When a comm shows up as a bucket of bars, the ability to successfully re-engineer and manufacture the replacement is as much talent as skill!
There are �mes when a customer has to destroy the old comm to remove it from the sha�, and that’s ok. Ship it to us in any shape or form, and we’ll take care of the rest.
WE ARE ICC. IMPROVING COMMUTATORS IS OUR ONLY JOB. OUR INDUSTRY DEPENDS ON IT.
Conventions & Trade Shows
16 The best in batteries
Developers and users gathered in Michigan in September to share their knowledge about battery technologyBy Kevin Jones, EA Senior Editor
20 Making waves
The best and brightest in water management came together in New Orleans for Weftec 2022By Kevin Jones, EA Senior Editor
Say It Right
18 Belt and suspenders
In writing, redundancy is the enemy of precision
By Richard L. Nailen, EA Engineering Editor
22 The lithium-ion risk
As the use of lithium-ion batteries has spread, some companies have come up with innovative precautions
By Carol Brzozowski, EA Contributing Writer
Pump It Up
24 New rule on the efficiency of circulator pumps
The population of pumps covered by federal efficiency standards is about to expand again
By Kevin Jones, EA Senior Editor
27 The post-Covid workforce
The pandemic has brought about many changes in the work place, some revolutionary, but which ones will be permanent?
By the Electrical Apparatus staff
Motors & Generators
31 How many starts?
Understand the numerous factors behind a motor’s starting capability before accepting a manufacturer’s claims With trilingual summary
By Richard L. Nailen, EA Engineering Editor
More Than Accounting
37 Flat-rate pay for technicians
Sometimes, paying by the job makes more ‘cents’ than paying by the hour
By William H. Wiersema, CPA, EA Contributing Editor
40 In search of sustainable talent
Renewable help is wanted!
By Charlie Barks, EA Managing Editor
Motors that are as tough as they are reliable. Drives that can withstand the elements. By combining the power of invention with our expertise and desire for a better world, we imagine things that have never been – and make them a reality. We are Toshiba. Connecting our solutions to your possibilities.
The Editor’s Comment
CHARLIE BARKS WWW.BARKS.COM CHARLIE@BARKS.COM
The workforce at a crossroads
When it comes to working towards a goal or task, two elements can be spotlighted: the approach and the execution. The rst half, whether for an individual employee or entire company, includes planning and mentality. Typically, airtight organization and a solid structure will yield better results, while attention to detail is often crucial.
To execute the task, speci c skill sets and competencies are required. Background knowledge can be cultivated by a wider range of personnel during the planning stage, but within the engineering world, that number divides when it comes to who can reliably perform the task.
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Elizabeth Van Ness, Publisher
Kevin N. Jones, Senior Editor
Richard L. Nailen, Engineering Editor
Charlie Barks, Managing Editor
John Malinowski, Special Correspondent
William H. Wiersema
Coming next month in Electrical Apparatus:
Richard Nailen on communication between motor designer and user; Pack Expo Show report; New products for the service industry
Read Electrical Apparatus online
The entire contents of the November EA are available online. Scan the QR code below:
At this juncture, many of today’s workforce issues are revealed. A shortage of skilled workers is, and has been, the Achilles heel of many manual skilled labor industries and adjacent sectors for the past decade at least. As those from the postwar generation and their sons age and retire, it’s become abundantly clear that the current generation does not have the physical expertise to ll those spots. You’d be hard pressed to nd a good coil winder these days, or a prospect with a passion for torque density. What you can nd is a surplus of tech-savvy thinkers and workers.
Areas on the come-up, as we discuss throughout this issue, include sectors like pumps, renewable energy, robotics and automation, and certain parts of manufacturing. For those under the umbrella of electromechanical technicians — who work alongside mechanical or electrical engineers to create, install, and maintain the equipment you see throughout this magazine — the latest statistics describe an industry that is treading water despite good pay.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021 median pay for electromechanical technicians was $60,360 per year and $29.02 per hour. Upon obtaining an associate degree in this eld, graduates can choose to specialize in di erent parts of these processes, but the BLS reported a mere 12,00 jobs within the eld in 2021, along with an expected decline of 4% in 2022.
So the question employers continue to ask themselves is: How do I nd competent workers and skilled candidates for my business?
One way associations are trying to bolster the job market is by spicing up the appeal of industrial careers. Look no further than the “Clash of Trades” reality show (page 28) developed by Project MFG (an a liate of AMT & IMTS). It’s proof that the workforce is being highlighted and younger generations are crossing cultural lines to make skilled trades more appealing to youth.
Jane Powell Campbell Christopher Wachter
Sta Artist: Bernie White
ElectroMechanical Bench Reference
Supplement mailed with the December issue
Elizabeth Van Ness, Editor & Publisher
Barbara Wachter, Advertising Director
Electrical Apparatus (ISSN 0190-1370), Vol. 75, No. 11, is published monthly by Barks Publications, Inc., 17 N. State St., Chicago, Ill. 60602; (312) 321-9440; fax (866) 2287274. www.barks.com. Periodicals postage paid at Chicago, Ill., and at additional mailing o ces. Postmaster: Send address changes to Electrical Apparatus, c/o Barks Publications, Inc., 17 N. State St., Suite 1650, Chicago, Ill. 60602. PM #40830553
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There are other, more practical means, the most e ective being to tap into local trade schools and combine that with outreach on the internet. In a bleak work climate, this dual networking approach is sometimes the only hope of obtaining talent.
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Let’s Solve Your Problem
How do you deﬁne ‘harsh environment’?
Some a-c motor manufacturers o er products meant for use in “harsh” environments. What standards de ne such operating conditions?
No general industry standards apply here. Ambient temperature above 40°C; chemical contamination; abrasive or highly humid atmosphere; corrosive liquids; and overload are among the many environmental conditions that can be labeled “harsh.”
The user needs to fully de ne whatever conditions apply.
Any standard tolerance for motor performance?
In quotations of a-c motor performance, is there any standard tolerance? For instance, if starting torque is stated as 110%,
Electrical Apparatus welcomes letters from readers. Letters are subject to editing for clarity and space. See page 4 for our postage address, or e-mail us at eamagazine@ barks.com.
Thanks for helping spread our message
Thank you for the very generous public service ad on stuttering in the August issue of Electrical Apparatus!
the actual value being, say, 120% or 130%?
No standard applies here. A designer will allow some margin in quoting, but don’t count on anything. And whatever is quoted will be valid only with rated voltage and frequency at the motor terminals.
What does ‘starting load’ mean?
Does the term “starting load” for a motor have any standard meaning?
Not really. It may refer to the accelerating torque requirement of a particular application or the inertia of the driven equipment. It’s up to the user to clarify what’s meant by the phrase.
What is a ‘hard short’?
I have seen the term “hard short” used to describe a fault in a motor or trans-
We are beginning to hear from many of your readers who are concerned about the challenges stuttering poses for their children and grandchildren as the new school year begins.
Thank you for your loyal support. It’s making a di erence.
Sincerely, Jane Fraser, president
The Stuttering Foundation of America Memphis, Tenn.
Electrical Apparatus sometimes runs non-paid advertisements as a public service. We’re always grati ed to learn that the messages we’re privileged to deliver are ben-
former winding but haven’t seen the term de ned. Are there di erent kinds of short circuits?
The term “hard short” refers to a solid contact between live conductors. It’s distinguished from a brief intermittent, or “sputtering,” contact.
A “hard contact” will carry a signi cant fault current until either interrupted by burning away a conductor, or circuit interruption by a fuse or breaker.
Higher insulation temp means more starts?
In a-c motors, does a higher winding insulation temperature rating allow a greater number of allowable starts?
Not necessarily, because motor starting duty is often more dependent on rotor heating than on stator winding conditions. EA Edited by the EA sta
e cial. Readers interested in learning more about the resources available for those who stutter may nd answers to their questions at www.stutteringhelp.org. — Editor
Still the nest publication of its type, and I thank you for it. I especially like the technical articles and the questions section.
Thanks again, Alexander Jueschke, Senior Engineer
FLSmidth Minerals Ltd. Holladay, Utah
Associations offer resources for workforce development
Among the many services offered by trade associations, aids to help develop workforce education and provide for workers’ safety rank among the top. Recent examples of worker training supported by associations on both sides of the Atlantic illustrate the point.
Innovate UK, a British government agency that provides financial and other support to help organizations develop new products and services, this past summer awarded funding to the U.K.’s Association of Electrical and Mechanical Trades to support a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the University of York.
The purpose of the project is to develop an online platform to deliver AEMT’s courses on repairing electromechanical equipment for hazardous areas, or “Exequipment,” as the British say.
The Ex courses are delivered around the world; in 2019 they were presented, in person, in 20 countries to students from 40 nations. The Covid pandemic put the brakes on in-person training, though, and it became clear to the AEMT that an online option was needed.
The AEMT found the transfer of courses to a digital environment wasn’t straightforward, however, so the association approached the University of York to develop the project as a partnership. The jointly created training program “will allow course delegates to examine and explore the equipment previously taken to each course, from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection,” according to the AEMT.
The AEMT is casting the course as part of the association’s mission to promote the repair of electromechanical equipment “sustainably,” with as little strain on natural resources as possible.
“A fundamental value of the AEMT is to support and drive sustainability – it’s what our members do, repairing and remanufacturing electromechanical equipment to extend its life,” said AEMT general manager Thomas Marks. “So, aside from broadening the reach of our training and improving our resilience, the chance to reduce the significant amount of travel required by delegates and our lecturers will have a hugely positive impact on our carbon footprint.”
Dr. Hamed Ahmadi, a lecturer at the University of York, sees the partnership as a win-win for everyone involved. “As well as benefiting the training the AEMT carries out, this project will support our delivery at the University,” he said. The engineering courses at the university require “significant practical activity” that had to be curtailed during the pandemic, he added. “Developing the work carried out with the association will give us greater flexibility and improved resilience.”
The AEMT isn’t the only U.K. association that’s making efforts to provide direction in training for Ex-equipment repairs. The British Pump Manufacturers Association issued a statement in September describing the training that’s necessary for people responsible for the repair and service of such Ex-equipment as motors, pumps, fans, compressors, and gearboxes.
Citing IEC Standard 60079-19, the BPMA explains that there are two categories of people who service such equipment: the “responsible person” and “operatives.”
The former is “usually the manager or supervisor in charge of the workshop where servicing of Ex- or hazardous-area equipment is carried out,” the BPMA says. “Operatives” are the engineers and technicians who do the actual work of servicing and repairing hazardous-area equipment.
The recommended educational and training backgrounds for the two categories differ. A “responsible person” judges what can and cannot be repaired and which repair procedures to use and needs to be trained accordingly. He or she also needs to have the discipline to ensure that accurate records are kept and that quality-control systems are in place.
To do the hands-on work, “operatives” are advised to attend Ex Theory courses offered by AEMT “to fully understand the protection concepts of the equipment they are repairing” and to know, like the “responsible person,” what can and cannot be repaired.
The AEMT maintains a list called the Ex-Register that shows which companies are qualified to carry out Ex repairs. To be on the list, a company should have an ISO 9001 quality-control system or equivalent, the calibrated tools necessary for the work, a minimum of one trained operative, and at least one “responsible” person “to sign off and supervise Ex repair work completed by workshop technicians.”
Returning to this side of the Atlantic . . . Safety in the workplace is always a cause worth promoting, and the American Society of Safety Professionals of Park Ridge, Ill., got a significant boost toward that end in September with a $159,967 education and training grant from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The grant is named after the late Dr. Susan Harwood, an OSHA scientist who worked to advance worker safety. The ASSP Foundation will use its grant — its second Harwood grant — to support the development of free workplace training materials on combatting infectious diseases.
The Harwood grants are given each year to nonprofit organizations that develop training programs for small-business employers and “underserved vulnerable workers” in high-hazard industries. This year’s distribution of grants will enable nonprofit organizations to help employers identify infectious disease hazards – including coronavirus – and put preventive measures in place.
A Hardwood grant the ASSP Foundation received last year, in the amount of $74,960, was used to create training materials on personal protective equipment designed to help prevent falls. Three training modules developed with the grant money are now being used to help construction, demolition, and material-handling companies demonstrate the proper use of PPE.
“Access to cost-effective and high-caliber PPE training has been an ongoing concern for employees and small businesses,” said ASSP Foundation chairwoman Trish Ennis. “Our Foundation is now helping to fill that void.”— Kevin Jones EA
Know Your Industry
Helping to ﬁndapprenticeships
Founded: 1911 (Wisconsin), 1937 (National)
Headquarters: U.S. Dept. of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20210.
Annual dues: Taxpayer-funded and available to quali-
ers at no charge. Phone: (877) 872-5627.
Web site: www.apprenticeship.gov.
This month, Nov. 14-20 marks National Apprenticeship Week, a nationwide celebration during which industry, labor, education, and government gures host events to showcase the value of registered apprenticeships in providing jobs and making the economy stronger and more resilient.
Helping to coordinate it all is Apprenticeship USA, an initiative of the U.S. Dept. of Labor that’s worth a close look. It’s an example of our tax dollars being put to work to bring together employers and workers in partnerships bene cial to all.
Apprenticeship USA operates Registered Apprenticeship, a “high-quality career pathway” through which employers can develop their future workforce and employees-to-be can obtain paid work experience along with progressive wage increases, classroom instruction, and nationally recognized credentials.
Most apprenticeships o ered through Registered Apprenticeship include classroom instruction, and many
provide college credit. One big plus is that apprentices earn college credit without accruing student debt. The lengths of apprenticeships vary by employer, occupation, industry, and type of program.
According to Apprenticeship USA, 93% of apprentices who complete a registered apprenticeship retain employment, with an average annual salary of $77,000.
There are seven components of Registered Apprenticeship that, according to Apprenticeship USA, set it apart from conventional workplace training programs:
> Industry involvement. Programs have been reviewed and approved by industry gures to ensure alignment with industry standards and demand for occupations.
> Paid jobs. Apprentices earn wages that increase as their skills and productivity increase.— pvproductions / Freepik photo
> On-the-job learning. Programs provide structured training, including instruction from experienced mentors.
> Supplemental education. Apprentices receive classroom education based on the unique training needs of each particular occupation.
> Diversity. This being a federally funded initiative, programs are designed to re ect “the communities in which they operate” through “strong non-discrimination, anti-harassment, and recruitment practices” to ensure “access, equity, and inclusion.”
> Quality and safety. Apprentices are afforded worker protections while receiving the “training and supervision they need to be safe.”
> Credentials. The credits earned by apprentices are portable and nationally recognized.
The program’s website, at www.appren ticeship.gov, provides a useful set of tools for job seekers, employers, and educators along with a selection of additional resources.
Starting with the “Apprenticeship Job Finder,” the user enters a job specialty and a U.S. state and clicks “search.” A list of apprenticeships answering the job description, or close to it, appears.
A recent search for “motor winder in Texas” brought up more than 100 hits, but nearly all of them were only marginally relevant. They included water utility technician, diesel technician, building inspector, and HVAC/R service tech.
But sitting at the top of the list was a well-known electromechanical repair company in Dallas o ering an apprenticeship that pays $15 per hour plus paid time o and dental, health, and vision insurance. The position posted was that of a teardown person who would be responsible for inspecting electric motors and determining which parts are good and which need to be replaced.
Another search, for “electric utility lineman in Florida,” yielded 71 results, and many of them were on the mark or close to it. One lineman apprenticeship in Lakeland was o ering $23 to $32 per hour to perform increasingly di cult tasks involving the construction, maintenance, and repair of electrical transmission and distribution systems.
These are just a couple of examples of the hundreds of internships that can be found through Apprenticeship USA. Whether you’re an employer or someone looking for an apprenticeship, your taxes are paying for this service, so you may as well give it a look.
— Kevin Jones
WHEN YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE!
ACT RAISING THE BAR 24-7-365!
Along ACT’s path of continuous growth (now entering 30th consecutive year) to modern day status as WORLD’S LARGEST manufacturer of ALL types & ALL sizes of COMMUTATORS & SLIP RINGS, Mike Akard has made certain ACT’s unmatched team of experts has remained FOCUSED on BAR 24-7-365!™ by steadily setting the global benchmark standards for both quality & service since inception. The list of industry firsts is incredible...far too many to list here (contact experts at ACT for details).
With ACT: There is no wine & dine sales tactic. Solid partnerships... minus pricing gimmicks (such as marking-up already non-competitive everyday prices even higher to fund a year end “rebate”). Without renaming of common industry-wide practices (some more than a century their elder). Avoiding fancy slogans and eliminating misleading “snake oil” advertising...
Only ACT’s laser FOCUS on:
ACT is not a foundry that also builds commutators, nor is it any sort of middleman “authorized parts reseller” that also pieces together some common industrial commutators…their focus clearly lies elsewhere.
