2010 Product of the Year Winners
At the close of the Sixth Annual Product of the Year Awards, one thing stands out above the rest—this year was definitely different from years past.
At the close of the Sixth Annual Product of the Year Awards, one thing stands out above the rest—this year was definitely different from years past.
A select group of professional engineers from around the country were solicited by the Consulting-Specifying Engineer staff to be part of the judging panel for this year’s contest.
The feedback from our digital judging forum about these products centered around one theme—energy efficiency. Products are expected to be more accurate, perform more efficiently, and provide more functionality than ever before.
The 2010 Product of the Year Winners demonstrated these themes in ways that separated themselves from their fellow finalists. The separation from the other finalists is what ultimately resulted in the following products receiving the most votes in their category and thus being awarded either the Gold, Silver, or Bronze award. A special congratulations is extended to our Most Valuable Product from Honeywell International Inc and their TR20 Wireless Series of wireless temperature sensors.
Equipment-level sensors and controls
Most Valuable Product and Gold Award: Temperature Sensors
The TR20 Wireless Series of wireless temperature sensors from Honeywell International helps reduce labor and material costs, particularly in retrofit applications. The sensors and receivers are factory RFmatched and shipped together. One kit offers temperature only, and the other offers temperature, setpoint adjustment, and override. The device requires no field configuration and the wall module features a built-in signal strength indicator, which eliminates guesswork on whether the signal is strong, weak, or non-existent.
Silver Award: Controller
The PXC Compact 36 from Siemens includes 36 points and the ability to add I/O Expansion, FLN, or both depending on the support needed. The combination of the device with the expandability using the TX-10
Range provides features such as 36 points onboard the controller flexibility of 24 and 36 universal input and output points, support for up to 96 P1 or MS/TP FLN devices per controller, and a UL 864 listing for control. The RoHS-compliant device uses soy-based inks and provides more than 50% energy savings achieved by using low power circuit.
Bronze Award: Pump Controller
The McDonnell & Miller 1575 electronic low water cut-off is designed for use on commercial steam and hot water boilers with pressure ratings up to 250 PSIG. The unit consists of a three-probe water column and electronic control box. The microprocessor-based design is suited for boilers that have a rapidly fluctuating water line as the time delays guard against burner and/or feed pump cycling when the water line is unstable. The onboard feed pump relay is rated for motors up to 1 hp and can be used to energize a motor starter for larger pumps.
Gold Award: Combiner Box
The Cooper Bussmann Combiner boxes meet solar power circuit protection requirements while offering a selection from three series, all with fuses pre-installed when specified and including finger-safe modular fuse holders. The ETL-Listed to UL 1741 Standard combiner box includes 4 to 24 input circuits and is configured for both positive and negative grounded arrays. The device features single or dual 167 F output terminals and steel or fiberglass NEMA 3, 3R, 4, or 4X enclosures with seamless door gaskets.
Silver Award: Busway
The Pow-R-Flex low ampere busway from Eaton features an extruded aluminum housing, two standard color options, shutter mechanism safe plug-in outlets, integral ground path, high short-circuit withstand ratings, and a variety of plug-in units. The straight sections of the plug-in busway are available in 2 to 10 ft increments. The device meets NEMA, UL, CS, and ISO requirements, and the Pow-R-Bridge joint assembly and torque-indicating bolt provide a secure connection.
Bronze Award: Ground Relay
The PGR-5330 advanced ground-fault and resistor-monitoring relay from Littelfuse Inc. provides both ground-fault detection and continuous monitoring of the neutral-to-ground path to ensure the integrity of the resistor. The device is communications enabled with a standard RS-232 interface and optional DeviceNet, Profibus, and Ethernet ports. The device can be applied to high- and low-resistance grounded transformers and generators, and the device features wide setpoint ranges compatible with any neutral connected NGR up to 35 kW system voltage.
Emergency, on-site, standby power
Gold Award: Generator Set
The MTU Onsite Energy series 1600 generator set is a diesel-powered genset covering a range of 250 to 600 kW. The genset is based on the MTU Series 1600 engine, which has a power range as low as 250 kW and up to 600 kW. The genset features EPA Tier 2 certification, compliance to ISO 8528-5 testing for transient response at 85% load, NFPA 110 one-step rated load acceptance, and digital control panels that are UL recognized.
Silver Award: UPS
The Eaton 9395 UPS with Energy Saver System delivers 99% efficiency when utility power is within normal tolerances, and when the utility power falls outside acceptable limits for IT equipment, the UPS switches to double-conversion mode. The intelligent power core continuously monitors incoming power conditions and balances the need for efficiency with the need for premium protection. The UPS is rated for 550 kVA and provides N + 1 redundancy.
Bronze Award: Generator Set
The Kohler Large Industrial Gas (180-400 kW), EPA certified generators from Kohler Co. provide one-source responsibility for the generating system and accessories. The generator set and its components are prototype-tested, factory-built, and production-tested. The 60 Hz generator set offers a UL 2200 listing and accepts rated load in one step. The set meets NFPA 110, Level 1 requirements and conforms to the New Source Performance Standard for stationary spark-ignited emissions.
