New Load Sharing U.S. Patent Announcement

Various examples of our patented load sharing technology being used in complex pumping situations.

Various examples of our patented load sharing technology being used in complex pumping situations.

 
Metropolitan Industries Inc. is proud to announce that the company has been issued a system and method patent by the U. S. Patent Office (No. US 8,180,496 B2) which will allow dissimilar variable speed pumps to be controlled in a way never before possible. We have elected to market our programmable logic control systems utilizing this technology by using the term “load sharing.”

The development of load sharing should be very welcome news to anyone attempting to operate any liquid transfer or pressurization system through the use of dissimilar pumps or other challenging hydraulic scenarios. The load sharing process allows Metropolitan to manufacture specialized variable speed control systems for pumping applications which have multiple dissimilar pumps or pumps which need to operate together under varying hydraulic conditions.

Load sharing will eliminate conditions during which one or more pumps operate under high or extremely high energy load conditions, while other pumps within the system are extremely under loaded electrically. These operating conditions are undesirable because they typically cause the pumps to operate well outside of their zone of peak hydraulic efficiency. Load sharing, in essence, is a way of ensuring that all dissimilar pumps within a system tend to operate at peak hydraulic efficiency, regardless of the hydraulic load of the process they are feeding, the hydraulic conditions under which they are operating, and the varying load profile of each pump.

Load sharing defined:

Load sharing is a dynamically-equalizing process by which two or more dissimilar pumps, with dissimilar hydraulic characteristics or operating under dissimilar hydraulic conditions, are operated in unison to accomplish a common task, while drawing a commonality of electrical energy proportional to their individual load characteristics. The process is dynamic because the electrical power load of each pump on the system is continuously compared to the maximum load of the unit. In addition, the electrical power load of each individual pump is also continuously adjusted in proportion to each of the other units, so that the percent load of each unit is proportionally matched by all other units. As such, each of the pumps on the system will very likely operate at rotating speeds which differ from one unit to the next, while attaining the exact same desired set point task.

Common task clarified:

The grouping of pumps must be programmed to accomplish the same set point task, whether the task is to maintain a common line pressure, maintain a common outlet temperature, maintain a common pumped water elevation or, in some instances, a combination of two of these tasks.

Commonality of proportional energy explored:

The load sharing program will adjust the speed of each pump individually while maintaining the common task set point(s), so that the power load (or kilowatt consumption) of each pump in the group is proportional to the load of all pumps in the group.

Example scenario: One 20 HP pump will operate at 10 BHP, while two 60 HP pumps each operate at 30 BHP. In this scenario, each pump in the system operates at 50 percent of its peak load. This process dynamically and continuously varies proportionally, as the demands of the pumped process changes.

Real world examples:

The load sharing process we’ve patented is designed to be very flexible, allowing the technology to be adapted to a variety of applications. The technology will provide us with the unique ability to tackle some of the most challenging hydraulic scenarios in the markets and industries we serve.

Our load sharing program being used in a commercial building application.

Our load sharing program being used in a commercial building application.

 
Multiple pumps with dissimilar flow capabilities:

One or more smaller jockey pumps (or lead pumps) can operate with one or more larger duty pumps (or lag pumps). Possible examples would be a water pressure booster system for a large commercial building or, potentially, a municipal water pumping station. Pumps of various rated flows can work together, each with a shared proportion of their rated horsepower.

Multiple pumps with dissimilar performance characteristics:

One or more pumps with “steep” curve characteristics can operate with one or more pumps with “flat” curve characteristics. This is the perfect process control in a scenario where one or more multi-stage pumps need to operate in conjunction with one or more single-stage pumps.

Multiple pumps, at different geographic locations, feeding a common process:

A municipal pumping station at the east end of town can operate in unison with another pump station at the west end of town. Load sharing is a great solution, especially if the pump stations are at different elevations. Managing this type of application is also enhanced if the water main friction loss profiles are also very different at each end of town.

Multiple pumps, with different suction pressures, feeding a common process:

An exceptionally difficult process-control scenario can be overcome with relative ease. A municipal pumping application, including two or more gravity tanks at varying elevations, feeding a multiple pump system, with a single set point pressure, is an excellent application for load sharing technology.

Multiple pumps with dissimilar motor sizes:

By the nature of the pumps described, many of the scenarios mentioned above will inherently include pumps with various motor sizes. Load sharing will allow all of these systems to operate at their proportionally equal power load, which in itself will tend to ensure operation within the peak efficiency range of their individual performance curves.