In October 1993, Mike founded ACT and the Akard family immediately began assembling ACT’s peerless team of master craftspeople & like-minded experts having the common FOCUS on being the WORLD’S BEST.
NOTHING... anywhere... COMPARES to the unique real world advantages resulting from ACT REMAINING FOCUSED on ACT RAISING THE BAR 24-7-365!
Since October 1993!
WHEN YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE!TM
• 1-800-889-ACTion!Founder / President
WorldWide sold by one investment firm to another
WorldWide Electric Corp. of Rochester, N.Y., the distributor of proprietary-branded electric motors, gear reducers, motor controls, and related products, has been sold by New York investment firm Graycliff Partners LP to another New York investment firm, AEA Investors, for an undisclosed sum.
In four years of ownership by Graycliff, WorldWide has been transformed from a founder-owned distributor to a developer and producer of a wide portfolio of highly engineered products. Under Graycliff’s guidance, the company has built “an exceptional management team,” implemented new systems, diversified its supply chain, and executed “operational improvements,” according to Graycliff.
The belief that the relationship has been beneficial is mutual. “We could not have achieved such an ambitious level of growth without their support and strategic direction,” said Jim Taylor, CEO of WorldWide. “We are looking forward to our next chapter as part of the AEA portfolio.”
Since 2020, WorldWide has grown both organically and through mergers and acquisitions, completing three acquisitions that AEA Investors called “highly strategic”: Louis Allis, Gleason Avery, and the Georator brands. AEA Investors sees WorldWide as “a highly attractive asset that employs a disruptive sales and service model into a large and fragmented industry, which has allowed it to outpace GDP market growth and take considerable share from competition.”
The firm that bought WorldWide, AEA Investors, was founded in 1968 by some venerable names in New York finance, with interests representing the Rockefeller, Mellon, and Harriman families joining with S.G. Warburg & Co. to establish “a private investment vehicle for a select group of industrial family offices with substantial assets.”
Jenkins Electric buys a bearing company
Jenkins Electric of Charlotte, N.C., the electromechanical service and parts provider specializing in electric motor repair and test products along with a variety of distribution parts, recently acquired Wheeler Bearing Co., a sleeve and fluid film bearing manufacturer based in North Charleston, S.C.
“This acquisition expands our capabilities and offerings in the industrial motor parts and service industry,” said Jenkins president Iain Jenkins. “From the North Charleston location, Jenkins will continue the Wheeler tradition of precision manufacturing.”
Wheeler Bearing Co. serves a variety of OEM customers around the world. adhering to ISO-certified manufacturing practices, Wheeler produces babbitt-lined bearings, aluminum alloy bearings, and labyrinth seals. The company also offers rebabbitting services for motors, turbines, fans, and gearbox bearings.
Since 1919, Wheeler Bearing Co. has manufactured and repaired industrial babbitt, bronze, and aluminum bearings, oil rings, and deflectors. Its
A few of the products manufactured by Wheeler Bearing Co., the company recently acquired by Jenkins Electric of Charlotte, N.C. — Jenkins Electric Co. photo
17,000-square-foot manufacturing facility houses an on-premises babbitt and aluminum foundry, more than 20,000 OEM drawings, and an inventory of replacement motor parts. The company is an ISO 9001-2008-certified supplier that provides CNC machining, electrical discharge machining, rebabbitting, and design assistance.
Under the name Wheeler Bearing Company, Powered by Jenkins, the acquired business will be led by general manager Ryan Ossmann. Wheeler Industries’ technical and customer service team will remain in North Charleston under Ossmann’s leadership.
The acquisition further expands the distribution business run by Jenkins, which now includes sleeve and fluid film bearings, motor cooling fans, winding protection, and motor parts. Jenkins also serves as the exclusive U.S. distributor of Axalta resin.
ABB expands its presence in Canada
Swiss multinational electrical and electronics manufacturer ABB recently announced it is investing $13 million U.S. in its Installation Products Division Iberville manufacturing facility in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, to increase capacity and establish an R&D facility for cable tray manufacturing.
The Iberville facility employs 300 people, including production, engineering, and quality specialists who design and manufacture cable trays for both the North American market and international customers. ABB’s Installation Products Division is the former Thomas & Betts.
ABB says that new automated equipment — along with ABB robotics technology, an advanced design lab, and more than 32,500 square feet of building improvements — is expected to boost total production capacity of the 102,000-square-foot site by more than 30%.
This is the second expansion for ABB Canadian facilities in the past year. The company previously announced a $12 million investment in its Installation Products Division manufacturing facility in PointeClaire, Quebec.
ABB says that the two investments “are part of a fiveyear strategy to integrate new digital processes and automation to enhance and expand efficiency and sustainability” across the company’s operations. — Kevin Jones EA
Founded in 1973, by Bob Ross, Jasper Electric has provided quality motor and rotor repair by being on the cutting edge of technology and using high-quality materials, such as Ml 9 electrical steel. Handling large and small motors alike, we are the future. We have almost every tool needed to repair or rebuild your rotor and stator. Most motors we repair will run as efficiently if not better than when they were new from factory. Our personnel allow us to work smoothly while giving our customers a peace of mind.
Going nuclear has a new look
Last month’s Electrical Apparatus article describing nuclear hotspots around the world (“Not your typical ‘nuclear family,’” page 49, by Anna Claire Howard) highlighted how nuclear power plants are ashpoints for anti-nuclear sentiments. Opponents of nuclear energy use dark adjectives to outline their concerns: Risky. Volatile. Lethal. Unstable.
But in a countervailing trend, resistance to nuclear may be abating, and the proponents of nuclear power can no longer be stereotyped as utility executives, avaricious investors, and other corporate types. Today’s advocates include scientists, environmentalists, moms and at least one beauty queen, And they embrace a new vocabulary: Clean. E cient. Carbon-free. Safe.
A few examples:
• James Hansen, a former NASA director who is often identi ed as the rst scientist to raise global awareness of climate change, is an outspoken advocate of nuclear power who believes that major problems with nuclear can be solved with R&D. Scientists are developing smaller nuclear reactors, he points out, along with improved ways to manage storage and demand.
• Pro-environmental researchers from the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability created a cost/bene t assessment of California’s Diablo Canyon plant. Following their favorable report, Governor Gavin Newsom is urging legislators to keep the plant open.
• Mothers for Nuclear is a non-pro t advocacy group
founded by two PG&E scientist and engineer moms who believe that generating energy from nuclear power plants aligns with humanitarian and environmental goals. “Nuclear energy is misunderstood and underrated,” they claim.
• Grace Stanke is a nuclear engineering student at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and this year’s Miss Wisconsin. She made her support for nuclear energy the cornerstone of her social impact initiative speech for the Miss America competition.
Many of these pro-nuclear leaders were once skeptics, and most agree that the risks of accidents, sabotage, and destructive climate conditions cannot be discounted. So, the controversies will continue. But as these new voices become ever louder and more evident, the debate over nuclear is likely to become more impassioned and multifaceted than ever. EA
Mark your calendar for these upcoming trade shows and conferences.
• November 1-3, 2022 — CyberSat Gov, Hyatt Regency Reston, Reston, Va. Access Intelligence, www.cybersatsummit. com/cybersatgov.
• November 1-3, 2022 — Greenbuild International Conference + Expo, Moscone Center, San Francisco, Calif. Informa Connect, www.informaconnect.com/ greenbuild.
• November 8-10, 2022 — FABTECH, Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Ga. FABTECH, www.fabtechexpo.com.
• November 14-18, 2022 — Digital Manufacturing Week, Exhibition Centre Liverpool, Liverpool, U.K. The Manufacturer magazine, www.digital-manufactur ing-week.com.
• November 16-17, 2022 — NEMA Annual Meeting 2022, Ritz-Carlton Resort, Amelia Island, Fla. National Association of Electrical Manufacturers, www. nema.org.
• November 17, 2022 — AEMT Conference, Doubletree by Hilton, Coventry, U.K. The Association of Electrical & Mechanical Trades, www.aemtconference. com.
• January 30-February 2, 2023 — NEMRA23, Virgin Hotels, Las Vegas, Nev. National Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Association, www.nemra.org/ nemra23-conference.
• February 6-8, 2023 — AHR Expo, Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Ga. ASHRAE + AHRI, www.ahrexpo.com.
• March 7-9, 2023 — PowerTest 2023, The Rosen Shingle Creek Orland, Orlando, Fla. InterNational Electrical Testing Association, www.powertest.org/home
• March 12-14, 2023 — EGSA 2023 Spring Conference, Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, Nev. Electrical Generating Systems Association, egsa.org/Events/Future-Con ferences
• April 13-16, 2023 — 2023 PEARL Conference & Exhibition, Marriott Downtown Riverfront, Portland, Ore. Professional Electrical Apparatus Reconditioning League, www.pearl1.org.
• April 17-21, 2023 — Hannover Messe 2023, Hannover Messe, Hannover, Germany. Hannover Messe Worldwide, www.hannovermesse.de/en.
• May 22-24, 2023 — CleanPower 2023 Conference & Exhibition, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans,
La. American Clean Power, cleanpower.org.
• May 23-25, 2023 — NAED 2023 National Meeting, JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort, Marco Island, Fla. National Association of Electrical Distributors, www. naed.org/national-meeting.
• May 23-25, 2023 — CWIEME Berlin, Messe Berlin, Berlin, Germany. Coil Winding, Insulation & Electrical Manufacturing Exhibition, berlin.coilwindingexpo. com/Home.
• June 24-28, 2023 — ASHRAE Annual Conference, Marriott Tampa Water Street, Tampa, Fla. American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and AirConditioning Engineers, www.ashrae.org/ conferences/2023-annual-conference-tam pa.
• June 25-27, 2023 — EASA Convention 2023, Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Md. Electrical Apparatus Service Association, https://easa.com/convention.
• September 12-14, 2023 — The Battery Show North America 2023, Suburban Collection Showplace, Novi, Mich. The Battery Show, www.thebatteryshow. com. EAEdited by Ed Benchley
Ammunition maker opens Wisconsin plant
Ammo, Inc., of Scottsdale, Ariz., a manufacturer of ammunition and seller of rearms, celebrated the grand opening of a new ammunition manufacturing plant in Manitowoc, Wis., Sept. 22. The 185,000-square-foot facility “integrates state-of-the-art capabilities” that allow the company to meet increased demand for its commercial, military, and law-enforcement products both in the U.S. and overseas, according to Ammo, Inc. The company currently employs more than 300 people in Manitowoc and plans to hire 100 more over the next year.
Georgia-Paciﬁc plans new Tennessee plant
Georgia-Paci c of Atlanta, the pulp-and-paper company and manufacturer of paper products, announced plans Sept. 26 to invest more than $425 million in a plant in Jackson, Tenn., to manufacture its signature Dixie cups as well as plates and bowls bearing the Dixie name. It will be the rst Dixie plant the company has built since 1991. The 900,000-square-foot facility will sit on 241 acres of land west of Jackson; construction is scheduled to begin by the end of this year and production to commence in 2024.
Automotive sensor plant opens in Texas
Continental, the German automotive parts manufacturing company, opened a new automotive manufacturing plant in New Braunfels, Tex., Sept. 28. The 215,000-square-foot plant, which cost more than $110 million to build, will manufacture products for advanced driver assistance systems – “the foundation of assisted and automated driving,” according to the company. More than 500 “wellpaying jobs with excellent bene ts” are expected to be created at the site over the next few years, according to Continental.
Semiconductor plant opens in Michigan
SK Siltron CSS, a Korean semiconductor wafer manufacturer, opened a new manufacturing facility in Bay City, Mich., in
September. The new facility is part of a $300 million expansion the company announced in July 2021 with support from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The company says the expansion will double the company’s Michigan workforce and quadruple its manufacturing capacity over the next several years.
Texas to get a frozen-desserts plant
Frozen desserts manufacturer Ziegenfelder Co. is planning to build a manufacturing facility in Lockhart, Tex., with the help of a $525,000 grant from the Texas Enterprise Fund. The company currently operates three manufacturing facilities in West Virginia, Colorado, and California. Ziegenfelder president Kevin Heller said that “this $29 million investment is the next stepping stone in our company’s growth.”
Steel tubing plant planned for Texas
Maruichi Stainless Tube, a Japanese manufacturer of specialty and precision tubing, in September announced plans to build a 125,000-square-foot plant in Seguin, Tex., for the production of seamless stainless-steel precision tubing to support customers in the semiconductor industry. Maruichi expects to break ground on the project in the rst quarter of 2023 and begin operations by the rst quarter of 2024.
A semiconductor plant for North Carolina
Siler City, N.C., has been chosen by Wolfspeed, Inc., a manufacturer of silicon carbide semiconductors, as the site of a new manufacturing campus. The company expects to invest about $5 billion in the project over the next eight years, according to the o ce of North Carolina governor Roy Cooper. The North Carolina Dept. of Commerce coordinated the state’s recruitment of Wolfspeed. Also involved were several state, regional, and local organizations. — Kevin Jones EA
The best in batteries
Developers and users gathered in Michigan in September to share their knowledge about battery technologyBy Kevin Jones, EA Senior Editor
NOVI, MICH. — Batteries, particularly those designed for use in electric vehicles, are receiving a lot of attention in the press these days, but as readers of Electrical Apparatus know, electric vehicles are just one application among many for lithium-ion and other new and emerging battery technologies.
Batteries come in a wide range of sizes and chemistries. At the larger end of the spectrum, we find utility-scale batteries, usually of the lithium-ion type. These batteries — installations, really — are often upwards of 100 MW and larger. They are proving useful in working in conjunction with modes of renewable power generation such as wind and solar that are intermittent in the power they generate. Their ability to store energy for later use is perfect for energy sources, such as wind and sunshine, that come and go.
Many of the batteries displayed and discussed at this year’s Battery Show, held Sept. 13-15 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Mich., were of the class designed and manufactured for electric vehicles, but the chemistries and design principles employed are applicable across a wide size range. This year’s show, like battery shows of previous years, brought forth the best and newest in battery chemistry and design.
Battery materials and components displayed
For three days, according to the event’s producers, more than 15,000 battery manufacturing and automotive professionals mingled, networked, and learned from one another while more than 150 speakers
gave more than 20 hours’ worth of presentations and hundreds of suppliers presented and described their products and services to an enthusiastic audience.
Featured products included finished batteries, to be sure, but most of the exhibitors were there to show materials, components, machines, and tools used to make batteries and other automotive components. A few exhibitors would have been familiar to Electrical Apparatus readers. They included Dow, Honeywell International, Megger Baker Instruments, and Southwire Co.
The four keynote speakers represented automotives, government research, and battery innovation and entrepreneurship. Tim Grewe and Charles Poon spoke, respectively, about electric vehicles being developed by General Motors and Ford Motor Co. Anthony K. Burrell described recent research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which is operated by the U.S. Dept. of Energy. Shailesh Upreti, founder of lithium-ion battery manufacturer iM3NY, described his company’s cutting-edge work.
Industry experts hold forth
But the keynote speakers were merely a foretaste of what the full conference had in store for attendees.
The conference offered four tracks of technical education spanning new methods of advanced battery design and the latest technologies, battery manufacturing, and forecasts of the market supply chain and regulatory outlook. Formats varied; they included panel discussions, leaders’ roundtables, workshops, and sponsored sessions.
One session, on policy and infrastructure in Michigan, showed how state agencies and industry and educational partners have come together to address infrastructure and policy gaps. Speaking on the subject were two people well-positioned to speak authoritatively on the subject: Michigan Dept. of Transportation director Paul Ajegba and Judd Herzer, policy strategist and the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Office of Future Mobility and Electrification.
Another session, on lithium-ion battery hazards in electric vehicles and manufacturing, laid out the unique hazards that haven’t been present in the automotive and manufacturing environments before. As efficient and compact as they may be, lithium-ion batteries can undergo thermal runaway where the stored chemical energy is converted to thermal energy, creating fire and explosion hazards. Speaking
for the Battery
were on display.
where the latest
on the subject was a representative from Jensen Hughes, a company with more than three decades of experience mitigating lithium-ion battery hazards. (For more about lithium-ion batteries, see “The lithiumion risk,” page 22.)
Next year’s Battery Show is scheduled to be held at the same location Sept. 13-15, 2023. Between now and then, Dec. 7-8, there will be a virtual event called the Battery Show & EV Tech Digital Days. Hosted on the Map Your Show virtual event platform, the virtual show will feature an enhanced conference program with live and on-demand webinars. Information about both live and virtual events may be found at www. thebatteryshow.com/en/home.
