Day 1 of the 2015 AHR Expo is in the books and it was everything it was billed up to be and more. I arrived to the show at 9:30 a.m. — a half-hour before the exhibitor halls were open — and the lines in the atrium of McCormick Place in Downtown Chicago were massive. Show visitors were excited to visit manufacturers and see the latest product offerings. 

Lochinvar showcased its CON-X-US app for tablets and smartphones .
Lochinvar showcased its CON-X-US app for tablets and smartphones. 

On Monday (Jan. 26th, 2015), I stopped by a number of booths and saw the continued push toward providing end-users with the ability to have all the information needed at their fingertips. For example, Lochinvar showcased its CON-X-US app for tablets and smartphones (pictured). CON-X-US provides all the information that can be found deep in a mechanical room and brings it to a contractor of building services manager’s living room. From there, a user can monitor all areas of its system and adjust settings remotely.

Another option that I found very intriguing about CON-X-US is that 10 contacts can be inserted so if a problem occurs, the people on the list will be contacted in order of appearance via email or phone. Imagine if a major problem occurs late on a Saturday night when a building is empty and people are out of town. With 10 emergency contacts, it would be a rare occurrence that someone with the necessary skills would not be reached and can avert a disaster coming Monday morning.

Harco Industrial Patterson-Kelley has developed its NURO touchscreen control system for its P-K SONIC model boilers. NURO monitors and adjusts the combustion and ignition for the unit and makes it simple for an end-user to make the necessary changes.

Outside the scope of accessibility of information for end-users, I liked what I saw at Armstrong Fluid Technology’s booth. I got a tutorial on how its Parallel Sensorless Pump Control is providing greater efficiencies by setting up multi-pump operations in firing the additional pumps when the efficiencies dip and not the flow of water.

Stray observations:

  • Do not drop anything while walking the exhibitor hallways, especially after you have been on your feet for five hours. I accidentally dropped some materials in the middle of an aisle and struggled to bend down to snatch them up. I held up the line for an extra 15 seconds and was very embarrassed. I did not check the faces of the people around me, but I could feel their glares.
  • The after-hours events I attended where very well done. Taco’s event at the Hyatt, which is directly connected to McCormick Place, filled up quickly. After a long day, it was nice to shuffle over a few yards away from the show for some good food and a couple of drinks. The conversations were great, too, as it was hard to not bump into an industry friend.
  • Bell & Gossett held its event at the Chicago Sports Museum in Water Tower Place. The rooms were packed and I enjoyed making a fool of myself at the museum’s interactive stations. I tested my vertical leap compared to Michael Jordan’s and may have injured my knee trying to hit 9 ft., which I failed. The “virtual” quarterback experience was a hit as people tested out how accurate they were in front of a captive audience. I finished with 54%, which is better than most Jay Cutler games here in Chicago. Boom!