Make no mistake: This process program is extremely unique and will be a very valuable asset to our clients while operating their most challenging pumping applications.

For more information regarding load sharing and any potential projects which may benefit from the process, please contact Metropolitan Industries senior systems engineer Brendan Bates at 800-323-1665 or sales@metropolitanind.com.

 

Metropolitan provides local village with a boost

Metropolitan housed the simplex pump system in a clamshell structure for convenience.

Metropolitan housed the simplex pump system in a clamshell structure for convenience.

 
At Metropolitan Industries, we take great pride in our ability to design retrofit solutions to meet your needs.  Our engineering expertise and dedicated sales and service staffs can design custom solutions best suited to solve your water and wastewater challenges.

As case study illustrating our dedication to being problem solvers can be demonstrated by the work done in a village located in DuPage County, Ill.   At the request of the owner, the location of the project will remain confidential.

“The customer needed to deliver water pressure to a small housed concession stand located at an outdoor sports complex,” said Metropolitan commercial sales manager Mike Ponx.  “They required a simplex system housed in compact fashion, so we contained the system in a small clamshell structure.  With this solution, the final product isn’t an eye-catcher and still delivers the water pressure needed for the concession stand to function properly.”

Ponx said the system needed to provide enough water pressure to deliver flow to sinks, lavatories, water closets and hoses within the concession stand.  In order to accommodate, Metropolitan supplied a simplex system with a designed flow rate of 59 GPM at a discharge pressure of 90 PSI.

Ponx said the application of the clamshell structure was ideal for the customer due to its cost-effective price.

“From a financial standpoint, this made the most sense for the customer because they did not have the space or housing already in place for the system,” said Ponx.  “An alternative solution, such as a prefabricated housed structure, would have been much more costly.”

Ponx said a number of amenities were included within the housed structure to ensure routine maintenance and checkup would be hassle-free.

“We included a heating system and a drop light for times when service is being conducted,” said Ponx.  “The structure itself comes with a large enough power supply to run not only the pump, but an electric heater as well.  It also runs a convenience outlet that provides the customer with power when needed.  Everything was supplied as a prefabricated packaged system.”

Overall, Ponx said the project depicts Metropolitan’s vast and unique capabilities, particularly within its commercial division.

“This project demonstrates how diverse we are and our ability to solve problems, small or large,” said Ponx.  “Our commercial division has the ability to service high-rise buildings or, in this case, small structures that do not require very large systems.  In any case, we can provide customers with a number of options and custom solutions applicable to their needs.”

For more information, please contact Mike Ponx at 815-886-9200 or sales@metropolitanind.com.

March trade shows a success!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our exhibit booths during the many trade shows we attended in the month of March!  The ISAWWA WATERCON Conference, IL-PHCC Expo and SMACNA Chicago Trade Show were each a great success, and we appreciate all of the support from the many attendees who stopped by to see our new products and capabilities firsthand.   Below are some photos from these shows.  Be sure to keep checking in for more information regarding the future trade shows we will attend.

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Metropolitan ready for trade show season

At Metropolitan Industries, the month of March signals the start of our trade show season.

As leaders in the residential, municipal, commercial and mechanical water and wastewater industries, we attend a number of trade shows covering these sectors throughout the year.

March is our busiest month, as we attend three major conferences.

Throughout the time leading up to these shows, we have been actively developing and preparing new products and displays to showcase to attendees.

As is always the case with our new product offerings, they are designed to incorporate the latest technologies to help make heating, treating and moving water easier and more efficient than ever before.

We will exhibit at the following shows in March:

Illinois Section AWWA WATERCON
Monday, March 18 to Thursday, March 21
Crowne Plaza Hotel – Springfield, Ill.

WATERCON is the Midwest’s largest water and wastewater conference. We will be exhibiting at booth 503, presenting our newest water and wastewater products.

Illinois PHCC Expo
Friday, March 22
12:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Drury Lane Conference Center – Oakbrook Terrance, Ill.

The Illinois PHCC Expo is Illinois’ premier trade show for plumbing, heating and cooling contractors. Representatives from Metropolitan’s commercial and mechanical divisions will be exhibiting the many new products and capabilities they have added since last year at booths 96, 97 and 98. Also present will be our Ion|StormPro® display trailer, complete with many new additions made to the product line.