Belt and suspenders
In writing, redundancy is the enemy of precisionBy Richard L. Nailen, EA Engineering Editor
Emphasis in writing can take two forms. We can use “stronger” words, or we can repeat ourselves. Technical writing often su ers from consequences of the latter, not only from mere repetition but from saying the same thing in di erent words.
Here are some examples to think about, taken from a variety of technical publications:
“The issues can be as follows . . .” Why is that preferable to “The issues can be . . .”?
“It is important to note the existence of a misconception that . . .” Replace that pomposity with “One important misconception is . . .”
“It should however be noted that” can be replaced by “However, note that . . .”
“Measurements were carried out . . .” is better said as “Measurements were made . . .”
“Figure 1 shows a comparison of . . .” Why not “Figure 1 shows . . .”?
“. . . operated at the speed corresponding to the resonant speed” adds nothing to “. . . operated at the resonant speed.”
A logical replacement for “determined by examining plots . . .” is “determined from plots . . .”
“It takes a certain amount of time . . .” is better said as “It takes time . . .”
“With respect to the application of MCSA it can be used to access . . .” Not only lacking punctuation, but better expressed as “MCSA can be used to access . . .”
“It’s usually possible . . .” is preferable to “In most cases it may be possible . . .” (The longer version needlessly uses both “most” and “may” to express the idea of “possibility.”)
“The origins of these power system disturbances are frequently found . . .” is a clumsy way of saying “These power system disturbances often originate . . .”
Why say ‘A company within the petrochemical industry has the opportunity to select and use one or more of these approaches to standardization’ when the same assertion can be expressed as ‘A petrochemical company is free to use any of these approaches to standards . . .’?
Replace “keep air gap eccentricity to a minimum” with “minimize air gap eccentricity.”
with “minimize air gap eccentricity.”
Replace “surrounding ambient” with “ambient.” (The de nition of “ambient” is “that which surrounds.”)
“The e ects are taken into account approximately . . .” should be replaced by “The e ects are approximated . . .”
Instead of “The load of the motor was kept constant at full load,” use
“The motor was kept fully loaded . . .”
Rather than “It should however be stated that . . . ,” say “However, note that
. .” that
“Any index that . . .” is an improvement over “It must be realized that any index that
“The test result from this set of tests mirrored that result obtained during the earlier round of tests conducted.” That disaster in writing could be salvaged thus: “Results of those tests mirrored those of the earlier round.”
“It takes time . . .” is at least a reasonable replacement for “It takes a certain amount of time . . .”
“The concept, illustrated in Fig. 1, can be . . .” is a much-improved version of “The concept is illustrated in Figure 1. The concept of compatibility levels in Fig. 1 can be . . .”
“The causes can be as follows . . .” Why not “the causes can be . . .”?
Substitute either “hence” or “therefore” for “for that reason.”
Substitute “Often” for “There were many cases where . . .”
Why “A company within the petrochemical industry has the opportunity to select and use one or more of these approaches to standardization” when the same assertion can be expressed as “A petrochemical company is free to use any of these approaches to standards . . .”?
“This is in recognition of the need . . .” adds nothing to “This recognizes the need . . .”
“A user could choose to review . . .” adds nothing to “A user could review . . .”
In essence: Say it only once, say it brie y, and say it personally. EA
All that and a bag of chips
It’s Monday, Oct. 3, a holiday to celebrate German uni cation. I’m meeting with Roland Schreier, a retired microelectronics engineer and chip designer, in the picturesque town of Lindau on the shores of Lake Constance.
Roland’s career, spanning from the 1980s to 2018, re ects economic growth and developments in postwar Europe as well as in the four-country corner of Lake Constance, one of Europe’s most dynamic economic regions. His career also goes hand-in-hand with the rapid development and global proliferation of the microchip.
Science and technology had always interested Roland from an early age. His parents were supportive, although his father, a cook and pastry chef, and his mother, a trained seamstress, had thought as the eldest son he would take over the family ice-cream parlor and café in Lindau. However, Roland, after graduating from the technical school in the neighboring Austrian town of Bregenz in 1971, went on to study in Stuttgart (1971-1973) and Vienna (1973-1979).
Back then, studying electronics was mostly about tube technology. Roland had, however, a dream and a vision about what he wanted to study: transistors and microchips. He left the university in Stuttgart after completing two years of his degree and traveled to Munich and Vienna. In Vienna, he got to know two professors: one was a theoretical physicist who understood the semiconductor business and the other was an engineer who had worked for the Radio Corporation of America (1919-1986) and brought a “U.S.-American style of doing and funding research” back with him. Suddenly, Roland found himself at the cutting edge of teaching and conducting research about electronics and the microchip.
Besides o cially studying industrial electronics and control science, Roland took every class he could in computer science. Back then, electrical engineers used to try out everything in the laboratory. However, the development of the computer, growing chip complexity, and the need for quality driven by a long and complex product development process meant that computers would soon start to be increasingly used for the construction and simulation of chips.
In 1992, Roland coordinated Austria’s participation in the VLSI Design Training Action project (European Union ESPRIT program), which in its rst year
increased the number of students in Europe enrolled in chip design from 1,500 to 7,000 per year. “The project closed the circle between theory and practice,” Roland says. “The student chip designs were collected by the supporting organization EUROCHIP (later EUROPRACTICE), which produced the chips and
then sent them to the students for testing.”
After leaving Vienna University of Technology in 1996, Roland worked as a chief scientist for a highly successful Austrian chip design company. His nal position was with a leading company for electromobility, where until his retirement in 2018 he worked on a project for charging a car through induction.
“It was a really fascinating project, involving energy transfer, safety, communication between the induction plate and the car, energy absorption, current and frequency control, and navigation,” Roland says. Not surprisingly, his favorite topics in Electrical Apparatus are electric motors, and his next car will be an electric one.
Besides having turned his passion about science and technology into his profession, Roland has driven the length and breadth of the U.S. in a car, gone on a Pan American “round-the-world” ight, hiked in the Himalayas, and loves skiing in the Austrian Alps as well as sailing in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.
He’s done all that and has a whole bag of chips to show for it too. — Colin GregoryMoores EA
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The best and brightest in water management came together in New Orleans for Weftec 2022By Kevin Jones, EA Senior Editor
NEW ORLEANS — As a city that’s worked for a long time toward mastering the management of water, New Orleans is the perfect setting for Weftec, one of the world’s premier expositions about all things having to do with water — pumping it, treating it, purifying it, and, when floods or storms strike, moving it away from places where it shouldn’t be.
This year’s conference and expo, held Oct. 8-12 at the Big Easy’s Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, was the ninety-fifth installment of the event, which is presented annually by the Water Environment Federation of Alexandria, Va., a not-for-profit technical and educational organization of 30,000 individual members and 75 affiliated member associations representing water quality professionals around the world.
Nearly 1,000 companies exhibited at Weftec 2022, giving attendees the chance to talk to experts and observe product demonstrations up close. Industry experts held forth in nearly 200 formal presentations.
Many of the conference sessions and products and services on display would be of interest to people who maintain and service municipal water treatment and pumping systems or provide maintenance services for water utilities.
The Water Environment Federation’s mission is to provide members with the latest water-quality research and technology through publications, conferences, “and other training opportunities.” Weftec is where all of these things come together in one big event with international appeal.
Diverse technical sessions
Weftec 2022 featured 120 technical sessions and dozens of sessions held in pavilions. Topics included per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, workforce development, funding of infrastructure projects, utility
management and operations, and treatment design. At the heart of many presentations could be found cutting-edge technology.
A session called “Leveraging Artificial Intelligence for Asset Management,” for example, showed how artificial intelligence is being used by water utilities for such things as flow control, process optimization, asset monitoring, event detection, and infrastructure planning.
Other sessions dug into the details of the hardware used in water treatment. One, titled “Fine-Pore Diffusers for Aeration,” brought together a team of experts to talk with equipment manufacturers about established and new technologies, concentrating on maintenance and energy requirements.
Each year, Weftec presents a master lecturer, alternating between academics and practitioners. This year’s master lecturer, Dr. Charles Bott, has served in both roles; this year he spoke on the intriguing topic of the “entropy of innovation.”
The premise of Dr. Bott’s presentation was that innovation in water treatment technology involves “stumbles,” or mistakes. The industry must discuss these inevitable mistakes along with solutions and the “organizational structures” that support the final resolutions, he said. We learn from errors when we talk about what went wrong and how problems can be resolved.
A number of familiar names
Among the nearly 1,000 companies exhibiting at Weftec 2022, there were a number that would be familiar to Electrical Apparatus readers:
> Schneider Electric, the French multinational manufacturer of digital automation and energy management systems, displayed its products and services designed to improve the sustainability and efficiency of industrial operations, all of them applicable in water and wastewater systems. Featured were products in a broad range of categories, including motors, motor controls, pump controls, intelligent water control, and process monitoring.
> ABB, the Swiss manufacturer of electrical machines and electronic control systems, brought to Weftec an emphasis on products and services used throughout the water cycle, from collection through
treatment and distribution. The company’s products are often used to control water flow and reduce energy consumption while lowering overall maintenance costs.
> Electro Static Technology of Mechanic Falls, Me., the manufacturer of the patented AEGIS motor shaft grounding ring, presented its flagship product under the Motors & Motor Controls category. The company’s grounding rings are found in water treatment systems as well as in many other industrial applications. They’re included by many manufacturers in their motors and can also be retrofitted to existing motors.
> Emerson of St. Louis, the provider of a diverse range of industrial products and engineering services, focused its attention on the water sector, bringing a team of water experts prepared to help clients deal with aging infrastructure and tightening regulatory requirements.
> The Hydraulic Institute of Parsippany, N.J., “the global authority on pumps and pumping systems,” was in its element at Weftec 2022 — that element being, of course, water management. Representatives were on hand to explain the association’s standards and technical resources, the latter of which include guidebooks, online tools, and calculators.
> Rockwell Automation, the Milwaukee-based manufacturer of industrial automation systems and owner of the Allen-Bradley brand, brought its expertise in water and wastewater management to the fore, showcasing its “smart water solutions” that can help customers address their needs for compliance, service levels, quality, and safety.
> Sulzer, the Swiss fluid engineering company, had lots to show at Weftec 2022, including pumps, agitators, mixers, separators, blowers,
and purification technologies. The company’s Flow Equipment Division offers products intended to ensure that “every application can achieve optimum performance.”
> Toshiba International Corp. of Houston showcased its medium-voltage motors, adjustable-speed drives, and power apparatus and components. In addition to its newly manufactured products, the company offers research and development, engineering, production, regionally warehousing, and aftermarket service and support.
> WEG, the global manufacturer of motors, drives, gearboxes, and other electrical machines, is one of the largest motor makers in the world, producing more than 10 million units per year. At Weftec, the company provided a sampling of its broad portfolio, which includes drives, soft starters, controls, gearing, panels, transformers, alternators, generators, turbines, and custom products.
All of what you see here and on the facing page is but a glimpse of what could be seen at Weftec 2022. But if you missed it, fear not — you’ll have a chance to experience it all next year when Weftec 2023 is held at Chicago’s McCormick Place Sept. 30 through Oct. 4. Follow www.weftec.org for updates. EAStudents from 21 schools spanning four countries came together at Weftec 2022 to participate in the Student Design Competition. The Water Leadership Institute class of 2022 met during Weftec 2022 to conclude its year-long program aimed at training leaders in the water industry. Trojan Technologies featured a number of products, including this Trojan UV Signa, which is used to treat wastewater with ultraviolet light. Blue-White Industries of Huntington Beach, Calif., displayed a number of products, including this new peristaltic metering pump. — Water Environment Federation images
The lithium-ion risk
As the use of lithium-ion batteries has spread, some companies have come up with innovative precautionsBy Carol Brzozowski, EA Contributing Writer
While lithium-ion batteries play a central and increasing role in powering everything from consumer electronics to transportation vehicles, they also remain a top safety concern at solid waste disposal facilities.
Such is the case with Rumpke Waste & Recycling, which recently re ceived the 2022 Solid Waste Association of North America Award for Best Safety Innovation.
The operation has installed two FLIR thermal camera systems in its Cincinnati location to detect lithium-ion battery fires and automatically shut down the conveyor.
“In recent years, batteries have become the most significant source of fires throughout the waste and recycling industry,” notes Brad Dunn, the company’s Cincinnati recycling manager.
“Our MRF [Materials Recycling Facility] in Cincinnati has been victim ized by these fires dozens of times over the past several years. Some outbreaks were minor; however, others were near catastrophic.”
In a July 2021 paper titled “An Analysis of lithium-Ion Battery Fires in Waste Management and Recycling,” the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found that 64 waste facilities experienced 245 fires that were caused by, or likely caused by, lithium metal or lithium-ion batteries.
The incidents occurred between 2013 and 2020 in 28 states and in all 10 EPA regions. The number is likely significantly higher as not all inci dents are made public, the agency notes.
Among the affected facilities were transportation vehicles such as garbage trucks, landfills, and other waste management industry loca tions such as electronics recyclers, and transfer stations. MRFs appear to have faced the brunt of the negative impacts, with 78% having had to call emergency responders at least once in contrast to 40% of landfills.
Impacts include injuries, external emergency responses, service dis ruptions, and monetary losses. While some caused little to no impacts, some fires were large and destructive, such as those that destroyed en tire facilities and caused millions in damages, injured firefighters, and led facilities to stop collecting lithium-ion batteries, the EPA notes.
Early detection of hazards
Rumpke has gone to great lengths to minimize fires, Dunn notes.
“Along with constant public education, part of our strategy is early de tection and providing means of removing the offending items from the recycling stream prior to them entering material storage bunkers and other hard-to-reach areas,” he adds.
Many of the company’s MRFs – including its own Cincinnati operation – use a plastics perforator that punctures and flattens plastic containers to allow for much more efficient sorting to be performed by optical scan ners and robotics systems.
However, this device also inadvertently punctures and flattens lith ium-ion batteries, which can cause a very high-temperature chemical reaction to occur, Dunn points out.
“As these hot batteries come into contact with fiber and other combustible items, fires become a huge risk,” he adds.
The two FLIR cameras at Rumpke’s Cincinnati loca tion are set to detect items at or above 165°F and are mounted past the plastics perforator.
Dunn notes the first unit is located above the per forator discharge conveyor and the second camera is located further downstream.
“This was done in the event a battery takes a bit longer to become volatile and does not trigger the first camera,” he adds. “Each of these cameras are tied into our main E-stop circuit for the plant. When a hot item is detected, the E-stop circuit will be engaged and will shut down the entire operation.
“In order for us to be aware that the shutdown is camera-related and not just a ‘normal’ shutdown, we also have installed blue strobe lights at each camera location which will begin to flash where the hot item was detected. Notification is also given on the com puter screen that monitors the cameras.”
When the system engages and lines are shut down, a trained supervisor – wearing fireproof gloves and using metal tongs – will locate and remove the offend ing item.
Batteries recovered will be placed in one of sev eral barrels of sand that the operation has located throughout the plant.
“Batteries placed in these barrels will also be cov ered with sand to extinguish them and will sit in the sand until the energy is dissipated and they are safe to remove,” Dunn says.
Since the systems were installed in March, “we have detected and removed over 60 hot batteries from our material stream, thus preventing major fire events,” he adds.
“We at Rumpke are very serious about fires,” says Dunn. “Not only do we have this new camera system, but our 100,000-square-foot facility is fully sprinkled, and we also had cameras installed above our tipping floor several years ago to detect hot items.
“These cameras are tied into a fully autonomous system that will engage a large oscillating water can non to extinguish tipping floor fires when hot items are detected. This specific system is also tied into our fire alarm system, which will automatically dial out to our local fire department to ensure a quick response.”
Dunn emphasizes the safety of Rumpke’s workers and facility is paramount.
“We will stay committed and will seek out and utilize new technologies and protocols that can help us in achieving our highest goal of protecting our people and the recycling process from devastating fire incidents.”
Randy Ellert, Rumpke’s fire prevention and loss control manager, notes Rumpke participates in a lithium battery task force through the National Waste & Recycling Association, addressing the lithium battery issues, networking with multiple business and proposing legislation to state and federal agencies.
“The goal is to get the manufacturer to develop a buyback or disposal program to keep them out of the waste and recycling streams,” he adds.
While batteries commonly contain materials such as lithium, cobalt, nickel, manganese, and titanium, as well as graphite and a flammable electrolyte, there is always ongoing research into developing lithium-ion batteries that are less hazardous or meet the requirements for new ap plications, according to the EPA.
While the cobalt, manganese, and nickel found in lithium-ion batter ies can be recovered, lithium – while it also can be recovered – must be further processed for it to be used again.
When a battery is thrown away, those materials can never be recov ered. Recycling the batteries avoids air and water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and prevents batteries from being sent to facilities that are not equipped to safely manage them, the EPA notes.
