Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

July 28, 2020

By Sarah PickardTom Miguel

At 14, Tom Miguel was sitting in the counsellor’s office of Silverthorn Collegiate Institute in Etobicoke, Ontario with his entire life ahead of him. In 1981, the world was changing, and like so many young men and women, he was faced with a world of choices that would go on to define both his career and his life. It was in this office that some counsellor suggested becoming an electrician, and Tom’s interest was piqued.

I knew from that point on what field of studies I needed to focus on to become an electrician,” Tom said.

Tom graduated high school in 1986 and began a five-year apprenticeship as a construction electrician. He received his 309A license at the age of 22 on April 10th, 1990, and on September 29th that same year, married his beautiful wife Christina Servinis. Together, they had two amazing children: Nick, who is now a licensed electrician; and Angela, a licensed paralegal and proud mother to two babies of her own. While children and grandchildren toddled their chubby-cheeked way into Tom’s life, he spent thirty years exploring the electrical and manufacturing world.

I decided early on during my apprenticeship that I wanted to be experienced in all fields of the electrical industry. I gained experience in commercial construction, then institutional construction, then residential High-Rise construction, then industrial construction and Industrial automation and lastly service work. Out of all the areas that I was fortunate enough to have gained experience, I enjoyed the industrial automation field the best as it was the most challenging.

Tom began a career in the industrial sector working for Dempster’s Bread. In his eight years there he worked his way up from electrician to lead hand, maintenance supervisor, and finally maintenance manager. When asked about the highlights, Tom said “My greatest accomplishment at Dempster’s was building the plant and automating the entire process. to achieve 95% efficiency. Rarely did this plant have greater than 5% downtime in a given year.”

After Dempster’s, Tom moved into the lucrative automotive sector, where manufacturing plants paid extremely well. He spent the next eight years of his career working at Ford within the paint process. However, “Unsatisfied with the harsh environment and even harsher chemical exposure, I decided that another career move was in order.

From there he went to the Brampton Chrysler plant in 2005, starting as a maintenance supervisor in the assembly area. 15 years later, Tom is responsible for the World Class Professional Maintenance Pillar in assembly. He proudly reports that “The methodology that we use is a systematic process that if executed correctly, will deliver zero unscheduled downtime.” Tom’s job also includes the implementation and training of world class methodologies. A particular challenge, he notes, is convincing veteran tradesmen that the way things were done in the past are no longer effective, and convincing them to use the professional maintenance strategy. However, he adds that watching them respond with a new, profound understanding of the work and seeing the results of their efforts is deeply rewarding.

Those same rewards can be found in the efforts of Tom’s other, younger students. These days, thirty years after Tom received his certification as an electrician, he can be found in the halls of Sheridan College, where he teaches college students and electrical apprentices alike the skills they need to be successful as an electrician. “There really is no better reward in life than knowing your skills and experience are being used to help students pursue a rewarding career in the electrical field.

With Tom’s long history in the electrical field, and with the insights granted to him by his role as professor, we asked Tom where he saw the industry heading in the next thirty years.

As we continue to move away from fossil fuels, we will become increasingly dependent on electricity to provide the things we need. The future is very clear: clean energy sources like electricity will completely dominate over all other energy sources. For this reason, the opportunities in the electrical field are endless, and will provide many good paying jobs for people all over the world.”

For any young men or women sitting in the counselor’s office, staring down their future, they should take that to heart.

Sarah Pickard is Assistant Editor, Kerrwil Electrical Group


 Salex Expands to Southwestern Ontario                                                                   

LDS Salex 12 175

Salex continues to support the Southwestern Ontario market with representation of key market leaders in lighting and controls, including its partnership with Axis Lighting, Beghelli Canada and OSRAM.

Axis Lighting is an innovative, forward-thinking manufacturer delivering high-performance LED luminaires for general, ambient and task lighting in office, commercial and institutional spaces. One of their leading-edge developments includes Stencil. Stencil brings together lighting segments and connectors called Hubs, the building blocks for creating forms and patterns of all sizes. 

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Changing Scene

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Schneider Electric announced today the promotion of Adrian Thomas to country ...
Mark your calendars for Nov. 24-25 and get ready for a virtual trade show and amazing technical ...
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The Alberta Electrical Alliance have partnered with Mansfield Technical Services to provide ...
InfraCanada / InfraQuebec is an annual series of user group meetings across Canada for FLIR and ITC ...
ESA’s response team has been working diligently to address the emerging issues. We are moving into ...


The Jaibot executes its tasks based on building information modeling (BIM) data. The robot is a completely cordless and easy-to-use system that doesn’t require expert skills. It locates itself accurately indoors, drills the holes dust-controlled and finally marks them according to the trade. 

