Industrial Utility Efficiency    

Show Report: The 2019 AICD Conference & Exhibition

The 2019 AICD Annual Meeting and Exhibition was held May 18-21 at the Renaissance Orlando at Sea World in Orlando, Florida.  The membership of the Association of Independent Compressor Distributors came together under the theme of “Invading the Industry”!

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. “The AICD Board is pleased to announce we have added 18 member companies in the past year alone,” said AICD President Lisa Lewis (Michigan Air Solutions). “Vendor participation is at an all-time high as we’ve added 13 new exhibitors and special networking events for vendors to interact with AICD members.”

There are AICD member companies from Canada, Mexico and the United States. These members benefit from meeting once a year and building relationships with people they can call with compressed air industry related questions during the year.

Here is a good example. AICD Vice President Sal Calvo (MidState Air Compressor) commented, “Developing service technicians is a challenge for every company in the compressed air industry. One of the great values of AICD membership is we are receiving insights and sharing training resources developed by members.” 

AICD Board Members

2019 AICD Board Members are ready to “Invade the Industry”! Michael McCulley, Sal Calvo, Dave Nosal, Kasey Gould, Phil Kruger, Dave Gaitsch, Brent Pifer, AICD President Lisa Lewis, Bart Frush, Jeff Brennan and Randy Olson (left to right).

The Conference

The AICD has always had a strong conference format aimed at helping senior management, at air compressor sales and service companies, 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 2019 line-up is below.

  • J.R. Gillette, The Economy and Your Business
  • Mike Abacherli, Insurance-Are You Covered?
  • Jay Fagan, Growing Your Business by Mining Your Clients
  • Warren Wright, Managing and Motivating the Millenial Employee
  • Celebrity Speaker Kris Paronto, Benghazi Survivor-Lessons for Leadership in a New World

I took something away from each presentation to help me manage my small business. It was a thrill to hear Kris Paronto speak. It’s incredible what some people have done and experienced in their lives.

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 (no gator bites and no serious sunburns reported) or the Grand Finale Party (with the Golf Awards!) - there’s always something to do. 

 

The Exhibition – Air Compressors and Lubricants

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.

The Compressed Air Challenge had a booth manned by Joe Ghislain and CAC President Steve Briscoe. They reported they keep adding Sponsors and “Fundamentals and Advanced” training classes to the calendar and that they’ve just released end user awareness training.

Joe Ghislain and Steve Briscoe

Joe Ghislain and Steve Briscoe man the booth for the Compressed Air Challenge.

Hertz Kompressoren continues to build their U.S. presence and team. Bob Groendyke introduced me to two new regional managers and said their HPC Booster (up to 580 psi) and their VSD rotary screws (5 to 400 hp) are driving their growth. They will also be introducing an oil-free rotary screw later this year. It’s also notable their rotary screws are now certified by CAGI’s Performance Verification Program.

 

Craig Thomann, Robert Groendyke and Jay Clark

Craig Thomann, Robert Groendyke and Jay Clark at the Hertz Kompressoren booth (left to right).

Sullivan Palatek’s product line has grown to an impressive range of lubricated (5-450 hp) and oil-free rotary screws (75-350 hp). I recommend visiting their new website, www.sullivan-palatek.com to see these plus their electric contruction, portable, and offshore product lines. President Steve Van Loan also mentioned their OEM air end business is very solid. Good for them!

Mike Kropp, David Smith, David Raffin, Bruce McFee, Steve Van Loan, Jason Radliff and Brian Stober

Mike Kropp, David Smith, David Raffin, Bruce McFee, Steve Van Loan, Jason Radliff and Brian Stober at the Sullivan-Palatek booth (left to right).

PneuTech displayed their RK Series rotary screw air compressors. They showed me a tank-mounted 20 hp unit with integrated dryer and standard features like Wye-Delta starter, TEFC motor, and ambient intake air filtration. I’ve been very impressed by the service-friendly packages this firm supplies.

Derrick Taylor and Michael Heine

Derrick Taylor and Michael Heine at the PneuTech booth (left to right).

CoAire displayed a direct drive 5 hp scroll air compressor. Roeland Meyer explained to me they are working to launch 7.5 hp and 10 hp airends soon. They said this will position them with a uniquely extensive scroll line, complementing their 3.5 and 5 hp airend models. In addition, CoAire has invested in significant warehousing capabilities in Texas.

Roeland Meyer Coaire

CoAire’s Roeland Meyer next to their 5 hp direct drive scroll air compressor.

SA Performance had some really cool foam airend give-aways to combat stress! On a more serious note, David Rosenthal said their lubricants, “focus on OEM equivalents and not on aftermarket replacements.” They also do airend rebuilds in Forsythe, Georgia.

FS-Curtis had a very positive vibe going saying their breadth of product offering is getting attention from distributors. They offer single and two-stage rotary screw air compressors from 4 to 350 hp. The RS Series is the unenclosed line while the NX Series has a standard sound attenuating enclosure. They of course continue with their strong industrial reciprocating air compressor line. In addition, Matt Smith told me FS-Elliott is now introducing new water and air-cooled centrifugal air compressors down to 150 hp!

Matt Smith, Tony Montalto, Scott Folsom and Gordon Clark

Matt Smith, Tony Montalto, Scott Folsom and Gordon Clark at the FS-Curtis booth (left to right).

ISEL explained their focus on their Universal 10,000 hour air compressor lubricant to me. A unique and largely ester-based formulation, they explained it’s top-off compatible with any air compressor lubricant and their top seller. I had one distributor owner tell me this is his go-to lubricant!

