Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

 

Feb 19, 2016

Swati Patel 3Laurence Rocher-Brassard

Swati Patel is proud of the successes she has achieved so far. Her success is due, in large part, to her courage to take chances, even when outside of her comfort zone.

This mother of two children, 6 and 9 years old, was born in Toronto to parents who emigrated from Mumbai, India in the late 1960s/early 1970s. Her father is an electrical engineer by training (University of Ottawa), but she had never considered working in the electrical industry. Writing had always been her passion. Early on, she had always thought about pursuing a career in broadcasting or journalism.

After earning a Bachelor's degree in English literature, Swati began her career in marketing communications. After some time working with media and technology firms, “I quickly realized that my strength was the ability to take complex ideas and make them meaningful and relevant to a diverse audience. I knew that I could apply this skill to any industry.” In 2005, she took her love for language and brought it to the electrical sector after an industry friend introduced her to EFC.

Today, Swati Patel is the Director of Research and Communications at Electro-Federation Canada (EFC). She started at the organization as a communications specialist and then progressed to communications manager. Among her accomplishments at EFC, she has written publications and white papers on many industry topics. She has also managed the production of Pathfinder (EFC’s authoritative benchmarking and market analysis source for the Canadian electrical channel), guidesEFC’s Research Committee, and represents EFC on the Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network steering committee. Most recently, she has taken to heart an emerging industry challenge: the recruitment and retention of young people.

Swati Patel 4

How Swati sees the industry

What she finds particularly appealing about the electrical sector is its diversity, both in the nature of the work and the people she has encountered. Being involved in a variety of issues and meeting people who have taken so many different paths is an incredible opportunity.

Asked what she would change in the industry, she pauses to think. “If you had asked me this question several years ago, I would have answered: this industry needs more women, young people and cultural diversity. But I see that this is already changing." Today, she sees a refreshing diversity. "It is important to have people who don’t all think alike. It challenges companies—and the whole industry — and encourages them to grow."

Her advice for those wishing to work in the electrical industry

"Always try something new, even if it's outside of your comfort zone... and never, ever have any regrets." It’s a philosophy that continues to serve Swati well in both her professional and personal life.At one point, Swati had followed a dream of becoming an educator and had gone back to school to earn another degree. While her teaching experience served her well, she longed to come back to her communications roots and began with EFC again, where she continues to find opportunities to inform and educate the industry. Her life is dotted with opportunities to grow, she says. And growth is what she aspires to achieve and what inspires her to do more and be better.

Building the future of the industry

One of Swati’s key priorities is EFC’s Young Professionals Network (YPN).* "My goal is to support committed young professionals in this industry and inspire them to take chances, to network and learn from people at all levels within the industry. Together, young professionals will reinforce how important this industry really is to Canadians overall and to global markets, so that future generations are excited to learn about what I already know."

One factor that must be taken into account, says Swati, is how Millennials differ from previous generations: they’re prepared towork hard, but it doesn’t stop there. They want to connect with others, create important relationships, be part of a bigger overall strategy,and enrich themselves. YPN recognizes and responds to this. "I think it's very important for young people to connect with one another because once they do, they are more likely to stay in the industry—and will be more inclined to lead it someday."

According to Swati, it is essential for the industry to attract young people, and to communicate how appealing and rewarding work in the electrical industry can be. “Companies such as Google and Apple are attractive employers for Millennials. Our challenge will be to make sure that the electrical industry also appeals to them. It’s a significant challenge, but one that must be addressed. Our industry has so many innovative products and services. We all just need to do a better job to broadcast this to the next generation of workers.”

Swati Patel 5

Challenges

One of Swati’s first challenges when she began at EFCwas understanding all of the terminology in a technical industry, but she learned quicklyfrom the people around her. She also learned not to be afraid of asking questions. “People want to share their knowledge.”

Another challenge is not unique to the industry: reconciling work and family life. In this regard, she mentions: "I'm still learning to balance my life to be the best mother, partner, friend and colleague.It's a balancing act all year round, but for the most part it all works out—on most days!"

Challenges will not defeat Swati’s ambition. She encourages risk-taking to overcome challenges: “With risks, come opportunities: there’s no saying what paths might open up and offer life-long learning opportunities. So, take risks and see how far you’ll soar.”

For her, working with members of this industry is a privilege. She takes pride in having created a place for herself in an industry that is largely dominated by men and in having earned their respect for herself and her abilities.

 * YPN is a group for young professionals in the Canadian electrical industry who are interested in participating in regional/national social events, professional development sessions and industry best practices programs. Find out more about EFC’s Young Professionals Network: http://www.electrofed.com/young-professionals-network/.


Laurence Rocher-BrossardLaurence Rocher-Brassard is the Editor of EIN's sister publication: Le monde de l'électricité en ligne

More in EIN by Laurence Rocher-Brassard:

EH2 Solar — A Small Business with Global Reach

EFC Officially Launches the Young Professionals Network

Stephanie Santini: Never Underestimate Her Capabilities

Cynthia Renaud — the journey of a determined lighting specialist

 

Contractors! You Deserve Better.

Ledvance EIN Aug4 You Deserve Better July 2022Contractors! You Deserve Better | Win $2,000 Grand Prize from LEDVANCE, THE WORLD'S LEADING VERTICALLY INTEGRATED LIGHTING COMPANY

OFFERING SYLVANIA AND LEDVANCE BRANDED LIGHTING PRODUCTS IN CANADA


You deserve better and LEDVANCE wants to make sure you know it. Enter for a chance to be one of over 190 winners with the grand prize including $2000 and a SYLVANIA Work Light!

