When designing an HVAC system, engineers are posed with many questions during the product selection process.
- Which manufacturer’s product should I specify?
- Which model should I select?
- How should I select this model?
- What is the product’s performance?
- Are Revit files available?
And the list goes on…
In the “good old days”, printed catalogs were the go-to for product selection. Engineering firms had libraries filled with catalogs, binders, and documentation that one would have to seek out and spend time flipping through the pages. However, due to the internet and updated technology, these libraries are either obsolete or they have been collecting dust. HVAC equipment selection can now easily be accomplished from a computer or even a cellular phone.
We all know that time is money, so engineers today want to be able to quickly select the most cost-effective and efficient product to fit their application. They can do this by looking online through catalogs, calling their local HVAC sales rep, or they could utilize selection software via their computer or device that has internet access.
Online Selection Software
Online software, like Greenheck’s eCAPS®, is accessible via the internet. This means that you can access it via a web browser, cellphone, tablet, etc. This software is ideal because it quickly and easily lets you select the best product based on your application parameters, without having to know which model to use. Let’s face it, it is VERY difficult to remember every type and model of product available on the market. This software provides an opportunity to select the best fit product and can potentially open you up to a better operating model.
When you get to the main home page, you have the option to select between fans, louvers, outdoor-air equipment, make-up air equipment, and energy recovery preconditioners. After selecting the core product group, sometimes you are prompted to select a secondary product category based on usage, otherwise you go straight into the design parameter. eCAPS® only requires the entry of basic application parameters before it starts to populate options. You can enter more advanced options, compare models, and even sort based on important characteristics such as sound or weight. After a product is selected, CAD and Revit® content can be downloaded easily, product cut sheets can be printed, and you can generate equipment schedules.
Besides allowing for quick, easy, and free access, this software does NOT require a log-in or profile to be created. You can make selections on the fly, out in the field, or you can create a profile to save your work.
Mars Air offers an online tool to Build Your Air Curtain. This easy process requires that you answer a few questions that funnel you to the right product for that application. This selection tool is free and does not require a user profile.
Indeeco’s i-Heat for Engineers is coming soon! i-Heat is a web-based software which allows the user to select based on heater category (fan forced, cabinet unit, etc.) before funneling into a specific product category. After choosing the specific product category, users can search based on specific characteristics and performance to narrow down their selection.
Computer Program Selection Software
Online selection software like eCAPS® is an incredible resource, however, computer-based software that requires a download can provide more advanced selections, and allows users to add the “bells & whistles” to the product.
Greenheck’s CAPS® (Computer Aided Product Selection) software requires the software to be downloaded to your personal computer and requires that a user profile be created. This software provides detailed product selection, detailed dimensional drawings, and allows the user to configure the product from almost every aspect. Like eCAPS®, CAPS® allows the user to download 2D, 3D, and Revit® files, print complete cut sheets (submittals) and schedule equipment easily.
Although this software provides more detailed information, the selection process can be a little more time-consuming. If a user is well-versed in Greenheck’s product lines, they can start the selection process by jumping right into their model or product category. The product tree is clearly defined by product type and then breaks out into specific categories. If a user isn’t as well-versed in the products offered, they can select by “Application” or even a competitor through “Select by Manufacturer”. These options help direct the user to the correct product based on their application type or familiar model.
Price Industries offers their All-In-One (AIO) program which is similar to CAPS®. This software must also be downloaded to your personal computer and requires that a user profile be created. This selection program provides detailed product selection, detailed dimensional drawings, and allows the user to configure the product from almost every aspect. Within AIO, users can generate complete submittals, download CAD and Revit® content, and generate schedules quickly and easily.
Within AIO, users have several methods available to select their product. If the user is well-versed in Price’s product lines, they can start the selection process by typing in their product model. If they are not as familiar with the models offered, they have access to the “Product Catalog” where they can select the general product category before breaking down to a specific model. AIO offers a “Quick Start” feature that allows the user to access terminals, noise control, fan & blower coils, and grilles, registers, & diffusers and funneling the user down the selection path.
The AIO “Competitor Cross Reference” is another method to select products by searching for a competitor, category, and product. This tool allows you to find the direct equivalent (if applicable) to the product that you are trying to match.
Other Selection Tools
Price Industries offers their Engineer Toolkit for Excel®. This selection software is a plugin for Excel that allows the user to select water coils, grilles, registers, & diffusers, and terminal units. This plugin will provide performance calculations without having to download a program to your computer.
Greenheck’s eCAPS® Bridge for Revit is an add-on that links eCAPS directly through the Autodesk® Revit program. Users can access selections, make modifications, and drop in Revit content without having to leave the software.
Brucker Rep Selection
Even if this type of software is available, it is important to remember and consider contacting your local Brucker sales representative for assistance. Here at Brucker, we understand how valuable your time is and we are available for technical assistance and selection guidance. Please feel free to contact us with application or product questions and we can assist you through the design and selection process.
- eCAPS Engineer Application Suite. eCAPS Brochure. (n.d.). Retrieved May 16, 2022, from https://ghsitefinitytesting.blob.core.windows.net/greenheck-cms-work/docs/default-source/pdf-downloads/brochures/4341-e_caps_brochure.pdf
- Price All-In-One. (n.d.). Retrieved May 16, 2022, from https://www.priceindustries.com/software/all-in-one/
- GREENHECK eCAPS BRIDGE FOR REVIT . ecaps-bridge-install_uninstall.pdf. (n.d.). Retrieved May 17, 2022, from https://greenheck-cms-prod.azureedge.net/atg-cms-prod/docs/default-source/pdf-downloads/ecaps-bridge/ecaps-bridge-install_uninstall.pdf?sfvrsn=4626082f_10
- Engineer Toolkit – Software. Price Industries. (n.d.). Retrieved May 17, 2022, from https://www.priceindustries.com/software/engineertoolkit