Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

Nov 1, 2019

LDS EPIC mainlab 400By Blake Marchand

When it comes to bringing technology and innovation into the marketplace, in particular, technologies and innovations that broader society has vested interest in proliferating, collaboration between government, educational institutions, and industry are often a necessity. While colleges and universities excel in research and development from an intellectual and facility perspective, they aren’t as equipped as industry when it comes to bringing those innovations to market. And from a resource perspective, government can bridge the gap between industry and institution to provide an extra incentive to not only innovate but bring those innovations to fruition in the marketplace.

This is why programs like Mohawk College’s IDEAWORKS and their Energy and Power Innovation Centre (EPIC) are so crucial to the industry as well as in developing well-rounded students that are prepared to succeed within that industry.LDS EPIC Faculty 400

“Mohawk College has conducted applied research for approximately 12 years and focusing energy and power for 9 years, the initial area of expertise of EPIC was protection and control, and power quality. For the last two years, we have re-focused our areas to evolve with industry, as well as involve more our students and Faculty,” explained EPIC General Manager, Mariano Arriaga. Operating on a cost-recovery basis, the Centre has been able to develop and grow with provincial and federal government grants, as well as with their collaboration with industry stakeholders.

IDEAWORKS engages undergraduate students and hires co-op students in Mohawk’s Energy and Electrical programs, which in addition to providing practical research and development experience, provides students with career opportunities with the companies the college is collaborating with. A benefit to the industry and students.

LDS EPIC student 400“We provide them with a meaningful experiential learning opportunity since they are working directly with industry in solving some of the current problems. The students participate directly in projects ranging from testing, validation, and demonstration of new technologies; verify performance and efficiency of technologies and different configurations, as well as feasibility studies. In addition, from an industry perspective, our projects involving students become a pre-interview process for industry to hire students that, as part of the projects, are already familiar with their products and services,” said Mariano.

The Centre essentially lowers the risk companies undertake when developing new products or technologies. Maximizing value proposition by leveraging government funding, providing targeted training activities, and ultimately providing access to facilities and equipment, “including electrical testing and monitoring, protection and control equipment, power sources (conventional and renewable), real-time simulator, and battery and solar PV emulator. As well as, information from the College’s Building Automation System (BAS) for a recently opened 8, 900m2 Net-Zero Energy Building.”

Mariano said the Centre has established a process to identify and work with industry partners in applied research projects. Guiding them to the process of identifying the challenge, scoping the project, finding funding sources, and developing the collaboration project. In addition, EPIC has the support from IDEAWORKS Business Development team which helps identify potential partners and disseminate project results.

Mariano identified energy efficient technologies and cybersecurity as two areas pertinent to the future of the industry that EPIC has begun exploring.

“There is a set of energy efficiency measures that industry is and will implement without requiring an applied research component,” he explained, “We believe, and know, that industry can jump ahead and implement this right away. However, we want to focus on upcoming technologies, processes, sensors that require some testing, validation, and demonstration of the technology or configuration.”

“One of our main objectives, besides reducing energy consumption, is to decrease commissioning time at industrial facilities as much as possible.”

Mohawk recently opened a cybersecurity lab that will soon offer cybersecurity related programs.

“We want to leverage this upcoming expertise with the existing expertise in protection and control and our decommissioned substation facility in downtown Hamilton,” he said.

LDS EPIC CarolineSubstation 400In 2018, Alectra Utilities provided use of a decommission substation, with support from Omicron, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Schneider Electric, and Siemens. The substation was renovated to include classrooms, and ultimately provide a real-life working environment for students, as well as a facility for the industry to conduct training, demonstration, testing and research.

Mariano has been EPIC’s General Manager since June 2019. He earned his B.A.Sc. and M.A.Sc. degrees in Industrial Systems Engineering from the University of Regina in 2002 and 2003, respectively.

“My experience has been very positive while growing the Centre and finding opportunities for our students, faculty, and technical staff to get involved in projects directly related to industry problems. The Applied Research capabilities of Mohawk (EPIC), and, I can say, Colleges in general, are growing areas where collaborative projects with industry can bring mutual benefits,” said Mariano of his time with EPIC.

Over the past 10 years Mariano has focused on renewable energy research and practical projects at different development stages, with a special focus on energy for remote communities. He also works with Ontario’s First Nations as an advisor and instructor in energy-related opportunities at the community level.

His work and research have taken him all over the world from his hometown in Mexico to Canada, Tanzania, and Laos. He earned a M.Sc. in Renewable Energy at the University of Zaragoza, Spain in 2009 and completed his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Waterloo in 2015.

Photos courtesy Mohawk College

Blake Marchand is Assistant Editor with Kerrwil Electrical Group

Title: Ready, Set, Scale: How to Grow Your Field Service Business

SimProThrough many trials and tribulations, you’ve grown your business to where it is today. It’s taken blood, sweat, tears, long hours and sacrifice. But, it’s all been worth it to have something which you can call your own. It’s even more worth it when you can finally take that next step to grow your business even further and expand your service, project and maintenance work.

That moment when your hard work has finally paid off and you’re able to take your field service business to the next level. But, then it hits you - you’re not sure how to take those next steps or what you might need to make sure you don’t fail.

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Become a Wiser Approved Installer


Get access to exclusive benefits, product discounts and resources that will help you drive more business, and lower energy bills for your clients.