Their environmental impact can be reduced at the end of their useful life through the reuse, donation, and recycling of products that contain them.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center points out that while most components of lithium-ion batteries can be recycled, the cost of material recovery remains a challenge for the industry. The DOE is supporting a Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize to develop and demonstrate profitable solutions for collecting, sorting, storing, and
transporting spent and discarded lithium-ion batter ies for eventual recycling and materials recovery.
In the meantime, research and development are ongoing to reduce their relatively high cost, extend their useful life, and address safety concerns in re gard to overheating, the DOE notes.
Recommendations from the EPA
The EPA offers several guidelines for handling lithium-ion batteries, including making them safe to bring to a recycling facility in a way that prevents fires that can happen if batteries come in contact with each other or with other metals.
The EPA recommends taping the battery terminals (or connections) with nonconductive tape. While electrical tape is preferred, all adhesive tapes not made of metallic material will work, according to the agency. Placing each battery in its own plastic bag also isolates the terminals.
Lithium-ion batteries are best stored at room temperature, and it is best to avoid long periods of extreme cold or hot temperatures, such as the dash board of a car in direct sunlight, which may result in battery damage, the EPA notes.
When a battery inside a product becomes swollen, that indicates damage to the battery and is a potential fire hazard, the agency adds.
If there appears to be no imminent threat of fire, contact should be made with the product’s manu facturer, the retailer where it was purchased, a state waste management agency, or local household haz ardous waste program for direction on proper management, the EPA notes.
The battery or device should be stored in a safe location until a proper disposal option is identified, such as a bucket full of a fire suppressant such as sand or kitty litter or in another location away from flammable materials, according to the EPA. An immi nent risk of fire may necessitate a call to 911.
“Our team has done a really good job of mitigating a very significant risk to our operations,” stated Jeff Rumpke, Rumpke Waste & Recycling West area presi dent. “As batteries continue to plague our recycling stream, these types of investments in equipment, training, and education will aid in our efforts to pro tect our assets. I’m very proud of our Cincinnati Recycling team who continue to work together to improve and refine this process.”
Dunn says lithium-ion batteries have presented a severe health and safety issue in the solid waste in dustry for quite some time.
“Every year, we experience and hear of major losses of collection vehicles and entire recycling facilities as well as injuries caused by these batteries,” he adds. “I would hope the battery industry would take notice of this and find a way to prevent these chemical reac tions from occurring when batteries are damaged.” EARumpke Waste & Recycling recently won an award for its innovative use of FLIR cameras to monitor lithium-ion batteries at its Cincinnati facility. — Rumpke Waste & Recycling photo
New rule on the efficiency of circulator pumps
The population of pumps covered by federal efficiency standards is about to expand againBy Kevin Jones, EA Senior Editor
No one can say they didn’t see it coming: A new rule from the U.S. Dept. of Energy covering the efficiency of circulator pumps is in its final form, and it will probably go into effect “sometime within the next three or four years,” according to the Hydraulic Institute. The new rule applies to circulator pumps less than 1 hp; commercial and industrial pumps 1 hp and above are covered by current efficiency standards.
The final rule for Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedure for Circulator Pumps was published Sept. 19 in the Federal Register by the Dept. of Energy, meaning that the rule has passed the public comment phase and is now ready to go into effect. Theoretically, all interested parties have had more than enough time to weigh in on the subject.
Compliance with the final rule “will be mandatory for representations of head, flow rate, driver power input, circulator energy rating, and circulator energy index made on or after March 20, 2023,” according to the Federal Register announcement. The final rule runs to 38 pages in its printed version.
Huge energy-saving potential
Broadly speaking, a circulator pump is a pump that moves water in pipes around a facility or cooling system so that hot or cold water is available sooner than it would otherwise be. In a plumbing system without circulator pumps, the user must run nominally hot water for several seconds before water that’s truly hot will be available at the tap. Added up over time, this waiting period amounts to a significant waste of water.
Running a circulator pump makes hot water available at the tap almost instantaneously, significantly reducing the amount of water wasted.
A circulator pump requires electrical power to run, however, meaning that energy must be expended in order for water not to be wasted — and herein lies the dilemma that tightened efficiency standards are meant to help resolve, or at least make less extreme. More efficient circulator pumps means less energy expended and less water wasted.
This circulator pump from the Wilo-Yonos PICO line is described by its manufacturer as “a high-efficiency circulator for hot-water heating systems with integrated differential pressure control.” Beginning March 20 of next year, all such pumps will be required to be manufactured in conformance with new efficiency standards from the Dept. of Energy that were drafted with the cooperation of some major industry players.— Wikimedia Commons photo
The authority to regulate the efficiency of circulators and other types of pumps can be traced back to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, which granted the Dept. of Energy sweeping regulatory powers over the energy sector. This legislative action came in response to the 1973 oil crisis — a crisis that, in retrospect, one can say the Dept. of Energy certainly hasn’t let go to waste.
Pumps were covered by the original act, but the Dept. of Energy didn’t get around to defining the word pump until 2016, in the meantime giving regulators broad leeway in the interpretation and application of the law.
As time has passed, the definition of pump has been nailed down and the population of pumps whose efficiency is subject to federal regulation has broadened. A final rule laying down efficiency standards and issued in 2016 applied only to the efficiency of certain categories of clean-water pumps; the most recent rule sweeps a broad category of widely used smaller pumps into the regulatory fold.
Participation of industry
For federal energy regulators, the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 may be a gift that keeps on giving, but it’s far from being an instance of regulators bearing down on a passive industry.
Manufacturers and users have had their say in drafting the rules, and the circulator pump working group included members representing some of the biggest names in pump manufacturing, including TACO, Xylem, Grundfos, Wilo, and Nidec. Also involved were such influential organizations as the Hydraulic Institute and the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute.
In the final rule, the Dept. of Energy has established a test procedure that includes methods of measuring the performance of covered equipment. Results of tests will be used to calculate a Circulator Energy Index, or CEI, much as clean-water pumps between 1 and 200 hp since 2016 have been assigned Pump Efficiency Index values.
For circulator pumps, the CEI represents “the weighted average electric input power to the driver over a specified load profile, normalized with respect to a circulator pump serving the same hydraulic load that has a specified minimum performance level.” We can expect the index to become a benchmark widely cited by both buyers and sellers of circulator pumps.
The structure of the rule
As in all regulatory matters involving pumps in the U.S., the Hydraulic Institute was influential in shaping the final circulator rule. The Dept. of Energy reviewed two standards produced by the Institute — HI 40.6–2021 and HI 41.5–2022 — and determined that relevant sections of these standards would produce test results “that reflect the energy efficiency, energy use, or estimated operating costs of a circulator pump during a representative average use cycle.”
The Dept. of Energy also considered the financial and other burdens of complying with the test requirements. It concluded that the procedure “would not be unduly burdensome to conduct.” The validity of this judgment, of course, is in the eye of the party bearing the cost, but pump manufacturers and the trade associations have had their say, and we can be confident that they weren’t bashful about making their opinions known.
The test procedure’s final rule consists of four parts:
> Definitions. Defines, in addition to circulator pumps generally, various types of circulator pumps and circulator pump controls.
> Test procedure. Establishes the Circulator Energy Index as a standard and provides instructions for determining the Index number for a particular pump.
> Sampling plan. Lays out the minimum number of circulator pumps that must be tested “to rate a basic model and determination of representative values.”
> Enforcement provisions. Provides a method of determining if basic models of circulator pumps are compliant with the rule.
How some weighed in
Before the new rule took its final shape, several interested parties had a few things to say.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority agreed that circulator pumps “have a large energy-savings potential” and observed that a test procedure that accurately measures the energy use of circulator pumps would be vital in meeting New York State’s goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
California’s Electric Investor-Owned Utilities joined the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance in saying they welcomed the new test procedure and standard because — in their opinion — most major pump manufacturers have been prepared to meet the standard since 2016 anyway.
The Hydraulic Institute said that its member companies producing circulator pumps have had a head start in complying with the new standard because most have been following the Institute’s HI 41.5–2021 standard. Many energy-efficient circulators have already been classified as HI 41.5-compliant on the Institute’s web site.
The Institute spoke about the final rule with Mark Chaffee, vice president of governmental affairs and commercial and industrial product management at Taco Comfort Solutions, who said the changes brought about by the new regulations would be “dramatic,” leading to “gains of up to 85% in efficiency.”
The new regulations will also bring about changes in pump design, Chaffee predicted. Traditionally run with permanent split-capacitor motors, circulator pumps from now on will operate with electronically commutated motors instead, so a pump’s speed can be increased or decreased to match flow demand.
Pumps designed to be compliant with the new standard will be more expensive than the ones they’re replacing, at least at the outset, but prices are likely to decline as manufacturers reach economies of scale, Chaffee told the Institute. Higher prices will also be offset to some degree by the lower operating costs brought about by improved efficiency.
Chaffee sees the next few years as “an opportunity for industry transformation.” Much of his optimism stems from the role manufacturers and other industry participants have had in drafting and refining the new standard.
“We have chosen not to just react to government rules but to be part of the solution” — and for good reason, he said. “There are so many benefits to moving to high-efficiency products.” EA
A look at the electric utility workforce
The results of a survey recently released by the Center for Energy Workforce Development of Washington, D.C., show that employment in the electric utility industry is more stable, younger, and seeing lower attrition through retirement than in recent years.
The survey also reveals that the retirement rate is declining and that women and members of minority groups are making up an increasing share of the total U.S. energy workforce.
THE SIZE OF THE WORKFORCE IS UNCHANGED
Conducted every two years for the past 15 years, the survey is based on responses from electric and natural gas energy companies across the U.S. that are members of the organization, informally known as CEWD. Owing to the Covid pandemic and related difficulties, there were 32% fewer participants this year than in previous years.
Earlier iterations of the survey revealed an aging workforce and predicted “significant retirements” were coming soon. Those results spurred CEWD and other industry organizations to develop “talent supply pathways” to replenish the pool of potential workers. Partnerships have also been formed among energy companies, educators, and other entities to address what once appeared to be a looming talent crunch.
The strategy appears to have worked. The most recent survey shows that the size of the energy workforce has stabilized, so much so that the Center’s focus has now expanded to encompass the workforce’s demographics.
Although the size of the energy workforce has fluctuated upwards and downwards over time, the 2021 survey shows almost no change from the previous survey, having seen only a 0.2% decrease, which indicates a relative stabilization of the size of the utility sector. The industry is composed of approximately 613,623 employees spread across all three types of utilities: Investor-Owned Utilities, Public Power and Rural Electric Cooperatives. Based on these survey responses, these energy businesses represent 72.6%, 1.4% and 26% of the workforce, respectively. It should be noted, utilities comprise about 10% of the energy industry workforce, estimated to include approximately six million total employees.
The most recent survey, like previous ones, looked at four job categories: line workers, technicians, plant and field operators, and engineers. This year a fifth category was added: “renewable technician” (meaning technicians in the renewable-energy field, not technicians who are renewable). These five categories account for about 32% of the total utility workforce.
While we can say the size of the workforce remains unchanged over the past few years, its composition has varied a little. The number of key jobs decreased slightly in comparison to the last survey cycle. While in the 2019 survey, key jobs represented 45% of the workforce, for this survey they represent 32%. It is important to keep in mind that not all companies that participated in the last cycle participated in this one, thus, this difference might be smaller if we consider all previous participants as well.
The Center summarized the results of the recent survey by reporting five “key findings”:
The size of the workforce has stabilized. In past years, the total numbers fluctuated up and down, but the most recent results are little changed from the findings of the previous survey, showing a mere 0.2% decrease in the total size of the energy workforce.
The number of Lineworkers, Power Plant Operators and Engineers all saw a decrease of approximately 4% each in the number of workers in comparison to the last survey. Technicians were the key job that experienced the smallest change, having seen only a 2% decrease when compared to the last cycle. On the
A graphic representation of the job classifications making up the U.S. utility industry workforce. The category “All Other,” which includes corporate services employment, has grown from 65% of the total in 2019 to 81% in 2021. The other categories, meanwhile, have declined slightly as percentages of the whole. — Center for Energy Workforce Development graph
The picture becomes clearer when you look at the types of jobs that have increased or decreased in number. The number of “key jobs” — line workers, technicians, engineers, and other hands-on participants — decreased as a proportion of the whole, but the number of workers at the corporate level went from 65% of the total in 2019 to 81% in 2021.
As mentioned previously, Renewable Technicians were included for the first time as a key job within the sector. Representing just 1% of the workforce, they are a small percentage of employment; however, we can expect an increase in the upcoming years, with the renewable energy sector projected to experience the greatest increase in jobs of all sectors (which include Transmission and Distribution, Non-Nuclear Generation, Natural Gas and Nuclear Energy). This is, in part, due to efforts in promoting sustainable and clean energy.
The workforce continues to get younger. With the most recent survey, “we can see a considerable increase in the younger populations within the energy workforce,” the authors write. The youngest workers are found at electric cooperatives, where 16% of employees are under the age of 32. Investor-owned utilities, on the other hand, have the highest concentration of gray heads, with 29.8% of employees over the age of 53.
THE WORKFORCE CONTINUES TO GROW YOUNGER
Since 2006, when CEWD first began to measure workforce age, the industry has seen a consistent progression towards a younger workforce. With a focus on the creation of energy education pathways in high schools, community colleges and universities, companies have seen an improvement in size and capability in the talent pool for recruiting and hiring into these high-skill positions.
Retirements are decreasing for the industry as a whole. Past surveys showed the emergence of a retirement “bubble,” but that trend appears to have eased — at least for now. Today, employees at prime retirement age — Boomers — make up 28.9% of the energy workforce, while Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z make up 37%, 32%, and a mere 1.5% respectively. Overall retirements have been on a “decreasing trend” for the past several survey cycles, according to the survey’s authors.
Owing to their comparative youth, technicians in the renewables sector count the lowest percentage (2.8%) among members who could potentially retire in the next ten years. Engineers and plant and field operators account for the most potential retirees, at 26.6% and 33.6% respectively.
Jobs such as Lineworkers, Skilled Technicians, and Plant Operators generally require some level of postsecondary education prior to hire, and companies have made considerable progress in partnering with education providers and workforce systems to develop education that leads to the competencies needed for these high-skilled, high-paying careers.
Non-retirement attrition forecasts have increased. Energy companies traditionally have lower attrition rates compared with other industries, but the Center finds that attrition rates have been rising since 2012. Some 65% of attrition that can’t be attributed to retirement happens within the first five years of employment, the survey shows, meaning that greater effort must be made to persuade the newbies to stick around.
Because hiring and training employees in the energy sector is so expensive compared with other fields, a high attrition rate can be costly for the industry. Therefore, “creating strategies to promote retention becomes essential,” the survey’s authors note.
We can see a change in the distribution of the age curve from the 2021 survey when compared to previous years. While in the first survey in 2006, we saw an older population, the 2018 survey continued to show a younger population within the sector, but still with a considerable population in the age ranges 53 and higher.
AGE DISTRIBUTION | TOTAL COMPANY
There has been an increase in women and minority hiring and a decrease in veteran hiring. Having seen the employment level in the energy sector stabilize, the focus is now shifting toward greater diversity. Hiring more women, military veterans, and members of minority groups “strengthens businesses and promotes economic prosperity in the regions companies serve,” according to the survey’s authors.
Women currently make up about 22% of the energy workforce and members of minority groups about 24%. The former is a decrease and the latter an increase from the last survey.
In sum: While progress has been made in stabilizing the energy-sector workforce, work remains to be done in retaining the workers already employed there and seeking greater diversity. — Kevin Jones EA— pch.vector / Freepik illustration
The post-Covid workforceBy the Electrical Apparatus staff
The funny thing about a pandemic is that its starting point is usually fairly clear but its conclusion is far less so. Who can forget those days in March 2020 when people were suddenly loading up their shopping carts with toilet paper? On the other hand, who can say when the pandemic ended, or indeed whether it has ended at all?
Some people barely missed a beat in going about their daily business, even in the summer of 2020.
The Covid-19 drug spiral
The pandemic was a situation ripe for an uptick in the use of harmful drugs, both legally prescribed and otherwise. People were at home and idle. Doctors’ appointments were canceled or postponed, leading some people to self-medicate.
Addicts and alcoholics in recovery had no in-person meetings to go to. People were barraged with warnings that death was wafting through the air. Even a chance encounter with a neighbor, if precautions weren’t observed, could be deadly — or so we were led to believe. People were constantly encouraged to be afraid, which, to some, made the temporary relief af forded by drugs or booze even more appealing.
According to a study released near the end of 2021 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were an estimated 100,306 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. during the 12-month period ending in April 2021 — an increase of 28.5% from the 78,056 deaths during the same period the year before. Over dose deaths from opioids increased to 75,673 in the 12-month period ending in April 2021, up from 56,064 the year before.
