Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning

Click above to view 2002 Product of the Year finalists in this category.


Fan produces large flows in small places

Wickerbill airfoils on low-speed ceiling fans allow a smaller size to move as much air as fans 40% larger. The fans are ideal for situations where larger fans won't fit due to space constraints imposed by equipment such as conveyors and cranes. The patented fan employs 10 airfoils to move a massive column of air at a relatively slow speed. HVLS Fan Co. ; hvls.com TO VOTE, WRITE 90 ON BALLOT For more information, write 90 on card

Boiler modulates burner for 5:1 turndown

Modu-Fire combines full-modulation burner control with a time-tested, modular, hot-water boiler design. The result is modular full-modulation. It operates across a 5:1 turndown ratio; not step fired but infinitely adjustable from 20-100% of rating, resulting in the ultimate in non-condensing efficiency, up to 88%. The unit reaches peak efficiency at part-load, exactly where boilers operate most of the time. Patterson-Kelley ; pkboilers.com TO VOTE, WRITE 26 ON BALLOT For more information, write 26 on card

Water heater has high efficiency

Flo-Direct has a top-mounted gas burner that fires downward through a centrally located flame tube. The flame heats the falling water, which contacts a bed of packing rings where heat transfer occurs. An exchanger wall, minimizing scale, does not separate hot gases and water. Water at 130 to 185 F is available within 15 to 20 sec. of demand. Armstrong International, Inc. ; armstrong-intl.com TO VOTE, WRITE 69 ON BALLOT For more information, write 69 on card

Leak detector is telescopic

Blue Max Plus is a handy fluorescent leak detector that conveniently clips onto a shirt pocket. It features an adjustable service mirror and a unique telescopic extender that provides a reach of 28-in. This makes it much easier to pinpoint leaks in hard-to-reach parts of AC&R units that are off-limits to larger lamps. The solid-state LED bulb has a life of 100,000 hours. Spectronics Corp. ; spectroline.com TO VOTE, WRITE 25 ON BALLOT For more information, write 25 on card

Filter removes odors and particulate

Fresh Air filters have a 30-35% MERV 8 prefilter layer followed by a layer of activated carbon media. The carbon media is sealed in a sleeve of spun-bonded synthetic scrim to prevent carbon dusting. A MERV 8 efficiency rating means the filter achieves a minimum of 70-85% efficiency on 3-10 micron particles as determined by ASHRAE 52.2 Test Method. Airguard ; airguard.com TO VOTE, WRITE 42 ON BALLOT For more information, write 42 on card

Condensate pump drops into tray

DPP Drain Pan Pump contains proven electronic water detectors and a pump, which turns on to remove condensate water from an air conditioner or condensate boiler. When placed in a drain pan and connected to a power supply and discharge tube, operation is completely automatic. The pump will run only when water is present. Rubber feet and side bumpers provide quiet operation. EDC International, Ltd. ; edcinternational.com TO VOTE, WRITE 13 ON BALLOT For more information, write 13 on card

Igniter uses high-energy spark

Firebolt 5000 Portable Igniter provides a safe and efficient way to light gas-fueled industrial furnaces, fired heaters, reformers, and incinerators that require manual ignition of their pilots or burners. It is a small, hand-held, electronic device that generates a high-energy, continuous spark at the end of a small diameter, flexible extension wand. Safety Tech Igniters, LP ; firebolt5000.com TO VOTE, WRITE 98 ON BALLOT For more information, write 98 on card

Dispenser controls water treatment

RediFeed RF-200 and RF-202 panel mounted dispensers liquify solid chemical products, making it easy to control the feed of water treatment products to mid-sized cooling and boiler systems. Treatment products are stored in 1 gal. HDPE, recyclable containers and are dissolved on demand. An LCD display shows system status and provides an alarm. GE Betz ; gebetz.com TO VOTE, WRITE 201 IN BALLOT For more information, write 201 on card

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
Doubling down on digital manufacturing; Data driving predictive maintenance; Electric motors and generators; Rewarding operational improvement
2017 Lubrication Guide; Software tools; Microgrids and energy strategies; Use robots effectively
Prescriptive maintenance; Hannover Messe 2017 recap; Reduce welding errors
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Research team developing Tesla coil designs; Implementing wireless process sensing
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Natural gas engines; New applications for fuel cells; Large engines become more efficient; Extending boiler life

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

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