Gold Award: Wireless Occupancy Sensors
The LevNet wireless lighting controls from Leviton Manufacturing Co. are self-powered devices that feature EnOcean’s wireless technology. The devices can be used for single-pole on/off switching, multi-location switching, HVAC control, and motor control. Requiring no external power or batteries, the sensors are interoperable with other devices on the LevNet RF wireless network. The devices use ambient room light and switch products use kinetic energy to power themselves, and the devices can send and receive signals from 50 to 150 ft.
Silver Award: Downlight
The HALO LED Module 900 series from Cooper Lighting are designed for retrofit applications with an Edison screw base adapter. The downlight exceeds the light output and distribution of a 75 or 85 W lamp, while using less than 15 W. Dimmable to 15% with standard 120 V electric low-voltage dimmers, the downlight provides a color rendering index of 80 and a selection of four color temperatures—2,700 K, 3,000 K, 3,500 K, and 4,000 K.
Bronze Award: Wireless System
The GRAFIK Eye QS Wireless from Lutron Electronics Co. is a fully customizable preset light and shade control system. The system uses wireless connections to Sivoia QS wireless shades, wireless occupancy sensors, and additional GRAFIK EYE QS wireless units. The device features an energy savings indicator, built-in astronomical and programmable time clock, daylight harvesting of incandescent and fluorescent lights, and direct connection to occupancy sensors for manual on/automatic off function.
Networked BAS, energy management systems
Gold Award: Communicating Thermostats
The FlexStat series of intelligent BACnet communicating thermostats from KMC Controls provide networked zone control for common HVAC equipment. AHUs, FCUs, HPUs, and RTUs can be controlled via the device’s on-board library of application programs. The device’s menu system provides rapid configuration of a range of HVAC control applications, and the applications library is customizable to specific requirements including humidity and motion sensing and flexible output configurations.
Silver Award: BAS
The enteliTOUCH from Delta Controls provides control of a building’s wireless zone controllers. The device manages enteliMESH wireless controllers and sensors, making control applications such as VAV, fan coil, and heat comp cost effective. The device configures wireless devices and sets up zone controller applications through a touch screen interface, without the need for laptops or software. The enteliTOUCH provides energy gauges, bar charts, line graphs, schedules, setpoints, and customized building system graphics to the facility manager.
Bronze Award: Pump Controller
The Technologic 5500 variable speed pump controller from Bell & Gossett features the BACnet Testing Laboratories Mark for both BACnet MS/TP and BACnet IP. The device features a plug-and-plug automatic discovery functionality that allows the BAS to automatically detect the pump controller on the network and build a database of communication points. The pump features a summer/winter switch that processes two independent setpoints depending on the season, a pump exerciser for constant speed booster systems, and an emergency power feature.
Gold Award: Rooftop Unit
The Energence rooftop unit line from Lennox Industries breaks the 17.0 SEER efficiency barriers, and the system’s Prodigy unit controller provides verification that the unit has been installed properly and is operating as intended. The unit features the SmartWire system for accurate setup, via keyed and color-coded connectors to help prevent incorrect wiring. The unit exceeds DOE minimum efficiency ratings by 30%, as well as the Consortium for Energy Efficiency’s 2010 Tier 2 rebate levels.
Silver Award: Cabinet
The RN Series cabinet from AAON is insulated with spray foam insulation and the supply fans are direct drive, which eliminates the problems associated with belt-driven systems including continuous maintenance and belt tightening, belt debris that clogs filters and soils supply air diffusers and energy lost transferring energy from the motor to the fan. The compressor is variable capacity and offers precise load matching capability. Multiple unit efficiency options are available and meet ASHRAE 90.1, ASHRAE 189, CEE Tier 1, and CEE Tier 2 standards.
Bronze Award: Chiller
The LC Series chiller from AAON is designed for comfort cooling or process cooling applications. Variable capacity scroll compressors provide precise leaving water temperature control. The compressors also reduce or eliminate water loop volume requirements, while eliminating the need for energy-wasting hot gas bypass. Variable speed condenser fans are matched with variable capacity compressors for high efficiencies. The chiller’s controller can integrate with BACnet Modbus, LonTalk, and Johnson N2 protocol systems.
Test instruments, meters, data loggers
Gold Award: Digital Multimeter
The Fluke 233 digital multimeter features a detachable wireless display. By sliding the display out of the meter body, the user can place the display up to 33 ft from the point of measurement. The detachable feature allows the user to find a comfortable position to view test data, view readings when the test point is across the room, run tests and read results at a safe distance from electrical and mechanical hazards, and devote full attention to the separate tasks of positioning the meter and reading test results.
Silver Award: Thermal Imager
The Fluke Ti32 thermal imager features a 320 x 240 sensor to provide detailed thermal images to the user. The imager helps the user strengthen maintenance programs and increase reliability by detecting programs in electrical installations, electromechanical equipment, and process equipment. The imager uses Fluke IR-Fusion technology to combine high-precision thermal images with visual images, and the 3-D viewing makes hot or cold spots pop out of the background for easy viewing.