Also up were overdose deaths from synthetic opi oids such as fentanyl and psychostimulants such as methamphetamine. Deaths from cocaine and over doses of legally prescribed pain medications increased too.
To the surprise of no one, workplace productivity suffered. It didn’t help that many employees were working from home, where they could goof off and waste time, with or without drugs. For remote work ers, periodic drug testing went out the window, and the afternoon cup of coffee could easily be replaced with an afternoon belt of bourbon or toke of weed.
Others, particularly in the public health sector, seem even now unwilling to surrender the sense of importance that came with the authority to tell people how to live their lives.
The pandemic has had a profound effect on the workplace. Here we look at four areas — drug use on the job, “quiet quitting” and other employment trends, worker recruitment through social media, and a skills shortage in the semiconductor industry — and pose the question: Which of these disruptive changes are here to stay? We doubt that there are many clear answers. — Editor
It was a problem affecting all industries, all classes of workers, and all geographic regions. People found reasons not to work at all. Despair fol lowed. As one Electrical Apparatus reader told us, “Everyone has a drug problem. No one wants to work anymore.” The drug problem became an employment problem that only compounded the difficulty that some industries already had finding reliable employees. Those vulnerable in dustries included the electromechanical service industry.
Is there hope for reversing the trend? Anyone who has seen an al coholic or drug addict recover will probably say yes. Take away the forced isolation, open the doctors’ offices, resume the addiction support groups, knock it off with the relentless fear-mongering, get people back into physical work and social spaces — do all of these things and the cycle will likely turn around.
It’s true that some trends that began during the pandemic are prob ably here to stay, but that applies only if the trend usually leads to desirable outcomes. No one would argue that there are benefits to a drug- or booze-addled workforce. — Kevin Jones
The pandemic has brought about many changes in the work place, some revolutionary, but which ones will become permanent?
Making manufacturing cool
bers walking boldly or standing still, heads turned to look stoically at the camera. Standing side-lit with folded arms, they look downright heroic.
The teams are greeted by their host, a bearded dude in a T-shirt and denim jacket who congratulates the contestants for being there and invites them to “give it up for yourselves,” the invitation to applause that became a catchphrase on “America’s Got Talent.”
A competition is about to take place, but what kind? The style of the presentation would suggest a contest of strength or endurance, maybe a “Survivor”-type of winner-take-all fight to the figurative death.
But this, in fact, is Clash of Trades, a video series on YouTube that’s intended to present manufactur ing in a style appealing to a younger generation. Gone are the jumpsuits and crew cuts and greasy grime that many, unfairly, associate with manufacturing. In their place are CNC machines, artificial intelligence, and the Cloud. Goodbye slide rule, hello iPhone.
The hope is that this approach will attract younger people to the manufacturing trades.
The video begins with an airplane approaching a small airfield for landing. After disembarking, fourteen young men, in four separate groups, stride purposefully toward the camera in slow motion. Each of the groups has its own color of shirt. Clearly these are teams of some sort.
Dramatic music with a persistent bass rhythm rises in the back ground. The video takes a highly kinetic turn as the teams enter a hangar, with shots lasting only a few seconds interspersed with slow zooms with an unsteady camera. There are slow-motion images of team mem
An organization with a mission
The YouTube video series Clash of Trades is produced by Project MFG, which describes itself as “a collaborative effort with communities, educators, and industry leaders to elevate the next generation of highly skilled trade professionals.”
The U.S. Dept. of Defense and the Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment Program are the founding sponsors of the Project MFG skilled trades competition series, which was launched in 2019.
Project MFG says its mission is to “Promote, Elevate, and Accelerate the trade workforce pipeline, with a key goal to inform future generations of the vast careers one can find within America’s domestic trades industry.” Another objective is to present manufacturing as a cool and exciting career choice. Draw them in with hipness and relevance.
“We’re trying to re-awaken America’s love affair with manufacturing,” says Adele Ratcliff of the U.S. Dept. of Defense, one of the judges in the Clash of Trades competition.
Project MFG designs and executes tournaments at locations around the U.S. to demonstrate the abilities of new talent and to “inspire a movement to restore America’s industrial base.” There are three classifications of competitions: integrated manufacturing, welding, and additive manufacturing.
In addition to the Clash of Trades series on YouTube, Project MFG is all over social media, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, you name it. There’s even an “influencer kit” for social media mavens who want to get in on the act, with banner images and a PDF of instructions.
You can learn more about Project MFG — where else? — online at www.projectmfg.com.
The host inviting contestants to “give it up for your selves” is A.J. Crowe, founder of the New American Manufacturing Renaissance and “Manufacturing’s Motivational Speaker.” He’s on a mission to present manufacturing as an exciting career choice within the grasp of anyone, regardless of background, race, or past bad choices that may have led to the wrong side of the law.
“This is what manufacturing is all about: work ing with a team to get a goal done,” Crowe says. His nickname is “The MFG,” a tag that’s a play on the ab breviation of manufacturing. This guy is hip and edgy. In short, the host, setting, and presentation are far cooler than what many people would typically as sume manufacturing to be.
Each team represents a different trade school from a different part of the U.S. Soon they are presented with a set of tools and a challenge to complete a proj ect within 30 hours.
“You’ll each design a five-piece, aviation-inspired test system with a custom-designed, moving wind turbine,” Crowe tells them. “This design must hold pressure in order for it to work.” The completed proj ects will be evaluated by a panel of judges on the design and construction of the piece.
The prize will be $100,000 — $50,000 for the win ners’ trade school and $50,000 for the team.
The video ends after 20 minutes, but a winning team hasn’t been named yet. This is only Season 2, Episode 1 — episodes are numbered the way Netflix series are — and you’ll have to cue up the next video to see which team comes out ahead.
In the meantime, you’re left with the general im pression that manufacturing is a very cool and exciting career choice indeed — so exciting that you’re eager to find out what happens next.— Kevin Jones
Automated voice mail, robots, and AI-enabled machines have their place, but when it comes to sales and service? You need to employ human beings, you need them on-site, and you need them to do their best. According to many EA readers, that hasn’t been easy lately.
Fewer job applicants
In an online user group this summer, a manager of one of the Midwest’s most successful service operations announced the closure of several repair departments. “Today marks the end of an era. . . . The company had to make drastic changes and close this dept as well as a few others because of the lazy world we live in today. It is difficult to keep these departments running when you can’t hire employees.”
Another shop owner disagrees that workers are lazy. She believes that “the work ethic is still strong,” and notes that she’s seen more applicants recently. She blames government subsidies for last year’s slowdown. “We could not find any workers for six months, but now that the payments are ending, they have to get back to work.” Surprisingly, numerous studies indicate that subsidies don’t discourage job hunting, but the situation may well apply to individual cases.
As the labor pool tightens, companies are trying to hold on to their best workers by raising pay, increasing benefits, offering flexible hours, and providing other incentives. Some call this “labor hoarding”; others say it’s simply good business.
But even in benefit-rich, employee-oriented workplaces, a new phenomenon has taken hold.
“Quiet quitting” describes workers who silently reject any work outside of their minimum job requirements. They don’t stay late, they don’t read company e-mail after hours, they don’t step up when another worker needs help, and they don’t clean the coffee maker or change the water bottle.
A Gallup poll found that almost a third of all American workers are not actively engaged with their
They wouldn’t quit! Economic pressure almost forced this family-owned grocery store in Germany to close, but employees agreed to accept pay cuts and kept the business open.
jobs, and quiet quitters make up at least 50% of the U.S. workforce. According to Gallup, workers need “clarity of expectations, opportunities to learn and grow, feeling cared about, and a connection to the organization’s mission or purpose.” When those factors are missing, the quiet quitters won’t express dissatisfaction — they are quiet, after all — but most will already be looking for another job.
Is it generational?
Faced with an aging workforce, companies know that the future depends on hiring younger workers. That may mean giving up long-established baby boomer ways of working. While Gen Z individuals are typically bright, passionate, and curious, they may not be fond of the 40-hour work week, standardized hours, socializing with colleagues, or having to conform to policies and rules. These differences and the current labor shortage “creates phenomenal challenges for us as employers,” comments Elizabeth Blanch, VP Human Resources, LSC Communications. “The positive thing about this is that it’s started to generate a certain degree of creativity and an opportunity to consider how we think about labor,” she observes. “Gen Z thinking is now contagious,” and smart managers will revamp their hiring practices accordingly.
A few ideas:
> Interviewing is key. Be alert to concerns that your “quiet” interviewee might not be sharing with you, and drill down, politely.
> Money matters, but it won’t guarantee you an exceptional worker.
> Transparency is expected.
> Embrace new models like the flex workforce and the gig economy
> Broaden your search - think nationally and internationally.
> Are there other companies you might partner with?
> Create a mobile, creative and innovative company culture. Your employees will benefit — and so will you.
Almost a third of all American workers are not actively engaged with their jobs, and quiet quitters make up at least 50% of the U.S. workforce
Purdue and Intel seek to fill semiconductor training gap
As the Covid-19 pandemic caused national borders to close and industrial plants worldwide to shut down or scale back production, few product shortages were felt more acutely than the shortage of semiconductors.
Semiconductors are the foundation of most modern technology. The tiny computer chips are essential for the operation of smartphones, cars, missile defense systems, home appliances, industrial controls, and many other vital tools and systems.
But a nationwide skills and workforce shortage in the semiconductor industry has jeopardized the country’s ability to keep pace with its semiconductor needs. During the pandemic, the production of many goods was halted when semiconductors were in short supply.
One major issue with semiconductor manufacturing is the U.S.’s reliance on Asia to supply most of the chips that the country needs to keep the American military operating. The majority of the most advanced chips are made in Taiwan and other Asian nations.
This is happening because the U.S. hasn’t built a workforce with the skill set to handle the volume and technical demands of semiconductor manufacturing.
That’s why organizations and institutions like Purdue University and Intel are investing in new semiconductor training and education programs – to help grow the talent pipeline that the semiconductor industry needs.
Purdue University recently launched what’s said to be the nation’s first semiconductor degrees program, which will educate both undergraduate and graduate students in the essential components of semiconductor and microelectronics technology.
In an announcement about the program, the school said that a minimum of 50,000 trained semiconductor engineers will be needed in the U.S. to meet the overwhelming and rapidly growing demand.
The West Lafayette, Ind., school will offer an interdisciplinary curriculum to both undergraduate and
graduate students interested in pursuing a career in the semiconductor industry.
Purdue says that it’s offering a comprehensive package of the key components of semiconductor manufacturing, which include courses in chemicals and materials, tools, design, manufacturing, packaging, and supply chain management. The program will offer hands-on training, including labs, internships, and design-to-fab projects.
Purdue will also offer online courses to make the programming more widely available to students around the country.
Intel also recently announced that it’s investing in semiconductor education and training. The company is putting $50 million into higher education programs in Ohio to develop talent in the semiconductor industry.
The National Science Foundation is matching Intel’s investment with an additional $50 million for semiconductor manufacturing education and research. The investments will help support curriculum development for degree and certification programs, skills, and reskills training for the existing workforce, and new innovations for semiconductor fabrication.
Part of the investment will help launch the Intel Semiconductor Education and Research Program, which will be a multi-institution collaboration to provide semiconductor education, real-world experience, and an introduction to innovative projects in the industry.
Intel has also announced a new semiconductor manufacturing “Quick Start” program through Maricopa Community Colleges in Arizona. This two-week program introduces students to the semiconductor industry through hands-on learning from industry professionals.
Intel’s gift accompanies an announcement that the chip maker is building two new chip factories in Ohio. The hope is that the investment in workforce development will help build the workforce Intel needs to operate the pair of semiconductor fabrication facilities. The company expects that the facilities will create 3,000 high-tech jobs and 7,000 construction jobs in Ohio alone. — Emily Halnon EA— Republica / Pixabay photo
A nationwide skills and workforce shortage in the semiconductor industry has jeopardized the country’s ability to keep pace with its semiconductor needs
How many starts?
Understand the numerous factors behind a motor’s starting capability before accepting a manufacturer’s claimsBy Richard L. Nailen, EA Engineering Editor
In applying induction motors and selecting motor protection systems, two persistent questions for motor users have always been:
1. How often can this motor be started?
2. How many starts can be allowed during the motor’s lifetime?
Whereas Part 12 of NEMA MG-1 has set a standard motor capability as “two successive starts from ambient [temperature] or one start from rated load operating temperature,” NEMA has acknowledged that such advice “is not applicable to repetitive start-runstop-rest cycles resulting from energy management programs.”
Consequently, in 2017 NEMA issued Standard MG-10, “Energy Management Guide for Selection and Use of Fixed-Frequency Medium A-C SquirrelCage Polyphase Induction Motors” in which a table offers guidelines for limiting the number of starts “per hour,” including selection of motor “off-line” cooling time. Information given there applied only to motors from 1 through 250 hp; 2, 4, and 6 poles.
“Life,” like any other condition, will vary from one identical product to the next. The more units are examined, the broader the range of observed lifetimes – up to some unpredictable point. Very few units survive longer; very few fail prematurely.
Consider Figure 1. Curve (a) shows a narrow range of lifetimes. Very few units live longer; very few fail prematurely. Curve (b) is more realistic, showing a much broader range of lifetimes close to the maximum.
But prediction for any particular unit is always uncertain. And as we’ve said before, no universal definition of “motor life” exists. Like any other condition, “life” will vary from one identical product to the next. The more units are examined, the broader the range of observed lifetimes — up to some unpredictable point.
Although neither its title (“Energy Management Guide for Selection and Use of Fixed Frequency Medium AC Squirrel-Cage Polyphase Induction Motors”) nor its table of contents indicates it, NEMA Standard MG 10 offers some starting duty guidelines for standard Design B motors (though only up
Please turn to next page
of units Life
Figure 1. Variation of individual motor life span – including the associated number of possible starts – can follow many different patterns, none of them predictable for any one machine, let alone applicable to all.
starts per hour
rating (4 pole)
Figure 2. How NEMA MG 10 limits for frequency of starts, 4 pole Design B motors, without specific regard to the accelerating torque required by the connected load or to the actual load inertia. Similar limitations are prescribed for 2- and 6-pole ratings.
through 250 hp 2, 4, and 6 poles), and based only on load inertia – see Figure 2.
Allowing less than one start per minute does not seem realistic for any 250 hp motor regardless of polarity, particularly without any stated limitation on how long such cycling might continue. Nor is allowance made for the required accelerating torque (which can be quite variable), or whether the motor operates at full speed until braked to a stop, or coasts to rest.
MG-10 also lists “off time” between starts (such as 38 seconds for 1 hp 4-pole; 110 seconds for 100 hp) - but motor cooling will be far less effective if the motor is stopped during that time than if it coasts to rest. Every drive needs careful analysis.
Starting and efficiency
Energy management naturally concerns motor efficiency primarily. But that is of importance only when the motor is running. Many motors operate intermittently, and more energy may be used in frequent startstop cycling than can be saved in running efficiency.
MG 10 is therefore concerned with “load cycling,” including “offtime.” Table 8 of MG 10 offers guidance for the “Allowable Number of Starts and Minimum Time Between Starts” for standard 2-, 4-, and 6-pole motors from 1 through 250 hp (no reason was given for omitting 8-pole ratings). That table recommends values for maximum starts per
hour and minimum “rest or off time” between starts, based on load inertia (however, accelerating torque is not directly involved).
The main weakness in that approach is lack of any definition of how the motor is to be stopped in readiness for the next start. Is it to be “coast to rest” or to be braked to a stop? What role is played by the friction torque of the load during deceleration? During restarting, how is the required load acceleration torque dealt with?
When considering either permissible frequency or duration of starting, remember that the numbers will be based on characteristics that won’t be quite the same for all motors of “similar” design. “Brand A” will not offer the same characteristics as “Brand B,” even though both comply with the same NEMA standards.
What are the choices? We can try to find a minimum, to be on the safe side. We can look for a maximum, implying the most favorable situation. Or we can define some sort of average. But whatever the approach, some motors will safely provide more starting capability than others, and without a survey of a “large group” of machines, we cannot define a
Summing it up: Deutsch . . . Français . . . Español
Häufigkeit der Motoranläufe
Wie oft kann ein Käfigläufermotor sicher gestartet werden, und wie viele Starts können während der Lebensdauer eines Motors sicher erfolgen?
Einige Motorenhersteller haben auf der Grundlage ihrer Erfahrungen Antworten gegeben, eine allgemeine Antwort ist jedoch nicht möglich. Der Leistungsanspruch des jeweiligen Starts und die Konstruktionsmerkmale des Motors, die die Startfähigkeit verbessern sollen, sind die einzigen Anhaltspunkte für Schätzungen.
