2019 Dealer Design Awards: Contractor Services & Software
Advanced data collection and management improves business, job site
ProductParasense Refrigerant Management Software
Beyond installation and commissioning, managing equipment is increasingly important to the HVAC industry. Part of this growing trend is thanks to the Contractor Services and Software Gold winner, Parasense Refrigerant Management Software. The new system from Bacharach Inc. offers refrigerant tracking and management tools to reduce operating costs and ensure legislation compliance. The product offers a wide range of features, including a refrigerant review dashboard for enterprise management, automatically applied leak rate calculations, a compliance calendar for task scheduling, and a full regulation workflow system that distills regulations into clear processes, procedures, and tasks. Building on 30 years of product development, this software is accessible from a desktop, laptop, or phone — direct from the cloud.
“Any upcoming actions and required compliance tasks are automatically scheduled by the compliance calendar,” said Adam Marsh, refrigerant and energy management product manager, Bacharach Inc. “The full history of all activities is also available here, making it simple to retrieve and cross-reference historical events, should a technician need information at a moment’s notice.”
From the refrigerant review dashboard, technicians can review the cause of refrigerant emissions, identify opportunities for improvement, track repairs, and minimize the consumption of refrigerant. From the same dashboard, leak rate trends can be seen, and filtering provides the information needed for technicians to make informed decisions. If combined with appropriate on-site leak detection equipment, the system can notify technicians of any leaks across the entire network. The refrigerant review provides an overview of all the sites and assets that are under the control of the technician.
In its research to develop the software, the company found that contractors didn’t know all the regulations relevant to their customers, the refrigeration equipment owners. The research also revealed that the system needed to be simple, intuitive, and swift for the less frequent users. In response, Bacharach Inc. developed a regulation workflow component in the software.
“The regulation workflow has been carefully designed to distill regulations into clear processes, procedures, and tasks that are easy to understand and follow to ensure compliance for technicians,” said Marsh. “All technicians and refrigerant engineers are guided through the same, correct procedure, and any compliance tasks are scheduled automatically.”
The software program has simple-to-follow data input processes that strip out the unnecessary information, which saves time.
The Parasense platform has the ability to link to Bacharach high-performance leak detection equipment and provide regular updates from each site. This means it will be able to provide round-the-clock surveillance of refrigerant leaks across all the sites that are under a contractor’s management.
“One other important consideration to make is that refrigerant contractors are increasingly required to carry the burden of refrigerant costs as part of their contract agreements with equipment owners,” said Marsh. “With an increasing cost of refrigerant, this can save a considerable amount of time and money.”
In addition to ensuring core functionality, the company has plans for two additional modules that will be wholly integrated over the next year — refrigerant leak detection and energy management.
ManufacturerDwyer Instruments Inc.
ProductHydronic Application Software (Hydronic App)
Doing the job of three traditional meters in one, the Hydronic Application Software (Hydronic App) from Dwyer Instruments Inc. won the Silver award. Used in conjunction with the Hydronic Balancing Kit, Series 490W, this app allows users to measure the differential pressure and flow across the selected valve. It also allows technicians to read and calculate the flow directly, eliminating the need for flow chart or slide wheel calculations. With this product, the technician is only required to pick the circuit setter from the list; the app applies the formula and displays the flow automatically.
“While we were on job sites with our customers, the topic of unruly hoses during the hydronic balancing process came up time and time again,” said Tom Lorenz, senior product manager - Test Equipment, Dwyer Instruments Inc. “The wireless transducers are light and can fit in a technicians pocket, making it safer to climb a ladder.”
The app is available in the Google Play store. Future plans for this product are to incorporate higher level report generation capability and to continue to work to expand the number of valves that can be displayed simultaneously.
ProductDBAnalytics™ Business Intelligence Web Portal
This year’s Bronze winner — DBAnalytics Business Intelligence Web Portal — offers companies the ability to visualize performance, identify strengths and weaknesses, diagnose inefficiencies, and make informed, data-driven decisions. Created by Data-Basics Inc., advanced analytics users can create an unlimited number of customized key performance indicators, and administrators can customize dashboards and user-specific security access for any number of unique employees across the organization. As a component of the SAMPro Enterprise ERP system, the product has the power to securely access all interdependent business data collected and stored in the ERP database. Without data silos, it can accommodate multi-company data, single or multiple business locations, or nationwide organizations on a macro level. As a web portal, users can securely access their customized dashboards remotely from any internet-enabled device.