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Tool Bag Contest Winner Wears Many Hats

We’re pleased to announce the winner of April’s Fluke News Plus “What’s in your tool bag?” contest: Leigh Copp. He won for his description of how the Fluke 289 True RMS Industrial Logging Multimeter is essential to his day-to-day job requirements, as well as the wide assortment of other tools from Fluke and Fluke Networks that help him get the job done. His prize is a Fluke 411D Laser Distance Meter.

Copp wears a lot of hats as a senior engineer for the 25 Linamar plants in the Guelph area plus additional facilities in Mexico, China, and Germany. He first started working for Linamar part-time as a maintenance mechanic to put himself through university. After earning his degree in Electrical Engineering from Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, he went to work in the Linamar engineering department.

Linamar is a world-class designer and diversified manufacturer of precision machined components and systems for the automotive industry, energy, and mobile industrial markets. Copp and his team of engineers and technicians provide services for everything from power distribution to special-purpose equipment and automated control systems and robotics within those plants.

Fluke 289, first out of the bag

When a problem occurs, ninety-nine percent of the time Copp grabs the Fluke 289 digital multimeter (DMM) first to narrow down the possibilities. Whether he’s simply verifying the presence of voltage, performing static testing on power semiconductors, or trending measurements to find intermittent faults, the Fluke 289 is his “go-to” tool. “I keep the Fluke 289 DMM and a 381 clamp meter strapped to my laptop backpack that goes with me as I travel between our facilities that range in size from 100,000 to 300,000 square feet [30,480 to 91,440 square meters],” explains Copp. “The 289 is easy to carry and allows a diverse range of safe, accurate measurements in a durable package.”

One of many tools

While the Fluke 289 is Copp’s most essential tool, it is far from the only Fluke tool he uses to do his job. His service truck contents read like a Fluke catalog. A partial inventory includes: two Fluke 289 DMMs, a Fluke 189 Digital/Analog Multimeter, a Fluke 87 DMM, three Fluke 27 Analog/Digital Multimeters, a Fluke 345 Power Quality Clamp Meter, two Fluke 744 HART Documenting Process Calibrators, a Fluke 164 Hand-Held MultiFunction Counter, two Fluke 1550B MegOhmMeters, a Fluke 190-204 ScopeMeter® test tool—and the list goes on. He carries multiple DMMs because his team often works on prototype development where they have to monitor several components at the same time.

To ensure quality, Linamar collects a lot of data on each part it manufactures. “If we’re assembling cylinder heads or gearbox components for the automotive industry, we make sure that all the fasteners are torqued and all component serial numbers and lot codes are stored in a database. That’s why we need network troubleshooting tools,” Copp says. Those network tools include the Fluke Networks NetTool™ Series II Inline Network Tester, two IntelliTone™ Pro Toners, and the Optiview® Portable Network Analyzer.

A 25-year history

Copp’s preference for Fluke tools began about 25 years ago when, as a student, he first started working part-time for Linamar. “I’m an electrical engineer by training but I started a degree in engineering physics leading up to that, which encompassed some mechanical engineering,” Copp notes. “I worked my way through university as a maintenance mechanic, which at Linamar means you do everything—electrical and mechanical work— so it gives you a great breadth of experience.”

In 1986, shortly after starting at Linamar, Copp was looking to buy a DMM from a Fluke competitor. “My supervisor showed me the Fluke 27 and said ‘no, this is what you want’,” Copp recalls. “So I went out and plunked down $400 for a Fluke 27, and I’ve never looked back.”