ATLANTA — The giant clock on top of the Parker Hannifin Corp. — Sporlan Division’s ZoomLock® Roadshow truck counted down during the 2019 AHR Expo, keeping track of the time left until the next live demo. Every 40 minutes, Sporlan would bring attendees up to physically make the connection themselves.
ZoomLock Flame-Free Refrigerant Fittings are specially designed to work without brazing, which automatically makes the job simpler and faster when joining copper tubes. According to Sporlan, professionals who have tried ZoomLock report their time and labor costs on tube connections are typically reduced by 60 percent on average.
“ZoomLock is much safer,” said Dave Thomas, Parker Sporlan’s national sales manager. “Technicians don’t have to worry about burning anything down, and it’s a fast and easy installation. There is no brazing, so there is no flame. In just 10 seconds, they have a leak-proof refrigerant fitting. And we’re expanding the line of connection sizes.”
Sporlan also showcased its new S3C Series Refrigerated Case Controls. The S3C consists of a case controller, remote display, and valve module. The product is designed to facilitate both installation and integration by refrigerated appliance OEMs, as well as streamline retrofits into existing supermarket refrigeration control installations. The entire S3C line supports open protocol communication via BACnet and Modbus communication networks. When enabled, the controller provides automated configuration and network integration.
“The three S’s stand for safety, security, and serviceability,” Thomas said. “Safety is food safety — the control works very precisely with an electronic expansion valve to keep the food in the case at the temperature desired or needed to keep the food safe. Security is when they get it set up, they can just walk away. Alarms will let the supermarket and/or contractor know if there are any issues. And lastly, the serviceability aspect is it connects with a Bluetooth device, allowing technicians to view the temperature in the case using a smartphone or iPad, eliminating the need for gauges and temperature probes.”
The S3C Case Control peer-to-peer system is capable of stand-alone or BAS operation of up to eight refrigerated cases per lineup, with control modes to handle superheat, case temperature, and/or suction for the most efficient operation possible. Additionally, the family of controls has been designed to simplify and shorten new equipment setups and retrofits. Color-coded temperature sensor wires make installation easier. Control of either step motor or pulse-width modulation valves provides flexibility, and bright LEDs display case status at a glance.
Sporlan was also displaying its SSTK Smart Service Tools, with free downloads of the Smart Service Tool app and Refrigeration Troubleshooting app available during the show.
The SSTK Smart Service Tools work with a SMART Service Tool App for smartphones and tablets, along with sensors and pressure transducers, to assist in diagnostic/service problems. The sensors and pressure transducers attach to the air conditioning or refrigeration unit, then activate the app screen. The pressures and temperatures will be displayed on the technician’s phone or tablet.
The Refrigeration app is designed to assist field technicians of all skill levels with troubleshooting components of a DX refrigeration system.
“The app allows any contractor to do basic troubleshooting of a system just by putting a couple of conditions in,” Thomas explained. “The app tells them what to check, they click yes or no, and it walks them through troubleshooting the system.”
The app includes a guided mode and expert mode to aid the different skill levels of technicians. For less experienced technicians, the guided mode in the app walks the user through a series of questions with only “Yes” or “No” answers.
For the more experienced technician, the expert mode breaks down troubleshooting into six sections to quickly get to the root cause of the problem. The app allows users to go through the troubleshooting process, get to a corrective action, and capture notes with pictures, videos, memos, and text.
“One of the things we’ve been recognizing for our customers in the industry is a lack of qualified technicians,” Thomas said. “So how do we help the industry be able to do things simpler, easier, and less complicated? Maybe a technician doesn’t have quite as much experience to be able to do some of the troubleshooting somebody with more experience would be able to do. So we’ve developed the app lines just to make it simpler for contractors.”
Thomas said he expects to see an increase in smart, connected technology in addition to technology that streamlines processes, drives efficiency, and is in line with federal regulations in 2019.
“We’re seeing a switch to more electronic controls,” Thomas said. “As more and more systems get integrated into the cloud, a greater need for electronic controls arises. I mentioned the lack of qualified technicians before. Electronic controls can offer more support, easier access, and more visibility via Bluetooth apps. That way. contractors can be able to improve their serviceability. There’s not as much of a mechanical need required to service a product.”
Along those same lines, there is a trend toward products that are easier to use, simpler, and safer, such as ZoomLock and the Refrigeration Troubleshooting app.
“So if contractors don’t have somebody with years of experience brazing, they can have a technician, train them in 30 minutes, and have them go install the system,” Thomas said. “We feel like we have just scratched the surface of opportunities when you start getting away from torch tips.”
Publication date: 2/18/2019