Für solche Schätzungen stützen sich Motorkonstrukteure auf alle Erfahrungen, die für ähnliche Konstruktionsarten vorliegen. Die thermischen und mechanischen Spannungen in der Rotorstruktur und die dielektrischen Spannungen in der Statorwicklung bilden Grundlagen für Berechnungen, die lediglich für die Ergebnisse früherer Konstruktionen repräsentativ sein können.
Bei jedem Start muss sich der Benutzer darüber im Klaren sein, welche Motorkomponente der begrenzende Faktor für eine Startwiederholung ist. In Motoren, bei denen der Rotor aus Aluminiumdruckguss oder ähnli-
chen Legierungen besteht, ist in den meisten Fällen der Käfig des Rotors der begrenzende Faktor. Bei so genannten „Stabläufern“, bei denen Käfige aus Kupferlegierung (oder gelegentlich Aluminium) zum Einsatz kommen, kann die Temperatur der Statorwicklung mindestens ebenso wichtig sein.
Eine gängige Methode, die Startfähigkeit auszudrücken, besteht darin, der Anzahl der als zulässig betrachteten aufeinanderfolgenden Starts eine Zahl zuzuordnen. Der Begriff „aufeinanderfolgende Starts“ muss klargestellt werden.
Muss der Motor beispielsweise nach jedem Start die volle Drehzahl - und die volle Last - erreichen? Wenn ja, wird er dann bis zum Stillstand abgebremst? Wenn ja, auf welche Weise und zu welchem Zeitpunkt? Oder lässt man den Motor bis zum Stillstand auslaufen, was bis zu einer Stunde dauern kann?
Ebenfalls üblich ist die Vorgabe für eine Motorleistung in „Starts pro Tag“. Bedeutet das einen Zeitraum von 24 Stunden? Eine Acht-Stunden-Schicht?
Unabhängig von der Häufigkeit ihres Auftretens sind wiederholte Motorstarts eine wahrscheinliche Ursache für ein Versagen am Ende, das viele Formen annehmen kann. Häufig führt
das Versagen des Rotorkäfigs auch zu schweren Schäden an der Statorwicklung.
Fréquence des démarrages du moteur
À quelle fréquence un moteur à cage d›écureuil peut-il être démarré en toute sécurité et combien de démarrages peuvent se produire en toute sécurité pendant la durée de vie d›un moteur?
Certains constructeurs de moteurs ont proposé des réponses basées sur leur expérience, mais aucune réponse générale n’est possible. La sévérité de chaque démarrage et les caractéristiques de conception du moteur destinées à améliorer la capacité de démarrage sont le seul support pour les estimations.
Pour arriver à une estimation, le concepteur du moteur s’appuiera sur toute expérience disponible pour des conceptions similaires. Les contraintes thermiques et mécaniques dans la structure du rotor, associées aux contraintes diélectriques dans l’enroulement du stator, permettent des calculs qui ne peuvent jamais être plus que représentatifs de ce que les conceptions passées ont réalisé.
single meaningful value. For any new design, the decision has to be an estimate based on limited data, unlikely to be readily verifiable. There is no simple solution. Much advice has been given, but rarely supported by reliable data.
Consider “across-the-line” starting – the abrupt circuit closure applying rated line voltage to the motor terminals. Simple as that may seem, it does involve some real-life compromises that are often unclear.
The first is that nominal system voltage typically doesn’t quite match motor nameplate voltage. For example, a motor rated 460 volts is typically applied to a circuit having a nominal 480 volt rating. Motor starting will draw a high current that unavoidably creates a voltage drop in the motor circuit, so that actual motor terminal voltage will not be exactly either 460 or 480, and also will not remain constant throughout the motor starting period. As for the acceleration time itself, that may be only two seconds, or as long as 15-20 seconds, during which the motor terminal voltage will vary.
Lors de tout démarrage, l’utilisateur doit être conscient du composant moteur qui limite la répétition des démarrages. Le plus souvent, le facteur limitant sera la cage d’écureuil du rotor dans les machines dans lesquelles le rotor est constitué d’aluminium moulé sous pression ou d’alliages similaires. Dans les soi-disant «rotors à barres», utilisant des cages d’écureuil fabriquées en alliages de cuivre (ou parfois en aluminium), la température de l’enroulement du stator peut être au moins aussi importante.
Une manière courante d’exprimer la capacité de démarrage consiste à attribuer un nombre au nombre de démarrages successifs considérés comme admissibles. Le terme « démarrages successifs » doit être précisé.
Par exemple, le moteur doit-il être autorisé à atteindre sa pleine vitesse - et sa pleine charge - après chaque démarrage ? Si oui, sera-t-il alors freiné jusqu’à l’arrêt ? Si oui, de quelle manière et dans quel délai ? Ou le moteur sera-t-il autorisé à se reposer, ce qui peut prendre jusqu’à une heure ?
Également courante, est une demande de capacité motrice en « démarrages par jour ». Cela signifie-t-il une période de 24 heures? Un quart de travail de huit heures ? Une semaine de cinq jours ?
Quelle que soit la fréquence de leurs occurrences, les démarrages répétés du moteur sont une cause probable
These conditions will determine two stresses to which the motor will be subjected. One is primarily electromechanical: the forces on the stator winding, including coil insulation. The second is thermal: the various stresses in the rotor squirrel cage winding caused by rapid rise in temperature of both rotor bars and end rings. (There will also be thermal stresses in the stator, but those tend to be less troublesome.) And no matter how readily measurable, stator winding temperature does not correlate to rotor cage heating.
The rotor stresses are most significant in large machines; in many “small” and “medium” motors the rotor cages are of die-cast aluminum (Figure 3) – vulnerable to severe overheating, but not normally affected by mechanical forces. Thermal expansion in large motors causes a variety of bar and end ring stresses, whereas thermal expansion and electromagnetic forces in the stator winding can be dealt with by coil bracing. That influences the designer’s choice of rotor cage proportions
de panne éventuelle, qui peut prendre plusieurs formes. Souvent, une défaillance de la cage du rotor causera également de graves dommages à l’enroulement du stator.
Frecuencia de arranque del motor
¿Con qué frecuencia se puede arrancar de manera segura un motor de jaula de ardilla y cuántos arranques se pueden realizar de manera segura durante la vida útil de un motor?
Algunos fabricantes de motores han ofrecido respuestas basadas en su experiencia, pero no es posible dar una respuesta general. La severidad de cada arranque y las características de diseño del motor destinadas a mejorar la capacidad de arranque son el único apoyo para realizar estimaciones.
Para llegar a una estimación, el diseñador del motor se basará en cualquier experiencia disponible para diseños similares. Las tensiones térmicas y mecánicas en la estructura del rotor, junto con la tensión dieléctrica en el bobinado del estator, respaldan los cálculos que nunca pueden ser más que representativos de lo que han logrado los diseños anteriores.
Durante cualquier arranque, el usuario debe saber qué componente del motor es el factor limitante en la repetición de arranque. Muy a menudo,
el factor limitante será la jaula de ardilla del rotor en máquinas en las que el rotor se compone de aluminio fundido a presión o aleaciones similares. En los llamados “rotores de barra”, que utilizan jaulas de ardilla fabricadas con aleaciones de cobre (u ocasionalmente aluminio), la temperatura del bobinado del estator puede ser al menos igual de importante.
Una manera común de expresar la capacidad de arranque es asignar un número al número de arranques sucesivos que se consideran permitidos. El término “arranques sucesivos” debe quedar claro.
Por ejemplo, ¿se debe permitir que el motor alcance la velocidad máxima y la carga máxima después de cada arranque? De ser así, ¿se frenará hasta detenerse? De ser así, ¿de qué manera y cuándo? ¿O se permitirá que el motor pase fácilmente a un descanso, lo que puede demorar hasta una hora?
También es común una solicitud de capacidad del motor expresada en “arranques por día”. ¿Eso significa un período de 24 horas? ¿Un turno de ocho horas? ¿Una semana de cinco días?
Los arranques repetidos del motor, sin importar su frecuencia, son una causa probable de fallas eventuales, que pueden producirse de numerosas formas. A menudo, una falla en la jaula del rotor también provocará daños graves al bobinado del estator.
Many motors operate intermittently, and more energy may be used in frequent start-stop cycling than can be saved in running efficiency
and assembly, and in determination of these essential starting capability criteria:
1. What thermal stress limits apply.
2. The number of starts before which some failure is likely to occur.
The second concern is most difficult. How to construe “likely” is the major problem, followed closely by “some.”
In industry standards, and in operating instructions provided to users by motor manufacturers, little is said about either of these criteria. However, temperature rise limits are widely quoted. The second criterion is less commonly stated and varies too widely to support firm conclusions.
For example, one claim is that “50,000 starts” is a reasonable limit, based on one manufacturer’s tests. Such tests, under controlled conditions not subject to the many variables that can exist in normal use, will naturally involve particular consistent values of voltage as well as load torque and inertia. Hence these uncertainties can apply:
1. The driven load, which can take many forms involving accelerating torque variations and connected inertia (see Figure 4).
2. Statistical variation among “identical” motors. Any group of machines will display differences in performance and in longevity, which can be evaluated only by testing a suitable large number of motors. The larger the motor, the more difficult that becomes, when only one or two of a kind may be manufactured for years.
As for “frequency of starts,” a common rule of thumb is “Two starts in succession, with the motor allowed to cool to within ___ degrees of ambient before a third start is attempted.”
Here’s what NEMA MG 1 Part 20 adds to that: “providing the Wk2 of the load, the load torque during acceleration, the applied voltage, and the method of starting are those for which the motor was designed.” What’s then allowed are “two starts in succession, coasting to rest between starts, with the motor initially at ambient temperature.” Part 20 of NEMA MG 1 adds that only one start is allowed “with the motor initially at a temperature not exceeding its rated load operating temperature.”
Here are the loopholes:
First, “coasting to rest.” For a centrifugal pump or a pulverizer load, this may take only a few seconds. For a forced draft fan load, it might take half an hour or more.
Second: For many motors, the limiting condition may be temperature in the rotor. How is that to be measured, to affirm that the motor has returned to “ambient temperature”? Provision of suitable temperature sensors throughout a winding, capable of reaching the hottest spots, may suffice only in the stator. Within a squirrel-cage rotor, temperatures aren’t that accessible and can rise to dangerous levels more quickly than in the winding.
Figure 5 illustrates one method for monitoring those temperatures, not practical for much smaller machines. Whereas the stator winding, particularly in large motors, may contain embedded temperature detectors, small and most medium motors aren’t equipped with devices that monitor windingFigure 3. Typical die-cast aluminum rotor, before finish machining. — Electrical Apparatus file photo
temperature. Even when they are, any monitoring of rotor temperature is normally impossible.
Frequency of starts
Unfortunately, none of that adequately supports judgment of the total number of starts permissible in a day, a month, or a year of operation. How is such a judgment to be made?
Only two answers seem probable. The obvious one, hardly practical, is to test a motor to destruction under the actual load condition proposed, on the intended power circuit. Even if that were possible, it could not account for unavoidable variations in behavior from one motor to the next. A second method, reported in European literature, has been photoelastic study of stress distribution in bar/end ring model structures.
None of this, of course, takes into account the differences in rotor cage construction between designs, even by the same manufacturer, at different speeds and output ratings. The two effects of most concern are:
1. Lengthwise differential expansion of cage bars. Since the current density during acceleration tends to crowd toward the outer portion of each rotor bar, the resultant thermal expansion in that area will tend to “bow” the bar outward in a slight arc. That imposes high stress on the rotor lamination tooth tips in the center of the core stack.
2. At the same time, the overhanging bar ends outside the rotor core will tend to bend inwards. That, plus thermal growth in the end rings, tends to add high stress in the assembly (Figure 6). Temperature measurement in a turning rotor is much more difficult than in a stator where a measurement device can be readily coupled to a stationary readout.
Repeated occurrence of these stresses during each start eventually results in fatigue failure, even though no single instance approaches the breaking point. French manufacturers have reported fatigue tests on simulated cage assemblies leading to reasonable life estimates, but
Please turn to next page
Figure 6. Some of many possible variables in large rotor construction, intended to mitigate stresses in the bar/end ring assembly.Figure 5. For experimental direct monitoring of internal rotor temperatures during starting, this large motor was equipped with bar and end ring sensors brought out to slip rings. Such monitoring isn’t feasible in normal service or for smaller machines. — Electrical Apparatus file photo Rotor core Bar End ring
such results can’t be directly extrapolated to other rotor bar/ring configurations or materials.
What’s the influence of any type of “reduced-voltage starting”? Rather than easing the starting burden on the motor, it lowers the current demand on the power system. By reducing motor torque during acceleration, such methods may actually make the start more severe, thereby reducing the possible number of safe starts. Remember, too, that “across-the-line” starting doesn’t necessarily mean starting at either rated system or rated motor nameplate voltage. High accelerating current will cause voltage drop in the supply circuit, which can reduce motor terminal voltage by 20% during acceleration. No one can predict any allowable number of starts without taking that into account.
Many attempts have been made to use the approach in MG 1 Part 20 to support statements of permissible “starts per hour” or “starts per day.” But no reliable result has been proven, short of actual long-term endurance testing which would then be applicable only to the configuration tested.
Nevertheless, motor manufacturers have often quoted limiting values of “starts per day” – a practice that has apparently proven conservative. In a 2012 IEEE paper, three authors (none affiliated with a motor manufacturer) asserted that “Typically, the number of allowable starts per hour is specified by the manufacturer” – but that certainly cannot be considered a universal practice. And can any number of “starts per hour” be allowed to occur during only the first five minutes?
Forget the “cool-down” and ambient temperature issues for the moment. However it’s brought about, assume that the motor will be “cold” each time it’s started. We still find no accepted limit on the total number of allowable starts for any motor. It seems safe to say that an “easy” start (as with a closed-valve centrifugal pump) can be made much more often than a “hard start” (as of a high inertia fan with open damper). But that’s only a relative judgment.
Evaluating claims about starts
When taking a close look at any quoted figure for total number of starts, or the frequency of starting, keep these facts in mind:
Figure 7. For “bar-type” (not die cast) rotors, here are two rotor cage assembly methods that have been used to add bar-end flexibility to minimize bar bending stress resulting from overheating during severe starts.
1. The exact value of motor terminal voltage at each start: is it known, and will it be a constant?
2. The characteristics of the driven load: exactly the same for every start? Or will the motor be started without load (see Figure 8)?
3. Internal motor temperatures: the same at every start?
4. Effects of internal mechanical and thermal stresses identical during every start?
Starts per minute
(a) (b) MG-10 std.
8. One motor manufacturer has quoted the upper curves for “unloaded” (a) and “loaded” (b) starts.
All these add some uncertainty to any expectation. When you see a statement that “this motor is capable of X starts per hour” or “at least Y starts during its lifetime,” ask how that figure was determined. One manufacturer has offered a number based on certain experience, but extending that experience to an entire product line over a period of years is questionable. Nor can it be relied upon in dealing with another supplier’s products. EA
STARTING continued from
When you see a statement that ‘this motor is capable of X starts per hour’ or ‘at least Y starts during its lifetime,’ ask how that figure was determined
More Than Accounting
Flat-rate pay for technicians
Sometimes, paying by the job makes more ‘cents’ than paying by the hourBy William H. Wiersema, CPA, EA Contributing Editor
Many electromechanical service shops are having a tough time in the new normal. On the one hand, the market for repair work remains very competitive. On the other, skilled labor is in such short supply that shops must defer or even turn away new work. Man agers scramble to retain top performers but can only raise their pay so much.
In these circumstances, a compensation structure known as flat-rate pay (FRP) may help. Widely used in the automotive repair industry, FRP motivates the top performers by compensating them with top dollar for completing jobs better. FRP replaces hourly with pay by the job. This article provides an overview.
Billing rates seem to leave room for escalating costs, but unfortunately, that’s often not the case. Using a typical formula, three times a $25 per hour technician cost generates $75 per hour when billed. Assuming 2,000 hours, one year’s technician cost computes to $50,000 and billing to $150,000. However, for many reasons, a $100,000 margin is highly unlikely.
For one thing, each year has 80 hours of paid holi days and 80 to 160 hours of vacation and personal time off. Another is productivity, or the time spent on jobs as a percentage of time worked. An often-cit ed benchmark in auto repair of 90% productivity is achieved less than one-third of the time, according to Anna Zeck’s article, “Utilizing Efficiency and Produc tivity Numbers,” in the automotives magazine Ratchet + Wrench.
The remaining 1,600 hours are applied to jobs, but not always effi ciently. Efficiency equals FRP or billable hours divided by hours on jobs. Most repairs are quoted then billed based on estimated hours. If a job quoted at seven hours takes ten, the technician is 70% efficient. The re pair shop eats the difference.
