MRO Magazine

Schneider Electric’s Square D brand marks 100 years

Toronto, ON -- Square D marks its centennial anniversary in 2003. For the past 100 years, the company has provided...


Toronto, ON — Square D marks its centennial anniversary in 2003. For the past 100 years, the company has provided residential, commercial and industrial users with power distribution, energy management and industrial control equipment.<br>
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Today a brand of Schneider Electric, the Square D Company was founded in 1902 in the U.S.A. Originally named McBride Manufacturing by electrical engineer Bryson Horton, it was later renamed the Detroit Fuse and Manufacturing Company. <br>
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The Square D Company derived its name from the logo on a new sheet metal version of a cast iron enclosed safety switch, introduced in 1915 by the Detroit Fuse and Manufacturing Company. The simple trademark design soon had customers asking for the “Square D” switch. This new switch was so successful that the firm officially changed its name to the Square D Company in 1917 when it sold the fuse business.<br>
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As the manufacturer of the world’s first enclosed safety switch, the Square D Company established its first Canadian office in Walkerville, Ont., in 1915. Building its first power distribution panelboard in 1926, and introducing its first line of motor control products in Canada in 1929, the company grew to 7,000 employees, 10 plants and 43 regional offices in North America by 1948. At this time, it produced half the circuit breakers used in the aviation sector. <br>
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Square D subsequently introduced: the world’s first “plug-in” type circuit breaker distribution panelboard in 1951; QO circuit breakers and a range of solid state relays in 1955; I-Line panelboards, Type S motor starters and Visi-Trip circuit breakers in the mid-sixties; and the Watchdog energy management system in the late seventies.<br>
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Merging with Groupe Schneider (now Schneider Electric) in 1991, the Square D brand has continued to produce innovative products that protect people’s lives while efficiently distributing, managing and controlling electricity. Recent innovations bearing the Square D brand label include QO generator panels; Arc-D-tect arc fault circuit interrupters; ground fault circuit interrupters; Surgebreaker Plus surge protectors; PowerZone 4 low voltage switchgear; and HVL/cc medium voltage switchgear.<br>
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In addition to electrical safety, Schneider Electric’s priorities for the Square D brand include the incorporation of new technologies to improve electrical energy conservation, and the distribution and control of alternative electrical energy production. Power management technologies embedded in Square D products help customers gain greater efficiency, cost savings and electrical reliability, whether for operations at single locations or spread hundreds of miles apart.<br>
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Square D products help a wide diversity of customers ensure reliable operation of their facilities. <br>
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Square D power factor correction equipment helps heavy power users such as Arvin Automotive reduce energy costs. <br>
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The PowerLogic Energy Management System helps users such as the Calgary Airport Authority identify opportunities for energy savings, determine lease rates, and allocate energy usage costs among the different retail facilities in the airport. <br>
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Isoflex 5kV medium voltage MCCs facilitate powering and controlling operations along Enbridge Pipelines Inc.’s North American pipeline system. Also, Square D low and medium voltage MCCs ensure reliable operation of pumps and valves. <br>
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M6 low voltage MCCs and Safety Switches are used at Lafarge Canada Inc.’s cement plant in Richmond, B.C. <br>
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At NAV Canada, I-Line DC Switchboards provide the ability to reliably maintain either a single or dual battery string backup system. This ensures the continuous functioning of the Area Control Centres’ backup power system. <br>
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MotorLogic relays provide reliable motor control and protection on offshore platforms and onshore facilities at Sable Offshore Energy Inc. <br>
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Low voltage Omnicenter MCCs, pushbuttons and relays are key to helping St. Lawrence Stevedoring efficiently handle bulk commodity cargo.<br>
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Gary Abrams, president, Schneider Electric in Canada, says “We continue working to enhance the perception of the Square D brand and Schneider Electric as the most focused, global, customer-oriented provider of electrical distribution, control and automation solutions in Canada.”<br>
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For more information, visit www.schneider-electric.ca.<br>