Prior to the launch of PlugTail, what were the main challenges faced in the retrofitting process?
The main challenge that continues to impact the industry is the shortage of skilled labor and the ability to sufficiently staff a contracting project. Prior to the innovation of PlugTail, contractors were forced to staff up for a labor-intensive electrical rough-in and trim-out phase - requiring enough skilled labor to push through a hard deadline. PlugTail offers productivity advantages over pigtailing traditional devices during rough-in and permits prefabricated systems to be installed without devices, avoiding damage by other trades while finishing work in the retrofit or new construction site. At trim-out, devices simply click into place, saving installers time and money, and allowing them to move onto their next project.
PlugTail devices are also functional and "future ready," allowing for easy changes to the receptacle types and styles without disruption to occupants. PlugTail is also safer for the installer, greatly reducing repetitive stress motion while eliminating screwdriver stabs to the hand from slipping off the screw.
What are the three main motivators that drive a retrofit?
It can be a number of scenarios. First, codes and standards are constantly evolving, which requires facilities to be updated accordingly. In commercial spaces, there’s tremendous demand for flexibility in how a space is used. Part of offering the best experience possible in a space is ensuring it’s equipped with the latest features. This is also imperative when it comes to attracting new tenants and retaining existing ones. Another motivator is energy savings. While this is often achieved through staying up to date on the latest codes and standards, efficiency can also help attract new tenants.
What are some of the more challenging or complex situations a contractor may run into in the retrofit process, and how does Plugtail meet that need?
Incomplete drawings and specs, aggressive customer schedules and the shortage of skilled labor mean that productivity-enhancing products, processes and procedures are all integral to ensure quality work while controlling costs. Industry studies find that up to 50 percent of an electrician’s time is used in material handling, not put-in-place activities. Pre-construction and prefabrication activities are helping contractors eliminate repetitive, redundant and non-productive activities from the site to more controlled and productive environments. PlugTail utilized in prefabricated "room in box" solutions offers fast fabrication, permits less skilled labor to complete trim out and may allow the tenant/customer to wait and choose wiring devices when they are certain they have the latest decor, color and functionality that’s available.
The rapid evolution of technology directly correlates to how we retrofit spaces with the future in mind. What must contractors consider that they didn’t previously?
The pace of change continues to accelerate. Emerging codes and standards will also drive retrofitting and improvements to existing spaces. An example of this is Plug Load Control. As states adopt ASHRAE 90.1 and enforce compliance with controlling receptacle power, the contractors and commercial customers that installed PlugTail will have an easy transition to new devices. By installing PlugTail for any customer retrofitting or fitting out a new space, the contractor can ensure it’s “future ready.”
Needs vary from environment to environment -- what makes PlugTail an ideal solution?
The benefits vary based on the application. In hospitality settings, the big benefit is that PlugTail devices allow electrical maintenance personnel to make changes or replacements safely and without any major disruption to the guests. In hospitals and healthcare spaces, devices can be easily swapped, minimizing the downtime that a particular circuit or room may need to incur. And in educational spaces, worn and damaged devices can be quickly converted to the latest technology, style, colors and functionality.
To learn more about PlugTail and how it can help save time and money on your next job, visit legrand.us/plugtail