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Items filtered by date: December 2011
Lind Equipment has appointed Calgary-based ElectriXwest Agencies as its electrical sales agent in Alberta. ElectriXwest Agencies will continue to build Lind Equipment’s presence in Alberta and serve electrical distributors’ demands for high quality, fairly priced portable electrical equipment for the toughest workplaces. Using a combination of outside sales to demonstrate Lind’s products to end-users and distributors, and a strong background in technical specification to work with engineers, ElectriXwest is well poised to help Alberta to Work Confidently with Lind Equipment’s products.   “We are very excited to have the ElectriXwest Agencies team as our partner in Alberta,” said Brian Astl, vice-president of sales for Lind Equipment. “The combination of well-trained, attentive sales representatives in Edmonton and Calgary makes for an excellent platform from which to deliver the world class customer service that Lind Equipment’s clients expect from us.” www.lindequipment.net www.electrixwest.com
Published in Business
The new split universal mounting kit version (Split uKIT) of the AEGIS SGR bearing protection ring protects the bearings of VFD-driven motors from electrical damage, and allows quick and easy retrofitting of the ring on virtually any AC motor shaft without decoupling attached equipment. Available from Electro Static Technology, the Split uKIT is ideal for HVAC service contractors and plant maintenance departments. Designed to accommodate slingers, shaft shoulders, and other end bell protrusions, the kit comes with a split AEGIS® ring, the halves of which are held together with a unique hinge. This hinge design allows the split AEGIS® ring to be opened on one side, then closed and fastened together with built-in adhesive-backed aluminum tabs, providing rigidity to the assembled ring. Ordered based on a motor's frame size, the kit includes the correct size split AEGIS® grounding ring and mounting hardware - screws, washers, Allen wrenches, and four styles of brackets, for use in a wide range of combinations to facilitate mounting of the ring on virtually any NEMA or IEC motor faceplate. The brackets can be attached either by drilling and tapping small holes or by applying AEGIS conductive epoxy (sold separately). www.est-aegis.com
Published in Tools
To meet the stringent sealing challenges surrounding food and beverage processing, Freudenberg Process Seals is now offering its Fluoroprene XP 40 sealing material to the North American market. This new material overcomes the limitations of EPDM (ethylene propylene diene Monomer) and other FKM materials. Normally EPDM would be the material of choice for processing applications in aqueous solutions and CIP/ SIP (Clean-In-Place / Sterilization-In-Place) media, but fails in high fat containing media. FKM is commonly used in high fat containing media at elevated temperatures, but fails in acid or basic cleaning agents. Prior to Fluoroprene XP 40, there wasn't a single sealing material capable of withstanding both the chemically aggressive cleaning agents and sterilizing steam, as well as the high fat concentrations or flavoring agents commonly found in processing applications. Fluoroprene XP 40 was developed as a universal sealing material able to withstand the numerous challenges associated with these various aspects of sealing. As a result, the new Fluoroprene XP 40 material eliminates the need for multiple materials, as it demonstrates high durability in all essential fields of the food and beverage industry. www.freudenberg-process-seals.com
Published in Reliability
Question: “We recently received a shipment of L10-rated bearings. Can you explain the meaning of the L10 designation?” Rotating-element bearing manufacturers measure reliability using a “load–life” calculation rating known as the L10 rating life. To achieve this rating, the manufacturer assumes the bearing will be run in a clean operating environment that provides an adequate lubricant film (adequate described as a film equal to, or greater than, the composite roughness of the two mating surfaces) of the correct viscosity for the designed maximum bearing speed and operating temperature ratings. The L10 rating is given to bearings manufactured with cleaner, degassed steels (usually manufactured in an electric arc style furnace) and represents a percentage probability that under ideal conditions 90 percent or more of all L10-rated bearings will achieve the published life expectancy. As maintainers, we have great influence over whether a bearing will achieve its design life expectancy. The following points illustrate the basic dos and don’ts for ensuring a long and healthy bearing life: • Store bearings in a clean, dry, temperature-controlled place in their original wrapping until required for use: This will eliminate contamination and ensure it is “factory fresh” when put into service • Don’t handle bearings with bare hands when unwrapping and preparing for use: Always use clean gloves as debris from dirty hands will contaminate the bearing surfaces, and transferred sweat can cause the bearing to oxidize (rust). • Check for factory lubrication: According to specification, some bearings come pre-lubricated while others do not. Ensure it is lubricated to approximately 40 percent of its open area, but do not over lubricate! • Use recommended tools and techniques when installing bearings: Forcing one in place by hitting it with a blunt instrument is a recipe for premature failure. • Establish a lubrication regimen according to load, speed, duty and environment: Lubricating it with the right lubricant, with the right amount, in the right place, at the right time, with the right contamination-avoidance practices will ensure it outlives its host. Establish a lubrication regimen according. Contact Ken Bannister at (519) 469-9173 or by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Published in Generation
