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In preparation for the WaterReuse Symposium hitting Phoenix next month there's a very mysterious semi-truck full of water circling the state of Arizona. According to this Phoenix New Times article, the AZ Pure Water Brew Truck has already made stops in Yuma, Tucson, Flagstaff and Phoenix, with one simple mission: Get Arizona brewers to use reclaimed wastewater to make their local brews! Clearly, clean ground water for brewing in the state of Arizona is not as easily accessible a commodity compared to other states, so this statewide program was created to provide participating brewers with reclaimed wastewater and to "fight the wastewater taboo". At least five breweries from Phoenix have agreed to compete in a beer tasting contest, the AZ Pure Water Brew Challenge, that will be held during the WaterReuse Symposium, September 10-13 in Phoenix. So we have to ask the dozens of brewers who rely upon Madison Company custom sensors and switches in their bright tanks and fermentation tanks, would you try a Reclaimed Wastewater Wheat? 

Let us know in the comments below or contact us directly! 

AZ Pure Water Brew Challenge

We are just two months away from attending one of the most important trade shows of the year - PackExpo! PackExpo takes place in Las Vegas on September 25-27! If you haven't registered for this important event, we have a special incentive for Madison Company clients and customers below. But first let us give you a few big reason why we attend this event: 

1. You'll find solutions from more than 2,000 top-tier suppliers of advanced packaging equipment, materials, containers, automation technologies and other supply chain innovators. 

2. You can exchange ideas with 30,000 of your peers within various vertical markets - representatives from 3M, Kraft Foods, Pfizer, Del Monte, Kellogg and Nestle. 

3. You can freely explore new packaging advances from more than 250 different pharmaceutical supply chain vendors - this event is co-located with the Healthcare Packaging Expo 

If that's not enough there are free seminars on the Innovation Stage and countless resources within the Container and Materials Pavillion.  Use this link to Register for both events, but be sure to use the Madison Company code 95V43 for FREE access to this very special packaging event!

Be sure to visit us in the North Hall at Booth N-511 and say hello!  We will see you there! 

Madison PackExpo show floor

We first discovered the power of hydroponic container farming last year thanks to a client who contacted Madison Company with a request for a UL approved, warrantied multi-level switch. We were fascinated by this type of micro business that is turning old shipping containers and 'food deserts' (communities that have minimal access to fresh foods) into thriving and scalable farms. Now it seems we can't turn on a TV or read the Washington Post without discovering the latest advancement in hydroponic container farming. While the idea itself is novel, what's truly astounding is the fact that a 40 foot container can grow as much produce as 3-5 acres of land, but do it twice as fast and use 97% less water and grow year round! Companies such as FreightFarms create and sell the self-contained farms to farmers and entrepreneurs, which in turn sell their crops to local restaurants and farmer's markets. The highest profile advocate of container farming? Kimbal Musk - brother of Elon Musk- and co-founder of Square Roots in Brooklyn NY! Perhaps we'll soon see container farms in space?  

If you are in the hydroponic farming business and have some special needs for fluid sensing and switches, do not hesitate to contact Madison Company today.  We can truly help your gardens grow! 

shipping Container Farm

Nearly 30 years ago OSHA established the regulations for the Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) program to ensure equipment and components could be tested and certified for their safe use in the workplace. A NTRL is a private-sector organization that consistently meets the OSHA legal requirements, in 29 CFR 1910.7, to perform testing and certification of products using consensus based test standards. For manufacturers and vendors, this certification process can be daunting and increase expenses, but the benefits that third part certification are numerous.  

Third party certifications provided by OSHA's Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) Program provide five strategic advantages:

1. Truly Independent Product Review: Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories have no financial interest in the products they might certify so product safety review is objective, free of either internal company pressures or economic demands. 

2. Increase Safety & Reliability: Companies submitting products for NRTL certifications typically use safety engineers as opposed to design engineers frequently resulting in more reliable products that comply with safety, health or environmental standards. Consistency is also a factor given frequent audits of a manufacturers facility prior to third party certification that ensure the manufacturer is capable of meeting the specified requirements. 

3. Instill Consumer Confidence and Increased Sales: Products that are visibly certified by a NRTL tend to see greater sales volume as consumers have a higher degree of confidence in products that are scrutinized, surveiled and continuously verified by that laboratory, even after that product reaches the marketplace. 

4. Point of Distinction for Manufacturer:  Certification quickly distinguishes compliant manufacturers from those attempting to reduce costs and commodify their products. Beyond increasing consumer confidence, third party certification ensures that all correct components are utilized. 

