a professional look and feel. Its robust construction, with a recessed, rubber-shrouded display and IP53 sealing against dust and splashing water, will defend against rough conditions. Powered by standard alkaline AA batteries or a 12 V Li-ion battery pack, it fits neatly into the range of rugged Bosch power tools and measuring devices. At a price the average electrician can afford, this user-friendly device makes it easy for anyone to produce high-quality pictures and documents. It should give businesses a competitive advantage by making their work easier, quicker and more efficient – with an extra dimension of professionalism. The Bosch GTC 400 C Professional Thermal Camera is available from specialist retailers at a recommended retail price of £900. This excludes VAT and is subject to change. Bosch, bosch-pt.com
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Hard work. Made easier. Essential power tool solutions for the electrician. It’s in your hands. Bosch Professional. GTC 400 C Professional Thermal Camera ▶ Easy location orientation of the measured values due to the built-in camera and thermal overlay ▶ Infrared sensor with 19,200 measuring pixels (160 x 120) for detailed, informative thermal imaging ▶ Identify overheated components in electrical installations immediately – making system testing, inspections and maintenance efficient www.bosch-professional.co.uk
BOSG40846 Untitled-4 1 Professional Electrician Ad July/August 2018.indd 1
29/05/2018 09:11 24/07/2018 10:02
TEST & MEASUREMENT
CIRCUIT TESTING SAVINGS Can one component really make testing easier, safer and faster? Dave Enefer, devices product manager at Crabtree, one of Electrium’s brands in electrical components, talks to ECN about achieving time and cost savings in periodic circuit testing.
esting is an essential activity, yet it can often be a time consuming one, whether it has to be repeated annually or more or less frequently at regular intervals. Obviously, this means that there’s a cost to be budgeted for, with time and labour being the most expensive part. So, if there’s a product on the market that can make testing easier, safer and faster, why wouldn’t you use or recommend it?
Social responsibility Responsible social landlords, for example, will have a programme of periodic testing of the electrical installations in the dwellings that they own and rent out. They do this not only because it’s recommended in the IET Wiring Regulations, regulation 134.2.2 and Chapter 64, but also to ensure that their tenants have a safe environment in which to live. In social housing situations, periodic testing is often carried out more frequently than other types of installation because every time there is a change of tenant, the housing authority or association will check the electrical installation before the next tenant moves in. Ordinarily, when this involves insulation resistance (IR) testing on circuits that are protected by RCBOs, the circuit cables on the RCBO circuits need to be disconnected. This is so the IR tester does not damage the electronic components inside the RCBO, but that slows down the testing process, adds cost and introduces risk.
“In a single second, the circuit is ready to test. There’s no need to disconnect the circuit cables.”
It takes time to disconnect the live and neutral cables, and attach the test leads to each core in turn in order to carry out the test. It then takes more time to put those cables back into the terminations on the RCBO and make a secure connection again so that the installation can be put back into use. However, making that secure connection might mean stripping the cable insulation back a little further to find fresh, undamaged conductor cores to put into the terminals. It’s a fact that copper cables can’t be repeatedly disconnected and reconnected without getting damaged from the screw biting into the cable core.
Pole position This can be avoided with products such as Crabtree Miniature RCBOs, as they are two-pole switching devices. The only thing that has to be done to get a circuit ready for an insulation resistance test is to switch the device off. This saves time and money from an annual budget on essential testing, and provides higher levels of protection for all who interact with it. In a single second, the circuit is ready to test. There’s no need to disconnect the circuit cables, no need to attach test leads, and no need to be concerned about reconnecting cables either. All of which makes this testing process easier, faster, safer and cheaper too. By taking some of the cost burden away from the regular testing of circuits, it not only makes it more competitive for contractors quoting for ongoing periodic testing, but it also then enables the property management company or social landlord to invest more of their increasingly tight budgets into the upgrade of old systems and the implementation of new ones.
Crabtree Miniature RCBOs are just one module wide and the same height as an MCB, so they provide lots of extra wiring space during the installation and test process. Regular maintenance is made safer by the two-pole switching capability of the device. The device also totally isolates any faulty circuit or faulty appliance and provides a much safer environment while waiting for the emergency electrician. When they arrive, having the faulty circuit fully isolated by a two-pole device provides a safe working environment for the task of maintenance or and repair as necessary. Crabtree Miniature RCBOs are designed to fit into all Crabtree Starbreaker consumer units, whatever the age of that consumer unit might be. The device is fully retrofit/backward compatible and can be simply plugged into the fully insulated plug self-connecting busbar system for an easy upgrade from single pole to two-pole protection – making the ongoing time and cost benefits from testing readily accessible.
