Industrial Utility Efficiency    

The 2018 AICD Conference & Exhibition

The 2018 AICD Annual Meeting and Exhibition was held May 20-22 at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort in San Antonio, Texas.  The membership of the Association of Independent Compressor Distributors came together under the theme of “Roundin’ up New Business.”  “AICD membership has doubled over the past three years,” said AICD President Phil Kruger (Harris Equipment). “After selling out exhibit space in 2018, we believe our direction focused on serving the needs equally, of both vendors and members at our conference, is working.”

The members of the AICD (Association of Independent Compressor Distributors) send owners and senior management to the event. AICD member companies are independent companies selling and servicing air compressors in North America. There are member companies from Canada, Mexico and the U.S.. These members have always told me how invaluable the personal networks they develop here are. I wish I could find a similar association of small industrial magazine publishers! “We are now up to 77 member companies and are targeting hitting 100 in the near future,” said Incoming AICD President Lisa Lewis (Michigan Air Solutions). “We were pleased to see an all-time record attendance, here at the 2018 Annual Meeting, of 60 member companies.”

Incoming AICD Vice President Sal Calvo (MidState Air Compressor) was enthused by the increased exhibitor turnout. “We try hard to recognize our vendors. This year, for example, we will have our first vendor wrap-up meeting to receive feedback.” Calvo added the AICD is planning on introducing an on-line service training course in 2018. To say there is demand for this type of training would be an understatement.

AICD Board Members

AICD Board Members at the BEKO Technologies booth.  Brent Pifer, Michael McCulley, Sal Calvo, Lisa Lewis, Kasey Gould, AICD President Phil Kruger (Harris Equipment), Bart Frush, Renee Garza and Jeff Brennan (left to right).

 

Todd Zarins

Todd Zarins, Incoming AICD Vice President Sal Calvo (MidState Air Compressor), Incoming AICD President Lisa Lewis (Michigan Air Solutions), Mike Cranford and Bryan Becker at the Applied System Technologies booth (left to right).

The Conference

The AICD has always had a strong conference format aimed at helping senior management better manage their business. Speakers normally include economists with market forecasts, leadership and sales management gurus, and compressed air industry professionals with very tailored information for our market.  This year was no exception and the 2018 line-up is below.

  • J.R. Gillette, The State of the Economy
  • Holly Green, Using Your Brain to Win
  • Mike Batchelor, TASK Sales Training to Sell Capital Equipment to Industry
  • Fares Kabbani, How to Value a Business and Prepare for a Sale to a Private Equity Firm
  • Sam Richter, Every YES begins with a KNOW

The event excels in providing organized social events and downtime where members and exhibitors have time to socialize and get to know each other better. Whether it’s at the annual golf tournament or the second night AICD dinner/reception (with some awesome Golf awards from the exhibitors!), or the Grand Finale Party - there’s always something to do.  AICD Administrator Kasey Gould makes it all look so easy as she strolls around with an ever-present smile on her face!

 

The Exhibition – Air Compressors

The exhibition portion had at least 70+ companies exhibiting and during the hours allocated, I only had a chance to visit (rapidly at that) a sampling of the booths. My apologies go out to all the booths/exhibitors not mentioned or photographed here.

ELGI Compressors has had an amazing year and continues to forecast significant growth. Director of Sales Keith Sportsman said, “Customers continue to turn to ELGI due to the slow-rpm, fast-delivery, reliable and extremely robust design of our rotary screw air compressors.”  Offered in fixed speed or with VFD, the EG Series offers models from 15 to 300 hp. They claim to be the “coolest running compressors on the market at 115 °F (45 °C).

AICD Elgi

Randy Olson (Dakota Fluid Power), Keith Sportsman and Brandon Dial at the ELGI Compressors booth (left to right).

 

Tamturbo AICD

Hannu Heinonen, Brian Antony (John Henry Foster Minnesota), Olli Kuismanen, Jonna Kannosto and Timo Pulkki at the Tamturbo booth (left to right).

Sullivan Palatek was talking about new rotary screw air compressor product introductions and line extensions. President Steve Van Loan said the C Series introduction has gone extremely well and is now up to 30 horsepower, the Aqua Air oil-free water-injected rotary screw now goes up to 150 hp and the SP Series has added a 60 hp unit. The SP Series now has standard enclosed or non-enclosed models from 60 to 125 hp.

Sullivan Palatek AICD

Brian Stober, David Raffin, Greg Verheyen, Steve Van Loan, Mike Gondor and Tim Berkheimer (DownForce Air Solutions) at the Sullivan-Palatek booth (left to right).

Sauer Compressors was talking about their rental fleet of high pressure air compressors. Five different WP Series models offered pressure ranges from 150 to 640 psig with capacities from 41 to 207 scfm. The packages come with an electric motor, controller, base frame and demister. They also offer custom containerized rental solutions as well as a CNG package.

