One of the highlights of the National Electrical Contractors Association’s annual NECA Convention and Trade Show has always been the organization’s hand-selected presentation of exciting new products—their Showstoppers Showcase awards—with all their top picks on full, eye-catching display as one first enters the exhibit hall.This year, of course, like everyone else, NECA—also the publishers of Electrical Contractor magazine—had to reconfigure their 2020 show to an all online format only. But that didn’t stop their Showstoppers tradition—a valuable educational event for the industry—with 17 innovative products recognized for their safety, usefulness and practicality, out of nearly 100 submitted.
Hubbell was proud to see its new Twist-Lock® Edge Spring Termination Locking Receptacle among them, and the product generated a lot of buzz among visitors—in fact, we’re still hearing from viewers weeks later.I dare say I’m not surprised, nor is my colleague John McFarland, Vice President of Commercial Marketing, who spearheaded Hubbell’s entry into the prestigious contest. For NECA, this new product was certainly a showstopper, but based on what we’ve been hearing from contractors and other users, it may be more accurate to call it a “wasting time in installation STOPPER,” “a getting called back because of disconnected terminations STOPPER,” a “worrying about where I left my torque driver STOPPER,” and more—because these suggest some of the exciting benefits that users can gain from using this revolutionary new breed of Twist-Lock devices.
Reduces installation time by a whopping 80%
So what’s different about the Hubbell Twist-Lock® Edge Spring Termination Locking Receptacle? Plenty. First of all, let’s start with the installation time. Whereas the traditional screw termination process takes a seasoned electrical receptacle installer some 68 seconds or more, this new spring termination method can be done in about 11 seconds or less, significantly reducing the time needed to perform a fairly rote and time-consuming aspect of the job—especially when there are dozens or even hundreds of receptacles to install. And, it’s all done by hand—two fingers really—no torque driver or other equipment is needed.
And yet, the results are even more robust. In fact, once the wire is terminated, it is locked in until it is purposefully removed—nearly impervious to vibration, heat cycling, pulling, and other common issues that can work the wire out and lead to failures and safety issues. And, there’s no worry about any potentially inconsistent results generated by inexperienced installers, or the resulting reputational concerns. It’s fast, it’s easy, it’s foolproof—just pressing a button is about all it takes.
How it works
OK, so we’ve all been doing terminations the same way—with screwdriver and screw—for like 100 years, so what’s going on here? Well, Hubbell engineers took a fresh look and gave the process a ground-up rethink. And what Hubbell has come up with in the Twist-Lock Edge Spring Termination Locking Receptacle is a complete sea change. No more wrapping wires around the screw and measuring—or guessing at—the proper torque. Now, you can just push each wire down into an opening in the device, and flip a plunger in front of each. Instantly, the spring inside clamps down securely on each wire with the precise tension needed. Then, you just move on to the next one, and repeat—11 seconds at a time.
And, if you ever need to remove the receptacle, it’s just as easy—just lift the plungers, pull off the device, and install what you need.
Check out this short video animation to see it in action!
Expanding the benefits for more users
Although this product was just released a few months ago, customer demand is leading Hubbell to export the concept to other amperages and other form factors—like flanges and plug connectors. In fact, our long term vision is to have the spring connect concept available in most every product we sell—it’s that powerful an innovation. After all, every receptacle user likes to save installation time while creating even more robust results for their customers. Good for business on both counts! Keep an eye out, or drop a note to your distributor for details—or feel free to give me a ring and I’ll keep you posted.