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Switch to Smart, Switch to Easy, Switch to Beautiful

Schneider Connected LivingScrewless wall plates. Smart Outlets. Square D™ Switches and Receptacles are raising the bar on aesthetics, ease of installation, remote lighting control and connectivity.








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Liteline Continues Canadian Investment

EIN BC Liteline 400Adding continued investment in Canada to its core foundation of innovative Design, installation efficiency, and personal customer service, Liteline has just announced the opening of its 12,729 square foot Showroom and Lighting Distribution Center in Langley BC.

The new Liteline Facility is located at 26550 Gloucester Way, Unit A110 and will house the new Liteline Distribution Center along with a product showroom. Stocking our 2-day QuickShip items, this new facility will service B.C. to Saskatchewan, as well as the Pacific Northwest and California in the United States allowing product to be delivered faster.

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Changing Scene

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Vivi WhiteVivi White has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) by the Honourable Ross Romano, Minister of Government and Consumer Services.

“As Chair, I am pleased that the Ontario Government recently appointed Vivi White to the Board,” said Annette Bergeron. “The Electrical Safety Authority’s efforts over the years have greatly improved the safety of the people of Ontario. It’s an important mandate and requires a strong, talented and diverse board as we transform into a modern regulator.”


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Omnicable joins ETIMETIM North America announced that OmniCable has joined the product classification standards organization. Headquartered in West Chester, PA, OmniCable has 24 locations throughout North America, and also owns Houston Wire & Cable (HWC). The company partners with many electrical manufacturers and only sells to distributors.

According to John Dean, Director of Marketing & E-Commerce, OmniCable/HWC, “The wire and cable industry is often called commodities, but there are very distinct features and attributes for the different products our manufacturers produce. 

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Canadian Electrical Contractor Discussion Group: Can You Count the Deficiencies?

EIN CECD 400Have you ever been called to fix the work of a 'handyman'?

"Was supposedly done by a"certified ' electrician....told the homeowner that he got a $266 record at TSBC. Can you count the deficiencies?"

"There is a second panel change in the triplex also.......even more deficiencies. Think the guy was a glorified handyman. Ones not obvious: 240 BB heat hooked up 120....drier on 2p20....range on 2p50....water heater fed with 2c14 Bx on 2p15."

Go HERE to join the discussion




FlukeElectrical distribution problems are not always immediately identified as issues with power quality. An example of this is a thermal-magnetic circuit breaker. When it trips, the indication is generally a short circuit, ground fault, or overload. At times this can be put down to an old breaker that needs replacing.

However, it’s important to investigate the types of loads on the system and monitor harmonics for a potential disturbance. This article explores common issues with power quality and how to troubleshoot those issues.



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EIN Romex 12 2 Recall 400This recall involves a yellow electrical wire, 12/2 NMD90 75M Romex SIMpull cable, sold by the spool. Products were also sold at Home Depot designated as article 108196.  Only cables with a time stamp between 12:41 and 18:02 are affected by this recall. 

The recalled product contains a neutral wire that is a smaller 14-gauge wire, contrary to the stamp on the wire identifying both the neutral and “hot” wires as 12-gauge (i.e., "12/2"). 

The recalled product contains a 14-gauge neutral wire instead of 12-gauge (as labelled), thus it may not perform as expected in 12-gauge applications, resulting in a risk of those applications having impaired performance and/or compliance with safety codes or standards.

Go HERE for more information


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Greenlee Mobile Bending Table for 881 Series Hydraulic BendersGreenlee is bringing secure and easy-to-transport conduit bending capabilities to jobsites with the introduction of its Mobile Bending Table for 881 Series Hydraulic Benders. The new product combines the latest in anti-theft protection with enhanced mobility, easy set-up and quick teardown.

“Electricians are constantly trying to do work more efficiently. Anytime we can shave time off a job, it’s a win – and this product delivers that with easier set-up and portability. At the same time, we know that protecting equipment from theft is an issue for a lot of tradespeople. The new Greenlee Mobile Bending Table for the 881 Series Hydraulic Benders is our latest solution to help professionals safeguard their investments and increase productivity,” 

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Klein Tools Upgraded Testing KitKlein Tools introduces the Premium Electrical Test Kit.

Premium Electrical Test Kit (Cat. No. 69355)

  • Refreshed kit that features three new product releases geared towards a variety of electrical testing applications.
  • Kit includes instructions and all required batteries.

Manual-Ranging Digital Multimeter with Right-Angle Test Leads (Cat. No. MM320 – Exclusive to Cat. No. 69355 and Cat. No. MM320KIT)

  • Measures up to 600V AC/DC voltages, 10A DC current and 2-ohm resistance
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Brady M211Design, preview and print – all from your phone. Simple and intuitive, the M211 Label Printer is built for the job site, running all day on a full charge while resisting drops, shocks and crushes.

  • Simple. Easy. Intuitive.  Seamlessly design, preview and print labels from the industry leading Express Labels App on your familiar smartphone and swiftly connect to your printer.
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Peers & Profiles

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Brent NeillyBy Blake Marchand

Brent Neilly is the Group Marketing Manager with Milwaukee, he has a background in business communications with a B.A. from Brock University, as well as experience working in the construction industry.

“When I joined TTI (Milwaukee’s parent company) it was kind of a perfect match, I had some marketing knowledge from my business degree and some industry experience from working in the trades.” Neilly gained his experience covering an area from Orillia to Timmins, Ontario when he first joined the company as a Field Sales Rep, as well as on their Job Site Core Trade Specialists in the GTA where he found his niche working with utility clients. 

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