Industrial Utility Efficiency

SHOW REPORT EXTRA Part 2 – Blower, Vacuum, Measurement, Air Purification and Piping at the 2019 BEST PRACTICES EXPO & Conference

The Best Practices EXPO & Conference held from October 13-16, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee, saw a significant increase in attendance growing by 15 percent to 850 attendees from 20 countries. End user (factory personnel) attendance grew by 60 percent! The EXPO was also truly international showcasing 115 exhibitors from 16 countries and EXPO attendance was free for qualified industry personnel. This SHOW REPORT EXTRA Part 2 complements our 2019 Best Practices EXPO & Conference Show Report and the Show Extra Part 1 Report

The objective of the Best Practices event is to help industry discover numerous ways to save energy, conserve water and improve plant profitability by “Optimizing the On-Site Utilities Powering Automation”: compressed air, steam, motors/drives, vacuum, blower and cooling systems. As an event for “The Americas", we were thrilled to welcome attendees from Canada and Latin America. Networking events and simultaneous translation (Spanish) ensured all felt welcome!

Bill Smith (Best Practices EXPO) and Gordon Williams (PepsiCo Canada)

Pictured left to right are Bill Smith (Best Practices EXPO) and Gordon Williams (PepsiCo Canada).

Best Practices Conference Sessions

Here is a sampling of the presentations during the 2 ½ day technical conference.

Sarah Solberg, Director of International Sales at Solberg Manufacturing, presented “Water-Separator Application Engineering Enabling Use of Dry Vacuum Pumps.” The presentation emphasized the need to protect both the vacuum equipment from the process, and the environment from the equipment in industrial applications. Offering an in depth look at vacuum filtration, Sarah encouraged her audience to take the time to pick the right vacuum filter today so that problems can be prevented rather than fixed later. 

Walter See, product marketing manager for the Industrial Vacuum Division of Atlas Copco, presented “Plant Reduces Water Use by Switching to Dry Vacuum Pumps.” This presentation examined the case of a brewery in Oregon that changed their vacuum pump system to a dry pump, saving 5,000 gallons of water per day and saving \$35,000 per year in water and sewage expenses. Additionally, this project had unexpected energy and product savings that propelled the project to a 14-month payback period. Walter also presented “Applying VSD Vacuum Technology for Energy Savings.”

Jim Timmersman, Senior Auditor with Power Supply Industries, presented “Chilled Water Load Reduction Case Study: Evaluating Requirements for Air Compressors.” Jim took his audience on a journey to understand the incredible energy savings that can be realized through compressed air heat recovery projects. He also reviewed his experiences receiving utility incentives tied to heat recovery projects and the opportunity this presents to manufacturing plants around the country.

Don Joyce, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Thermotech Corporation, presented “Reducing Cooled Water Waste.” Presenting the concept of incorporating trim cooling into a cooling system, Joyce walked his audience through the process of evaluating the need and potential benefit of a trim cooler. Reviewing the various types of trim coolers available, Joyce offered sage advice on finding the right trim cooler for all types of operation and weather conditions.

Keynote speaker Leslie Marshall, Corporate Energy Engineer Lead at General Mills, presented “Compressed Air Heroes,” to the large assembly. Marshall shared the ambitious climate change and sustainability goals General Mills is pursuing. She was proud to tell the crowd that General Mills met their goals through the Department of Energy’s Better Building Program four years early and have saved \$6.2 million in their North American plants. Marshall emphasized one of her main focuses today is on fixing leaks, rather than just identifying them.

Leslie Marshall

Leslie Marshall, Corporate Energy Engineer Lead, General Mills

Keynote speaker Bruce Bremer, former Toyota Corporate Energy Manager Facilities Engineering and current President of Bremer Energy Consulting Services, presented “Treasure Hunt Training & Vacuum Projects Brainstorm.” Bremer focused on how to start a treasure hunt and the different phases within the process. Some ideas included motors, fans & pumps, and maintenance and operations.