Sauer AICD

David Swartz and Chris Burns (Mobile Mechanical) at the Sauer Compressor booth (left to right).

Rogers Machinery presented the Kobelco oil-free rotary screw KNW Series and announced the new K Series line of lubricated rotary screw air compressors and vacuum pumps.  The K Series is designed, assembled and manufactured in the Centralia, Washington plant, which has broken ground on a significant expansion to support this product line.  All K Series compressors come in both variable and fixed speed options. They offer a line of 40 to 350 hp single-stage rotary screws in highly customizable open frame (K/KV Series) and enclosed units (KR/KRV).  They also offer a standard single-stage 10 to 100 hp product line (KI/KIV). Lastly, Rogers now offers a line of two-stage rotary screw air compressors from 100 to 500 hp without enclosures (K2/K2V) and with enclosures (KR2/KR2V).  Rounding out the line is their new 20 to 250 hp KRVP Series single-stage rotary screw vacuum pump line.

Rogers Machinery AICD

Cameron McKillop, Stephen Taylor, Andrew Ragen and Rodolfo Hernandez (Impulsora Zeus) at the Rogers Machinery booth (left to right).

Kaishan Compressors, China’s largest rotary screw air compressor manufacturer, has officially landed in the U.S.. They claim to be the third largest manufacturer of rotary screw air compressors, by unit volume, in the world.  They have established their U.S. headquarters just outside Mobile, Alabama. Sales Manager Dave George told me their Phase 1 product introduction is of 7.5 to 500 horsepower rotary screw air compressors. The units are single-stage or two-stage with VSD as an option along with a lifetime airend warranty.

Kaishan AICD

Dave George, Curt Greifer, Erika Blackburn, Keith Schumacher and Chris Downs at the Kaishan booth (left to right).

Hertz Kompressoren, under the leadership of Bob Groendyke in their Charlotte-based U.S. subsidiary, displayed their HDD Series, direct drive, lubricated screws. The full HDD range is from 7.5 to 400 hp. Bob told me their deliveries are “In-stock or up to 4 weeks maximum.”  Their philosophy is about going back to basics. Groendyke said, “Our units are very simple to service, very price competitive and we always have a human being answering every phone call for after-sales support.”

Hertz AICD

Robert Groendyke, Rick Lamb and Bryan Smithers from Brehob Corporation, and Mert Alpagut at the Hertz Kompressoren booth.

BOGE was talking about their new CL Series of 5 to 20 horsepower, direct drive, tank mounted, full enclosed rotary screw air compressors. The units can also be purchased with integrated refrigerated dryer and coalescing filter. Sales Manager Jerry Elsen said this product line is making an impact on their business.

BOGE AICD

Rob Grizzle, Steve Lawson and Jim Suarez (Advanced Compressed Air Solutions) and Jerry Elsen at the BOGE Compressors booth.

Making their AICD debut was Ozen Compressed Air Technology with a familiar face in their booth, Director of Sales & Operations Larry Cooke. Larry introduced me to their President, Fehmi Esen, who told me the firm has set up U.S. operations in the Charlotte area.  Their Phase 1 launch is with a line of 5-50 hp belt-drive rotary screw air compressors with a VFD option. Interestingly, they told me an important product line for Ozen is their rotary screw booster line, able to deliver up to 518 psi from a 100 psi inlet.

 

The Exhibition - Compressed Air Purification, Cooling, Aluminum Piping and Measurement

Applied System Technologies brings the INFINITY line of aluminum piping to the market. President Mike Cranford showed me their new aluminum piping headers going up to 10” in diameter. “We are the only brand offering up to 10” aluminum piping,” said Cranford. “We are doing a lot of work with mechanical contractors who are replacing welded and black iron pipe with our lighter, lower pressure drop aluminum piping.” This piping brand uses Victaulic fittings, popular with contractors, and also offers a lifetime warranty on the piping system.

Lately it seems I’ve been having a lot of conversations about the ANSI Instrument Air Specification (basically asks for pressure dewpoints 18 °F below the lowest ambient temperature) to protect instruments from damaging particulates - often resulting from pipe corrosion. Aluminum piping resists corrosion naturally as it turns into aluminum oxide – see the article in this issue! I’m glad to see aluminum arriving as an option for headers.

Parker Transair was displaying their new “Y” and “T” aluminum cast piping reducers - going from 6” down to 2 ½”.  Product Sales Manager Guillermo Hiyane told me their “Y” unit was the most popular. I found this very interesting as we often publish articles detailing how this is where many systems create pressure drop and artificial demand. Parker Transair also introduced their new Condition Monitoring System featuring in-line sensors (in their aluminum pipe) to measure flow, pressure, relative humidity, dewpoint and temperature. The flow meter uses differential pressure to provide a reading. Dan Long is doing a “road show” and said the 6-pack is pretty popular consisting of 5 pressure sensors plus a relative humidity sensor.

