EC&M Product of the Year

2017 Platinum Award Winner Can’t Help Strutting Its Stuff

Aug. 21, 2017
One-of-a-kind product helps make trapeze installations faster, easier, and safer.

This year’s Product of the Year platinum award winner hails from the fasteners, hangers & accessories category and offers users an alternative to using strut-based trapeze or support structures. Targeted toward commercial electricians, the Pentair CADDY TSR1220R telescoping strut replacement retrofit solution is designed to accommodate standard strut-based fittings and eliminate the need to handle long lengths of strut and cut them to size.

“In watching standard trapeze construction and installation — and talking with the multiple contractors — it was obvious some enhancements could be made to help end-users save time and money on the job site,” says Eric Osborn, CADDY Brand Leader. “Retrofit trapeze installations were particularly painful, often requiring the installer to undo work they had already completed.”

To help solve this dilemma, the TSR1220R features a bracket that telescopes to the desired length, attaches to threaded rod, and is locked in place by snapping closed a spring retainer. Slotted ends allow the bracket to be installed with four CADDY SN nuts on threaded rod above an existing trapeze. According to the company, the tool-free solution helps dramatically reduce the time required to install a retrofit trapeze and removes the necessity of having to touch any of the existing installation.

“These savings in time and labor directly impact the bottom line and help our customers meet project schedules,” says Osborn. “The product also boosts safety by requiring less work at elevated conditions, and the work that is performed is completed using fewer tools with fewer loose parts to manage.”

Prior to its introduction to the market in October 2016, the company sent prototypes earlier that year to contractors in Cleveland, St. Louis, and Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

“You could say our customers helped design the product with their input into the conception and the installation challenges they face,” says Osborn.

Although the end product is a success, the design process presented several challenges. One of the main hurdles company engineers had to overcome was getting the bars to lock together without the use of a secondary screw.

“Originally, the design had a clip with a captive screw,” says Osborn. “This proved problematic for two reasons: 1) it often came loose during shipping; and 2) it required the use of a screw gun to complete the install, which countered some of the labor savings/ease we were after.

In order to overcome these challenges, the company looked to its core competency in spring steel manufacturing and designed an innovative clip that allows the bar to be easily locked by hand without tools. In addition, the bars can be unlocked with the use of a flat head screwdriver or a even a quarter [25 cent piece].

Manufactured from pre-galvanized steel, the TSR1220R includes a standard strut profile that runs the entire length of the part, allowing most standard fittings to be placed anywhere between the rods. An integrated ruler displays space between hanger rods in inches and centimeters. Additionally, the product is able to support up to six 2-in. (DN 50) conduits, six 2-in. (DN 50) water-filled pipes at 10-ft (3m) spacing, or up to 18-in. (450mm) cable tray. The product also allows conduit to be supported on the top and bottom, eliminating the need for double-sided strut. Conduit and pipe can be placed directly on the strut profile, saving vertical space in buildings with limited room for installation.

“Trapeze installations are some of the most common installations in the industry — and the TSR1220R makes them substantially faster, easier, and safer,” says Osborn.

The EC&M Tradition Endures

Established in 2000, the EC&M Product of the Year competition recognizes excellence in new product development for the electrical industry. Honoring inventiveness in product design, as well as improvements in safety and efficiency, the competition’s two-fold judging and voting process determines the most ground-breaking products of the past year that allow electrical design professionals, installers, and maintenance personnel to perform their jobs more efficiently and effectively.

Products eligible for this year’s competition were those introduced to the market between Jan. 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2016. A hand-picked panel of judges ranked the 155 products entered into this year’s contest based on a uniform list of scoring criteria, ultimately selecting 37 category winners for the first phase of the competition. These category winners were then narrowed down to just three through an online poll available to our readers on the EC&M website. By casting their votes, EC&M subscribers determined the platinum, gold, and silver products of the year.


Outdoor Ground Box

This year’s first place runner-up comes from the boxes category. Legrand’s Outdoor Power Ground Box provides a permanent outdoor power solution. The box uses a “diving bell” design to create and maintain an air pocket that protects the electrical connections from getting wet in adverse weather conditions. To sustain a safe working product, holes on the bottom of the box allow moisture to drain into the ground. The UL-listed product also has anti-float clips that prevent the cover from lifting up and keeps the protective air pocket intact. For added safety, a locking cover prevents unauthorized use.


Magnetic Wire Pulling System

From the tools (accessory items) category, this year’s second place runner-up is Klein Tools’ SuperRod Series, which allows one person to effortlessly pull cable behind walls. Suitable for routing cable between drywall and insulation or fixture installations, the leader-pull design can easily navigate through insulation and other obstructions. Features include a swivel leader eyelet that connects securely to most wires and mesh wire-pulling grips. In addition, the non-marring nylon leader-pull offers 20 ft of heavy-duty nylon rope.


EC&M would like to congratulate the following three readers who each won $100 for voting in this year’s competition:

  • Steve Savinski, an electrician in North Lawrence, N.Y.
  • William Stadelmann, owner of William Stadelmann Jr. Electrical Services in Middleboro, Mass.
  • James Chesher, an electrician with the City of Fort Smith, Ark.

The EC&M editorial team randomly drew these names from the list of qualified voters who cast their vote in the online poll.

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