2013 AHR Expo Product Roundup: Contractor Services + Software
AboutTime Technologies LLC (www.abouttimetech.com) exhibited FormsXPress, a module designed to digitize unique business forms. FormsXPress allows the user to capture custom data by building form templates for nearly any type of information the user wishes to gather. The forms can be associated to a specific employee, job, location, task, or asset, and can be printed or saved as a PDF file. In addition, the user can add rich content to the form, including pictures, audio, GPS information, and digital signatures, which can then be sent wirelessly back to the office.
BAS Service & Graphics LLC (www.bassg.com) introduced Project Builder Plus (PBP) SkySpark Work-Flow Enhancement software, an application that speeds up SkySpark folio database creation, modification, and data-mapping processes from one unified interface for multiple projects. With PBP, it is possible to work on SkySpark projects offline and push changes back to SkySpark from a workstation. In addition, the tag package enables the user to assemble multiple tags into one to simplify the tagging process.
BCA Technologies Inc. (www.bcatech.com) showed the latest version of its Web-based Protoparts eRep software, which allows manufacturers’ customers to log in from the manufacturer’s website and select, configure prices, quote, generate submittals, and order complex and simple products. New features include a dashboard for sales managers that allow users to process multiple requests faster and easier.
Blaklader (www.blaklader.com/us) displayed its bantam pants with tool-bearing exterior utility pockets and kneepad pockets designed for functionality and efficiency on the job. Blaklader’s kneepad system includes a Cordura® kneepad pocket attached to the pants. The ultra-durable material keeps kneepads in place without wrapping around and constricting blood flow. Bellowed rear pockets, side pockets on both legs, and tuck-away utility pockets are all designed for maximum storage and accessibility while working.
Carrier Corp. (www.carrier.com), a part of United Technologies Corp., introduced the latest version of its Hourly Analysis Program (HAP) software, incorporating new calculators and simulation models. Among the enhancements is the ability to model new plant configurations using air-to-water and water-to-water heat-pump chillers as well as service water heating (SHW) systems, and automatic calculation of ventilation airflows per ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2010 and minimum equipment efficiencies per ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010. HAP version 4.7 expands plant-modeling features to support green building designs. Three new plant types are offered — chilled-water/hot-water changeover plants using air-to-water or water-to-water reversible-heat-pump chillers; dedicated hot-water plants using air-to-water or water-to-water heat pumps; and hybrid hot-water plants, which combine hot-water boilers with air-to-water or water-to-water heat pumps.
CCSI Ltd. (www.ccsi.ie) showcased several upgrades to its Visual-AHU software, a Windows-based sales and production system specially designed for air-handling unit manufacturers. Updates include upgrades to Autodesk Inventor integration, Revit, Eurovent unit certification, and Visual AHU Manufacturing programs.
Clearwater Systems Corp. (www.dolphinwatercare.com) launched a fully integrated and comprehensive in-house service organization for Dolphin WaterCare®, a non-chemical, water-treatment solution that provides control of biological activity, scale, and corrosion. Dolphin WaterCare provides maximum water efficiency and efficient heat transfer. The service organization consists of a network of regionally deployed, factory-trained technicians with expertise in both water chemistry and HVACR equipment, as well as an expanding fleet of fully equipped Dolphin WaterCare service vehicles.
Data-Basics Inc. (www.databasics.com) displayed its DBAnalytics software, which provides business users the ability to track key performance indicators for their organization and measure how the company is performing against predetermined goals and measures. The user can define, measure, monitor, and track the company’s performance with informative and interactive management dashboards that run in any Internet browser in the office or field.
Davisware Inc. (www.davisware.com) showcased its Global Field Solutions, a combination of Global One Fleet GPS in tandem with Remote Field Service Automation software. As a fully integrated field-service solution, the product was designed to optimize routing, lower fuel costs, increase service-call potential, capture signatures electronically for billing purposes, boost customer satisfaction, and increase profitability with more immediate cash flow. Global Field Solutions provides optimized call assignment and reduces, on average, fuel costs by 20 percent, vehicle downtime by 25 percent, overtime costs by one hour per week, insurance costs by 15 percent, maintenance costs by 10 percent, invoicing costs by 40 percent, and duplicate credit card entry by 50 percent. It also adds two service calls per week for each technician and provides the opportunity to be payment card industry (PCI) compliant for credit card processing in the field.
DelftRed Simulation Technology (www.plandroid.com) introduced its Plandroid air conditioning design software, a program that allows the user to design two-dimensional domestic or light-commercial air conditioning systems. The software works from real catalogues and can automatically generate quotes, determine load calculations, size ducts, generate reports, and calculate airflow through its click-and-drag visual software.
