by John Tabor
Every issue of Utility Products attempts to bring you the latest and most applicable utility-industry articles and information. In this issue, our Annual Readers' Choice Awards feature a collection of articles and product spotlights from 2014 that received the most interest. If there are any articles you missed last year, here is your chance to check out information to help improve job productivity and safety.
One of our informative Readers' Choice Awards articles, "Fleet Innovations for the Utility Industry" by Joe Caywood with Terex Utilities, discusses a customer-centered product approach to help utility crews get the job done safely, quickly and affordably. In "Managing Aging Steel Infrastructure" by John Kile and Kevin Niles with Osmose Utilities Services, the importance of inspecting and maintaining steel transmission structures is presented. Detailed inspections, accurate assessments, effective remediation and structural rehabilitation that restore original strength can add many years of additional service life to these aging assets, it's reported.
"The Rugged Tablet Takeover," by Jim Plas with Xplore Technologies, addresses how businesses are mobilizing to stay competitive. Tablets, now a staple of the workplace, are increasingly helping companies reap the rewards of improved productivity. IDEAL Industries' Dan Gregorec's article, "How to Prevent Poor Voltage From Damaging Equipment Performance," reviews voltage events that disrupt sensitive processes, shorten equipment life, and create other expenses. Gregorec outlines how voltage events occur, how they affect equipment, and how to test voltage quality.
And Jeffrey Wartgow's article, "Why Mobile Workforces Should Get ‘Social' With Smarter Communications," presents what social networking has to do with mobile service technicians getting the job done in the field. According to Wartgow of TOA Technologies, social networking is about planning, collaborating, event coordinating and problem solving--functions that are all applicable to field service, as is instant access to primary groups of people, which then generates into secondary groups.
Utility Products' product focus section also provides a great lineup of articles. AT&T's Igor Glubochansky's article, "Utilities Power Their Workforce With Mobile Technology," discusses how, as fleet owners are trying to do more with less, mobile technology can play a big role in assisting supervisors with quickly tracking and monitoring field technicians, trucks and equipment that move from one location to the next. And Crosslink Technology's article, "Utility Pole Maintenance--Repairs and Protection," outlines how proactive and preventative pole treatment can save you time and money. Issues such as decay caused by moisture, damage caused by wildlife, and exposure to brushfires and pole fires can be addressed with the company's Blaze Fighter for fire protection and Pecker Patch for woodpeckers, insects and weather elements.
"Fleet Management Technology Enhances Efficiency and Utility Worker Safety," by Mike Koch with Motorola Solutions, reviews how planning for disaster response must include infrastructure to enhance the efficiency and safety of the utility workers in the field. The article addresses the importance of knowing your fleet, knowing your network needs, and having a trusted adviser. And Craig Robinson with Brother Mobile Solutions discusses quality assurance and warranty protection for components in low-voltage telecom, datacom, audio/video and security network systems in "Standards-based Labeling Facilitates Infrastructure Maintenance and Repair." Highlighted are general 606-B labeling guidelines, labeling tools, what to look for in a labeling solution, and professional labeling.