Electrical Apparatus February 2024 - The business issue!

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Electrical Apparatus FEBRUARY 2024 / $10

More than Motors

This servicer makes house calls Rotating Apparatus Co. of Salem, Wis.

A fresh look at IoT HI’s pump ratings adopted The self-directed learner Adding noise to EVs Spark arrestors

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Pump It Up

18 Pump ratings adopted by federal and California agencies

How the Hydraulic Institute’s pump Energy Rating program is being folded into government-run incentive plans By Kevin Jones, EA Senior Editor

Plant Life

24 A fresh look at IoT

— Ico Maker / Shutterstock illustration





The Internet of Things has steadily made its way into manufacturing plants, distribution facilities, utilities, and repair shops By Bill O’Leary, EA Contributing Writer

Training & Education

26 The self-directed learner


— Electrical Apparatus photo by Charlie Barks

Find the resources you need to take charge of your own career development By Bill O’Leary, EA Contributing Writer

Service & Sales Companies

27 House calls are their specialty

A newly established mobile, two-man operation out of Salem, Wis., is redefining the word business By Charlie Barks, EA Managing Editor

Motors & Generators 33 Spark arrestors

How compensating windings are used in d-c machines to help reduce brush arcing and associated wear By Chase Fell, EA Contributing Writer

More Than Accounting

37 Saving taxes at business sale


— Chase Fell photo

What every sixty-something business owner needs to know when formulating an exit plan By William H. Wiersema, CPA, EA Contributing Editor

Electric Avenue

42 Can you hear me now?

Noise technology is being added to today’s electric vehicles as a safety measure By Maura Keller, EA Contributing Writer


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04 The editor’s comment

Getting down to business — however you might define it

— USASBE photo

Departments 05 Let’s solve your problem

Answers to questions about motor application and repair

06 Associations

Better business through accreditation

08 Speaking of . . .

Digital fraud takes a diabolical turn

10 Know your industry

The U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship


12 Plant happenings 14 Business

Electrical suppliers take part in a UN climate meeting

16 Utilities

Some business customers are displeased with electric utilities

20 EA reader profile

The fortune of Ivor de Souza and his country

23 Calendar

— Image created by Adobe generative AI

Three new plants — and a much-hoped-for closing


Upcoming events on wiring, pumps, testing, and more

39 Names & faces

Changes at ECM PCB Stator Tech and Mitsubishi

40 Product showcase

What’s new from Jenkins Electric, WEG, and others

44 Classified advertising


— Netzsch Pumps USA photo

Your monthly marketplace for equipment, businesses, and more

44 Cy’s Super Service

The electrical service industry’s most prominent curmudgeon

45 EA puzzle

A word search puzzle based on this month’s cover article

47 Moe, Genny & friends

The surreal world of an anthropomorphized motor and generator

48 Direct & current

Tesla’s big recall, and big news expected from Longo

48 Advertising index

Who’s who—and who’s where—in this issue of Electrical Apparatus

COVER PHOTO: By Charlie Barks, at Rotating Apparatus Co., Salem, Wis. 2 ELECTRICAL APPARATUS | FEBRUARY 2024

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The Editor’s Comment


Getting down to business — however you might define it

Coming next month in Electrical Apparatus: AHR Show report; a visit to an HVAC service business; a brief history of motor regulations; facility management in a hybrid-work age

Read Electrical Apparatus online The entire contents of this issue are available online. Scan the QR code below:

Or enter the URL directly: https://bit.ly/ FEB24EA-LEAP See page 44 for links to upcoming issues that you can bookmark.

What’s your definition of a business? A company structure, conceived around quality products? Some might even consider it just a creative idea that constitutes the roots of a business. In this issue — a new EA theme for 2024 — we’ll explore all of these possibilities and help you determine which business plans work best for your current situation. We have accounting advice, management tips, and examples of recently founded unique start-ups. We have our usual coverage of company movements, corporate happenings, and the like in our long-running “Business” section by Senior Editor Kevin Jones (page 14). Contributor Bill O’Leary provides a rundown of technology in modern business (page 24), something that can both disrupt and propel business plans. In manufacturing plants, distribution facilities, utilities, and repair shops, the Internet of Things has been used to monitor the health of equipment, track the productivity of specific process steps, and serve as a vital predictive maintenance tool. IoT sensors collect data on machinery such as robotic welding systems, CNC machines, and injection molding equipment to identify irregularities and signal potential breakdowns before they happen, reducing costly downtime and repairs. IoT is used in the electromechanical industry for this very same reason. Contributing Editor Bill Wiersema gives us an overview of exit plans for businesses in “Saving taxes at business sale” (page 37), this month’s Accounting article, explaining how this planning should address beneficiaries, sale structure, and gain deferral. (Bill W. also gets a callback in our “Speaking of” department this month, which looks at cyber criminality and the rise of “bank jackings” through smartphone apps.) Our cover story (page 27) features Rotating Apparatus Co., spearheaded by Doug Junion out of southern Wisconsin with his partner Joe Mabbett. It took only 2-3 people to establish this as a viable business, which Junion did last August, after experiencing family culture for over 30 years at L&S Electric. The concept of this new business? A mobile, field servicedriven repair and service provider that comes to you, thereby eliminating downtime without sacrificing quality or reliability. Other topics in this issue include EV noise and acoustic vehicle alerting systems (article by Maura Keller, page 42), which has become a business sector in and of itself recently, and a technical article by Chase Fell (page 33) on spark arrestors that discusses compensating windings in d-c machines. So whether it’s your five-year plan, your bottom line, or your “second family,” we hope to help your business. Thanks for reading!

Electrical Apparatus 17 N. State St., Suite 914 Chicago, Illinois 60602 (312) 321-9440; fax (866) 228-7274 E-mail: EAMagazine@barks.com www.barks.com Founded 1948 as Volt/Age Horace B. Barks, Founding Publisher Elsie Dickson, Founding Publisher STAFF Elizabeth Van Ness, Publisher Kevin N. Jones, Senior Editor Richard L. Nailen, Engineering Editor Charlie Barks, Managing Editor Contributing Editors William H. Wiersema John Malinowski Special Correspondents Jane Powell Campbell Christopher Wachter Cartoonists John D’Acunto Tim Oliphant ElectroMechanical Bench Reference Supplement mailed with the December issue Elizabeth Van Ness, Editor & Publisher ADVERTISING Barbara Wachter, Advertising Director CIRCULATION Circulation@barks.com Electrical Apparatus (ISSN 0190-1370), Vol. 77, No. 2, 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 offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to Electrical Apparatus, c/o Barks Publications, Inc., 17 N. State St., Suite 1650, Chicago, Ill. 60602. PM #40830553. U.S. subscriptions: 2 years—$100; 1 year— $60. Foreign airmail: 2 years—$250; 1 year—$140. Subscriptions also include an annual directory supplement, the ElectroMechanical Bench Reference. Single copies: $11 each plus postage; December issue, $30 with the supplement ElectroMechanical Bench Reference. Copyright 2024 Barks Publications, Inc. Reproduction of any part, by any means, including photocopy machines and computer networks, without the written permission of Barks Publications, Inc., is prohibited. Electrical Apparatus and ElectroMechanical Bench Reference are trademarks registered with the U.S. Patent Office. Copies of articles in print or PDF format may be ordered from our Marketing Department (312) 321-9440. Prices available on request. Libraries and companies registered with Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Dr., Danvers, Mass. 01923, should send 75¢ per page copied direct to CCC. Material also available in microform and CD-ROM from Pro Quest information service, (800) 521-0600 ext. 2888 (US) or 01734-761-4700 (International); https://www. proquest.com/. Printed in the U.S.A.


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Let’s Solve Your Problem The Fynn-Weichsel motor: How did it work? I’m looking for information on two types of synchronous motors: a supersynchronous motor that was operated with brake bands after it was up to speed, and a Fynn-Weichsel (slip-ring induction-synchronous) motor. I believe that it is a cross between an induction and synchronous motor and when heavily loaded would run as an induction motor. The Fynn-Weichsel was manufactured by Wagner. What were these motors’ applications, and how large were they? What do the control circuits look like? We have no information on the “supersynchronous” machine as you describe it. As for the Fynn-Weichsel motor: It was developed by Wagner during the 1920s as a means of boosting power factor in a facility having many induction motor loads. The motor’s power factor ranges from 80% to 100% leading, changing to lagging only under severe overload. The rotor slots contain two sets of coils: a small d-c winding connected to a commutator, and a polyphase winding connected to slip rings. The stator also contains two d-c windings: main and auxiliary. The a-c line is connected to the slip ring brushes. The machine accelerates as a high-torque wound-rotor motor, with induced slipfrequency current in both stator windings. Exhibiting high pull-in torque, it then runs as a synchronous motor, with one stator winding reconnected to the commutator brushes while the second stator winding is short-circuited.

Resistance may be inserted in the stator winding circuits to adjust speed/torque characteristics. If overloaded above 150%, the motor pulls out of step, returning to induction motor operation with high stall torque. Ratings of these motors apparently ranged from seven and a half to 100 hp, four to eight poles, 220 or 440 volts. Applications were those typical for induction machines, such as fans, pumps, compressors, rolls, saws, and wire drawing.

On-off cycling the best way to conserve energy A customer of ours has a 60 hp dust collector blower that’s part of an eight-houra-day process, but the dust-producing machinery cycles on eight minutes, off three minutes, all day. That’s about seven starts per hour. Since the blower doesn’t have to run during the off periods, this customer wants to control the blower motor to save energy during the two to three hours daily that the blower isn’t needed. What about turning the motor off, then restarting it with a soft starter? Would it be better to use an adjustable-speed drive and just slow the blower down during the off cycle? The adjustable-speed drive would cost far more than a reduced-voltage starter, and even at reduced speed the motor would use more energy than it would if it were shut off. So just on-off cycling would be more cost-effective. However, six or seven starts per hour all day could be severe duty for this size motor, depending upon blower inertia,

so check that out with the motor manufacturer. A soft starter won’t save energy in itself, or reduce heat input to the motor during each start, because the energy needed to accelerate an inertia is independent of the motor’s applied torque. But if you were to add the adjustablespeed drive and operate the motor using an air flow set point in the blower, the reduced speed of the motor could unload the motor enough to get some energy savings. This would take some amount of engineering work to do. Plus, there may be some rebates available from local utilities that would subsidize the conversion.

Higher motor efficiency doesn’t always pay Supermarket freezer cases usually use shaded-pole single-phase motors on the air circulating fans. Motor efficiency is quite low. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to use capacitor-start motors, which are much more efficient, instead? One store can have a lot of these. Although operating efficiency is indeed much higher, the capacitor motors (at much higher initial cost) are subject to capacitor failure. Periodic replacement cost can eat up the energy savings. Also, the capacitors may need to be special units to provide sufficient capacitance at low temperature. If you do change out motors, be careful to match the motor speed, because if the new motor is faster than the old one, it will run at a higher load and require motor energy for operation. EA Edited by the EA staff

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Associations — starline / Freepik illustration

Better business through accreditation Certification can enhance an individual’s career prospects. Likewise, accreditation can enhance a company’s stature and prospects in the broader market. Manufacturers and service providers benefit from earning a stamp of approval from one respected industry standards-setter or another. Several associations serving the electrical industry fulfill this need, offering accreditation that manufacturers and service providers — as well as their customers — have come to rely on. One of these organizations is the American Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Under its Conformity Assessment Certification and Accreditation program, ASME offers two types of accreditation: for authorized agencies that inspect ASME certificate holders, and for laboratories that perform capacity certification tests of pressure-relief devices. Holders of the credentials, according to ASME, can discover new market opportunities, attain “global trust and recognition,” improve operational efficiency, and level the playing field among market players. One accreditation many Electrical Apparatus readers are familiar with is that offered by the Electrical Apparatus Service Association. EASA applies its considerable authority in the industry to confirm that certain providers of electromechanical repair and service measure up to standards of quality. A company needn’t be a member of EASA to become accredited. Prominent among factors considered for EASA accreditation is whether or not an applicant conforms to practices that assure electric motor efficiency is maintained during rewind. As guidelines, EASA uses ANSI/ EASA AR100: Recommended Practice for the Repair of Rotating Electrical Apparatus, as well as the Good Practice

Guide based on the 2019 and 2003 Rewind Studies of premium efficiency, energy efficient, IE2, and IE3 motors, by EASA and the U.K.’s Association of Electrical and Mechanical Trades. Companies that apply for EASA accreditation undergo third-party evaluation “to assure that they are using prescribed good practices to maintain motor efficiency and reliability during electrical and mechanical repairs of electric motors,” according to the association. Audits are conducted by independent third-party auditors, of which there are several around the world. Service providers that pass the steps to accreditation become listed on EASA’s website and may use an “EASA-accredited” logo on their letterheads and promotional materials. There are other benefits as well, such as a printed certificate and the right to place serialized EASA Accredited Repair labels on repaired machines. Recent decades have seen an increase worldwide in efficiency requirements for industrial and commercial pumps. With this has come a need for laboratories to test pumps to confirm that they meet efficiency standards. In response to this need, the Hydraulic Institute has stepped up to offer pump testing lab accreditation. The association created its Pump Test Laboratory Approval Program in order to verify that the testing of rotodynamic pumps conforms to the standards of regulatory agencies and power administrations. Many of these, in turn, provide rebates for pumps that meet certain performance standards. The Pump Test Laboratory Program establishes an audit and inspection protocol with which these agencies and administrations must demonstrate themselves to be in compliance. Pump manufacturers benefit by developing repeatable pump testing processes and earning the right to display certificates of approval and logos on their products. Specifiers and end-users gain by knowing which pumps meet accepted industry standards. A pump test lab audit isn’t a one-time deal. “Qualified laboratories agree to periodic audits of their facilities to determine their competency to test and rate pumps according to test standards,” according to the Hydraulic Institute, which maintains a list of pump test laboratories currently in compliance with test standards.






