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Pre-Nashville AWT Show Newsletter Aug 2015

AWT Nashville Booth 405-407m-logoLooking forward to seeing you in NASHVILLE

for the AWT Annual Convention and Exposition , September 9-12, 2015.

This is your chance to see our products in action, ask about using them in your applications and setup visits to your company to bring your team up to speed on the Next Generation in Reliable Controls.

If you are not a member of the AWT, you should look into it. There are a multitude of benefits to national, regional and local water treatment service providers and professionals. If you want to be up to date, ahead of the competition and provide the best training to your team, look into becoming an AWT member today, at this link. You will not regret it.




NexSys logo web smallBACnet, SMACKnet…I just want to service my account

When your customer site wants a controller to come from the manufacturer with BACnet built in, your choices between manufacturers and models get reduced. Much like “The Highlander”, there can be only one. The Lakewood Instruments NexSys® control system.

The NexSys® comes from the Lakewood Instruments Factory (right here in the good ol’ USA) ready to hand the Building Management System (BMS) a string of BACnet information. Every Sensor reading, relay condition, flow condition, input and output are being sent to the BACnet server every 5 seconds (We could do it more often, but we want to help manage the traffic on their system).

The NexSys® sends the information via BACnet IP Tunneling to objects created in the BACnet Server. This means that there is little or no chance of other devices stepping on our information. It also means that the “Click and Play “ integrator, that may not have BACnet server access, may struggle with how to do a setup. That’s OK, we can walk them through it.

For “Click and Play” integrators or older MS/TP BACnet interfaces, we can provide an inexpensive integration object server that has a “net 1” output to talk to older BACnet systems. It’s not required on newer sites, but we created the option because the caliber of integrators varies significantly.

The NexSys® is also a “one way street”. We did that for YOU, the Water Treatment Service Provider. While the BMS can display, log or alarm on any of the information the NexSys® gives it, the system settings, alarm emails and operations configurations still require them to access the unit via a browser WITH A PASSWORD. This is to protect you, our customer, from “Button Pushers” on 3rd shift changing system parameters or operating relays remotely without knowing how that affects your overall program.

So, if you want to see and touch (oh, yeah, did we mention the 5.7” color touchscreen interface?) the Next Generation in Reliable Controls from Lakewood Instruments, stop by our Booth (405/407) at the AWT Show and Exposition in Nashville. You need to be able to offer your customer the future and the future is NexSys®.

If you can’t attend the show (Seriously…attend the AWT Show and Exposition in Nashville), please contact your sales manager and setup a webinar or in person training/demo. Call early, as we are getting booked up quickly.


NexSys® Flexibility for the Future

Pon Farr-Lo-croppedThe NexSys® Control System is a super flexible control system. It is available in three versions: a cooling tower version (single or dual), a process version, and a boiler blowdown version that can control up to four boiler blowdowns.

The cooling tower version can monitor and control based on two conductivity inputs, two pH inputs, two ORP inputs, two make-up conductivity inputs, two or four water meter inputs, eight 4-20mA inputs, and six or ten relay outputs. The relays can be controlled by two or four flow switch inputs.

The process version can monitor and control based on four conductivity inputs, two pH inputs, two ORP inputs, two or four water meter inputs, eight 4-20mA inputs, and six or ten relay outputs. The relays can be controlled by two or four flow switch inputs.

The boiler blowdown version can monitor and control up to four boiler blowdowns using the sample/cycle, continuous sample, or sample/hold control methods. It can also monitor and control based on two pH inputs, two ORP inputs, eight 4-20mA inputs, and two water meter inputs. The relays can be controlled by two or six flow switch inputs.

The flow switch inputs for all three models require a dry contact input and allow relays to act independently from each other. The dry contact can be provided by a flow switch plumbing assembly that actually senses flow in the piping, by a Flotektor that senses power to the recirculation pump, or by any dry contact such as an auxiliary contact from a motor starter or a manually operated switch contact.

I recently had an application where the client wanted to operate four boiler blowdown conductivities and two chemical pumps. Each of the boilers could be run independently from each of the other boilers and the chemical pumps were feeding into a common header. We were able to set each boiler and the chemical pumps to its own flow switch input. In this case, we connected each flow switch input to a manually operated switch. The benefit to this is that the operator is able to disable the relay outputs when the boilers are not in service without having to reprogram the NexSys® control system.

