IN THIS ISSUE | LATEST NEWS | Q&A: MICK SLEIN ROBUS | INSTALLATION PROJECTS
TRADE MAGAZINE - EST. 2005
ISSUE 80 - AUG/SEPT 2020
Superior Protection forCabling
DELIVERING CABLE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS IN IRELAND
In this issue...
Issue 80 - Aug/Sept 2020
News &Views 5
Products 14 Quikcore
In Focus 16 Q&A Mick Slein
ECA Dinner Postponed ECA black-tie event rescheduled due to Covid19 Waste Energy Electricity grid connection secured for £240m residual waste treatment project
We talk to the newly appointed CEO of Robus LED Group
Exclusive review of the first-ever quick-release system for diamond core bits
24 Braidside Integrated PS
We look at the superb electrical installation in the new Co. Antrim primary school from Braham Electrical and team
Advanced new electric water heaters now on the market in Ireland
22 Charity Cycle
34 Citywest Covid19 Facility Core Distribution, CEF and
40 Safety in Focus
Ventilux employee, Edel, attempts to peddle 250km for LauraLynn Hospice
10 top safety products reviewed
Marshall-Tufflex provide a rapid response to the project
THE TEAM: Managing Director Karen McAvoy Publication Manager Janice Uprichard Acting Editor Heather Campbell Production Manager Julie Anne Guiney
CONTACT US: The Forge, 13b Lisburn Road, Moira, Co. Armagh BT67 0JR T: Moira: 028 9261 2990 T: Dublin: 01 696 8319 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.elecmagazine.com
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Digital Creative Manager Jo Wilson Digital Content Editor Cathal Delea Accounts Samantha Watterson Photography Gordon McAvoy
Reproduction of whole or in part of this publication, without prior permission from Karen McAvoy Publishing Ltd, is strictly prohibited.
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Smart electric vehicle charger
Future-proof smart charging for the forward-thinking fleet manager and commercial EV driver. Add the EOHub to unlock smart-charging and access to our smartphone app and EOCloud platform.
EO HUB Award-winning solution EOHub can connect up to 32 EOGenius chargers. It offers fleet managers smart-charging functionality and access to the EO Cloud charging portal, offering a holistic view of your charging infrastructure.
Smart features • Compatible with all plug-in vehicle brands • Power ratings: 3.6kW, 7kW, 11kW, 22kW • Universal socket • Smart charging capabilities (with EOHub) • Cloud based billing service • RFID compatible
Edmundson Electrical, Stagg Industrial Estate, Ballyboggan, Glasnevin, D11 NX27 T: 00353 (0) 1 882 0770 - E: Dublin.email@example.com - www.ewl.ie
Connects to EO Hub
Staggering amount raised for the Irish Cancer Society by kind- hearted Kirby employees
Dinner postponed T he Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) has taken the difficult decision to postpone its annual dinner scheduled for Friday 23, October, 2020. It has also cancelled all meetings and other social events until further notice. The black tie fund-raising dinner will now take place on Friday 19, March 2021 in the Stuart Suite, Culloden Hotel. The decision was made in response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Alfie Watterson, Northern Ireland Regional Manager, ECA, explained to members, “Whilst it is disappointing to have to postpone the dinner, I trust, due to the unprecedented times we are currently in, you fully understand the decision taken.” The branch Chairman, Colin Cherry, and officers of the branch look forward to the continued support from members for the rearranged dinner. T: +44 (0)28 9147 9527 www.eca.co.uk
KirbyGroupmarathon raises €40,000 for IrishCancer Society
T hirty Kirby Group Engineering employees from the Connacht region, ran, jogged and walked a full marathon to raise €40,000 for the Irish Cancer Society. Mikey Ryan, Associate Director/Business Unit Leader Connacht at Kirby, said, “The collapse in funding for charitable organisations has been devastating, requiring urgent support during these challenging times. We decided to join our forces and together with our suppliers, friends and family, we have shown the power of working together, even when apart.
The fundraising event was a huge success and we are grateful to everyone who got involved and supported this initiative.” Rosemary Simmons, Irish Cancer Society Corporate Partnerships Manager, said, “The phenomenal funds raised by Kirby employees through their marathon challenge will help us to continue to provide … vital services for cancer patients, so I would like to say a big well done and massive thanks to all involved.”
T: +353 (0)91 752 860 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.kirbygroup.com
IrwinM&E completes exclusive Londonwaterfront high-rise I rwin M&E recently completed the M&E works at No.3 Canalside Walk, Paddington, London. Located on the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal, the project involved the complete M&E installation to a new 13-storey waterfront residential building with basement car parks and roof top terrace. No.3 Canalside Walk lies in the heart of London’s most desirable central canal-side district, an elegant landscaped enclave alive with restaurants, bars and a vibrant year-round calendar of events. Irwin M&E has been operating throughout the UK and Ireland since 1995. Working through a network of offices, including facilities in Northern Ireland and Central London, the company provides mechanical and electrical installation services, ranging from small one-off projects to large multi-million pound projects. T: +44 (0)28 3839 7990 - E: email@example.com www.irwinm-e.com
Complete M&E installation carried out by Irwins at No.3 Canalside Walk, Paddington
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VIEWOUR NEW CATALOGUE ONLINE NOW AT www.tegral-lighting.com
INCLUDES THE COMPLETE RANGE AND ALL OUR LATEST PRODUCTS
PRINTED CATALOGUES ALSO AVAILABLE
CONTACT US NOW FOR YOUR COPY OR FOR MORE INFORMATION ON OUR PRODUCTS
T: +353 (0) 1 830 9684/85/86
Abesco’s Fireclamp prevents fire
spread via cables T he Abesco Fireclamp range of CT120 and CT240 Cable Transit devices are designed to prevent the spread of fire and smoke from one compartment to another where electrical, data and communication cables penetrate through separating walls and floors. These fully retro ttable devices do not require the use of putties, sealants or coatings and can accommodate few or many cables – even up to full-size cable baskets. Fireclamp® Cable Transits are round, square or rectangular powder-coated steel sleeves with an inner lining of specially formulated intumescent material. When exposed to approximately 150C the intumescent expands to many times its original volume, sealing off any voids to prevent the passage of re. The unique ange for the devices enables them to be attached in place without the use of mechanical xings into walls or oors. T: +44 (0) 1561 377766 www.abesco.net
L-R Ronnie Heaney (Regional Operations Manager) & Garry Suddaby (Training & Development Manager)
BSIAaward for Mercury frontline security officers
M ercury Security and Facilities Association’s special award. This special award by BSIA Chairman Simon Banks was to acknowledge the great work delivered daily by the frontline security officers of MSFM during Covid-19. Frank Cullen, CEO MSFM, heaped praise on his frontline security officers. “I am so proud of the significant part you all have played in delivering excellent services and taking risks that helped keep our country running while also protecting the Management (MSFM) has received the (BSIA) British Security Industry
properties that were closed. “Our sincere thanks also to the NHS, security officers, cleaners, catering staff, council waste collectors and all the critical workers. You risked your lives to protect us all. “You and your families have sacrificed so much for us, and we are entirely thankful. So, stay safe, wash your hands and keep showing kindness while we all continue to work our way forward in the new normal.” T: +44 (0)28 9262 0510 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.msfm.biz
Lighting ‘no longer viable’ as Eaton closes Doncaster plant O ne of the UK’s biggest lighting factories will switch off for good due to pressure on commercial lighting sector margins. Eaton is quitting the mains lighting market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and closing down the 50,000 sq m former Cooper Lighting and Safety plant in Doncaster, which it took over in 2012. Luminaires for commercial, retail, education and industrial applications are designed and manufactured at the site,
which employs 390 people. Some 300 jobs are set to go, with the remaining 90 transferring to the emergency lighting operation that will continue on a separate location. In a statement, the US company, whose global headquarters are in Ireland, said this proposal was the best way forward given that, “mains lighting product lines are no longer commercially viable.” T: +353 (0)1 6372900 www.eaton.com
The Abesco Fireclamp range is easy to install with no future maintenance needs
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F lexible conduits provide incredible protection in the most technically and physically demanding environments where system integrity and safety are critical. In addition to the obvious advantages – simplicity, speed of installation, lifetime solution and system integrity – flexible conduits also allow users and specifiers to do things differently; to challenge traditional installation practices and offer unrivalled product performance. Risks and hazards to cabling can vary significantly depending on application, operating environments and conditions, which is why one system does not necessarily suit all. The performance properties of flexible conduit solutions can minimise your risk, however, incorrect specification could lead to critical failures for your cabling and installation. Mechanical protection Flexicon products are available in Ireland through Core Distribution and have been designed and tested for dynamic applications. Whether an installation is fixed or subjected to continuous movement, vibration can be a potential hazard, which needs careful consideration. Infrastructure can potentially be exposed to vibration, impact and other mechanical forces which could compromise system integrity. Flexicon products can help avoid disruption in case of: • Theft and Vandalism: Stealing, unauthorised removal or deliberate damage • Tensile Strength: Resistance to conduit being pulled from the fitting • Abrasion: Process of scraping or wearing something away Ingress protection Flooding is one of the most extreme forms of hazards for electrical systems. If product is submerged ingress protection becomes critical. Flexicon carries out extensive ingress testing - far superior to standard tests - to give customers confidence that true performance is adequately represented in real life installations: • IPx8 carried out at 2 bar for 1 hour at minimum
SAFETY AND PERFORMANCE GUARANTEED WITH FLEXIBLE CONDUITS
Cable protection for multiple applications fromCoreDistribution…
DELIVERING CABLE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS IN IRELAND
Core Distribution (RoI), Unit 17b Goldenbridge Industrial Estate, Inchicore, Dublin D08 WD50 T: +353 (0)1 453 7033 E: email@example.com www.coreelectrical.com
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“Flexible conduits allow users and specifiers to do things differently.”
Hygiene and food requirements
bend radius • IPx8 carried out at 1 metre under water for 72 hours at minimum bend radius • IPx8 carried out under water and ice at minimum bend radius for 5 cycles of; 10 hours at -15°C followed by 5 hours at +40°C • Flexing conduit under water for 5 days (exhibition display) Hazardous areas: fire, oil and gas requirements Hazardous areas occur where a flammable mixture of gas and air, or dust and air can exist in large enough quantities and for long enough periods to create a risk of explosion if an ignition source is present. System integrity and safety are critical for these technically and physically demanding environments. Flexicon offer a choice of 16 standard products, which allow tailored solutions, which are available off-the-shelf, minimising lead times and downtimes along with the following benefits: • Enhance safety and system integrity • Extended service life • Corrosion resistance (harshest environments)
• Minimise downtime • Reduce installation time • Reduce cost and weight Combining flexible conduit system with Flameproof EXD glands, contractors and operators can ensure they can mechanically protect their cabling installation without compromising on safety, therefore protecting people and assets. Flexicon fittings and glands are tested to the required standards: • Highly flame retardant, to prevent a fire starting or limit its development if one does start • Low smoke emission in the event of a fire to allow people greater visibility to see escape route • Low toxicity in the event of a fire to prevent people from becoming overcome by fumes or poisonous gases • Halogen-free and does not contain fluorine, chlorine, bromine or iodine. Does not produce highly toxic fumes and thick smoke
Safety, hygiene and efficiency are all of paramount importance for a variety of applications such as food and beverage processing. Because they offer a smooth, easy to clean surface, flexible conduits protect against the build-up of microbes and bacteria and also ensure that cleaning processes do not damage or compromise equipment operation. They therefore create a complete system ideal for food and beverage, machinery, OEMs, healthcare and pharmaceutical applications. Flexicon are the leading solutions provider to protect your critical power and data cables from damage caused by mechanical, electrical or environmental influences. Manufactured in accordance with EN1672-2 and EN ISO 14159, Flexicon’s new range of Stainless-Steel Round Connection boxes have been designed using SS Grade 316L and feature a range of connection options. Hygienic Glands are available as a short-thread version to ensure a secure connection while maximising wiring space within the box.
DELIVERING CABLE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS IN IRELAND
Core Distribution (NI), Unit 4, Duncrue Industrial Park, Belfast BT3 9BP T: +44 (0)28 9002 0066 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.coreelectrical.com
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IRELAND’S ELECTRICAL MAGAZINE | 9
The proposed multi-million-pound residual waste treatment plant, Mallusk
Electricity grid connection secured for £240mresidual waste treatment project
A significant milestone has been reached for the arc21 residual waste management project, following the acceptance of a grid connection offer from NI Electricity Networks. The proposed £240m infrastructure project at the Hightown Quarry site in Mallusk will have the capacity to treat up to 300,000 tonnes of council black bin waste annually,
recovering additional recyclable materials and producing renewable electricity through an Energy fromWaste (EfW) facility. The grid connection will provide enough power for up to 30,000 homes and contribute over 50,000 MWh per year towards NI ‘s renewable energy targets, supporting climate change and decarbonisation policies.
The proposed EfW generator is a continuous, baseload generator using predominantly non-fossil fuels and will align with the relevant government policy framework on climate change, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and de- carbonisation of the economy. T: +44 (0)28 90 373000 E: email@example.com www. arc21.org.uk
Newappointment at Core Distribution C ore Distribution has announced the appointment of Brian
Fagan as Projects Sales Executive. Brian has worked in the electrical industry for 30 years, since graduating from D.I.T. in 1990. He has worked closely with consulting engineers, architects and electrical contractors throughout his career and has been involved with several large scale projects for which he provided lighting and power distribution solutions, technical support and after-sales support.
MANUFACTURERS & SUPPLIERS OF:
• MCC Boards • Form 2 & 4 Distribution Boards • Variable Speed Drives • PLC Control • Multi-metering Cabinets • Energy Measurement • Power Factor Correction • Plus much more
Brian Fagan, Projects Sales Executive, Core Distribution
Brian has previously worked as a sales manager, business development manager and design engineer for high profile companies such as NEL, Glamox and Click Litehouse, so he brings a wealth of experience with him to his new position as Projects Sales Executive in Core. Brian is married to Michelle, and they live in Naas with their family where he is also Chairman of his local soccer club. T: +353 (0)1 453 7033
• NO OBLIGATION QUOTATION • FREE DELIVERY Unit 2A Milltown Business Park, Co Monaghan T: 00353 47 72265 - E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.troypanels.com
E: email@example.com www.coreelectrical.com
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REMOTE MONITORING SOLVES ACCESS ISSUES AND PROTECTS TENANTS... Gateway opens for wireless alarmmanagement
E i Electronics SmartLINK Gateway is revolutionising the way in which fire and CO alarm systems are managed, paving the way to a solution- focused approach to asset management. In an era where asset management and compliance are key issues, maintaining data for properties is complex and time-consuming. Gaining access to every property can be an issue. The reassurance of your alarms working to protect occupiers is vital. These are all important issues for Local Authorities, Housing Associations & Property Management Companies. With this in mind, Ei designed the ideal alarm management system to make life easier, improve efficiency and reduce costs - the Ei1000G SmartLINK Gateway. Using its built-in GSM data connection, the Ei1000G reports events including Fire/CO activations and alarm head removals to the SmartLINK cloud portal, for full visibility and remote monitoring. The Ei1000G SmartLINK Gateway utilises Ei’s next generation of wireless technology to enable real-time notifications via an online, cloud-based SmartLINK portal system. The development of the Ei SmartLINK Gateway has been greatly influenced by Housing Maintenance teams within Local Authorities (LA) and Housing Associations (HA) and Property Management companies, through extensive feedback and rigorous trials that have significantly shaped the final product. As the pinnacle of Ei’s technology, this pioneering product facilitates the safety of occupants at
all times and aids with compliance across housing stock, ensuring ease of monitoring for LAs/HAs and clear, actionable intelligence. Save time and money Some LAs served as a trial site for the SmartLINK Gateway, Project Managers commented: “In a building that relies on residents for access, we can monitor alarm systems remotely to make sure everything is working correctly, and the tenants are kept safe. The main benefit of this product would be saving time and money while getting an immediate response, rather than going through the normal procedures.” Ei have continuously been at the forefront of Radio Frequency (RF)
technology and are now leading the way in revolutionising this technology. The foundation of RF technology simply enabled wireless interconnection between Ei alarms, allowing ease of installation. This technology has been expanded upon and has progressed to now having more capabilities than ever before. By using in-built GSM data connection and RF interconnection to interface the SmartLINK Gateway with Ei alarms and accessories, easy installation and reliable connection is assured, meaning full visibility of connected RF systems. The Ei1000G SmartLINK Gateway aims to improve efficiency, reduce costs, aid with replacement forecasting and maintenance and enable smart asset management. Events are reported directly as they happen via the online portal, which gives accessible intelligence that can be actioned, reported on and documented. This groundbreaking technology gives a proactive approach to fault-finding, defining any trends in alarm activations and maintenance requirements, while drastically minimising the issue of property access. T:+353 (0)61 471 277 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.eielectronics.ie
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IRELAND’S ELECTRICAL MAGAZINE | 13
QUIKCORE ANSWERS TRADES’ CALL WITH FIRST-EVER QUICK-RELEASE SYSTEM FOR CORE BITS…
Time-saver launched for diamond core drilling
Made of high tensile steel – Quikcore drill adaptor
D iamond core drilling is widely accepted throughout the plumbing and electrical landscape but it can prove to be a laborious task. Frontline industry professionals rely on their tools and equipment daily, so saving time to enhance the workflow efficiency is always a positive, especially where time may be a key factor in quoted jobs. After canvassing trade professionals’ needs, Quikcore developed and delivered an industry first quick release system for core bits, that they claim will save you time and potentially extend your tool’s lifespan. Quikcore’s revolutionary new design eliminates the need to hit spanners with a hammer when you’re trying to disconnect core bits from your drill or extension bar. Included in its new range of products is a waste removal knockout tool which means you no longer need to hit the core bits with a hammer and risk denting equipment when you’re removing unwanted material.
Waste removal knockout tool – no need for a hammer
Quality first The company puts great
“Based on the build quality, cost and improved workflow efficiency, Quikcore is a must- have addition to a 21st-
core bits within the set (typically five). The knockout tool is a one-off purchase while the drill adaptor will need two (one for the 1/2” male end of a core drill or SDS adaptor and one for the 1/2” male end of an extension bar). Once the drill adaptors and core adaptors are connected, the components remain, so you can fit and forget. Based on the build quality, cost and improved workflow efficiency, Quikcore is a must-have addition to a 21st-century tool kit. To see for yourself how much easier core drilling really is using Quikcore, scan the QR code below and watch the instructional video on their website. Quikcore is exclusively available from Bassetts in Northern Ireland. Live too far from a Bassetts branch? No problem – Bassetts helpful staff are happy to post on parcels, just call a branch closest to you to order and purchase, call +44 (0)28 3839 5250.
emphasis on the use of quality materials, which is why Quikcore is manufactured from the finest grade of high tensile steel – it’s built to last in the most demanding environments. Quikcore testing surpassed 250 N/m torque (core drills typically 80 N/m) and well over 200 holes back to back in concrete blocks, meaning only a few pence per job when buying the full kit. The quantity of core adaptors really depends on the number of
century tool kit”.
KEY FEATURES • No more spanners • Improves workflow efficiency • East core waste removal • Prevents threads from locking up
Quikcore’s 1/2” core bit/ extension thread with quick-release clip
E: email@example.com www.quikcore.com
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Mick Slein, CEO
M ick Slein was promoted to CEO for Robus LED Group earlier this year. The Irish-owned family business has a global presence and a reputation worldwide for first- class customer service and products. Founded in 1984, the company’s aim is to become customers’ most trusted LED lighting supplier and one of the most significant lighting brands in the world. What are the main priorities and goals in your role? My main objective is to propel the business to the next level of growth and for the company to become a real global player in the lighting world. We have a very clear strategy and significant growth plans to deliver on. The short-term goal, similar to many businesses, is to manage through the turbulence of 2020. We are incredibly pleased with how the business and every individual in Robus has
WE QUIZ INDUSTRY LEADERS ON WHAT MAKES THEM SUCCESSFUL AND HOW THEY ARE
responded to the global crisis which has minimised the damage to the company.
What are your biggest challenges as CEO of Robus? I took over as CEO in February, a month after the first known death was reported due to Coronavirus. Every week since then we have had to make significant decisions in response to the effects the virus is having in our various markets - Ireland, United Kingdom, France, Holland, South Africa, Middle East, Australia, and New Zealand. We have approached this difficult period as three distinct phases: protection, opportunity and the unknown. The priority has always been to protect our people, protect their jobs and protect the business, which, so far I believe we have done an excellent job navigating through. The current period is the opportunity phase as markets reopen and we close on sales opportunities. Finally, we will face the ‘unknown’ phase and the effect it has
RESPONDING TO THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES CURRENTLY FACING THE ELECTRICAL SECTOR...
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MICKSLEIN - ROBUS LED
on markets when government supports disappear and we begin to understand the actual economic impact of the pandemic. What was your first proper job? I always worked in the family business growing up; picking orders, unloading containers during school holidays and so on. In college, I worked as a delivery driver for the local Chinese takeaway and even had a stint selling flowers one summer in the local area and at car boot sales around Dublin. When I finished my degree, I expected to start working for Robus, but my father didn’t want me involved in the family business without first getting experience elsewhere. I got a job with Enterprise- Rent-A-Car on their graduate program and within two years became the youngest branch manager in the history of the company. Shortly after, I moved to Australia to take up a role as an external sales representative for Robus. What inspires you to go to work every day? Our vision is to become our customers most trusted LED lighting supplier, and when we can deliver this we will ultimately become one of the most significant lighting brands in the world. This inspires me, and I almost view work as a sport or type of competition, intending to become number one in each of our key markets. Even as a sales representative, I had this goal for my own area in Australia. The key objective now is for Robus to take the next step up as a business in terms of growth. How do you like to fill your spare time? I raced karts between the ages of 10-22, and when I moved back from Australia in 2016, I started competing again in the Irish and World Championships with the latter held in Le Mans each year. Unfortunately, there has been limited racing this year, and very little travel with work. However, this has given me the chance to pause and spend much more time in Dublin which has been one big positive I have taken from the pandemic. At the weekends, I am either cycling
to Howth with my wife, Emer, for a dip at Balscadden beach; having a BBQ in our back garden; down in Brittas Bay in Wicklow spending time with my extended family at Staunton’s Caravan park; cycling the hills of Howth with a group of pals from school or watching some form of motorsport. As a business leader, describe your best qualities. I am very ambitious, driven, but also realistic about what we can achieve. I believe this inspires our staff as individuals, inspires our teams, and ultimately allows the organisation to progress as a single entity. I understand that without excellent staff we won’t achieve our goals, therefore, the business has a strong emphasis on our ADR program which involves (A)ttracting the best people, (D)eveloping the best people and therefore (R)etaining the best people. I have a strong commercial understanding and natural intuition of how the business works, which helps me make sound decisions with the senior management team around the different divisions within our global organisation. …and your worst? I have been called a perfectionist which can be a good and bad trait. I have had to understand that this can be bad when people always worry about making mistakes, letting others down or not measuring up to impossibly high standards. What has been the most satisfying moment in your career? Becoming CEO is an obvious one. However, on my 33rd birthday, I had to tell our staff over a Microsoft Teams virtual meeting that they were staying on a pay cut due to the pandemic. It’s a birthday I will always remember, but for the wrong reasons. A month later, I was able to tell everyone that they were moving back to 100%. This was hugely satisfying as it had a direct effect on every individual, and I know how much of a financial burden and mental challenge 2020 has been.
If you could work in a completely different sector/industry, what would it be? I have always been interested in the stock market and wanted to become a trader but was always put off due to the amount of reading and research required to understand the markets and various commodities properly. I have been actively trading small amounts of money since college and get enjoyment from the interest it creates by simply having some money invested in a company. I then end up following companies with greater enthusiasm and also have the benefit of seeing why they have or have not been successful. I have had some shockers over the years from oil research companies drilling off the coast of Africa to more recent success with Tesla. “The most crucial aspect needed is open, honest communication”
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IRELAND’S ELECTRICAL MAGAZINE | 17
How do you keep your team/staff motivated? Very simply, by driving the growth in the business, which then creates excellent opportunities for our employees. When the business grows, we develop new roles and people move up within the organisation. We always aim to recruit from within, which therefore creates more opportunities for other people within the business as we must backfill each position. Out of 25 management positions all, except two, have been hired from within the organisation. During more challenging times, the most crucial aspect needed is open, honest communication and I need to be able to look everyone in the eye and explain any difficult decisions we have had to make. What are the challenges facing the industry going forward? I have discussed openly my disappointment that some companies can provide a product that does not meet the regulations. Several lighting suppliers are providing misleading information about fire rating, lumen outputs, UGR rating, which ultimately puts peoples’ lives at risk. It should not require events like Grenfell or more recently the death of Frank Finnie, a pensioner at Aberdeen Market
earlier this month due to issues with emergency lighting, for the industry to be accountable. Ultimately, it’s about education and holding companies responsible for providing products and services that meet regulations. What new trends are emerging in your industry? The buzzword in the industry for the last 8+ years has been around IOT. Most reputable suppliers now have an offering and last year we launched our residential smart range called Robus Connect, which offers one platform for all smart residential needs. We started with lighting from GU10’s, fire-rated downlights and GLS lamps and are now launching doorbells, sensors, indoor and outdoor cameras. It’s been a huge success so far. The next trend is Human Centric Lighting, which Lighting Europe has outlined in its product road map for several years. We have developed an advanced range called ‘Humanitas’ and have already won projects with this product. This is a significant milestone for the company as we lead the market in terms of developing ground-breaking technology that most of the largest lighting brands in the world are still developing. As a
business, we are now playing Champions League football and taking on the superstars. What advice would you give to someone aspiring to your position? Win the morning, win the day - The first hour of your day is the most crucial and the importance of having a good routine will then allow you to win the day and achieve what you want, rather than get pulled in various directions as the daily requests come your way. If you win each day, you can win the week, win the week, win the month, win the month then win the year.
Continuous improvement and development - There is always
something you can improve on, and if you are continually making small incremental gains every day, you will have achieved an enormous amount over the year. What good habits should you do more of and what bad habits should you delete?
Everyday interview - Sometimes, it is tough to see the next level of
progression. In your current role you are essentially doing an interview every day for the next promotion. If you consistently perform, you then become the obvious choice for the next promotion when it
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MICKSLEIN - LEDROBUS
How will Brexit affect you, or have you started to feel the effects already? We have spent a significant amount of time planning for Brexit, and this was one of the reasons we opened our UK warehouse facility. We now have substantial levels of stock located in Dublin and North of London. This is an essential aspect of our Brexit contingency plan but also supports our strategy of being easy to deal with as this reduces the delivery time in the UK. The main challenge so far has been around currency. In 2015, at the peak for every GBP£1 we received US$1.57 and at the lows in 2019, that reduced to US$1.14. This has a significant negative impact on the business, especially when the UK is our largest market in terms of turnover. How do you define success and what drives you to succeed? The essential piece for me is having a balance in my life, as there is no point in excelling in work but having a terrible relationship at home, for example. Success is spending good quality time in each area of your life from your relationship, health, career, social life, sport, personal development, family and finally, but not least; having your finances in order. Each year I set myself BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) and some ‘normal’ goals. I monitor these monthly. They vary from work to personal items, and I do my best to enjoy the journey rather than whether I achieve them or not. It’s so important to have fun along the way. If you could employ anybody from the worlds of business or sport who would it be, and why? Elon Musk is very current and springs to mind. He would undoubtedly deliver in innovation, bring wackiness to the office, inspire and develop some exciting lighting products. What’s the best advice you’ve been given, or would give, in business? This is advice from my late grandfather, “The first price you offer is the best price you will pay”. So if you are buying a car listed at €10,000 and offer €7,000, then
becomes available. Make yourself the obvious choice and don’t give your boss an option when it comes to the next opportunity. Passionate - You must be passionate about what you do and enjoy your job, and if you do not, now is the time to make a change.
€7,000 is the very best price you will purchase it for. He always said offer a crazy price first because the worst you will do is offend somebody. What have been your highlights in business over the past several years? The business has grown from my father selling light bulbs from the back of his car to a global lighting brand employing over 200 people, and it’s easy to forget the humble beginnings we started with. I love looking at our timeline, which highlights vital strategic moves from expansion into the UK, France, Holland or Australia and the various product innovations we have made from the first DOB downlight to our latest high bay producing 184 lumens per watt. What’s next for your company? We have positioned the business for a growth phase, and we are excited to move these plans forward. Our strategy will remain constant, and we will continue to deliver in terms of service, product innovation and quality.
How has Covid19 impacted your business strategy?
Covid-19 has had zero effect on our strategy, which, importantly, has remained constant during the entire period. Our vision is to become our customers’ most trusted LED lighting supplier and to achieve this we need to deliver on our value proposition, which is the reason why our customers buy from us. We want customers to: Trust Robus to provide high-quality lighting products - Currently, our failure rate is 0.52%, and once we continue to deliver high-quality products our customers will keep coming back. Trust Robus to provide market-led product innovation - We need to continue to deliver on new innovative products as this is the lifeblood of the business. We have had several key product launches in the last 12 months with our Vegas LED Strip, Humanitas HCL range and more recently our 184lm per watt High Bay and our new Dallas backlit LED panel. Trust Robus to be easy to deal with - Very simply, ensure doing business with us is easy for our customers and their customers. We do this by having excellent stock levels; processing orders on time and accurately and dealing with all our customer requests in a timely fashion. We can only do this by having outstanding people who are aligned to our company values (ambition, fast- paced, always do what you say you will do, customer focus, and empowerment) and this again emphases the importance of our ADR program (attract, develop and retain).
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Tech champion for 50years
C elebrating 50 years in business this year, Imex has diversified over the last few decades as technology has advanced and now specialises in providing audio visual and interactive training solutions. As a dynamic company with specialist knowledge in leading edge electronics it delivers the very latest tech advancements to its substantial education and private customer base. Products designed to enhance teaching laboratories and classrooms with equipment to ensure that future graduates have access to industry standard systems and practices. Imex has a comprehensive range of android-based multi-touch LED panels that are now used in education as an upgrade to the old fashioned interactive whiteboard systems widely used. The team gives impartial advice on the current market products and supply the most suitable LED multi- touch panel to meet each individual customer’s requirements.
Latest Tech Imex Managing Director, Peter Niblock, says, “It’s all about the wireless collaboration in the classroom these days, and Imex has the perfect solution: Vivitek Teaching panels. These state-of-the- art interactive displays allow students and trainees to cast from their own devices.” For today’s students, a blackboard just isn’t enough. Social media, videos and other online resources play a vital part in the educational experience. Vivitek’s NovoConnect Solution, supplied and installed by Imex, enables students to contribute to the classroom while keeping teachers and administrators in full control of content. Teachers have no time to waste fumbling around with cables. That’s where NovoConnect comes in – full wireless operation and support for content sharing enabling teachers to make the most out of every lesson.
FOUNDED IN 1970, IMEX HAS BECOME A MAJOR ELECTRONICS SUPPLIER TO PRIVATE AND EDUCATION SECTORS...
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“It’s all about wireless collaboration in the classroom these days, and IMEX has the perfect solution: Vivitek Teaching panels.”
This wireless presentation system designed for the education market is bases on the BYOD principle. That means that everyone can connect and share content using the Windows, Mac, Android, iOS or Chromebook device of their choice. Easy access to cloud services such as Google Drive lets users share content from anywhere. The need to be informed and updated at all times characterises the demands of many citizens today. Providing the right content at the right time is one reason why so many organisations have embraced digital signage technology. The proof of its growing popularity is all around you – from a train station to a hotel’s reception area, the petrol station to the shopping centre and even inside the retail outlets contained within it. In short, sharing information is seen as a good thing – whether it’s an update on train times, special promotional offers, amended trading hours over a seasonal holiday, guidance directions or even a cheerful ‘Welcome’ message to greet
you as you check into your hotel room. But, there’s a snag. Digital signage solutions – until recently – were not that easy to use and an administrator would need programming skills to update the content. As a consequence, the useful information they were meant to convey wasn’t always updated or accurate. Addressing the problem easily and effectively, is Vivitek’s NovoDS, available from Imex. What’s so important – and refreshing – about this affordable digital signage solution is that it dramatically simplifies the process for creating and updating content on a display. Ideal for creating dynamic visual displays for a corporate or public area, the digital signage content can incorporate text, photos, audio, video, and web content in fully customisable configurations for a variety of settings. Versatile and flexible, the applications for the NovoDS range from corporate events and commercial spaces to educational facilities and public
installations that need a quick and easy digital signage solution. Also, Vivitek has an extensive line-up of award-winning digital projectors consisting of projectors for home cinema, education, large venue and meeting room projectors. Vivitek was the first to launch a full high-definition LED home cinema projector and was among the first to offer the tiny but powerful HD LED Qumi projectors to the mass market consumer, as well as 3D-ready digital projectors featuring DLP link® from Texas Instruments. With Imex as the Ireland distributor for the Vivitek range, they deliver a 5-year education warranty to our education customer base.
IMEX Systems & Instruments, Moira Industrial Estate, 34 Old Kilmore Rd,
Moira, Craigavon BT67 0LZ T: +44 (0)28 92619233 (NI) / +353 (0)42 9372300 (ROI) www.imex.co.uk
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Construction firms call out Government’s slow infrastructure spend C onstruction firms call out Government’s slow infrastructure spend The greatest single risk to jobs and the survival of local businesses is the slow pace of government’s return to business and the procurement of much needed construction work, according to a Construction Employers Federation (CEF) survey. The survey of local construction companies conducted in July represents the views of around 200 businesses with combined turnover exceeding £1.5bn. The CEF, whose members account for roughly 70% of the construction output in NI, represents a sector sustaining around 65,000 skilled local jobs and, with the impending cessation of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, without a clear pipeline of work, exactly half of the businesses surveyed anticipate making significant redundancies. CEF’s incoming Managing Director, Mark Spence commented, “If this Assembly finds itself at the end of the financial year having underspent its allocated budgets and handing back money to Westminster, it must be held accountable to those whose jobs have been lost unnecessarily. The CEF calls on our elected representatives to work together to agree a way forward so that Northern Ireland can support a thriving construction industry and avail of every opportunity for sustainable economic growth.” concluded Mark. T: +44 (0)28 9087 7143 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.cefni.co.uk
Maison Francois, Mayfair, London
MGAserves up amusical treat inMayfair
P rivate diners in Mayfair’s exclusive new restaurant, Maison Francois, will have complete control over their music choice thanks to a smart iPad user interface designed by MGA Communications Ltd. The customised interface was part of a fully integrated security systems and audio visual installation handed over by the Ballynahinch-based AV experts recently. The technically advanced and top-end systems supplied and installed by MGA Communications matches the high-end vibe of this swanky central London eatery. “The client was extremely discerning,” says Aaron McKeown, MD MGA
Communications. “He had high expectations and we are delighted to have fulfilled his brief.” This was a fast-moving site, with a tight turnaround, located in one of London’s busiest locations, so the MGA team had enough challenges to face before Covid-19 was thrown in to the mix. But they ably rose to the challenge, thanks to their professionalism and experience. “It was a logistical challenge,” admits Aaron. “But with great co-ordination and co-operation with the design team and the contractors, we overcame these obstacles.”
T: +44 (0)28 9756 5614 E: email@example.com www.mgacom.co.uk
Peddling for Ireland’s Children’s Hospice
V entilux sales and service team member, Edel Byrne, is used to going the extra mile to keep customers happy, but this month she’s also racking up the kilometres to help raise money in a sponsored cycle for LauraLynn, Ireland’s Children’s Hospice. Edel is taking part in a challenge to cycle 250km during the month of August. “I am in no way an experienced cyclist,” says Edel, “but I took on the challenge in a bid to raise some funds for the hospice which cares for children with life-limiting conditions and residential care for children and young adults with disabilities. “In the current pandemic fundraising events have been cancelled so this is a great way to support the cause while doing so in my own time in my own location.” On average, Edel is cycling 5-10km daily. “I am very lucky to live in Roundwood, surrounded by some beautiful trails making it so much more enjoyable.”
You can sponsor Edel on her JustGiving page www.justgiving.com/fundraising/edel-byrne1
Edel Byrne, on her 250km August cycle challenge for LauraLynn
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Braidside Integrated Primary School BALLYMENA
“The whole team, from the client, architect, the main contractor Glasgiven Contracts onwards worked together and did a great job. That’s satisfaction in itself.”
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BRAHAM ELECTRICAL’S INPUT HELPED THIS DESIGN AND BUILD SCHOOL PROJECT SHINE... ELECTRICALCONTRACTOR
B raham Electrical is well-schooled at working on education projects. For almost 40 years the company has worked closely with local authorities, schools, academies, universities and nurseries to provide educational environments that positively impact and influence the learning future of children. Knowing the sector so well ensured a problem-free delivery of full electrical services to the brand new Braidside Integrated Primary School, Ballymena. The building (circa 2,500m2 including nursery and SMA) will cater for the long term educational needs of Braidside Integrated Primary School’s 440 pupils and replaces existing facilities at Fry’s Road, Ballymena. Design input The design and build nature of the project played to Braham’s strengths in the sector. “It allowed us far greater input into the electrical design than on a normal job,” says Braham Electrical Director, Jason McQuaid. “We worked alongside the consulting engineer, ISD, and the rest of the project team to specify all the equipment used, the type of light fittings and other specialist items that were installed. “It’s great to work collaboratively like this. Sharing our experience, knowledge and different perspectives with the team worked really well.”
The single-storey primary school includes 14 classrooms, main hall and dining hall, along with an adjacent standalone nursery school. Braham Electrical was tasked with the full electrical services, including data cabling, fire and CCTV and interactive touchscreens for each classroom, which were supplied by Synchronised Cabling Solutions. Braham Electrical went on site in July 2019. The original project handover date of Easter 2020 was delayed by the Covid 19 lockdown. “The lockdown came into effect a week before we were to finish, but it didn’t impact us dramatically. By the time the dust had settled and the site reopened we didn’t have much left to do to get it over the line for the handover in July. “The job finished well and everyone involved was very happy. It’s always satisfying to complete a job on time and be able to say you put your heart into it. “The whole team, from the client, architect, the main contractor Glasgiven Contracts onwards, worked well together and did a great job. That’s satisfaction in itself,” says Jason. Personal approach Braham Electrical has been operating
floodlighting, inspection and testing across Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. Client satisfaction is key at Braham Electrical, with the team focused on delivering the highest standard of work across the educational, residential, industrial and public realm sectors. Their personalised approach to clients has built friendly and long-lasting relationships. The company aim is to give every client certainty that their project will be delivered to their complete satisfaction, fulfilling their objectives on timing, quality and budget. Right across the board, Braham Electrical insists on the highest possible standard and ensures this is delivered and maintained by every member of staff. This attention to excellence and high skills has helped build the company’s solid reputation. Client: Trustees of Braidside Integrated Primary School Main Contractor: Glasgiven Contracts Architect: Isherwood and Ellis Project Manager: Matt Beattie Consulting Engineer: Integrated Services Design PROJECTTEAM...
since 1972. A family-run business specialising in general contracting, response maintenance, street and
Braham Electrical, 7a Charlotte Street, Warrenpoint, BT34 3LF T: +44 (0) 28 4177 2989 - E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.brahamelectrical.com
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