The 2012 Association of Independent Compressor Distributors (AICD) Membership Meeting & Exhibition
AICD Members in Attendance
Advanced Air & Vacuum
Air Equipment Sales & Service
Compressed Air Power
Compressed Air Solutions
John Henry Foster of Minnesota
A.J. Kollmyer & Son
Maddox Air Compressor
Maine Air Power
Michigan Air Solutions
National Pump & Compressor
Reapair Compressor Service
Scales Industrial Technologies
Starr and Company
The 2012 edition of the AICD was held May 20-22 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida. Located near the convention center, what struck me was how large it was – yet it maintained a very high level of service and quality. “High value” is the word I think of. Value, of course, is also a term that we “compressed air people” believe in!
Attendance levels, at the Conference, were excellent by both exhibitors and the membership of the association. The AICD President, Manny Cafiero of Scales Industrial Technologies, said, “The AICD continues to deliver high value to both our members and to our vendors who make this meeting possible.”
The speaker line-up delivered on President Manny Cafiero’s promise to be “deliver high-value to both association members and vendors.” All conference sessions were open for vendors to attend – something I know the vendors appreciate. The first presentation was titled “The Economy and Small Business” presented by Dr. Carol Dole from Jacksonville University. The presentation provided an overview of which metrics she believes small businesses should monitor, a review of the current growth in the manufacturing sector, and comments on the growing federal debt and how it compares with the debt levels of other countries.
Mr. Bob Currie, from Currie Management Consultants, was the keynote speaker and he conducted a workshop during most of the first day. The workshop was designed to help executives running compressed air distributorships. Armed with over thirty years of experience providing management consulting to machinery distributors and OEM’s, Mr. Currie impressed me with the depth of Mr. Currie’s experience in the compressed air industry. He was able to provide interesting ratios of aftermarket to capital equipment sales – and how they have changed over the past twenty years. These baseline financial ratios can serve managers well as they debate on whether or not to make investments in certain areas of their businesses. What kind of asset utilization does your firm have on new units? What is the average gross profit contribution your sales people should contribute each month? Do you have a “Customer Satisfaction Index” and where should you rate? These are a just a few of the things Mr. Currie discussed.
Mr. Harris Rosen, the President and COO of our host Rosen Hotels, came to speak with us and provided us his “only in America” entrepreneurial success story. The son of Russian immigrants who raised him in New York City, Mr. Rosen told us his inspirational story. Every job he received in the hotel industry, he viewed as an opportunity. He started at the very lowest levels – but excelled at them because he knew it could lead to the next level. It invariably did. A war veteran and college graduate willing to “get his hands dirty”, Mr. Rosen’s story is what “the American dream” is all about. He started with absolutely nothing, was willing to dream big and then worked harder than any one else. He even hitch-hiked to New York City to recruit tourist customers to his first hotel in Orlando. Many people helped him along the way by opening the door a crack for him. Mr. Rosen then blew the door wide open benefitting all who helped him. We can all learn so many things from his story.
Other excellent presentations were made by Mr. Bill Scales, CEO of Scales Industrial Technologies, who spoke about “The Future of Distribution” and by Mr. Pat Johns, of PFJ Communications, made a presentation titled, “The Power of 5 Footprints.”
AICD President, Manny Cafiero and AICD Administrator Cheryl Kiker visiting with Mike Wlodarski and Keith Beatty at the Hydrothrift booth.
At the exposition, I normally disappear from my booth and don my “roving reporter” hat. I wander around wielding my low-budget digital camera and get into interesting conversations during the exhibition. Here is a summary. My apologies go to the many booths and firms not mentioned due to the space limitations of the article.
HITACHI America has in a short period of time, become a part of the compressed air market in the U.S. Senior Manager, Nitin Shanbhag, reports they are moving into a larger facility in the Charlotte area to support their growing business. The current initiative, at Hitachi, is a campaign to sign up oil-less scroll air compressor distributors. The range runs from 1.5 to 16.5 kW. More info at www.hitachi-america.us/airtech
Steve Kollmyer, Camilo Villalobos, Charles Pugh, and Nitin Shanbhag at the Hitachi America booth (left to right).
