NECA 2019 introduces new tools for electrical contractors

September 24, 2019 – The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) held his annual show last week at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, showcasing a wide range of the latest technologies and tools for the industry.

As the name suggests, NECA is squarely focused on the U.S. market, but the exhibiting companies, numbering nearly 300, have presented products of equal interest to Canadian electrical contractors, many of which are designed to meet demands. industry-wide issues like tight labor markets and increased emphasis on worker safety. Many of them have been shown as part of the NECA Showstopper showcase and awards and some have been shown at a product showcase theater.

Here are some examples of the Showstopper showcase:
Ideal industries‘The Proflex Twister Wire Connector, which the manufacturer claims offers the widest range of wires in the industry, along with a 1000V rating and flexible skirt.
Greenlee Tools” Gator Series Battery Powered Insulated Hydraulic Cutting and Crimping Tools designed to protect electrical and utility workers from shocks up to 1000V, part of Emerson’s Professional Tools business .
LevitonThe 250V, 20A tamper-proof single outlet, which the company claims is the first of its kind on the market, complies with NEC Article 406-2.
ABBThe Tmax XT Spectra distribution panel retrofit kit, designed to extend the useful life of electrical installations, with molded case circuit breakers to provide circuit protection, communications and predictive maintenance.
HiltiCast opening and firestop system for metal deck floors, which eliminates the need for a torch for electrical penetrations.
FLIRThe VT8-1000 voltage, continuity and current tester, with an open jaw design that accommodates tight spaces and can measure large diameter CAT III and IV cables.
Arlington Industry‘T-Box suspended ceiling grid for mounting devices and fans, which can be positioned at the intersection of the T-rails or directly.
GreatThe Solar Charging Kit, which adds solar powered USB ports without the expense of a full construction project.

Elsewhere, Canadian startup Swidget debuted at NECA with a line of ‘smart home’ Wi-Fi connectivity modular power outlets, offering everything from motion sensors, night lights and temperature / humidity sensors to video cameras, white noise and even to aromatherapy!

And at the product presentation cinema, Construction robotics showcased its Material Unit Lift Enhancer (MULE), which helps lift, handle and place materials weighing up to 135 lbs on a job site, both to reduce worker fatigue and injury, and to increase productivity.

Finally, perhaps taking a more traditional approach to reducing worker fatigue, Oxx introduced what he calls “the world’s toughest coffee maker”. The Reinforced Coffeeboxx is compatible with all K-Cup pods, but Oxx offers its own brand, Workhorse Coffee.

As exciting as Las Vegas can be (caffeinated or not), the next NECA Show will be much closer and more convenient for many Canadian entrepreneurs, as it will be held at the McCormick Place Lakeside Center in Chicago, Illinois, starting in October. 3-6, 2020.

Patricia D. Rutt