Ozen Air Technologies exhibited their OASC Series (4-315 kW) rotary screw air compressors featuring NEMA TEFC premium efficient motors and a Poly-V belt and direct drive options, as well as their OABC D Series of boosters are 18-55kW capable of 350 – 580 psi pressure.

Fehmi Zeni, Tara Bost and Steve George Ozen

Fehmi Esen, Tara Bost and Steve George at the Ozen Air Technologies booth (left to right).

Tamturbo announced a new model to their lineup of oil-free turbo air compressors. Hannu Heinonen said new TT225 and TT325 models are coming soon for the 70-130 psig medium pressure range. These oil-free variable turbo compressors are also offered for low pressure (40-70 psig) applications. This can be a very interesting solution for pneumatic conveying applications.

Hannu Heinonen, Timo Pulkki and Mike Batchelor Tamturbo

Hannu Heinonen, Timo Pulkki and Mike Batchelor at the Tamturbo booth (left to right).

 

The Exhibition – Compressed Air Purification, Piping and Measurement

BEKO Technologies continues to grow their desiccant air dryer business in North America. Commenting they ship 80 to 800 cfm models from stock, Adrian Fernandez showed me some of the many desiccant dryer option packages offered including; filter bypass, low ambient package and -100 F (-73 C) dewpoint.  Their refrigerated dryer program is also based on fast deliveries with 10 to 6,000 cfm shipping from stock.

Russ Jones, Felipe Gonzalez and Adrian Fernandez BEKO

Russ Jones, Felipe Gonzalez and Adrian Fernandez at the BEKO Technologies booth.

JORC continues to grow with their total focus on condensate management products.  Darren de Bie reported business is brisk for their full range of oil-water separators and condensate drains. I’ve long been a fan of their AIR-SAVER® product featuring timer-controlled 1” and 2” ball valves. The valves open gradually when re-pressurizing the line. I visited a plant last month where again I saw a great need for this in-line timer-controlled valve which can keep a plant from leaking compressed air during down periods or shifts, by simply cutting the air supply. Perhaps this should be a standard product in most 1 or 2 shift operations?

Richard Dean, Anthony Yacucci, Darren de Bie, Brian Antony

Richard Dean (John Henry Foster), Anthony Yacucci, Darren de Bie and Brian Antony (JHF) at the JORC booth.

It appears the aluminum piping business at Applied System Technologies is booming. Mike Cranford says they are moving into a Charlotte warehouse which is three times larger and has 1 million linear square feet of pipe in stock with all the fittings required. When asked why the growth he pointed at their Lifetime Warranty (launched in February 2018) on all pipe and fittings as well as being the only supplier of 8” and 10” aluminum pipe (Wow!). It’s really cool aluminum can be used for headers now. Having recently visited a plant with leaks at each drop, I found their technical details such as the imbedded water trap for piping drops and their deep insertion depth for fittings very practical and useful.

Applied System Tech Chris Canape

Mike Cranford, Doug Romoser (West Coast Compressor) and Chris Canape at the Applied System Technologies booth (left to right).

Clean Resources introduced their new Smart-Pak Series oil-water separator featuring aftermarket protection, for service companies, due to the electronic signature which opens the valves. I also found it interesting (and very positive) that they encourage customers to return the used (oil) cartridges to them and they will pay the recycling fee. Ultimately they hope return volumes to grow to where they can do oil recycling themselves.

Clean Resources Smart-Pak Series

David Schlukebier, Molly Powers, Chad Timmer and Bart Frush (Modern Compressed Air) next to the new Clean Resources Smart-Pak Series.

Kingston Valve has been manufacturing valves since 1908 (amazing!) in sunny Southern California and continue their two-day deliveries on all sorts of valves used in the compressed air industry. These include captured exhaust safety valves and air-actuated angle valves used in desiccant air dryers and nitrogen generators.

SPX FLOW is very pleased by the market penetration of their new phase-change refrigerated dryers. Jay Francis showed me a really cool 3D training device to better understand the “phase-change” refrigeration/heat exchanger system. It’s really impressive how far the industry has come with cycling dryers and SPX FLOW is all-in on this exciting new technology. They are also gaining a lot of traction, in large air flow applications, with their high-flow modular refrigerated dryers.

Mike Lewis, Jay Francis, Brian Wood and Vic Zanchetta SPX

Mike Lewis, Jay Francis, Brian Wood and Vic Zanchetta at the SPX FLOW booth (left to right).

Mikropor gave a sneak peak at their new MBS Series Breathing Air Purification Systems. Models range from 5 to 1250 cfm. For those of you working hard to keep pressure drop down for clients, I suggest you ask Mikropor about their refrigerated dryers – they’ve done some innovative things.

Ken Scheifer and Nitin G. Shanbhag discuss Mikropor

Ken Scheifer and Nitin G. Shanbhag discuss Mikropor products to Sal Calvo (Mid State Air) and to Jackie Pifer (Central Air).

During the show I learned Denver-based Puregas is part of Altec, Inc. Altec is a significant company and a leading supplier of “trucks with boom cranes” to the electric utility and telecommunications market.  Altec is investing in Puregas and they’ve acquired MACAIR.  Expect some noise from this firm! They plan to build a full line of industrial “Made in Colorado” compressed air purification products.

I was also impressed by Midwest Control who explained their broad offering of valves and compressed airline accessories. They have an amazing array of important safety and reliability components important to a compressed air system.

 

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.  

For AICD membership information contact Dave Gaitsch, Membership Recruiter, at email: memberinfo@aicd.org.  The 2020 AICD will be held May 16-18 in Savannah, Georgia. 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.