SMACNA Chicago Trade Show
Monday, March 26
1:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Drury Lane Conference Center – Oakbrook Terrance, Ill.

The SMACNA Chicago Trade Show will feature the finest vendors in the industrial, commercial, institutional and residential markets specializing in heating, ventilating and air conditioning, manufacturing, energy management and maintenance, and more. Metropolitan recently made a concentrated effort to expand its mechanical heating expertise and our new skills will be presented at booths 85, 86 and 87.

For more information regarding these shows, please contact a Metropolitan representative at 800-323-1665 or sales@metropolitanind.com.

Metropolitan joins Navien’s $2 million club

One of the primary ways Metropolitan has been able to raise Navien brand awareness is by hosting educational seminars.

 
As official representatives of Navien America in the territories of Illinois, northwest Indiana and eastern Missouri, Metropolitan supports a network of distributors within the Midwest in providing homeowners with the highest-quality tankless water heating equipment and related accessories.

Our wholesale division was recently awarded the distinction of selling over $2 million in Navien inventory, joining Navien’s exclusive “$2 Million Club.”

Metropolitan’s Navien wholesale manager Mark Brickey attributed a number of factors to Metropolitan’s success, the first being the quality of Navien heaters and combination units.

“One of the reasons our sales team has had such success with Navien is because Navien sets the standard in the tankless industry,” said Brickey.  “Navien heaters and combination units are efficient and perform very well for end users, but what’s equally important is that Navien is committed to enhancing already great products whenever possible.”

One way in which Navien has improved its strong product base was the creation of the new NPE series heater.  With features such as the ability to utilize half-inch existing gas lines and two-inch venting, and the inclusion of an operator interface to view set points and essential system information, and run diagnostics, Navien’s new NPE series heater has garnered much popularity.

“Navien displayed its commitment to persistent improvement when it introduced the NPE series heater,” said Brickey.  “This new heater incorporates smart technology and comes with an abundance of new features our sales personnel can promote.  It truly is a one-of-a-kind heater.”

Brickey said Metropolitan’s sales staff has made a concentrated effort to endorse Navien units and said the training conducted both at and away from Metropolitan has significantly raised both interest in the brand and overall sales.

“Not only will we routinely hold trainings on Navien models to operators and installers at our facility, we have our sales staff conducting additional trainings behind the scenes,” said Brickey.  “Many times we’ll hold trainings after work hours at supply houses and contractor’s facilities.  We’ve made a great effort to not only raise brand awareness, but ensure operators are familiar with units, are comfortable working with them and can adequately conduct service.”

Overall Brickey credits the hard work of Metropolitan’s sales staff as the chief reason why its partnership with Navien has achieved positive results.

“Selling over $2 million in inventory is quite a feat for our sales staff and we were able to achieve this largely due to their hard work,” said Brickey.  “Particularly during this uncertain economic climate, it took a great deal of commitment and creativity on our end to create business, but we developed and executed the right strategy, and made it happen.”

For more information regarding Navien products, please contact a Metropolitan representative at 815-886-9200 or sales@metropoitanind.com.

Metropolitan introduces new, easy to use system controllers

Metropolitan’s new Metro-Tech II controller.

 
At Metropolitan Industries, customizing solutions to meet the needs and specifications of customers is one of the cornerstones to the way we conduct business.

We believe user-friendly equipment developed to meet precise requirements and suit specific applications leads to the most efficient system operation and results in optimum customer satisfaction.

Adhering to this philosophy, we recently released two new lines of innovative, menu-configurable water booster pump and boiler system controllers, designed to fit specific programs and provide operators with ease of use.

Our “Metro-Tech II” booster pump controller can be customized to meet any requirements, and provides users with the ability to change set and command points, view real-time operating conditions and alarms, and use integrated help screen through the controller’s color touch screen operator interface.

Our “ThermoTech™” cascading boiler controller also features a user-friendly, color touch screen operator interface, and provides users with the ability to set lead boilers, monitor return temperatures and flow meter inputs, track system modulation percentage, set stage delays and more. This controller can be customized to control from one and up to eight boilers.

For a more details regarding each of our new controllers, please visit The Chief Engineer, which recently profiled the Metro-Tech II and ThermoTech™ extensively in its March issue.

