Around the Industry

Dec. 9, 2011
Mersen announces plans to acquire busbar manufacturer Mersen, Newburyport, Mass., has entered into an agreement in principle with Eldre, the largest worldwide

Mersen announces plans to acquire busbar manufacturer

Mersen, Newburyport, Mass., has entered into an agreement in principle with Eldre, the largest worldwide pure player in laminated busbars. This acquisition allows Mersen to expand its current product range supporting the improvement of efficiency, performance and safety of power electronics. Already a global provider of fuses and cooling products for the protection of semiconductors, Mersen will now add laminated busbars to its bundled offer.

Based in Rochester, N.Y., Eldre is a family-owned business with manufacturing facilities in Rochester and Saint Sylvain d'Anjou, France, that employ approximately 300 people. The business will be integrated into Mersen's Electrical Components and Technologies segment and will contribute annual revenues of $40 million.

Infor to relocate headquarters to Big Apple's Silicon Alley

Infor, a provider of business application software serving more than 70,000 customers, will relocate its headquarters to New York in the summer of 2012. Located in “Silicon Alley,” known for its high concentration of Internet and technology companies, Infor's new headquarters will feature an Innovation Center, where Infor will house newly-hired software engineers and graphic designers. The company expects to have one of the largest software engineering teams in New York City.

Nexxus going direct with LEDs through online storefront

Nexxus Lighting Inc., Charlotte, N.C., says the distribution models now used to sell lighting products are “antiquated” and plans to sell LEDs direct to commercial customers via The web-site will go live on Dec. 14. In a press release announcing the move Mike Bauer, the company's president and CEO, said, “We have been evaluating the antiquated way in which lighting products are sold for some time. We developed to create a new business model for selling and expanding the adoption of LED light bulbs for the commercial market.

“If you look at other industries, traditional distribution and product delivery models are being replaced with new technologies and web-based solutions. After hearing our customers complain about the existing supply chain and seeing the added cost layers and sales inefficiencies, we decided to start with a blank sheet of paper to sell products in a new way with a higher level of service at very competitive pricing. The net result is we have completely changed the model with our ArrayLEDdirect approach.”

Nexxus Lighting trades on the NASDAQ under the stock symbol NEXS. At press-time its stock price was $1.13. Nexxus had $5.42 million in 2010 sales.

CEA forms smart grid committee

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Arlington, Va., announced the formation of a new committee to advance the standardization of the Modular Communications Interface (MCI) specification. The new standard will benefit manufactures, utilities, service providers and consumers as it creates a path to Smart Grid ready products, the association said.

The MCI specification, created by the Universal Smart Network Access Port (USNAP) Alliance and based on research from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), will allow manufacturers of consumer products to build Smart Grid ready products that can obtain energy information from digital meters and energy system interfaces regardless of the communication technology used.

LEED for existing buildings surpasses new construction

LEED-certified existing buildings are outpacing their newly built counterparts, according to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). As of this month, square footage of LEED-certified existing buildings surpassed LEED-certified new construction by 15 million square feet on a cumulative basis.

“The United States is home to more than 60 billion square feet of existing commercial buildings, and we know that most of those buildings are energy guzzlers and water sieves,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO of the USGBC. “Greening these buildings takes hands-on work, creating precious jobs especially for construction workers. Making these existing buildings energy and water efficient has an enormous positive impact on the building's cost of operations. And the indoor air quality improvements that go with less toxic cleaning solutions and better filtration create healthier places to live, work and learn.”

Legrand joins White House energy efficiency initiative

Electrical manufacturer Legrand, with North American operations based in West Hartford, Conn., said it has joined the Better Building, Better Plants Presidential Leadership initiative that seeks to create American jobs upgrading the energy efficiency of commercial buildings. Legrand is one of nine U.S. industrial organizations that have joined the initiative as Challenge Partners, pledging to the most aggressive energy savings, management and reporting practices outlined in a U.S. Department of Energy agreement.

By encouraging office and plant upgrades and renovations, Legrand said in a press release it recently released that the deployment of energy-saving solutions will boost local construction projects and expand opportunities for architects, design engineers, contractors and installers in communities throughout the United States.

The Hite Co. announces plans for new location in York, Pa.

The Hite Co., an electrical distributor based in Altoona, Pa., plans to open its 22nd store location in York, Pa., during the first quarter of 2012. The 16,000 square foot facility on Mt. Rose Ave., will offer electrical supplies and lighting through a counter sales operation and expansive local inventory. This location will be serviced daily by Hite's 40,000 square foot distribution warehouse in Harrisburg.

Bridgeport Fittings reintroduces snap-in connectors

Right on schedule, Bridgeport Fittings, Stratford, Conn., announced the reintroduction of its Whipper-Snap line of connectors for AC/MC and MCI-A cable as of Dec. 5. Bridgeport is free to market and sell the Whipper-Snap connector line following the expiration of an Arlington Industries patent that expired on Dec. 4. The patent issue was central to a long string of intellectual property lawsuits between the companies going back many years, some of which remain unsettled.

Rosendin CIO recognized as leader

Sam Lamonica, CIO of Rosendin Electric, San Jose, Calif., has been recognized as one of the top 100 IT Leaders by Computerworld magazine. The recognition was based on Lamonica's work arming the company's field construction crew with handheld devices to give them access to enterprise data (no more paper), and his innovation in automating procurement with a new business intelligence system that streamlines operations for greater efficiency and savings.

Qualcomm's take on EV charging

Qualcomm recently announced the first trial for its Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) technology in the United Kingdom, in collaboration with the UK government, the Mayor of London's office and Transport for London (TfL). The trial will use wireless inductive power transfer technology that enables high-efficiency power transfer across a large air gap. Qualcomm said the pre-commercial trial will start in early 2012 and involve as many as 50 electric vehicles.

Construction unemployment 13.1%

Construction employment shrank for the second straight month in November as residential, nonresidential building and heavy construction segments remained in low gear, according to an analysis of new federal employment data by the Associated General Contractors of America.