Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

 July 17, 2017

Gordon MacdonaldBy Owen Hurst

Gordon MacDonald is a cheerful, driven individual who loves to be challenged, a trait that suits him well as a lighting specialist overseeing retrofit projects for Rexel in New Brunswick and P.E.I. He also has had a unique introduction to the field he now works in.

Gordon was born and raised in Moncton, New Brunswick and has lived there for most of his life. He has an incredibly busy home life that extends to his children, stepchildren and grandchildren. Beyond family life he enjoys “playing guitar and piano, going target shooting, cooking BBQ, trying new foods and learning new things.”

I asked Gordon about how he got to this unique position.

“When I graduated high school, I wanted to become an electrician... but there was a 2-year waiting list at the local community college, so I decided to go to a private college and try Network Administrator/Integrator. This was a good fit for me as I got to build PCs and learn all about software and networking. I have always had an interest in electronics. That led me to several computer technician type roles in manufacturing, wholesale, retail, and third party service to end users. Eventually, I got married and started a family, and the cost of living and my income didn’t match, so I took a 4-year job at a glass manufacturing plant where the pay was good, but the hours were long and hard on my body. I ended up with a herniated disc in my back and was forced to rethink my career path...

“I went back to college, this time taking Electrical Engineering Technology and specialized in alternative energy, as it seemed to be an important field to become a part of. I spent a number of years working with wholesalers, agents and contractors, all of which has helped give me a lot of the skills needed to take on the role I am in now, this time in the Electrical/Energy Business.”

Gordon had a long road to get to his position at Rexel, but he has applied all the learning he acquired along the way to better himself and his capabilities. I asked him why lighting when there are a number of avenues one could pursue when working with a major electrical wholesaler. He notes that it didn’t start out that way, but Gordon is not one to turn from a new challenge.

“The position was initially going to encompass multiple energy technologies, but became a lighting specialist role. They asked me if I wanted to learn LED lighting and focus on helping our branches find and manage lighting retrofit opportunities and I said sure, it sounds challenging.”

When asked about working for Rexel he was enthusiastic in his response. “The best thing about working for Rexel is that I get to work like I own this business, and get to see customers wherever opportunities exist. I cover two whole provinces, so I am never bored and every day is new and fresh. I have the full support of a great team at multiple branches and management staff that fully support me in all my business development endeavours and Rexel offers me unlimited training to better myself and offers me every tool necessary to get the job done.”

The questioning naturally turned to the future of LED lighting and Gordon provided interesting professional insight into this current hot topic. “I think in the short term, more and more products will flood the market from China, and the price erosion we are seeing will continue at a rapid pace. Improvements in light efficacy are growing quickly as are the overall range of products that are coming out to replace just about every major type of existing lighting technology. I see more and more businesses investing in their energy infrastructure as economic times worsen; the quickest way to stay alive is to cut expenses.

I see the long-term future as being a totally integrated one where you will have lighting panels that can be used as a light source, emit television images, act as a window on a wall, be used to transmit data on a LiFi network, etc. With smart connected homes and businesses, we will all slowly become part of the Internet of energy where all homes and businesses are like an energy IP address being able to send and receive and store energy easily, and all devices will eventually become connected to provide complete and total integration of the energy pyramid of conservation, efficiency, and renewable energy production. A truly sustainable future is possible and the technology already exists… It’s all about time and the will to implement it.”

Elaborating on this, we talked about rapid shifts in lighting technology and how they affect wholesalers. “The thing that bothers me about this industry is it sometimes feels like a race to the bottom... in terms of price and profit. We all have to make a living, and with the increasing flood of new products coming from multiple manufacturers, competition is high. LED lighting technology changes faster than anything else I have ever sold, and it seems like every time we buy a new product, its price drops by 20% within a couple of months because the next best thing is out. Many people are moving to selling purely on price.”

One of the factors that Gordon deals with is the balance between a company’s energy consumption and cost of doing a full lighting retrofit. Many companies recognize their lighting costs are high but don’t see the ability in their budget to undertake a costly retrofit, even if the advantages of lower lighting costs will have effect overtime. I asked Gordon about this, and he shared a story about an analogous situation and his approach to it.

“I had a customer once tell my colleague that they didn’t have the money to retrofit their building with new LED lighting, so they planned on just replacing lamps and ballasts as they burned out. That was until I went in and did a lighting audit and offered a leasing proposal that in essence took the energy savings from doing the lighting upgrade and put that money on a monthly lease payment which basically got them a free lighting upgrade. We signed the deal in less than a week. The project was a great success, the building is properly lit now, and the workers are much happier under LED light.

I help people realize that they are giving their hard-earned money to the power utilities, when they could be investing in back into their business. Many businesses look at putting aside a capital budget to do upgrades and sometimes wait for years before they go ahead; mind you, all this time there is a huge cost of waiting. I help them utilize their already funded operations budget to finance the project without having to go to the bank for a loan. This can be done with many energy or demand saving technologies like VFDs, power factor correction systems, and LED lighting.”

Gordon is not just focused on LED retrofitting for the benefit of his company. He is seeking solutions that advance Rexel’s priorities while helping local businesses as well. He generally enjoys what he does and shows no sign of slowing.

“I never imagined I would be this happy with my life and my career at 42… I love what I do and look forward to getting up every day and going out into the world looking for the next great opportunity. I love being in different places and meeting new people all the time not to mention being challenged by every new project I tackle.”

