• • • NEWS • • • Tough junction box enclosures

ECA responds to skills plan E

CA warmly welcomes the publication of the Construction Leadership

Council’s Skills Plan 2021-2025. ECA has been a key contributor to the

Plan, through its involvement with the CLC People and Skills Network. The Plan sets

out the significant skills, employment and competence challenges faced by the construction and built environment sector and how each will be tackled. It is backed by industry and government. Good practice examples from the electrotechnical and engineering services

sector feature widely in the Plan. These include ECA’s own Loan Labour Scheme and the Experienced Worker Assessment, which has so far helped over 3,000 individuals secure fully qualified electrician status. The Plan also recognises the vital role of the Electrotechnical Skills Partnership (TESP) in strengthening industry qualification routes, improving links between employers and education and boosting digital and green skills. Encouraged by ECA, the Skills Plan addresses the underlying preconditions

manufacturer BCL Enclosures are made from high quality, flame- retardant ABS (UL94-HB) with a solid wall thickness of 3mm - 4mm. Designed to a robust specification, these strong and resilient enclosures are rated to IP66 to completely protect their contents against dust and particles as well as powerful jets of water. In addition, the IK08 rating ensures impact protection to 5 joules, equivalent to a 1.7 kg mass dropped from a height of 300mm. Suitable applications include use as cable junction boxes or for enclosing PCBs, control components and Emech components. The BN Series is available with a


choice of solid blank lids, designated BN-E, or with transparent lids, designated BN-T. Each enclosure is moulded with internal mounting stand-offs and

he BN Series of junction box enclosures from UK

multiple slots for vertical PCB mounting and is supplied with a 35mm DIN rail section and mounting screws for securing internal components. The BN-E Series has solid lids in

grey (RAL 7035) with the base also in grey. BN-T Series enclosures have grey bases and transparent lids. Lids are securely held with the captive plastic screws supplied. Six sizes are available in each, all 125mm wide and either 125mm or 175mm high. Depth ranges from 75mm to 150mm, depending on model. Temperature rating for BN Series enclosures is between -10degC to +80degC for use in extreme environments such as factories, data centres, marine environments and many others.

Most of BCL Enclosures’ are available from stock or on very short lead times. Advice on enclosure specification and customisation services is also available.

necessary to secure an effective and sustainable skills system. Notably, the Plan reiterates CLC backing for industry-led implementation of the competence recommendations made by Dame Judith Hackitt and the ‘Setting the Bar’ report. Just one month after a JIB report highlighted the multiple benefits of direct

employment, the Plan also sets out specific initiatives to deliver the CLC’s previously stated objective to increase direct employment levels. Commenting on the Skills Plan, Andrew Eldred, ECA’s Director of Skills and

Employment and a member of the CLC People and Skills Network, said: “This Skills Plan signifies a marked change of gear. It seeks to tackle not only the industry’s immediate skills and training issues, but also the root causes of the UK’s historical under-performance. Just as our current problems are inter- related, so too are the solutions. “A virtuous circle is potentially within our grasp, incorporating stronger

competence and employment standards, increased employer engagement with education, and improved innovation, quality and safety.” ECA is the UK’s largest trade association representing electrical,

electrotechnical and other engineering contractors in England, Wales and Northern Ireland at regional, national and European level. Member firms carry out design, installation, inspection, testing, maintenance and monitoring activity across the domestic and commercial sectors. This ranges from power and lighting to data communications, to energy efficiency and renewables, as well as the design and installation of cutting-edge building control technologies. ECA’s near 2,700 members range from SME electrical firms to nationwide engineering contractors and building services firms that employ thousands of professionals on major UK projects. ECA members also support over 5,000 apprentices annually.

EV charging drives surge for high power terminal blocks H

igh current requires high power terminal blocks and connectors. And there’s one field of high current application that has been growing faster than any other over the past few years. Now that the government has determined that no new petrol and diesel vehicles can be produced from 2030, the growth in electric vehicles (EVs) – and the demand for the infrastructure to support that growth – is set to accelerate further. Hitaltech, the connecting technologies experts, has been tracking the growth in the sector and knew that increasing production of its high power terminals, mounting headers and other components would be essential to enable the required growth in the number of EV charge points.

Capable of drawing high current, the components are suitable not just for EV charging but also the wider renewable energy market. “Hitaltech’s terminal blocks and connectors come in a range of sizes,” explained Matt Hughes, Sales Manager. “Anything above 40 amps is classed as high power. We have 9 variants in the high power range which are much bigger than their low power counterparts because they have to carry more current. The largest is rated at 135 amps and is used in inverters, servo drives and power supplies as well as EV charging – and all our products have UL approval and documentation to help our clients ensure safety and meet their compliance requirements.” Far more than merely a components supplier, Hitaltech is working with EV and renewables manufacturers to customise its parts to ensure manufacturers can meet the rising demand as simply as possible. “Already our range includes PCB moulded screw-type blocks, screwless types and a pluggable range,” confirmed Matt, “but to that we can add tailored printing, colours, kitting, machining and more. That supports manufacturers in their search for process efficiency, improves the quality of the end product and makes life easier for the people who will use, maintain and repair the charge points in the future.”


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