Jon Kennedy Discusses New Electric’s Panel Shop

New El

Mar 26, 2018

New Electric opened its doors in 1970, servicing electrical wiring in homes, shops, and factories. With a reputation for excellence, quality and quick response times, the Burlington-based company soon became a major contractor throughout southern Ontario.

Once established, New Electric began to specialize in the industrial sector, working with automation shops on projects that increasingly involved building custom control panels. New Electric recognized the potential of this opportunity and the advantages that would be come with adding an entire panel shop division. So, in 2000 the company launched the New Electric Panel Shop.

Jon Kennedy started as an apprentice at New Electric in 1996 and was a founding member of the panel shop. At the beginning, he worked at several automation facilities, building any and all panels required. Jon quickly became the resident expert and was called on whenever a new panel was needed.

The panel shop now has a dedicated staff of 7 full-time builders, but also enjoys the benefit of being able to draw on New Electric’s 200+ industrial electricians and apprentices when needed. The shop itself can adapt to high volume as well as large scale projects, with easy access to New Electric’s warehouse and garage spaces. Jon hopes to grow the panel shop team of dedicated technicians beyond 20 full-time staff members in the next few years while also doubling the production space.

“To me, panel building is an art,” says Jon. “I assume in the near future there will be dedicated courses that you’re required to take before you can build panels and that you will need to be licensed to do so.”

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Benefits of working with the New Electric panel shop include:

1. fully customized control panels from your drawings, designed to your exact specifications

2. turnkey solutions, in house and under one roof:
• designing the panel
• creating any/all required drawings
• building pre-approved panels (with CSA or UL for installation in North America), including programming (set-up and/or on site)
• installing and integrating with existing systems

Since the panel shop first opened, there have been thousands of panels made for diverse industries, installed around the world. The New Electric panel shop is a fully CSA and UL approved shop, meaning that all panels intended for North American installation are pre-approved as they leave the shop.

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New Electric has made panels for a diverse set of applications. Notable projects have included:

• panels built on-site for the control room and inside the retractable roof of the Rogers Centre
• multiple panels built and shipped to solar farms outside of North America, with specifications beyond the CSA and UL standards
• massive, multi-door slitting line and furnace panels, which need to be designed and built to allow separation, shipping and re-assembly at the customer site

As technology in the electrical industry changes, so too does the panel shop. In the beginning, typical builds consisted mostly of relay logic panels, which then led to building more and more complex panels with HMIs and PLCs installed. New Electric panel shop employees are constantly kept on the leading edge of emerging technology and are always training to keep up with current trends in the industry. In 2017, New Electric merged with Spark Power, greatly increasing the volume and capability for high voltage and smart grid panels projects.

Today, New Electric has 12 branches: eight in Ontario, and four more in the U.S.

Find out more: www.newelectric.com

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