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Gold medal. Rigid RP 350 Press Tool.
RIDGID RP 350 Press Tool

The Gold award in the Electronic Tools category went to the Ridgid® RP 350 press tool. This standard pistol-grip is more compact, eliminates service intervals, and features 360° swivel for the tightest spaces. Additional features include the Bluetooth/Ridgid Link, color-coded status indicators, bolt sensor, 360° swivel lighting and performance testing to complete over 100,000 cycles with no service required.

The Ridgid RP 350 is compatible with the full line of Ridgid Standard Series jaws and rings, including: ½- to 4-inch ProPress for copper and stainless steel, ½- to 2-inch PureFlow for PEX, and ½- to 2-inch MegaPress for carbon steel. It also pairs with the Ridgid Press Booster, StrutSlayr Strut Shear Head, and Press Snap Soil Pipe Cutter. LED light application provides visibility in low-light situations, with several LED lights circling the head of the tool which make it useable in no-light applications. Its 18 V battery platform includes a car charger for on-the-go battery charging. The RP 350 also pairs with the Ridgid Link app to track tool usage, service needs, battery life, and last known location. It also comes with the Ridgid full lifetime warranty.

More than three years of research went into the design of the Ridgid RP 350 press tool. The company used surveys, focus groups, and job site visits to understand customer needs and how new tool innovations could help them gain efficiencies.

“The Ridgid RP 350 Press Tool gives professionals a new tool option for making quality presses, quickly and efficiently, with the least amount of strain on the body,” explained Michael Provenzano, director of marketing, Ridgid, Emerson.

As lead installer and field supervisor at First Choice Heating and Cooling, Metuchen, New Jersey, Michael Flynn appreciates that. He loves the fact that the new press tool places much less strain on him and the crews he supervises. In addition to the weight and swivel, Flynn cites the speed as a major upgrade.

“The press cycle is actually much quicker,” he said.

Emerson’s research lead to three key design decisions. First is the lighter weight and smaller size. The press tool is 5% lighter and almost 3 inches shorter than its predecessor. The RP 350 weighs 8 pounds with the battery. This enhances the press tool’s accessibility and ergonomics, putting less strain on the user. Second, the RP 350 features a brushless motor, which maximizes tool longevity while enhancing efficiency, and durability. This eliminates the need for scheduled service intervals, reducing contractor downtime. Third, the tool’s 360° swivel feature lets users get into the tightest spaces easier. Combined with the lighter weight, this puts less strain on the user’s body.

YJack Charging and Evaluation Kit.
Ritchie Engineering Co. Inc. / Yellow Jacket
YJack Charging and Evaluation Kit

The Silver award in the Electronic Tools category went to the YJack charging and evaluation kit with Yjack press and YJack vac wireless sensors from Yellow Jacket.

The YJack charging & evacuation kit 67074 tracks the system evacuation and performs evacuation hold tests with the wireless vacuum gauge. A technician connects the wireless pressure and temperature probes for instant system charge readings and can then adjust the system charge with the integrated charging port on the probes. The kit includes two wireless pressure gauges, wireless temperature clamps, and a wireless vacuum gauge.

Technicians can view and analyze the system pressure readings from any smart device. The psychrometric efficiency session uses the supply and return air enthalpy measurements from the YJack Dew wireless psychrometer to calculate a system’s heating/cooling efficiency. The electrical session displays system power information and calculates the system’s energy efficiency ratio (EER). The app also includes leak testing modes for both pressure rise and pressure decay. All these system readings can be captured in PDF service reports for detailed documentation of system measurements and services performed.

The YJack system can measure pressure and temperature from the low side and high side of the system. Technicians can compare target and calculated system superheat and subcooling to ensure proper charge and operation. They can also monitor system evacuation status and perform hold tests using the wireless vacuum gauge. It offers full range vacuum measurement from atmospheric pressure down to 1 micron. Technicians can use the integrated display to view system vacuum readings and configure target vacuum levels or track the evacuation remotely.

It took two years to develop the YJack charging and evacuation kit. Developers at Yellow Jacket used industry analysis, surveys, and beta testers. They also used input from comparative data testing using scientific instruments.

Cross-Reference App.

The Bronze award for the Electronic Tools category went to the Heatcraft mobile app for Cross-Reference.

This is a mobile app that was initially developed to support customers for a smooth transition from Department of Energy (DOE) regulations by helping to aid new model lookup from legacy models. This includes estimating a load requirement needed for a cooler or a freezer application and helping a contractor to estimate the cost of a project. New upcoming features will include calculators that enable customers to find out about energy saving equipment and another tool to help customers compare and find technical data of competitors and see how Heatcraft matches up.

The app decreases the time needed to prepare plans for a new commercial project or a building retrofit by reducing the complexity of a refrigeration decision, making the information simple and easy to understand. Heatcraft developed the app using information from focus groups and voice-of-the-customer research. One important feature is the app is fully functional without Internet access. Technicians who work in commercial cold rooms are often unable to access the Internet due to the room’s special design.