Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Importance of UL and RoHS Certified Products

Throughout the past century technology has increasingly evolved and transformed. With schools now using learning tools such as robotics and 3D printers, it is important to understand how safe electronics are.

Spectrum Industries headquartered in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, verifies and guarantees that all products manufactured are safe. The premier furniture company tests every product according to ANSI-BIFMA furniture standards and has multiple products that are UL certified. A UL certified label on products ensures consumers that Spectrum has met company and quality standards in order to prevent safety accidents.

“UL certification verifies to us and our customers that our product designs meet or exceed all the safety criteria defined by specific UL standards,” said Dennis Barka, Spectrum’s Vice President of Process Control. “It ensures robust designs that protect consumers from safety and durability issues that may otherwise be unknown and inherent in an uncertified product.”            

UL, otherwise known as Underwriters Laboratories, has created the national safety standard. It promotes safe living and working environments by companies testing and inspecting products in order to meet safety standards. If a product is UL listed that means it has met UL’s Safety Standards.

“Our electrical products that we purchase have to meet UL requirements,” said Randal Greene, Buyer of Spectrum’s Purchasing Department. “There are different UL certification levels. We find out from our vendors what their UL listings are on electrical components. And if we are in doubt, we also have an outside company that can test for UL. We can send part of a product to them and they will run it through and approve it.”      

Having multiple products UL Certified ensures customers that our products are safe for them and students to use. In order for a product to receive UL certification, manufacturers submit their products for testing and if it meets UL’s Safety Standards, it can be UL marked. Products that aren’t UL listed can result in electrical shock or fire.      

Besides using UL listed products, Spectrum also makes sure its products are RoHS compliant. RoHS, a self-certification program that Spectrum follows, stands for the Restriction of Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic products.    

“RoHS is an initiative, a directive, which stipulates that certain hazardous chemicals have to be under a certain level within that material,” said Greene. “As long as our products meet this directive our products can be exported into the European Union. European Union countries have RoHS requirements, the United States does not.”

If companies do not comply, large penalties or fines can be given. Spectrum’s products are all RoHS compliant to ensure customers that we meet applicable standards for safety and durability.    

“By being RoHS compliant and following UL standards, we are able to help protect our customers from any potential issues,” said Barka. “Our customers know our products are safe, and with the certification marks, it never has to be questioned.”

Spectrum operates as an environmentally responsible manufacturer and implements environmental sustainability through waste prevention, material recovery and recycling, product design, and procurement. By being RoHS compliant, Spectrum is implementing its environmental stewardship by restricting materials that can harm the environment and become exposed to workers in recycling and manufacturing processes.      

“We take pride in being a good corporate citizen by doing our part to help protect our environment,” said Barka. “We always strive to incorporate environmentally safe initiatives and practices into all our daily operational and manufacturing processes.”

Monday, May 21, 2018

Spectrum Secures Mobile Devices with New Security Door

Spectrum Industries Inc. is introducing a new locking feature on one of its storage solutions, the Collectiv8 Charging Pillar.

In stock, ready to ship, the Collectiv8 is built fully assembled for easy, simple integration. The Collective8’s new optional feature is a security door that was created to help protect tablets, notebooks, laptops, Chromebooks, and more. The small, compact design of the Collectiv8 allows it to fit under standard-height cabinets and be hung, stacked, or mounted to a worksurface. A metal wall shroud, another optional piece for the Collectiv8, is ADA compliant.           

“The Collectiv8 has the ability to work perfectly in any environment due to its small structure and ability for multiple units to charge at once,” said Ben Jones, Spectrum’s Vice President of Sales. “The new locking security door allows for devices to be safely stored and charged.”      

In addition to the many features this small charging solution has, it offers a superior cable management system. Along the side of the Collective8, next to each storage bay, is where the management system is located. An 8’ power cord and rotated outlets are also part this product’s features. With all of these features and a heavy-duty, scratch resistant coat, the Collectiv8 is safe, durable, and tough.           

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Furniture Needs in a Makerspace/STEM Classroom

Makerspaces are being incorporated into classrooms and libraries all over the U.S. The great thing about creating a makerspace is that it can be built anywhere. With furniture that allows for flexibility in your makerspace, collaboration and the process of creating can be accomplished.        

From complete makerspace design to a single 3D printer cart, Spectrum Industries can MAKERYOURSPACE into the most functional classroom space available. From early childhood development to pre-engineering, Spectrum’s quality built furniture will take your Makerspace well into the future. 

Whether a 3D printer or robotics are being used in a makerspace, Spectrum creates products that connect people with technology. The premier school manufacturer is headquartered in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin and manufactures desks, tables, chairs, lecterns and carts.

Spectrum’s mobile and tech-ready furniture can make any space a makerspace. A makerspace layout that flows and gives students the choice to learn how they want, can result in endless collaboration and tinkering. Mobility in Spectrum’s products allows for an innovative environment to be kept strong even when desks are re-arranged. This type of flexibility allows for teachers to constantly understand what students are innovating and brainstorming.   

For a makerspace, it may seem that high-tech furniture needs to be used in order to create a flexible environment, but that’s not true. A casual environment that allows students to choose how they want to learn, helps students relax and generate new ideas. 