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Some younger associations representing newer technologies are seeking authorization to apply their imprimatur to organizations or processes. One such association is the American Clean Power Association, which last August filed a petition with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seeking a technical conference on capacity accreditation. Capacity accreditation refers to the process of identifying which resources will be available, under which circumstances, and determining which can support “a clean, reliable, and affordable electricity system.” “As the electric grid changes to include more wind, solar, and energy storage, it’s become increasingly important to make sure that our capacity accreditation methods keep pace,” said Carrie Zalewski, the association’s vice president of markets and transmission. “Grid operators and [the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission] have been addressing these issues primarily on a regional basis, but the clean energy industry believes it’s time for FERC to look at many of these issues more broadly.” Filing the petition with the federal regulatory agency was the first step towards holding open discussions to identify “the best possible capacity accreditation methods” so the reliability of all resources, including renewables and storage, “can be accurately accounted for,” Zalewski said. It’s not just private organizations that offer accreditation. The federal government has gotten into the act as well. Under the popular Energy Star program, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Dept. of Energy have come together to provide information about the energy-efficiency of a number of categories of electrical products. But Energy Star isn’t just for small discrete items like household appliances. Entire industrial plants can be certified as well, confirming to suppliers and buyers that a plant meets or exceeds federal standards of efficiency. Both commercial buildings and industrial plants have been registered under Energy Star. Among industrial facilities, one will find plants operated by the likes of Marathon Petroleum Corp., Honda, Nissan, Merck, Toyota, General Motors, and ExxonMobil Corp. So whether you’re seeking confirmation that a product, process, or facility is in line with accepted efficiency or quality standards, an organization likely exists that will provide it. — Kevin Jones EA

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Speaking Of . . . Digital fraud takes a diabolical turn New types of fraud are emerging constantly, and they’ve continued to adapt to new aspects of a digitized world. EA Contributing Editor Bill Wiersema, in his March 2021 article, proved prescient when he offered advice on guarding yourself against digital thieves. In that article (“Protecting against cyber criminals”), Bill wrote, “Unfortunately, ever-more sophisticated data management means more sophisticated opportunities for fraud.” This has been the case in the two years since then, during which time cyber fraud has gotten worse in a number of ways and expanded in areas such as ransomware, cryptocurrency, and banking apps on smartphones. The latter of these has proven especially jarring since it sometimes involves in-person robberies on the street. Multiple recent reports from cities including Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, Austin, and Denver indicate that a common aspect of modern stickups is to demand a person’s phone in addition to their wallet and/or credit cards and cash. Whereas the traditional “give me all your money” during an armed robbery still serves as that crime’s backbone, it is now supplemented by the hopes of exponential gains from demanding someone’s smartphone passcode and forcing them to open their bank account app on that phone. This process usually takes only a few seconds, which can be expedited when the person being robbed is held at gunpoint. At most, robbers can demand the victim place their fingerprint or facial recognition shot to access the phone itself, then type in their PIN code for the particular app if needed alongside the previous methods of verification. Once the criminals are in the app, they can take the phone themselves and send as much money as possible through apps and functions like Zelle, PayPal, Venmo, CashApp, and Apple Cash. Some reports are referring to

the new method of robberies as “bank jackings,” and the payoff is often $1,000 or more when criminals tap directly into people’s bank accounts. In Chicago, the robbers often wear the kinds of masks that have been common since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. So, even when the police can trace where a money transfer ended up from someone’s phone, the victim often can’t identify the assailant. Holdups increased more than 25% in Chicago in 2023 from 2022. The number of bank jackings isn’t clear, because the Chicago Police Dept. doesn’t list them as a separate category of robberies. Zelle is a digital payments network run by a firm owned by banks that include JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and U.S. Bank. Offered by more than 2,100 banks and credit unions, it covers more than 80% of personal and small-business accounts in the U.S. Users enrolled in the Zelle app can send and request money by adding another person’s phone number or e-mail address, a cash amount, and a memo showing what the money is for. Payments typically are then available in minutes, but financial institutions set different limits for how much cash can be transferred each day and month. In 2022, Zelle users sent 2.3 billion payments totaling more than $629 billion. Unfortunately, with every new convenience such as Zelle and similar cash apps, thieves find ways to exploit the weaknesses of the apps for their own criminal purposes. — Charlie Barks EA

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Know Your Industry Offering much more than luck U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship Founded: 1981 Headquarters: 100 N. Merchant St., Decatur, Ill. 62523 Annual dues: $185 regular, $95 student, and membership bundles Phone: (202) 381-9330 Website: www.usasbe.org Scrabble Night at my house growing up meant business. My mom and I even had a Scrabble dictionary. Eventually no one besides my mom and I would play Scrabble because my dad liked to make up words and my sisters said my mom and I took too long for our turn. For them, Scrabble was a game of luck; the tiles you randomly draw dictate how well you do. For my mom and me, it was a chance to use strategy to outwit your luck, and we could play for hours, trying to anticipate each other’s moves. Likewise, entrepreneurs and business owners often have a Scrabble mentality. Some luck is involved, but a lot of it is strategy, which brings us to the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, or USASBE. The organization provides education, scholarship opportunities, and tools for business strategy. The National Council for Small Business Management Development, formed in 1955, is the grandfather organization of the USASBE. Around the same time, the U.S.

government established the Small Business Administration. Each year the annual meetings were hosted at university and college campuses until the final meeting in 1981 at Baylor University. Eventually the NCSBMD evolved into the International Council for Small Business with the inclusion of more international members in the 1970s. The USA affiliate of the ICSB changed its name to the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship in 1981 and began updating the organization’s structure to differ from the ICSB and look more like the USASBE as we know it. In the early years of the USASBE, the annual national conference was the primary financial source for the organization’s operation costs. The 2008 financial crisis was the catalyst for the USASBE to utilize its entrepreneurial spirit and create a strategy for its future — entering what the organization’s website history describes as “a period of strategic survival.” The association began to build the membership benefits to bolster USASBE as the principal academic organization devoted to entrepreneurial education. Members now have access to special interest groups, certification courses, educational materials like a Teaching Hub and webinars, and more. The special interest groups are member forums aligned with professional topics. They’re intended as much for networking as for sharing of ideas and experiences. They are “organized, in coordination with the association, to encourage information and knowledge exchange and development of special programs addressing the specific mission of the group and are open to all association members,” according to the organization. There are special interest groups recognized by USASBE for small businesses and family businesses, among others. Each has space on the USASBE website for members to connect. Three certification programs are available to members, for Social Entrepreneurship, Hospitality, and Rural Entrepreneurship Education. The Social Entrepreneurship Certificate is available as an online or hybrid course.

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When completed, it confirms that a USASBE member is equipped to design and teach social entrepreneurship classes. Participants receive usable materials like case studies, PowerPoint presentations, sample syllabi, and classroom exercises. The Rural Entrepreneurship Education certificate program is an “immersive research retreat” that takes place in Italy, according to USASBE. The program “is designed to introduce educators, municipal leaders, and economic developers to the expanding research and efforts to bolster rural ecosystems.” You may be wondering why Italy was chosen for this program outside of the instructor wanting a vacation. The USASBE team explains that the isolated ecosystems are a key to understanding the nuance of rural communities. Beyond the certification programs, the USASBE still hosts its annual conference. The most recent one, in Birmingham, Ala., in January, was to include 47 sessions and an exhibition. The sessions were broken down by type, with summits, breakout sessions, keynote speakers, book signing, and learning journeys. Some of the sessions were to be sponsored by exhibitors, while others were hosted by a USASBE special interest group. (The conference was scheduled for Jan. 9-14, after this issue of Electrical Apparatus went to press.) Advancing technology was to play a major role in this year’s conference: from technology start-up speakers to sessions on experiential learning powered by artificial intelligence. (AI really is everywhere.) The four-hour summit was expected to share a case study of integrat-

The U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship holds a conference each year that combines educational sessions and an exhibition. This year’s conference was scheduled to be held in Birmingham, Ala., Jan. 9-14. Pictured here is a previous year’s conference. — USASBE photo

ing AI into community research and to encourage attendees to consider the benefits of AI in entrepreneurial education. Also on the agenda was a virtual conference option for attendees who might not be able to travel, though learning journeys and summits are not part of the virtual conference. Many of USASBE’s resources are designed for members with education backgrounds, and the value for small business owners is the opportunity to network with other small business owners. They can share experiences and ideas to help shape their businesses. Like Scrabble Night at my house, strategy is very much a part of entrepreneurship. Luck may not be teachable, but organizations like the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship have an abundance of experience and materials to help your business prepare for its next steps. — Kristine Weller EA

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Plant Happenings Holy Toledo Mobis North America will invest $13,800,000 to locate a new manufacturing plant in Toledo, Ohio, that will assemble battery systems for electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Mobis expects that the plant will create 185 manufacturing jobs. The Ohio Tax Credit Authority has approved a Job Creation Tax Credit for the company. Construction is already underway on the new plant, with production planned to start in August. The investment in the new state-ofthe-art facility expands Mobis’s electrification capabilities and bolsters the company’s sustainability and environmentalism efforts.

amorphous cores for transformers, which are the company’s main products.

Plasser-by Chesapeake, Va.-based Plasser American announced its opening and ribbon cutting at its new 82,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, located in its hometown, on Oct. 5. Plasser makes railway track maintenance equipment, such as its well-known tamping machines. The company has grown from a small operation with five employees in 1961 to now more than 300 employees, and it continues to expand.

No Quit in this company

AES fulfills New Year’s resolution

State and local leaders recently joined economic development officials and employees of transformer maker Howard Industries in Quitman, Miss., as the manufacturing company cut the ribbon on a new 180,000-square-foot facility. The new facility will employ about 200 people when fully operational, with about 60 employees already on board. Howard Industries is working to bring in the remaining equipment and machinery it needs, with an estimated six months or so before the plant is fully online. Michael Howard, CEO of Howard Industries, said the Quitman plant will make

Redondo Beach, Calif., started off 2024 with a long-awaited event for residents. The AES Redondo Beach power plant is no longer producing energy for the Southland. The AES Corp. decommissioned the generating station, which has operated for more than 100 years under various owners, on Sunday, Dec. 31 — something for which the city had spent decades lobbying. AES announced earlier in 2023 that it would stop using the Redondo Beach site at the end of the year. The plant ran on an as-needed basis, sending power throughout the state when demand called for it. — Charlie Barks EA


02PlantHappenings.indd 1

1/5/2024 9:29:54 AM

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12/21/2021 11/16/2022 1/6/2023 12:22:06 11:58:54 6:46:12 PM AM PM

Business Electrical manufacturers among participants at UN climate meeting The 28th annual United Nations Climate Change Conference, better known as COP28, was held last Nov. 30 through Dec. 12 in Expo City, Dubai, and among the many scientists, academics, government functionaries, and others who flocked to the event were representatives of several manufacturers and suppliers to the electrical industry. Toshiba Corp. and Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corp. exhibited what Toshiba described as “cutting-edge technologies” that are “contributing to the global goal of achieving carbon neutrality.” One of these technologies, christened SCiB, is a lithium-ion rechargeable battery that’s said to offer performance characteristics that overcome challenges confronted by conventional batteries. The other Toshiba technology exhibited at COP28 was AEROXIA, an alternative to sulfur hexafluoride in gas-insulated switchgear. Sulfur hexafluoride is known for helping to make transformers compact and easier to maintain, but when released into the earth’s atmosphere, the gas is estimated to be 20,000 more effective at trapping heat than the equivalent volume CO2. Meanwhile, global automation software and technology company Emerson was among those lending their voices and expertise to various conversations. The company’s chief sustainability officer, Mike Train, and Middle East and Africa president, Mathias Schinzel, participated in events intended to advance the global discourse on sustainability and the role businesses like Emerson will play in shaping the future of energy. At a Student Energy Summit, Schinzel participated in what’s said to be the world’s largest youth energy event, organized by New York University Abu Dhabi around the theme of “Reimagine the Future of Energy.” At a Sustainable Innovation Forum, Train participated in a panel discussion on how data, digitalization, and artificial intelligence can be used to accelerate business models that support “sustainable circularity” — the practice of returning resources back to the earth after useful energy has been extracted from them. Then, at another event, Train shared insights on putting automation to work toward optimized, more sustainable operations in pursuit of decarbonization. Finally, during a Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit, Train joined a panel of speakers to talk about particular innovations in renewable energy. French electrical manufacturer Schneider Electric was present in the Green Zone at the Technology & Innovation Hub of the expo. In a statement issued prior to the conference, Schneider Electric CEO Peter Herweck wrote that governments can’t confront climate challenges alone. “The corporate sector needs to be part of the action, and there’s a lot more companies can do to get us towards net-zero emissions faster,” he said. Herweck pointed out that alternative energy sources such as solar, wind, and tidal power aren’t the only routes to reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by industrial processes; plenty of methods of improving energy efficiency — such as automation software — already exist.

