As technicians describe their expectations for 2011, Fluke Corporation, a global leader in portable electronic test and measurement technology, is already responding. The company's team showcased six new products at the 2011AHR Expo in Las Vegas, all designed for new-market specifications.
Recent Fluke surveys of HVAC contractors and owners show expectations of continued technological advances in system controls, driven by energy efficiency programs and requirements for improved workforce productivity.
“We’ve been seeing this trend for a couple of years now at AHR,” says Brian Stowell, Fluke product marketing manager. "We’ve always seen interest in multimeters and electrical testers, but now, attendees want to know how they can monitor energy consumption or scan their building for air leaks. If it’s a contractor, he’s looking to add a new service to his business that he can sell. If it’s a facility, they’re looking to reduce operational costs, probably starting with an energy audit, and then by adding in more system automation.”
Fluke demonstrated these capabilities to a steady stream of traffic at its AHR booth — from a building inspection demonstration to power monitoring and motor-drive troubleshooting.
New tools at AHR
The focus at AHR was on the newest tools in the Fluke lineup, designed in part from contractor suggestions. Stowell says Fluke continues to anticipate our customers’ needs and then delivers exactly the right tool.
"We closely observe customers at their job site, carefully noting how they perform their tasks. We interview them, send tools for their use and to beat-up, and we keep engineering until we identify a break-throughinnovation.”
New Fluke tools at 2011 AHR include:
Fluke TiS Thermal Imager
The top-performing thermal imager in its class, the Fluke TiS is accurate, easy and rugged. Unlike other affordably-priced imagers, the TiS includes manual focus – an essential feature for getting a usable reading – withstands a 6.5-foot drop test, has a large display screen, and is consistently easy to use. Building professionals use the imager to detect energy-wasting air leaks and pinpoint moisture intrusion.
Fluke 810 Vibration Tester
A completely new type of tool, the Fluke 810 Vibration Tester provides instant diagnostics on mechanical equipment. HVAC professionals who service compressors, motors, fans, pumps, blowers and chillers can now connect the 810 sensors, enter the equipment specs, and immediately find out whether the vibration levels are within tolerance, or whether there’s a problem, and if so, what kind.
Fluke 376 Clamp Meter with iFlex
A good ac/dc clamp meter is an essential tool for an HVAC technician, whether he’s measuring current draw at service checks or installing new equipment. The new Fluke 376 Clamp Meter is not only designed to the accuracy and safety standards for new high-efficiency systems, it comes with the thinnest, most flexible current coil on the market. The iFlex was specifically designed for technicians who have to work in crowded cabinets, so that they can thread around obstacles, get to what they need to measure and obtain accurate readings.
Fluke 233 Wireless Multimeter
One of the biggest headaches HVAC technicians now face is having a smaller team to keep up with the same service load. The Fluke 233 Wireless Multimeter was developed as a way for one technician to do the work of two. Whether it’s having to flip switches in one place and run back to measure readings in another or climb up and down a ladder five times, technicians save time and money by detaching the wireless readout and leaving the meter body behind.
Fluke 365 Detachable Clamp Meter
Another new clamp meter with a twist, the Fluke 365 has a small, detachable jaw that’s attached to the meter body by a flexible three-foot cord. Technicians need to measure small wires deep inside high-efficiency controls cabinets, and clamp meter bodies are often too big. Now, technicians can pull the jaw off the clamp, snake it in, clamp it on the right place, and get their reading. Like the 376, this little clamp also features state-of-the art signal processing for use in noisy electrical environments like motor-drives.
Fluke 2AC Voltage Detector
HVAC technicians appreciate the benefits of little voltage detectors. They can’t always be 100% sure whether the system they're about to touch is electrified or not, and it’s smart to check one last time. With the non-contact 2AC, it takes just a second to wave the voltage detector in front of the circuit – and if it lights up, the line is live.
For more information on Fluke tools and applications, or to find the location of your nearest distributor, visit the Fluke Web site at http://www.fluke.com/voltalert.