Wireless, Feature-Rich Products Top Electronic and Hand Tools
Fieldpiece Instruments takes home the gold with the 8 CFM Vacuum Pump
With some of the highest scores in the entire Dealer Design Awards contest this year, the 8 CFM Vacuum Pump from Fieldpiece Instruments earned its place atop the Electronic and Hand Tools category.
The product, which spent over five years in research and development, was recently introduced to the market in April.
When asked if the product was created due to contractor demand, company innovation, or a combination of both, Jim Gregorec, director of engineering for Fieldpiece Instruments Inc., said it truly was both factors.
“Market research identified the pain points/frustrations while engineering innovation solved the problems,” he said. “The keys to success involve really observing and listening to how customers go about evacuating a system without trying to solve anything or impart bias. Problem-solving and resulting innovations come later through a fecund approach and weighing pros and cons within each technology block.”
The 8 CFM Vacuum Pump has 3/4 horsepower, a brushless DC motor, and a RunQuick Oil Change System. It allows users to change oil quickly without losing vacuum and to see the condition of oil with a large backlit oil reservoir.
It has a simple-to-use gas ballast with LED indicator, is water resistant to withstand direct rain, includes storage for an extra 8-ounce oil bottle, and the smart variable-speed DC motor protects against voltage drop.
“I love the oil changing feature,” said one DDA judge. “I always see new techs not change oil often enough, and this makes it not only incredibly easy but shows them how bad the oil is getting, so they have a visual reminder.”
Fieldpiece has plans for further improvements, for which they are applying for more patent protection.
Dwyer Instruments Inc. earned two honors in this year’s contest, with a bronze award in the Testing and Monitoring category and this silver honor for its Wireless Hydronic Balancing Kit.
The Wireless Hydronic Balancing Kit measures the pressure drop across HVAC balancing valves by using wireless sensors and a versatile handheld.
“These sensors communicate via Bluetooth® wireless technology to an Android™-based handheld device to display pressure measurements,” said Jennifer Williams, associate product manager, test and data, Dwyer Instruments Inc. “Users can select valves being measured from a predetermined list or manually enter a CV value. The handheld monitors the flow of up to three valves at one time, allowing a single operator to monitor and balance a hydronic system in less time than traditional methods.”
The product hit the market in March of 2018 after almost two years of research and development. Now that it is available to the public, Williams said the future plans for this product include incorporating higher-level report generation capability to the app. Also, Dwyer Instruments will continue to work to expand the number of valves that can be displayed simultaneously.
The Wireless Digital Gauge for Superheat and Subcooling from JB Industries gets the bronze for electronic and hand tools this year, with one judge succinctly expressing just what the product does so well: “This is great for maintenance and service technicians who want a quick check of how the refrigerant system is running.”
More specifically, the gauge allows system testing without loss of refrigerant — hoses and manifolds are not necessary, according to Dave Madden, director of engineering, JB Industries. “The free download of the SH-35N app wirelessly calculates and displays system pressure, temperature, superheat, and subcooling on an easy-to-read, smart device color display.”
The unit features a range (unobstructed) of up to 400 feet and comes with a temperature clamp and rugged case.
This product has three years of research and design behind it and has been in the field for nearly a full year, having been introduced in August of 2017.
It allows for accurate measurement and verification of HVAC equipment to ensure consumers are getting optimum efficiency, and it can perform quick diagnostic checks of a system without the use of manifolds and without affecting critical charge.
In the future, Madden said JB Industries will work toward the integration of multiple units to a single app and the continuous improvement to application development as new refrigerants and techniques become available.
Publication date: 7/23/2018