— U.S. Dept. of State graphic

Also present at COP 28 were representatives of two companies of General Electric. Among them was Scott Strazik, CEO of GE Vernova, who vowed that “our innovative technologies are poised to create more sustainable energy today and tomorrow.” GE Vernova, scheduled to spin off from GE later this year, “remains resolute in its mission to electrify the world while simultaneously working to decarbonize it, particularly within the framework of COP28,” according to GE. As part of something called the Corporate Coalition for Innovation and Technology Toward Net Zero, GE and nine other industrial companies agreed to support governments, non-governmental organizations, and other “stakeholders” in harnessing technology to “help address climate change,” GE said. GE Vernova, along with GE Aerospace, the other GE business that’s soon to be spun off from GE, showcased a number of initiatives and technologies at GE’s COP28 exhibit. Among them was a 3.4 MW onshore wind turbine, the newest of GE’s 54,000 installed wind turbines. As bright and cheery as all of this sounds, not everyone was thrilled to see these giants of electrical manufacturing strutting their stuff at COP28. “The COP28 presidency has placed the private sector at its center unlike the organizers of any previous U.N. climate talks,” explained Justin Worland, moderator of one COP28 discussion, in the Dec. 8 issue of Time magazine. “In doing so, it is forcing COP participants to grapple with the thorny question of just how corporations can or should fit into the annual conference.” Some rued the absence of a single voice that could speak for the entire industrial sector, which to critics sounded at COP28 more like a disunified chorus. Others saw the presence of “some of the biggest emitters” as a “cheapening of the process,” Worland wrote. (Climate snobbery is apparently a thing.) UN climate conferences were conceived nearly 30 years ago as gatherings of countries, not corporations, but industrial interests have played a greater and greater role in them, particularly in settings like Dubai, which is known as a global hub of wheeling and dealing. Making matters more awkward is that when such large public and private interests come together, there’s a lot of money sloshing around. The United Arab Emirates, for example, “launched a $30 billion climate fund with top financial services companies to invest in clean technology, with a commitment to set aside some of that funding to flow to the Global South,” Worland wrote. The amount of sub rosa dealing that goes on, with private-sector players angling behind the scenes to jump to the more lucrative public side, can only be guessed at. To a cynic, an event like COP28 might look like a bustling bazaar in which the commodity being traded is climate virtue. Still, as Worland pointed out in his Time piece, the corporate participants at the conference didn’t have a lot of money immediately at stake; this was more about enhancing brands with a view toward the long game. If nothing else, a climate summit like COP28 is a place where the public and private energy sectors can keep a wary eye on each other. — Kevin Jones EA


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Utilities Some business customers express displeasure with electric utilities Business customers of U.S. electric utilities were recently polled about their satisfaction with their electricity service, and the news isn’t good: A combination of high prices and a sense that utilities are sometimes indifferent to customer concerns has pushed customer satisfaction to an all-time low. That’s according to J.D. Power, the data analytics, software, and consumer intelligence company, which made public the results of its survey this past November. The 2023 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study, which marked the project’s 25th year, measured the satisfaction among business customers of 79 U.S. electric utilities. Only utilities serving more than 50,000 business customers were polled. Together, the utilities subjected to the evaluation provide electricity to more than 12 million customers. On a 1,000-point scale, customers on average rated their electricity service at 754. If there’s any good news in this, it’s that while the costs of generating electricity lie, for the most part, beyond the control of utilities, there are things utilities can do to improve customers’ perceptions of the industry. The positive steps utilities can take, according to the survey’s authors, have mainly to do with communication. “There is not a lot that electric utilities can do to reduce costs, but they can offset the negative sentiment their business customers are feeling by ramping up communications, delivering more personalized service, and making sure customers are aware of infrastructure improvements,” said Adrian Chung, J.D. Power’s director for utilities intelligence. “Right now,” Chung went on to say, “far too many business customers are not receiving proactive outreach, including power outage updates. They are largely unaware of tree trimming and other infrastructure improvement projects, and they have no dedicated service when they contact their utility for service. Utilities need to establish a stronger collaboration with these highvalue customers.” The survey highlighted four primary findings: > “Personalization and proactive outreach make a difference.” Simply providing updates about outages and other service disruptions can have beneficial results. About 71% of respondents said their utility did not provide enough updates, but of the 29% of customers who did receive them, the satisfaction rate was 62 percentage points higher than for those who didn’t. > “Awareness of infrastructure maintenance declines.” The percentage of business customers who say their utility does “a good job” of maintaining infrastructure declined 4% compared with the previous year’s survey. Overall satisfaction was down 20 points, and satisfaction with power quality and reliability was down 13 points. > “Can’t hide from higher prices.” This is one area in which communication is vitally important. Although customer satisfaction with the price of electricity was down 38 points, “the effect is less severe when customers receive advance notice to prepare for rate increases, the utility provides ways to reduce bills, and there is

— Image created by Adobe generative AI

awareness of budget billing options or assistance programs,” according to the survey. Warning customers about price increases is worth whatever expense might be incurred in doing so. > “EV charging ports help boost business customer satisfaction.” Having an EV charging port increasingly matters to businesses; 60% said it’s “somewhat important” or “very important.” Moreover, proactiveness on this front appears to have a positive spillover effect on a customer’s perception of a utility overall. The benefit appears to be psychological as well as economic. “Price satisfaction among businesses with EV chargers is 93 points higher than among those with no chargers installed,” the survey further states. Apparently, business customers appreciate having tangible evidence that their utility at least is doing something for them. Looking at the assembled data in a more favorable light, the survey listed the most positively perceived electric utilities by region and size: > East Large (a tie): Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. (for a second consecutive year) and Public Service Enterprise Group, Inc. > East Midsize: Atlantic City Electric (for a second consecutive year). > Midwest Large: MidAmerican Energy. Midwest Midsize: Indiana Michigan Power. > South Large: Alabama Power. > South Midsize: Jacksonville Electric Authority. > West Large: Salt River Project (for a third consecutive year). > West Midsize: Seattle City Light (for a second consecutive year). A close look at any of these top-rated utilities provides a clue as to the kinds of services business customers expect. At MidAmerican Energy, for example, business customers will find not only a staff dedicated to helping businesses both large and small manage their accounts but also a menu of landlord services, options for billing, and guides to programs and rebates for energy efficiency. Under something called EconomicAdvantage365, MidAmerican Energy says it seeks to support not only the welfare of individual businesses but also the economic development of entire communities. Financially healthy businesses, MidAmerican understands, rely on financially healthy neighbors and customers. The utility will also help business customers with financial assistance, promising — as the utility rather extremely puts it — to be “obsessively, relentlessly at your service.” Given the apparent difficulty of satisfying business customers in a time of high energy costs, being “obsessive and relentless” may currently be the only route for electric utilities to take. — Kevin Jones EA


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1/3/2024 3:39:50 PM

Feature | Pump It Up

Pump ratings adopted by federal and California agencies How the Hydraulic Institute’s pump Energy Rating program is being folded into government-run incentive plans By Kevin Jones, EA Senior Editor In a development that further solidifies the Hydraulic Institute’s position as one of the world’s preeminent organizations supporting providers to the pump and water-management industries, two government agencies — one federal, one state — have recognized the Institute’s Energy Rating program and are making the program part of their incentive rebate plans. The U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Extended Product Systems Rebate Program, which has $10 million in available funding, and California’s Statewide Water Infrastructure and System Efficiency Program, which has $1.5 million in available rebates, have both begun integrating the Energy Rating program into their qualifying criteria for earning rebates, the Institute announced in early December. The Institute’s Energy Rating program was launched in 2018 to make it easier for pump manufacturers and distributors “to communicate energy efficiency, support power utilities in the development and operation of energy efficiency programs, and help end users identify pumps that offer energy and cost-saving benefits,” according to the Institute. Utilities benefit from the ratings too, as the program underpins utilities’ own incentives and rebate programs. Through the Energy Rating program, providers of electric service have better guidance in attaining regulatory goals and can more easily verify the data that documents the power savings that system upgrades can bring about. Finally, the program benefits end users by making data available that immediately and succinctly summarizes the savings users can expect to realize from pump system upgrades and changes. Qualifying pumps and systems are identified in the marketplace by unique labels that show measurable comparisons of energy used, simplifying the job of the pump specifier. “The higher the energy rating, the more

The pump Energy Rating program benefits end users by making data available that immediately and succinctly summarizes the savings users can expect to realize from pump system upgrades and changes

efficient the pump,” as the Hydraulic Institute summarizes it. “For many facilities, pump systems represent the greatest opportunity for energy savings,” the Hydraulic Institute’s deputy executive director, Peter Gaydon, said in announcing the program’s adoption by the government agencies. “Therefore, the Hydraulic Institute is committed to supporting the development of pump incentive programs with the HI Energy Rating label, database, calculators, and training resources.”

The federal plan A pump’s Energy Rating, as defined by the Hydraulic Institute, is “a value that communicates the relative energy usage of a basic model compared to other basic models in its equipment category.” The rating, the Institute says, “provides an easy method to calculate comparative energy savings and the energy cost savings.” At the Dept. of Energy, the pump Energy Rating program is being integrated into the Extended Product Systems Rebates plan, which is administered by the Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains. The “extended products” covered under the plan are understood to be combinations of electric motors, electronic control, and driven load; the latter might be a pump, fan, or compressor. The way the Dept. of Energy’s pump rebate plan is currently set up, a pump user applying for a federal rebate must submit several pieces of product information, including manufacturer, model number, and serial number of the pump; confirmation that the pump will operate at least 2,000 hours per year “at least 75% of the time at or below 75% of the maximum design flow”; and the variable-load pump energy index number, or PEIVL. The Hydraulic Institute’s Energy Rating is presumably set to join this list of performance criteria.

The California plan In California, the Energy Rating program is being administered by the Statewide Water Infrastructure


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Extended Product System Rebate Applications: Pumps What You Will Need Complete details can be found in the DOE Implementation Guidance document: https://www.energy.gov/mesc/extended-product-system-rebates



(For qualified extended products: pumps)

• Manufacturer, model number, and serial number

• Confirmation that pump meets qualifications and includes an electric motor (≥1 hp) with electronic controls

• Horsepower of electric motor (on nameplate) • Confirmation that pump will operate - At least 2,000 hours/year and

(For qualified extended products: pumps)

• Purchase date

• Installation date and copy of proof of installation (e.g., receipt/invoice/contract)

• Location of installation - Zip code and census tract

• Proof of eligible purchase

- Copy of invoice/proof of payment of qualified extended product

- At least 75% of the time at or below 75% of the maximum design flow


• For purchasers of qualified pumps, include the variable load pump energy index (PEIVL)

• For owners of the redesigned commercial/ industrial

- Certification that product is DOE compliant, including basic and individual model number

• For purchasers, copy of manufacturer specification sheets

machinery or equipment, provide description of prior throttling or bypass devices and statement confirming they have been removed or disabled

• Copy or image of pump nameplate

including model number and variable load pump energy index (PEIVL)

- Include a copy of the pump energy rating label or certificate

These lists from the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains show what you need when applying for federal rebates for pump upgrades. The Hydraulic Institute’s pump Energy Rating program is being adopted not only in this federal plan but also in California’s equivalent state rebate plan. — U.S. Dept. of Energy charts

and System Efficiency Program, a third-party energy efficiency program that pays rebates to help water and wastewater customers of certain California utilities offset installation costs. The participating utilities are Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas, and San Diego Gas and Electric. Southern California Edison, on behalf of itself and the other participating utilities, has contracted with Lincus, Inc., an energy consulting and engineering firm, to design and implement an energy efficiency program that will deliver the savings that result from the use of machines and appliances proven to offer higher efficiency. The California program, as noted above, had $1.5 million available in pump rebates at the time of the December announcement; these rebates were for projects completed between September 2022 and December 2023. “Qualifying projects include water pump upgrades and variable-frequency drives with pump replacement,” the Hydraulic Institute noted in December. Rebates in that round of funding were available until the end of the year. The California plan covers pumps driven by motors 1 hp through 250 hp. Five classifications of pumps qualify: end suction close-coupled, end suction frame-mounted, in-line, vertical turbine submersible, and radially split multi-stage vertical in-line diffuser casing. Ap-

plicants for rebates are urged to submit batches of projects to maximize rebate amounts. There are also rebates available from the cooperating California utilities for the installation of variable-frequency drives on pump replacement projects. Several criteria must be met in order for the VFDs to qualify. They must be installed on new booster or well pumps or on pressurized irrigation systems, they must vary both pump pressure and flow, and they must operate a minimum of 1,000 hours per year. As with pumps, variable-frequency drives will yield the greatest rebate return if applications are submitted in batches. Now that California has adopted the Hydraulic Institute’s pump Energy Rating program, can we expect other states to follow suit? California, as we have observed before, often takes the lead in using the carrot or the stick to get residents to use less energy. Whether or not other states will pick up the Hydraulic Institute’s ratings and make them part of their own rebate programs remains to be seen. EA


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EA Reader Profile The fortune of one man and his country The year before Indian independence was declared on Aug. 14, 1947, Ivor de Souza was born in December 1946. His father, Armando de Souza, came to Bombay in 1932. An energetic, strapping nineteen-year-old from Portuguese-occupied Goa who spoke only Portuguese, full of entrepreneurial spirit and dreams, he traveled the then-unheard-of distance of 360 miles from Goa to British-occupied Bombay (since 1995 Mumbai), where his path and that of the temperamental British engineer and former boxer Mr. Silus L. Evans were soon fortuitously to cross. Armando quickly learned English and initially got by doing menial work. Presently, however, he saw an opportunity in supplying all the canteens of the British navy and army with food and produce; he even invested in a mincing machine to make sausages. A few months down the road, the machine broke, and Armando had to urgently find someone to fix it. After much time and much to do, he was finally directed to the unlikely address of Holland & Co., a firm specializing in heavy electromechanical repairs. There, a certain Silus L. Evans did indeed quickly fix the mincing machine, and since it was time to put down tools for the day, they both went across the street for a beer and a conversation. Silus informed Armando that Holland & Co. was closing and that, as a bachelor with no family in Great Britain, he wanted to stay on in India. He, the engineer, made Armando, the entrepreneur, the proposition of starting a business in partnership together in heavy electromechanical repairs. One year later, in 1947, Evans Electric Pvt. Ltd. was formed in the nascent optimism and buzzing energy of Indian independence. The cessation of British rule, the Indian government’s heavily protectionist measures, including an import ban on consumer goods, and Nehru Gandhi’s educational initiative unfettered a flurry of domestic entrepreneurial activities and creativity. Cottage industries sprang up, which would later grow into large corporations. A pioneering spirit was born of making do and mending, of trying and testing. “If something gave way or broke, you fixed it,” says Ivor de Souza fervently, “and got it going again.” Evans Electric was India’s first independent rewind workshop, and “within six months, the business just took off,” Ivor proudly smiles. As fate would have it, Ivor de Souza, Armando’s youngest son, would later train under the auspices of the hot-tempered Silus L. Evans. But there we’re jumping ahead a little in our story.

An insatiable curiosity Whilst he was growing up, Ivor was an extremely inquisitive child: “I was always curious about how things worked to the point where I had to open them up to find out what made them tick inside,” Ivor recollects and laughs. He remembers having a small wind-up toy car that he took apart when he was five or six years old. Not being able to fix it, he gave it to a craftsman down the road, and with great interest he watched as the craftsman meticulously went about his work of putting it back together again. One day at the age of seven or eight, Ivor came across a magnet, a rarity in those days, and carried it around with him, pestering everyone he could about its properties. Then, as a young teenager, he and his friends got interested in electric guitars from hearsay and pictures in magazines. Electric guitars were not to be had in India back then. And so Ivor would sneak past the irascible Silus L. Evans into the Evans Electric workshop, where he clandestinely made pickups for an electric guitar using magnets and winding coils. The other workers were only too happy to help him. “That’s where my interest first grew, with Evans Electric,” he enthusiastically recalls, “and I knew that when the time came for me to go in for higher studies, electrical engineering would be it. That’s where it all started.” In 1969, after he had completed his education and work training, Ivor joined Evans Electric full time. As an apprentice engineer, he always worked alongside another engineer or a supervisor.