Bruce Bremer, Bremer Consulting

Bruce Bremer, Bremer Consulting

Federico Cologrande, Vice President of Operations at Travaini Pumps USA, presented “Rotary Boosters and Liquid Ring Vacuum Pumps Combined to Improve Process Efficiency.” Cologrande provided information on the synergy of a booster and a liquid ring vacuum pump, and how the system works with controlled two-stage compression.

Tim Dugan, President of Compression Engineering Corporation, presented “The Benefits of a Centralized Vacuum System.” Dugan provided an overview of the pros of centralization as well as the cons. Some of the pros included saving energy, reducing maintenance and better reliability, while complexity can be the downside.

Keynote speaker Andy Poplin, Corporate Sales Director at Atlas Machine & Supply, presented “Common Sense Compressor Automation.” Poplin provided an overview of the benefits of compressor controls and automation such as remote monitoring, historical trending, and maintenance tracking. He stressed the fact you need to have up-to-date compressors to even consider automation. Poplin also had a slide that showed a twitter conversation of compressed air systems talking to each other that gave everyone in the room a laugh!

Andy Poplin

Andy Poplin, Corporate Sales Director, Atlas Machine & Supply

Stephen Horne, Product Manager at Kaeser Compressors, chaired the session and presented “Baseload and Trim VSD Aeration Blower System Design.” He provided information on the benefits of both fixed speed and variable speed drives.  Since air production is critical to the aeration process, the ideal situation would be to install a combination of fixed speed and variable speed drive units.

Gatlin Gold, Product Manager-Blowers and Low Pressure at Atlas Copco, presented “Advancements in Blower Technology.” He provided information on technology advancements such as permanent magnet motors, integrated packaging and ammeters, among other multistage blower controls.

Tom Jenkins, President of JenTech Inc., presented “More than Municipal: Industrial Applications for Aeration Blowers.” He explained the key differences when dealing with industrial wastewater when compared with municipal wastewater. Industrial wastewater has more chemicals and pH differences, so the process selection and aeration configuration are more varied. In a separate session, Jenkins also presented “Verifying Performance: Blower Energy Incentives and Testing.” He explained the importance of verifying and standardizing performance data. Many standards used in the industry are established by the ASME, CAGI and ISO. 


The EXPO – Blower, Vacuum and Heat Exchanger Technology

There was a lot going on at the Midwest Control booth. It’s amazing what a one-stop shop they are for valves, fittings, manifolds, tubing, hose, gauges…all the small components critical to an air compressor and the whole compressed air system. We spent some time looking at their broad range of condensate drains, including their ACT Series zero air loss drains. These units require zero electricity and have models suited for pressures ranging from 12 to 175 psi with special units for lubricated and oil-free air compressors. Also on display were their electronic and digital timer drains. When installed with the proper Midwest Control strainer, these drains come with a two-year warranty.

Marc Schlaiss, Christina Zoldan and Ryan Shaner

Marc Schlaiss, Christina Zoldan and Ryan Shaner at the Midwest Control booth (left to right).

Howden presented the latest generation of their EasyAir blower packages with upgraded electronics at the show.  The pressure and temperature gauges are now on a digital interface.  Howden also has the ability to put remote monitoring in all of their new products. They had their 409 RAM Blower on display at the show straight from the assembly line!

Roger Blanton and Brayton Tressler from Howden

Roger Blanton and Brayton Tressler from Howden (left to right).

Solberg showcased their newly redesigned CSL Series compact vacuum filter. This filter is installed on the inlet of the vacuum pump to protect the pump. Also on display, was their CRS Series Liquid/Particulate Separator also known as the “Knockout” because it “knocks out the particulate,” said Travis Dingee, Regional Account Manager.

Solberg Travis Dingee

 Travis Dingee, from Solberg, in front of their filtration and separation products.

ElectroCell supplies stainless steel, patented, side-stream particle precipitators. Designed to protect heat exchanger performance, these products remove Total Suspended Solids and control Total Dissolved Solids in medium to large HVAC and Process cooling systems. This increases the efficiency of chillers and reduces the risk of bacterial growth, including Legionella.