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LDS IESO retrofit 400Two pioneering greenhouse growers are testing energy-efficiency technologies in the Windsor-Essex region in an effort to support local economic growth. As significant expansion of Ontario’s greenhouse sector increases the need for electricity, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has been working with communities on solutions to ensure continued electricity reliability and cost-effectiveness.

Supported by the IESO’s Grid Innovation Fund, the pilot projects are a response to consultations with communities, the greenhouse sector, local utilities and other sector partners, to integrate innovative thinking and explore new solutions beyond conventional electricity infrastructure.

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EIN AEA virtual 400Mark your calendars for Nov. 24-25 and get ready for a virtual trade show and amazing technical presentations. AEA, the exhibitors and presenters are so excited to present this event to the entire province of Alberta.

Attendees will have easy access to virtual booths with an opportunity to have their questions answered by qualified people, and win some prizes throughout the days at both the trade show Virtual Floor and by attending the seminars.

 

Go HERE to register and for the full event details

 

 


 

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Lighting ControlsBy Jeremy Day

Building a control system for a modern lighting installation can seem like an impossibly complex task. To simplify it, a systematic approach to understanding the needs of the design, facility, and user can be employed. In this white paper, we aim to define the questions one must answer to construct an appropriate control system.

First, and perhaps counterintuitively, one must start with the control narrative. A lighting programming and control narrative is a document that is essential to coordinate the design/construction process with a fully realized final architectural product. 

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Terry BeckerBy Terry Becker

Changes in the CSA Z462 Workplace electrical safety standard are slowing down. Good news! The 2021 edition will see significant reorganization of content in Clause 4.1, changes to existing annexes, some new annexes and a significant change to the arc flash PPE category method of determining “additional protective measures” for a work task’s arc flash risk assessment are included in the 2021 edition.

CSA Z462 2021 edition will not be 100% technically harmonized with the 2021 edition of NFPA 70E...


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Lighting ReportSupported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) conducted research to characterize the current state of DC lighting and building microgrid market and technologies.

This research included extensive literature reviews, interviews of 28 subject matter experts and manufacturers, and a formal Request for Information (RFI) to DC lighting and microgrid controller manufacturers. The RFI was released April 23, 2020, and garnered 46 responses over 9 weeks.

 

 

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Product News

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The AutomationDirect lineup of tools and test equipment now includes digital multimeters, clamp-on ...
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Universal Lighting Technologies, Inc., a member of the Panasonic family of companies, recently ...
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High Output LED PAR Replacement Lamps directly replace high-wattage incandescent PAR lamps at a ...
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Shat-R-Shield Ironclad VR ProShat-R-Shield's Correctional Cell Fixture is designed to withstand extreme abuse by using materials that are virtually indestructible. Built with 1/2" thick 304 Stainless Steel and a cast .400" thick diffused lens, this light fixture is built to withstand hard/repetitive impacts and its tight design offers no point of entry.

The Ironclad® Vandal-Resistant (VR Pro) fixture uses an LED high efficiency light engine with a cool light that simulates daylight. The incorporated count light LED module can be turned on and off. Tested to Canadian and US standards by Underwriters' Laboratories, this fixture carries a cULus rating.

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M12™ Heated TOUGHSHELL™ Jacket KitOur heated TOUGHSHELL™ jacket is powered by our powerful M12™ REDLITHIUM™ batteries. Each heated jacket uses carbon fiber heating elements to create and distribute heat to your chest, back and front hand pockets. A one-touch LED controller heats up the battery heated jacket to three heat settings, creating a comfortable heat for any environment or weather.

This MILWAUKEE® heated jacket has a new Quick-Heat function that allows you to feel heat three times faster than our previous jackets and market competitors. 

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Kenzie GillanBy Sarah Pickard

Mackenzie Gillan, a bright young lady from Baysville, Ontario, tells us about how she learned to love the electrical trade in high school, and how that path has carried her forward to unexpected places and new heights—literally. Gillan is set to begin a Powerline Technician Apprenticeship with Hydro One, and as she explains below, she had some interesting experiences during two college co-op placements.

While her career has just begun, Gillian is already active in the broader industry as an advocate for women, working as an ambassador for KickAss Careers, Women of Powerline Technicians, and Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE).

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ABBFor more than a century, ABB has been investing in Canadian technologies and products to support the development of local businesses.

Canada has been known around the world for its delicious maple syrup and warm winter coats. But it is also a place for innovation, certainly for technology leader ABB, which has partnered with several Canadian customers to foster industrial transformation and manufacture products that suit their specific needs for over a century. Across Canada, ABB experts build the most trusted products in North America.

 

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