Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

July 22, 2021

EIN ABB 50 400

ABB is committed to Canada’s vision for a green, safe, and affordable infrastructure and to supporting the country’s value chain. With supply chains as local as possible, ABB ensures adaptability to sudden shifts, opportunities for new jobs and economic growth. Investing and buying locally has become a major trend within the Canadian economy and ABB is proud to have been driving this direction with a rich Canadian history that spans over 100 years.

Iberville® and Microlectric®, two of ABB’s Canadian legacy brands have recently reached significant milestone anniversaries. With over 100 years and 50 years of history respectively, these products have stood the test of time, refined year after year to ensure product safety, efficiency, and reliability. They have become staples and essential components of the local economy in their communities. More than just products, these brands tell stories – stories of employees who over the years have worked day in day out to carry on these products’ long-lasting legacies while continuing to innovate for the future.

Iberville® boxes and covers – 100 years and still growing strong

A historic brand for more than 100 years, Iberville® boxes and covers were first manufactured in Iberville, Quebec, and now at the ABB St-Jean-sur-Richelieu facility, about five kilometres from the original site. These are the boxes that most of us have behind the walls in our homes to house the wiring connections for electrical outlets, switches and other devices. 

The Iberville name is the most recognized brand of steel boxes, covers and roughing-in products in the Canadian electrical industry, commonly used in residential and commercial construction. With an offering of over 180 different types of electrical boxes and accessories, the Iberville® brand became part of Thomas & Betts in the early 1990s when it acquired the company, Commander.

While the product line has evolved to meet varying customer needs, so have manufacturing methods and safety protocols involved in producing them. “These legacy brands are a testament to our organization,” said Eric Deschenes, Country Managing Director and Head of Electrification business, ABB Canada. “We are always focused on creating solutions for the future—and these products created 50 and 100 years ago, had longevity built-in from the start. They wholly support ABB’s philosophy of always adapting to meet customer needs—we’ve just made them better over the years. And the generations of employees who’ve worked on them contribute to that endurance every single day,” he adds.

 

iberville boxes covers

 

Microlectric meter bases – 50 years and continuous innovation

Originally developed by a company acquired by Thomas & Betts in the late 1990s, Microlectric meter bases have just celebrated their 50-year anniversary. First made in Montreal and now at ABB’s Iberville plant, they are recognizable products many homeowners have installed on the exterior of their houses to contain the meters that track electricity consumption.

One Microlectric product, the BP320 series, is playing an important role in ensuring that homes are electric vehicle (EV) ready. This microelectric bp320product was introduced when residential demand for electricity began to climb. Homeowners needed a product with greater capacity as they began installing more and more systems powered by electricity. Driven by the need for a sustainable and long-term solution, the BP320 model is the first self-contained meter base in Canada that removes the need for external transformers owned and maintained by the local electrical utility. It offers the necessary capacity for EV charging in household environments and a great example of innovating for future needs.

Rolande Thibert, one of 35 women working on the Microlectric meter base assembly line, explains: “I have worked on Microlectric product assembly for 21 years and seen most if not all meter bases that were created. The BP320 model is one of our most popular products in Quebec.” She goes on to add: “I worked on creating processes and assembly layout for the production of the BP320. I’ve assembled and disassembled it so many times. I know the product inside out and I take great pride in being part of its story. After all these years, I am proud to play a role in creating something that I know is protecting the meter’s components from the harsh Canadian elements while also helping to protect buildings and homeowners through safe electrification technology.”

Rolande Thibert 2As local as it gets

Buying locally produced goods is becoming more and more attractive for the mainstream consumer, electrical manufacturers, distributors and end-users alike. For manufacturers, dealing with local sources for raw materials and other components reduces both uncertainty and complexity with shorter lead times, no customs and less transport. The steel used in both Iberville® steel boxes and Microlectric meter base enclosures is sourced locally. It’s an element of pride for many employees—to work on products that are designed and manufactured locally to meet local standards—and with locally sourced material.

According to NexDev, Développement économique Haut-Richelieu, the local economic development organization, ABB is the largest employer in the region with over 700 employees working at these two sites.

“Celebrating these two recognized and respected products with long histories is not possible without recognizing the people who work on them,” says Alain Quintal, Vice President and General Manager, Installation Products. “Between the two plants, ABB is one of the largest employers in the region. It is not just about sourcing locally—but also in terms of sales, customer service and technical assistance,” he explains. “Moreover, all products ship from a Canadian distribution centre, located in Bromont, is another key differentiator.”

With over 3,000 talented employees across the country, ABB’s Canadian businesses are helping customers stay competitive and efficient. ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to build a safe, smart and sustainable future for Canadians everywhere. A sustainable future means reducing the carbon footprint of facilities and supporting customers—and their customers—in reducing their environmental impact.

Source

GescanMeet Doug Palmer, Lighting Specialist for the Manitoba region working out of Gescan's Winnipeg office. He helps determine the most efficient and cost-effective lighting solutions for your commercial or industrial project. From new-build layouts to retrofit of existing spaces and interior/exterior lighting solutions, Doug provides a one-stop-shop of lighting expertise.

