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GEA's Global HVAC Technology Blog

GEA's Global HVAC Technology Blog covers a range of topics including:

  • Core HVAC Technologies
  • Technology & Patent Evaluation
  • Manufacturing Technologies
  • Product Quality Improvement
  • Materials/Failures/Corrosion
  • Product/Technology Commercialization
  • Business Strategy Development
  • New Factory Design & Equipment

We'll draw upon our range of experts to provide comments, insights, technical articles and a little humor from time to time

We encourage your participation and feedback!

Weld Process Control -"Double Check"

Posted April 23, 2014 9:45 AM by larhere

GEA Consulting has experienced increased activity/interest recently in the area of brazing and welding application, training, and quality processes. Accordingly, we are reposting this blog by our GEA welding consultant which was previously published as part of a series.

Are you a Welder, Weld Supervisor, Weld Technician, Weld Engineer, Manager or Owner of a company that designs and/or manufactures welded assemblies ?

If you answered yes, would you rate your Weld Process Control System as Excellent, Good or Bad?

Well, to paraphrase a popular TV commercial, "Let's Do A Double Check?"

This will only take 10 minutes and you might save your company big $$$$$.

After answering the following questions you should be able to double check your initial assessment.

Weld Process Control Questions

  • What are the external inputs like codes and standards that apply?
  • What are the base metal and filler metal specifications?
  • What is the purpose of a WPS and PQR?
  • What are the essential and non-essential variables of a WPS?
  • Do you know and follow your Quality Control System?
  • What type of NDE do you perform for process monitoring?
  • What documents the joint fit-up tolerances?
  • How are base metal and weld metal nonconformities repaired?
  • Do you know and follow AWS weld symbology?
  • Is your equipment maintained properly?

Do you still agree with your initial assessment ?

If you are, excellent - Congratulations, you are a true process owner !!!

If you are good or bad - accept the challenge to help improve your company.

Time to Double Check Weld Quality

Editor's Note: CR4 would like to thank Bill Spietz, GEA Consulting, for contributing this blog entry, which originally appeared here.

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Best Blog Posts in 2013/2014

Posted April 15, 2014 11:06 PM by larhere
Pathfinder Tags: 3-D Printing Best GEA HVAC Partners

Every now and then we pause and evaluate our blog posts, both in the GEA blog and our mirror site, GlobalSpec CR4, to see what you the reader is most interested.

This time we looked back January 1, 2013 through present. We weighted views, comments and passion to come up with our Top 7 of 2013/2014. If you missed any of them I encourage you to click on the link and read the cream of the crop.

Top 7 of 2013/2014

The Ten Principles of 3-D Printing

New IPCC Report: Human influence on the climate system is clear

Carbon Dioxide Passes 400ppm! Or Not?

HVAC Industry Reversing Faulty Outsourcing Strategies

Drivelines for High Efficiency Centrifugal Compressors - Direct Drive

World's Tallest Building (A Prefab) - Update From China

HVAC Materials - An Evolution

We're interested in what topics are most interesting to you. What areas might we be missing? Drop me a note with your suggestions.

Editor's Note: CR4 would like to thank Larry Butz, GEA Consulting President, for contributing this blog entry, which originally appeared here.

5 comments; last comment on 04/22/2014
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Its The Environment (...Stupid!)

Posted April 09, 2014 9:03 AM by larhere

That's the take away I had after reading a current article in the HVAC NEWS titled "Compressor Manufacturers Leaping Government, Refrigerant Hurdles". Matt Bishop of the NEWS spoke with representatives from nearly every compressor manufacturer serving the global HVAC/R industry.

My take-away is the over simplified answer to the question "What are the major issues shaping your business?" A short but complex answer, "The Environment" is driving compressor manufacturers, in response to HVAC manufacturers, in response to customers and in response to an increasingly complicated (and constantly evolving) set of requirements.

It's the Environment because the main issues are:

  1. Energy Efficiency (full load) to reduce power plant emissions of CO2. Customer requirements and expectation continue to increase. Standards are continuously being revised to mandate higher efficiencies.
  2. Part Load Efficiencies are receiving increased attention. Part load measures such as IPLV are seeing expanded use on newer products. New and improved technologies are being introduced to improve part load efficiency. Multiple compressor configurations are seeing increasing use.
  3. Development of new low and medium GWP refrigerants to reduce global warming impact from emissions of refrigerants from equipment during operation and service. Blending of different refrigerants continues to grow. Custom refrigerants are becoming common.
  4. Custom compressors are becoming the norm. Such "application optimized" compressors utilize unique design features that enhance part and full load efficiencies for the unique operating conditions of each market.
  5. Europe continues efforts to eliminate HFCs from the marketplace. Flammable (and) Natural refrigerants continue to see increasing acceptance.

