Electric vehicle technology and infrastructure are continuing to develop, and are becoming increasingly accessible. Sales are projected to increase by as much as 70% in 2021. As we move toward a more environmentally sustainable future, we can expect electric vehicles to be a major part of it.
Electric vehicles (also known as plug-in electric vehicles, or EVs for short) derive all or part of their power from an electric grid. This includes AEVs (all-electric vehicles) and PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles). AEVs are powered by one or more electric motors, and store their electricity in batteries. PHEVs, on the other hand, use batteries to power an electric motor which is charged by an electrical grid, but use conventional fuel to power the internal combustion engine.
With EVs becoming increasingly popular, consumers wonder what the future looks like for internal combustion engines. Fortunately, combustion engines are able to be completely replaced by electric engines. This is known as an electric vehicle conversion. This process requires removing the combustion engine and all its connected components, and replacing them with an electric engine and batteries. Most gasoline-powered vehicles can be converted to electric, but converting a highly aerodynamic car yields the best results. The cost of an electric vehicle retrofit varies based on the type of vehicle and the parts that are needed.
There is also an increased demand for home EV chargers as well as EV charging stations. This has led to the development of EV charging networks, like Electrify America. These networks have locations all across the United States, providing convenient charging stations for people on the go. RK Electrical has the ability to install EV chargers in your home or business. Contact us at 303.785.6934 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!
Forecast: 2021 US EV Sales To Increase 70% Year Over Year, CleanTechnica, 10/30/20
Converting Your Car to an Electric Vehicle, Treehugger, 5/13/20
Comparing Public Electric Vehicle Charging Networks, MYEV, Accessed 7/27/21
Explaining Electric & Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles, Environmental Protection Agency, Accessed 7/27/21
Companies are always on the lookout for employees who will stay long-term and are committed to growing and improving. Likewise, employees want to work for companies that will provide them with opportunities to develop their skills.
Mentorships are a great way to help employees, both new and experienced, expand their knowledge and personal development. They focus on positive workplace behavior and performance, providing employees with the training needed to be successful.
Traditionally, mentoring relationships have involved senior employees guiding their younger colleagues, but hierarchy and age aren’t necessarily important in modern workforces. As long as mentors have experience that can help others learn, this is all that matters. For instance, younger employees can teach older employees about ever-changing technology in the workplace.
Successful mentoring relationships can also naturally create a rich multigeneration office culture by combining the top qualities of each participant. Senior employees traditionally have a great work ethic, loyalty and dedication. Whereas, younger employees may come to work with new ideas and passion. Together, they can make for a positive and effective team.
Research has shown that workers who have a mentor enjoy greater job satisfaction, and mentors learn from those they are guiding. But, mentoring in the workplace not only benefits the mentors and mentored, it also benefits companies with increased employee retention and knowledge sharing. On top of that, mentoring programs have shown to increase company diversity, with participation expanding minority representation in management-level positions.
Top Benefits of Mentorship in the Workplace
Something important to note is that mentoring relationships should never be forced. This can cause employees to resent the idea as an obligatory task. Instead, sharing the positive benefits with employees and offering to help connect them with a mentor, when and if they are ready, is most effective. To be prepared, companies should gather information about employee skills, communication styles and career goals. A major key to successful mentorship relationships is connecting employees who communicate well together, can connect on a personal level and are working toward attaining similar goals.
In the end, mentors need to feel that their time is valued in order to achieve a successful mentorship relationship. Those who are mentored must think of the experience as an investment in their growth, rather than a sure path to promotion.
Apprenticeships prepare workers for highly skilled construction jobs. Employers invest time and money in hands-on training, often along with regular classes. The model provides valuable real-world experience and educational instruction for workers who would like to break into an industry that is new to them. The end goal of an apprenticeship is attaining national skills standards and becoming licensed in a particular skilled trade.
There are many benefits to apprenticeship. However, many people often overlook apprenticeships, instead opting to attend college or beginning their career with an entry-level position.
Here are the top three reasons to consider an apprenticeship:
- Learning While Earning
Going off to college or a trade school can be a great educational experience, but it can cost a lot of money that many simply do not have. On top of that, it can be challenging to hold a full-time job in order to pay for expenses while in school.
Apprentices are paid a basic living wage (the national average is $15/hour) to start while also learning and gaining experience every day. As an apprentice’s skills grow, wage increases and promotions often follow.
