Innovations And Improvements Reflect The Service Tech's Perspective
Mark Key, vice president, sales and marketing, Redi Controls, believes the company's purger is top-notch. "Every time a service technician has to respond to a chiller that is needing assistance due to lost capacity [oil migration], that decreases the profit on that service contract," wrote Key in his entry form.
"This product can be sold to the customer (and energy management departments often assist with funding), save the customer thousands of dollars in energy savings, and thus the Industrial OAM-Purger pays for itself, and the service contractor regains capacity and decreases the amount of time servicing this chiller, thus increasing profits on the service contract."
It was an argument that impressed the contractor-judges on the panel.
Judges also reserved some compliments for the category's second- and third-place finishers. In fact, one contractor-judge wrote the following regarding the S-Series 1000 Ice Cube Machine from Manitowoc Ice Inc. (Manitowoc, Wis.), which received the silver medal: "Love the sanitary enhancements. Great!" Another stated: "Outstanding thought to the service tech. No tools are needed to get main components removed."
The Hermetic Moisture Indicator (HMI) from Flow Controls, Division of Emerson Climate Technologies (St. Louis), earned the bronze award. The comment from one contractor-judge was simply, "This is a real improvement over the competition."
Gold WinnerAccording to Redi Controls, its Industrial OAM-Purger is an oil, acid, and moisture purger specifically designed to remove oil that has been entrained in a chiller's refrigerant charge. Thus, noted Key, the product regains chiller's lost capacity, saves thousands of dollars per year in energy savings, decreases wear and tear on the chiller, and can assist in extending refrigerant charge life.
The contractor-judges zeroed in on the features that were designed and manufactured to assist the contractor in the installation, maintenance, and service for the product.
According to Key, the Industrial OAM-Purger was designed so that the contractor can simply mount the unit next to the chiller, make appropriate connections, "and then allow this passive device to operate."
According to Key, within the first month, approximately 80 percent of the oil will be removed. The following month, the remaining oil will be removed, leaving only a trace amount of oil in the system. After installation, Key said the only yearly maintenance for the Industrial OAM-Purger is the filter replacement.
"Nonproprietary filters can be purchased from any HVACR wholesaler," commented Key.
In ways the product is different from other competitive products, Key noted that the service contractor can subcontract with a refrigerant reclaimer, who will charge around the same amount or more for reclaiming charge, but within a few years, one will be back to having oil entrained in the charge again.
"For the same price or less, the contractor can provide the Industrial OAM-Purger, including installation, and solve the problem for the rest of the life of the chiller," wrote Key. "This benefits the contractor who will spend less time sending a technician to service a chiller running at lower capacity and, in some cases, responding to low oil fault."
For more information regarding the Industrial OAM-Purger, visit www.redicontrols.com.
Silver WinnerAccording to Manitowoc, in designing the new S-1000, consideration was given to sanitation, energy savings, sound reduction, and - foremost - serviceability.
"Getting to components has been simplified," wrote the company in its entry form. "Front doors allow quick, easy access to the food zone and to the enhanced electrical system with a common control board. In addition, no-tools removal of main components reduces cleaning time and keeps downtime to a minimum."
The company also noted that the front-accessible water pump is located outside of the food zone for easy removal, and the "snap in/snap out" removal of the water tray allows "thorough cleaning and easy pump access."
In addition, the front-accessible refrigeration system service valves and all-line voltage electrical components are separated from the water compartment.
"This adds up to time-saving features and less-complicated serviceability procedures," wrote the manufacturer.
In the end, The News' contractor-judges offered high marks for the product's serviceability. They noted that time spent out on a service call should be reduced and repairs should be easier to manage.
For more information on the S-Series 1000 Ice Cube Machine, visit www.manitowocice.com.
Bronze WinnerEmerson's Flow Controls Division noted its HMI is designed for commercial refrigeration and air conditioning systems, labeling it "the most sensitive moisture indicator in the HVACR industry."
The features the contractor-judges liked included its ability to keep a close watch on systems in which the moisture indicator shows a caution signal.
"The HMI can save the contractor valuable time and money, and because it is versatile enough to use on any system, he can stock one model of moisture indicators on his truck, thereby reducing his inventory," wrote the company on the entry form.
According to Emerson Climate Technologies, the HMI endured a rigorous development process right up to its launch in January 2003.
Since then, the company wrote, "Emerson continues to improve upon the product based on input and suggestions coming in from the field. Emerson knows that the people closest to the product - namely, the contractor - generally have the greatest amount of application knowledge."
That seems to suit the contractor-judges just fine. Some judges noted that early moisture detection is becoming increasingly important as the industry moves to HFC refrigerants, as is the ability to withstand high-pressure environments.
"With the Emerson Climate Technologies' HMI, contractors can be confident their customers are getting a better indicator and they are getting a better warning system," wrote the company.
For more information regarding the HMI, visit www.gotoemerson.com.
Publication date: 07/19/2004