Ivor de Souza, chairman of Evans Electric Ltd., has seen his personal opportunities and good fortune expand along with those of his country, India. — Photos by courtesy of Evans Electric Ltd. India

At a pre-run test of a 300 kW motor wound by Ivor and a senior technician, it was found that something was wrong. That so happened to be just around lunchtime. While the others went off to eat, Ivor quietly went back to the motor and noticed that the main terminals to the tester had been wrongly connected. He corrected the wiring without saying a word to anyone. After lunch, the motor miraculously worked perfectly, much to everyone’s surprise. But who had fixed it? Some of the workers started whispering, “de Souza’s son.” Mr. Evans, who always oversaw the pre-run motor tests, handed Ivor a piece of chalk and asked him to sketch out on the floor what he had done. After Ivor finished, Mr. Evans curtly said, “From tomorrow you come to my office and report to me.” Ivor was now under Mr. Evans’s wings. For the next five years, Ivor learned from him, and he learned quickly. Not only did Mr. Evans show him what to do practically, he also had lots of tales to tell about what he had done in his long and illustrious career. “Every story, every experience he narrated was like a learning experience to me,” Ivor fondly reminisces. In 1970, thanks to a contact of Evans’s, an ex-employee of Evans Electric by the name of Harold Neatis, who was now working for British Electric Repairs Ltd. (BERL), Ivor found himself in Great Britain for a year. “I picked up a lot there,” he recalls. “It was such an advanced place in comparison to India.” Ivor made great use of that year, eagerly and intensely observing how things were done, taking photographs of various machines, and scaling details on them by using a ballpoint pen. At that time, these machines could not be imported to India. However, when he returned to Evans


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Electric with his photographs and documentation, Ivor was actually able to duplicate the machines. “In those days, nobody bothered about copyright, and you copying this or that,” Ivor says. “Despite the competition, there was a certain camaraderie back then. It was all about sharing.” After some trial and error, 18 months later, the machines were up and running. Ivor also copied the work methodology he saw in Great Britain by replacing the one workshop that did everything at Evans Electric with different departments: “I found that very helpful and advantageous because there were no errors, no mixups, no mess . . . since with departmentalization everything is fixed in its own space.” As technical advancement in the 1970s was very rapid in Great Britain compared to India, Ivor also learned about new materials. Again, these materials could not be imported to India. However, Ivor — Generator stator repair is but one of many services provided by Evans Electric Ltd. of Mumbai. never at a loss to know what to do — took knowledge of them back with him, explaining As good fortune would have it, Rowland (Roy) Walker, who had brought to local manufacturers what was needed. In time, they EASA to Great Britain, was somehow informed of Ivor’s interest in the aswere able to develop these materials. His visit to BERL sociation. Liking Ivor’s enthusiasm, and after being told of the potential also helped with staff training. interest in EASA membership in India, Rowland sponsored Evans Electric to become one of the first members of EASA outside the U.S. and Europe in 1972. Soon other Indian companies, one from Singapore, and other compaThe need to know ‘the whole thing’ nies in the region from the Middle East to the Far East followed. “Another thing I learnt there,” Ivor recounts, “is that In 1974, Mr. Evans retired, and Ivor, as he wryly says, was “thrown into the you don’t just learn about one aspect of the repair. fire” of taking on his role as technical director. “Now the difficult part there You’ve got to know the whole thing. Of course, in the was acceptance because of my age. Going back in time, experience was grey modern era, that is unfortunately changing back into hair. Of course, things have changed now. It’s the other way around. . . . what it was where people sort of specialize in certain Back then, when I walked through the door, it used to be quite disarming to areas.” At Evans Electric, Ivor made it a point for all en- see the disappointment on people’s faces.” gineers to be universalists, and this universal teaching Still Ivor was patient, graciously accepting whatever people had to say, philosophy is still in place to this day. and by showing them what he could do and knew, he eventually won evIvor happily recounts that there was also something eryone over. In 1976, Evans Electric became the first company in India else — something to be treasured — that he took back to to successfully rewind one of the largest turbine generator stators in the India by chance: a months-old and worn copy of Elec- country at the time, using fully in-house-developed technology, materials, trical Apparatus magazine. He saw it thrown on one and processes. of the engineer’s chairs at BERL and asked if he could Thanks to a non-destructive method developed at Evans Electric for have it. “I took it with me, and I started reading it, and pinpointing earth faults, Ivor was able to get the attention and eventually it had some very interesting things”: “Let’s Solve Your convince the power station company to award the repair contract to EvProblem,” the articles by Richard Nailen, the sections ans Electric. They were so happy with the result that when the second unit on new products and new appointments, and lastly the broke down some eight months later, they immediately telefaxed Evans annual ElectroMechanical Bench Reference. “That was Electric to send its entire team there to get the generator fully rewound. worth its weight in gold,” he smiles. “Both the generators worked for forty years after we did them,” Ivor says On one of the inner pages, he came across an Electri- with pride. cal Apparatus Service Association advertisement and Ivor continued his work with EASA. In 1976, he attended the Annual membership application form. Ivor filled it out, sent it EASA Convention in London, the first-ever EASA convention to be held in, and a few weeks later he received a reply inform- outside the U.S. There the World Chapter was established, and Ivor was ing him that they were not eligible to join as they were appointed to the EASA International Public Relations committee. In 1977, located outside the U.S. and Europe. Ivor immediately Evans Electric and other Indian companies hosted the World Chapter wrote back, “What is the problem outside Europe? If meeting in Mumbai, India, and in 1979, Ivor attended the World Chapter there is anything I can do, don’t hesitate to call on me. meeting in Sydney. Please turn to next page I’ll be only too happy to oblige.”

02profile.indd 3


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EA READER PROFILE continued from previous page

Under Ivor’s directorship, Evans Electric grew and adopted a lot of changes, new designs, new ways of doing things, both out of interest and necessity. “We were always trying things out. We would hear about things, but we couldn’t import them because of the import ban.” The protectionist measures that had been in place since independence and had supported domestic growth were now stifling change. “There was always this ‘You can’t.’ You’re struggling. You want to lift something up, but ‘You can’t’” he says with some of the frustration he must have felt back then. In 1981, Ivor finally decided to accept a position at Westinghouse International Services Division in Sydney, not knowing what the future would hold for India. Joining Westinghouse also meant that he had to leave the EASA team. Still, working for Westinghouse was a once-ina-lifetime opportunity. Besides his insatiable desire to learn, Ivor wanted to see if he could link Evans Electric to this corporate giant or bring something new back to India as he had done from BERL. Not for want of trying, nothing, however, came of these plans. Then, in the late eighties, hearing of a rumored takeover of Westinghouse by Siemens, Ivor left Westinghouse. With the same assiduousness with which he always approaches everything he does, Ivor started his own company, IDS Electrical Technologies Pty. Ltd., in Sydney.

Back to India for a new beginning In 1998, Ivor returned to India to take care of the affairs of his father, who had just passed away. A year went by, and Ivor decided to take on the role of managing director at Evans Electric Pvt. Ltd., mindful of the anxious and

EASA World Chapter attendees in Mumbai in 1977.

— Photo by courtesy of Evans Electric Ltd. India

To date, Evans Electric Ltd. has done almost 20,000 jobs, and under Ivor’s guidance, the company has grown to become more than a family business worried workforce and with a mind to India’s “emerging as a potential industrial powerhouse.” The protectionist trade barriers had been successively lifted in the 1990s, which had led to an opening-up of the economy. There was a feeling of promise again in the air, heralding a new beginning, like it had been forty-eight years earlier at the start of Evans Electric. Equally important for his decision was also the fact that manufacturing in Australia had been declining through the nineties as it was successively transferred to China. There was no business for repairs. “India was the better bet, and I think that I made the right bet,” Ivor unpretentiously says. In 2004, Evans Electric accepted a contract which no company anywhere in the world was able or even dared to undertake. It involved the complete rewind of one of four C.A. Parsons 33 kV rated, 50 MW, turbine generator stators, commissioned in the 1960s, operating in a peak-load generating power station in Kolkata on India’s east coast. As fortune would have it, Ivor was already acquainted with these generators because of a conversation he recalled having with Silus L. Evans after he returned from BERL in the early seventies: “I went there and had a look at it, it was exactly like what Evans had described. . . . The 33 kV frightens you for what it is, but in reality it’s just three 11 kV systems in tandem. . . . I knew it could be easily fixed.” To date, Evans Electric Ltd. has done almost 20,000 jobs. (The same serial numbering system has been in place since the founding of the company.) Under Ivor’s guidance, the company has grown to become more than a family business. Twenty years after he took over the helm, the company applied for listing on the Bombay Stock Exchange. It was immediately placed in the top ranking for listing. It was listed in 2019, and Ivor was appointed chairman. In order to take the company to the next level of development, they are currently looking at strategic partners. “The potential now with what the company has and what is possible with India, the way it’s going, is phenomenal. Because all this is on our doorstep.” Ivor’s fortune, which has taken him far from his beginnings as an apprentice engineer, is finely interwoven with that of Evans Electric Ltd., a publicly listed company that started because of the serendipitous meeting of two men, and India, a once protectionist country that is set to become the world’s third-largest economy by 2027. It is all, as Ivor zestfully says, “a work in progress.” — Colin Gregory-Moores EA


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Calendar Update your calendar with these upcoming trade shows, conferences, and other events.

• February 13-15, 2024 — Wiring Harness Global Leadership Summit, Embassy Suites Myrtle Beach Oceanfront. Wiring Harness Manufacturer’s Association, https://annualconference.whma.org. • February 25-29, 2024 — Hydraulic Institute 2024 Annual Conference, Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. The Hydraulic Institute, www.pumps.org/conferences. • February 26-March 1, 2024 — PowerTest 2024, Hilton Anatole, Dallas, Tex. InterNational Electrical Testing Association, www.powertest.org/powertest/home. • April 7-9, 2024 — EGSA Spring Conference, Hyatt Regency Miami, Miami, Fla. Electrical Generating Systems Association, https://egsa.org/Events/Future-Con ferences. • April 15-17, 2024 — NECA Emerge 2024, MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nev. National Electrical Contractors Association, www.necanet.org/events. • April 19-20, 2024 — PEARL Annual Conference and Exhibition, Westin Denver Downtown, Denver, Colo. The Professional Electrical Apparatus Reconditioning League, https://pearl1.org/2024-confer ence. • April 22-26, 2024 — Hannover Messe 2024, Hannover Fairgrounds, Hannover, Germany. Deutsche Messe AG, www.han novermesse.de/en. • May 6-9, 2024 — CleanPower 2024, Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, Minn. American Clean Power Association, https://cleanpower.org/events/ cleanpower-2024-conference-exhibition.

• May 14-16, 2024 — CWIEME Berlin, Messe Berlin, Berlin, Germany. Coil Winding, Insulation & Electrical Manufacturing Exhibition, https://berlin.cwiemeevents. com/Home. • May 21-23, 2024 — National Association of Electrical Distributors 2024 National Meeting, JW Marriott Austin, Austin, Tex. National Association of Electrical Distributors, www.naed.org/nationalmeeting. • June 22-24, 2024 — 2024 ASHRAE Annual Conference, JW Marriott Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Ind. American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and AirConditioning Engineers, www.ashrae.org/ conferences/2024-annual-conference-indi anapolis. • June 23-26, 2024 — EASA Convention 2024, Caesars Forum and Harrah’s Casino Hotel, Las Vegas, Nev. Electrical Apparatus Service Association, https:// easa.com/convention. • August 7-9, 2024 — Safety 2024 Conference & Expo, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Denver, Colo. American Society of Safety Professionals, https:// safety.assp.org. • September 9-14, 2024 — IMTS 2024, McCormick Place, Chicago. International Manufacturing Technology Show, www. imts.com. • September 15-17, 2024 — EGSA Fall Conference, Hyatt Regency Bellevue, Bellevue, Wash. Electrical Generating Systems Association, https://egsa.org/Events/ Future-Conferences. • September 15-18, 2024 — Power 2024, Washington, D.C. [venue to be announced]. American Society of Mechanical Engineers, https://event.asme.org/power.

• September 19, 2024 — Golf Day 2024, Portal Golf & Spa Resort, Tarporley, Cheshire, U.K. British Pump Industry Association, www.bpma.org.uk/home. • October 7-10, 2024 — The Battery Show North America, Huntington Place, Detroit, Mich. The Battery Show, www.the batteryshow.com/en/home.html. • October 15-17, 2024 — Fabtech 2024, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla. Fabtech Event Partners, www.fabtechexpo.com. • October 28-30, 2024 — Offshore Windpower Conference & Exhibition, Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, N.J. American Clean Power Association, https://cleanpower.org/offshore-wind power. • January 22-24, 2025 — AHR Expo, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla. The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute, www.ahrexpo. com. • July 19-22, 2025 — EASA Convention 2025, Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, Nashville, Tenn. Electrical Apparatus Service Association, https://easa.com/convention. EA Edited by Kevin Jones

Visitors to the annual convention of the Hydraulic Institute at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., later this month may decide they don’t want to go home.