BEKO Technologies reported significant growth from their refrigerated and desiccant dryer product offerings. This company is on a roll. Eastern Regional Manager Russ Jones said their heatless desiccant dryer, which they stock up to 1500 cfm, is their fastest growing desiccant dryer line. They also had their new FDR Series Membrane Dryer line on display which is part of their Drypoint M Series.  Manufactured by BEKO in Atlanta, this point of use air purification comes with a filter and a regulator. The company also announced new pleated filter media technology for their Clearpoint filter line. The new filters provide longer element life and lower pressure drops than the prior design.

JORC introduced several new Industry 4.0 concepts into their compressed air condensate management technologies. JORC introduced their vision of being able to wirelessly monitor and control all drain and oil-water separator operations to ensure reliable condensate management.  I really like this concept as we all know what happens when a drain gets stuck open or closed – nothing good!

Jorc AICD

Ken Tubbe (Winter Compressor Service), Darren de Bie, Kasey Gould (AICD), and Jan de Bie at the JORC booth (left to right).

MIKROPOR provides a full range of compressed air purification products and has recently added folks to their staff of regional sales managers. Mikropor America’s President Nitin Shanbhag showed me an innovative nitrogen generation system, with a built-in buffer tank, to allow for more advantageous sizing.  I’ve been impressed with many thoughtful standard design features, on this and their refrigerated dryer product lines, aimed at solving common issues in the field.

Mikropor AICD

Christina Bailey, Ken Schiefer, Jeff Crutchfield, Dan Smayda (Advanced Air Compressor), and Nitin Shanbhag at the Mikropor America booth (left to right).

Hydrothrift continues to provide a very important service to the customers of those in the compressed air industry – customized cooling solutions.  Bruce Williams told me about a very interesting heat recovery project recently done at a New York City area bus station.  Their heat exchangers were connected into the lubrication circuit of the Atlas Copco rotary screw air compressors installed.  The resulting warm water is now used for the showers and other applications-greatly reducing the heating oil bill from the boiler system. New York City has recently passed Local Laws 84-88 requiring buildings, in a certain zone, with over 25,000 square feet to reduce their kW consumption by 18% before 2025 or face fines.

Hydrothrift AICD

Bruce Williams at the Hydrothrift booth.

MTA finally got through my thick head how their new DEi TECH refrigerated dryers work. It’s an interesting design, which they say recently qualified for a Variable Speed Drive utility incentive (which had a higher incentive rate than a cycling dryer)!  The core of the innovation is in the refrigeration system. Their suction pressure valve will close and has a bypass around it “pulsing” refrigerant back to the refrigeration compressor during low load operation.  This causes the refrigerant compressor to use less energy. Their modular ETM DM line of Enhanced Thermal Mass dryers also continues to be a focus.

MTA AICD

Craig Thoresen and Howard Kielar at the MTA booth (left to right).

Nano-purification solutions displayed their Gen2 nitrogen generator, Sepura oil water separators and were talking about their new agreement, with AKG, to provide cooling solutions. Nick Herrig said the operations continue to grow in Charlotte as well as in Europe. Don Joyce commented the chiller business was seeing “significant” growth.  Stay tuned for more news on an innovative new free-cooling chiller design in the works at Nano. This company embodies the execution of a “customer-centric” philosophy – and not just a powerpoint on it.

nano AICD

Sergio Castillejos, Jane Sexton, Nick Herrig, Don Joyce and Tommy Williams (AKG) at the nano-purification solutions booth (left to right).

 

Trace Analytics AICD

Jenny Palkowitsh, Erin Hamelback, Marka Peterson, Phil Kruger, Ruby Ochoa and Alfredo Dominguez at the Trace Analytics booth (left to right).

Temasys is an up and coming fluid cooling company based in Buffalo. Entrepeneur Greg Molineri showed me their “Universal Cooler” package for OEM’s designed for glycol, air, oil and hydraulic fluids. Their units have 8” x 8” face areas going up to 20” x 20”. Featuring low pressure drops, the heat exchangers are designed for vertical or horizontal flexibility with few components. He’s my kind of guy as he started the business from scratch a few years ago, paid his dues, and things are starting to roll.

Temasys AICD

Greg Molineri at the Temasys booth.

Control Devices is a market leader in safety valves for air compressors. Manufactured in St. Louis, they were also exhibiting a new line of 2”, 2 ½” and 3” blower relief valves. They also had a new pneumatic “zero air-loss” condensate drain they were displaying.

 

Conclusion

Once again, the AICD exceeded expectations - plus every one had a great time.  I hope this report provides a taste of what happened – there’s no way to cover the whole event and do all the exhibitors justice in these short pages.  I’ll note the event is run perfectly - with no hitches. The 2019 AICD will be held in May in Orlando, Florida. For more information, please contact Kasey Gould, AICD Administrator, tel: 409-860-9961, email: admin@aicd.org, or visit www.aicd.org.

 

To read more about Compressed Air Technology, please visit www.airbestpractices.com/technology.