Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

October 6, 2021

Eric Deschenes 400By Line Goyette

As the head of ABB Canada's electrification business unit, Éric Deschênes is no newcomer to the electrical industry. He has a long track record and a passion for finding practical solutions to optimize technology adoption. Deschênes took on his current role with ABB January of 2020, he joined ABB in 2017 as Executive VP of the Electrification business after 15 years with Schneider Electric. We met with him recently to discuss his new role at the helm of ABB Canada and his plans moving forward. He began by pointing out that the recent change to ABB Canada's structure, as elsewhere in the world, was made to make customer relations more straightforward. "The corporate matrix has been streamlined to get closer to the customer," says Eric.

Our meeting took place in the ABB offices in Iberville, which until recently bore the Thomas & Betts logo. For Éric Deschênes, this location is more than emblematic, "Thomas & Betts has brought an important signature and culture to ABB that revolves around two axes: the distribution network and the customer-user. These two elements must be at the heart of any process.  Even if you offer the best product, if doing business together is difficult, the customer goes elsewhere." For now, ABB Canada's new leader is working to build a digital platform where the customer is always at the heart of the process.

The change has begun. The stated goal is to have a differentiating value in the market. "We're competing today with people who could be in their garage. If an individual offers a product that corresponds to a customer's need and proposes a new technology, they become a competitor, hence the importance of getting closer to the customer and simplifying daily relationships and business processes," insists Deschênes and he specifies that this change was initiated under the leadership of Nathalie Pilon. "When she moved from the presidency of T&B to ABB Canada, she sought to have all business units work together in a way that would add value and differentiate ABB. I make it my duty to continue what Nathalie started, and the change will be in continuity," he says.

A digital shift

At the heart of these changes is the digital revolution, both internally and externally. "We want to offer relevance and added value to the customer. We're eliminating unnecessarily long bureaucratic steps and replacing them with digital processes and we're seeing the processing of applications go from 60 to 3 days. We also talk about VMI, online product selectors. We want to be the most efficient partner for our channel partners for standard products, configuration products and engineering products." Eric continues, "GE's integration with ABB allows us to offer over 20,000 standard product lines at the Bromont distribution center. Everything is centralized for these products: one order, one shipment, one invoice. When we thought about integrating GE, the question was how to integrate this entity and move forward as a company. We started with the DNA of Thomas & Betts, which is to become the most efficient partner for our distributors, to be the most digital and technical to bring relevance and value to keep the customer at the center of all our processes."

"The common thread across all business units will be digitization on two levels, internally and externally. Internally, our plants and distribution centers will all be equipped with ABB technology. At the process level, we will reduce unnecessary bureaucracy to a minimum, any manual interaction that adds unnecessary pressure to a transaction will be removed. We will digitize the interactions between people to bring incomparable efficiency, as much as possible. This external digitization is ABB Ability, the digital platform that all business units will implement."

Projects - Produced and assembled in Canada

In Canada ABB has about 50 buildings, 9 manufacturing and assembly plants and the Bromont distribution center, which for now only has electrification products. "We will create space on the Montreal campus for Bromont to become a distribution center for products from all business units. Our customers are often the same, in automation, electrification or low voltage products. We will migrate our business systems to a single ERP system.

The Bromont distribution center will migrate from Bromont electrification products to Bromont ABB Canada and in the space created at the Montreal campus, 5 production lines for products formerly manufactured in the United States will be brought in, including motor control centers, connection panels and lighting panels. This is an important project for Eric Deschênes. "It will not be an assembly line. The steel will come from Canada, the fabrication will be done in Canada and the final assembly will be done at the Montreal campus. We have successfully tested the first lighting panel that was manufactured in November and shipped to the client, it works. We are in the process of recalibrating everything to reduce costs for all our partners. The Canadian market has 880 distribution points, we have access to 660 distribution points. So, it's in our interest to simplify and maximize to optimize. It would be a fundamental mistake to ignore the distributor in the way we serve the Canadian market.”

I ask Deschênes about his goals for 2020, which we’ll follow up on in our 2021 interview, he responded this way: "Goal #1 is to make sure we continue the same sustained growth (double digit growth) with the involvement of our employees. They are the ones making the decisions, who are close to the customers. We have confidence in them. My second objective is to accelerate digitalization internally and externally, and the third, which will give us the most pleasure, is the integration of all standard, configurable and engineered products into the manufacturing and assembly processes in Canada.” It's a date!

Line Goyette is Managing Editor of Kerrwil Publications' Electrical Group, this article was originally published on Le monde de l'électricité en ligne in March of 2020.

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

Schneider

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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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 permit....no 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

 


 

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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.

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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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Copper $US Dollar price per pound

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