BEKO Technologies is seeing significant growth in their refrigerated air dryer business since acquiring Belair. Bill Thomas and the team at BEKO report significant gains have been made in market share and that the business is in great shape. Steve Houtz, BEKO Southeastern Regional Manager, told me an interesting story of the success they are having with their MetPoint® measurement product lines. One of his distributors has successfully installed eight flow meters in the piping network of a steel plant. This allows the plant to charge each production area for the exact use of compressed air that they realize. This monthly compressed air bill has led the customer’s production areas to get more interested in reducing the energy costs! BEKO also has new flanged filters for 4” to 12” diameter pressure vessels for flows to 12,000 scfm and announced the redesigned Qwik-pure® 100 oil-water separator. More info at www.bekousa.com.
Lisa Vice, Charles Pugh, Jim Bruce, Pam Tetterton, Jim Tomczyk, Steve Houtz, Brad Reed, Dennis Reed, and Bill Thomas (left to right) discuss BEKO compressed air measurement, treatment and condensate management products.
Hankison SPX was excited to talk about their new refrigerated dryers designed for high-flow applications. Sales Manager, Ray Brahm, says the company has sold their first multi-station design HES Series refrigerated dryer. This line extension of the HES Series is for air flows ranging from 3,750 to 12,500 scfm (6.371 to 21.338 m3/h) and uses modular construction of modules configured for 1,250 scfm and 2,500 scfm. www.hankisonintl.com.
Roger Michael, Bill Scales, Lillian Fiore, and Ray Brahm at the SPX Hankison booth.
JORC continues their exclusive focus on condensate management. President Eugene White said that business continues strong with both OEM and distribution sales channels. Their non-electric zero air-loss drain is seeing a lot of success as are their oil-water separators. I have always particularly liked their Air-Saver lock-down valves to prevent air leaks when the system is down during shut-down periods. I liked Eugene’s comment to me best of all though of, “We don’t sell drains, we sell service!” www.jorc.com
Eugene White, Diane White, and Tarah White at the JORC booth.
Aircom USA - based out of the Charlotte area in North Carolina. Industry veteran Hal Burke reports that the market acceptance of their aluminum pipe product line has been “very strong”. They have recently expanded the line from 1 ½” (40 mm) up to 4” (110 mm) pipe diameters. www.aircom.us.com.
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Caption: Hal Burke announced the inauguration of AIRCOM USA at the AICD. The company manufactures aluminum compressed air piping and mechanical connecting fittings.
Joe Burke and Hal Burke at the AIRCOM USA booth
Parker’s Finite Airtek Filtration Division remains the reigning champion with the most entertaining booth. There are always screaming women at their craps table complete with a tuxedo-clad dealer! Ted Silva showed me their thermal mass refrigerated dryer that has a standard pressure drop of only 2 psig and is rated for air flows of 200 to 1,000 scfm. An innovation that caught my eye is the Parker Finite T-Series top-loading filter. Ideal for OEM applications like refrigerated dryers or anywhere that space is an issue, the filter is designed so you can change the filter element without needing the clearance of the bowl. They currently have one housing size with ¾” and 1” ports. www.parker.com/pdf
Dale Zimmerman, Ted Silva, Jane Sexton, and Jim McFadden at the Parker Finite and Airtek Filtration booth
Barry Schoenborn, at the Thermal Transfer Products booth, announced their new “Compressor Distributor Partner Program.” This program provides “best customer” discount levels and a presence on their web site’s distributor locator for members of all valid distributor associations including the AICD, ICDA, NAACD, and ACIDA.
Barry Schoenborn, at the Thermal Transfer Products booth, announced special discount level for all Association members.
Parker Legris commented that their new 6” (168 mm) diameter aluminum pipe is selling very well and providing excellent “pull-through for the rest of the system. www.legris.com
Tim Deal, Steve Kwiatkowski, and Herb Schupp at the Parker Legris booth
Nano Purification Solutions has, in a very short time, assembled a very experienced group of compressed air veterans and is entering the market with some interesting technologies. Their new D-Series desiccant dryers have a patented combined filter and desiccant cartridge allowing users to eliminate external pre- and after-filters (although they do recommend an oil coalescer prefilter if the compressor is lubricated). The company is also introducing a new line of Sepura Sterling oil-water separators. What caught my attention is that there is no carbon material-the filter media is made from recycled materials. The unit has several unique features including no settling tank which saves installation space. www.n-psi.com
Nick Herrig, Colin Billiet, Dennis Reed, David Peters, and Tony Hergert at the Nano Purification Solutions booth
Since I’m obsessed with demand-reduction projects, I have to mention Roger Schmitt and Howard Kielar who are now working for Pfannenberg. At their booth they had a nice display of the cabinet cooling solutions that Pfannenberg offers – which are of course more efficient than using compressed air.