— Marriott Bonvoy photo


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Feature | Plant Life

A fresh look at IoT The Internet of Things has steadily made its way into manufacturing plants, distribution facilities, utilities, and repair shops By Bill O’Leary, EA Contributing Writer Technology ebbs and flows with such volatility that what was once considered disruptive, innovative, and assumed to one day be a fixture of our personal and professional lives has drifted into the ether, becoming nothing more than a trivia question or a buried Wikipedia entry. However, one innovation that has shown remarkable staying power is the Internet of Things, or IoT for short. IoT is an interwoven network of physical products such as sensors that use software and internet connectivity to collect and exchange data. Its modern iteration is often attributed to Kevin Ashton, a British technologist, who used the title “Internet of Things” in a 1999 presentation on physical objects using the internet through RFID tags and sensors. Around 2010, with the development of more sophisticated sensors and tracking software, IoT began extending its digital tendrils throughout the healthcare and factory automation industries.

improved logistics and inventory management, reducing downstream holding costs and delivery times. The technology also monitors energy use, manufacturing efficiency, and raw materials and components tracking. And this is reason #1 for IoT’s longevity. Its pliability has allowed its implementation across not only a variety of industries but also a number of complex business processes. Essentially, IoT diversified its portfolio, and as new and more intricate machines hit the market like 3-D printers and more advanced production line robots, the sensors and software of IoT, its physical and ephemeral spine, were able to morph to suit those specific and evolved needs. Over the past few years, IoT has migrated from machines to man. Wearable devices with Bluetooth technology can monitor workers’ safety and health in real-time. Even consumer devices like Apple Watches and Fitbits track blood oxygen levels and heart and respiratory rates. For the field service technicians, IoT wearables also track exposure to hazardous conditions and can be programmed to provide emergency alerts, providing a healthy workforce and keeping OSHA at bay.

IoT’s place in plants

What lies ahead for IoT

In manufacturing plants, distribution facilities, utilities, and repair shops, IoT has been used to monitor the health of equipment, track the productivity of specific process steps and serve as a vital predictive maintenance tool. IoT sensors collect data on machinery such as robotic welding systems, CNC machines, and injection molding equipment to identify irregularities and signal potential breakdowns before they happen, reducing costly downtime and repairs. IoT is used in the electromechanical industry for this very same reason. The technology is applied to motors and generators to monitor vibration, energy use, temperature, and other factors that influence performance. Remote monitoring of electromechanical systems is also possible through IoT with internet-connected devices, giving operators and managers the ability to track performance levels and set up customized alerts on specific anomalies and process outliers. Supply chain improvements are also the breadand-butter of IoT - whether it’s manufacturing a motor or related components or having electromechanical products powering various stages of your process. The vast data sets produced can lead to

With that said, where will the durable IoT go from here? What is the State of the IoT Union, not just for 2024 but beyond? As IoT has shown a flexibility in application to new technology, a more detailed fusion with artificial intelligence and machine learning makes sense. IoT tracking software and data can be fed into large and nuanced AI/ML algorithms to produce more targeted predictive analytics and enhanced decision-making, especially in automation. As the 5G mobile telecommunications network brings faster speeds and expanded reach, IoT should be able to piggyback off this with increased performance and capabilities. Quicker real-time data collected by sensors and fed to tracking software will lead to accelerated visibility on production health. This enhanced view should also lead to a more detailed focus on maintaining a sustainable and energy-efficient process. Along with worker and machine health, IoT has grown its capabilities in tracking climate-related data such as temperature and air quality. Any erratic fluctuations can be monitored and addressed to avoid overheated machines or damaged components from dust and sediment. Industrial Internet of Things networks can also better optimize resource consumption and ensure energy efficiency, keeping those utility costs in check and creating a sustainable and strong process along a number of dimensions. Here’s a fun one: Ever hear of digital twins? These are virtual replicas of physical systems or objects that allow for simulations to test capacity across manufacturing, healthcare, and infrastructure applications.


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— Ico Maker / Shutterstock illustration

You’re essentially creating a video game version of your current process and using it to monitor, analyze, and experiment without the repercussions of damaging your physical environment. Sensors and other data sources deliver continuous updates to that digital twin, to best reflect the current state. How about edge computing? Along with accelerated, real-time data capture, more focus will be put on improving the physical distance between IoT systems and the “source” — i.e., data-tracking devices and sensors. It allows for data storage and computation to be brought closer to the piece of machinery or process step of interest reducing latency, improving response times, and minimizing bandwidth. This physical improvement layered against a 5G network should give IoT a significant jolt in performance. Translation: faster, faster, faster.

What about security? The future is not without its challenges. Cybersecurity is arguably the biggest concern that needs to be addressed by managers and IoT product designers. As the technology has improved, so too has the hacking abilities of bad actors. A well-timed invasion can completely halt a process or lead to theft of important intellectual property. Stronger firewalls and other online security measures will need to evolve in tandem with IoT. Also, while data collection and management tools have certainly advanced over time, there still are ar

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eas for improvement. In many roads and alleys of IoT, there is a lack of standardization of communication interfaces, sensor models, and related software, making system integration difficult to achieve. Yet, as the data collection and tracking opportunities continue to expand, a bolstered data and analytics infrastructure is needed to properly handle the massive volumes of more easily gathered data. Battery life and power consumption of IoT devices will also need enhancements to extend performance. While optimizing energy efficiency and creating a sustainable production process are huge benefits of IoT, those improvements are for naught if high energy costs from heightened power consumption and weak batteries replace those gains. Finally, and perhaps most relevant to managers, there is a skills gap that needs to be filled. Professionals with the ability to design and implement IoT products and services are in high demand and something of a rare commodity at the moment. Increased attention on teaching existing employees these important skills is a realistic measure for a manager to take. And with the Internet of Things showing a level of endurance, prevalence, and progression not often seen in technology, manufacturing, and repair sectors, getting in while the getting’s good and doesn’t seem like too crazy of an idea, does it? EA

Professionals with the ability to design and implement IoT products and services are in high demand and something of a rare commodity at the moment ELECTRICAL APPARATUS | FEBRUARY 2024 25

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Feature | Training & Education

The self-directed learner Find the resources you need to take charge of your own career development By Bill O’Leary, EA Contributing Writer About five years ago, I received very strong advice: Be an autodidact — i.e., a self-taught person. And the deliverer of this message? A marketing professor in my MBA program. Being a life-long learner can enhance your career in a number of ways: by expanding your competencies and performance in your current role or paving the way for advancement to additional jobs and opportunities. Much of this work has to be self-directed. While company-assigned courses are common across a variety of industries, what truly sets an employee apart is one who actively pursues training and education opportunities on their own. It shows others in your company that you are invested in your future and care about growing your professional competencies.

Charting a path But where to start? The path becomes clearer once you determine what skills you’d like to acquire. Clarifying that up front is an essential first step for additional training. Would you like to improve your presentation skills? Online Toastmasters courses (www.toastmasters.org) are very popular for building that foundation. Want to enhance your operational know-how? American Society for Quality (http://asq. org) and the International Association for Six Sigma Certification (www.iassc.org) are globally recognized independent organizations that provide operational and process efficiency certifications for Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and other belt tiers. While it may be tempting to start by pinpointing an exact role or career, opting for skills instead puts something transferable at the forefront and provides the flexibility to swap to another career path as you go. Once you’ve built a hearty skills “wish list,” your career road map becomes a lot more defined. For example, if you want to develop strategic thinking, financial acumen, and leadership, few options are better than the tried-and-true MBA. This will provide an in-depth understanding of hard and soft skills in management, from accounting, finance, and business analytics to human resources, performance management, and creative marketing. Getting an MBA displays a wide-ranging understanding of business that can elevate your position among other candidates seeking leadership roles. However, advanced degrees can be very expensive. Before embarking on this potentially pricey

— Foxy burrow / Shutterstock photo

journey, see what educational reimbursement options your company provides. Some businesses will cover all or a portion of your tuition. They can also pay the cost for exams and related courses like the aforementioned Lean Six Sigma or the Project Management Institute (www. pmi.org) certifications that are known and respected across a number of technical fields. Companies may also provide customized programs for these certifications in-house.

A variety of options And while degrees from respected universities or certifications from known trade associations bring a level of legitimacy to your education, they are not the only options. A variety of online education providers have sprung up over the past decade that provide flexible learning environments on a smorgasbord of subjects. Coursera (www.coursera.org) collaborates with more than 300 universities and companies such as Duke, Stanford, the University of Illinois, Google, and IBM to provide approximately 5,800 courses, professional certificates, and degrees. Educational pathways are available for IT analysts, technology consultants, bookkeepers, human resource specialists, business intelligence analysts, project managers, and data warehouse representatives. For those of you who want to build more hands-on manufacturing know-how, online course provider edX (www.edX.org) has partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s mechanical engineering department to offer a manufacturing program that teaches students how to design and operate volume manufacturing processes and supply chain systems. The program also includes inventory analytics, accounting, strategic planning, and advanced statistical methods. Being a life-long learner eliminates complacency and encourages growth in your career. And with the variety of options available both at home and in person, the time has never been more ripe to “choose your own adventure” and take the next step in your development. EA


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Feature | Service & Sales Companies

House calls are their specialty

This truck means business: When Rotating Apparatus Co.’s mobile repair truck pulls up to a job, it’s ready for work.

A newly established mobile, two-man operation out of Salem, Wis., is redefining the word business By Charlie Barks, EA Managing Editor SALEM, WIS.—What’s your definition of a business? In today’s world, there are variations aplenty. Entrepreneurs have a reputation for doing things “solo” but adapting when it suits them. Corporations often utilize hierarchical structures to lord over large swathes of employees — the best of them truly valu-

Doug Junion (left) and Joe Mabbett standing in front of the RAC-mobile.

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ing those employees’ input and giving them a fair shake at representation on board-related decisions. Small businesses can span from a family of five to a “family” of fifty, but often champion close-knit cultures and personable relationships with their clients. The emergence of Rotating Apparatus Co. — a mobilized, field service-centric business started up in August 2023 by Doug Junion and Joe Mabbett, primarily out of their 30  50 shop near Junion’s home office in Salem, Wisconsin — is uniquely none of the above. For Junion, it took only 2-3 people to establish a viable business. He did this in the past year, after experiencing family culture for over 30 years at L&S Electric (headquartered in Schofield, Wis.). The concept of this new business? A mobile, field service-driven repair and service provider that comes to you, thereby eliminating downtime without sacrificing quality or reliability. “RAC is dedicated to improving the longterm reliability of rotating equipment systems. We provide on-site services with a 2,000 pound lift gate truck that allows us to transport all required tools and equipment to and from job sites,” Junion told EA when explaining the basics. “We do on-site services on all rotating apparatus, electrical and mechanical. If it spins and is an electric motor or generator or connected to it, we can fix it.” As with other companies that have a central base but provide on-site field services, RAC places a prominent emphasis on quality. Sure, it’s Please turn to next page


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reason the “house call” approach, if you will, has already yielded results after a mere six months in business. “With downsizing maintenance departments, a company requiring service on their equipment can make one call to get the job done,” Junion reasons. “We believe that there is a place for highquality service, dedicated personnel, and extensive years of experience with the customer’s needs being the priority and focus.”

Obtaining equipment

A look at the inside of the trailer from the back end. HOUSE CALLS continued from previous page

great if you can throw out a wide net for your radius of service and offer clients the option to keep their equipment in-house, but this concept cannot be executed at the expense of quality service. You still need to be able to prove to those clients that the job won’t suffer because you’re uniquely mobile.

A strong partnership To achieve this, a big first step was partnering up with Joe Mabbett, an experienced millwright and maintenance manager who spent more than two and a half decades working for the Midwest branches of the Houston-based energy giant NRG — namely, Chicago area Commonwealth Edison (ComEd). While the duo does have a third employee to help with operations, Junion and Mabbett are the company’s core and its engine. They’re the

Tools of the trade: Equipment inside the truck includes pulleys, chains, wrenches, and other gear for hauling, lifting, and various repairs.

To start up a two-man operation, you’re obviously going to need equipment. Junion, whose understanding of quality dates back as far as he’s been doing manual work on the job, placed an early emphasis on purchasing quality pieces of equipment to fill out the Peterbilt truck RAC uses to make its house calls. “Multiple recent opportunities presented themselves to acquire all the required tools, test equipment, trucks, and equipment,” Junion says. “And that’s when we created RAC, to concentrate our efforts on doing what we are great at and have a passion for. I personally lead all the jobs with our crew and my partner.” Running down the list of this equipment brings echoes of things you’d see in a motor repair shop — only these are either loaded into the truck or housed in the 30  50 shop. The heater of the truck is kept at 60 degrees, which is important to keep everything at even temperatures when doing a job. The crew uses a storage unit nearby Salem to supplement its operations . . . but most of the equipment, as mentioned, is housed in either the shop or garages. Specifically, the equipment they’ve amassed so far includes things like a dry ice blaster (shown in one of our photos to the back right of the open truck), a chiller and filter cart (shown next to it on the left), which is all pneumatic (all isolated) as opposed to one that uses cooling water. The dry ice blaster is especially useful as a cleaner for getting carbon out of weathered motors. For example, at a recent job in Minnesota, RAC treated a large d-c motor that had an initially low meg reading when tested and brought it up to an impressive 12.8 megohm reading. The starting point for this job was below 1 before RAC gave it a thorough dry ice cleaning. Next up when running down equipment inventory, the company deploys a power factor dissipation test set, a megohmmeter, and more. The megohmmeter, which many in the industry will already be familiar with, is capable of a range of up to 12 kV and is used to analyze the insulation in large generators and motors above 6 kV. In addition to this, a Schleich MTC 2 R7 winding analyzer with 15 kV provides a deep look into the winding and is considered by some in the industry to be state-of-the-art and “the ultimate Please turn to page 30


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RAC’s recent work includes this testing of a 6500 kVA, 13.8 kV steam generator after its on-site reconditioning.


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HOUSE CALLS continued from page 28

surge tester.” The MTC2, which is functional for laboratory, workshop, and automation, can provide resistance, partial discharge, insulation resistance, and high-voltage testing. It can reliably test stators, armatures, coils, and windings of all kinds. Junion adds that “this device is unique because it can provide remote PD (partial discharge), and really accurately measures PD while testing. It can send a remote report right away.” The device comes with a Wi-Fi router and USB connections available. RAC also has many other key pieces of equipment that complement their services — for example, cordless laser alignment, vibration analysis, I.D. & O.D measuring equipment up to 32 inches, and hydraulic torque equipment that exceeds 20,000 ft-lbs. Here, Junion mentions that the turnkey aspect of the business is an important part. Whereas other operations might provide service on your equipment and not much more, Junion and Mabbett have already used their expertise to provide the mechanical, electrical, and rigging services on-site when repairing a client’s material. “Our turnkey service means we can complete all the electrical and mechanical require-

ments of the job, minimizing the risk of dealing with multiple companies,” he explains. To supplement this, they also work closely with another well-known motor shop in the area when needed. Along with this, they partner with a crane company that provides up to 300 tons for lifting, rigging, and transportation, a highly useful benefit when it comes to working with larger pieces of equipment. When paired with the flagship RAC truck, aluminum gantries for rigging up motors are useful as well because they can be erected right above the machine in repair. The truck’s liftgate can handle up to 2,000 lbs. of weight for transporting all equipment (including customers’) during the repair process.