Two-pole switching devices can make testing safer and more efficient
MFT1741 The electricians’ tester 56 | August 2018
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58 | August 2018
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SPONSORED STORIES FROM THE INDUSTRY
TECBLU: SUPPLY AND SUPPORT FOR IOT TECH TO THE TRADE Today, when every home and business is connected to the internet, a new generation of smart entertainment, lighting, heating and security products is gaining popularity. Not only do they offer round-the-clock eco-monitoring and convenient control from mobile apps, they’re usually easy to install: simply connect power, configure Wi-Fi and you’re done. No wonder market growth is unprecedented. Tecblu is the first online warehouse dedicated to the supply and support of a wide range of these internet-connected (IoT) products to professional electricians and contractors. Our experienced service providers will offer you immediate access to familiar names like Philips Hue, Ring and Honeywell, for lighting, security and heat, as well as high performance WLAN infrastructure from brands such as Ruckus, specialised multi-room AV distribution hardware from global leader WyreStorm, and a generous mix of home cinema system components – complete with online technical support to avoid those dreaded ‘blank screen’ scenarios. Only Tecblu can dedicate the specialist knowhow that ensures the smooth supply and operation of IoT and AV systems in the homes of your customers, and the exclusive trade-only discounts that support your profitability as well. Tecblu provides its services throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe. For more information please contact us at 01256 805665, firstname.lastname@example.org, and visit tecblu.co.uk
FLUKE T6 NON-CONTACT VOLTAGE TESTER KITS OFFER LIMITED TIME SAVINGS Until December 21, 2018, Fluke is offering two kits based on the latest Fluke T6 electrical testers with FieldSense technology, which make troubleshooting safer and more efficient by allowing electricians to take simultaneous voltage and current measurements, not just detection, without test leads. The Fluke T6-1000 kit includes a T6-1000 with a free AC285 SureGrip alligator clip set and an HT-6 holster. The Fluke T6-600 Kit (No: T6-600/62MAX+/1ACE) offers a 20% discount over the combined recommended prices of a T6-600 with a 62Max+ infrared temperature meter, plus a 1AC-II voltage detector and a C60 softcase. Troubleshooting electrical systems can be timeconsuming and potentially dangerous. The latest Fluke T6 electrical testers make it possible to take reliable truerms measurements in crowded junction boxes or along conductors with inaccessible end-points, saving time, minimising potential errors, and reducing the possibility of arc flash. The rugged testers are 1,000V CAT III, 600V CAT IV safety rated (600V CAT III for the T6-600 model) and feature an easy to read display with a backlight. For further information visit fluke.co.uk/t6
REGGIANI HELPS BRIGHTEN UP ST ANDREW’S HOSPICE Lighting by Reggiani has been chosen for use throughout the newly refurbished St Andrews Hospice in Airdrie, Scotland. The multi-million pound refurbishment was completed by CCG (Scotland) Ltd along with Atelier Ten. The building retained its existing façade but internally has been skilfully re-engineered to increase the number of single-bedded rooms which will be available alongside multi-occupancy rooms. Reggiani’s luminaires were specified by AtelierTen working closely with Cartwright Lighting Associates. The installation included Reggiani’s Low LED 10W fixed recessed luminaires in embossed matte white throughout the bedrooms and en-suite areas; 10W round, recessed TTile were used in bedhead shelving and Reggiani’s Unisio fixed, recessed fittings in 22W and 13W variants were chosen for the offices and consultation rooms. The MiLED Compact fitting was selected in a 15W variant for corridors to complement the architects’ ceiling design and MiLED 8W Comfort fittings with diffused lighting (UGR <19) were utilised in the patient bedroom entrances and nurses’ stations, as well as the reception area. For further information visit reggiani.net
ERA DOORCAM – SMART TECHNOLOGY’S LATEST LEAP FORWARD ERA DoorCam Smart Home Wi-Fi Video Doorbell is the latest tech development in home security. Using a smartphone app, DoorCam allows householders to view callers and talk to them in real-time, whether they’re home or not, and alerts householders when someone has arrived. Once DoorCam is wired in, the householder can simply plug in the Wi-Fi chime which comes as standard, connecting up to four more chimes in the home. Working with existing household Wi-Fi using the app, there are no Cloud-based recording fees for the first 12 months, and once fees are introduced, there will always be a free option dependent upon the level of recording required. DoorCam allows for two-way talk with high quality sound and provides adjustable volume, brightness and colour to suit the user. The video camera has a 180° field of view and records in 720pHD resolution and is available in black or white. For further information visit eraeverywhere.com or call 01922 490000
