WEFTEC continued to solidify its reputation as the world-class water quality event by setting new records during it’s latest event held September 27-October 1, 2014. A total of 20,385 registrants and 1,027 companies, using 303,075 net square feet of exhibition space, participated at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center. As the host of thousands of water professionals and water companies from nearly 100 countries, WEFTEC 2014—the Water Environment Federation’s (WEF) 87th annual technical exhibition and conference—is officially the largest showing for WEF in the famed Crescent City.
“The notable showing in New Orleans says that WEFTEC is an important industry event but also speaks to the value and importance of water as a big picture issue that links to all aspects of modern society,” added WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill. “WEF understands that and has worked hard to stretch ourselves beyond what has traditionally worked, which demonstrates our willingness to change to meet the evolving needs of our members, attendees, and the entire water sector.”
Reinforcing this concept was the Opening General Session, which officially kicked off the conference on Monday, Sept. 29. Built around a central theme of embracing change in a disruptive age, the program featured complementary and inspiring remarks from Ralston and best-selling author and transformative change expert, Luke Williams.
Later that morning, conference attendees were further encouraged to learn from the past but focus on the future during the Great Water Cities Session. Featuring opening remarks from EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, the panel of water leaders from France, New Zealand, and New York shared examples of how their cities are coping with natural disasters, extreme weather events, and future growth. McCarthy led the call for an increase in partnerships and collaboration among all sectors and nations to help solve our world’s water situations.
Another important opportunity explored at WEFTEC 2014 was the connection between water and the economy. Three high profile press events, featuring national and local luminaries such as Administrator McCarthy and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, highlighted this connection and examined both the national and local benefits of investing in our nation’s water infrastructure, including job creation and stronger international competitiveness.
Aeration Blower Technology
The blower market, focused on industrial and municipal wastewater markets, is in a very dynamic state. Component technology and vendors are in a constant state of change as new blower, sensor, mixing and diffuser technologies are introduced to meet the growing demand in this market. As population growth accelerates putting pressure on both energy and water supplies, industry and municipalities (who also face physical space challenges) are forced to improve the efficiencies of their wastewater systems. Fortunately, as they say, we have the technology!
The Gardner Denver team struck me this year as particularly energized. Their extremely deep product line-up of positive displacement blowers (helical screw and tri-lobe, straight tri-lobe and lobe) offers flows to 16,800 cfm, pressure to 20 psi, vacuum to17” HG and wet vacuum to 24” Hg. This PD line-up has now been complemented by the integration, into the Gardner Denver line-up, of the Robuschi Robox oil-free screw blower. This rotary screw blower line has recently been expanded and now goes from 40 to 600 horsepower and to pressures up to 36 psi.
Paul Mosier, Karl Jacobsen, Tony Dorsey, Shawn Boynton, Craig Stokes, John Troyer and Rick Nash, from Gardner Denver.
Atlas Copco has completed the integration of HSI and now offers clients access to all major blower technologies including multistage centrifugals, high-speed turbos with air bearing and oil-free rotary screws. The company is celebrating the five-year anniversary of having introduced their rotary screw blower product line offering all the efficiencies, control configurations and packaging we’re familiar with from the air compressor side.
Sebastian Bidault, Lee Ann Hellums and Zachary Azra from Atlas Copco.
Aerzen USA, led by President Pierre Noack, has been on a notable run. They informed me that their LEED Certified headquarters, inaugurated only a few years ago, is already undergoing a significant expansion (including a new testing facility) and are recruiting service technicians nationwide. Their Performance3 (cubed) marketing campaign is resonating with users who are offered a choice of three technologies; high-speed turbo blowers, hybrids (some using rotary screw and others twisted rotors) with VFD drives, and positive displacement blowers. Most important is the application engineering process they walk customers through to find the optimal technology application. Sometimes the right answer is a PD blower for the base load and a turbo for trim.
Aerzen’s Performance3 (supposed to be cubed) campaign represents their ability to offer turbo, hybrid and positive displacement blowers.
Kaeser had their very important launch of their new line-up of rotary screw blower packages. The EBS and FBS Series blowers offer a flow range from 530 to 2366 cfm and pressures from 4.4 to 15 psig. The power saving Sigma Profile rotary screw airend and the Sigma Control 2™ controller that we know from the air compressors are standard features with Wye delta starters or VFD drives. Kaeser continues to offer the rotary lobe blower and is coaching clients on when to use which technology (or when to combine the two)with the rotary screw VFD excelling in variable load (trim) applications.
Peter Werhahn, Stephen Horne, Kim Pulford and Michael Camber from Kaeser.
GE Roots really caught my attention with their centrifugal blowers featuring optimized Inlet Guide Vanes coupled with variable speed drive controls. This is a company worth watching as some technologies appear to be imminent in the pipeline. Gardner Denver’s Hoffman & Lamson’s team had an impressive booth and is introducing “Next Generation Control” featuring VSD control on their multistage (up to 4 stage) centrifugal blowers offering pressures to 14.7 psi and vacuum to 29.9” Hg.
George Hubbard and Ronnie Underwood from Gardner Denver Hoffman & Lamson.
United Blower is a Georgia-based company led by owner and industry veteran Vic Miolee. They have recently introduced a high-speed direct-driven turbo blower completely “Made in the USA.” The 75-300 horsepower product line uses airfoil bearings and permanent magnet motors. Air flows range up to 7,500 scfm with pressures up to 15 psig. This line complements their traditional “Quiet Pulse” range of PD blowers.
Ashley Delrosso, Nikki Purser, Vic Miolee, Sam Cameron, Wiekert Miolee and Al Nevins from United Blower.
Sulzer’s ABS HS2 turbo blower featuring magnetic bearings has been growing significantly in sales. Dave Parsons reports the overall package efficiency is gradually replacing more traditional technologies used in wastewater applications. Eurus Blower also exhibited and report they have quietly and steadily built a nice business over the past five years focusing primarily on blower packagers. Industry veteran Glenn Schultz discussed the growth of Piller TSC in the U.S. with their Pill Aerator turbo featuring magnetic bearings which is adding new models to the line-up.
Dave Parsons and Edward Paro from Sulzer.
Glenn Schultz and Manuel Diaz from Piller TSC.
Last but far from least, I learned a lot from Q-Vac Priming Systems. Their vacuum pumps reduce pressure in the water pipes to flood centrifugal pumps that need to be flooded before start-up. One Q-Vac pump can be used to prime multiple pumps and maintain them ready to perform. The company also helps users replace air knives and vacuum venturis with de-centralized blower/vacuum systems.
Gregory Kist, Diane Willms and Mark Trimeloni from Q-Vac Priming Systems
Founded in 1928, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization of 36,000 individual members and 75 affiliated Member Associations representing water quality professionals around the world. WEF members, Member Associations and staff proudly work to achieve our mission to provide bold leadership, champion innovation, connect water professionals, and leverage knowledge to support clean and safe water worldwide. To learn more, visit www.wef.org.
See you in 2016
Continuing the two-city rotation between Chicago and New Orleans, WEFTEC 2015 is scheduled for September 26-30, 2015 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. In anticipation of a successful showing next year, 848 companies have already reserved more than 303,000 square feet of exhibit floor space for 2015. Visit www.weftec.org
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