5. Product Liability Defense: Within a court of law, a common standard used to determine liability is whether the manufacturer exercised an appropriate level of concern and care in producing a product. The products that maintain third party certifications demonstrate a manufacturer used the highest degree of care available to ensure safe and effective marketplace products. 

To learn more about the value of NRTL approvals, be sure to review our latest Application Bulletin titled "Are Products with Agency Approvals Worth More?".

Madison OSHA saftey training y10vr5 

Liquid level sensors and bottling plant processes go together like arts and crafts… Well, that’s our opinion at Madison Company, especially now that school is out! But seriously, when we thought about water bottling plants, we began to wonder – how many plastic water bottles are there, and what happens to them after the water is consumed?

Here are some fun facts about bottled water – the most consumed beverage in the United States:

  • Last year, the United States consumed more than 12.8 billion gallons of bottled water – about 39 gallons of water per person or 304 bottles per person per year!
  • Bottled water has zero calories – the least of any packaged beverage (haha)
  • There is the same amount of water on Earth today as there was when the planet was formed… which means that you could be drinking the same water that the dinosaurs drank (tell THAT one to your kids!)
  • Bottled water is sold in containers that are 100-percent recyclable (into all kinds of objects!)
  • Increased bottled water consumption is directly related to an increased number of empty containers (well, that’s obvious…)

And speaking of empty containers, here are a few fun arts and crafts that you can make with them:

Water Bottle Wind Spirals 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxOeaF46pB0

Self-Watering Plant Container

http://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-Self-Watering-Plant-Container/

No-Sew Zipper Cases

http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2015/01/no-sew-zipper-cases-from-old-soda-or-water-bottles.html

Water Bottle Hummingbird Feeder

http://www.instructables.com/id/Water-Bottle-Hummingbird-Feeder/

Fun Packaging for Cupcakes, Cookies and Macarons

https://paperplateandplane.wordpress.com/2011/09/25/recycled-packaging-for-cupcakes-cookies-and-macarons/

Build Your Own Sprinkler:

http://www.housingaforest.com/sprinkler-fun/

Stay hydrated!



Madison bottle water

According to this month's post by priceonomics.com, titled "Where is Craft Beer Most Popular in America?", microbreweries have bubbled up in just about every part of our country. According to the Brewers Association, a microbrewery is any local and independent brewer that sells fewer than 15,000 barrels of beer each year and sells at least 75% through outside bars, restaurants and liquor stores. During the past forty years we've gone from a low of less than 100 breweries since the end of prohibition to in excess of 5,000 at the end of 2016. In an era where successful national chain stores and franchises quickly expand across the country, having a unique "local" microbrewery that's in your area is clearly something that thousands of beer drinkers identify with.

Craft breweries make good neighbors as well. According to the Brewer’s Association, small and independent American craft brewers contributed $55.7 billion to the U.S. economy in 2014. Business Climate states that for every one job at a brewery, 45 more jobs on average are created in other industries such as packaging, business services, distributing, transportation and agriculture.

Sustainability is part of the craft brewers’ DNA – from composting or converting spent grains and yeast to food products, to waste water recycling, to renewable energy alternatives - because mother nature direct affects their end product. Many craft brewers arrange for pick-up of the spent grains and yeast slurry by local farmers who use the waste for livestock feed or organic fertilizer. Others are using solar panels or anaerobic digesters for electricity that is used to brew the beer. Progressive environmentalism—reduce, reuse, recycle—is something that craft brewers and other in the value chain actually live by.

Look for our newest Application Bulletin on June 5th, titled Yesterday’s Brews Save Money’ that shows Madison's continued experience helping brewers accurately measure liquid levels in tanks of all shapes and sizes; we proudly support this local, microbrew trend and hope to see it continue for many decades to come! Contact us today if we can assist with making your beer better! 

 

Madison micro brewery2

 

 

In a business to business environment, customers demand and deserve – faster, first-class service from their supplier partners. Quick responses, customized solutions and in-depth product knowledge from supplier partners reduce pressure on customers – they get what they need so they can move on to the next thing, which is to make money. Other value-added benefits such as high-quality customer service, prompt technical support, reasonable return policies and inventory availability, as well as positive reputations and trusting relationships built over decades play a big part in the customer experience.  


At Madison Company, we are confident that our friendly, US-based customer service team is invaluable when it comes to selecting the right products, tracking orders or helping to troubleshoot switch and sensor installations. They have seen it all - liquid level sensing of food and beverage, paints and coatings, fuels and oils, potable and non-potable water, chemical fluids and more - and will help you find the stock or custom-engineered product for your application.