 

Changing Scene

  • Prev
This past summer, from July 1 to September 15, AD Rewards ran the Redeem for a Dream promotion.
  Rittal Systems Canada, the world’s largest and most trusted manufacturer of ...
Learn about the latest trends in structured cabling. Offered by Fluke Networks, this seminar will ...
  After a decade of creating affordable, energy-efficient LED Lighting exclusively for the ...
Effective January 1, 2019, Ramy Yousif assumes the position of Rexel Atlantic’s General ...
Standard’s Mississauga Sales office has moved to a new location and is now fully operational. ...
Heather and Elaine Gerrie, co-presidents of Gerrie Electric, are this year’s winners of the ...
Canadian Occupational Safety magazine has announced the winners of the eighth annual Canada’s ...
After eight months, 263 events, 17 broken clocks, and thousands of competitors, Ideal’s 2018 ...
The $24 million investment by Quebec electric heating equipment and electronic controls ...

Electrician Forum Brought to you by Schneider Electric

As industry experts you know the products you use everyday better than anyone and should have input on what information you receive about products and what could improve them.

Therefore, we want your insight on the biggest challenges or issues you face when installing loadcentres, breakers (CAFI, GFI's…) and other surge protection devices. We ask that you do not provide product specific details but rather your general issues and concerns or any questions that have come to mind while working with these product types. Provide us with your valued expert insight into the issues you have faced so manufacturers can better inform you about the installation and use of these products. Lets generate some discussion that will help guide the Industry.

Make your comments  HERE

 

Codes and Regulations Brought to You by the CSA Group

  • Prev
In this article: Section 58 — Passenger Ropeways and Similar Equipment. Rule 58-000 ...
  Unauthorized CSA Group certification marks have been found on wiring by Triumph Cable ...
In this article: Section 52 — Diagnostic imaging installations. The CE code is a ...
In this article: Section 46 — Emergency Power Supply, Unit Equipment, Exit Signs, and ...
  In this article: Section 44 — Theatre Installations. The CE Code is a ...
CSA has published C22.2 No. 60947-7-3, the harmonized standard for low-voltage switchgear and ...
  Electric welders. The CE Code is a comprehensive document. Sometimes it can seem ...
  In this article: Section 40 — Electric cranes and hoists. The CE Code is a ...

 

Cloud

There has been a lot of talk about cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) models these days but both are relatively new to the lighting industry. Let’s take a look at what they are as well as their roles in commercial lighting.

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of compute power, database storage, and applications via the Internet with pay-as-you-go or subscription-based pricing. Cloud computing means that instead of all the computer hardware, software, and data that you are using sitting somewhere inside your company’s network, it’s provided and managed for you as a service by another company and you access it over the Internet. 

Read More



Tools for the Trade

  • Prev
  IDEAL Industries has introduced Combination Drill Taps to its tool lineup. Combining the ...
  Stripping and crimping device, 100 - 240 V input voltage, for insulated ferrules with a ...
Professional all-in-one cutter/stripper for coaxial and twisted pair cables     ...
  Klein Tools' Coax Explorrer 2 tests coaxial cable and maps up to 4 locations   ...
  Ideal Industries' T-14 wire stripper s are ideal for all professionals working within the ...
  The ATS850 conveyor eliminates all types of electro static discharge requirements. ...
  Lorik Tool & Automation has the experience and ability to manufacture a variety of ...
  Ideal Industries' 26 piece insulated Journeyman kit is ideal for new electricians or for ...
  Klein Tools Deluxe Fish Rod Set comes in 19 pieces that when assembled can fish wire and ...
  BendWorks Software was designed to help electrical contractors adopt this new process ...

Latest Articles

  • Prev
Each year, more people are interested in incorporating energy conservation in their homes and daily ...
Electrical engineers working in Missaussauga, Ontario have the highesty median salary compared to ...
Canadian municipalities issued $8.1 billion worth of building permits in August, up 0.4% from July. ...
A few weeks ago Kim Quelch, National President of Electro-Federation Canada (EFC)’s Young ...
Luminaires are becoming smart nodes on powerful data networks. How is this happening and what are ...

 

Lumens

This article is an excerpt from a technical brief, “Understanding LM-80, Lumen Maintenance, and LED Fixture Lifetime,” by Philips Color Kinetics.

Test results of lumen maintenance in conventional and LED light sources differ considerably. This is known as the lumen maintenance gap. These tests are performed to determine the useful life of a light source. But how do we compare lighting technologies satisfactorily if test results of a same designation do not mean the same thing? These lumen maintenance measurement distinctions are those we will examine in this article, as a clear understanding of this gap will have a significant impact on the installation, maintenance and replacement cost calculations of lighting products.

Read More

 

Product News

  • Prev
With more work being completed outside of the traditional office setting, having the right tools on ...
  Eaton has announced expanded fixtures, controls and accessories for its Halo ...
  The HALO Home Internet Access Bridge (Bridge) enables you to control your HALO Home ...
  The wireless receptacle is an integral part of the WaveLinx Wireless Connected Lighting ...
  The latest in label creation software,  Brady  Workstation has revolutionized ...
Brady’s new ToughStripe Max floor marking tape is ideal for high-traffic areas where sliding ...
  Strip, cut, twist, shear and crimp with one tool. Features four dedicated crimpers for B ...
  The ultimate in UL listed and CSA certified watertight, direct burial ...
  The IDEAL Stripmaster® Model 950™ Wire Stripper is an electrically operated, ...
   Arlington’s zinc MC cable fittings, for dry locations, are convenient and ...

 

Copper $US Dollar price per pound


 

Jean-Marc Myette

By Line Goyette

Meeting people in our industry often comes with surprises. This was the case with Jean-Marc Myette, Business Development Manager of ABB’s Electrification Products Division and chair of the Board of Electro-Federation Canada’s Quebec section. Not only does he know the electrical industry down to the most minute product and technological innovations, he is also a professional car racer on sabbatical, and someone very involved in his business community and personal life.

Read More

 

 

Kerrwil Publications

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2018 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil