South Dakota Safety Council

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Thompson Automation and Specialty Services was pleased to join the South Dakota Safety Council October 4, 2017, at the Sioux Falls Convention Center as they celebrated their 25th Annual South Dakota Safety & Health Conference!  This exciting conference brought together the largest group of safety professionals to keep current on a broad range of issues, get valuable training, and network with colleagues and industry experts.

If you were there you could have had the chance to hear a presentation on ARC Flash OSHA/NFPA 70E requirements by Jeff Bennett, Thompson Automation, and Specialty Services Corporate Safety Director.  Supported by OSHA, the current NFPA 70E changes bring a new level of regulations that employers must understand when it comes to Arc Flash, PPE and training requirements. This training program covered some of the important changes in the 2015 NFPA 70E regulations and gave attendees a better understanding of those requirements and what employers must do to protect their employees in the case of an arc flash event.

“Whatever your organization’s size or industry, if you’re responsible for workplace safety and health, this was a must-attend event in South Dakota”, expressed Jason Glover, General Manager of Thompson Automation and Specialty Services.  “If you could not make it and are interested in more information on Arc Flash safety and your requirements under OSHA and the NFPA contact us and he can help you out.  It is critically important that you understand these changing and complex regulations.”

For more information on Thompson Automation and Specialty Services reach out to us at 844-321-3869, visit our website at www.thompsonspecialty.com, or email us at help@thompsonspecialty.com.

The South Dakota Safety Council has a long history of effective programs, strong regulations, and dedicated professionals working together for safety.  The South Dakota Safety Council, a private, not-for-profit organization, has been dedicated to promoting safety and health for more than 68 years. They provide safety, health and risk avoidance training and services. Membership in the South Dakota Safety Council helps employers prevent injuries and costly claims, increase productivity and stay competitive. If you wish to join the 400+ employers who are members. Take a look at what membership can do to strengthen your safety and health programs. Learn more at: www.southdakotasafetycouncil.org/memb/benefits.cfm.

Thermal Imaging is a Critical Piece of EPM

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Electrical systems, just like mechanical systems, are prone to failure over time due to age, poor maintenance, and the stress of overuse.  People often wrongly assume that because electrical systems lack moving parts there is not a need for electrical preventative maintenance (EPM).  Nothing could be further from the truth.  While no one can claim to be perfect at identifying electrical problems before they arise, a good preventative maintenance program can help predict the imminent failure of equipment.   The early detection of problems can allow you to catch small issues before they become big ones.  A challenge faced, however, is the determination of what the right EPM program is.

While there is not a single EPM program or field of study that would catch all problems the most reliable and cost-effective inspection to have conducted is Thermal Imaging. Thermal Imaging is a non-contact, non-destructive technology proven effective in the early detection of imminent failure in an electrical and mechanical system. When properly conducted a Thermal Imaging inspection can identify “hot spots” or areas of a potential problem that necessitate further investigation and maintenance.  As you can see in this image, an area of concern is identified for further evaluation by the heat or temperature difference it is putting off against the ambient temperature.

If you have more questions or are looking for ideas and more information on Thermal Imaging or other best practice electrical preventative maintenance programs give the experts at Thompson Automation and Specialty Services a call today.  Given their 85+ years of experience as an electrical contractor, Thompson specializes in the development of custom electrical preventative maintenance programs for customers across the country.  Thompson understands the importance of keeping facilities safe, efficient and operating at peak performance and can custom tailor a program for you.

NSC Congress & Expo

Thompson Automation and Specialty Services was excited to participate September 23 – 29t at the 2017 National Safety Council Congress & Expo in Indianapolis, IN.  The NSC Congress & Expo is the world’s premier annual safety event, bringing together 15,000 safety, health, and environmental professionals to promote safety and identify solutions to safety issues that can result in accidents and deaths.

“The goal is to eliminate preventable injuries, accidents, and deaths according to Jason Glover”, General Manager of Thompson Automation and Safety Services.  “We are pleased to be recognized as an industry leader in the areas of electrical safety and preventative maintenance with our world-class solutions. To be in the company of so many industry leaders is exciting as we can validate our process and learn best practices from others to continually improve what we do.”

The NSC Congress & Expo attracts decision makers, end users, and distributors from a wide variety of industries including: manufacturing, construction, petrochemical and utilities. Coming from the United States, Canada, and more than 60 other countries, these individuals range in experience from entry level to seasoned safety professionals representing companies such as Boeing, BP, Industrial Scientific, Kimberly Clark, URS, RockTenn Norcross, Fruit of the Loom and more.

Hundreds of industry-leading companies from around the world exhibit offering products and services to showcase their latest safety solutions. The show not only features large companies such as Honeywell, 3M and Grainger but hundreds of small to mid-size companies like Thompson Automation and Specialty Services.

“Promoting Safety with National Safety Council is more than just a slogan or a tagline from the NSC.  They really are trying to find Safety solutions that work as they are literally and figurative in Indianapolis racing to zero workplace deaths,” said Glover.  “Anything that we can do to further the cause is a job worth taking on.”