The impact of efficiency can be substantial. Addressing small auto repair shops, automotives consultant Vladislav Gerginov, in an article titled “Basic Principles and Ways for Calculating the Labor Rate and Auto Parts Profit in Auto Repair Shops,” indicates that 1,288 billed hours of 2,000 paid, or 64%, is more “realistic,” after adjusting for productivity and efficiency. The implication is that while the annual cost of the tech nician remains $50,000, revenue drops from $150,000 to $96,600. Likewise, the expected profit is cut in half, from $100,000 to $46,600.
FRP addresses these problems. Repair shops no longer pay for nonproductive time on non-billable activities and inefficient overages, only for completed jobs. Direct labor cost becomes a predictable percentage of labor billing. As next steps, management must consider many aspects of implementing FRP.
Set credible rates
Because they serve as a basis for paying employees, the source of the rates is critical. Most repair shops already use published resources. For example, Vaughen’s Price Publishing provides national time averages in motor repair and rewind in electromechanical service. However, es timating some kinds of work, such as diagnostics, requires judgment.
Involving a service manager or senior technician helps the employees to trust the data. For example, manufacturer warranty work in automo tive repair tends to set standards too low. According to the Skynova blog, “Manufacturer warranty repair work generally provides for repairs to be done in a shorter time, which leaves auto mechanics paid short for
jobs that take two hours when the vehicle manufacturer claims the work must be completed in an hour.”
When variations occur, there is always a danger of cherry-picking the jobs awarding the most generous FRP. Output may be measured as equal units of production, but the actual work required per unit may vary con siderably. As long as equal credit is available for easy or hard work, employees will choose what’s easy.
The problem applies to any FRP or piece rate. A word-processing oper ation might equally award per page typed regardless of whether the page is a short letter, long report, or just edit corrections. Or, in a warehousing operation, order-pullers may get credit for orders pulled. Personnel pick the easy jobs while the difficult ones sit.
Anticipate other issues
While shops traditionally rely on managers to ensure jobs get done in a timely way, FRP motivates employees directly through their pay. To some critics, FRP prioritizes quantity over quality. On the other hand, FRP ad vocates respond that a technician who cuts corners must redo the job for nothing or even be docked for the cost of having another technician do it. However, these solutions do not address the loss of customers from the damage done.
FRP’s allowed hours can overwhelm apprentices. FRP may also dis courage more experienced technicians from spending the time to train them. Senior technicians and others having unique capabilities for com plex projects might want a different FRP scale, as paying identical compensation to everyone might seem unfair.
Well-supported quotes are also crucial. No one welcomes spending uncompensated time on under-quoted work. Finally, to retain employ ees with a minimum income, shops may wish to compensate non-productive time during slow periods. As described next, time tracking and minimum wage are legally mandated for non-exempt employees.
A compromise hybrid system that mitigates some of these problems but still provides benefits is to continue to pay hourly and supplement with incentives based on productivity and efficiency. This way, employ ees are still motivated to do better, but without as great of a potential downside as a full FRP.
Some analysts consider hybrid as the best approach. As Suz Baldwin writes in “A Basic Guide to Flat-Rate vs. Hourly Rate,” a blog entry at the website of service shop software provider Fullbay: “It really is the best of both worlds in the sense that techs have salary security but the abil ity to earn way more than their hourly rate. . . . You can reward them for the number of jobs completed in a day, a week, or a month; you can also attach rewards to other good work, such as a lack of comebacks. . . . If they’re working harder to reach those bonuses, your shop is earning more revenue.”
Beware of labor law
Using FRP might seem to convert employees to outside contractors responsible for their payroll taxes and benefits. Contractors are also paid for the successful completion of projects rather than by the hour. Howev er, contractor relationships must meet strict tests. Managers who violate these rules by treating employees as contractors make their companies’ owners personally liable for payroll taxes due, plus interest and penal ties. Owners may also be subject to criminal prosecution.
Generally, independent contractors work under contract, using their own tools and determining the best approach. They provide services to
more than one company. Termination is defined under contract terms.
Employees, in contrast, have relationships that are terminable “at will,” which is the antithesis of an in dependent contractor relationship. They are compensated on a regular schedule at predetermined rates.
Employers, rather than employees, control the work, and provide the means of getting it done.
Non-exempt employees must be paid at least mini mum wage for hours worked and a time-and-a-half rate for overtime above a 40-hour week. They gen erally include those performing routine work that does not require independent judgment or decisionmaking. On the other hand, positions “exempt” from hours tracking include those involving managing em ployees or requiring a professional degree.
Employers unable to document compliance may be required to make restitution based on estimates derived from disgruntled employees’ testimony. The U.S. Department of Labor and the courts enforce the rule that employees cannot sign away their rights to overtime pay. Juries have recently awarded employ ees millions of dollars in back pay for such tasks as donning safety equipment before punching the time clock. Employers can also be subject to fines or even criminal prosecution for wanton violations.
Technicians may perform work outside of FRP, such as cleaning. Employees make and receive calls on their business cell phones. They may also run errands after hours for the business, such as taking deposits to the bank, picking up supplies, or even making deliveries. They may even put in extra hours voluntarily. Under the law, non-exempt employees must receive pay for that time.
For protection, employers should have a suitable system for capturing all time to assure appropriate compliance records. Employees that work off-prem ises need a defined process for tracking their hours.
Employer policies should require that work not be done off the clock and that employees report any work since clocking out from their last shift.
Department of Labor regulations narrow the ex empt category to only those earning more than $35,568 per year. For non-exempt employees, the fed eral minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. States can be considerably higher; for example, in California, the threshold is $62,400, with a $15 minimum wage, for 26 or more employees. EA
While shops traditionally rely on managers to ensure jobs get done in a timely way, flat-rate pay motivates employees directlyFLAT-RATE PAY continued from previous page
Names & Faces
Edwin Bohr Electronics, a manufacturer and remanufacturer of electrical and electromechanical components for the railroad industry, has named Dan Marks CEO. Marks has more than two decades of experience in the OEM and aftermarket rail and transit markets, primarily in business strategy, operations, sales, and marketing. Prior to joining EBE, he was vice president of sales for Penn Machine Co., a major wheel, axle, and gear manufacturer.
“Dan brings deep market awareness and a track record of growing the top line rapidly and profitably,” said Chris Wright, president of parent company Alderman Enterprises. “He’s particularly well-suited to take Edwin Bohr Electronics to the next level.”
U.K. electromechanical engineering specialist Houghton International has appointed Mark Abbott as its new technical account manager. Abbott will be expanding Houghton International’s presence across the U.K., helping to support customers in the south of England with their needs related to the maintenance, repair, and life extension of their electromechanical equipment.
From his many years of working with virtually all sectors of the South African and sub-Saharan industrial landscape, Abbott’s career has given him in-depth knowledge of a wide range of sectors, including rail, mining, industrial, manufacturing, utilities, and power generation. He will now be applying his experience to help owners and operators of motors, generators, pumps, and all rotating machines to improve the efficiency and reliability of their assets.
The Penn State Department of Electrical Engineering, one of the oldest in the U.S., has a new leader. Madhavan Swaminathan will join the university as the head of electrical engineering and William E. Leonhard Endowed Chair on Jan. 1.
“Though the department was founded in 1893, it’s fairly young with early career faculty and holds great potential to grow and mature,” said Swaminathan, who is currently the John Pippin Chair in Microsystems Packaging and Electromagnetics in Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “The opportunity to mentor future leaders as we collectively grow the department is a big reason why I decided to make the move.”
Swaminathan has served at Georgia Tech for 28 years, leading the 3D Systems Packaging Research Center and the National Science Foundation Center for Advanced Electronics through Machine Learning. He leads research and development in semiconductors, the focus of the $52 billion Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors for America Act that was signed into law in August. — Charlie Barks EA
Ray Saddler, Army veteran and company owner
Ray E. Saddler Jr. of Granite Falls, Wash., a U.S. Army veteran and former electromechanical service company owner, died Sept. 18 in Snohomish, Wash., at the age of 83.
His wife of 64 years, Virginia Saddler (Lee Lind), died on Sept. 29, the day before Mr. Saddler’s funeral. The two were married on June 3, 1958, after knowing each other for eight days.
Mr. Saddler was born to Ray Saddler Sr. and Doris (Laxton) Bagal on Nov. 4, 1938, in Chicago. The younger Mr. Saddler spent nearly 11 years in the U.S. Army, training with the Green Berets and serving in the 14th Calvary, 82nd Airborne, and 550th Light Armored Airborne.
He had NATO clearance, serving five years patrolling the border between East and West Germany, and was attached to the 24th Infantry Division, 7th Army Tank Gunnery, and was a 7th Army NCO graduate.
Over the course of his military career, Mr. Saddler was attached to the 24th Infantry Division, 7th Army Tank Gunnery and was a 7th Army NCO graduate. He was also assigned to Troop A, 2nd Recon Squad, 8th Calvary, 4th Infantry Division Brigade. Having the necessary clearance, at times he provided security for President John F. Kennedy.
Several years after leaving the military, Mr. Saddler opened Canyon Motor Rewind in Snohomish and later a consulting company, AET Service. All the while, for 37 years, Virginia was working at his side. In his consulting work, Mr. Saddler traveled in support of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Navy in addition to numerous merchant vessels. He “truly enjoyed telling stories of his adventures,” family members recall.
From 1982 until 2000, Mr. Saddler was active as a regional officer for the Electrical Apparatus Service Association. In his spare time, he enjoyed woodworking, gardening, and bird watching, having a love for animals of all kinds.
Ray and Virginia Saddler were preceded in death by two children, Ray Jr. III (Eryn) and William (Billy) Saddler, and by Ray’s brother, Edward Saddler. They are survived by four children: Dee/Doris Cummings (Kelvin), Ken Saddler (Celina), Donita Scott (Jeff), and Tanya Jackson (Tim), as well as 13 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Following a funeral service Sept. 30, there was a private committal service for Mr. Saddler with military honors. In lieu of flowers, the family asked that donations be made to the Disabled American Veterans, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Humane Society, or the Alzheimer’s Research Association.
The Saddlers’ son Ken, who is currently active in the electromechanical service industry, said of his father, “He taught us by example to always teach the why of doing things, not just the how. And to be generous to everybody around.” EARay and Virginia Saddler Dan Marks Madhavan Swaminathan
In search of sustainable talent
Renewable help is wanted!By Charlie Barks, EA Managing Editor
While some industries are starved for candidates, the renewable energy workforce apparently has a “war for talent” brewing. The job market is tight now, and it’s only going to get worse. A few factors make the renewable sector particularly vulnerable. There’s a lot to do, and too few people know how to do it.
Optics are everything.
Successful sustainability companies are currently experiencing unsustainable turnover at a rate and degree that defies normal labor expectations. Right now, the renewables market is relatively new and comparatively small; experienced employees are hard to find, and newbies take time to train. Many companies are taking extraordinary measures to keep the best around, offering benefits, perks, raises, and the like, but these “labor hoarding” practices can take a toll on the company’s bottom line.
According to a recent article in Renewable Energy News, some CEOs have soured on headhunters and placement agencies, whom they accuse of being responsible for rising salaries: the higher the new hire’s pay, the bigger the headhunter’s commission. One CEO believes that recruiters scheme to return to the scene of the hire, to poach employees they placed only a short time before. The idea, he says, is to “lure employees away just so they can refill the position.”
Recruiter malfeasance notwithstanding, when new, inexperienced hires come in at much higher salary levels than long-time employees, owners notice morale problems and can observe uncomfort-
able adjustments to company culture. They worry about covering relocation costs, expensive training programs, and other benefits for new employees, because a meaningful ROI requires that those employees stay on the job and perform to expectations.
Of course, one business’s account of having its employees poached does not represent the entire industry. In our experience, most employees aren’t that interested in job hopping, most employment services are ethical and helpful, and most workers go along to get along. But there’s no question that an expanding job market and a shrinking labor force does not always result in a happy outcome. And one thing is sure: there are open jobs in renewable energy, and there are going to be many more.
Jobs, jobs, jobs
To predict the scope of upcoming renewable jobs, consider the anticipated impact of this year’s federal Inflation Reduction Act. The legislation will support $370 billion in climate and clean energy investment, creating an estimated 1.3 million new jobs across the economy and greatly expanding wind and solar capacity. The U.S. intends to add about 100 GW of wind and solar capacity during each of the next eight years, to meet the government’s 2030 climate targets. Compare that to the 28 GW of capacity that was developed in 2021.
And build-outs are only the beginning. From installation to ongoing
An expanding job market and a shrinking labor force does not always result in a happy outcome. One thing is sure: there are open jobs in renewable energy, and there are going to be many more.Students at Colorado’s Delta High School designed and installed a 2.4 kW solar array for their school — Ben Graves/NOAA Planet Stewards photo
maintenance, the need for skilled labor will be crucial and timelines will be tight.
Realistically, bottlenecks loom large. Connecting new power sources to the grid, overcoming state and local regulations, and streamlining outdated practices and polices all take time, and outcomes are not guaranteed. But even if some projects are cut back, the demand for labor will be explosive.
While turnover in more traditional industries is problematic, it’s at least clear where the renewable talent will come from. College students, and even highschoolers, are studying and learning renewable trades, both in school and at dedicated training centers. Private training operations offer various combinations of online and in-person courses, certification programs, and continuing education refresher courses. Unions and companies sponsor earn-andlearn apprenticeships that have become commonplace over the past few years.
Government agencies, including the departments of Energy and Commerce, are playing a significant role in funding, curriculum production, workforce development, and training for in-demand renew-
able energy jobs. Several projects are specifically targeted for regions economically impacted by the declining use of coal.
American Clean Power, a trade organization representing 700 member companies, is equally concerned with addressing the needs of fossil-fuel-centric communities. Its Energy Transition for All (ET4All) initiative encompasses three main objectives:
> Expand opportunity for workers, especially those from transitioning and historically disadvantaged communities.
> Create value for communities through supply chains, targeted investments, and local economic development.
> Lead in diversity and inclusion, striving towards a workforce and leadership teams that are representative of the communities we operate in.
These efforts to provide assistance, offer economic opportunities, and build a talent pipeline for those wishing to transition from fos sil fuel to clean power jobs, whether they be miners, drivers, civil engineers, or support staff workers, will help to expand the labor pool. Wind and solar jobs typically come with attractive hourly pay and ben efits. Projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics list wind turbine service technician as the fastest-growing job in the country and solar voltaic installer as the third. Per a BW Research report, the energy sec tor did better during Covid than the general economy. Of the 1.08 million jobs lost during the first half of 2020, 323,800 were added back by the end of that difficult year, and job growth has continued.
Renewables work is appealing to job seekers; training opportunities are proliferating; and new jobs are on the horizon. It all should add up to sunny days ahead for the industry and its workers. EA
The best and newest in tools, instruments, and machines for manufacturing and service
Stronger, more durable steel chain
Regal Rexnord, the maker of motors and power transmission components, has introduced an engineered steel chain said to o er the strength and durability of engineered steel chain with an exclusive eld connection link that, according to the manufacturer, makes assembling and maintaining engineered steel chain safer, faster, easier, and more cost-e ective.
Coriolis ﬂow measurement device
Emerson, the diversi ed manufacturer of industrial machines and control systems, recently introduced its rst Power-overEthernet (PoE) Coriolis ow measurement device for the foodand-beverage, life sciences, and chemical industries. The Micro Motion 1600 Coriolis transmitter is designed to be scalable for facilities making a gradual transition to remote ow data collection, monitoring, and con guration.
Lubrication system to extend chain life
A lubrication system from bearing and seal manufacturer SKF is said to maintain the performance of farm machinery throughout the rigors of harvest season by reducing chain wear. The OCL-M system, developed for equipment such as balers and combines, dispenses precise amounts of lubricant to the moving chain.
Newly developed cutting machine
Nidec Corp., known internationally for its lines of motors, sensors, and controls, has debuted the CF26A, a cutting chamfering machine that can cut a gear to remove its chamfers corners to ensure a highly accurate nish. Released simultaneously by Nidec was EdgeCut, a dedicated tool that secures targeted chamfering shapes during the actual machining. According to Nidec, the CF26A can “speedily and accurately” machine the corners of electric vehicles’ gears, which are required to have reduced noise and greater e ciency. — Kevin Jones EA
SPINA ELECTRIC IN WARREN, MICHIGAN
Job Posting: Field Service Manager / Technician
• At least 5 years in a motor shop
• At least 2 years field service in motor business
o Predictive services in Vibration, MCE, Thermography, Ultrasound
o Preventative services, motor brush maintenance, remove/install, Laser Alignment, bearing scraping and change outs, troubleshooting mechanical/electrical issues.
o Computer skills, Microsoft Word & Excel
• Quoting, lining up equipment and scheduling, assisting with completing job, and assisting technicians in onsite services.