Metropolitan expands warehouse doors

Construction of our warehouse doors took place in January.

 
In an effort to further accommodate our customers and streamline the production process of projects, Metropolitan recently completed the major renovations of two warehouse doors.

“Door five, located on the far south side of our warehouse, has been widened from 14 feet wide to 20 feet wide, and door two, located on the north side, has been widened from 12 feet wide to 18 feet wide,” said Metropolitan fabrication department manager Bob Svoboda. “Our belief is that this expansion will not only allow us to ship systems more efficiency, but also allow us to house and ship larger equipment than in the past.”

Svoboda said the extension of both doors will most significantly impact the production of housed structures, allowing Metropolitan’s fabrication and electrical departments to complete housed systems more proficiently.

“Typically, housed systems begin the production process near door five in the fabrication department, are then moved near door two for electrical wiring, and are moved back to door five for shipment,” said Svoboda. “With the expansion of these doors, housed systems can be shipped directly out of door two, eliminating some of the time associated with shipment.”

Svoboda said the expansions have already paid Metropolitan positive dividends, as we recently welcomed the largest housed system in our 55-year history into production.

The expansion of our warehouse doors will allow us to develop and ship larger systems than ever before.

 
“Had we not expanded our warehouse doors, we would have faced several complex challenges in developing and shipping this new housed system,” said Svoboda.  “We’re a customer-first company and when we need to adapt, we are committed to making the appropriate alterations to our facility to serve our customers.  The changes made to our warehouse doors will significantly help with the production of this system and with projects in the future.”

For more information regarding our prefabricated housed systems, including pump, boiler and mechanical rooms, please visit www.metropolitanind.com or contact sales@metropolitanind.com.

2013 seminar schedule released

An important commitment to the many markets we serve is sharing our knowledge and expertise with water and wastewater operators, plumbers, design engineers, city officials and more to best prepare industry professionals for everyday field work.

After welcoming hundreds of guests to our facility for our number of training programs in 2012, we are pleased to announce our 2013 schedule, complete with many new courses designed to introduce and inform attendees of the latest industry technologies, has been finalized.

Six courses from last year are revitalized with new presentations and demonstrations, while three entirely new classes have been added to the schedule.

Two of our new classes pertain to commercial-plumbing applications, the first focusing strictly on the application, maintenance, operation and repair of pressure reducing valves.

“Our ‘A Discussion of Pressure Reducing Valves’ class offers participants the opportunity to operate, design and repair pressure reducing valves in a safe and monitored atmosphere, which makes the class truly uncommon,” said course instructor and Metropolitan commercial sales manager Mike Ponx. “I’m not aware of other venues that can facilitate moving water, setting pressures, and the full tear down of this type of equipment all in a supervised fashion.”

A second new commercial-plumbing offering details specific methods of improving the energy efficiency of various pumping systems in commercial buildings.  Entitled “Energy Saving Strategies,” the program is intended to provide participants from facilities managers, contractors, owners and maintenance personnel an in-depth look at strategies to improve the overall efficiency of commercial pumping systems.

“With the technology at our disposal today, more and more techniques of improving the operation and energy efficiency of commercial systems are emerging,” said course instructor and Metropolitan commercial salesperson Kent Swanson.  “As premier manufacturers of commercial pumping systems, we are at the forefront of these technologies, tirelessly bringing our business partners new ways to improve the performance of their equipment.”

Our final new seminar relates to two topics Metropolitan has recently acquired extensive familiarity in.  The recent expansion of our commercial division has allowed us to supply and manufacture innovative mechanical equipment, and we’re proud to share this knowledge in our “Basics of Steam/Heat Transfer Applications” course.

“This course will primarily serve as an introduction to concepts in steam and heat transfer applications, covering everything from theory to operation,” said instructor and Metropolitan mechanical salesperson Mike Temes.  “Though exploratory in nature, it has the potential to turn into a very lively course simply due to the surrounding capabilities Metropolitan has.  We’re hoping these new topics will appeal to guests and bring new visitors to Metropolitan who may be unaware of our training services.”

As has always been the case with our training seminars, many satisfy state requirements for continuing education.  All courses are free of charge and lunch is always provided.

Future dates will be arranged, so please check in at www.ilceu.com for updated schedules.   All seminars are conducted at our facility in Romeoville, Ill.

For more information regarding seminars that qualify for continuing education, registration, times and how we can bring courses to your facility, please visit www.ilceu.com.