- Access to Ongoing Mentoring
Apprentices are usually assigned a mentor who is an experienced construction professional. The mentor’s role is to help plan and guide an apprentice’s learning along the way. They provide valuable feedback and support to improve an apprentice’s skills and are always available to answer questions.
- Increased Future Opportunities
Being involved with the day-to-day operations of a business during an apprenticeship, which usually takes two to four years to complete, allows apprentices to make connections with many important people within the industry.
Future employers will also see the hard work that was required to complete the apprenticeship and will surely value that education and work ethic when considering hiring an individual.
In addition, apprentices have the potential to earn college credit toward a degree through their apprenticeship program, should they decide to work towards gaining an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree at a later date.
The apprenticeship model prepares workers to compete in today’s economy. The hands-on training keeps apprentices current with innovations and technology. Moreover, the majority of apprentices stay on as full-time employees upon completion of an apprenticeship, allowing for a successful long-term career with a competitive salary without college debt.
The RK Apprenticeship Program helps provide skills for a much needed construction workforce. If you are interested in starting an apprenticeship in construction, click here to learn more about what our program offers.
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, last year was anything but predictable or normal. Predictions for 2021 are cautiously optimistic with a combination of positive and some negative growth for the construction industry, arguably one of the largest sectors worldwide. Although large hotel and higher education projects have declined recently, others have increased, such as healthcare facilities and warehouse construction to meet current needs.
Because of measurements put in place to keep everyone safe, businesses have had to change how they function and communicate both internally and externally, limiting in-person interactions. This has also caused delays in some projects. The need to know what is happening on a job site has become greater than ever. As a result, even in an industry that is otherwise resistant to embracing new technology, construction has seen an increase in adoption of construction-specific technology, from BIM to 3D-printing, facilitating a more versatile way of working.
Without further ado, here are the top eight construction trends predicted for 2021.
- Keeping focused on safety with continued social distancing, protective gear and enhanced protocols for cleanliness
- Increased hiring for seamless execution of current and unexpected future projects
- Implementation of construction-specific equipment and technology to supplement a declining workforce
- Expanded distribution and manufacturing facilities to meet current e-commerce demands
- More complex urban development and infrastructure projects
- Renewed focus on sustainability and renewable energy
- Expanded use of modular construction, increasing quality while also reducing costs and project timelines
- Increased construction cost and pressure on the bottom line, as net profits remain slim
Construction companies must prepare themselves for the uncertain future. Luckily, with many recent innovations already in place, the construction industry has begun to optimize processes in all phases of construction.
Key developments in the construction industry will likely continue to grow and change as we progress through 2021, and we look forward to it.
Digital Builder, 2021 Construction Trends: 20 Insights from Experts, 12.17.20
Construction Dive, 2021 Outlook: 6 Trends that Will Influence Construction this Year, 1.04.21
Chad Fisher Construction, Commercial Construction Trends For 2021, 12.07.20
Method:CRM, Key trends in the construction industry for 2021, accessed 1.19.21
Let’s Build, 5 construction trends you want to look out for in 2021, accessed 1.19.21
Culture is the character of an organization. It’s the values, traditions, behaviors, interactions and attitudes displayed every day. Workplace culture is to an organization what personality is to an individual.
Positive workplace culture attracts talented people, affects happiness, engagement and satisfaction, while also improving performance. A company’s culture is influenced by everything from leadership and management to workplace policies, practices and people.
When looking to work for a company, the primary factors are often the company’s brand value and compensation to employees. While many believe these are enough to attract talent, work culture often plays an even bigger role in retaining good employees. Workplace culture makes some places great to work and other places miserable. It affects relationships between employees and leadership. This can mean the difference between working with each other for the common good of the company or arguing every step of the way.
A company’s culture is so important in bringing out the best in employees even during not-so-great times. Negativity not only crushes creativity and an employee’s will to perform but also stops the development of dedication to a company’s success.
When it comes down to it, humans are relatively simple beings. Working in a positive environment with a good culture affects the way we think and how we act with one another. So, make your workplace a positive one!
RK strives to create a rewarding workplace for employees by hosting several employee-focused events and recognition ceremonies throughout the year, check them out here.