In addition, Doug supports the application process that allows business owners to receive rebates through Efficiency Manitoba’s Business Lighting Program.

 

 

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Statistics CanadaInvestment in building construction increased 4.0% in February, reaching $20.0 billion for the first time. Most provinces reported gains, with Quebec accounting for over 50% of the increase. On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction increased 3.9% to $12.7 billion.

Residential construction continues to show strength

Investment in single family homes rose 4.9% to $8.0 billion in February. Increases were posted in seven provinces, led by Ontario (+5.3%) and Quebec (+8.2%).

 

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HousingBy Linda Longo, Managing Editor, Electrical Trends

Electrical distributors who do big business with contractors and electricians in new home construction will struggle through another tumultuous year of trying to satisfy record-setting demand while facing down materials shortages. According to recent housing reports, home buyer demand remains strong, but supply chain troubles are holding back growth.

Nationally the numbers will be challenging while within specific markets there could be growth, but supply chain issues could dominate and prolong residential construction projects.

 

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Electric Shock Podcast Interviewby Daniela De Marco, Marketing Manager, EFC

"Electrical work is evidently dangerous. Electrocution is one of the top six causes of occupational deaths in Canada and the U.S." according to Canadian Standards Association & the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (2012). More often than not, electrical workers are taking unnecessary risks by working on a job site energized. 

In EFC's electro|POD "Electric Shock" podcast episode, Gurvinder Chopra, VP of Standards and Regulation, and I connected with experts to explore this topic further. We interviewed Robert Mitchell from Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), the Safety and Technical Program Advisor, and Kaylyn Kretschmer...

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Franklin EmpireThe year was 1942 and Abraham Backman began humbly, working out of his garage in his Montreal home, until he slowly built up a volume of business to afford a modest storefront. This year Franklin Empire celebrates our 80th anniversary, with the 4th generation of family at the helm.

"Today, we are the largest independently owned electrical distributor in Canada, with over 500 employees, 23 branch locations, five assembly and repair shops. and an inventory investment exceeding $35 million," said the company via LinkedIn.

 

 

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Changing Scene

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Gerrie ElectricThe Executive of Gerrie Electric Wholesale Limited announced the acquisition of FM Supply, effective April 1, 2022. They will continue to operate as FM Supply and do not anticipate changes in the way they currently do business with their locations in Waterloo and Stratford; they will now however have access to Gerrie’s inventory and a broader range of products and services.

“The team at FM Supply have a great reputation for treating their customers’ business like our business and work together to deliver an outstanding customer experience. When Colin Moore, Chris Watamanuk and I came to the decision to sell, we wanted to ensure that these customer traditions would be continued and supported in the future” 

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Johnson ControlsJohnson Controls announced findings from the 15th annual Energy Efficiency Indicator Survey, which revealed that 62 percent of organizations surveyed expect to increase investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, or smart building technology in 2022, indicating a return to pre-pandemic levels.

The latest report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change advised that global scale transformation is urgently needed to combat climate change, however, the Johnson Controls Energy Efficiency Indicator Survey found that organizations are still facing challenges to accelerate their sustainability efforts in key areas. 

 

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John RichardsonThe EFC announced the appointment of John Richardson to the executive position of Vice-Chair for the CMG Committee.

John is Vice-President, Sales with ANAMET Canada and has been in the electrical industry for more than 30 years. ANAMET manufactures flexible conduits in a newly expanded factory in Eastern Ontario. John has served on the CMG Committee for the past few years and has joined the ranks of leading the committee with CMG Chair, Jeff Beare, Stanpro. Both John and Jeff will work closely with CMG Team Lead, Nathalie Lajoie, EFC.

 

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Sandra PedroThe EFC announced that Sandra Pedro will be joining the company as the new Vice President of Membership and Corporate Partners, effective Monday, April 18, 2022. John Jefkins is retiring from his position on May 6th and will work with Sandra over the next three weeks to ensure a smooth transition.

Sandra comes with strong industry experience, previously with Schneider Electric in the Global Digital Energy Division as Director of Global Offer Management, and various sales and channel roles throughout her career at Schneider.


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Nexans Completes Centelsa AcquisitionNexans recently announced the successful completion of its acquisition of Centelsa, a premium cable manufacturer in Latin America specializing in building and utilities applications, from Xignux S.A. (headquartered in Mexico) following receipt of regulatory clearance. This transaction completes an additional milestone of Nexans’ strategy to become a Pure Electrification Player focusing on the overall value chain originating in generation, and flowing through transmission, distribution, and usage of sustainable energy.

With a total turnover  of more than US$ 339 million in 2021, Centelsa’s three manufacturing plants in Cali, Colombia and their distribution center in Ecuador will complement Nexans’ presence in Latin America. 

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Peers & Profiles

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SESCO CDCThe Sonepar Ontario Region is proud to announce the relocation of their SESCO Central Distribution Centre (CDC) to its new location in Brampton, ON.

This move has facilitated an amalgamation between Texcan’s large Brampton branch and SESCO’s CDC, as both businesses work together within one facility for the first time. The expansion of the building and the merging of the Operating Companies (OpCos) will assist with facilitating their customer service value proposition.

 

 

 

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