Dexter & Chaney (www.dexterchaney.com) released its Spectrum Project Management (SPM) software, which unifies project finances, operations, and documentation in a single Web-based product. SPM combines detailed job-cost financials with real-time field operations data and features a built-in document and workflow management system that ties the information together. The software is completely Web-based and can be accessed from any device with a Web browser, providing the usability and mobility needed by field technicians without sacrificing the analytics and detail needed back at the office.
Diversified Pure Chem (www.divpc.com) updated its R-22 Buyback program, which involves a contractor consolidating used R-22 into supplied ½-ton or 240-pound cylinders with the company picking up the refrigerant, paying the freight, and reimbursing the contractor directly.
Dow Chemical Co. (www.dowheattransfer.com) introduced Fluidfile™ software, which makes choosing the right fluid easier and more convenient for experienced professionals and first-time system designers. Fluidfile enables fast and efficient evaluation of the properties and performance of Dow Chemical’s heat-transfer fluids, and calculates properties for one fluid, or compares multiple fluids at once. It uses actual system conditions in the user’s preferred units of measure.
ebm-papst Inc. (www.ebmpapst.us) unveiled version 2.1 of its EC-Control system, a PC-based software program that allows HVAC professionals to commission, configure, monitor, and adjust their fan arrays with Ethernet, USB, or Bluetooth connections.
Elite Software Development Inc. (www.elitesoft.com) showcased CHVAC version 8, which calculates the maximum heating and cooling loads for commercial buildings using the latest ASHRAE procedures. CHVAC allows an unlimited number of rooms, which can be grouped into as many as 100 air-handling systems. The software automatically looks up all cooling load and correction factors necessary for computing loads and can take into account weather data from more than 1,900 cities in 75 countries. New features in version 8 include the EnergyPro energy-analysis program, plenum-room temperature-difference calculation, sloped-ceiling area calculator, load-preview window, new lighting load selections, and new equipment load selections.
Emerson Climate Technologies (www.emersonclimate.com) launched its AC & Heating Connect website, designed for HVAC contractors, homeowners, and facility managers. The site provides useful tools for improving business and communicating with customers, and is a dual resource site where both parties may access unbiased information. The goal of AC & Heating Connect is to help homeowners, facility managers, and contractors find common ground in terminology, technology, and regulations that will lead to mutually trusted and informed decisions about investments in HVAC equipment and solutions. AC & Heating Connect gives contractors industry insights; tools to share with customers, such as an HVAC glossary; the benefits of high-efficiency systems; and diagrams of how their HVAC systems work.
The site also provides information for facility managers who are responsible for making heating and cooling decisions in facilities such as small office buildings, retail stores, and rental properties where a/c and heating equipment decisions can affect bottom-line business results.
HVAC Solution Inc. (www.hvacsolution.com) introduced several new features to the latest version of its HVAC Solution Pro software, which is designed to allow the user to drag and drop objects to design air systems, hydronic and steam systems, and control schematics. New software features include the Autodesk Revit add-in and Elite software, as well as the capability to recognize Taco, Trane Trace, and Watts Radiant programs.
Iconics Inc. (www.iconics.com) announced the availability of version 10.8 of Energy AnalytiX® and Facility AnalytiX® software solutions, which are designed and certified for Windows 8 and Windows 2012 Server operating systems. The AnalytiX software suite continuously monitors and analyzes energy cost, consumption, and the discharge of carbon into the environment. Facility AnalytiX is a fault-detection and diagnostic software solution that provides continuous commissioning capabilities for any building automation or large campus real estate project. Energy AnalytiX delivers information that facility managers need to reduce and manage utility costs, and minimize their carbon footprints.
IES Ltd. (www.iesve.com) exhibited its latest IESVE 2012 software, which includes significant enhancements to its ApacheHVAC module with more efficient system-network editing tools, flexible import/export functions for the HVAC library, and expanded waterside capabilities that allow the user to model an even broader range of chilled- and hot-water equipment configurations. These and other upgrades build upon the power and flexibility of ApacheHVAC for detailed modelling of HVAC systems as part of the whole-building design process. In addition to added waterside capabilities, ApacheHVAC has been given a facelift with a new interface including new component graphics, redesigned toolbars, and easy-to-use, drag-and-drop features. New drawing tools and improved import-and-export functions offer engineers the ability to create and save their own customized systems libraries.
Infor Global Solutions (www.infor.com/distribution) displayed the latest version of its Infor10 Service Management Business software. The integrated-data solution provides company-wide access to critical information, including contacts, work orders, scheduling and dispatch information, service contracts and history, warranty management information, and more.
Intergraph Cadworx & Analysis Solutions (www.coade.com) introduced the 2013 release of its Intergraph CADWorx Plant Professional software. The three-dimensional piping design software allows for quick and easy creation of fully intelligent plant models.
