b'FUTURE TECHNOLOGIESphones and fax and copy machines of yester- and materials previously used in constructionothers use it before we go all in. Weve often year to todays smart phones, digital copiers,arent necessary anymore due to Wi-Fi. been more inclined to wait as an industry, the internet and texting, we literally have theAccording to Sokoloff, ethernet has changedespeciallyasitrelatestodrivingremote world at our fingertips. the whole complexion of buildings. Verticalaccess,assetinventory/documentationand Technology and SafetyOver time, manyelectricalrisershavebeenreducedbecauseonline solutions to customer problems.thingshavealsosurprisedandamazedyou dont need the same power requirementsUtility Smart CardsRubino had higher MarkStaudt,fieldoperationsmanageratfor lighting or computer areas (as people nowhopesfortheSmartCardprogram.At SargentElectric.Amongthemare,BIM;move with their laptops), which has reducedone point, five years ago, Id heard that the 3D modeling/electronic drawing; the use ofelectrical requirements for whole buildings,IBEW/IDW and NECA would be coming laser beam tools (like the Laser Plumb Bob);he said. I remember reading about this trendout with a smart card that would hold all of bidding software programs; hydro-trenchingyears ago and thinking that wireless woulda linemans info regarding their union hall technology;theincreasingpresenceofdiminish our industry and reduce our scopeclassification,certifications,training,etc., battery-operatedtools;renewableenergyofwork,butamazingly,wevelearnedtoRubino said of a convenience that would be likewind,solarandbatterystorage;arcdiversify and explore other opportunities toavailable when linemen approached different flash safety equipment; and the widespreadmake up for the shortfall. contractorsforemployment.Itwascon-industryawarenessofsafety,safetyaudits,ceived to confirm a linemans qualifications jobsafetyanalyses,safetytrainingandWhat didnt materialize for utilities, but it never came to be. Unions safety certifications. mayhavedevelopedsomethinglikeitfor GPS TrackingI never thought that theOnline/Remote SolutionsIn some ways,their members, but it never carried over to I think that the electrical industry is light- something that contractors could use.utilizationofGPSandvehicle-locatingyears behind mechanical in keeping up with capabilitieswouldbeasimportantatooltechnology that could help us be more pro- Fiber-OpticLightingDuringmy astheyaretoday,saidJoeRubino,viceductive and competitive, said Shane Snyder,apprenticeship years in the early 2000s, we president of E-J Electric T&D Wallingford,executive vice president of Cannon & Wendt,were introduced to fiber-optic lighting, Rol Conn. It not only gets us where we needa 75-year-old firm based in Phoenix. As ansaid. Back then, I believe that it was mostly to go from location to location and helpsindustry, we tend to either pioneer somethinga conceptual idea with some manufacturers monitorourteamsproductivity,butnewor sit back, wait for real-life data and see howdoing R&D. Maybe, at the time, the cost to adaptors now also allow safety observations (confirming, for example, when a boom is in the air and cradled), vehicle inspections and more. We started putting this technology in our vehicles eight years ago, and it went from simple GPS to a tool that delivers greater safety,productivityandcostsavingsand helps us manage our business better.Total StationsFor Nick Rol, project man-ageratSiouxCity,Iowa-based Thompson Electric Co., the integration and use of total stationshasmadeanindelibleimpacton electrical installations. The ability to have adraftspersonperformlayoutswithCAD technology and a total station has eliminated ever-so-valuablemanhoursspentusinga traditionalmeasuringdeviceandhasbeen an amazing evolution to see, Rol said. This practice has led to more collaboration, pre-planning and expanded prefab opportunities throughout our projects.TheGrowthof WirelessTheproduct called wireless is the most surprising develop-ment to me, said Hal Sokoloff, president of Long Island City, N.Y.-based H&L Electric. Did we ever think we would have no need forhard-wiredtelephones,cablesrunning throughtelevisions,etc.?Wirelesstechnol-ogy has really changed our industry on the low-voltage side, and so much of the labor Ontario Electrical Contractor17'