 

We have resisted shortcuts like outsourcing and complicated phone navigation in favor of our live, friendly and knowledgeable staff, available by phone, email, or through our website submittal form, and based right here in Branford CT. Keep our number and contact information handy for the next time you have a question about float switches and liquid level controls, or need help with an application or order, and want assistance from a real person. Plus, we like to talk to you!



Madison CustomerService May2017

Recently our friends at Tanks Direct in Laurel, MD published a helpful post called, Four Applications for Underwater Storage Tanks, that we encourage our readers to review. We know many of our existing clients and future customers have facilities that might benefit from having immediate access to large volumes of water for various purposes. Four primary applications of large-volume water storage include:

Fire Cisterns & Sprinkler Reservoirs: Fire suppression systems that meet local and state safety codes require instant access to thousands of gallons of water. Large office buildings, warehouses and manufacturing facilities may choose to meet this need by installing special water tanks just for this emergency use application. 

Greywater: Water that has been exposed to minor contaminants but still might be useful for non-drinking purposes is commonly called "greywater". Greywater can be collected in a variety of ways, either captured from an internal washing process, roof runoff or HVAC system condensation, but can still be used for non-potable applications. 

Agri-Business: Farmers and Ranchers of all sizes need access to water, regardless of what Mother Nature might have in mind. Underground water storage tanks can ensure access to water for irrigation of crops or keeping livestock watered, regardless of recent weather patterns. 

Rainwater Harvesting: Under some circumstances, heavy rainwater runoff can cause environmental erosion damaging local ecosystems and endangering wildlife. Diverting rainwater runoff into a water storage tank can allow for the controlled distribution of this resource, with side benefits such as on-demand irrigation, recycling, sustainability and more. 

 

Does your facility benefit from underground water storage tanks, and if so, how can Madison Company help with your water sensing requirements? 

Madison Underground Tanks 3

 

 

Foodservice equipment manufacturers of all kinds have relied upon Madison Company as an OEM for their switches and sensors for decades. We work directly with some of the biggest names in the industry, as well as some of those companies emerging as true innovators. Keeping tabs on the latest technology, innovations and applications in foodservice equipment is essential so that we can continue to provide solutions, even in a fast-paced and constantly evolving industry.

One way we try to stay on top of the latest trends is by attending trade shows as a visitor rather than as an exhibitor. This allows us, over the course of only a couple days, to see how foodservice equipment manufacturers are addressing the needs of their customers. We come away from these trade shows with a deeper understanding of our customers’ concerns, and of equal importance, their customers’ concerns.

Some of the key events we like to attend to stay on the cutting edge of the foodservice industry are: 

·          National Restaurant Association Show (NRA Show)

·          PackExpo

·          SCAA - Specialty Coffee Association

·          NAFEM

Remember – you might not see us at every trade show, but it’s likely that we have or will attend some – and we want to learn from you!

Call 1-800-466-5383 to discuss your next food equipment project with one of our specialists.


Madison NRA Show

In our almost 60 years of business, our team here at Madison Company and our many distributors across the United States have always been focused on customer collaboration, especially because many of our customer problems require a customized solution. During these years, we have developed many tools to support ‘the customer experience,’ even before that term was coined by professional marketers. Tools such as a website designed to help customers find information or purchase products, easy accessibility to our outstanding customer service team via phone, fax or emailor in-person visits from our outside sales folks  have helped guide customers along their journey towards a viable sensing solution that saves time, money and aggravation.

Now we are witnessing the introduction of a new style of communication – the collaboration bot! Imagine that while chatting with a co-worker about an important project you need to know who within your company speaks French; the WhoBot can answer that question within your chat stream! Need to schedule a meeting with four co-workers? Assign that task to Zoom.ai or Meekan and save everyone time. If you just received confirmation that you are going to that conference or expo next month, use the Hipmunk or Kayak bots to check flights and reserve hotels for you, and then check with Mica – your hipster advisor bot – on what to do in this new city. This is just a small sampling of the 600 bots that are listed today with the Microsoft Bot Framework directory.

Of course, the most well-known bot is the ‘chat’ bot – that little screen that drops down and allows you to chat in real-time with a product expert. What are your thoughts on this type of collaboration? Do you think we at Madison should introduce a ‘chat’ bot on our website? Do you use collaboration bots or other types of apps to boost productivity? Please comment below and let us know what empowers your workplace!


Screen Shot 2017 04 05 at 12.04.55 PM

Yes, it's true! Madison Company can design, manufacture and ship a custom switch or sensor in just six business days.

Our latest Application Bulletin illustrates the simple steps we take with our clients to have their switch or sensor quickly and affordably made to order. As a national leader providing sensing solutions since 1959, our product knowledge and engineering expertise allow Madison to promptly meet the needs of a wide range of applications. Here is an outline of the simple six-day process:

Day 1: Definition: Our client communicates their unique requirements to our technical sales staff.

