Steven Colvin, vice president of marketing, and Mike Lang, field engineering manager, from Mersen dropped by to explain the new name of Ferraz Shawmut and their parent company, Carbone Lorraine.
The company decided that they needed a name they could all use, from the specialty materials business of Carbone Lorraine to the electrical safety business of Ferraz Shawmut.
"First you find out what names haven't already been taken," Colvin explained, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, "and then you figure out how to say it and what it means around the world, and then you try to come up with a backstory to explain the name."
And what a backstory! Mersen is named in memory of Pere Marin Mersenne, mathematician, philosopher, theologian, physician, and the creator of the network of scholars that immediately predated modern scientific communication. Mersenne is probably best known now for Mersenne's Primes, which are widely used in random number generators. He was a friend of Descartes, Hobbes, and Gassendi, and a correspondent of Pasacal, Fermat and Torricelli.
In addition, Colvin noted, the town of Mersen, in what is now the Netherlands was the place where in 870 AD King Charles the Bald and Louis the German, grandsons of Charlemagne, divvied up the Carolingian empire eventually creating France and the Holy Roman Empire, which you may recall, was neither holy, nor roman, nor an empire.
And further stretching the point, Colvin said that Mersen also means Materials, Electricity, Research, Sustainability and ENergy.
Ferraz Shawmut, now Mersen, is a well recognized leader in surge protection, arc flash protection and general electrical safety. Mike Lang gave us many applications, and especially talked about the changes to NFPA70 and the NEC regarding electrical safety. He also pointed out that many process plants need to audit their industrial control panels for compliance with the new standards. The responsibility for this lies strongly with the owner-end-user, not with the panel shop that may have made the panel a long time ago.
Newer businesses of Mersen include wind farm products and photovoltaic products. "We do a very large business in surge suppression and fusing for wind farms," Colvin said, "and we have introduced a new line of high voltage fuses that are DC instead of AC for PV applications. These we call HelioProtection fuses...and they were designed specifically for DC applications.
Colvin and Lang gave us a whole lot of white papers to post in the ControlGlobal.com white paper library, where they'll be posted by the end of the week, or early next.
Mersen is very interested in helping disseminate information about the new standards and requirements in industrial control panels, solar energy systems, and wind generators.