2018 NECA Showstopper Winners

By Jeff Griffin | Jan 15, 2019




At the 2018 NECA Convention and Trade Show in Philadelphia, 22 exhibitors won Showstopper Awards. Sponsored by ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR, Showstoppers are the longest-running such competition in the industry.

The NECA Showstoppers Showcase was a special area on the exhibit floor where exhibiting companies displayed the products they entered in competition. It opened one hour before the exhibit hall and was filled with eager conventiongoers.

Showstopper judges are industry experts with many years of experience. A blue ribbon is placed on the winners’ displays in the Showstopper area, and each winning company is presented a trophy.

The 2018 Showstoppers are listed alphabetically by company. Descriptions are based on information provided by the companies that entered products in the competition.


The 3M Peltor wireless communication accessory turns Peltor X-series earmuffs into a hands-free device for making and receiving telephone calls. It protects hearing without sacrificing communication on noisy job sites. Also, it enables users to communicate with other crew members at the push of a button. It is Bluetooth compatible with smartphones, has a noise-canceling microphone, and is resistant to harsh environmental elements. Earmuffs are designed to provide comfortable fit for a full work day.

Aris Wind

Aris Wind systems provide renewable, resilient wind- and solar-powered off-grid and auxiliary power for exterior and security lighting, telecommunications, public safety and security applications enabling these systems to remain on when outages of power sources occur. Self-powered internet connectivity expands uses to security cameras, sensors and other applications, and the system can be installed with no trenching or wiring.

Arlington Industries

FLB gangable floor box and cover kits for new commercial concrete pours have interlocking single boxes that join together to build a two- or three-gang box. Connections on opposing sides lock boxes securely together. Each cover/frame kit comes complete with device and low-voltage insert. Single-, two- and three-gang cover/frame kits are available in brass- or nickel-plated zinc. They also are available in black, brown, gray, light almond and caramel-colored plastic.

Bridgeport Fittings

The MC-Flexit connector has an adjustable, one-piece  armor stop and steel-hinged strap to ease installation. Bridgeport’s new 680-UI series of adjustable end-stop connectors have an insulated throat that provides effective conductor protection. These fittings have a two-position, two-screw hinge design that allows use of a large cable range without requiring separate bushings. Heavy-duty steel construction supports large MC feeder cable.

CAB (Cambria County Association for the Blind)

The CAB Solar integrated grounding system is designed for cable management in large-scale solar power system installations. Its copper-composite messenger wire both suspends hangers for cable management and acts as the equipment grounding conductor and grounding electrode conductor, providing cost and time savings compared to trenching and cable trays, including CAB’s current standard cable-management systems.


The 20V Max dual switch lithium-ion band saw is a deep cut, variable-speed cutting tool. The dual switch feature encourages the use of both hands during operation. Features include an ergonomic soft grip, good tool balance to reduce fatigue, blade speed control enabling the user to tailor cutting speeds to the application, a sight light that improves visibility to the cut line, and rubber bumpers. An integrated hanging hook facilitates storage.


The patent-pending Ripjack is the first power tool to remove the outer jacket from stranded concentric underground primary cable, providing an effective option to current manual methods. The Ripjack strips the outer jacket off stranded underground residential distribution (URD) primary cable safely, quickly and efficiently. It can strip all sizes of stranded concentric URD cable, from No. 2 to 1,500 MCM, with no adjustments needed for different sizes of cable.


The Eaton Double-Door safety switch is promoted as the industry’s first compartmentalized, fusible safety switch that features an innovative two-door design with an internal barrier that isolates the fuse base from line-side power. The design provides lowered exposure, enhanced safety and improved uptime when accessing the load-side fuse compartment. An interlocking mechanism keeps the door closed when power is on but includes a defeat mechanism for access when necessary.

Enespro PPE

AirLite 40 CAL suits are lightweight with ActiveCool Venting to increase air-flow in the underarm area. Designed specifically to offer enhanced comfort and functionality while providing reliable protection, the Enespro PPE U.S.-made 40-CAL AirLite arc flash suit offers multiple advantages including super lightweight 11.5-ounce Drifire and Aramid fabric, 3M Scotchlite FR silver and yellow reflective tape, elastic-back waist, antimicrobial collars, and 14-in. leg zippers.


The FLIR One Pro LT is a 4,800-pixel thermal imager attachment for Apple or Android smartphones to help pinpoint electrical problems invisible to the naked eye. The pocket-portable device plugs into a phone’s charging port and takes both video and photo images. It measures temperatures up to 248ºF (120ºC) and features multiple temperature meters and level/span controls. VividIR image processing helps the user see greater details.