Building on experience For a closer look at how this came to be, it’s useful to understand Junion and Mabbett’s history. In 34 years at L&S, Junion earned his chops and made his mark. He sowed relationships with people throughout the Midwest — even far beyond, as we’ll get to in a moment — but especially in the surrounding Great Lakes and Plains states. He has a reputation for quality work that precedes him, which made it an easier decision for certain clients to give him a chance. Junion calls the decision to leave L&S and set up his own shop “a leap of faith.” This decision was driven by a window of opportunity, an opening to control his work more independently, and a keen eye for industry repairs. After successful careers with L&S, which Junion describes as “a highly respected electric motor repair company,” and NRG, a nationally recognized electrical utility, the two both have résumés that speak for themselves. They add up to a combined 60 years of experience managing maintenance, repair, and installation projects for large rotating equipment. Junion is friendly and humble for those who meet him in person or speak to him over the phone. Even with that personality, his record still sounds impressive when he chronicles it. “I started with L&S Electric in 1989 and moved up through the company through the years and started the on-site division that services electric motors, generators, pumps, blowers, hydro generators, and hydro turbines and all associated equipment and helped build it to where it currently is today. I personally managed, repaired, and was responsible for all the aspects of the on-site and shop repair jobs. I have successfully commissioned and repaired equipment throughout the continental U.S., Alaska, the Caribbean, and China.”

A mobile operation A dry ice blaster (back right of the open truck) can be seen here, along with a chiller and filter cart (shown next to it on the left), which is all pneumatic (all isolated) as opposed to one that uses cooling water.

The cornerstone of the operation — the large truck with multiple capabilities — wasn’t exactly a single “Eureka moment” for Junion; rather, it was some-


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Mabbett (left) makes Junion laugh as he moves some of their equipment, including some of the items mentioned in this article, such as the Schleich and Megger machines.

thing he’d begun to notice over time would be useful. “It’s two of us, plus a part-time guy, at basically three locations,” he says, explaining how he realized a simple combination of essential equipment and knowledge of quality could work alongside the truck. “The office is in my house, and we’re working out of my garage. Joe also has a garage. So it’s basically a 30  50 shop and two garage stalls. We do most of our in-house work at the shop. The garages are used for a test lab and working on smaller items that often return with us for prepping from the onsite job.” Mabbett adds here that his partner’s expertise includes a knack for catching things that others wouldn’t, such as a high resistive current on a synchronous generator’s rotor circuit he noticed at the recent job in Minnesota. The new outfit says they can be counted on for reliable repairs on your electric motors, generators, blowers, gearboxes, cooling towers, pumps, and associated equipment: “We specialize in repairing and rebuilding a wide variety of industrial equipment, using the depth of our experience in the electrical and mechanical fields,” Junion says, adding that he places emphasis on fair cost and value-added partnership to the companies they serve.

marks, such as the shutdown of the Fisk & Crawford coal plants, with giving him valuable perspective on today’s jobs. During his tenure, “NRG bought and controlled ComEd plants in Waukegan, Powerton, Joliet, and Will City,” Mabbett says. Mabbett is an ex-millwright and maintenance manager and had previously worked for ComEd/NRG out of a Waukegan, Ill., location for the last 25 years. “He brings on additional mechanical experience on steam turbines, boiler feed water Please turn to next page

Complementary talents Reciprocally, Junion praises Mabbett’s mechanical prowess. Mabbett credits his work at NRG, which came during some important historical bench

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A workbench inside Junion’s garage at his home in Salem, Wis., which is primarily used as a test lab and for prepping on-site jobs. ELECTRICAL APPARATUS | FEBRUARY 2024 31

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HOUSE CALLS continued from previous page

— Electrical Apparatus photos by Charlie Barks and copyright 2024 by Barks Publications, Inc.

pumps, and all other types of industrial equipment,” Junion says. Junion points out that together, the duo’s diversity of equipment knowledge and experience includes equipment ranging from hydroelectric turbines and generators dating back to the early 1900s (the cleaning of a 1920s vintage Allis Chalmers 2000 kW vertical hydro generator) to current fractional to 13,800 V motors and generators. Regarding power factor work, Junion and Mabbett can be seen testing a 6500 kVA 13.8 kV steam generator after its on-site reconditioning, while finished pieces of equipment like a new 800 hp compressor motor that required vibration analysis, due to excessive vibration when the motor is run to 4000 RPM, are shown as well. This type of combined technical expertise enabled the nascent RAC to hit the ground running in August 2023, when it was formed, and the workload has been steadily developing since then. This requires a lot of man-hours from Junion and Mabbett, which we all know can be draining, but the results are worth it, and it’s clear the two are both doing something they have a passion for.

Poised for further growth RAC has already seen examples of immediate success. The aforementioned large, three-day job (including commute) in Minnesota had just been finished when Electrical Apparatus visited Junion’s home base in Salem. This involved a full overhaul (repair, dry ice cleaning, varnish overcoat) of a hydro generator, all done on-site, as well as dry ice cleaning of a large d-c motor. While EA was on RAC’s premises, an additional job was locked down in Michigan that the duo says will involve repairing large rotating equipment on marine vessels in the Great Lakes. “Doug finds things during jobs that weren’t the initial objective but that might save a machine down the line,” Mabbett said, expressing his respect for this aspect of Doug’s ability. The two have a mutual respect that shows through when you speak to them or work with them. This is no small achievement, considering one is a Bears fan and the other a Packers fan. (For those unfamiliar, Salem is located about an hour and a half north of Chicago, but it’s north of the Wisconsin border, so this is an area home to equal numbers of Superfans and Cheeseheads.) So if your equipment needs maintenance, is vibrating abnormally, or running at elevated temperatures, this is the type of business that aims to prioritize the root cause and implement a solution. That concept alone isn’t new, but what could set RAC apart as they go further on their journey is that they combine the experience and mobility described above.

Optimizing space in the truck is crucial, so having layered workspaces with drawers like this to store equipment is a must.

“We’ll also work with you to explain the repair process in detail, so you and your people understand the repairs being completed, and why,” Junion says. (For what it’s worth, this aspect was useful to Electrical Apparatus’s reporting, as well.) With mobile tool trucks and 24/7 on-site service comes great responsibility, and the downtime RAC saves its customers has to be made up somewhere. Junion says he’s been logging somewhere between an average of 12-17 hours a day since they began in August. “We understand the costs associated with equipment downtime and delivering on commitments,” he says, augmenting the fact that this is twofold. Providing an option that takes these costs away from your customer and garners trust means you’ll have to be prepared to eat some of those costs yourself, at least in the beginning. Setting up his own shop has also required money to be invested, mainly in equipment but also in logistical aspects such as fuel costs and electrical bills. They’ve done all the administrative work themselves (such as detailed reports on each job) that would normally be outsourced, and might eventually be done by someone else once they’ve grown. The point being, if this sounded easy, it’s not. It sounds painfully obvious, but hard work is an essential part of building your own business. To that end, putting in the hours is amplified in the early stages. EA


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Feature | Motors & Generators

Spark arrestors How compensating windings are used in d-c machines to help reduce brush arcing and associated wear By Chase Fell, EA Contributing Writer

Figure 1. The reversal of current in a d-c machine may be too slow or too fast, and in either case the voltage at the end of the period is likely to have a different value than the circuit to which the commutated coil is about to be connected. If the voltage is high enough, there will be a spark or arc between the brush and the commutator surface. This sparking leads to localized heating, stability problems, and premature component wear. — Chase Fell photo

The compensating winding plays a crucial role in maintaining the performance and longevity of d-c motors, especially those operating under heavy loading and reversing applications. When a d-c generator is in operation, the armature is driven mechanically by an external means of rotation at the shaft. With excitation of the stationary fields, this rotation develops a voltage in the armature coils, which sends a current through a load resistance. When a d-c motor is in operation, it develops torque, which in turn can produce mechanical rotation at the shaft. The generator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy, and the electric motor converts electric energy into mechanical energy. The industrial d-c generator is fundamentally an a-c apparatus, as current in the armature conductors reverses periodically as it moves under the stationary north and south poles (stator.) This reversal of current follows the right-hand rule for the direction of motion, magnetic field, and current. The commutator in a d-c machine is made of copper segments separated by insulating mica. This cylindrical assembly is fitted to the shaft and serves as a termination point for the armature coil leads and a mechanical rectifier of alternating current through the

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brushes. The commutator effectively converts the a-c in the armature to d-c. The armature winding is the heart of the motor or generator. In this rotating winding, the voltage is generated in the generator, or the torque is developed in the d-c motor. The armature coil ends are soldered to slots in the copper commutator bars. Bars of the commutator are insulated with thin mica sections. The distance between the two sides of an armature coil must be practically equal to the distance between two adjacent shunt field poles in the d-c field frame. This means that the armature coil span must be 180 electrical degrees or approximately so. That is, if one coil side is under the center of a north pole, the other coil side must be very close to the center of a south pole in the field frame. The commutator and brushes in a d-c machine switch the individual coils of the armature winding from a circuit in which the current has one direction to an adjoining circuit in which the current has the opposite direction. This transition occurs in a time during which the current in a circuit element must be reduced from its original value to zero and then built up again to an equal value in the opposite direction. This switch happens fast - on the order of ½ millisecond — since the change must take place during the time it takes for a point on the spinning commutator to pass under a brush riding on the smooth segmented copper surface. If the voltage between adjacent commutator segments becomes too high, the machine is at risk of flashing over on the commutator from brush to brush. This fault is particularly prevalent when the commutator is dirty. Please turn to next page ELECTRICAL APPARATUS | FEBRUARY 2024 33

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There also can be deterioration of the commutating system without visual sparks. Heating may promote a disintegration of the brush material as well as chemical changes in the copper segments even though there is no visible sparking or arcing at the brush surface. It is therefore very important to make the commutating system stable even when severe loading is present. Setting neutral in a d-c machine involves peripheral shifting of the brush arms in such a way that the polarity change happens at the electrical neutral plane between two magnetic fields.

Armature reaction The physical size of d-c machines became necessarily smaller, and with that evolution the internal components were situated physically closer. As machine Figure 2. A tandem set of 850 hp d-c reversing rolling mill motors used in steel manufacturing. These motors were originally built in 1942, for the U.S. Dept. of size changed, the internal components were also enthe Navy in response to the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor. Interpole coils are gineered closer to their thermal and magnetic limvisible in between the main fields. The compensating coils span from center to its. With d-c, the current in the stationary field coils center of adjacent poles. — Horner Industrial photo creates a magnetic force around each pole inside the motor. The current in the armature coils also creCOMPENSATING WINDINGS continued from previous page Imperfections, design flaws, wear, harsh environments, and load ates a magnetic force. The magnetic forces created swings often come into play in large d-c machines. With these, the re- by the armature and fields together are combined to versal of current may be too slow or too fast, and in either case, the make a complex non-linear distribution of flux. The voltage at the end of the period is likely to have a different value than strength of this flux is directly related to the level of the circuit to which the commutated coil is about to be connected. If the loading. In a large d-c machine, the current in the main voltage is high enough, there will be a spark or arc between the brush and the commutator surface. This sparking leads to localized heating, fields sets up powerful electromagnets with alternating north and south polarity within the stationstability problems, and premature component wear. (See Figure 1.) ary frame. Without influence from the spinning armature, the shape of the magnetic field around the main poles is relatively uniform. When unloaded, the neutral plane (commutating Interpole winding axis) between energized poles of different polarity is very close to the physical midpoint between the coils. F2 When the armature is energized, the rotating winding emits A2 Shunt its own magnetic field and reacts winding with the fields of the enclosed staSeries winding Armature tionary main poles. This armature movement adds its own magnetic field to the stationary system. This addition of magnetic energy from the armature tends to distort the shape of the magnetic fields Compensating in a phenomenon called armature winding F1 reaction. This distortion changes the neutral plane where the fields from north and south poles meet. A1 When the flux from the armature current is about equal to the flux Figure 3. The current in the pole face conductors passes in the opposite direction to the current in the from the field current, armaarmature conductors under the same pole so that the armature reaction is neutralized, or “compen- ture reaction becomes a critical sated.”

— Chase Fell diagram


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phenomenon. The distortion is also significant when field weakening is a factor. Load changes and reversals of rotation tend to increase the field distortion effect from armature reaction. For a generator, the neutral moves in the direction of armature rotation. For a motor, the distortion moves neutral opposite the direction of rotation. To mitigate sparks at the surface of the commutator, the brush position must be changed to keep the polarity switching within the electrical neutral plane. But shifting the brushes to the position of the new neutral plane does not always completely solve armature reaction problems. And for applications where load changes are frequent and severe, the brush position would need to be constantly changing. This is not practical.