Jonas Software (www.jonas-construction.com) exhibited its Web-based Premier construction accounting software, which is a cloud-based program hosted in Microsoft Azure that is accessible from virtually anywhere with an Internet connection. The software package includes general ledger, bank management, accounts payable, accounts receivable, AIA style, T&M billing, change orders, time entry, subcontract management, and document storage options.
Lynxspring Inc. (www.lynxspring.com) announced a software enhancement called JENEsys® Harmony, an embedded software tool that automates the integration of any discoverable BACnet or LonWorks building control device. JENEsys Harmony is designed for contractors and building owners who want to reduce project labor costs associated with commissioning and engineering complex, multi-vendor, and legacy devices.
Metraflex Co. (www.metraflex.com) exhibited the Delegated Design service to engineers and contractors, helping them design their piping system to meet all submittal requirements. Metraflex uses CAEPipe® finite element-analysis software to analyze complex piping layouts for movement, stresses, and anchor loads. It supplies all the materials and calculations required to meet submittal requirements, which may include stress analysis, design calculations, anchor details, guide details, material certificates, and welding certificates. The company said virtually every Metraflex product is available in Revit and other computer-aided design file formats for download. Revit files can be downloaded as complete product families, or individual files. Files can also be downloaded in 2-D formats, and in a variety of file formats compatible with popular software applications.
Mobile FieldPro Inc. (www.mobilefieldpro.com) introduced GPS tracking and image-capture capabilities to its workflow management software, which can generate work orders and maintenance tickets, and wirelessly dispatch them to field technicians. The software can also track job statuses, generate custom reports, eliminate paperwork, and improve productivity by wirelessly connecting field technicians to the office.
Noesis Energy (www.noesisenergy.com) debuted a free, cloud-based energy management platform serving commercial, industrial, and institutional markets. It is used by facility and energy managers, energy consultants, and energy retailers. The site provides energy analysis, benchmarking, and reporting tools for tracking energy performance. The company also sells its Noesis Data Service (NDS) product to end users who need help collecting and reporting their energy data. Since July of 2012 the site has accumulated 6,300 registered users that are now tracking over 20,000 facilities.
Owens Corning (www.owenscorning.com) showcased its suite of new technology offerings including the recently launched interactive Division 22/23 Mechanical Manufacturer’s Guide eBook for mechanical engineers and building specifiers. A Web-based resource center has been established to access product information, and the Architectural and Engineering Information Center provides commercial building professionals with access to information, including product literature, case studies, guide specifications, online AIA and CES training courses, and more.
Polar Technology (www.refrigerantauthority.com) introduced TrakRef®, a proprietary and comprehensive refrigerant management program. As explained by the company, the product is designed to provide comprehensive and transparent tracking and management of refrigerants throughout their entire lifecycles. This includes from the time of purchase to deployment throughout maintenance cycles, through recovery and reclamation, to their final destruction at the end of the lifecycle. When the program is incorporated among the participating points in the supply chain, more of the original refrigerant is kept within the supply chain, ownership of the refrigerant can be accounted for, and regulatory compliance is inherently managed. It is available in three customized versions for contractors, distributors, and system owners.
ProfitZoom (www.profitzoom.com) exhibited the latest version of its integrated business profit-management software, which included several major enhancements improving overall usability. The system includes a field-service module, allowing field technician activities to be tracked and synchronized automatically with the company’s server.
RealWinWin Inc. (www.realwinwin.com) launched RebateAccess™ to provide the HVAC industry with real-time insight into the complex world of utility rebates. Each year, as mandated by individual state governments, utilities collect billions of dollars from rate payers and redistribute those funds in the form of rebates to help lower the cost of energy-efficient capital improvements. Energy-efficiency rebates typically help offset 10-15 percent or more of the cost of high-efficiency equipment as compared to standard units, said the company. RebateAccess provides manufacturers, design engineers, and contractors with real-time rebate estimates across hundreds of North American utility rebate programs. Included in the initial launch are air-cooled and water-cooled chillers, unitary and packaged systems, and water-source heat pumps.
Service Automation Inc. (www.sawinpro.com) introduced updates to its latest version of SAWIN Pro Enterprise Integrated Windows software, a fully integrated software solution for service contractors that includes service dispatch, service agreements, job cost and installation estimates, wireless-mobile services, paging and text messaging, street mapping and routing, accounting and payroll services, and more.
Service Skeds (www.skeds.com) featured its mobile-dispatch system designed for both home and commercial service industries. Service Skeds features a live dispatch board, customer management, invoicing, reporting, job management, accounting integration, maps, and GPS tracking. The software stores information in the cloud, allowing the user the flexibility to manage their business remotely. The software is compatible with both Apple and Android devices.
