Rob McCaskie, product manager for power circuit breakers at ABB Low Voltage Products, explains how the new generation Emax 2 circuit breaker is also a power manager

One of the consequences of globalisation and the new age of technology is that even SMEs are now competing on a global scale. This global economy has increased competition which is great for consumers who can now demand high quality, low cost solutions or look elsewhere. But, what does this mean for OEMs and design engineers? How have the pressures of operating on a global market affected their demands and requirements on component manufacturers? Chris Lloyd, managing director of Spelsberg ELS, explains the changing market trends in enclosure manufacture, supply and demand

Diane Johnson, chairman-elect of National Electrotechnical Training, discusses the proposed changes to apprentice funding

I have concerns about the government’s plans for the new-look apprenticeship funding system, which stem from a belief that the proposed new system will make it more difficult and more expensive for firms in our industry to employ apprentices. Many questions around the proposals remain unanswered, and until these are resolved we find ourselves facing an uncertain future.

As the recycling volumes of end-of-life lighting products continue to increase there are some key developments in this sector that specifiers need to be aware of. Simon Cook of Lumicom explains

Intelligent buildings require an intelligent approach to every aspect of the design, build, operation and maintenance phases of a building’s life. Mark Redfern of Wieland Electric explains how structured wiring is a key component in achieving this

Bill Wright, Head of Energy Solutions at the ECA, discusses the Green Deal

The Green Deal celebrated its eighteen month anniversary in June, although if there were any celebrations I would think they would have been fairly muted ones. In the year and a half since the initiative launched

According to a new report from the Global Sustainability Institute, the UK only has five more years of fossil fuel resources, which could lead to much greater dependence on Norway, Qatar and Russia for energy.  The message then, to develop home-grown energy has never been clearer.  Yet, this report comes at a time when the National Grid is struggling to cope under the pressure of new renewable implementation.  To resolve the dilemma, community energy-based microgrids provide answers that benefit the existing grid infrastructure and the local communities that use them, while helping the UK meet its renewable targets. Andrew Jones, EMEA managing director at S&C Electric Company, explains

Traditionally, testing protection systems in power distribution networks has been a time-consuming process involving many separate steps. Now however, an alternative approach is available which allows all key aspects of the protection system to be tested simultaneously, leading to big time savings. Stefan Larsson of Megger explains

The EMC Directive 2014/30/EU was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 26 February this year, and makes a number of changes to the previous Directive (2004/108/EC) relating to electromagnetic compatibility. Pete Dorey, senior EMC consultant at TÜV SÜD Product Service a global product testing and certification organisation, and at its sister company, TÜV SÜD BABT explains the changes

Jon Clews, ABB UK’s power conversion specialist, explains the differences between active voltage conditioner (AVC) and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) technology and how to decide on the best solution to counter voltage supply interruptions.

Industrial facilities now house some very advanced technology, ranging from automated production lines to semiconductor manufacturing processes. All this technology relies on a robust, reliable and continuous power supply. However, power grids are increasingly susceptible to unpredictable and erratic variation and interruption. Hence the ever growing demand for support systems that deliver a rock-solid, clean, uninterrupted flow of power for critical loads, even during major grid disturbances. 

Voltage supply interruptions

With more property owners choosing to invest in energy efficient lighting, the appetite for specifying lighting controls in both residential and commercial settings is increasing.  This coupled with revisions to Part L of the Building Regulations, which call for better lighting efficiency and better lighting controls, means that contractors need to be up to speed with the latest industry developments.  Here, Kevin Norman, senior product marketing manager for Newey & Eyre, explains everything contractors need to know about lighting controls

While advances in the general lighting technology are heavily publicised, it is easy to overlook the similar advances that have been made in emergency lighting. James Beresford of Mackwell highlights the key factors for specification

From simple batch processing to the most sophisticated real-time processes, effective data management is the key to boosting efficiency, increasing productivity and reducing costs in industrial applications. Nigel Rozier of Raima explores the role of data management solutions embedded within industrial automation systems

Managing data effectively within industrial automation systems has become one of the key challenges of the 21st Century, as companies across all sectors of industry strive to improve efficiency and boost output. This may mean managing a switch from manual data collection and analysis to automated systems; it may mean making better use of existing batch or alarm information; or it may mean managing the ever higher amounts of live data generated within today’s increasingly sophisticated automation products. 

Common across all of these applications, regardless of their levels of data generation, is the requirement to make better automation and control decisions that will address issues such as the need to reduce downtime, increase availability, boost productivity, eliminate waste, reduce maintenance costs, and ultimately increase profitability.