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December 2004 news archive

December 21, 2004

Bodine Electric celebrates 100th anniversary with a contest

In honor of its 100th anniversary, Bodine Electric recently announced a contest to find its oldest motor or gearmotor. There are three different ways to win: $1,000 for the oldest functioning product; $1,000 for the oldest product, running or not running; and $1,000 for the most unusual or unique use of one of the company’s motors or gearmotors. The winner will also receive an additional $1,000 donated to his/her favorite charity.

The contest ends June 30, 2005, and interested participants can register at,

December 20, 2004

McGraw-Hill Construction reports a 4% increase in total new construction for October

McGraw-Hill Construction recently reported that new construction starts were up 4% in October, which is an increase from a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $568 billion in September to $592.7 billion. On an unadjusted basis, total construction for the first 10 months of 2004 was up 9% over the same period last year.

The company also reported that nonresidential building construction increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $163.3 billion, which is 11% ahead of the September rate of $147 billion; residential building was down 1%, dropping from a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $331.6 billion in September to $329.7 billion; construction starts for the major commercial categories saw increases, with stores up 5%, warehouses up 3%, and hotels up 18%. And the office category increased 58%, primarily due to the start of projects in New York, Kansas City, Mo., and Des Moines, Iowa.

McGraw-Hill also noted that church construction dropped 7%, while construction on public buildings, such as courthouses and detention facilities, fell 25%. However, school construction was up 16%, after achieving minimal gains in September. Growth was also reported for amusement-related projects, which increased 18%, and health-care facilities, which jumped 21%.

December 17, 2004

Infrared Solutions partners with German-based Jenoptik Laser

Infrared Solutions and German company Jenoptik Laser, Optik Systeme GmbH recently announced a partnership to manufacture and distribute the VarioCAM IR range of infrared cameras in the United States market. This line of cameras has been marketed in Europe for a year.

December 16, 2004

Cresent/Stonco launches new Web site

Cresent/Stonco, a division of the Genlyte Group, recently launched its new Web site at The home page now displays pull-down areas like “Rep Finder” and “Where to Buy” links, a site search button at the top of the page, educational links, and an indoor estimating tool that allows users to perform quantity and footcandle calculations. The site also includes user education features like tutorials, online training, and audio training. Each of these sections provide users with product images and diagramed tutorials.

December 15, 2004

Cooper Industries donates $250,000 to NAED foundation

Cooper Industries recently donated $250,000 to the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) Education and Research Foundation. The company’s donation will become part of an endowment fund for the foundation, and the principal amount of the endowment will remain untouched while the interest will be used to commission future projects and research studies.

For its contribution, the company will be recognized at the guarantor level and have a permanent position on the Channel Advantage Partnership Council, which will help select future educational programs and research projects.

December 14, 2004

Department of Energy awards Advance Transformer project funding

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory recently awarded Advance Transformer funding for future solid-state lighting product development activities. The DOE selected the company’s project based on its energy savings potential, likelihood of success, and ability to help secure the nation’s energy future and technological leadership.

The award will fund nearly two-thirds of the cost of the company’s activities toward development of an “Efficient LED System-in-Module for General Lighting Applications” over a three-year period.

December 13, 2004

Interstates Companies receive top honors from Iowa ABC

The Interstates Companies recently received two construction awards from Associated Builders and Contractors of Iowa during the association’s annual “Excellence in Construction” banquet. The company was recognized for the 14th time with an Award of Excellence in the Electrical-Commercial & Industrial Over $1 Million category for its work on a soybean processing facility for Minnesota Soybean Processors. They also received the Project of the Year award, which is the top honor for the Excellence in Construction competition. The company is now eligible to enter the national competition.

December 10, 2004

Siemens Energy & Automation announces promotion winners

Siemens Energy & Automation recently announced the winners of its 2004 Drive to Rewards promotion. Roberto Nacinovich, an electrical installer with Panther Electric Services in Cleveland, Ohio, won a deep sea fishing trip to Mexico. Don Jewell, a counter salesman at Mars Electric in Willoughby, Ohio, received a $100 Total Golf Store gift certificate for handing out the winning scratch off card.