The 30-ton Greenlee Shear 30T shearing station is described as the first mobile work station on the market capable of shearing back-to-back strut and multiple sizes of threaded rod. The Shear 30T is hydraulically powered and has an easy-to-use measuring station for accurate, repeatable cuts. A quick-die change system requires no tools or loose parts. Die profile design offers compatibility with multiple strut brands, and dies automatically retract after a cut.


The Hilti DD-WMS 100 Water Management System reduces labor costs of managing water supplies, slurry and dust removal and saves hours of unproductive time. It can recycle water as many as seven times, providing water autonomy (30 gallons) for as long as an entire work day. During coring, slurry is captured in a filter bag for easy disposal. The WMS 100 sets a new standard in diamond coring by removing concerns about slurry and silica dust.


The iToolco Swivel Lifting Coupling is designed to quickly and safely lift conduit risers, automatically leveling and centering the riser below the picking point. The coupling has a built-in lifting eye to provide a convenient rigging location to keep conduit in a level position for threading pipe for final assembly. Couplings feature ½-in. all welded steel construction, standard NPT thread, and a wing bolt that locks conduit in position. Swivel lifting couples come in sizes from 3 to 6 in.

Klein Tools

Hybrid Pliers are a multi-purpose tool that can strip, cut, twist, shear and crimp. The full-length, induction-hardened cutting knives are designed for use on hard wire. A high-leverage design increases power to make cuts. These pliers crimp noninsulated connectors, lugs and terminals. The dual-material Journeyman handles are designed to provide a long-lasting, comfortable grip. The wide, knurled head effectively grabs and twists wires.


This combination Type A and C USB charger and tamper-resistant receptacle offers two vertical USB ports and 5.1A of charging current, 25-plus watts of power for smartphones, tablets, laptops, monitors, printers and other devices. Smart chip technology recognizes and optimizes the charging requirements of multiple individual devices.

Lind Equipment

The Beacon360 Spark is a modular LED string light with features superior to traditional bulb-based string lights. Each Beacon360 Spark is a purpose-built, self-contained single LED light string with a 20-ft. cord length and plug and triple outlet. It provides a method of creating exactly the amount of light needed for varying situations. Several360 Sparks can be deployed in any configuration: down a hallway, in a daisy chain, and with two outlets on every light.

Milwaukee Tool

The SDS Plus Dust Trap drilling shroud is the industry’s first OSHA-compliant dust-control option without a vacuum. Universal fit enables the dust trap to work with all SDS Plus rotary hammers and SDS Plus drill bits up to 8 in. long. The clear sleeve is designed to offer visibility. It is compact and collapsible, so it is easy to handle and store. It is OSHA objective-data-compliant when used without a vacuum and OSHA Table 1-compliant when used with a dust extractor.

Orbit Industries

Orbit Industries’ UL-listed simple support bracket with T-bar clips (SSB-TBAR) spans the 2-ft. side of the ceiling grid. It includes mounting clips on either end, which feature seismic-wiring provisions and Tek screw holes for fastening to the channel. Pairing the support bracket with T-bar with Orbit’s Universal Mounting provides an adjustable box for six-way maneuverability. With the required hardware, it also can mount 4-in. and 411/16-in. square outlet boxes.

Patriot Industries

The new Patriot Magnum stainless steel conduit system is designed for highly corrosive or stringent sanitary wash-down areas. Patriot Magnum combines a complete line of 316 stainless steel straps, hangers, reducers and strut components for enhanced volume with Form 8 conduit bodies. All products in the line are made in America. Stainless steel conduit, nipples, elbows and couplings are NSF Certified 304 or 316.

Snake Tray

The newest Snake Tray cable management system has a multiple pocked, color-coded design that combines power conductors along with control and signal cables, all under one jacket. The design provides as many as eight separate color-coded pathways to manage and identify a variety of cables. The new cable manager easily integrates with cable trays or can be mounted to a wall. It is designed for managing cables in hospital and healthcare facilities.


Romex Brand SIMpull NM8-PCS Duo combines power conductors along with control/signal cables, all under one jacket. Coupled with the Southwire SIMpull cable jacket, the combination saves time and reduces installation costs when compared to traditional installations of two cables, and it helps make pulls safer and more efficient. This new product is ideal for use with LED or fluorescent dimming controls and smart homes.


Blue Armor H9140 Arc Flash Harness is specifically designed for applications that have potential exposure to electric arc. The Kevlar webbing, shoulder padding and dielectric hardware construction meet ASTM F887 requirements for arc flash and the ANSI z359.11 and OSHA 1926 and 1910 fall protection requirements. In the event of a fall, the built-in yellow handles at the seat aid in achieving gravity override position, reducing the potential suspension trauma hazards.

About The Author

GRIFFIN, a construction journalist from Oklahoma City, can be reached at [email protected].

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