Interpole and compensating coils To mitigate brush sparking in medium and large machines, auxiliary pole pieces called interpoles or commutating poles are often placed at mechanical neutral, the position exactly halfway between the main poles. These components are magnetized by armature current; therefore, the resulting flux in the commutating axis is proportional to the load. With the use of interpole coils, successful commutation can often be achieved even with severe load changes and reversing. For a motor, the polarity of an interpole coil is always the same as the pre- Figure 4. The main purpose of compensating windings is to help reduce brush arcing and associated wear in d-c machines that are operated with weak fields, variable heavy loads, or reversing duty. They ceding main pole with respect to are used to neutralize the cross-magnetizing effect of armature reaction. Compensating bars carry full the direction of rotation. armature current. — Chase Fell photo When the load is fluctuating, such as the load on a motor driving a reversing roll- necessary to fit the motor with a compensating winding. The need for ing mill, at the instant of the reversal of the rolls, the compensating windings on motors is often more important than for current changes from less than full load current to generators. Depending on required current capacity, the wire used for about three times full load current in the opposite the compensating and interpole windings may be round copper wire, direction. This application is common in the manu- copper strap, rectangular copper magnet wire, or heavy copper bars. A machine fitted with a compensating winding will always have interpole facturing of steel and aluminum. (See Figure 2.) With this application, the commutator bar voltage coils. But the opposite is not always the case. The compensating windcan become excessive, even when interpole coils ing complements the magnetic action of the interpole coils. Please turn to next page are present. For these large d-c machines, it is often

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Figure 5. A technician installs new carbon brushes in a large d-c motor with compensating windings. The compensating winding, or bars, are embedded in the main fields and complement the spark-arresting function of the interpole winding. Bars are insulated from ground with layers of mica laminate in the slot section. Once installed, a coating of epoxy insulating enamel is often applied as shown here. Half of the conductors on the right side of a pole face are joined in series to half of the conductors on the left side of the adjoining pole face. — Chase Fell photo COMPENSATING WINDINGS continued from previous page

The compensating winding is also called a pole face winding, as the conductors are physically situated just below the surface of the main pole at the air gap. The field resulting from the compensating windings is wider in comparison with the interpole fields but weaker since the compensating coil is physically larger and the flux is spread out and therefore less concentrated. The compensating winding helps mitigate the effects of armature reaction that occurs outside the influence of the interpole coils. As with the interpole coil, the pole face winding carries full armature current, and the ideal compensating winding has the same number of ampere-turns per pole as the armature. The current in the pole face conductors passes in the opposite direction to the current in the armature conductors under the same pole so that the armature reaction is neutralized, or “compensated.” (See Figure 3.) The ideal application of compensating conductors helps to maintain uniform flux distribution under the faces of the main poles. Half of the conductors on the right side of a pole face, for example, are joined in series to half of the conductors on the left side of the adjoining pole face. Large compensating windings consist of a single turn or a few turns of low-resistance copper bar laid in slots in the faces of the main shunt field pole pieces. One leg of the compensating winding lies, for instance, in the face of a north pole, and the other leg of the same coil fits into the adjacent south pole face. (See Figure 4.) The main drawback of a compensating winding is the expense. Aside from initial cost, there are also maintenance issues associated with

compensating windings. Insulation between winding and ground can be compromised by heat, contamination, and aging. For multi-turn designs, weak turn insulation is a common cause of failure. Connections for compensating windings can be complex, and periodic inspection and maintenance are critical to reliability of the system. When properly designed and applied, the system works to automatically adjust the internal magnetic system to give good commutation and long life for brushes and commutators. EA

As with the interpole coil, the pole face winding carries full armature current, and the ideal compensating winding has the same number of ampere-turns per pole as the armature


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Feature | More Than Accounting

Saving taxes at business sale What every sixty-something business owner needs to know when formulating an exit plan By William H. Wiersema, CPA, EA Contributing Editor Are you nearing the time to exit your business? The process of selling is complex and involves many considerations, one of the most critical being tax planning. Even considering only federal taxes, the tax on gain can be nearly 40%. Another 40% in transfer taxes may incur as funds reach beneficiaries, either through gifting or estate. By seeking expert guidance, business owners can save taxes at sale and leverage tailored solutions that address their unique circumstances for a seamless transition of wealth and assets. Planning should address beneficiaries, sale structure, and gain deferral. This article provides an overview.

Plan for beneficiaries Estates are taxable when they exceed the exemption amount not applied to gifting. For example, the transfer tax exemption for 2023 is $12.92 million. An individual might gift $2 million that would not be taxed at the time but by doing so reduce the exemption to $10.92 million. Assuming a $14.92 million taxable estate remains at the individual’s demise, the $4 million excess is taxed. The first million is taxed $345,800 at graduated rates, while the remainder incurs a 40% flat rate, or $1.2 million. With planning, that $1,545,800 might have gone to beneficiaries. Also keep in mind that the exemption is at an historic high and will fall to approximately $6.2 million in 2025 unless Congress extends it. At that exemption level, the tax in the example would more than double, to $3,433,800. State rules and taxes must also be considered. Although gifts made during an individual’s lifetime increase the taxable estate later, they freeze the value as of the transfer date, maximizing untaxed growth going to beneficiaries. The value trans

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fer might also be reduced by discounts due to the lack of marketability and control associated with beneficiary interests. However, waiting to gift ownership until a sale is pending risks negating the benefits. By using an Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust, the grantor sells shares in the business to a trust for beneficiaries but, due to the defect, continues to pay tax on the business income. Distributions from the business fund the sale through an installment note. Another option, Grantor-Retained Annuity Trusts, allows the grantor to retain a specified income annuity for a defined time, at the end of which the property belongs to the beneficiaries. The present value of the payment stream offsets the gift’s value. If done after sale, proceeds can transfer to a Family Limited Partnership (FLP), in which the bequeathing family members hold general partner interests, retaining control, while beneficiaries hold limited partner interests. Advantages include the gradual transfer of ownership interests in family assets to beneficiaries, which can help reduce the size of the taxable estate over time. Income generated by the FLP is allocated over ownership interests. Assets are shielded from potential creditors and legal claims. Please turn to next page

— Image created by Adobe generative AI


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SAVING TAXES AT SALE continued from previous page

Other rules can be beneficial. Federal law allows the portion of the $12.92 million exemption that has not been used at death to go to the surviving spouse, by formally electing portability. Additionally, annual gifts of up to $17,000 per recipient in 2023 do not reduce the exemption. For charitable beneficiaries, on the other hand, a donor-advised fund or private foundation provides an immediate deduction up to 20% to 60% of taxable income against gain of sale while allowing disbursement and even designation of charities later. A Charitable Life Trust (CLT) brings forward deductions for the present value of planned contributions over its term after removing the residual to a non-charitable beneficiary. A gift of equity interests can be stepped up to market value taxfree while allowing a full deduction in that amount. Another approach for C corporations is an irrevocable contribution of shares to a Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) of a minimum 10% residual interest. In the meantime, the donor’s capital gains on sale incur tax only as distributed under a predefined formula.

Structure the sale While a company’s structure predetermines the possible tax outcomes from a sale, there are wide variations within each one. The greatest is with regular C corporations. If selling assets, the gain is double taxed; first, upon generating income inside the corporation, and second, on dividends, which are not deductible to the corporation. The all-in federal income tax rate, including net investment income tax, can be nearly 40%. At the opposite extreme, regular C corporation stockholders may owe no tax at sale. For federal income taxes, tax code section 1202 exempts up to ten times the amount invested, or $10 million. However, the law restricts the benefit only to the sale of the original issue of Qualifying Small Business Stock (QSBS) by C corporations with an initial capitalization of up to $50 million. QSBS must be held by an individual or passthrough entity stockholder of a C corporation for at least five years. Sales of assets do not qualify, and certain industries are ineligible. While the 100% exclusion has been in place for stock issued since September 2010, a 50% exclusion relative to a 28% rate applies from most of the period 1993 to 2009. After reflecting the net investment income tax, the long-term capital gains becomes 15.9% for sales of QSBS issued in those years. C corporation ideas for tax savings on asset sales include: incorporating divisions to allow stock sale; allocating a portion of the selling price to personal goodwill taxed directly to its selling stockholder at lower capital gains rates; and applying net operating loss and suspended interest deductions accumulated since inception to offset gain, within limits. Stock sales are also most favorable to “S” corporations, taxed at capital gain rates as low as 20%. However, limitations on S corporation ownership often lead to middle-market sales of assets instead. In such cases, the selling price is allocated over individual assets, with gains or losses potentially taxed at higher ordinary rates, up to 37%. For example, assets fully written off by the seller that are allocated $1 million in value at closing could cost the seller $170,000 in federal income taxes. Because owner types of S corporations are limited, most buyers do not qualify to buy stock without losing S status. An alternative asset sale structure known as F Reorganization has become common. The selling S corporation forms a new S holding company and elects qualified S subsidiary (Q-Sub) status. The operating company may remain an S

corporation or take a second step of merging into a newly formed single-member LLC. The subsidiary retains its federal identification number. Potentially, sellers can direct gain to their resident states, avert entity-level taxes, and continue to hold ownership in a S corporation. S corporation asset sale tax-saving ideas include: negotiating price allocations toward the income tax book value of each asset; deducting Pass-Through Entity (PTE) owner state taxes from asset sales; and claiming a 20% Qualified Business Income Deduction against ordinary gain in certain industries. Although they cannot sell stock, limited liability companies filing as partnerships should also consider state taxes incurred from selling member interests versus assets. While selling member interests may avoid entity-level state taxes, selling assets allows for PTE benefits.

Defer gain Several strategies can defer gain from sale of a business to future years. Gain “rolled” into ownership in the buyer’s entity can be deferred under a proper structure, such as F reorganization (above), taxed when that entity is sold. By collecting the sales price in installments, the seller incurs tax upon receipt, directly with the seller or a monetizing third party financial institution. A private annuity arrangement involves selling the company to a family member or trust in exchange for an annuity contract. The capital gains tax is spread out over the annuity payments, potentially in lower tax brackets. However, a limitation is that ordinary gains are taxed first and capital gains last. Reinvestment strategies are also available. Sellers might invest proceeds in economically distressed “opportunity zones” within 180 days. Holding the new property for seven years allows for the exclusion of 15% of the gain, and after ten years, property appreciation is exempt. Sellers might also reinvest escrowed proceeds from a real estate sale into a new property within 180 days, deferring gain until the new one’s sale. However, regarding any gain deferral, keep in mind that the currently low tax rates may increase in the future. When the tax finally becomes due, it will be at that rate. Moreover, leaving funds with the buyer, another party, or investment entails risk. EA

While a company’s structure predetermines the possible tax outcomes from a sale, there are wide variations within each one


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Names & Faces Needham, Mass.-based electric motor design and software company ECM PCB Stator Tech has named Mike Smith chief financial officer and chief operating officer, the company announced Dec. 6. In this capacity, Smith “will guide ECM’s financial and operations management and organizational growth from a startup entity to a substantial SaaS enterprise,” according to the announcement. ECM PCB Stator Tech uses advanced Motor CAD and a patented PCB stator— printed circuit board technology to create electric motors for multiple applicaMike Smith tions. ECM, which maintains offices in Boston, Bozeman, Mont., the U.K., and Spain, says it “has seen rapid demand for its electric motor innovation and software technology from multiple sectors.” Thus, “in response, the company will release its PrintStator Motor CAD platform to the public in Q1 2024.” Smith chose to join ECM based on his view of the company’s potential. “It’s truly impressive how much disruptive innovation ECM brings to an electric motor space that hasn’t really revamped its design and performance capabilities for decades,” he said. South Georgia Technical College graduate Joseph Jolly, formerly of Nashville, has been hired as a maintenance technician on the college’s Americus campus, announced the college’s president, Dr. John Watford, in December. Jolly completed the Industrial Mechanical Systems Technology program at SGTC Joseph Jolly in May, re-enrolled, and graduated from the Industrial Electrical program in December. “We are pleased when we can hire our graduates,” said Dr. Watford. “Joseph Jolly is an amazing young man.” As a maintenance technician, Jolly will install, maintain, and repair electrical systems and associated hardware; install, maintain, and repair all HVAC equipment; assist with plumbing hardware repairs; and help with renovation projects. He will also assist with carpentry projects, repairing college equipment and grounds maintenance activities in addition to other duties. Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., launched advertising in December to support its “Mitsubishi Motors Confidence” customer-care program, starring — of all people — actress Rashida Jones. Jones is well known for her roles in hit television shows such as “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation,” as well as in films, including “On the Rocks,” “I Love You, Man,” and “The Social Network.” She won a Grammy Award for directing the documentary “Quincy,” about Rashida Jones her father, a musical legend. Nordson Corp. of Westlake, Ohio, has announced that executive vice president and chief financial officer Joseph Kelley has been appointed executive vice president and industrial precision solutions segment leader. He succeeds Jeffrey Pembroke, who is retiring from the company after 18 years of leadership. — Charlie Barks EA

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This #@&% Impulse Tester is not putting out the voltage. Call PJ and order a Real Surge Tester ! PJ Electronics (since 1969) has been manufacturing an exclusive High Frequency Surge Tester that is the best for testing the integrity of insulation in all electric motors, generators and all types of windings. We offer Bench, Portable & Console models. All 65 Models (6KV to 60KV output) are capable of testing fully assembled motors without rotating the rotor. Visit www.pjelectronics.com to learn why we are the only choice for all of your Surge Testing needs! _

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To renew by mail or fax, send us the mailing label on the front cover of this issue, along with a signed note saying that you want to continue to receive the magazine. Fax to 866-228-7274, or mail to:

Electrical Apparatus Barks Publications, Inc. 17 N State St Ste 914 Chicago, IL 60602-3570 Or contact us at (312) 626-2316; barbara@barks.com ELECTRICAL APPARATUS | FEBRUARY 2024 39

1/5/2024 12:17:07 PM

Product Showcase

The newest and best in tools and equipment for plant and shop

Core loss tester for quality assurance The Gen3 core loss tester from Jenkins Electric provides a quick and efficient method for determining core losses found in the core steel of stators, rotors, and armatures. Core Loss testing is critical when rewinding a motor and can help maintain motor efficiency, reliability, and safety while saving on repair costs. Additional features of the Gen3 include data management of comprehensive condition reports, diagnostics, technical support on-site or remote, and an integrated user-friendly touchscreen computer.

Pumps for challenging mining applications Netzsch Pumps USA is highlighting complex fluid handling solutions for mining applications. The Nemo Progressing Cavity Pump, Tornado T2 Rotary Lobe Pump, Peripro Peristaltic Pumps, and Dewatering Skid are said by their manufacturer to be safe, reliable, and cost-effective, ideal for mines that require a compact movable unit to address their dewatering challenges.

