In this interview with CleanAlert’s Robin Zoufalik, we look back on a the recent NFMT Vegas conference and get insights into why it was so successful for the CleanAlert team.
Why did CleanAlert choose to exhibit at Vegas in November 2016?
Robin Zoufalik: Well, we chose to exhibit there based on some (previous) experience, and the type of people that attend this conference. It's typically facility managers, building engineers, property managers and owners of buildings. The information that we provided in our exhibit is important to them, because unless they're searching out this information, they're probably not aware of this product. By being able to display it and talk to people about it, it really fits our target market very well.
As with other NFMT events, we saw tremendous response .. people understanding the simplicity of the installation and how effectively the product works. They truly like the capability of being able to monitor filters throughout their building stock. Since Vegas is on the West Coast and we're based in Oberlin, Ohio, and have more coverage on the East Coast, (and) we feel that this was a very good show for us to introduce the product to people that may not be aware of it.
You spoke at NFMT Vegas on November 1st. Tell us what you talked about and why it matters to the attendees.
Robin Zoufalik: I spoke about this new technology, and how to be efficient in your filter changes and filter monitoring. Since it's Vegas, we .. played off the gambling theme. The reason for that is that if you change your filters through visual inspection or on a calendar basis, then you're really gambling because you don't know if those filters are clogged, and you're probably wasting some money. The technology that we'll be covered in the program is the effective monitoring, which uses a new technology, innovative technology, to measure the static pressure drop across the filters, and also being able to remotely access that information, and finally, the bonus of being alerted to when the filters are clogged.
The benefits are that, if you're changing out the filters, say, four times a year, and you put the filter monitor on there and you discover that you actually only needed to change out the filters twice a year, then your filter cost has just been reduced by 50 percent. Now, that can be significant in some cases where the filters that are being used are quite expensive, but even if they're not very expensive filters, a 50 percent cost reduction can be significant.
In addition, the other benefits are that we can then track, based on what you have been doing, any filter life that is longer. We can calculate the energy savings that you get by using clean filters versus running the machine with clogged filters, which would be indicated that if the filters clog before your calendar exchanges, then you get that calculation. I think that's for facility managers, especially in today's world where CFOs and people that are looking at operations are looking to reduce the operational cost of facilities.
Really if you look at it, if you can reduce your operational cost, that money goes right to the bottom line, or you can use that money for other improvements that you may need in your facility. It's really a win/win situation, and I think that's important for facility managers, building engineers and property managers to know that.
This is a really hot topic at the moment. For our audience, I just also want to highlight the fact that Robin was the lead story in the Facility Executive magazine newsletter recently talking about this. Other members of the team recently have been published in AutomatedBuildings and on Building Operating magazine. This is a really hot topic right now. What other speaking sessions (did you attend), or other exhibitors did you catch up with?
Robin Zoufalik: Well, I think the entire Internet of Things, which is the subject of the use of information in buildings, and this whole concept of smart buildings. It started with the electronic or automated thermostat and now it's graduating to entire buildings, and monitoring is important. I was looking for products that the FilterScan Wi-Fi is concurrent with and buildings on the Internet of Things and smart buildings, high-performance buildings. Those are the types of things that are of interest to me as we talked about sustainability and green buildings, and using smart technologies to make the facilities better.
What were some of the other outcomes from exhibiting and speaking at Vegas?
Robin Zoufalik: Well .. we got to meet a lot of folks in the western part of the United States who may not have heard of our product, and we got some exposure to it. We spoke with folks that are in our target market and discussed experimenting with the product. When people are ready to purchase the products, we have a way for them to do that very efficiently.