ERA EXPANDS CUSTOMER SUPPORT WITH NEW SMARTWARE HELPDESK ERA has implemented a new helpdesk team offering enduser support for its fast-growing smartware security product portfolio. The four-strong team offers expert help and guidance for home owners, trade and local authorities from ERA’s head office at the i54 Business Park in Wolverhampton. The helpdesk team is led by customer support manager, Liam Moses, who has a strong background in digital sales and customer service. The Smartware Helpdesk Team receives a wide range of queries from customers who might not feel as comfortable with technology including; whether a product is suitable for use in different areas of the home, selecting the best product to suit customer needs, how to get a replacement remote or key and how to return or exchange an item. The new ERA Smartware Helpdesk Team can be contacted on 0345 257 1000, 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. For further information visit eraeverywhere.com
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SPONSORED STORIES FROM THE INDUSTRY
THE PAT TESTING APP REVOLUTIONISING PAPERWORK FOR ELECTRICIANS Easy Safety Cert’s PAT testing app is leading the way in revolutionising how electricians across the UK create and manage PAT certificates. Long gone are the days of spending hours filling out endless paperwork, then returning to the office to process the certificate. This new streamlined app is saving electricians time and money every day. ESC PAT Cert gives tradesmen the power to create professional electronic paperwork with just a few taps on their iPhone or iPad, making it easier to provide clients with the essential PAT certificates they need, as soon as the job is complete. The app, available to download for free in the App Store, saves electricians both time and money by allowing busy tradesmen to streamline their business rather than becoming bogged down in paperwork while they’re trying to provide a service. Bianca Dainty, director of Easy Safety Cert, says, “ESC PAT Cert offers a streamlined solution for creating and emailing professional, electronic PAT certificates on the go. This system is proven to save users time and money and we are excited to see the app become a vital tool for any electrician.” The system is packed full with features to help electricians manage their workload and provide an enhanced service to their clients. All users have access to their own online account which includes a job management system, making it easy to schedule visits and get an overview of upcoming jobs. Users also receive annual email reminders to repeat the PAT test, maximising their revenue stream through repeat business. The system also stores all completed PAT certificates along with client and job details, removing the hassle of paperwork. Following a 14-day free trial, users can purchase an annual subscription to the system for just £50+VAT. For further information and to start a free trial, visit easysafetycert.co.uk/pat/trial
ALL THE WIRING ACCESSORY BOXES YOU NEED FROM ONE BRAND – AXIOM BY CED The long-established Axiom range of wiring accessories includes slim-line and square-edged white plastic, no less than four decorative ranges in a chrome or satin chrome finish, as well as a complete metal clad offering. Complementing Axiom accessories is an equally comprehensive range of boxes. Starting with BS6220 junction boxes, these are available in white or black, with various sizes (four to six terminals) and rating options (5A up to 60A). BS5733 surface pattress boxes come in 16mm, 25mm, 32mm and 45mm depths with single and twin gang variants, as well as 32mm dual and 45mm architrave and shaver socket options. Virtually mirroring this range are Axiom metal switch and socket boxes, although here cooker back boxes replace the plastic shaver socket option. Completing the range are dry lining boxes with again a similar spread of single, double and dual sizes, but in addition include circular and flat range versions. For further information visit ced-elec.co.uk
DON’T MISS THE SNICKERS WORKWEAR RANGE BROCHURE Check out the latest workwear designs from Snickers Workwear that will really stretch you to the limit on-site. There’s superb new clothing styles coming your way to make working in cooler weather so much easier and comfortable – all of them incorporating the very latest in market-leading designs and stretch fabric technology. There’s 37.5 high-tech undergarments, plus jackets, trousers and accessories added to the RUFFWork, FLEXIWork and ALLROUND clothing families for both professional craftsmen and women as well as the range of hi-vis garment collection for maximum safety and wellbeing. They’re all working clothes that deliver superb functionality, comfort, protection, and are equipped for any task at hand. Complemented by Snickers’ profiling and embroidery services and the UK’s most extensive range of garment sizes, Snickers’ Workwear system delivers the ultimate solution to make every man and woman’s workday easier and safer. For further information visit snickersworkwear.co.uk or call 01484 854788
ERA AND JEWSON JOIN FORCES IN LEICESTER ERA has joined forces with builder’s merchant, Jewson, in a bid to put ironmongery back on the map in Leicester. Independent builders merchant, J.S Millington, located on Humberstone Road, became part of the Jewson portfolio 14 years ago and continues to provide unrivalled service and expert advice for tradespeople in the area. Jewson Millington approached ERA to help boost the branch’s traditional ironmongery product range and now boasts a dedicated area displaying ERA’s wide range of products with large stock volumes on-site. The new-look branch was officially launched on Friday 6 July. Tania Tams, head of marketing for ERA, says, “ERA was established in 1843, Millington’s in 1860, and it’s great to see two historic, well established businesses coming together in this way.” Commenting on behalf of Jewson, area director Martin Beale, says, “ERA was the obvious choice for us and we are confident that with ERA’s support and expertise, we can establish Jewson Millington as a centre of excellence for ironmongery.”
