ATLANTA — Every HVAC manufacturer, distributor, and contractor is aware of the growing labor shortage within the skilled trades industries. Most have been working to combat the shortage by getting creative in recruitment efforts — much like Daikin Applied did at the 2019 AHR Expo.
The manufacturer hosted its inaugural Future of HVAC event, during which engineering and trade school students learned about Daikin Applied and careers within the industry. The students were then treated to dinner by company executives.
“As we’re all aware, HVAC — along with the rest of the trades — is facing a stark reality of an aging workforce and a shortage of potential employees,” said Kirk Thorne, executive vice president of sales, marketing and aftermarket, Daikin Applied. “Daikin is excited to promote the future of HVAC and demonstrate its commitment to the next generation of HVAC technicians and engineers. The students met our executives, dove into our technology, received one-on-one coaching, and connected with young industry professionals. This program exemplifies Daikin’s commitment not just to the next generation of HVAC but to the next generation of talent, as well.”
In addition to recruitment, Daikin Applied is excited about growing its solutions business in 2019, Thorne noted.
“We’re harnessing the power of both technology and our people to offer a full solution to provide better outcomes for you, your buildings, and its occupants,” he said.
One such product is Daikin Applied’s Gateway-on-the-Go.
“It’s essentially the hardware required at the edge or at the equipment unit,” said Mike Hoppe, senior product manager, Intelligent Equipment, Daikin Applied Americas Inc. “It has cellular connectivity or Wi-Fi, allowing the data to flow to the cloud. What’s cool about this is it is portable. Previously, we either factory installed this or preprogrammed it for a specific HVAC unit in the field. Now, our technicians have the ability to throw this kit in their trucks, and along with a special PC utility, they can configure it on-site and use it for diagnosis, troubleshooting, and even sales — providing a live demo on the unit.”
All of Daikin Applied’s technical centers and Daikin Services Group offices have the Gateway-on-the-Go on hand, so it can be deployed overnight if needed. Additionally, most of Daikin Applied’s manufacturer’s reps also have these on hand.
“It’s been a great tool for the field,” Hoppe said. “Especially since they can install and configure it in less than an hour and start troubleshooting the equipment. That warranty call will pay for itself because it’s a one-time cost. The subscription is the normal annual data subscription, whether they’re using cellular or Wi-Fi. We set it up for cellular because it’s really the easiest way to get connection on a rooftop.”
Daikin Applied also featured its Intelligent Equipment® platform. Intelligent Equipment is a cloud-based controls solution that enables real-time, secure access to data via PC, smartphone, or tablet. Intelligent Equipment connects directly to 150 data points on rooftop units and 350 data points on air-cooled chillers to monitor energy consumption at the equipment level.
“The next release we do in a couple of months — Version 4.0 — will have a map landing page,” Hoppe said. “Users will be able to go to the unit and identify it by color and location. So if a property management company is using Intelligent Equipment, it can go to a map showing all of the sites, all of the HVAC units, and it can track everything visually and much quicker. From there, you can do a deeper dive into analytics.”
Intelligent Equipment is designed for mobile-first, Hoppe noted, mostly because of the shift where technicians are more frequently using tablets in the field. This, along with Gateway-on-the-Go, allows technicians to set up, then leave to troubleshoot and diagnose from the comfort of their vehicle.
“They don’t have to be out in the 120°F weather on the roof,” Hoppe said.
Some other products featured during the show included Daikin Applied’s Intelligent Systems®, the Magnitude® Magnetic Bearing Centrifugal Chiller, and Pathfinder® Air-cooled Screw Chiller.
Intelligent Systems seamlessly blend the HVAC system with intuitive, easy-to-use controls that helps users achieve higher performance and efficiency at a building system level. The plug-and-play installation outpaces the complexity of a large BAS.
Daikin Applied Magnitude magnetic bearing centrifugal chillers deliver the energy savings that building owners demand under all operating conditions. Daikin’s oil-free, magnetic bearing compressor technology offers a wider operating envelope to meet many demanding applications, giving designers the flexibility and performance to match their project requirements with substantially improved savings over the life of the unit.
When it comes to saving energy, The Pathfinder air-cooled screw chillers’ performance uses variable volume ratio (VVR®) technology. VVR compression technology senses the precise amount of lift needed and adjusts the compression ratio on the fly to deliver optimal efficiency regardless of ambient temperature or time of day. Pathfinder’s unique fan features a one-piece, molded design and low-speed operation for high efficiency.
Publication date: 2/18/2019