Bronze Award: Digital Multimeter
The Fluke 28 II digital multimeter is IP 67-rated for water and dust resistance and features an extended operating temperature range of 5 to 131 F. The multimeter will function in -40 F temperature for up to 20 min and it will operate in 95% humidity. The multimeter is designed and tested to withstand a 10-ft drop.
Fire and life-safety
Gold Award: Fire Alarm Control Panel
The Bosch FPA-1000 mid-range fire alarm control panel features IP browser-based programming and time-saving remote diagnostic and monitoring capabilities. The panel provides access to the user from any Internetenabled location without dedicated software. Built-in Bosch Conettix IP technology allows the device to communicate over local or wide area networks for more efficient alarm reporting. The analog addressable device provides integrated gas detection capability and alarming for CO and other gases.
Silver Award: Touch Screen Display
The ONYX FirstVision interactive touch screen display from NOTIFIER features a campus view setting to deliver real-time information from multiple fire alarm and CCTV systems throughout facilities and campuses across the globe. Integration with Honeywell’s Rapid Eye DVR systems allows the device to provide first responders and security personnel with live video of various facility locations. The device helps assess fire conditions, locate occupants, and find entryways. The system ties in other NOTIFIER fire alarms over new or existing TCP/IP networks.
Bronze Award:Preaction Actuated Valve
The FireLock NXT Series 769 Preaction actuated valve with AutoConvert Trim from Victaulic is a patented package for preaction systems and works to maintain fire detection, alarm, and valve response during power outages. The system ensures there is always a functional fire protection system, even during blackout conditions. The latching solenoid operates on a quick pulse of power, which does not create a constant battery draw that can compromise alarm performance.
Plumbing and water management
Gold Award: Low-Flush Toilet
The H2Option from American Standard is a siphonic dual flush toilet with strong push-and-pull action created by a forceful jetted action under the rim. The toilet uses 1 gal of water per flush on the low setting and 1.6 gal on a full flush. The toilet does not require steep slopes like typical washdown toilets, which helps eliminate less waste clinging to the side of the bowl and less splashing.
Silver Award: Pumps
The ecocirc e3 Series of energy efficiency pumps from Bell & Gossett provide high performance through electronically commutated motor (ECM)/permanent magnet (PM) technology. The ECM/PM and spherical motor design enables the pump to operate on as little as 10 W of power. The device is available with an integrated thermostat and plug-in timer with no field wiring required. The pump provides instant hot water and uses only one movable part, which is the rotor/impeller unit that is suspended on a wear wearresistant ceramic ball.
Bronze Award: Condensing Water Heater
The ARMOR line of high-efficiency condensing water heaters from Lochinvar features inputs of 600,000, 700,000, and 800,000 Btu/hr. The water heaters feature 98% thermally efficient models, a stainless steel heat exchanger, 5:1 modulating turndown, and Lochinvar’s SMART SYSTEM operating control, which includes a built-in cascading sequencer for installations using up to eight water heaters. Designed for installations with a separate store tank, the device eliminates problems encountered with traditional tanktype water heaters.
Software: Design, modeling, analysis
Gold Award: Energy Management Software
The PowerLogic ION EEM from Schneider Electric is a unifying application that complements and extends the benefits of existing energy-related data resources. The software helps manage all utilities, benchmark and compare facility performance, measure and verify savings from energy conservation projects, reduce operational costs, manage demand controls schemes; and identify utility billing errors.
Silver Award: Software
The Project Assistant from GE allows engineers in roughly 15 min to gather electrical distribution specs, drawings, and budget prices for a building in the planning stages. The device estimates are designed to support buildings where the utility service is up to 4,000 A at 480 V. The software’s six steps include logging in, selecting a project type, selecting products, entering specifications, reviewing the summary, and collecting results.
Bronze Award: Sizing Software
The Power Design Pro software from Generac Power Systems Inc. is a sizing and design program created by engineers to support both electrical and mechanical design. The software uses algorithms to accurately model the load’s characteristics by using full harmonic and transient analysis to ensure complete generator-to load compatibility. The software also features specification sheets, installation drawings, emission information, sound data and calculator, gas and exhaust pipe sizing, decrement and damage curves, a specification text library, and the ability to link directly to supporting dealers.
Most Valuable Product Hall of Fame
Each year, Consulting-Specifying Engineer readers have the opportunity to vote for the Most Valuable Product (MVP) in the Product of the Year competition. The MVP is the product that receives the most votes from our readers at www.csemag.com/votepoy. The previous MVP award winners are:
- 2005 Most Valuable Product: Bi-fuel standby generator from Generac
- 2006 Most Valuable Product: Ultra-low harmonic drive from AB8
- 2007 Most Valuable Product: Ultra-flush toilet from Gerber
- 2008 Most Valuable Product: Digital Precise Air Controller (D-PAC) from AAON
- 2009 Most Valuable Product: Design Master Plumbing and Design Master Software
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.