QUICKWIRE JUNCTION BOXES CAUSE A STIR Quickwire appeared on the scene mid-2017, and in the short time it’s been around, its revolutionary junction boxes have caused quite a stir. Quickwire junction boxes have no screws, covers, clips or clamps. All you do is strip a cable and push into a cable entry point. During insertion, a patented shuttle design clamps down on the cable, giving a secure connection made in seconds. • No need to sleeve earth •P rewired with clearly labelled cable inlets (easy to wire, hard to make mistakes) • Maintenance-free •S crewless push-fit design, no screws, clips, clamps, or covers (no screwdriver needed) •F its through 32mm hole (one of the smallest junction boxes on the market) •R eusable (the cable can be removed, and the junction box reused) For further information visit quickwire.co.uk
For further information visit eraeverywhere.com
60 | August 2018
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KNOWLEDGE IS POWER KEY SUBJECTS
TechTalks are handy, informative seminars aimed at anyone operating within the electrical industry. So if you want to stay ahead of the competition and get up-to-speed with the 18th Edition, book your place now.
CHANGES TO 18TH EDITION
BOOK NOW AT SHOP.NICEIC.COM/EVENTS/ TECHTALKS-2018
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CHANGES TO CERTIFICATES, REPORTS AND FORMS
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OR CALL 0333 015 6626
06/09/2018 – Walsall 07/09/2018 – Milton Keynes
08/11/2018 – Lincoln 09/11/2018 – Derby
11/09/2018 – Wadebridge 12/09/2018 – Bristol
27/11/2018 – Belfast 05/12/2018 – Newcastle
26/09/2018 – Maidstone 27/09/2018 – Chelmsford
06/12/2018 – Middlesbrough 12/12/2018 – Doncaster
09/10/2018 – Hendon 10/10/2018 – Norwich
13/12/2018 – Leeds 23/01/2019 – Cardiff
16/10/2018 – Llandudno 17/10/2018 – Manchester
24/01/2019 – Cheltenham 06/02/2019 – Brighton
18/10/2018 – Stoke-on-trent 07/11/2018 – Peterborough
07/02/2019 – Southampton
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18091-Electrical-Contracting-News-340x244.indd 1 Untitled-3 1
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SPONSORED STORIES FROM THE INDUSTRY
ROLEC EV’S 25KW DC WALLBOX ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING SOLUTION Rolec EV’s 25kW DC WallBox electric vehicle charger is a compact wall or pedestal mounted unit which offers an entry level, low cost, DC rapid charging solution. The unit is ideal for providing EV rapid charging to fleets, taxi companies, commercial locations, busy offices, and so on. Rolec EV has manufactured and supplied 95,000 charging points to date – and its charging products are compatible with all EVs and PHEVs on the road today. For more information about Rolec EV products, or its sponsored EV charge point installation training courses, call 01205 724754, email rolec@ rolecserv.co.uk or go to rolecserv.com
ERA ACHIEVES INVESTORS IN PEOPLE GOLD ACCREDITATION
ESP INTRODUCES SMART SECURITY FLOODLIGHT SYSTEM ESP’s GuardCam Deco is a combined WiFi security camera and LED floodlight system, which has been designed with ease of set up as a key feature, including the option for remote monitoring via smartphone or tablet, using ESP’s specially developed GuardCam Deco app. The GuardCam Deco features a built-in camera that offers full 1080p HD live viewing and recording. On approaching the unit, GuardCam Deco will detect the intruder with proven PIR technology at a distance of up to 10 metres from the unit. It will floodlight the area, initiate a video recording and provide the user with an option to deliver a two-way audio message or activate the in-built alarm warning. It features an adjustable 16W high-intensity LED security lamp (3,000k colour light and 800 lumen) and you can remotely dim or turn on/off the LED lamp via the APP. It will record up to 200, twenty-second video sessions onto the supplied 8GB storage, and this is expandable up to 64GB.
