Software Products Are a Big Draw at AHR

February 13, 2006
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Autodesk’s Dave Pothier (left) demonstrates the features of the Autodesk Building Systems to fellow exhibitor Stephen Lilly of EBAC Industrial Products Inc.
CHICAGO - At times it didn't seem like the aisles were wide enough in front of the computer software exhibits at the 2006 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo). Interest in new software technology continues to grow with each expo. Below is a list of some of the new products that made their debut at the expo or will be on shelves in 2006.

Advanced Refrigeration Technologies (www.imst-art.com) was an honorable mention winner in the fourth-annual AHR Expo Innovation Awards competition with its entry, the IMST-ART©, an advanced performance simulation, computer-aided engineering design system. The system combines algorithms, graphical interface, and analysis capabilities into a software package suitable for modeling any vapor-compression refrigeration system operating with any refrigerant and secondary fluids.

Aligo (www.aligo.com) introduced four new products at the AHR Expo including the WorkCenter, which provides project managers, supervisors, and business owners easy access to job status, employee status, and employee locations while working in the field. WorkSite is a timecard replacement solution typically used by large construction companies. CardSwipe allows employees to start and stop their time using a magnetic identity card. This card is swiped through a card reader attached to a WorkTrack-enabled phone carried by a supervisor.

Autodesk Inc. (www.autodesk.com) also took honorable mention in the Innovation Awards competition with its Autodesk Building Systems, a unique object-based model that enables engineers to ensure coordination with architectural and structural designs prior to construction with instant feedback from the model. The result is efficient design development and construction documentation.

Data-Basics Inc. (www.databasics.com) unveiled the latest version of its Tech-Anywhere 2.0 component of SAM Pro Enterprise. This latest version leverages the benefits of tablet PCs to better emulate the paperwork orders that service techs are used to using. The tablet PC solution wirelessly connects the field to vital information and allows contractors to load other software on the device. Tech-Anywhere 2.0 received honorable mention in the Innovation Awards competition.

Davis Business Solutions (www. davisware.com) rolled out its Davisware Software Solution, a product line of industry-specific modules including vehicle/customer tracking (GPS), mobile communications (PDA), a fully integrated accounting system, and software support. All are designed to be a single solution to all facets of a business. Easy Street Inc. (www.totalofficemanager.com) introduced its Total Office Managerâ„¢ (TOM) software, featuring accounting, payroll, scheduling, serialized inventory, use tax, dispatching, sales, marketing, reporting, and other programs. The flexible and user-configurable schedule board and work orders (call slips) can be used to schedule service agreement tune-ups. Among other functions, TOM can track warranty periods on customer equipment.

Emerson Climate Technologies (www.emersonclimate.com) rolled out its Intelligent Store's Condition-Based Maintenance Software, a patent-pending software program that continually collects, analyzes, and monitors data from refrigeration equipment and systems. Instead of providing schedule-based preventative maintenance, this software indicates when service should be provided based on the health of the system. Electronic notifications are generated to retailers or a third-party provider only when in-store equipment service is required. The program was the first-place winner in the software category of the Innovation Awards competition.

HVAC Solution (www.hvacsolution.com), also an honorable mention winner in the Innovation Awards competition, showed off its prize-winning entry, the HVAC Solution software, which, after systems are created and calculations completed, will automatically select equipment from the industry and prepare schedules for contract documents.

IES (USA) Ltd. (www.iesve.com) launched version 5.4.1 of its building performance software suite, the Virtual Environment, at the expo. Included are new features created specifically for the North American market, an ASHRAE loads calculation tool, and the capability to undertake LEED Credit 8.1: Daylighting assessment. The IES Virtual Environment is an integrated suite of simulation tools capable of analyzing a wide range of building performance issues.

Aaron Schuh, president of Opportunity Interactive Inc., demonstrates his company’s new 3.3 version of the Opportunity Manager™.
Opportunity Interactive Inc. (www.opactive.com) demonstrated its new 3.3 version of the Opportunity Managerâ„¢, a software program for sales presentations, which can be customized with each contractor's options. To complement the sales presentation, the company also offers the Comfort Optimizerâ„¢, a professional load calculation system that works quickly and conveniently for room-by-room or whole-house load calculation, and integrates with Opportunity Manager.

Sage Software Inc. (www.sagesoftware.com) displayed its Sage Timberline Office, a product developed in 2005, introducing multiple enhancements and new features across the product suites of accounting, estimating, project management, procurement, property management, service management, and reporting and other tools. In addition, the release formally adopted the product suite's new name, Sage Timberline Office (formerly Timberline Office), further marking its role as part of the Sage Software family of products.

Tridium, Inc. (www.tridium.com) exhibited its NiagaraAX® Framework and the latest addition to its line of Niagara-based controller/server products, the JACE-2. NiagaraAX is an independent software platform for device integration designed to connect almost any device regardless of manufacturer or communication protocol. JACE-2 is a new generation of embedded controller/server devices that provides all the capabilities of Tridium's NiagaraAX software platform in a small, low-cost, modular unit.

WennSoft (www.wennsoft.com) has done some updating and the company wanted expo attendees to take notice. The latest versions of its Job Cost and Service Management Series products took center stage. Enhancements include the ability to create multiyear billing schedules, service call aids with added equipment ID, and replacement of the Service Call Task Window with a new multi-select version and new functionality to WennSoft's Mobile TEC product.

Wrightsoft Corp. (www.wrightsoft.com) brought its award-winning software to the AHR Expo. The good news was that contractors in 42 states now requiring or requesting Energy Code compliance can now do their heating and cooling load and pass all of their work to REScheckâ„¢, DOE's software, without duplication, or to Florida's Engaugeâ„¢ energy code software, or to REM/Rateâ„¢ for HERS analysis. This labor saver multiplies to tens of thousands of building permits across the United States. Wrightsoft's latest version of Right-Suite Residentialâ„¢ now links directly to energy code software without exiting the software program.

Publication date: 02/13/2006

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