Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

June 10, 2022

LDS NETCO CNMIE 400By Blake Marchand

NETCO (National Electrical Trade Council) is an alliance of IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) and CECA (Canadian Electrical Contractor Association), their primary mandate is to promote national standards in electrical training.

Earlier this year, the Ontario government announced $13 million in funding for training programs across the province. NETCO received over $4 million in funding from Ontario’s Skills Development Fund (SDF), in part to develop virtual reality (VR) training programs for electrical apprentices and electricians. We spoke to Chris Swick, who is the Executive Director and Denise Miller, NETCO’s Communications and Marketing Manager to learn more about the VR training they are rolling out. NETCO is a national organization, but the VR programming will currently be offered in Ontario because of the investment from the Ontario government to fund its development. Eventually they will look to bring similar programming nationally.

Right now, they are working on two courses through VR, the first is the basic level trade school for apprentices, which will launch this spring. The second is a hoisting and rigging course that is still in development.

For a typical beginner apprentice program, you learn to do receptacles, various styles of switches such as 3-way and 4-way, lighting panel board installations and lighting. In a live classroom setting this brings in the need for more classroom space, more consumables and cost.

The VR training reduces the material costs for the training centres and for the students, Swick said, “They can go in there and practice in a safe environment. They don’t have to worry about shock hazards or anything like that, and when they’re finished, they can take it to a real-life scenario.”

 

 

Swick said that the basic level VR training would take place prior to entering trade school, “What I found when I was a training director, if we give these complimentary supports before they went to trade school, they’re marks would go up,” he said.

Miller added that the VR component will also help attract more people to the trades, “When you involve technologies like this it opens the eyes to the younger generation.”

Miller said that she received a lot of emails from the general public looking for more information because of the VR training, so it becomes an open door into the trades for people who may not have considered it otherwise. As well as being a test case for the future of skilled trades training beyond just electrical. VR can also used as a recruitment tool at tradeshows and career events to let people experience the trade, without the risk factor. Which isn’t something that is easily done when working  with electrical.

The safety element that Swick mentioned may also widen the avenue into the skilled trades for people to get experience and gain confidence without the pressure of making a mistake.

Right now, they are doing the VR training as part of the pre-apprenticeship program but eventually they would like to develop it for other levels of trade school. Which again, can cut down material costs for training centres, as well as open up the possibility for training in different applications. By adding a virtual component, they can have fewer physical training components, which can be expensive.

Another aspect is being able to update the curriculum easily when the codes change.

NETCO will be rolling out the apprentice training this spring and are still developing their hoisting and rigging course. VR has a lot of potential to prepare people in the less accessible areas of the trade by making a broader range of training more accessible. Looking at the green energy sector, for example, you have equipment like wind turbines and solar panels that students can get experience with before physically working with the equipment to save on the cost of training, similar to what they are doing with the hoisting and rigging course.

“At the end of the day you would have to get a crane in there and properly rig loads. This will get them to the point where they don’t have to have that high expensive of getting the crane in,” said Swick.

The course will be more immersive than the basic level training, “The way we’re trying to get it designed and setup is so that you have one instructor with four students in the VR environment all at the same time,” which will be the first of its kind for VR training.

The key aspect for Swick is safety, “a lot of things can go wrong when you’re doing hoisting and rigging.”

With this program, the software is being developed specifically for them and they’ll be using Alienware computers paired with the Oculus headsets, which will improve the quality of the VR simulation. “We made sure to put the proper investment in that, because we didn’t want something that is going to lag out all the time,” he said.

“These models are something that Chris is looking to develop to get funding to roll out all across the country at the IBEW training centres, that’s a work in progress too, hopefully that will be the end game,” said Miller, “and it will make training consistent at the IBEW training centres all across Canada, consistency is important and we’re seeing that a lot of the training centres are getting on board with that, because its making it easier for them.”

Swick added that standardization across Canada was an important aspect and something they are trying to work towards. When you have standardization, it streamlines the resources required for the training centres and it also ensures that training is done to the same level. That’s the ultimate goal with programs like OASIS and the VR Training.

