Eric Massinon, business development manager at Chicago Pneumatic Power Technique talks about the effects of Tier 4 engines, the trends toward paralleling and environmentally friendly machines, and more.
RER: What is new technologically for your company in generators?
Massinon: In the engineering department, one thing CP has done with the newer Tier 4 Final generators is standardize the engines with Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC) or DOC+SCR only. The engineering department avoided diesel particulate filters and regeneration cycles. Across the board from our 25 to 330 kVA generators, we are all DOC. 70 and up is DOC+SCR. DPF systems inherently are going to clog up and have to be replaced, which is expensive. More functions will go wrong with having the regeneration cycles vs. having a DOC.
CP changed to a Deep Sea controller and also Siemens circuit breakers. These components are readably available, or they can be sourced locally.
By virtue of the Tier 4 Final engines, they are all electronic engines. Moving to electronic engines, the equipment now has to have PLC (Programmable Logic Controllers) so each piece of equipment has a computer onboard. Because they are PLC and the fact we are reading more information – that information can be paired through telemetric systems. This allows the operator to get information online or call up their units to see the operating parameters; i.e. if it is loaded properly, fuel level, hour meter, operating temperatures and oil pressures on the engine. This gives them visibility to the products they have out in the field and they can get location.
This technology can be plugged into our new control systems from the electronic engines. The old generators, the mechanical engines the operator would have to put all kinds of pressure transducers and temperature transducers on the older style machines and wire them up. The electronic engines are “plug-and-play” – they can plug in a telemetric system and see it online.
What are the latest trends and developments in generators for the rental market?
Massinon: CP has a new paralleling control option that is available for the CPG 95 to CPG 330. This option allows multiple generators to be linked and used on one job. This in turn allows customers with smaller generators to compete in contracts for jobs requiring larger generators and it also offers the end user the added advantage of a more balanced load on each generator saving fuel and allowing redundancy as needed.
What types of trends do you see coming in the near future in generators?
Massinon: More use of the paralleling option on larger requirements to balance and stabilize the generator loads and reduce fuel consumption. Focus on fuel efficiency, and environmental friendly solutions like paralleling and hybrid technologies.
We are in hurricane season. What advice would you give to rental companies about how to prepare for the impact of major storms?
Massinon: Have an established plan including partner agreements with manufacturers and other rental companies outside of the path of the hurricane. Make sure your equipment is high and dry, ready for rentals. Coordinate having rental split agreements for units from other companies outside of your territory to help you serve your customer base. These agreements along the coastal regions can be mutually beneficial to each company. Purchase what you need in advance so that you have a reasonable and responsible stock.
As hurricane season beings, what do you as a manufacturer do to prepare?
Massinon: For hurricane season manufacturers need to build up inventory levels for six months or more of normal demand. This safety stock allows the manufactures to service its customers in hurricane regions in the event of a bad hurricane season. Some seasons like the last one can produce multiple hurricanes that consume all available generator stock quickly. It is good business to have stock and support as many customers as possible, but it’s business and stock costs money so like any other business a responsible level of inventory has to be maintained.
What are the basics that rental companies should know if they want to be successful in general rentals?
Massinon: Attention to fleet versatility and availability to guarantee a good usage ratio at all times should be considered. Rental companies should also know the application the generator will be used for. A large generator may be required for a job with a high demand period of three hours out of 24-hour operation. Historically a 300 KW generator may have been selected to handle the motor starting and other factory start up requirements, but now three 100KW units in parallel would be a better fit. With the multiple smaller generators in parallel all three running will handle the demand for the peak and then some of the generators can be shut down when the load is not at peak. This saves fuel and keeps the generators running with the load where it should be to prevent wet stacking and other light load problems. Adding one more 100 KW generator to this mix offers some redundancy and allows for staggered service as needed.