 Ron Barley, Keith Gonzales, Buck Barbee, and Albert Reynolds

Ron Barley, Keith Gonzales, Buck Barbee, and Albert Reynolds (left to right) of BGA Energy Optimization Solutions Inc. at the ElectroCell Systems booth.

Control Devices, displayed their valves for air compressors, blowers and vacuum pumps. Their blower relief valve is spring-loaded and all of their manufacturing is done in the U.S. with lead times of less than a week. Michael Lewis, National Aftermarket Sales Manager-Air Compressor Products, said they are a “solutions provider” and supply every OEM brand thanks to their great engineering team!

Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis, from Control Devices, in front of a selection of their valves.

The EXPO – Measurement Technology

VPInstruments presented their VP Compass at the show. The VP Compass is a datalogging device that has six flow sensors and eight analog devices.  The device allows you to remotely visualize the data log and alarm on key performance indicators such as kW sensors, flow, dewpoint and pressure.  The VP Compass is cloud ready and data can easily be pushed to a third party cloud.

Chuck Mays, Sjim Jansen, Menno Verbeek

Chuck Mays, Sjim Jansen, Menno Verbeek from VPInstruments (left to right).

Enmet was at the show with their Airguard monitoring system. The Airguard comes in four sizes and has a three-stage filtration system. It has one to eight-man airline hookups and a rechargeable 16-hour battery life. The system monitors for temperature, dew point and flow and there is currently nothing else like it on the market. The Airguard can store two data points per minute and six months’ worth of historical data. 

Rhett Squires and Patricia Sheets

Rhett Squires and Patricia Sheets from Enmet in front of the Airguard (left to right).

CDI Meters exhibited a range of their flow meters for compressed air management. The CDI 5000 Series Thermal Mass Flow Meters come in hot-tap and in-line options, both wired and wireless. Installation demonstrations for their Hot-Tap Flow Meter were being conducted at their booth. Also as part of their demos, was their free MeterGrapher software. The software provides wireless monitoring of the CDI 5000 Series flow meters throughout a facility. It uses Zigbeeâ mesh networking protocol to relay data from remote meters, it transmits current reading and cumulative usage, and the wireless transmissions have 128-bit encryption.

Roger Dennison and Christopher Corsino

Roger Dennison and Christopher Corsino (left to right) behind the CDI 5000 Series Thermal Mass Flow Meters

For years CS Instruments has been one of the worldwide leading manufacturers of measuring technology for compressed air and gases. As a result they offer proven and practical measuring instruments for compressed air and gas such as dew point meters, pressure sensors (according to ISO 8573), flow meters, leak detectors, air quality devices, and software solutions to monitor those measurement devices. The CS Instruments North America team had a great time at the show! 

CS Instruments

 Working the CS Instruments booth are Gabi Hoetzel, Megan Orange, Jan Hoetzel, Ashlee Berger, Josefine Hoetzel and Matt Roden (left to right).

Bay Controls is a provider of compressed air controls and monitoring analytics technology. Their compressed air solutions are data driven, and purpose-built for any compressor brand or type out there, whether a system has one, or one hundred air compressors. Through their cloud-based plant control and monitoring system, BayWatch, or the localized system connected to the plant intranet, BayView, Bay Controls can offer solutions to optimize air systems and facilitate best practices in the compressed air industry.

Scott Parry, Kim Williams-Clark, Amy Otis, and Jason Modlin

Scott Parry, Kim Williams-Clark, Amy Otis, and Jason Modlin (left to right) displaying their compressed air control and monitoring analytics technology.

Trace Analytics was at the show with their ISO compliant microbial package. Trace Analytics rents the package to distributors who will take samples in the compressed air system.  The samples will then be tested for yeast, mold and other bacteria at their accredited microbiology and chemistry laboratory. Trace Analytics really stresses how important it is to have aseptic sampling to avoid contamination.

Maria Sandoval and Ruby Ochoa

Maria Sandoval and Ruby Ochoa from Trace Analytics in front of their ISO compliant microbial package (left to right).