The search has begun for exceptional Ontario employers who are helping to build tomorrow's skilled workforce by training new apprentices. Each year, the Minister's Awards for Apprenticeship Training honours employers for their commitment to training apprentices. The awards celebrate those that support the apprenticeship training system, show leadership in training apprentices, and promote careers in the skilled trades. Nominations are being accepted until Feb. 29, 2012. The announcement was made at automatic greasing systems specialist FLO Components' Mississauga, Ont., facility, with Glen Murray, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, and Mississauga-Brampton South MPP Amrit Mangat in attendance. FLO Components was a recipient of the award in 2011. Four Ontario employers, including Mississauga-based FLO Components Ltd., are being recognized for their outstanding contributions to training the next generation of skilled workers. "Ontario boasts more than 122,000 apprentices learning a trade today — that's double the number from 2002-03," Murray said. "We salute employers that train apprentices, and recognize that continuing to enhance our apprenticeship system will help build the skilled workforce Ontario needs to succeed." The event recognizes 16 employers — from the four regions (northern, eastern, western, central) in Ontario — for their excellence in apprenticeship training. From these 16, four regional winners are chosen and honoured at an awards ceremony in the spring. Nomination and selection are based on the following seven selection criteria: Commitment to the apprenticeship system by consistently employing and training apprentices and journeypersons. A focus on hiring youth, including youth hired through the Apprenticeship Scholarship and Employer Signing Bonus, and people experiencing barriers to entry into apprenticeship. Use of innovative approaches in support of specific on-the-job apprenticeship training, recruitment and long-term employment. Involvement in the formation of partnerships with other organizations including but not limited to ministry sponsored programs to expand apprenticeship, such as the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, Employment Services, the Pre-Apprenticeship Program and the Rapid Re-employment and Training initiatives. Commitment to prior learning assessment and recognition by acknowledging and giving credit for experience. Commitment to building capacity in apprenticeship training by actively participating in the promotion and marketing of apprenticeship. Involvement in or support for community organizations dedicated to training and improving labour market outcomes, such as a provincial advisory committee or local apprenticeship committee, industry committee, local training board, board of trade or commerce, business-education council. www.ontario.ca/apprenticeshipawards
Published in Education
Exporting and export-ready manufacturers in Southern Ontario can learn how to access up to $75,000 in financial support for product and process improvements at a series of regional workshops, hosted this February by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME). These free workshops will connect companies with the information and resources necessary to take advantage of $18.9 million in new funding through CME's SMART Prosperity Now program. "The nature of business is now global and Canadian manufacturers must have the right tools to be competitive," explains Ian Howcroft, vice president, CME Ontario. "This initiative will allow small and medium-sized enterprises to commercialize new technologies, invest in equipment, increase efficiency and ultimately boost their ability to compete and win on the world stage." Companies conducting productivity assessments are eligible to receive up to 50 per cent of project costs to a maximum $5,000, while companies implementing productivity improvement projects may qualify to receive up to 33 per cent of costs to a maximum $75,000. Manufacturers interested in taking advantage of this program, funded by the Federal Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev), are highly encouraged to attend any of the following workshops: Windsor (Feb. 2), London (Feb. 3), Markham (Feb. 6), Whitby (Feb. 7), Niagara (Feb. 10), Mississauga (Feb. 13), Kingston (Feb. 15), Ottawa (Feb. 16), Peterborough (Feb. 17) and Kitchener (Feb. 21). www.cme-mec.ca
Published in Business
In February, the Ontario Ministry of Labour will be conducting a month-long blitz on musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the workplace. The MSD blitz will concentrate on manual material handling, especially in the industrial, construction, mining, and health care sectors. In a post on the Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium's website, they have provided basic guidelines on what to expect: If you have a visit from the ministry: The inspector will likley perform an administrative review including looking at how your workplace lives up to its roles under the Internal Responsibility System, your MSD injury statistics, your JHSC minutes, your written procedures and training on MSD hazards, and workplace controls that you have implemented or they feel should be implemented. The last blitz they identified and wrote orders for manual lifting hazards, carrying on ladders, manual lifting with one person, unnecessary repetitive lifting, pushing, pulling or carrying, improper use of transportation carts, and poor workstation layout. Be prepared: Have a well-documented MSD Prevention Program in place, know and understand the MSD hazards in your workplace, perform a workplace audit or Ergonomic Risk Assessment to understand your level of risk, have MSD-specific strategies in place to reduce risk, conduct training on MSD prevention to all levels of your organization. Review the steps to an MSD Prevention Program by downloading the MSD Prevention Services brochure here (scroll to the bottom).