Future Navien NPE series trainings scheduled

Our recent Navien NPE series training, which took place in December of last year, was received very positively.

 
Due to the overwhelmingly positive reception from our most recent Navien NPE series training, Metropolitan is excited to announce two future trainings to take place in February.

The first will take place at the St. Louis, Mo. branch of Connor Co. on Tuesday, Feb. 5. The training will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the branch location of 2374 Grissom Dr. Those interested in attending can contact Brandon Storm at 314-994-9799 to register.

The second will take place at Metropolitan Industries, Inc. on Thursday, Feb. 7. The training will begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 12:30 p.m. Metropolitan Industries is located at 37 Forestwood Dr. in Romeoville, Ill. Those interested in attending can visit www.ilceu.com to register.

Navien’s new NPE series heaters contain a number of new features and benefits, including a front panel command center with user interface, and the ability to utilize two-inch PVC venting and existing one-half-inch gas lines.

Space is limited, so please register in advance to learn more about this exciting new model.

Florida municipality upgrades to housed pump system

Metropolitan supplied the municipality with a prefabricated housed system, including all associated pumps, piping and controls.

 
At Metropolitan Industries, our reach extends far beyond the Midwest. Our national sales team can supply customized pumping solutions shipped fully assembled for ease of installation. Over the years, we have provided domestic water booster systems, complete sump and sewage lift station packages and many more of our cataloged products to customers not just nationwide, but around the globe as well.

Our ability to deliver solutions to pumping challenges to all is demonstrated by the work done in the city of Marianna, Fla. Working with an existing pump system over 25 years old and in need of more pumping capacity, the city turned to the team of Blankenship Contracting, Inc., Pump and Process Equipment Company and Metropolitan Industries to provide a custom solution.

“The customer required a custom pump system package that would not only provide more flow to account for increased demand, but could also supply the fire flow if needed,” said Pump and Process Equipment’s Eric McGee. “To meet these specifications, we designed a three-pump system housed in a prefabricated steel building, all of which was supplied by Metropolitan.”

Each of the three pumps is designed to provide a flow of 750 GPM at 134 feet of TDH. Each pump motor is rated at 40 HP and performs at 3500 RPM at 76.6 percent efficiency.

The prefabricated galvanized steel building includes a 72-inch by 84-inch double door entry to the pump room and a “pebblestone” exterior finish for an attractive design solution.

The system will primarily serve a nearby health department and surrounding residents.

McGee said initial design discussions planned to incorporate a two-pump system, but after discussing options with Metropolitan salesperson Mike Tierney, the group came to a resolution to implement a three-pump system housed in a prefabricated structure.

“We originally planned to build a system with two large pumps, but instead, designed a system with three smaller pumps for a variety of reasons, one of them being energy-efficient operation,” said McGee. “With three pumps, we can run just one at low loads. If the demand increases at any time, the other pump(s) will kick into gear.”

McGee said one of the primary challenges faced was meeting a short lead time, which forced the team of Metropolitan, Pump and Process and Blankenship to complete the project in a quick and well-organized fashion.

“From start to finish, we only had around 8 to 10 weeks to complete the project,” said McGee. “It required a team effort from everyone involved and thanks to a well-executed plan, we were able to deliver the system to our customer on time.”

In order to ensure water operators were familiar with the new system, Metropolitan sent service technicians to the job site to conduct training.

“Training provides a good start for customers when becoming acclimated to a new system,” said McGee. “Knowing the major do’s and don’ts of a system can make for a smooth transition.”

McGee said working with a single source provider was critical to Pump and Process and a chief reason why Metropolitan was involved with the project.

“We wanted to partner with an organization that had all capabilities under one roof,” said McGee. “Metropolitan was able to provide manufacturing, controls, pumps and service. We were comfortable having to contact one sole organization if any issues arose.”

Since installation, McGee said the system has run “flawlessly” and described his overall experience of working with Metropolitan as positive.

“When working with Metropolitan, the word professionalism comes to mind,” said McGee. “We’ve worked with many businesses in the water and wastewater industries and appreciate the way Metropolitan communicates with its customers. The ‘no excuses’ approach they take to developing a system ensures quality is of supreme concern.”

For more information, please contact Metropolitan’s Mike Tierney at 800-323-1665 or sales@metropolitanind.com.