These programs being funded through the Ontario government will help them develop best practices with the goal of rolling out programs in other areas of the country. As Miller noted, they’re currently working to secure more funding, as well as add to the training programs they can do through the VR.

VR will help them to improve the quality of training, and improve access to training, while also improving safety. The VR component is in addition to real life training to better prepare people for when they physically get on the tools. Ultimately, Swick said, “we’re trying to achieve the highest standard possible.”

There are 11 training centres in Ontario that will use the VR training and it will run for one year under the SDF investment. 650 people will go through the two programs.  

VR training was showcased at their annual NETCO Conference which took place in Halifax at the end of May. Sean Bernard from Ideal Industries Canada led a demonstration with training on VR technology and the keynote speaker, Trent Soholt had a discussion on the topic of Integrating Innovation in Experimental Learning.

"All was well received by the attendees of the conference with many training directors eager to get started. VR is still the word for the 2023 NETCO Conference, August 13th in Toronto with the theme “Virtual is the New Reality,”' said Miller.

Miller noted that people who want to access this training need to reach out to their local IBEW training centre. NETCO develops the curriculum that is then deployed through the IBEW.

What’s Your Breaking Point?

SimPRO Industry Bundled Program

If you’ve ever learned how to ride a bike, a surfboard or even tried your hand at yoga– you know how difficult it can be to find balance. You can focus on a fixed point in the distance and shift your weight around all you want. But at the end of the day, there are often things out of your personal control that can send you tumbling.

We’re all experiencing what it feels like to be thrown off our balance right now with looming economic uncertainty. If this uncertainty has already impacted your business, you’re not alone. How can your business continue to thrive in the face of challenges out of your control?

 

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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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Yukon Canada

Communities across the North and Arctic are prioritizing cleaner, more reliable energy sources, as they continue to feel the impacts of climate change. By investing in renewable energy initiatives that support energy independence and economic development, we can keep our air cleaner and build resilient, healthy communities for everyone to call home, all while creating good-paying, sustainable jobs and lowering harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The Yukon is leading the country in its pursuit of cleaner energy and climate change initiatives. 

 

 

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Linde

Linde announced it has inaugurated the world's first hydrogen refueling system for passenger trains in Bremervörde, Germany.

Linde’s hydrogen refueling system, which it built, owns and operates, will refuel 14 hydrogen-powered passenger trains, enabling each train to run for 1,000 km emission-free on a single refueling. It has a total capacity of around 1,600 kg of hydrogen per day, making it one of the largest hydrogen refueling systems ever built. Linde’s future-ready hydrogen refueling system has been designed and constructed with the ability to integrate future on-site green hydrogen generation. The new hydrogen trains will replace existing diesel-powered trains.

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Chris Lane

The Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Lane of Johnson Controls to the CABA Board of Directors. As Director of Product Management for Building Automation System (BAS) products at Johnson Controls, Lane leads a team of product managers responsible for designing the strategy and direction for Johnson Controls’ global portfolio of BAS products. 

"I’m honored to have the opportunity to join CABA’s board and support their vision to empower connectivity among people, spaces and technology,” said Lane. 

 

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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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HellermannTyton Double Slit Conduit

HellermannTyton announces HelaGuard Double-Slit Corrugated Conduit. The two-piece solution features one semi-circular tube that snaps over another to envelop a wire or cable bundle. This makes it possible to add flexible corrugated protection to wiring that is already connected on both ends.

Standard conduit requires installers to guide cabling into and through the length of tubing. That is less of an issue at the time of manufacture. But if the ends of the wire are soldered to a terminal or otherwise inaccessible, non-slit conduit – and even single-slit conduit – can be tedious or impossible to apply.

 

 

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Greenlee Mobile Bending Table

By Blake Marchand

For the new Bending Table for Greenlee® 881 Series Benders, Greenlee Tools, Inc. set out to improve ergonomics and product security.  Previously, contractors usually had to disassemble their bender unit for relocation off the jobsite due to it being harder to secure on the jobsite. New anti-theft features incorporated into the bending table product design allowed the cart and its accessories to be more fully locked. 

