Equipment that Saves Energy Helps New Blowers and Pumps Secure Marketplace Niche

While signs of an economic recovery are slowly popping up here and there, cities around the country lag far behind any rebound. The lag can be blamed on slumping home prices and subsequent tax revenues and stalled construction, as well as a half dozen other factors that have forced city officials to squeeze every dime from their already impossibly tight budgets. So it is no wonder that products that serve the wastewater industry—particularly those whose customers are municipal plant operators—are marketing equipment that respects that current financial reality.
“If you are going to have a ghost of a chance of selling aeration equipment to municipalities, you need to be looking at energy usage. It’s important,” said Arthur White, of Dresser, Inc. The Houston company offers a wide range of products for all sorts of industries and sells to companies and cities in more than 150 countries. Its products include ROOTS blowers.
Municipalities, in particular, are scrutinizing every expense. They have to spend their money wisely.  Dresser, Inc. recognizes this fact. “There is a big (emphasis) on increased efficiencies, and these municipalities that are upgrading or building new need to get the most bang for the buck,” White acknowledged.
Blowers are one area in which technology has improved efficiency, especially in the crucial function of aeration. That is the reason that Dresser has made changes to its blowers and is releasing a new IntelliView control system that will result in a greater-than-industry-average energy savings, according to Erik Ellevong, Dresser Roots Control Systems Product Manager.
“While the right blower technology is a vital part of any aeration system, achieving an energy-efficient aeration system goes beyond choosing the right blower. The controls system and the strategy incorporated in Roots IntelliView® control system can have a far greater impact on energy savings than the blowers themselves,” Ellevog explained.
“While different blowers’ efficiencies usually differ by single-digit percentage points, the right control system and control strategy can offer a plant double-digit percentage savings on their energy consumption for their aeration process. Dresser Roots is now combining the best of both worlds.” 
This year, the Dresser ROOTS IntelliView Blower Health Monitoring and Controls will be built into the company’s EASYAIR X@ factory packages, according to White.
The system is a high-tech option for operators, featuring a touch screen that helps them completely monitor virtually every aspect of the machine. “By integrating the IntelliView aeration controls, operators can optimize their aeration process while realizing cost savings through increased energy efficiency,” White said. A side benefit is reduced noise compared to standard factory packages.
“Through the in-unit mounted IntelliView touch screen interface, operators can view, track, and log parameters such as inlet and discharge temperature, inlet and discharge pressure, differential filter pressure, blower oil levels, vibration levels, and enclosure temperature,” he explained.
“The unit is equipped with a NEMA 4 serial communication port so that all of the parameters and potential alarms can be sent to the plant’s SCADE system. The IntelliView controls for the EASYAIR X2 blower package can also be expanded to include a variable frequency drive for blower speed adjustment, as well as dissolved oxygen measurement for full automation capability. The EASYAIR X2 factory-designed blower package is equipped with ROOTS RAM-X tri-lobe blowers powered by electric motors, with horsepower ranging from five horse power to 350 horse power, achieving flows up to 4,500 SCFM (standard cubic feet per minute).”
Other companies, too, have learned that a demand exists for powerful equipment that can handle workloads efficiently and quietly. One of those is the Manassas, Virginia-based VARCo, which began as an industrial hose and fitting distributor. The company, now in its fourth decade, has customers around the country and specializes in the needs of the water and wastewater industry. Its products include pumpers, water jetters, and products that are used in the solid and liquid waste industry.
“There is a trend in pumps and blowers to [use] a larger and quieter vacuum pump,” said VARCo’s Ron Selfe. “In our USA market, people tend to be a bit more conservative; they will buy pretty much what size they need for the tank, while in Canada they will over-buy, usually a bigger pump than what they need. They like to get in and get out fast. And that’s really one of your factors as you are shopping for a vacuum pump,” Selfe said.
“How quickly do you want to complete the job? Are you selling more jobs per day than you can finish? If so, you may want to buy a large- than-needed pump so you can get out quicker and do more jobs,” he added.
VARCo has big news as far as pumps are concerned this year—products that are designed to operate longer and to be mounted more simply than other models.
“This year, we have had two significant introductions in the world of pumps,” Selfe said. One is the Battioni MEC2 Series, which consists of two new pump models that are continuous duty. The MEC11000 “has a free air cfm of 394 CFMS, and the MEC 9000 has a free air of 320 CFMS. Both pumps have large air passages for better air flow and heat tape so you can tell if the pump is overheating,” Selfe said. “They both also feature crash protection, sliding flanges that will drop if the pump is filled with material so the housing doesn’t break.”
In addition, on the Jurop line, VARCo is introducing two new pumps: the RV 360 and the RV 520. “Both of these pumps have been immensely popular, as they are the first presentation of dual fan-cooled pumps in the line,” Selfe said.
“The fan-cooled feature allows the pumps to run cooler and for longer periods of time. The RV 360 has free air of 360 CFMS, while the RV 520 has free air CFMS of 520. Both of these pumps feature an independently mounted side oil tank and can run continuous duty at 24 inches rather than the usual 18-inch rating—or one inch of vacuum equals one foot to give you perspective,” he said.
Other features make the models easy to use.
“In both lines, people are really leaning toward the simpler bolt-and-go systems. You get everything you need, except for your primary, mounted on a very nice pump stand,” Selfe explained. “All you need to do is bolt it to your truck, hookup your hose from the primary, and you are ready to go. The Battioni Max Pak has been quite popular, while the Jurop Razor Pak has been as well.”
Selfe said September is a good time to buy a pump from VARCo because the company is running its popular mega sale with the lowest prices of the year—in addition to their already low prices. Plus, they are offering free shipping on all vacuum pumps.
In the end, free shipping is great. Low prices are attractive. But manufacturers know that their products have to be efficient, powerful, and easy to use, too. With new products coming out this year from several manufacturers, those demands are being met with creative engineering to make machines that work harder, faster, and longer.

Story by Marie Elium

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