Spectrum’s Makerspace Ideabook is a comprehensive guide that shows you what type of layout Spectrum’s products can create in a makerspace. The Pivot Jr. (linked to page), a height-adjustable mobile desk, can easily transform any environment. Its small footprint allows for ideas and brainstorming to occur anywhere in the classroom.

In any learning environment, individuals should feel inspiration. Surprisingly, color can impact behavior and mood. Color in the classroom can strike imagination and inspiration in students as well as designate certain areas of the classroom for specific tasks. Spectrum’s Expressions Line offers an endless variety of color combinations for its products.  According to The Inclusive Classroom: The Effects of Color on Learning and Behavior from the Journal of Family & Consumer Sciences Education, “teachers and school administrators need to understand the ways that color affects student behavior. A thoughtfully planned physical environment will enhance the psychological comfort of the most sensitive students by identifying and eliminating detrimental sensory impact. Careful planning during construction, selection of materials and finishes, and spatial organization can play a major role in behavior and learning in the classroom.”       

With Spectrum’s Makerspace Ideabook and innovative furniture that connects people with technology, the possibilities of room layout and furniture for your space is endless. MAKERYOURSPACE a learning environment that will inspire, strike innovation and most importantly allow students to collaborate.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Spectrum Welcomes Ashley Scott as Content Coordinator

Headquartered in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, Spectrum Industries Inc. is happy to welcome Ashley Scott as Content Coordinator. Scott will be responsible for writing press releases, case studies, articles, feature stories and managing social media platforms.

Scott received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh studying Public Relations. She minored in journalism and sociology and previously worked for UW-Oshkosh as a Communications Intern for the University’s Alumni Center writing profile stories on campus Alumni.            

“I am looking forward to writing and creating content for Spectrum,” Scott said. “Writing articles, press releases and working with social media is exactly what I wanted to do with my degree. In addition to my writing experience, I believe my past work experience in manufacturing will help me understand how Spectrum’s products are created.”

The Sheboygan native worked at Kohler Company in Kohler, Wisconsin for three summers in the company’s Distribution Center. Her manufacturing experience from Kohler and education is something she will always be thankful for.         

“Being able to write and understand how Spectrum’s products are made is extremely important to me,” Scott said. “Spectrum creates products that connect people with technology, and being able to understand the design, process and ergonomics behind each product made is essential to my job.”          

Scott graduated in December of 2017 and couldn’t be more thankful that her first full-time job is with Spectrum.         

“We are excited to have Ashley join our team,” said Carla Leuck, Spectrum’s Marketing Manager. “She comes with great writing and social media experience and we are looking forward to boosting our marketing by including case studies and educational pieces to our Resellers and customers.”        

With being four hours away from home, Scott is adjusting to life in West-Central Wisconsin and loves to 
explore this new area of the state for her. 

“When I have free time, I always try to be active,” Scott said. “I enjoy spending time outside and finding new trails that I can run on.”  

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Thank You Teachers

May 7-11 is Teacher Appreciation Week and National Teacher Day is Tuesday, May 8. During this time, it is important to thank teachers for their hard work and dedication to their students.  

Mark Dotson, Spectrum Industries Territory Manager, for Virginia, North and South Carolina, grew a passion learning about the Civil War from his U.S. History teacher Mr. William Moon at Wayne High School in Dayton, Ohio, now Huber Heights.          

In October of 1862, descendants of Dotson’s fought in the Battle Perryville. One of many factors that contributed to Dotson’s passion for the Civil War.

Eventually, Mr. Moon recognized Mark’s interest in the Civil War and let Dotson read his old college history books so he could learn more about it. Dotson’s main focus of study and passion is on the Virginia Theater of the Civil War from 1862-1864.

“Mr. Moon fueled my interest in the Civil War,” said Dotson. “My folks are from Kentucky, but my descendants all fought for the Union. Although this is true, my real interest was in the Confederacy. I thought it was cool somebody who was essentially out numbered 10 to 1 held their own for four years and it was all about Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson and everything that took place in Virginia.”     

Dotson has been to every major battlefield in Virginia and continues to learn more about the Civil War by reading books such as the 1864 Grant vs. Lee Overland Campaign from his favorite author Gordon Rhea. Locations where the Battle of Cold Harbor, Battle of Chancellorsville and the Battle of Second Manassas, also known as the Second Battle of Bull Run, are some of Dotson’s favorite battlefields to visit.     

With a passion for the Civil War that was fueled by Mr. Moon, around 1985, Dotson wrote Mr. Moon a letter thanking him for teaching him and for the development of his interest in the Civil War.     

“I said hey if you remember me, I want to thank you, you got me interested and I am down here in Williamsburg, Virginia with colonial history. I am living in Richmond, where the capital of the Confederacy once was and I wanted to thank you. I sent him a book marker with a pine cone on the top which was the colonial symbol of hospitality for colonial Willamsburg.”       

“Mr. Moon wrote back and he said thank you, yes of course I remember you,” Dotson said. “He said there are days where I wondered if anyone was ever listening.”

With it being Teacher Appreciation Week, this is the perfect time to thank a teacher for their dedication and hard work. A simple thank you can go a long way.