By: RK Electrical
Pulling wire is a big part of being an electrician and having the right tools is essential. If the correct steps aren’t taken during the pull, it can lead to lost time and patience, and in some cases, needing to entirely replace the damaged wire from a failed pull.
Wire pulling equipment offers many benefits over hand pulling techniques. Here are some of the best reasons to make the switch.
- Cost-Savings: Fewer electricians are required on the jobsite since machines can more efficiently handle the effort of a several workers. In addition, they reduce the chance of damaging wires during a pull.
- Time: Wire pulling machines can complete a job significantly faster than 3-5 people could, so deadlines can more easily be met and the scope of work remains on schedule.
- Convenience: Pulling through tight spaces, such as under raised flooring, through ceilings, walls or crawl spaces, is much easier for a machine than bare hands.
- Safety: Wire pulling can be hazardous, but specialized equipment can make the job safer by reducing the strain and cuts that would occur from pulling wire manually.
- Strength: Wire pulling machines are stronger than several men simultaneously pulling.
- Durability:These machines are made to be tough, impact-resistant and typically last many years.
Designed to get all electrical jobs done in the most convenient way, wire pulling machines and equipment are now in demand to complete a job smoothly. RK Electrical uses them daily to get our projects done efficiently and effectively.
By: RK Electrical
Prefabrication is rapidly growing and changing the construction industry, design and customization are major factors for its success. Prefabrication can offer more building options and greater flexibility than traditional construction including high performing thermal and acoustic walls, floors and ceilings with the use of durable and sustainable materials.
Prefabrication is relatively new in electrical construction but is rapidly increasing. As electricians begin to recognize the savings that prefabrication can provide, more are joining the ranks.
PREFABRICATION INVOLVES THREE MAIN PHASES:
- Structural: Beams, columns and other structural components are manufactured to be easily transported and installed on the construction site.
- Panels: Elements such as insulation, utilities, waterproofing and cladding are designed to allow for rapid assembly and easy transportation.
- Modular Construction: Assembly of the factory-finished modules or products to form complete systems.
The concept is so versatile that it can meet the needs of a variety of industries including power and energy, oil and gas, residential and healthcare to name a few. The benefits of prefabrication and routine inspections by trained professionals in a clean and controlled environment have catapulted the evolution of prefabrication. Building information modeling (BIM) has also influenced the design and construction processes as well as cross-trade collaboration, enabling these types of projects to be built on a much larger scale.
INNOVATIVE EQUIPMENT HAS A STRONG IMPACT ON ELECTRICAL PREFABRICATION:
- Smart benders allow a specific angle to be entered into the machine without having to calculate the spring-back on the conduit. This not only speeds up the process but also allows less experienced apprentices to perform custom bends with much less supervision.
- Automatic whip cutters are used to cut metal clad cable. They allow a 1,000 foot reel to be set up, a specific cutting length to be entered and the user to walk away while it performs all of the cuts. The old process required at least two people to perform the work. With this equipment, contractors are able to utilize their labor force in other important stages of the production process.
The future of prefabrication includes integrating with other trades and, at RK Electrical, we are embracing this collaboration. Our team is incorporating prefabricated electrical components such as wall rough-ins, panel builds and lighting packages into modular data center skids built by RK Mission Critical. We are also utilizing some of the newest innovative equipment on the market to get the jobs done.
By: RK Mission Critical
Anyone who works with electricity knows how important it is to be aware of potential safety hazards. These hazards include shock, arc flash heat and explosions that can take place due to electrical mishaps. Predicting the level of hazard can be calculated thanks to the NFPA 70e Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace.
The NFPA 70e was officially adopted by OSHA and is now a standard that employers and employees must abide by, in addition to ensuing all electrical equipment complies. This compliance is required on any equipment emitting over 50 volts and can effect solar DC systems and UPS batteries.
Electrical safety standards are constantly improving and the NFPA 70e committee updates their standards every few years. David Weszely of Lewellyn Technology highlights changes to the standards for the upcoming year in his article: The Most Important 2018 Changes in NFPA 70e.
Here’s a synopsis of his review:
- A qualified person will need to complete a Job Safety Analysis (JSA) before work or troubleshooting is performed.
- Adding a personal protective equipment (PPE) conformity assessment to promote consistency.
- Arc flash and shock hazard risk assessment now include the “potential of human error.”