ERA has achieved the prestigious Investors in People Gold accreditation, reflecting the company’s commitment to its team. The Investors in People standard, which ERA first achieved in 2014, measures how well an organisation meets three key criteria, namely leading, supporting and improving, through a performance model of progression. ERA’s Gold accreditation indicates even higher performance in people management, which is bench-marked against global industry practice. Nicky Purba, human resources director at ERA explains, ‘We lead by example and actively encourage open communication via regular staff meetings with elected departmental representatives and senior management. This has enabled us to empower our team to make decisions and to act upon them with confidence. ‘With Investors in People running through everything we do, our approach to customers reflects the positive environment in which our team works. Our people are integral to our success and behind every ERA product, you’ll find our people.’
For further information visit espuk.com
PHOEBE ORION IN TUNEABLE WHITE Part of the Spectrum smart LED series from Phoebe LED, Orion is a new tuneable white, energy efficient integrated LED downlight. Mains operated and fire-rated, Orion is available with Bluetooth app control using the Phoebe LED Spectrum control app from Google Play or Apple App Store. The fully dimmable spotlight is tuneable from 2,200K extra warm white to 6,500K daylight colour temperature and can be used in conjunction with the growing Spectrum range such as the Spectrum RGB with colour changing halo-rim. The IP65-rated Orion gives instant, full light, has a colour rendering of Ra≥80, 100,000 switching cycles and will provide 50,000 hours’ maintenance free operation. Orion comes with three interchangeable magnetic bezels which are included in the pack and is covered by Phoebe LED’s five-year product warranty. For further information visit phoebeled.com
For further information, visit eraeverywhere.com
SCOLMORE LAUNCHES DUAL MODE LED DIMMER Scolmore has introduced an intelligent dimmer module that not only eliminates flickering, but is much easier to control than regular dimmers, and is essentially two dimmers in one. With a choice of dimming modes – leading or trailing edge – installers can choose the mode that works most effectively with the LED lights they are using. The electronics inside some LED lamps have better compatibility with trailing edge and some are better in leading edge. The new dual mode dimmer module allows the minimum brightness to be adjusted, so that any flicker at the bottom end of the dimming range can be trimmed out. The dual mode dimmer module also includes electronic thermal overload protection, so that if the module gets too hot it will cut out without damaging the internal electronics, allowing the module to cool down. When cooled, it can be used again, with no need to replace the module. The small size of the new dimmer module means they can be placed above/below each other on multi-tier plates. For further information visit scolmore.com
62 | August 2018
Company Showcase.indd 62
(No limit on places)
(Limit of 100 places)
Mental Health First Aider Training
Mental Health Training 2018 This course is an introductory two-hour
Our two day course qualifies you as a Mental Health First Aider.
session to raise awareness of mental health.
Mental Health First Aiders have:
It is designed to give: •
An understanding of what mental health is and how to challenge the stigma
A basic knowledge of some common mental health issues
An introduction to looking after your own mental health and maintaining wellbeing
Confidence to support someone in distress or who may be experiencing a mental health issue
An in depth understanding of mental health and the factors that can affect wellbeing
Practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues
Confidence to step in, reassure and support a person in distress
Enhanced interpersonal skills such as non-judgemental listening
Knowledge to help someone recover their health by guiding them to further support - whether that’s self-help resources, through their employer, The Electrical Industries Charity the NHS, or a mix
Everyone who completes the course gets an MHFA manual to keep and refer to whenever they need it, and a certificate to say they are a Mental Health First Aider.
Register at Register at Join the revolution challenging the stigma around Mental Health electricalcharity.org/mentalhealth electricalcharity.org/mentalhealth
by registering for one of the FREE EIC Training programs.
CUT SICKNESS ABSENCE
ENSURE A HEALTHIER WORKPLACE
Mental health issues account for 70 million days off sick per year, costing between £70 £100 billion per year.
On average, employees take 7 days off work a year for health reasons accounting mental health issues for 40% of this figure. 90% of employees feel unable to be honest about the reason for their absence.
DEMONSTRATE A COMMITMENT TO CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Annual cost of mental health-related presenteeism is £15.1 billion or £605 per employee in the UK.
Work-related mental health costs UK employers up to £26 billion every year through lost working days, staff turnover and lower productivity.
To learn more about our monthly 2 hour Mental Health Training or our 2 day Mental Health First Aider Training.
register at: electricalcharity.org/mentalhealth
Trainings will be run by Mates In Mind and MHFA England