Day 2: Quote: Madison provides pricing to establish budget and ROI.

Day 3: Discussion: Following quote approval, Madison’s engineers design a switch/sensor that satisfies the client’s application specifications.

Day 4: Design: Madison provides Proof of Concept to the client.

Day 5: Creation Upon client approval, the custom switch or sensor is manufactured.

Day 6: Delivery: Madison ships the final sensor solution to the client!

An illustration of this process can be downloaded as a PDF. In addition to the hundreds of standard switches and sensors ready to ship at MadisonCo.com, it’s important that our clients also understand the custom sensing solutions that are available quickly and at a competitive price point.



Madison Custom Solutions Banner

Last week our friends over at Material Handling & Logistics News released a very handy guide aptly named "How to Survive Supply Chain Complexity" that should be on everyone's reading list. Having been a critical supplier to many companies during our 58 years in business, we would encourage special attention to the "supplier collaboration" section. Our support team team is constantly in search of ways to have greater transparency with our OEM and manufacturing clients, to increase the collaboration and improve the solutions Madison provides from one year to the next.  Not only does the article describe four primary sources of Supply Chain complexity, they also describe seven solutions for managing Supply Chain complexity. Here are a few key takeaways:

1. Companies feel that good partners helped them address complexity by enhancing product and process innovation.

2. Transparent collaboration between a company and its partners opens up opportunities to reduce the processing exceptions that introduce complexity.

3. If suppliers better understood the role their output created, they’d be better positioned both to help deliver the best possible product and to do it in a manner that smoothed the flow and reduced complexity along the way.

 Be sure to take a few minutes this week to learn these important survival tactics for our modern times! 

Madison supply chain survival guide

 

Less than one week after we published a brand new case study (on Steam Cogeneration), our hardworking team at Madison Company is pleased to announce even more resources for our most valued clients and customers. We just released a new Application Overview targeted towards manufacturers of concrete, cement and aggregate. This single page PDF - complete with a great photo of the application - defines the problem our customer had and the sensing solution provided by Madison Company. Look for more of these Application Overviews in the future, and if you have a suggestion for one, please do not hesitate to contact us online or by phone: 203-488-4477. 



Click this LINK to download the Madison Company Application Overview for Aggregate!

Screen Shot 2017 03 14 at 3.22.29 PM

After nearly sixty years in business, we have seen our share of evidence of what water and steam can do to mission critical sensors and switches. As part of a new on-going series of case studies, each focusing on unique customer sectors, we are pleased to present our Steam Cogeneration & Water Level Sensing case study. With this being our very first case study, we look forward to feedback from our clients and customers to ensure this type of research and content is helpful going forward.  Further, if you have suggestions for Case Study topics in the future, please let us know by using our Contact form here

Madison SteamCo CaseStudy2

We have spent a lot time and space covering the Internet of Things (IoT) within the Madison Company blog and, from what we've heard, many of our most consistent readers are also self-proclaimed "tinkerers".  So in an effort to keep our readers abreast of the latest developments with miniature computers and smart sensors that could dramatically empower those experimenting with IoT in their factory or on their floor, we would like to introduce you to the $10 Raspberry Pi Zero W. While the original Pi Zero was introduced nearly 18 months back, the new "W" stands for "wireless" representing both wi-fi and bluetooth functionality!  As you might imagine, this new "W" changes IoT possibilities dramatically, especially given the low price point, since adding wireless LAN and bluetooth functionality to the original Pi computer sometimes cost as much or more than the computer itself.  How excited are you about this new wirless development and will it spur any new innovations with your company? 

ZeroW 445x445

It's a strange new world.  The computer you bought six years ago still does 92% of the things that a brand new computer does. That new smartphone that came out six weeks ago looks and acts a lot like the one you bought three years ago. We've clearly reached a saturation point where migrating from one device to the next is less about new bells and whistles to become more about future functionality; what will that new device DO that I can't already do today? 

This recent report from European Communications, targeted to OEMs in the tech industry, say the next frontier is all about artificial intelligence - AI. We will quickly move beyond the simple in-home artificial personalities like Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri to advanced software systems that can assist, predict, recommend and even make automated decisions.  While an initial response might be to patch current technology with apps, a better tactic to improve user experience is a "AI-first" approach, not unlike the mobile-first strategy being adopted five years ago. This new approach requires integration of machine learning, neural networks and artificial intelligence while providing a user experience that features relevant content personalized to individual interests. 

The future is bright for those aware of and implementing the tactics needed to create a true AI platform. 

 

 Madison OEM AI

 

 

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