Once again, Snips takes its annual expanded look at new products that make the job go smoother, quicker, or more profitable. Invention and introduction of these products is essential to moving our industry forward. They help us work smarter, not harder, and make us more successful at what we do.

We quote inventor Phil Baechler, in his foreword to "Secrets from an Inventor's Notebook" by Maurice Kanbar: "Of course, not all inventions are big winners. The old saying about 'invent a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door' - I can't remember the last time I bought a mousetrap. That's just the point! It's the NEW stuff that people are buying. I grew up listening to 45-rpm records. My kids don't even know what those are. The pace of innovation is increasing and there are always new gizmos coming on the market."

Duct hanger

The EDH-1 expandable duct hanger expands from 13- to 21-in. The unit is made from hot dip galvanized steel. The points are made from 18 gauge steel and the telescoping body is made from 24 gauge structurally strengthened steel. The 18 gauge ends have a barb to prevent the point from being pushed out of the joist. Added features include a hole to anchor the hanger with a nail or wood screw.

ALAN Manufacturing Inc.; 800/435-2526; fax 877/333-2526 or www.alanmfg.com

Swivel hangers

Basset Swivel Hangers were made to support hydronic heat piping and furnace vent lines. The hangers are made of strong ABS plastic and feature a snap fit design that holds pipe firmly and installs quickly and easily. The hanger rotates to accommodate any angle.

C & S Manufacturing Corp., P.O. Box 736, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235; 920/743-6941; fax 920/743-7432; email: csmfg@itol.com

Wire feeder/welder

The Power MIG 200 from this Ohio company features "Diamond Core" technology, which allows the machine to provide excellent performance with aluminum, stainless and mild steel. And the unit's soft, controllable arc reduces spatter and has a high tolerance for stickout variations. Other features include a rugged design and lockable tool storage. The storage compartment can even hold two 10 lb. spools of wire.

Lincoln Electric Co., 22801 St. Clair Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44117-1199; 888/355-3213 or www.lincolnelectric.com. Ask for brochure E7.50.

Thermostats

The new Flushmount Programmable Thermostat has an ultra-slim, unobtrusive profile that protrudes a mere 1/4-in. from the wall. It also features a new patented sensing technology that keeps the temperature within 28F of the setting - "The smallest temperature change most people can detect," according to Honeywell. The battery-free thermostat is handwired to the system transformer. The thermostat mounts mostly in the wall, so installation requires cutting a wall opening. Also new is the "Chronotherm" IV Plus programmable thermostat bearing the government's "Energy Star" label. It automatically adjusts to an energy-saving temperature when the home is unoccupied or when people sleep. And it automatically returns the home to a comfortable temperature just before people get up or get home.

Honeywell Inc., 800-345-7660, ext. 521; www.honeywell.com/yourhome/ or e-mail info@honeywell.com.

Noncontact thermometer

The Raynger ST series of non-contact, infrared thermometers will save hvac service technicians considerable time, according to the company. A tech can simply use the point-and-shoot thermometer to check bad airflow in ac and heating vents, instead of probe thermometers, pressure gauges and line taps. Some models have a distance to spot ratio of 50:1, enabling measurement of smaller spots form longer distances, reducing the need to use ladders.

Raytek Corp., P.O. Box 1820, Santa Cruz, CA 95061-1820; 800/866-5478; fax 831/458-1239; www.raytek.com

Firestopping caulk

"Firetemp CE" is the name of this company's latest addition to their line of firestopping products. Firetemp CE, an endothermic firestopping caulk, also restores the acoustic performance of penetrations and joint systems. Thoroughly tested, Firetemp CE has passed stringent corrosion testing and does not support microbial growth. Tubes are available in 10.1- and 29-oz. sizes, and five gallon pails and 20 oz. sausages.

Johns Manville International Inc., Fire Stopping Systems Division, P.O. Box 5108, Denver, CO 80217; 303/978-2000; fax 303/978-2308; www.jm.com.