Weszely suggests that companies make sure all qualified workers have access to the 2018 NFPA 70e standard, update their electrical safety program and schedule on-site NFPA 70E electrical safety training.
RK Mission Critical offers prefabricated modular facilities and skidded MEP equipment for multiple industries. The facilities and equipment we produce require complex electrical system installation and commissioning – meaning our team understands the importance of the NFPA 70E standard and requires all team members working on electrical systems to be properly trained. RK Mission Critical has a certified electrical safety professional and Electrical Engineers on staff that can personally answer questions on electrical safety integration of our systems with theirs. Contact us at email@example.com.
By: RK Electrical
Although prefabrication methods have been used for centuries in the construction industry, they are new to the electrical industry. Prefabrication, which means to construct in advance, is the practice of connecting components in a warehouse and delivering completed or partially completed units to a construction site for installation. Building in a controlled environment adds value in many ways and increases safety by limiting work in elevated areas.
As electrical contractors search for new ways to increase productivity, some are beginning to develop prefabricated electrical systems to expedite installation and increase their ability to take on more sophisticated and complex projects. Electrical prefabrication includes a wide variety of components from switches and receptacles to internal floor and wall equipment.
BENEFITS OF ELECTRICAL PREFABRICATION
- Increased Installation Efficiency: Electrical assemblies are built to exact specifications, so once they are prefabricated and delivered on-site, they simply need to be connected to the electrical supply to start working, greatly increasing efficiency. This also limits lost time retrieving forgotten tools and materials since most of the work is already complete.
- Less Material Handling: Prefabrication eliminates unnecessary material handling on the job site. In traditional construction, materials are moved from room to room as individual assemblies are built.
- Reduced Labor Costs: By performing repetitive installations your team requires less time, saving you labor costs.
- Faster Turnaround Time: With finalized plans, equipment can be prefabricated before the building is even built, which can shorten the project timeline
- Higher Quality: Eliminating the negative impact of weather and other trades by prefabricating in a controlled environment allows for higher quality output.
RK Electrical can design an entire prefabricated electrical system for your project or simply build and deliver stand-alone assemblies. Our team will evaluate each project to find you the most cost-effective solutions. We also provide preconstruction services, which can decrease the time and labor required to complete the project.
By: RK Electrical
Over the next two decades, energy consumption is expected to increase by 30%, according to Oil & Gas Journal, meaning the need for better energy efficiency is necessary to keep up with our power-dependent lifestyles. To move towards a more energy-efficient future, corporations need to measure how effectively their electricity usage is through power factor.
WHAT IS POWER FACTOR?
Power factor is the ratio between the real power (what is used for heating, lighting, etc.), reactive power (what is pulled to create magnetic fields) and the apparent power (real and reactive power combined) consumed by an alternating current (AC) electrical system.
Power factor measures how efficiently electrical power is converted into useful output. Ideal power transmission is 100% efficiency or a power factor of one, anything less means that additional power is needed to achieve the same task. Unfortunately, a power factor of one is nearly impossible to sustain. Electrical devices connected to a network may use or produce power, causing variation in the power factor. If the variation isn’t corrected, higher currents are pulled from the network which can lead to:
- Grid instability or an imbalance between production and consumption of energy
- Higher fees from utility providers
- Diminished transmission capacity
Major causes of poor power factor are inductive loads on equipment. Inductive loads resist changes in current and create lag.
HOW IS POWER FACTOR CORRECTION PERFORMED?
Adding power factor correction capacitors to the electrical system is the simplest way to improve the power factor. These capacitors act as reactive current generators, which help to offset the non-working power used by inductive loads and improve the power factor. Capacitors are cost-effective, easy to install and the return on investment is typically achieved within one to two years of usage.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF IMPROVING THE POWER FACTOR?
The power distribution system in a network can be overloaded by excess current. Improving the power factor can offer many benefits, including:
- Lower electric bills by eliminating utility penalties for a poor power factor
- Improved energy efficiency due to reduced power losses
- Increased capacity of the current
- Improved voltage to equipment
- Environmentally friendly – less power needs to be generated, so less CO2 is produced
- Increased lifecycle of equipment with less heat generation within cables, switchgear, transformers and other equipment.
RK Electrical performs a variety of electrical work including repair, installation and equipment replacement for all types of electrical systems. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org today for a free consultation.