HVAC systems now run by the numbers

AHR Expo draws record crowd as focus turns to sensors and analytics.


The 2018 AHR Expo in Chicago broke attendance records on Jan. 22-24 and put the latest in efficiency technology on display. Image: Courtesy AHR Expo.The world of big sheets of metal is merging with the world of small sensors. As the heating and air conditioning world met in Chicago for the annual AHR Expo from January 22-24, the talk centered on how to run the massive industrial HVAC systems more efficiently.

The 2018 event kicks off the industrial trade show season and if AHR attendance is any indication, this year is going to be an active one for manufacturing suppliers and their customers. Despite the typically unpredictable Chicago winter weather (the show opened with 55 degrees and rain and devolved into 28 and ice by the third day), show promoters said the event broke all attendance and exhibitor records.

This gave companies looking to showcase the latest in HVAC technology and how that technology increasingly is connecting to Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) analytic tools. While the HVAC market always has been a data-driven discipline—including everything from temperature controls to motor vibration—the data now is being repackaged and synthesized to allow for better decision-making by operators and earlier maintenance.

Toronto-based Armstrong Fluid Technology is offering a performance management service with new pump purchases through December 2018. Owners and end users can sign up for the introductory offer as an integral part of the warranty registration.

“Technology now looks beyond energy savings to provide a comprehensive view of HVAC performance management,” said Armstrong CEO Lex van der Weerd in a press release.“These advancements deliver accelerated value for our customers through energy savings, not only with the pumps but throughout the entire HVAC system.”

Getting system managers to use the technology is seen as a challenge. After reviewing a year’s worth of HVAC operating data, Armstrong research found 31% of chilled water pumps and 62% of condenser pumps had the digital controls switched off or disabled. The company estimated the estimated efficiency loss—not including the impact of reduced chiller efficiency—is 27%.

Fremont, CA.-based Delta Products Corporation also has both a Modbus and Wi-Fi-enabled power metering system. The cloud-connected pump panel enables remote monitoring and data access.

For more information about the 2018 AHR Expo, visit https://ahrexpo.com/

Bob Vavra is Content Manager for Plant Engineering at CFE Media.

Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
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.
May 2018
Electrical standards, robots and Lean manufacturing, and how an aluminum packaging plant is helping community growth.
April 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
March 2018
SCCR, 2018 Maintenance study, and VFDs in a washdown environment.
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
December 2017
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards

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

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Maintenance & Safety
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Industrial Analytics
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
IIoT: Operations & IT
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me