Shaw Moisture Meters & Edgetech Instruments were showcasing their portable and fixed instrumentation. The Model Superdew 3 Hygrometer from Shaw Moisture Meters is a single channel inline hygrometer designed to measure dew point in process gases and compressed air. Each sensor provides overall accuracy of better than ±2°C (±3.6°F) dew point, and features user selectable digital indication in °C, °F, ppm(v), or lbs/MMSCF. Also on display was the SENTRY Series Compressed Air Monitoring and Alarm Systems from Edgetech Instruments. Available in two versions, the SENTRY-Plus and the SENTRY-Pro, the measurement and alarm system monitors the dew/frost point and pressure of compressed air systems with the SENTRY Dew/Frost Point and Pressure Probe. Equipped with Bluetooth connectivity and other technologies, the SENTRY Series is useful for multiple applications.

Greg Gowaski from Edgetech Instruments

Greg Gowaski from Edgetech Instruments

UE Systems presented their Ultraprobe 3000 at the show. This is a smaller and easy to use model primarily used for compressed air leak detection. They have a free application for apple and android to create and e-mail leak reports. Maureen Gribble said it is “the perfect pair for compressed air” and offers a quick return on investment.

Joe Edelen, Maureen Gribble and Chase Sasser

Joe Edelen, Maureen Gribble and Chase Sasser at the UE Systems booth (left to right).

Vaisala, a Finnish based moisture measurement equipment company, had several products on display. To highlight a few, the Vaisala DRYCAPâ Dewpoint and Temperature Transmitter Series DMT340 measures dew points from -60°C to 80°C (-76°F to 176°F) with accuracy of ±2°C (3.6°F). Designed for low dew point applications, the DRYCAP series withstands condensation and has a unique auto-calibration feature. Their hand-held humidity indicator has a broad selection of probes, a graphical user interface, field humidity calibration function, and a wide variety of parameters and units. The wireless temperature data logger is designed for wide-ranged temperature monitoring. With fixed or cabled probes, temperatures from -196°C to 90°C (-320°F to 194°F) can be measured and recorded from over 100 meters away indoors. Specifically for compressed air measurement, Vaisala has a simple transmitter for monitoring compressed air with pressures from 1 to 12 bar (14.5 to 174 psi) and will measure dew point between -70°C to 30°C (-94°F to 86°F).

Tcheilly Nunes and Yani Bettencourt

Tcheilly Nunes and Yani Bettencourt at the Vaisala booth (left to right).

E+E Elektronik, a sensor specialist for humidity, CO2, moisture in oil, dew point, air velocity, flow, temperature and pressure was present exhibiting some of their instrumentation. Their dew point transmitter is easily cleaned and condensation resistant, and is equipped with a high-end capacitor style system with auto calibration. The mass flow device on display works well with ambient air as well as compressed air, CO2 and nitrogen gas.

Dan Veenstra

Dan Veenstra at the E+E Elektronik booth displaying dew point transmitters and mass flow meters.

Measuring and monitoring air quality to avoid contamination for food and medical applications was an important talking point at the 2019 Best Practices EXPO. SUTO iTec offers measurement and monitoring solutions for compressed air and other gases on all parameters including flow, consumption, dew point, oil vapor and particulates. To highlight a few products that SUTO iTec had on display, the S130 Laser Particle Counter for Compressed Air detects particulate sizes from 0.1 to 5.0 μm depending on the model. It can be used as a portable or stationary instrument, and measures according to ISO 8573-4. The S120 Residual Oil Sensor for Compressed Air can also be used fixed or portable, measures down to 0.003 mg/m3, has a PID sensor for highest accuracy, and more features that allow for effective air quality monitoring. 


Dennis Hui (far left), Justin Tuchsherer (second from the right) and Thomas Fischer (far right) showing SUTO iTec’s innovative measurement technology to GS Lim and Ben Lee from SPX FLOW, Inc.