The New Norm is Mass Customization Driven by the Environment (with continuing price pressure)

Thanks to The NEWS for this great summary. Click to read the full article

Editor's Note: CR4 would like to thank Larry Butz, GEA Consulting President, for contributing this blog entry, which originally appeared here.

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HVAC Industry Shows Strength!

Posted March 26, 2014 12:00 PM by larhere

In December we commented (HVACR Manufacturers Show Optimism for 2014) on a survey of one thousand HVACR manufacturers showing a high level of optimism. 79% of the respondents said their prospects for business were either "excellent" (19%) or "good" (60%) for the coming year. That optimism appears to be coming true as industry activity and results are coming in.

AHRI just released Shipment Data for January 2014 U.S. Residential Heating and Cooling Equipment showing such strength.

  • U.S. shipments of air conditioners increased 19.8% over 2012
  • U.S. shipments of air-source heat pumps increased 27.8% over 2012
  • Biggest increase ocurred in 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 ton sizes (+32%)

Activity and results at GEA Consulting are also at record levels through the first two months of 2014 with activity from International projects leading the way.

Indications are 2014 will indeed be a good 2014.

CR4 would like to thank Larry Butz, GEA Consulting President, for contributing this blog entry, which originally appeared here.

1 comments; last comment on 03/30/2014
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Beware the Energy Shift-Energy Efficiency IS Important!

Posted March 19, 2014 8:00 AM by larhere

It was less than a year ago that GEA's Duane Lom discussed in this blog a perplexing question in the HVAC and Buildings Industries at the time, "Why is Energy Efficiency Such a Hard Sell?" In evaluating the alternatives to reduce electrical consumption, wind came in at $48 to $95 per megawatt-hour and coal fired plants at $62 to $141 per megawatt-hour, but neither could compete with the use of energy efficiency (using existing state of the art technologies) which cost from zero to $50 per megawatt-hour. Why? Buyer apathy.

What a difference a year makes. A joint national survey by NEMA and NAM of 1,000 likely voters clearly illustrates increasing support for energy efficiency. Nine in ten voters support using energy efficient products and believe it's important to include energy efficiency as part of our country's energy solutions. The support for energy efficiency cuts across demographic and political lines.

Consider the results:

  • 94% support using energy efficient products. Seven in ten (70%) "strongly" support it.
  • 90% believe it's important to include energy efficiency as part of our country's energy solutions...and (gasp!) there is consensus among Republicans (86%), Democrats (99%) and Independents (88%).
  • 67% are more likely to vote for a candidate for congress who supports energy efficiency policies.
  • two-thirds or more of voters, regardless of party affiliation, are more likely to support investing taxpayers' dollars in energy efficiency

Are you ready for the shift to energy efficient buildings and HVAC products?

Read the NEMA/NAM Summary Report

Editor's Note: CR4 would like to thank Larry Butz, President of GEA Consulting, for contributing this blog entry, which originally appeared here.

9 comments; last comment on 03/24/2014
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Common Mistakes with the Key Account Plans- (Video Summary)

Posted March 12, 2014 8:00 AM by larhere

One of GEA's representatives is a member of KAM, an organization focused on Key Account Management.

A recent KAM seminar looked at Key Account planning and began by considering what goes wrong most often. The logic is that if we can identify the common errors in advance then we are more likely to avoid them.

A short video presentation on this subject can be seen on the secure server in Vimeo at http://www.linkedin.com/redirect?url=http%3A%2F%2Fvimeo%2Ecom%2Fuser13360582%2Freview%2F51473030%2F9446078f5a&urlhash=Vr70&_t=tracking_anet

The seven most common errors can be summarized as:

  1. The 'plan' is not a plan but simply a review of recent history
  2. The 'plan' is just an exercise in form filling
  3. There are no defined or poorly defined objectives
  4. The plan has not been agreed internally
  5. It is not clear who is responsible
  6. The plan is not agreed with the customer
  7. The activity is not properly defined -who - what - by when

Many tools, in the form of Excel spreadsheets or software programs, are available to facilitate the development of a proper Key Account Plan. It's better to invest more time in proper account planning than spending time resolving negative issues with customers, defending competitive attacks and constantly defending the price of your products.

Those who fail to plan and plan properly as described above are doomed to mundane performance or even failure. By investing time and resources in proper account planning you can achieve the following:

  • Maximize the effectiveness of your sales effort (sales hours/$ sold)
  • Grow profits
  • Increase customer satisfaction
  • Earn a greater share of the customer's business
  • Construct competitive barriers
  • Better able to measure and manage the performance of your sales staff

Further, you will find that your sales staff will achieve greater career satisfaction, earn more and stay longer with your company.

Customers like dealing with people and companies they trust. They trust companies who understand their business and put their needs as a high priority in the products and services delivered. A properly, co-developed account plan is the key to identifying and delivering on those needs and to earning trust.

Editor's Note: CR4 would like to thank Roger Walker, GEA Consulting Associate, for contributing this blog entry, which originally appeared here.

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