PavlovsAre you giving up reliability and customer trust for “perceived convenience”?

Over the last few years, we’ve been asked why we don’t have “local technicians to help take care of Lakewood Controllers”. It’s simple…because our controllers don’t require constant care and repair. They don’t require a factory tech to come and help you install or set them up. We took a different approach. We make them reliable and easy to use.

When they do require some extra attention to resolve one of your concerns, we want to resolve the issue in minutes, over the phone, right then, and allow you to get back to doing what you need to do to make money.

Do you know your “manufacturers rep/service tech” really well? Have lunch with them once a month when they are there to look at your problem controllers? They call you every two months to let you know they are going to in town and are willing to make time to visit all of your “problem” sites? Have you gotten in the habit of writing down the problem sites issues, so you can have it handy, knowing “the guy” will be swinging through in a few weeks and you can take care of the problem when he shows up?

Congratulations…Your supplier has trained you to accept their problems to be “Business as usual”. Sure, it seems convenient, but is it really? You’re not able to resolve problems when they need to be resolved. You have accepted that the systems are not going to work and you are sending the message to your customer that they should lower their expectations when it comes to your recommendations and ability to service them.

Part of that training makes us shake our head. They may have you trained so well that you know there is no point in calling them from the site, so you (or your service man) wait to get home to discuss a concern. That’s a shame. Your team is making two or three trips to solve a problem that could have been taken care of in minutes over the phone. So, when you are in front of a Lakewood Instruments controller, and something is bothering you, call us right then….because we answer the phone. We won’t make you wait a month for a tech to show up to make things right.

When we come to visit you, it’s to show you something new and talk about your needs, not to train you that you should continually accept less reliable equipment, and its inherent problems, as part of your operations. Contact Tom or Paul to begin the conversation

Newsletter Ed breest JammingThe Tech Corner – The Value of Good Troubleshooting

By Edbreest

Yesterday I took a call from a customer who was having an issue with one of our boiler blowdown valves. It was installed on a “BRAND X” controller, the “WATERTRAC LOTTAFLEX”. The issue was that the valve was opening and closing every few seconds, seemingly on its own. The customer contacted the “BRAND X” Technical Service department.

The symptoms the controller exhibited were as follows:

  1. Relay 3 (Boiler Blowdown) – The relay 3 “light” on the relay board was flashing on and off, denoting that power was being applied and removed from the relay. The main screen did not show that the relay was being energized.
  2. When the power wires (Normally Open power, and Normally Closed power) were removed from the motorized ball valve, it stopped opening and closing (the light on relay 3 continued to flash).

According to the caller, the determination of the “BRAND X” Technical Service Department was that the Motorized Ball Valve was the problem. The claim was that they proved this by removing the incoming power to the valve. Since the valve stopped working when the power wires were removed, then the valve must be bad, right? The “BRAND X” experts also claimed that the motorized ball valve, and not the controller, was powering the relay that was opening and closing. They concluded that the “circuitry” in the Motorized Ball Valve had been “Programmed” to operate the relay, and that it was no fault of the controller. The customer then called me, as he was very confused by the “help” he had received.

We went through a basic explanation or how a relay opens and closes a Motorized Ball Valve. Simply put, there are three wires, Normally Open Power, Normally Closed Power, and Neutral. Either the NO or NC contacts on the relay are powered at all times. One side of the relay opens the valve, the other side closes it. We also discussed the “circuit board” on our “MBV-1”. There isn’t one. The valve also does not include ANY programming, and cannot be used to “POWER” a relay.

I suggested to the customer that they try programming a different relay as a blowdown relay, as there was obviously a problem with Relay 3. They thanked me for giving them a more logical answer than the “EXPERTS” at “BRAND X”.

At Lakewood Instruments, we strive to avoid bad answers. If I do not know the answer, or cannot solve your problem with Lakewood Instruments equipment, I will find someone who can. At Lakewood Instruments you do not need to wait in a “TECH SERVICE” queue only to be transferred to voicemail. We answer NOW, usually by the 2nd ring. If you send us an e-mail with a tech question, we answer as fast as we can, while still assuring that you get the RIGHT answer for your situation. It is easier to give you the correct solution the first time, and avoid repeated trips to a facility.