As the nation’s leading safety advocate for more than 100 years, the National Safety Council is a nonprofit organization with the mission of eliminating preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by engaging businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public to help prevent the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. – preventable injuries.  The NSC is a 501c3 nonprofit, chartered by Congress, with local Chapters, global networks, and more than 50,000 members.

For more information on Thompson Automation and Specialty Services, you can contact us at 844-321-3869, visit our website at www.thompsonspecialty.com, or email us at help@thompsonspecialty.com.  If you would like more information on the National Safety Council you can go to www.nsc.org.

You Need an Electrical Preventative Maintenance Program

2014-08-20 10.27.22Electrical systems, just like mechanical systems, are prone to failure over time due to age, poor maintenance, and the stress of overuse.  People often assume that because electrical systems lack moving parts there is not a need for electrical preventative maintenance.  An idea that couldn’t be further from the truth.  In fact, the resulting impacts of electrical failures can lead to larger and more costly problems than mechanical failures alone.  Here are four things to consider if you don’t think an electrical preventive maintenance program is for you.

  1. Safety: What is the safety of your employees and contractors worth?
  2. Electrical failures often can be avoided.

  3. Electrical preventative maintenance programs are not expenses, rather good investments.

  4. Industry standard best practice guidelines include preventive maintenance programs.

Earlier detection of problems can allow you to catch small issues before they become big ones.  No one can claim to be perfect at identifying electrical problems before they arise.  A good preventative maintenance program, however, can help predict the imminent failure of equipment.   The question then when deciding on the value of a preventative maintenance program is not the cost of the program but rather the return on the investment.

If you have more questions or are looking for ideas and more information on best practice electrical preventative maintenance programs give the experts at Thompson Automation and Specialty Services a call today.  Given their 85+ years of experience as an electrical contractor, Thompson specializes in the development of custom electrical preventative maintenance programs for customers across the country.  Thompson understands the importance of keeping facilities safe, efficient and operating at peak performance and can custom tailor a program for you.

Is the Risk of an Arc Flash Explosion Worth the Consequences? 

I look at risk as a combination of probability and consequences.   If the probability and consequences of an accident are low, then the risk is low.  If the probability is high and the consequences are high, then the risk is high.  Perceived risks then drive spending and investments and while we can’t put a specific value on reducing risk we ArcFlashLabeltypically will measure an expected Return on Investment (ROI) for what we spend.  If you have not already made the investment to have an Arc Flash Risk Assessment done at your facility you need to know about and consider the probability and consequences.

The probability of an Arc Flash is related to the quality, care, and age of your electrical system.  The consequences of an Arc Flash can be devastating.  Arc Flash explosions are known to cause serious damage to your facility and personnel.  What is the impact to your business if an arc flash explosion shuts your production line or facility down for a day, a week or a month? You need to consider the total financial loss of an accident; costs that include the disruption of your business and to your customers can be substantial.  Regulatory fines alone can be crippling.

An Arc Flash Risk Assessment is required by OSHA and will-full noncompliance can quickly extend fines into the millions of dollars. What about future expenses then like increased insurance rates and injury settlements.  It can be shuttering to consider, but what about the cost of a death of an employee.

The good news in all this, however, is that the cost of having an Arc Flash Risk Assessment done is low.  It’s very hard to place hard numbers on the cost of an accident.  However, if the risk of an accident is rather high but the investment is low, it makes the decision easier to deal with.  An Arc Flash and the resulting explosions can be devastating to your organization and the employee that is not properly prepared or protected against it.  Whether your motivation is to protect your employees, meet the OSHA requirements, or protect against future expenses; having an Arc Flash Risk Assessment completed by qualified and trained professionals is important.  Contact the experienced Arc Flash specialists at Thompson Automation and Specialty Services at 844-321-3869 today to learn more or to have them perform an Arc Flash analysis for your facility.

The Best Reasons to Go Solar Today

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There always seems to be one question that we get asked all the time at Thompson Solar. “Is Solar the right move for my business?”  Smart energy sustainability certainly reduces operating costs with lower utility bills and can improve the overall value of your business.  At Thompson Solar, we help customers understand the five fundamental reasons to ‘Go Solar.’ To help you learn more about how your business can benefit from solar we have our Best 5 Reasons to Go Solar to share with you today.

  1. Reduce Your Energy Costs
  2. Get Credit for the Electricity You Make
  3. The ROI on Your System Could Be Just 3-6 Years
  4. Take Advantage of Tax Credits (Free Money)
  5. It Attracts New Customers

    Bonus: Thompson can Finance Your Solar System

You may know Thompson Electric as one of the leading electrical contractors in the upper Midwest for more than 85-years.  You may not know that Thompson also is a leading developer of solar energy projects.  Contact the solar experts at Thompson Solar today at 844-321-3869 to learn how your business can benefit from a solar conversion.

https://www.thompsonspecialty.com/solar

 

The Future Is Bright At BCU

It was an exciting day at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City Iowa when they flipped the switch in the Neuman Flanagan Center and the new LED lights came on.  The future is so bright in fact that the basketball and volleyball teams may need sunglasses at practice.

