Who Makes Pin and Sleeve Wiring Devices? Part 2
Welcome to the second installment of our Pin and Sleeve Wiring Devices Manufacturers Guide. If you haven’t read Part 1, we’d suggest you start there to get a complete picture of the competitive landscape in the Pin and Sleeve Wiring Device market. For those who are up to date, let’s get right to it:
Hubbell is a Shelton, CT based company that is the unquestioned market leader in Pin and Sleeve Wiring Devices in the US. Overall, they have two divisions: Electrical and Power Distribution. Pin and Sleeve products fall into the Electrical segment and operates under the name Hubbell Wiring Devices – Kellems. As of the end of 2016, Hubbell’s companywide revenue was north of $3.5B.
If you read Part 1, we covered Bryant’s product offering and mentioned that they are part of the Hubbell family. Therefore, it’s important to note that we are only analyzing Hubbell branded Pin and Sleeve wiring devices. While research in this area is sparse, it is a safe estimate that Hubbell owns over 50% of the Pin and Sleeve market in the United States. That makes them the most dominant player by a large margin. It also means that they own the distribution channel in the US. If you go to the “Tier 1” distributors, you’ll find that they represent and sell Hubbell products. Their line is also probably the most complete. Because they are a US company, they do not have an international IEC 60309 offering (16A,32A, etc.) which many other competitors in the US market do1 offer. You can see an overview of their offering below which includes hazardous (class rated), low profile, and even metallic pin & sleeve:
Hubbell sells two versions of their Pin and Sleeve wiring devices: Load Rated and Switch Rated. Their Load Rated products are their original Pin and Sleeve offering and are consistent with other brands. It is generally regarded as a strong product and is well received in the market. They look like this:
More recently, and likely in response to Meltric, Hubbell released the Advantage series which is a Switch Rated product. We will likely devote an entire post to this in the future so won’t go into deep detail. However, the product has a disconnecting means and the Advantage series now includes both a 30A and 60A offering which are the first and only IEC 60309-2 Pin and Sleeve Switch-Rated Devices in the market. The product looks like this:
It’s still early to know whether this has made significant inroads against Meltric, but Hubbell’s release of this product acknowledges that Meltric has been taking market share from them recently. It will be interesting to see if other competitors respond accordingly.
Link To Catalog
Legrand (Pass & Seymour)
Legrand is another international powerhouse that amassed over $5B in revenue in 2016. They made their first formal foray into the North American market in 1984 with the creation of the subsidiary Pass & Seymour. When it comes to Pin and Sleeve Wiring Devices, Legrand holds little recognition as Pass & Seymour is the branded channel in the US.
Pass & Seymour has a fairly standard offering in the US ranging from 20-100A as well as a 16A/63A offering for international applications. The most interesting feature of their product line is the external strain relief/clamping system. As you can see, while most strain relief systems are a separate piece, they are actually a part of the housing design:
We’ve heard mixed reviews on these. From an installation and design standpoint, hinged cord grips seem like a great solution. However, the design seems like it would be more prone to breakage and potentially less watertight. Overall, it’s a good product but P&S seems more focused on Motor Disconnect Switches than Pin and Sleeve from an investment standpoint.
Link To Catalog
Leviton is another American owned electrical company. Unlike Hubbell, they are privately owned. They mainly produce electrical light sockets, receptacles and outlets, switches, dimmers and mostly in the residential and commercial verticals.
Leviton offers a comprehensive line of industrial Pin and Sleeve wiring devices. While they don’t have the depth of a Hubbell such as hazardous or marine grade, they have a complete line of IP44, IP67, and IP69k Pin and Sleeve products that function for many different industries. They also have a full international line of watertight products (IP44). They also offer a nice array of accessory products such as caps, back boxes, and liquid-tight adapters.
Link To Catalog
Since 1952, Marechal Electric has been manufacturing electrical devices in France and in strict compliance with the requirements of international standards (IEC and UL). They have over 500 employees, have been around for 65 years, and their flagship product is the Meltric brand of plugs and receptacles.
Meltric is the most interesting Pin and Sleeve offering because they are completely unique. By that we mean that they comply to the IEC 60309-1 standard but not the IEC 60309-2 standard. If this doesn’t make sense to you, please read our synopsis here. Because they do not mate with other Pin and Sleeve products, they are a more polarizing product line in that they are “all or nothing”. They have done a good job in the US carving out specific markets where they have succeeded. For example, they have a robust hazardous line, a high amperage line that goes up to 600A, a multipin product line, and even custom power distribution options. Their standard Pin and Sleeve offering will look like this:
The Switch Rated feature of Meltric is attractive to some customers because they appreciate the added safety. It also removes the need for a Switched and Interlocked Receptacle if you were following both IEC 309 standards. However, feedback can sometimes be mixed. We’ve also heard that these products are quite expensive, not easy to assemble, and not always ideal when it needs to be unplugged frequently as they are hard to mate. Their Pin and Sleeve catalog is over 250 pages – enjoy!
Link To Catalog