“Being dependable, wireless, and accurate makes it the one to have.”
Those are the words of one Dealer Design Awards (DDA) judge detailing the benefits of Fluke Corp.’s 902 FC True-RMS HVAC Clamp Meter, winner of the gold award in the 2016 DDA Testing & Monitoring Products category.
The product is a wireless Fluke Connect-enabled meter that can document measurements, email results to customers, and collaborate with colleagues in real time directly from the job site. The measurements can be sent to a smartphone or tablet for detailed analysis and uploaded to the cloud.
The 902 FC True-RMS HVAC Clamp Meter was introduced to the marketplace in January, after its development began in early 2015. “We had an existing product in place, but we knew we could make it better,” said Luis Silva, product marketing manager, clamp meters, Fluke Corp. “There were fewer than 12 months from development to inception for this product.”
“The clamp meter decreases the frequency technicians will need to wear personal protective equipment when working on high-voltage/current panels,” continued Silva. “Simply turn off the panel, verify the panel is de-energized using standard safety procedures, place the clamp and sync it to a smartphone with the Fluke Connect app, close the panel, re-energize it, and take measurements from a safe distance.”
Silva said the meter went through a rigorous process of research and development. “It’s essential that we capture customer feedback wherever possible,” he said. “Fluke test tools are sold through numerous HVAC and electrical wholesalers. The feedback we receive from this distribution network is invaluable. Fluke attends major trade shows and events and uses these to talk directly to customers. Fluke conducts in-depth interviews with customers — both at the work site and over the phone — to better understand customers’ problems and unfilled tool needs.”
In the future, Fluke is focused on improving the user experience for this product and others through its Fluke Connect app and adding features to improve the HVAC contractor’s workflow.
After two years of development, multiple surveys, more than 30 VOC (Voice of Customer) interviews with residential and commercial contractors and technicians, and beta testing with a number of HVAC technicians, the Smart Probes Air Conditioning/Refrigeration Set from Testo Inc. hit the market in April 2015. Since then, the product has been well-received and most recently earned the silver award in this DDA category.
The product is used during commissioning, servicing, and troubleshooting a/c and refrigeration systems. The Smart Probes app displays measurements wirelessly on a smartphone or tablet and calculates superheat/subcooling automatically before storing and sending data via email from the job site.
“Hoseless and wireless measurements are quick, clean, and accurate,” said Roger Mavrides, product manager HVAC, Testo Inc. “We set up meetings with contractors, end users, and customers, asking how they do refrigeration testing, calibration, setup, and maintenance. This product is a true progression of where technology is heading.”
One DDA judge called the product accurate, very tech friendly, and the way of the future.
Mavrides said, in the the future, additional probes will be added to include various electrical measurements with comprehensive app software to guide the technician through the entire HVAC service process.
Dwyer Instruments Inc.’s SMART Air Hood™ Balancing Instrument earned the Testing & Monitoring category’s bronze award.
“The basic conceptual design for the SMART Air Hood Balancing Instrument started two-and-a-half years ago,” said Bob Moss, director of engineering, Dwyer Instruments Inc. “We were looking at our current air hoods and felt that improvements needed to be made. We decided a fundamental fresh start was the best way to go. By studying current models, we saw that most air hoods haven’t changed in a long time. We performed computational fluid dynamics studies to analyze optimal airflow, and the product was in full development for one year.”
The product can measure airflow from HVAC air ducts and diffusers for balancing. Additionally, it is made with a rugged polymer construction.
“Contractors are seeing they can now do twice as many jobs in half the time,” said Roger Mountford, director of global sales and marketing, Dwyer Instruments Inc. “With the innovative solutions we have developed for the SMART Air Hood and being able to sell it at the same market price [as other air hoods], we are revolutionizing the marketplace.”
Fluke 902 FC True-RMS HVAC Clamp Meter
Smart Probes AC/Refrigeration Set
Dwyer Instruments Inc.
Dwyer SMART Air Hood
Publication date: 7/18/2016