New line of servo drives and motion controls Elmo, a Bosch Rexroth company, has unveiled a new line of servo drives and motion controllers. One of them is the Titanium Maestro – a third generation motion controller that meets the emerging challenges of machine builders that require topnotch performance, speed, accuracy, and robustness. This motion controller is said to offer advanced real-time management capabilities for multi-axis machines. Embedded with computational Quad–Core CPU and extensive memory, enables a breakthrough cycle time of 100 microseconds of each axis. Coupled with artificial intelligence capabilities, image processing, and advanced Python programming, the Titanium Maestro, in the words of its manufacturer, is “in a league of its own.”

New autonomous mobile robot launched Robotize has introduced the GoPal P35 autonomous mobile robot. The smallest of the GoPal AMR family has a footprint of only 960  660 mm. (37.8  26 in.), 8-14 hour run time, or covering up to 12 miles. The GoPal P35 is useful for automatically picking up, transporting, and delivering payloads of up to 550 lbs. using either custom top modules and equipment or top modules and equipment from leading suppliers. According to Anders Pjetursson, Robotize’s CEO and co-founder, the GoPal P35 joins a global fleet of AMRs that covers more than 500,000 miles “in challenging production environments.”


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Wind turbines suitable for urban settings Katrick Technologies has created new technology and design for wind turbines, centered around aerofoils. The new turbines are bladeless, compact in the design footprint, plus safer for the environment. They work by capturing wind energy and con-verting it into mechanical oscillations. These oscillations are then transformed into electricity, providing a greener energy solution. This method captures lower levels of wind, making it more efficient in less windy conditions, but it also makes the turbines more suited for urban environments, where space is at a premium and wind levels can be lower.

New hybrid motor unveiled by WEG The W23 Sync+ motor line is soon to be released by WEG. The new hybrid innovation combines permanent, ferrite, or neodymium magnets and synchronous reluctance motor technologies, making the motor more efficient across all speeds, according to WEG. The permanent-magnet synchronous reluctance motor line is suitable for such applications as compressors, pumps, fans, blowers, and conveyors. The W23 Sync+ is compact with the same power per frame ratio as induction motors with more efficiency at a lower cost. The W23 Sync+ is interchangeable with existing installations for a smooth hybrid transition. — Chelsea Fisher EA


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Feature | Electric Avenue

Can you hear me now? Noise technology is being added to today’s electric vehicles as a safety measure By Maura Keller, EA Contributing Writer Walk down any street in the U.S. and you are bound to son is out walking or running on the side of the road — or crossing the hear the continuous noise of internal combustion en- street — the lack of noise can make them completely unaware of an apgine (ICE) vehicles driving by. What you are not going proaching EV. That can be dangerous.” Active Noise Control (which is what this actually is) has been around to hear are the growing number of electric vehicles that are gracing urban and suburban roads alike. for a while. As Slanina points out, it was used back at the auto manufacturers when they started to downThese vehicles are extremely quiet and nearly silent size engines and use turbos – like as they are being driven at all speeds – until now. Ford’s EcoBoost strategy. This was “Noise is being added to EVs for safety reasons,” because they wanted the V6 to says Collen Clark, founder of Schmidt & Clark LLP. sound more like a V8. “EVs are very quiet compared to conventional vehi“It’s all about familiarity,” Slanicles, especially at low speeds. This can pose a risk to na says. “Technology such as active pedestrians, cyclists, and other road users who may noise control can aid in this trannot hear them approaching.” sition to electrification, not only To address this issue, the National Highway Trafby adding external sound so that fic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a rule pedestrians can hear an approachthat requires all new EVs and hybrids to emit a peing vehicle, but also enhancing the destrian warning sound at speeds up to 18.6 mph. internal vehicle experience as well The rule also applies to older EVs and hybrids built as canceling undesirable noise.” before 2021, which may need to be retrofitted with a The purpose of the pedestrian noise-making device. Similar regulations exist in the warning sound being integrated European Union and other parts of the world. The EU Collen Clark, founder of Schmidt & within EVs is to alert people of the regulation, active since July 2019, mandates that all Clark LLP presence and direction of the vehinew models of electric and hybrid vehicles must have an acoustic vehicle alerting system. cle, without being too loud or annoying. The sound must vary in volume “These regulations reflect a growing global consen- and frequency depending on the speed and acceleration of the vehicle. “The NHTSA has provided some sample sounds on its website, but sus on the need for EV noise for safety,” said Rob Dillan, founder of EVhype.com, an EV charging stations automakers can also design their own sounds as long as they meet the minimum requirements,” Clark says. portal and social network. Dillan added that EVs naturally operate quietly, especially at low Kristin Slanina, EV expert and chief innovation officer at ParkMyFleet, stands at the intersection of speeds. Statistics show that EVs are 37% more likely to cause accidents technology, innovation, and suswith pedestrians due to their silence. Adding artificial noise mitigates this risk, making EVs audible to tainable solutions. With over three pedestrians and other road users. decades of experience in STEMNot surprisingly, the quiet nature of EVs poses related fields, Slanina has estaba specific threat to the visually impaired, who rely lished herself as a thought-leader heavily on auditory signals for navigation and safety. and spokesperson for topics inThe absence of engine noise removes a crucial cue cluding the future of mobility, conthat signals the presence, direction, and speed of onnected and autonomous vehicles, and smart city initiatives. coming vehicles. “Regular internal combustion “For many, the sound of a vehicle also is part of the engines are what we are used to driving pleasure,” Dillan said. “Companies also are now creating customizable sound systems for EVs – and they make noise,” Slanina that mimic the roar of traditional engines, boosting said. “ With electrification, it’s a the driving experience without compromising on endifferent game because they are so vironmental benefits.” quiet. It can be a safety issue since In addition to the NHTSA findings, Dillan explained people external to the vehicle can’t Kristin Slanina, chief innovation officer that other studies and statistical analyses support hear them approaching. If a perat Park My Fleet 42 ELECTRICAL APPARATUS | FEBRUARY 2024

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Looking ahead, from a market perspective, the trend of adding noise to Companies making inroads Some of the companies that provide sound systems to EV manufacturers EVs is influencing both include Panasonic, Bose, and Harman. These companies offer different solutions for enhancing the sound quality and performance of EVs, both consumer perception and inside and outside the cabin. manufacturing strategies According to Clark, Panasonic, for example, has developed a modular these concerns. For instance, a report by the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association indicated a significantly higher risk for pedestrians in traffic involving quiet cars.

and scalable audio system that uses fewer speakers and less power than traditional systems, while delivering high-quality sound to the driver and passengers. “Bose has created an active sound management technology that can reduce, enhance, or tune the engine sounds to the preferences of the driver,” Clark said, “Harman has introduced a sound synthesis system that can generate realistic and customizable sounds for EVs, such as sporty, futuristic, or natural sounds.” Dillan added that companies like Harman and Bose are at the forefront, designing systems that not only make EVs safer but also more enjoyable to drive. These systems can simulate a variety of engine sounds, catering to different driver preferences. “We’re seeing collaborations between sound system companies and EV manufacturers,” Dillan said. “For instance, BMW and Audi have partnered with sound designers to create unique acoustic signatures for their EV models.” The key challenges include creating a sound that is noticeable but not intrusive or annoying. The noise must be audible enough to alert pedestrians without contributing to noise pollution. “Technologically, integrating these sound systems without compromising the vehicle’s performance or energy efficiency is crucial,” Dillan said. “Additionally, finding the right balance between a sound that appeals to drivers and fulfills safety requirements is a complex aspect of sound design in EVs.” The types of noise being added to electric vehicles are varied and innovative, ranging from mimicking traditional combustion engine sounds to creating entirely new and futuristic auditory experiences. Car manufacturers see this as an opportunity to create distinctive sounds for their electric vehicles, giving them their own flair. Dillan pointed to some examples, including: Earthy Sounds by Rivian. Rivian has taken an interesting approach by incorporating earthy, nature-inspired sounds. Their choice deviates from traditional engine noises, aiming for a more organic and less intrusive auditory experience. Genesis’s ICE Engine Sound Option. Genesis offers an option in its EVs to simulate the sound of an internal combustion engine (ICE), catering to drivers who prefer the traditional engine sound.

The litigious component In addition to pedestrian safety as the driving force behind the new noise regulation for EVs, there is also an increasing amount of litigation surrounding the quietness of EVs, further adding to the need for noise. “The issue is that EVs are so quiet that they pose a risk to pedestrians, especially those who are visually impaired. The NHTSA regulation is intended to help prevent accidents involving pedestrians who may not hear the vehicle approaching,” Clark says. In addition to the NHTSA regulation, there have been other legal cases involving the quietness of EVs. For example, Clark pointed to a 2019

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lawsuit that was filed against Tesla alleging that the company’s Model 3 was too quiet and posed a risk to pedestrians. The lawsuit was eventually dismissed, but it highlights the potential legal issues surrounding the quietness of EVs. “Another example is the case of Nissan Leaf, which was sued by a group of owners in 2014 for being too quiet and posing a risk to pedestrians,” Clark says. “The lawsuit was settled in 2015, and Nissan agreed to install a speaker system in the Leaf to make it louder.” Looking ahead, from a market perspective, the trend of adding noise to EVs is influencing both consumer perception and manufacturing strategies. As safety features are increasingly becoming top of mind for consumers purchasing and driving vehicles, the added noise component in EVs is also seen as a positive step towards additional vehicle safety. For manufacturers, while adding noise technology entails additional design and engineering considerations, it also offers an opportunity to innovate and create distinctive acoustic signatures for the growing number of EV brands on the market today. EA

The case for adding noise to EVs

Studies have been released that support integrating noise technology in electric vehicles. Among the findings: > A study by the European Environment Agency indicates that electric vehicles produce an average of 68 decibels when traveling at 50 km/h. > Electric cars emit an average sound level of around 50 dB, which is equivalent to the sound of a quiet conversation. > Electric and hybrid cars emit one tenth of the noise that cars with an internal combustion engine emit. Electric cars reduce the drivetrain noise to about zero. Information about the above claimes and other findings may be found here: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pmc/articles/PMC9959875/. Additionally, the open-access archive HAL includes a study that found, among other things, that: > The only noise made by EVs comes from their tires and the wind resistance while driving. > When an electric car travels above 30 kilometers per hour, it sounds much the same as a petrol-driven vehicle. The entire study may be found here: https://hal. science/hal-01708883/file/paper_Internoise17-v4.pdf. ELECTRICAL APPARATUS | FEBRUARY 2024 43

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Help Wanted

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an experienced Electric Motor Technician.

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The EA word search Outstanding in the field In the grid at left, find and circle the words listed below, all of which are taken from this month’s cover article about Rotating Apparatus Co. The uncircled letters, arranged in order, will spell out some sound advice for crews that do field service. The solution may be found online at http://barks.com/puzzles, or call (312) 321-9440. Happy hunting!

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is available. Please send résumés to dave@ applied-dynamics.com

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ADVERTISING INDEX Advanced Rotors, Inc. . . . . . . 9 AKARD COMMUTATOR OF TENNESSEE . . . . . . . . . 7 BAE Wire & Insulation, Inc. . . . 47 Bartlett Bearing Company, Inc. . . 15, BC CWIEME Berlin . . . . . . . . . . 17 Electric Materials Company . . 10 Electrical Apparatus & Machine . . . . . 41 Electrom Instruments, Inc. . . . . 8 Helwig Carbon Products, Inc. . .19 Hoto Instruments . . . . . . . . 47 Jasper Electric Motors, Inc. . . . 13 Lafert North America . . . . . . IFC Mitchell Electronics, Inc. . . . . . 5 Mod-Tronic Instruments Limited . . . . . . .12 OTS Wire & Insulation, Inc. . . . 47 Overly Hautz . . . . . . . . . . . 23 PJ Electronics, Inc. . . . . . . . . 39 Spring Point Solutions . . . . . . 11 Toshiba International Corporation . . . 3 Von Roll USA . . . . . . . . . . . 6 WorldWide Electric Corporation . . . . . .IBC Learn more about the products and services featured in this issue! Use the QR code or go to https://shout.com/s/EJGsDaVL to request information from advertisers.

Direct & Current


NOT-O-PILOT. Electric vehicle giant Tesla has issued a recall on nearly all its American vehicles — more than 2 million in all — containing its autopilot feature, according to a filing released December 13 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The move comes as the federal agency investigates nearly 1,000 crashes in which autopilot was reported to be engaged. The subject population included certain Tesla models equipped with Autosteer produced between Oct. 5, 2012, and Dec. 7, 2023. BIRD GETS GROUNDED. Electric scooter company Bird, founded in 2017 and initially valued at around $2 billion, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to a Dec. 20 announcement. The scooters are considered part of the “micromobility” sphere, which would be a subset of the “e-mobility” industry. The company added Electric scooter company Bird may have had one of the that “Bird will operate as usu- best slogans in recent memory (“Give gas the Bird”), here on a virtual NYSE billboard in Times Square, al during this process, main- shown New York, but the company is struggling of late and retaining the same service for cently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. — Bird/NYSE photo its riders and upholding its commitments to partner cities, fleet managers, and employees.” BIG NEWS FROM LONGO. While Electrical Apparatus can’t yet reveal any specifics, expect big news from fourth-generation Northeast Corridor electrical-mechanical sales and service company Longo in the coming months. The company has developed an innovative new technology applicable to the energy sector that has drawn major interest from a number of investors. We usually don’t do “teasers,” so you know this is something big — let’s just say they’ve been working on it since 2017. Look for more on this in an upcoming issue, featuring a story that shows Longo’s growth over the years. TAX EFFECTS ON R&D. The National Association of Manufacturers offered valuable insight on how tax changes can have outsized effects on innovation, including research and development, specifically for manufacturers. A recent case study features Marlin Steel Wire Products, a custom manufacturer out of Baltimore, a company that was able to successfully navigate this conundrum. NIPPON FURTHER REVIEW. Japanese steel giant Nippon Steel has agreed to purchase Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel, according to a Dec. 18 announcement from the latter company, for a price tag of roughly $15 billion. In the U.S., not everyone is thrilled about it; one Pennsylvania representative said the agreement “feels like a gut punch,” with three other senators protesting the deal, calling it “fundamentally troubling.” — Charlie Barks

Have the digital “Direct & Current” delivered each week, at no charge, to your e-mail in-box. Scan the code at right or sign up now at http://eepurl.com/dEkrB9. 48 ELECTRICAL APPARATUS | FEBRUARY 2024

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