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2021 Canadian Electrical Code Overview of Changes

EIN CSA Group Logo 2022 400CSA C22.1:21, Canadian Electrical Code, Part I contains many updates and changes that are potentially significant to electrical professionals. This online, self-guided course provides the key changes and impacts to the industry presented in an easy-to-follow format.

 Designed for professionals with a good working knowledge of the Code and who solely need the key changes including general updates or those made for clarification, safety, and new products and systems. Key changes due to Rule relocation or deletion are also noted.

This course may help save valuable time to help keep electrical projects safe and in compliance. This training is developed with input from a broad cross-section of electrical industry experts and with cooperation from all provinces, territories and several key jurisdictions across Canada. 

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Changing Scene

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Government of CanadaThe federal governemnt has officially launched a call for proposals (CFP) for the Zero-Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative (ZEVAI). The initiative’s 2022 CFP will help fund new and innovative projects that aim to increase awareness and knowledge of ZEVs and charging and refueling infrastructure thereby increasing public confidence in these vehicles and their economic and environmental benefits.


Natural Resources Canada will provide funding through non-repayable contributions of between 50 and 75 percent of the total eligible project costs, with a maximum funding of up to $300,000 per project. The CFP will close on August 18, 2022.

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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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Atkore United Poly SystemsAtkore Inc. announced that it has acquired United Poly Systems, a manufacturer of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pressure pipe and conduit, primarily serving telecom, water infrastructure, renewables, and energy markets.

“We are pleased to complete the acquisition of United Poly Systems, which strengthens Atkore’s product portfolio, expands our manufacturing capacity and further enables us to meet HDPE customers’ needs,” stated John Pregenzer, President of Atkore’s Electrical business. “HDPE pipe and conduit is a growing market that is expected to benefit from U.S. infrastructure legislation, and United Poly Systems is a great addition to Atkore. We welcome these employees and look forward to working together to continue to serve and support our customers.”

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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

 


 

Grimard is more competitive and produces estimates 3X faster with Procore

Procore

When the pandemic lockdowns started in March of 2020, Grimard (an electrical contractor) had to decide whether to shut down its operations entirely or implement a new platform with people who were now freely available for work. Once they implemented Procore, they found a way to efficiently communicate with stakeholders and offer full transparency in terms of project costs and planning. It also allowed Grimard to utilize historical data to make project estimates more accurate. Grimard was able to streamline its bidding process, which made it more attractive to potential clients and helped the business grow.

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Iron+EarthThe RenuWell Project partners are excited to announce the groundbreaking of two pilot sites located near Taber, Alberta. These pilot sites are the first of their kind to repurpose inactive oil and gas infrastructure as a foundation for renewable energy development and job creation.

When operating, the solar projects will generate 2,030 MWh annually – enough electricity to power 280 average Alberta households or irrigate 11,700 acres of farmland for an average year. This is roughly equivalent to $200,000 in electricity sales per year with 1,100  tCO2e savings in GHG emissions. Over a 25-year lifespan, the projects will generate 50,750 MWh, with GHG emission savings of 28,420 tCO2e.

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David O'ReillyBy Elle Bremmer

Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with David O’Reilly, Vice President Home & Distribution and Secure Power Divisions with Schneider Electric Canada for a discussion regarding the Wiser EnergyTM smart home solution, the Wiser Approved training program, and his thoughts on several different subjects, including sustainability and future technologies currently in the works at Schneider Electric. David has been with the company for five and a half years in his role.

We recently published a study (version en français ICI) from Schneider Electric showing a strong interest from Canadians in smart home technology. 

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Product News

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Ericson String LightsEricson announces upgraded versions of their extremely capable line of Industrial String Lights and SL, LED Stringlights. These new and updated products have several key features important when safe, code compliant lighting for industrial workspace is necessary.

Infinitely capable, these ruggedly built products have several industry leading & exclusive features including:

Industrial String Lights:

  • A United States Navy Specification since before WWII, they’re time and application tested...

 

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Intermatic Pool and Spa SolutionIntermatic Incorporated announced its new P40000 Series Load Centers, a set of next-generation panels for pool-only applications, as well as its new PE24GVA 24-Volt Valve Actuator, an easy-to-install valve actuator that allows for tool-free cam adjustments. Both solutions remove obstacles for pool service professionals while delivering lasting performance.

“Intermatic load centers and valve actuators have been the preferred choice of pool professionals for more than 30 years,” says Brian Lamberty, product marketing manager at Intermatic. “The PE24GVA and P40000 Series build on that tradition, helping pool professionals streamline service calls while setting the standard for quality and performance.”

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Klein Tools Zipper BagsKlein Tools introduces new Stand-up Zipper Bags, in a 2-Pack with 7-Inch and 14-Inch sizes, both designed to handle tough jobsite conditions and stand up so tools and small parts can be easily accessed when working.

Stand-up Zipper Bags, 7-Inch and 14-Inch, 2-Pack (Cat. No. 55559)

  • Perfect for storing pliers, wrenches, screwdrivers, drill bits and other small tools and parts
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Emerson HV SafetyThe Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates 350 employees are killed annually in electrocution accidents, which roughly equals one fatality per day. In the face of these dangers, OSHA officials and industry safety consultants alike recommend eliminating potential hazards on work sites, rather than simply relying on contractors or employees to follow safety guidelines.

To help safeguard employees from electrocution, Emerson has launched its Appleton™ Powertite™ Lock Collar, a device that fastens over plug and connector connections and is secured with a padlock, preventing unauthorized personal from disconnecting the cable connection once in place. 

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Peers & Profiles

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Copper $US Dollar price per pound

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