Going Digital: The HVAC/R Industry is Changing

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In recent years, the HVAC/R industry has seen a surge in dynamic technology. This push toward “smart” technology has caused a shift in the way manufacturers and technicians operate…a shift for the better.

Today’s technicians have tools that are more precise and efficient than ever before. Devices such as the YELLOW JACKET ManTooth are light, compact, and compared to a traditional hose style, can better fine-tune a system with less refrigerant loss.

“From adding functionality and making everything more compact and user friendly, to sending the system data straight to your smart phone, the new smart technology devices that are being developed will not only make user’s lives easier, but also provide more precise and efficient data. And this is just the beginning,” said Josh Braband, Mechanical Engineer at Ritchie Engineering.

The various types of tools that have hit the market as a result of digital trends have already had many benefits for the industry. For instance, it is now possible for a technician to connect to a system and not only monitor its performance, but also record the data and save it for future reference. With access to a system’s past and current performances, technicians can now get a better idea of how well the system is functioning overall. The data can also be shared with customers to help them better understand more about a repair and why it was necessary.

“The new digital instruments on the market now are far more accurate than the old analog counterparts and they just keep getting better,” said Braband. “By having more accurate ways of monitoring a system, today’s technicians are better equipped to fine tune a system to its best possible performance and efficiency.”

An additional benefit that new digital instruments have is that they save money and space. For example, a traditional analog gauge manifold has saturation markings for quick reference of specific refrigerants and a typical gauge can have a maximum of three types of refrigerant references per manifold. But now with a digital manifold in hand, a technician only needs one manifold to cover over a hundred refrigerants. Since the manifold will do all of the superheat and subcooling calculations automatically, digital models now eliminate the need for multiple manifolds and for hand calculations or pocket references.

“The digital instruments that we are seeing now are just the start of what we’ll be seeing in the very near future. Soon, more and more devices are going to become integrated and follow this digital trend. Ultimately the HVAC/R industry will make a shift to less bulky, more accurate, and easier-to-use equipment that will all work together to determine system characteristics.” Braband added, “at YELLOW JACKET we are very much embracing the digital trends in the industry and are looking forward to continuing our commitment to creating and innovating new tools to make technician’s lives easier now and in the future.”