This increases contractor productivity by helping reduce the need for tedious setup and tear down of the bender due to off-jobsite storage. Greenlee wanted to make the Mobile Bending Table as versatile as possible and intentionally designed it to fit through most 32” wide doors.  

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Siemens PBSI Sept1 GIF fire test

Product News

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PataBid has developed a groundbreaking AI powered, cloud-based construction estimating ...
Klein Tools introduces its new line of Digital Multimeters, featuring a refreshed look plus ...
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DCC-11 EV Energy Management System

DCC-11, manufactured by Thermolec, is an energy management system designed to allow the connection of an EV charger to the main feeder of a panel without affecting the load calculation. 

HOW IT WORKS 

  1. DCC does a real-time reading of the total power consumption of a home or condo electrical panel;

  2. It detects when the total power consumption of the main circuit breaker exceeds 80% and temporarily de-energizes the charger.

 

 

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Klein Tools Knee Pads

Klein Tools introduces Lightweight and Heavy Duty Knee Pad sleeves, both of which feature a compact design for all day comfort and protection.

Knee Pad Sleeves

  • Lightweight and Heavy Duty Knee Pad Sleeves can be worn under or over pants for all day wear.
  • Unique design keeps knee pads close to the body for a second-skin fit allowing for agility when working in tight spaces.
  • Lightweight, breathable mesh back to keep you cool and comfortable.
  • Elastic cuff with slip-resistant silicone helps knee pads stay in place.

 

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Sponsored Content

Fire Protection for Lithium-ion Battery Energy Storage Systems

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Lithium-ion storage facilities contain high-energy batteries combined with highly flammable electrolytes. In addition, they are prone to quick ignition and explosion in a worst-case scenario. Such fires can have a significant financial impact on organizations. Rapid detection of electrolyte gas particles and extinguishing are the key to a successful fire protection concept. Since December 2019, Siemens has been offering a VdS-certified fire protection concept for stationary Li-ion battery storage systems.

Click HERE to learn more.


Peers & Profiles

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As the head of ABB Canada's electrification business unit, Éric Deschênes is no newcomer to the ...
Karen Pullen knows what it’s like to be the only woman on a construction site, and as a proud ...
As of February 2021, Martin Stephenson is the new President and CEO of Signify Canada.   ...
EngWorks was formed in 2004 as an electrical engineering and consulting firm by Allan Bozek, “After ...
Headquartered in Concord, Ontario, Mercury Lighting services national retail, ...
Among the recipients of the 2021 Clean50 Awards announced last month is Carolina Gallo, Vice ...
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As a 34-year-old female owner of an electrical contracting business, Danielle Gray may be unique. ...


sdgs poster 936 enBy Blake Marchand

With many organizations, governments and policymakers finding it challenging to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) , CSA Group has developed a methodology for mapping CSA standards to UN Sustainability Goals (SDGs) aimed at demonstrating how organizations, governments and policymakers can use CSA standards as an effective tool in developing and implementing their SDG strategies. The methodology was developed as part of a research project initiated by CSA Group, completed in collaboration with University of Guelph, Niagara College and the Toronto Metropolitan University. To support the methodology, CSA Group also launched an interactive searchable database that allows standards users to quickly find out how and where CSA standards support specific UN SDG targets.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by all UN member countries in 2015. The agenda includes 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals that aim to promote and provide strategies to improve health, education, inequality, and the economy while prioritizing climate change and the environment. 

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EIN 21 TSBC EJTC 400Effective October 1, 2022 the Canadian Electrical Code, Part I, 25th Edition, Safety Standard for Electrical Installations, Canadian Standards Association Standard C22.1-21 is adopted as the BC Electrical Code. All electrical work that is subject to the BC Electrical Code must be in compliance with the updated edition effective November, 30, 2022. 

All code-related information bulletins and directives that have been issued to date remain in effect. All potentially impacted information bulletins and directives will be reviewed for consistency with the new code edition and revised if necessary. 

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Copper $US Dollar price per pound

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