As part of a two-year campus-wide lighting retro-fit project, Thompson Automation and Specialty Services has partnered with Briar Cliff to change out all the old lighting fixtures and install new energy-efficient LED light.  In addition to brighter and higher quality light in the gymnasium; the new LED fixtures cost significantly less to operate, turn on instantly, operate quieter, and don’t put off near the heat that the old metal halide lights did.  The change is astonishing.

Briar Cliff University is a MidAmerican Energy Trade Ally Partner so not only do they earn exceptional savings from the day to day cost of operating the lights and rebates on the cost of the fixtures, they also earn bonus incentives for the number of lighting efficiency projects they have undertaken.

If you ever wonder what new LED lighting could mean for your school be sure to give the experts at Thompson Automation and Specialty Services a call today.  For more than 80-years, they have been exceeding customers’ expectations and delivering results similar to Briar Cliff University.

The Partner for Agribusiness

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The Partner for Agribusiness is a quarterly publication for Austin Mutual Insurance Company.  Thompson Automation & Specialty Service was recently featured talking about the Dangerous Power of Arc Flash.

Kent Voigt, Senior Risk Consultant, for Austin Mutual Insurance saw the Thompson Automation & Specialty Services presentation at the Ag Cooperative Safety Directors of Iowa in Story City, IA and asked if we would be interested in presenting our presentation to their Risk Consultants in Omaha.  They also asked if Thompson Automation and Specialty Services would like to be interviewed for an article in their The Partner for Agribusiness publication that is mailed to their agricultural customers quarterly.  Here’s the article.  Safety pays dangerous power of Arc Flash

Innovate; the first ever industrial automation & technology conference

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On May 15th Thompson Automation and Specialty Services hosted Innovate; the first ever industrial automation & technology conference in the Siouxland area.

This exciting automation and technology conference highlighted several emerging automation technologies, the development of new security systems to protect IT infrastructures from attack and identify ways companies can leverage workforce development partners to meet their future employment needs. The attendees were able to learn more about emerging industrial trends being implemented to reduce downtime, cut costs, find process improvements and utilize data to make better decisions.

This was a very exciting event for Thompson Automation to be able to host.  Thompson was able to bring in a panel of national leaders in the areas of automation, IIOT, security, and workforce development to have a robust discussion on relevant topics like connecting industrial systems to traditional IT infrastructures, infrastructure security, and workforce development.

The days’ keynote speaker was Bob Murphy, the Senior Vice President of Rockwell Automation, and a national leader in transforming business operations. Bob discussed how Rockwell was able to transform their manufacturing operations through a focus on people, processes, and technology. Bob shared many of the actual business benefits Rockwell realized and how others could achieve the same results through implementation of modern control and information systems.

After the keynote address, Bob Murphy also participated in a roundtable discussion on the challenges he faces leading an organization through transformational change.  Other panelists talked about their own real-world examples of implementing new technologies, preparing organizations for the Industrial Internet of Things, and Industry 4.0.

The day also included presentations from Chad Richards, a Cyber Security Specialist with Cisco, and Corey Cronin, a Solutions Architect from Rockwell.  Chad discussed the importance of having an integrated approach to network security. He talked about how companies need to properly protect their organization from multiple types of attacks and multiple sources. Corey discussed real examples of how improving a few automation and IT processes can make a huge difference in an operation.  Benefits discussed were how modernizing an operation can increase productivity, decrease downtime, and improve change over times.

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The day finished with a tour of the WITCC Advanced Manufacturing Lab and Confined Space Trailer.

It was an exciting day and a special note of appreciation goes out to the days’ sponsors and hosts:  Thompson Automation and Specialty Services, Electric Innovations, Cisco, Rockwell Automation, The Siouxland Initiative, and Western Iowa Tech Community College.

The 2017 Innovate Industrial Automation & Technology conference was a huge success! We are already looking forward to the 2018 Conference!

 

GEAPS

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Recently, Thompson Automation & Specialty Services participated as an exhibitor, in the National GEAPS (Grain Elevator and Processing Society) Expo in Kansas City, MO.  More than 3000 people from all aspects of the grain industry attended the 3 day event.

Mike Pendergast (Thompson Automation and Specialty Services) and Rob Costello (Thompson Electric) handled the booth duties promoting arc flash awareness, infrared thermal imaging and electrical safety for grain elevators.  Thompson Automation and Specialty Services is using these national expos to create awareness of the dangers of electrical hazards in grain handling facilities.  As a result, owners and operators of grain facilities, are now realizing the dangers of electricity and the need for arc flash risk assessments, electrical surveys and training for their employees.

The interest generated by our presence at the GEAPS Expo, and the follow up from our contacts made at the Expo, emphasizes the growing interest in electrical safety and the need for Thompson Automation and Specialty Services to stay active in the grain industry.