The EXPO – Compressed Air Purification and Piping Technology

On display at the Applied System Technologies booth was the Infinity high performance, non-ferrous metal piping system. An all metal quick connecting piping system, Infinity has several unique advantages. First, the fittings can be easily disconnected. Second, the system is light weight and can be installed by just one person. Third, the system can be used for compressed air, vacuum, or inert gas applications. Infinity is suited for a maximum temperature of 176°F (80°C) and a maximum pressure of 220 psi. Another unique feature of the Infinity system is the Outlet Reducing Tee Fitting. This fitting is designed to prevent condensate from dropping out of the main piping loop into the drop line by using a water trapping feature that directs drainage to the lowest point in the system.

Applied System Technologies

Bill Kirkpatrick, Christopher Canipe and Kevin Melisz (left to right) at the Applied System Technologies booth. 

Purchasing oversized compressors and dryers is a common mistake by end users in the compressed air industry. The Altec AIR booth featured the MDH Series Desiccant Air Dryer, a miniature (0.4 to 3.2 scfm) heatless desiccant air dryer designed to work with small, fractional horsepower air compressors. The MDH Series has 6 available models, capable of efficient air drying performance from 30 psig to 120 psig, and it can fit in your backpack! For industrial scale, Altec AIR brought their largest capacity regenerative air dryer as well, an MHR Series (75 to 3,000 scfm) Desiccant Air Dryer. Built in Colorado, the MHR Series comes ASME inspected and stamped with CRN registered pressure vessels, Econo-Purge Dewpoint Controller, and different filter options. Also present was Altec AIR’s PA Series Digital Programmable Air Dryer. This refrigerated air dryer has the functionality of programming scheduled ON/OFF operating hours to reduce energy costs, easy access maintenance & service cabinets, programmable automatic drains, suction and pressure gauges, and more.

Jon Brom, Chris Foster and Bob McKay

Jon Brom, Chris Foster and Bob McKay (left to right) behind the miniature, compact designed MDH Series Desiccant Air Dryer, at the Altec AIR booth.

Omega Air is a Slovenian based compressed air treatment product manufacturer. On display they had one of their refrigerated dryer series, their aluminum, carbon and stainless steel filters, and more. Omega Air also manufactures oxygen and nitrogen generators, automatic and timer controlled condensate drains, and a wide variety of measurement equipment.

Baptiste Calvet and Gregorij Velkavrh

Baptiste Calvet and Gregorij Velkavrh (left to right) with an Omega Air refrigerated air dryer and compressed air filters.

nano-purification solutions exhibited their D2 Ultra-high purity, modular desiccant air dryer. With models for flow capacities of 3 to 177 scfm, the D2 is a point of use dryer with a standard dew point set at -40 °F and offers an optional dew point as low as -94°F (-70°C). Rated for ISO 8573.1 Class 1.2.2 air purity, the D2 modular desiccant air dryer is a suitable for medical and dental air, pipeline purging, lasers, optics, and food packaging applications.   

nano purification

Todd Allison, Jim Tomczyk and Jane Sexton (left to right) with the D2 modular desiccant air dryer at the nano booth.

The Aircel booth featured an AHLD Series (24 models from 70 – 8,000 scfm) heatless desiccant air dryer and an energy saving AES Series (18 models from 600 – 10,000 scfm) refrigerated air dryer. The heatless desiccant dryer is equipped with the Aircel Programmable Controller and Energy Management System. This technology automatically adjusts the regeneration cycle so switching is less frequent. This maintains outlet dew point, fully utilizes desiccant capacity, extends the drying cycle during periods of lower loading, and reduces use of overall purge air causing significant energy savings. The AES Series refrigerated dryer is designed to deliver long-term savings by precisely matching power usage to inlet air demand.

Chris Brooks exhibiting the Aircel AES Series

Chris Brooks exhibiting the Aircel AES Series Refrigerated Air Dryer and the AHLD Series Heatless Desiccant Air Dryer



Mark your calendars for the 2020 BEST PRACTICES EXPO & Conference in Chicago on September 20-23, 2020! For more information or to propose a Presentation Abstract visit For the 2020 Exhibitor Prospectus, please contact Rod Smith at email:


To read more about optimizing compressed air systems, visit; for blower & vacuum systems, visit; and for cooling systems, visit