Anchoring system

The AC 5.5 Adhesive Anchoring System was designed to offer economy and convenience for low-volume threaded bolt, threaded rod or rebar anchoring applications. Installation is easy, since the quick-curing adhesive can be dispensed with a standard caulking gun and pusher tube. The AC 5.5% kit also contains a plastic cartridge with resin and hardener in separate compartments, a reusable pusher and a static mixing nozzle.

Power Fasteners Inc., 2 Powers Square, New Rochelle, NY 10801; www.powers.com.

Takeoff collars

The E-Z Tap takeoff collar from this Minneapolis company saves time. The E-Z Tap has a one-inch flange turned out, adding rigidity to the collar. A double-faced gasket applied to the flange guarantees a tight seal. Peel, stick and fasten with sheet metal screws. The new fitting reduces the need to cut an exact hole size and seal the connection after installation. The E-Z Tap is available in straight and conical types in 26- or 24-gauge galvanized steel.

Sheet Metal Connectors Inc., 5850 Main Street N.E., Minneapolis, MN 55432-5439; 800/328-1966; fax 763/572-1100 or www.smcduct.com.

Power rollers

The new ASM and ASM-S power rollers include a rear roll power adjustment for motorized pre-bending. The units also include a cone bending attachment, a pedestal control with forward, reverse and emergency stop on a trailing lead and emergency wrap-around shut-off cable. Options include a digital display.

Empire Machinery & Tools Ltd., 725 Century St., Winnipeg, MB R3H 0M2; 800/665-8089; fax 204/779-7796 or www.empire-machinery.com.

Steam humidifier

This company's steam humidifier is available in direct steam discharge and steam to stream conversion models with capacities up to 2,000 lbs. per hour. The UST 2000's steam distributor manifolds are based on a new patent-pending multi-pipe design with a self-adjusting pressure valve steam outlet. This ensures equal steam distribution in the duct under all flow conditions. The vertical distribution manifolds are also coated with a hi-tech ceramic insulation to reduce condensation by up to 80%.

DGH Systems LLC, 1834 Freedom Road, Lancaster, PA 17601; 717/293-5210; fax 717/293-0449; www.dghsystems.com/ust.htm.

Zone control

Comfort System, from this Indianapolis-based manufacturer, is a contractor-friendly, reliable zone control system. The panel offers automatic changeover, system status lights, double-fused protection and requires no adjustments or special wiring. Up to nine zones can be controlled. Comfort System uses two-wire dampers and standard thermostats. Heat/cool and heat pump versions are available.

Jackson Systems LLC, 100 East Thompson Road, Indianapolis, IN 46227; 888/652-9663; fax 317/227-1034; www.jacksonsystems.com.

Fire/smoke damper

The MDL-FSD-111 combination fire/smoke damper uses stainless steel blade seals, as opposed to more common neoprene blade seals. The jamb is also stainless steel and the bearings are sintered bronze. A high-tension spring closes the damper positively and quickly. There is no gradual build up of dust and dirt to slow operation. The linkage is protected and concealed in the channel frame. The blade closes completely, even in high temperature environments where metal may expand. Sleeve and actuator options are available.

Lloyd Industries; 215/412-4445; fax 215/412-4409 or email: lloydind@ NNI.com; web site: www.firedamper. com.

Dust collectors

These Micro Air cartridge Dust Collectors were made to provide maximum functionality in all sizes. The units' Roto-Pulse cartridge cleaning system automatically cleans the filter cartridges with up to 90% efficiency. This means less maintenance is required and the filter lasts longer. A gravity flow design adds to the dust collector's effectiveness by bringing air in from the top and down through the filters and out the bottom. Two-, four-, six- and eight-cartridge models are available.

Micro Air, P.O. Box 1138, Wichita, KS 67201; 316/943-2351 or fax 316/943-2717; www.microair online.com.