• Company paid health insurance
• 401K savings program
• Paid vacations and Bonus program
• Wages based on experience levels Send resume or questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Equipment for Sale
MOTOR TEST PANELS
Professionally built to your needs, using your parts or good used components. 502,000 hp, 120-4160v AC/DC, w/wo computer efficiency reports, 30 years experience. Info/ examples on Motorteststand.com
HIRING ELECTRIC MOTOR WINDERS!
L&S Electric - Appleton, WI – 1st & 2nd Shift
We are looking for an experienced Winder to: Rewind various types of electric motors and install various types of coils in AC/DC rotating machines, operate specialized repair and testing equipment, and inspect equipment and parts for damage and perform Root Cause Failure Analysis.
What will you receive? Health, Vision and Dental Insurance, 401 (k) with company match, Paid Time Off and Holidays, Flex spending and Health Savings Accounts, $2.00/hour second shift premium, Quarterly and Year End Team Member Bonus Program and much more…
Apply online at: lselectric.com or send resume to email@example.com Join our growing team!.
SAMATIC WINDING MACHINE
All sizes and options Looking to Buy. Used Samatic Winding Machine. Contact: Schwan Inc. Email firstname.lastname@example.org 773-467-2900
COPYRIGHT 2022 ELECTRICAL APPARATUS
Longo Electrical-Mechanical, Inc., founded over 75 years ago, is the largest independent electrical-mechanical sales & service company in the tri-state NJ/NY area. We sell and service a complete line of motors, pumps, fans, compressors and drives . . . from Line to Load.
We are looking for skilled ASSOCIATES TO JOIN OUR TEAM:
• Vibration/PdM Technician
• Electric Motor Winders
• Instrumentation/PLC (SCADA) Technician
• Mechanic/Field Service Technician
We o er excellent wages and beneﬁts with advancement opportunities. Relocation available.
Contact LONGO 973-537-0400 ext. 1718 or e-mail resume, in conﬁdence, to LSPAK@elongo.com.
Our Electrical division is seeking qualiﬁed candidates for the following positions:
• Motor Mechanic
• Electrical Motor Winder
We o er:
Competitive Wages, Comprehensive Beneﬁts Package, Relocation Assistance, as well as 10 Paid Holidays per year.
Send resume to: email@example.com
Learn more at: https://www.midwestservicecenter.com/ about/working-at-msc/
Equipment for Sale
MOTOR TEST PANEL FOR SALE
Phenix Test panel Model MTS1000R-420, MFG Year 1994
Output AC 0-4160 Volts AC (1000-140 amp), Output DC 0-600 Volts DC (600amp)
Control Input 115 volt 20amp single phase Some meter issues (display and meter option available from Phenix), $92,000.00
For more information, please call or email. firstname.lastname@example.org
Business For Sale
Business shop equipment and supplies $150,000. Possible ﬁnancing on one half of the asking price.
Cel 843 841 3433.
U.S. POSTAL SERVICE STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT & CIRCULATION. Required by 39 U.S.C. 3685 1. Title of publication: Electrical Apparatus; 2. Publication No. 0190-1370; 3. Date of ﬁling: September 30, 2022; 4. Frequency of issue: Monthly; 5. Number of issues published annually: 12; 6. Annual subscription price: $50.00; 7. Complete mailing address of known oﬃce of publication: 17 N. State St., Suite 1650, Chicago, Ill. 60602-3570; 8. Complete mailing address of the headquarters or general business oﬃces of the publisher (not printer): 17 N. State St., Suite 1650, Chicago, Ill. 60602-3570; 9.
Names & addresses of publisher, editor & managing editor: Publisher: Elizabeth Van Ness, 17 N. State St., Suite 1650, Chicago, Ill. 60602-3570; Editor: Kevin Jones, 17 N. State St., Suite 1650, Chicago, Ill. 60602-3570; Managing Editor: Charles Barks, 17 N. State St., Suite 1650, Chicago, Ill. 60602-3570; 10. Owner: The owner is Barks Publications, Inc., 17 N. State St., Suite 1650, Chicago, Ill. 60602-3570. 11. Known stockholders owning or holding 1% or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages, or other securities: Elizabeth Van Ness, 17 N. State St., Suite 1650, Chicago, Ill. 60602-3570; Joseph Barks, 17 N. State St., Suite 1650, Chicago, Ill. 60602-3570; Barbara Wachter, 17 N. State St., Suite 1650, Chicago, Ill. 60602-3570; Kate Freed, 17 N. State St., Suite 1650, Chicago, Ill. 60602-3570; William Barks, 17 N. State St., Suite 1650, Chicago, Ill. 60602-3570; 12. Tax status has not changed during preceding 12 months; 13. Publication Title: Electrical Apparatus; 14. Issue date for circulation data below: September 2022; 15. Extent and nature of circulation: Average No. of Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: A. Total Number of Copies (Net press run) 17,784; Total Number of Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 18,050. B.1. Outside County Paid/Requested Mail Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541: 5,542; 5,069. 2. In-County Paid/Requested Mail Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541: 0; 0. 3. Sales through Dealers and Carriers, Street Vendors, Counter Sales, and Other Paid or Requested Non-USPS Distribution: 299; 276. 4. Requested Copies Distributed by USPS Other Classes: 0; 0. C. Total Paid and/or Requested Circulation: 5,841; 5,345. D. Nonrequested Distribution 1. Outside-County—Nonrequested: 10,287; 10,550. 2. In-County Nonrequested: 0; 0. 3. Nonrequested Distribution— other classes: 0; 0. 4. Nonrequested Distribution—outside the mail: 1,161; 1,148. E. Total Nonrequested Distribution: 11,448; 11,698. F. Total Distribution: 17,289; 17,043. G. Copies Not Distributed: 495; 1,007. H. Total: 17,784; 18,050. I. Percent Paid and/or Requested Circulation: 34%; 31% 16. A. Requested and Paid Electronic Copies: 0. B. Total Requested and Paid Print Copies: 5,841; 5,345. C. Total Requested Copy Distribution: 17,289; 17,043. D. Percent paid and/or requested circulation (both print and electronic copies) 34%; 31%. 17. Publication of Statement of Ownership for a requester publication is required and will be printed in the November 2022 issue of this publication; 18. I certify that all information furnished on this form is true and complete. — Elizabeth Van Ness, President.
EASA SEEKS MOTOR ENGINEER
EASA seeks a degreed engineer to join its technical support team. Must have at least 5 years of experience in repair, service, maintenance and/or redesign of ac and dc motors. Hands-on experience a plus. Must understand motor theory as well as application and be able to communicate e ectively in a fast-paced consulting role. Some travel required for teaching opportunities. Proﬁciency in MS O ce suite required, including PPT. Experience with CRM systems a plus. Knowledge of IEC design motors also a plus. Salary commensurate with experience; excellent beneﬁts; team environment. Relocation to St. Louis preferred; remote work option considered for the right candidate. Send resumé with cover letter and salary expectation to Linda Raynes; email@example.com.
GlobalTech, a Houston, TX based company, has an immediate need for a Production Manager. The ideal candidate will have a strong management/supervisory background in the motor repair industry. This is a key management position within the company. Strong technical skills are a must and an engineering degree is desired. We o er a highly competitive compensation package including health, dental, vision, and 401k. If you have the skills we are looking for and are considering relocation to Houston, please send your resume and salary requirements to firstname.lastname@example.org.
TECHNICAL SUPPORT SPECIALIST
Megger Baker Instruments is seeking an individual with excellent Customer Service skills to join our Technical Support Team. Candidate should have a strong Electrical background and knowledge of electric motor maintenance, testing and repair.
Essential Job Responsibilities:
• Provide timely technical support for customers and service technicians (over the telephone, on-line networks, and/or email) in a manner that both solves the problem and creates customer goodwill for Megger. Document customer questions and problems, test/verify customer problems. When needed, escalate issues to engineering and management. Document/ communicate escalated problems to engineering for resolution while building teamwork with engineering. If necessary, visit customer sites to solve problems, install hardware, or recommend system solutions.
• May be required to participate in quality review and assessment of Megger Baker Instrument product performance.
• May be required to teach Megger Baker
Instrument support, troubleshooting, and repair processes to other technical support personnel.
• May be required to develop new support processes as new Megger Baker Instrument products become available.
• May have some involvement in customer-speciﬁc modiﬁcations/ SQRs when appropriate, and/or design recommendations for evaluation by engineering. May be required to work cooperatively, both internally and externally, in SQR development.
• May be required to provide assistance in technically challenging troubleshooting and repair processes.
• Notifying programmers and authors regarding software/ﬁrmware problems. Coordinates requests for replacing defective parts with appropriate support administrator. Receives input from customers and ﬁeld sales on current market requirements. Forward product speciﬁcation requirements to Marketing and Engineering groups for future product development.
• Categorize, document, and report on ﬁeld ﬁndings and observations; help identify voids
The challenge: To identify and ﬁll in the grid, from the clues at right, with words related to the electromechanical service and sales industry. This month’s words are taken from the September and October issues of Electrical Apparatus. The solution may be found online at http:// barks.com/puzzles, or call (312) 321-9440.
and areas for improvement in performance, service, and application of Megger Baker Instrument products; provide feedback and recommendations to Engineering for use in new designs or sustaining tasks.
• Create and submit articles for publication in the TSG Self Help Portal Knowledgebase; review new Knowledgebase articles.
• Compose and review Field Service Bulletins (FSBs).
• Other duties as assigned
Minimum Skills and Competencies:
• Experience in direct contact with customers in a support role.
• Proﬁcient in MS O ce.
• Technical knowledge of motors and motor testing is desirable. Knowledge of industries served by Megger Baker Instruments is desirable.
• Knowledgeable regarding industrial motor systems, maintenance, and testing.
Apply at https://us.megger.com/company/ careers or email resumés to email@example.com.
The EA crossword
Elektrim Motors, an AC NEMA and metric IEC stock and custom motor manufacturer since 1919, is looking for conﬁdent, results-driven individuals to join our team.
INSIDE SALES SPECIALIST
Ideal candidate works cooperatively with members of the sales team to increase sales by uncovering lead opportunities, establishing new accounts and proactively cultivating existing accounts. Must be comfortable making dozens of calls per day, generating interest, qualifying prospects and closing sales.
ELECTRIC MOTOR SERVICE TECHNICIAN & SCHAUMBURG, IL SHOP MANAGER.
Ideal candidate will be experienced in troubleshooting, repair, rebuild of all types of AC motors. Strong communication skills required.
OUTSIDE SALES / NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER.
Ideal candidates will be solutions-based OEM sales experts with a working knowledge of electric motors and their applications. Travel is required more than 50% of time.
Elektrim Motors o er competitive pay and beneﬁts including 401k. Send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Industrial Electric Motor Service, Inc in Kimberly, Idaho is looking to grow its rewind department. We are looking for someone with either complete or partial rewind knowledge and is still wanting to learn & grow from experienced winders in the industry. We o er competitive wages & beneﬁts. Please send you resume to email@example.com. (Relocation assistance is available for the right candidate & wages are DOE)
Waddell Electric has 3 locations in Oregon now hiring for:
1. Electric Motor Winder
2. Electric Motor Mechanics
3. Shop Manager
10 years of experience a plus. Relocation assistance negotiable. Email resumé to: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Shop Foreman/Manager
(Strong DC Experience)
• Motor Mechanic
Two locations in Northeast PA, o ering 3% company matching retirement account, Highmark health care, dental/vision, and paid vacations and holidays. Call 570-899-7578 or 570-342-6740, email email@example.com.
COMPETITIVE PAY, BENEFITS & OT!!
Prime Electric in Gorham, ME is looking for an experienced Electric Motor Technician. Relocation compensation, training program & advancement opportunities. Safe, friendly environment. Send resumes to dan@ primeelectricmotor.com or call 207.591.7800. Visit us at PrimeElectricMotor.com.
JASPER ELECTRIC MOTORS IN JASPER, AL
is looking to hire an experienced Test Center Operator (<10 years)
• Testing A/C & D/C motors 0-6600Volts
• Run & Load test
• Testing per EASA accreditation
• Strong Trouble shooting skills
• Vibration and Balancing skills would be a plus.
Pay will be based on experience. Please send resume to: firstname.lastname@example.org
SIGN ON BONUS!
R/S Motors, a St Joseph, MO based company, has an immediate opening for a mechanic/ machinist/winder. Both AC & DC motors. Experience preferred but can support on the job training. O ering competitive wages, 100% company paid health, 401K, PTO-2 weeks vacation the ﬁrst year. Relocation allowance. Friendly hours. Family owned company with a great environment and people. Please submit any inquiries or resumes to email@example.com.
Electric Motor Shop o ers competitive pay and beneﬁts, including 401k. For employment consideration, please contact Kristine Larsen at 919-556-3229 or by email at Kristine.Larsen@emsnc.com
Large, diversiﬁed service manufacturing and supply company has an opportunity for a few highly qualiﬁed people to join our team.
• Director of Sales Chattanooga, TN
10 years management experience required along with extensive knowledge of motors, drives and controls.
• Winders Knoxville, TN and Cartersville, GA
10 years of experience and ability to wind up to 10,000 HP AC and DC motors
• Mechanics Knoxville, TN and Cartersville, GA
10 years of experience
Come join a dynamic company which o ers excellent beneﬁts, a great future along with top pay in the industry.
Send resume to Jamey Ste ner (Owner) jste firstname.lastname@example.org
O ce: 423-777-4825 Cell: 423-593-8356
Westside Electric Inc
Located in Jacksonville Florida
Experience in all areas of electric motors, AC & DC, generators, pumps. These repairs are found in a typical EASA repair facility. Must have good management and coordinating skills to advise and assist technicians in completing the jobs in a timely and accurate manner that will satisfy the customer and be proﬁtable. The Foreman is responsible for scheduling shop work and ﬁeld service and insuring that the customer’s needs are met. Safety procedures, customer relations and the knowledge of test equipment are required. Send resume to bruce@westside-electric. com or call (904)757-1126.
Advanced Rotors, Inc.
COMMUTATOR OF TENNESSEE
Wire & Insulation
Bearing Company, Inc.
Machine Technologies, Inc.
Apparatus & Machine
Direct & Current
THROWIN’ DARTS. NASA’s planned crash into an asteroid tested the new “DART” system. “Analysis of data obtained over the past two weeks by NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test investigation team shows the spacecraft’s kinetic impact with its target asteroid, Dimorphos, successfully altered the asteroid’s orbit,” the space agency said in an Oct. 22 statement. “This marks humanity’s first time purposely changing the motion of a celestial object and the first fullscale demonstration of asteroid deflection technology.”
USE YOUR DOME. Danish renewable energy company Ørsted, which made its bones in the wind power sector, is working on a new battery that could potentially convert CO2 into electrical power. While the innovativesounding project with Milanbased Energy Dome seems promising, not all are believers. One early response from a Twitter user called it “a stunningly inefficient way to make a ‘battery.’ . . .”
Electric Motors, Inc.
for sponsored technical articles from
advertisers at our blog, www.barks.com/spon sored-technical-articles.
Learn more about the products and services featured in this issue!
the QR code or go to kwiksurveys.com/s/LTNDyEbM to request information from advertisers.
DRUGS TRANSFORMED. When is a transformer more than meets the eye? When it’s being used to smuggle drugs. That’s what customs officials at Hong Kong’s airport learned last month when they found 168 lbs. of methamphetamine hidden inside transformers being shipped from Mexico to Australia. “We only saw simple structures but could not see other components that should have been there, such as high-voltage cables or coils of wire,” senior inspector Lam Kai-shan was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.
GREEN GIANTS. New York City utility Con Edison is said to have a $6.8 billion deal on the table for its renewable assets. The agreement with renewables company RWE AG, announced Oct. 1, will apply to all of Con Edison’s solar and wind parks. The company has an active program for residential solar with New York City and Westchester County. Beyond that, its web site says: “We expanded into the wind business with the 75 MW Broken Bow II wind farm in Nebraska and the 95-MW Campbell County Wind Farm in South Dakota. To generate electricity, large blades are used to catch wind and spin turbines.”
BORDER RELATIONS. U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Jewel Bronaugh announced last month at the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities’ 36th Annual Conference an investment of $14 million to Hispanic-serving higher education institutions to support education in agriculture and human sciences. “In recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month, USDA celebrates the achievements and contributions that our Hispanic-serving institutions have made to American agriculture,” Bronaugh said. “They are our trusted partners in preparing the next generation of agriculture leaders that more fully represent the many diverse populations and voices in America.” — Charlie Barks
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