Published in News
Shortages in the skilled trades are already having an impact on Canadian employers, issuing an early warning for the demographic crunch expected in the next decade. Construction, mining, energy, manufacturing and service sectors all report real and anticipated shortages that will pose a pan-Canadian challenge to the country’s economy. Addressing the challenge requires both awareness and commitment from stakeholders across Canada, including business, labour, educators and various levels of government. Apprenticeship contributes to solving skills shortages and provides opportunities for knowledge transfer from one generation to the next, while also engaging young people at a time when youth unemployment rates remain high. In preparation for its June 2012 conference, the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum has released a program focused on Apprenticeship: Strategies for Success. Showcasing the best in apprenticeship training and practices in Canada, the conference is a breeding ground for new ideas, solutions and partnerships. The event will serve as a meeting place for apprenticeship stakeholders concerned about labour shortages among the people who keep Canada and its infrastructure working. The CAF-FCA 2012 Conference is a biennial event that is held in various locations across Canada. This year, the event will be held from June 3-5 in Regina, Saskatchewan. Presentations will focus on innovation, diversity and engagement. www.caf-fca.org/conference      
Published in Education
Parmalat Canada Inc., a producer of milk and dairy products based in London, Ont., was fined $100,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured. On Dec. 18, 2009, at the company's facility in Mitchell, Ont., a worker was checking that a pipe system had been properly cleaned. The cleaning process involves running hot water through the pipes. While taking apart one of the valves in the pipe system, the worker was suddenly sprayed by hot water. The worker received first and second degree burns. A Ministry of Labour investigation found that there was no need for the water in the pipes to be kept hot while the worker was checking the system. Parmalat Canada Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to take the reasonable precaution of ensuring that any water remaining in the pipe system was not hot prior to a worker opening the valves of the system. The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Lorenzo Palumbo. In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime. www.ontario.ca/labour
Published in News
TORONTO — Two of Canada’s biggest private-sector labour unions are formally exploring the possibility of creating a new, merged organization, a move they believe could spark other unions to join them. The Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers, which have a total of more than 320,000 members, said Tuesday they have been holding preliminary discussions for weeks. CAW president Ken Lewenza said the move comes as a response to the “incredibly hostile economic environment” its members face and will give the unions a better stance against a “confident employer base” and Canada’s majority Conservative government. “We have to think outside the box and this is one way of doing so,” Lewenza said in an interview after the announcement. “It’s really about saying to employers and governments alike that we’re going to strengthen the movement, we’re not going to stand pat, we’re not going to continue to see membership decline at the expense of our existing members.” Lewenza said the Canadian Labour Congress — a national umbrella group based in Ottawa — has held conversations about how to strengthen the positions of its 50 affiliated unions. “There’s been strategic discussions and CAW and CEP decided to take that a step further and go beyond discussions and see if we can actually make this Canadian union work.” He said the two unions have the most in common among members of the CLC as both were born out of and left international unions. Both also have good reputations at the bargaining table and politically, he added. “When you go to an employer and indicate to them that you’ve expanded and strengthened your union through growing the union and you have access to 320,000 members to support one another ... it’s a very strong statement and it’s a very strong position to be in.” He said he hopes the potential mega-union will convince unorganized workers to join up and “also allows other affiliates to consider whether strengthening their members’ desire means joining a Canadian national union that combines its resources.” Lewenza said he sees other affiliates joining “somewhere down the road.” Dave Coles, president of the CEP, said a larger union is necessary because workers are taking a “pounding” in Canada’s current economic and political environment. “We want to have more influence at the bargaining table, we want to have more political strength more, economic strength,” Coles said. He added that if the unions “get it right” he hopes that other CLC affiliates will look at joining. The unions said they’ve been galvanized by events like a lockout of employees at a locomotive manufacturing plant in southwestern Ontario. The CAW said management of the Caterpillar-owned Electron-Motive plant in London, Ont., want employees to agree to have their pay cut in half. “Quite frankly I’ve had enough, our union’s had enough and we’re heading into a period of significant labour turmoil,” Coles said, adding that 2012 is going to be a tough negotiating year for both the CEP and CAW. The CAW was also pressured by the federal government last summer while negotiating for its members at Air Canada (TSX:AC. A). The airline and union did reach a negotiated settlement in June, but only after Labour Minister Lisa Raitt began the steps required to introduce back-to-work legislation. Lewenza said the merger proposal has the approval of the national executive committees of both union and a small committee will now concentrate on forming a constitution, that is expected to be voted on by delegates at a CAW convention in August and at the CEP convention in October. The Canadian Auto Workers has been the country’s largest private-sector labour union, representing employees in a wide variety of industries from manufacturing to mining to transportation. The CAW has seen its influence and membership diminished by pressures on Canada’s manufacturing sector, particularly in the auto industry where it represents employees at General Motors, Chrysler and Ford (NYSE:F) among others. The CEP is also active in numerous industries that are under economic pressure, including forestry and media. Lewenza took the reins at the union at one of the worst times in its history and had to negotiate contracts with the big three automakers that meant big concessions for workers. The CAW represents about 200,000 people across Canada — at its height in 2006, it had as many as 265,000. The CEP’s website says it has 130,000 members. Former CAW president Buzz Hargrove, who oversaw more than 30 smaller mergers during his time, said Tuesday the merger would be a win for both unions. “There’s way too many small unions in the Canadian labour movement,” he said. “The lesson to them should be if two big unions see the necessity for a merger then they should be looking at themselves and see who they can come together with.”
Published in Business
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