Actuator models

The M9206-BGA-2 and M9206-BGC-2 are the two newest additions to this company's spring return, electric actuator series. The units deliver 53 pound-inches of torque and includes features that ensure fast, easy installation and long life. Ideal uses include positioning air dampers and valves hvac systems. The M9206-BGA-2 has two adjustable 120V auxiliary switches, capable of driving quarter-horsepower motors without needing to install an external relay.

Johnson Controls; 800/-ASK-JNSN; www.johnsoncontrols.com.

Upgraded aluminum fans

This company's line of spun aluminum products was recently improved. To increase the structural integrity of its small diameter spun aluminum fans, it reduced the curb cap sizes on Models G and GB Centrifugal Roof Exhaust Fans and Models CUE and CUBE Centrifugal Roof Upblast Exhaust Fans. Grease collection options have also been added to the lines.

Greenheck, P.O. Box 410, Schofield, WI 54476-0410; fax 715/355-2399 or www.greenheck.com.

Airflow visualization tool

This portable fogger makes airflow visualization easy. The "FlowMarker" allows the operator to observe and "mark" existing air movements. Since it will not cause the air to rise, the instrument provides visualization of the air's natural movements without adding any disturbances. It uses a nontoxic, germ-free fog that breaks down into carbon dioxide (CO2) and water. The unit also includes a carrying case and a can of fog fluid.

Cambridge Accusense, 1000 Mount Laurel Circle, Shirley, MA 01464; 978/425-2090; fax 978//425-4062; www.accusense.com.

Air intake systems

"IN-FORCER" fresh or combustible air intake systems were designed to provide a reliable, cost effective way to improve indoor air quality (IAQ). All models feature a unique, compact design for quick and easy installation. Outside air is drawn through three inch PVC pipe and tempered with inside air before delivery to a room. The models operate on a user programmable timer, which reduces moisture problems while providing dedicated make-up air. Combustion models interlock with heating equipment, eliminating a cause of back-drafting.

Tjernlund Draft and Ventilation Products; 800/255-4208, Ext. 126.

Measuring louver

The EAML6625 Airflow Measuring Louver combines a wind driven, rain resistant louver and an airflow measuring station. The louver section features the AMCA-tested EME6625 Wind Driven Rain Resistant Louver, which provides high airflow capacity in a relatively small size. The airflow measurement station has extruded aluminum airfoil-shaped sensing blades that gauges total and static pressure through the louver. The information collected by the EAML6625 can be used to determine if a building is receiving the proper amount of outside air. A variety of finishes are available.

Ruskin; 816/761-7476 or www.ruskin.com on the Internet.

VAV air-conditioning

This Baltimore-based company has introduced its line of variable air volume (VAV) air-conditioning systems. The Convertible Vertical line comes in five to 100-ton capacities. The vertical design allows design flexibility in renovation, new construction or replacement applications. Factory options include alternate fan motor drive packages, crankcase heaters or hydronic economizers. The units can be placed almost anywhere- in equipment rooms, schools, libraries, stadiums, etc.

Skil-aire, 1100 Wicomico St., 6th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21230; phone 410/625-7545; fax 410/625-6421 or www.skil-aire.com.

Panel meters

These new panel meters were designed specifically for hvac and industrial applications such as filter, fan static pressure monitoring, room pressurization, fume hoods, HEPA filter monitoring and more. The MPM panel meters are available with analog outputs, easily set high and low relay points and 3.5 digit LCD displays for easy reading. The panel meters also feature a microprocessor and solid state silicone piezo-resistive sensor.

Modus Instruments Division, General Eastern Instruments, 20 Commerce Way, Woburn, MA 01808; 781/938-7070; fax 781/938-1071; www.generaleastern.com.

Temperature sensor

This company's Combined Pressure/Temperature Sensor incorporates in stream temperature measurement with a core ceramic pressure transducer. This combination offers improved system monitoring and control for a variety of applications. Available in 0-150 0-500 psi models, the sensor is compatible with a broad range of media, including hvacr equipment.

Texas Instruments Sensors and Controls, 888/438-2214; fax 508/236-2349 or www.tisensors.com on the Internet.