For every $250 of eligible Siemens electrical products purchased, electrical installers received a scratch off card with the opportunity to win instant prizes, including one of three dream sports vacations: a trip to Daytona 500, deep sea fishing in Mexico, or tickets to the Masters Golf Tournament. Other instant prizes awarded to distributors and installers nationwide included $75 Lands’ End gift cards, $25 Cabela’s gift certificates, and a Polaris Trail Blazer ATV.

December 9, 2004

Thomas & Betts donates $250,000 to NAED foundation

The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) recently announced that Thomas & Betts will donate $250,000 to its education and research foundation. The company’s contribution will become part of an endowment fund for the foundation, and it will remain untouched while the interest will be used to commission future projects and studies. For its contribution, Thomas & Betts will be recognized at the guarantor level and have a permanent position on the Channel Advantage Partnership Council, which will help select future educational programs and research projects.

December 8, 2004

United States Army Corps of Engineers selects Echelon’s Lonworks for buildings

The United States Army Corps of Engineers chose to base the United Facilities Guide Specification on the Lonworks platform after an extensive evaluation of existing building automation technologies and a public review process. TAC/Tour Andover Controls, a prominent Echelon customer, has already won it first contract based on the new specification and is currently building a Lonworks-based open system construction project at Fort Sill in Lawton, Okla.

The United States Army, Navy, and their Air Force recently selected Echelon Corp.’s Lonworks device networking platform as the basis of its single, open-system specification for automating building and facilities. This marks the first time that the three branches of the U.S. military have agreed upon a single open system specification.

December 7, 2004

Schneider Electric and IBM team to deliver iAPC products

Schneider Electric recently announced that it plans to work with IBM to deliver Integrated Advanced Process Control (iAPC) products to the semiconductor manufacturing industry. The agreement focuses on delivering these iAPC products worldwide and will include the opening of a new Schneider Electric regional competency center in Japan.

The iAPC system uses add-on sensors, data collection, and fault detection systems to automatically monitor and optimize semiconductor manufacturing processes. The integrated products include the use of plasma arc detection, particle monitoring, residual gas analysis, and automatic endpoint systems. The products will be based on both companies’ technologies as well as incorporate products from third-party suppliers.

December 6, 2004

USGBC soliciting comments for LEED-NC, version 2.2

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently began soliciting comments on the first draft of the LEED for New Construction Rating System (LEED-NC), version 2.2. The first public comment period opened Friday, Dec. 3, 2004, and will last through Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2005, at 5 p.m. PST.

The new version contains substantial changes to credits and does require balloting. The changes proposed in this version of the rating system wouldn’t apply to currently registered LEED-NC version 2.0 or 2.1 projects or any projects that register prior to the release of version 2.2.

Anyone can comment on this draft after registering a site user profile on the USGBC Web site,

December 3, 2004

M.C. Dean acquires the Tibs Group

M.C. Dean, a Dallas-based technical services contractor, recently announced its acquisition of the Tibs Group, an Atlanta-based electrical, technology, and power quality services company. Under the agreement, the Tibs Group will operate as a division of M.C. Dean with Tibs’ CEO and president Mark Tibbetts serving as president/general manager of the division.

December 2, 2004

Wärtsilä signs contract with Barrick Goldstrike Mines

Wärtsilä North America recently signed its largest contract to date with Barrick Goldstrike Mines to build an engine plant located about 15 miles east of Reno, Nev. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the plant will be the largest gas reciprocating engine plant in the United States based on summer-rated capability.

Wärtsilä will provide the power plant to Barrick. It will consist of 14 of the company’s reciprocating gas-fired engines, which will have a total net output of 115.6MW. The plant is expected to be commercially operational by October 2005.

December 1, 2004

Bosch Power Tools updates Web site

Bosch Power Tools recently launched its redesigned Web site, The site now includes 360° product views, video demos, accessory and attachment recommendations, and a “Buy It Now” shopping feature. Customer feedback prompted the Web site update, as power tool users called for downloadable owner’s manuals, parts diagrams, and warranty information. Users will also find a store locator and calendar of events on the site.

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