ShuBee (www.shubee.com) showcased its ShuBee® Shoe Covers with the option of a company logo to help homeowners and clients remember the servicing contractor. The product was designed for service professionals and offers an opening that will slip easily over footwear up to a size 18 work boot. The cloth-like material protects clients’ homes from dirt, debris, and other dry particles.
SKF (www.skf.com) highlighted its Machine Health Reporting program (MHRP) to make predictive maintenance work for small to medium-size facilities. The MHRP is a partnership offering that can help an industrial plant enjoy the benefits of a comprehensive predictive-maintenance program without the need to invest in condition-monitoring equipment or specialized data-analysis training. Typical applications include motors, pumps, fans, and compressors. SKF instructs maintenance personnel on how to use an SKF handheld data collector to capture vibration data during normal duties. Collected data is transmitted to SKF via the Internet then analyzed by a certified reliability engineer who identifies problems and recommends actions to avoid unplanned downtime.
SmartCom/Infergence (www.smartcomsolutions.com) featured a 3G modem gateway called ComLINK. This wireless gateway collects data and organizes a network to handle integration needs for new or retrofit Machine-to-Machine technology (M2M) or energy monitoring applications. The gateway can be used primarily to route electric meter data or other similar devices over a wireless connection to cloud applications. The SMARTCom network also gives businesses the flexibility to communicate with thermostats virtually anywhere.
SmartFleet (www.smartfleetUSA.com) introduced its GPS Fleet Tracking VP390 and VP400 software. The product provides an efficient solution for tracking and managing fleet, regardless of size. Key features of the VP390 include minute-by-minute tracking, geofence alerts, intelligent dispatch capability, starter disable, wireless door lock and unlock, interactive voice response, and more. The VP400 allows minute-by-minute tracking, idle-time alerts, stop alerts, acceleration and deceleration alerts, and more.
Tecsys Inc. (www.tecsys.com) showed its TECSYS SMART set of software tools for distributors. TECSYS SMART enables distribution organizations to reduce cost, complexity, and time required to implement and use software applications. These tools provide a proven approach that takes as much as 60 percent out of the time and cost associated with the software implementation process, and at the same time maximizes the use of the full capabilities of the software application, ultimately translating into a significant return on investment for businesses.
ToolWatch Corp. (www.toolwatch.com) displayed the latest version of its ToolWatch Enterprise software, which manages tools, equipment, materials, and consumables. The cloud-based application securely stores critical information on all of a company’s warehouse and field-operation assets in one centralized database. The software facilitates reduced tool costs, automated management of materials, more consistent equipment service management, and more accurate job costs and billing.
Tridium (www.tridium.com) showcased its Niagara Release 3.7 framework, which includes built-in mobile support, updated graphics, enhanced security features, and new Web access features. The release includes built-in mobile support for some of the more commonly used features like property sheets, scheduling, alarm management, and charting.
Triple Crown Products (www.shoptriplecrown.com) exhibited a customizable shirt series. The Triple Crown Performance polo is customizable, allowing contractors to choose their own color combination and include a company logo. The shirts are moisture-wicking, as well as stain, fade, and wrinkle resistant. Three collar styles are available and pockets can be added. The shirts come standard as short-sleeved and can be upgraded to long sleeve. Matching hats, pullovers, jackets, and a bevy of other work clothing is available from the company.
Vertical Market Software (www.ventussoftware.com) released its fifth generation of Field Mobile Data software designed for tablets, including iPad and Android devices. The application turns the technician’s paperwork order into an electronic order and allows him or her to time stamp when travel starts, when jobs start, and when jobs are complete. They are also able to enter parts used, flat-rate codes, work-done codes, comments of what was done or observed, and service-history inquiries. If needed, invoices or work tickets can be printed or emailed to the customer.
Victaulic Co. (www.victaulic.com) showcased its Virtual Truck Loading software that extends building information modeling (BIM) coordination to the trucking process to maximize the efficiency of job site delivery. The patent-pending Virtual Truck Loading software nests spools of piping onto trucks, extending BIM coordination to the transportation phase of construction, allowing the user to gain efficiencies in the fabrication shop including the elimination of double-handling of prefabricated parts. By virtually laying out trucks in advance, fabrication work can be sequenced accordingly, reducing the handling of materials.
WennSoft (www.wennsoft.com) debuted its MobileTech 2013 software, which gives field technicians the ability to receive, modify, and update their schedules via phone, laptop, or tablet, enabling seamless updates between technicians and dispatch. The software offers access to customer information and service history for specific equipment or locations, the ability to secure signatures for completed work, the option to print or email a call summary report from the field, and the ability to track expenses and billable time. The software is available for Windows 7, iOS 5.0, iOS 6.0, and Android 3.1 and above.
Publication date: 2/18/2013