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In which Setra Systems shares with us the important differences between their capacitive pressure sensors and other companies’ strain gauges.

2011 January 13

How long has Setra Systems been manufacturing differential pressure sensors?

Well, it’s been about 40 years and they’ve gotten pretty terrific at it. And to help you understand just how seriously they take the design and creation of their 100% US-made, totally 17-4 PH stainless steel capacitors, Setra’s Sales Rep Tim Dixon recently sat down with alpscontrols.com President David Meyers to talk in-depth about the superior accuracy, reliability and durability of capacitive pressure sensors as compared to the piezoresistive technology strain gauges that are found in other pressure sensors on the market today.

Here’s a disclaimer, though: this video is epic at just under 15 minutes long. We know: on the internet, that’s an enternity – but the reason for the length is because Tim goes into a high level of detail about how Setra Systems designs their sensors; why that design creates a more robust, accurate instrument; and ultimately how much better your pressure measurement capabilities will be over the long run if you could stop for a bit and consider the level of design intelligence that goes into Setra System products.

So stop for just a bit now – for about 15 minutes, in fact – and get enlightened:

Settle down with a tasty glass of egg nog and take a look at this year’s list of our manufacturers’ holiday closing notices.

2010 November 15
by admin; 4,822 views

strangely enough, we don't sell these.UPDATED – we’re adding Christmas holiday closures now, so check back often!

As the days grow shorter and the chill returns to the air, we are reminded of that magical time of year when we put our differences aside, look at the world anew and start greedily rubbing our hands together in anticipation of the season’s excesses.

While you’re doing that, you might be interested in knowing when our manufacturer-partners will be closing up shop to enjoy the holidays with their families – so take a look at the list below so that you can avoid any product-ordering delays. Because we’ll update this list each time we get a new notice, please check back here throughout the end of the year for the latest news.

The following companies have let us know when they’ll be closed for the holidays:

  • alpscontrols.com – we’ll be closed on Thursday and Friday, 12.23 and 12.24, and then also Friday, 12.31.
  • ACI will be open on December 24th and 31st from 7:30 AM until 1:00 PM to ship pre-arranged air shipments and provide customer support.
  • ACR Systems will close at 12:00 PM PST on 12.24 and will reopen for business on Wednesday 12.29 at 8:00 AM PST. For New Year’s, they’ll be closed on Monday 1.3.11 and will reopen for business on Tuesday 1.4.11 at 8:00 AM PST. To receive orders by Tuesday, Jan. 4th, place them by 11:00 AM PST on Friday, Dec. 31st.
  • BAPI is planning on closing Thursday and Friday, December 23rd and 24th; and Friday, December 31st. .
  • Functional Devices will be closed from Friday, 12.24 through Sunday 1.2.11.
  • KMC Controls will be closed from Thursday, December 23rd through Monday, January 3rd.
  • Metropac will be closed on both December 24th and 31st.
  • PECO closes on 12.24 and will be returning on 1.3.11.
  • The Saginaw South Carolina warehouse will be closed from 12.18 through 12.22 to conduct a physical inventory, with minimal shipping on Thursday, 12.23. Additionally, both the Fort Mill, SC and El Paso, TX warehouses will be closed on December 24th through 27th as well as December 31st through January 3rd.
  • SenseAir plans to close on 12.24, 12.31 and 1.6.11.
  • Siemens will be closed on the following: December 24th, 27th, 28th, 31st, and January 3rd.
  • Spartan Peripheral Devices is going to be closed from December 23rd through January 2nd and will reopen on Monday, 1.3.11.
  • Viconics office and production facilities will be closed from 12.24.10 through 1.1.11. All orders must be placed on or prior to 12.1.10 so that they can be processed and shipped before 12.23.10.

Questions? Contact our customer service folks or leave a comment below.

From all of us at alpscontrols.com, we wish you the very best of the holiday season!

Join us for a webinar in which we’ll demonstrate the simplicity and cost-efficiency of Point Six WiFi temperature and humidity sensors.

2010 October 25
by admin; 8,608 views

Last September, we told you a little bit about these WiFi temperature and humidity sensors from Point Six Wireless:

Point Six Wireless has created a temperature sensor that transmits data automatically by utilizing a building’s existing WiFi network. The sensor, along with a configurable web-based interface, provides a constant stream of temperature data and can be customized to issue emails or phone calls when the temperature falls outside of defined parameters.

But the real beauty of the Point Six WiFi sensor is that it doesn’t have to be installed, wired, mounted or anything. Simply adjust some configurations and drop the sensor – which is about the size of a deck of cards – into a refrigeration or freezer unit, and it immediately begins transmitting data. It’s simple to set up, inexpensive to maintain and provides reliable and consistent information for cold chain management in a modern world.

point six wifi temperature sensor with remote monitoringAre you interested in finding out how you could monitor temperature and humidity conditions via a simple web-based interface?

Because if so, we’d like to invite you to come see how these dazzling little wonder-sensors work, from the comfort of your own keyboard.

Here’s how you can participate:

  • We’ll be hosting a Point Six WiFi Temperature Sensor webinar this Thursday, 10.28.10, at 2:00 PM EST
  • Hit the email link below and if you’re one of the first 15 people to register, we’ll send you a webinar invitation link and login instructions.
  • On Thursday at 2:00, you can access the webinar and we’ll spend 15 – 30 minutes showing you how simple and cost-effective it is to get these sensors up and running with minimal setup time and basically zero installation costs.

Just send your name and email address here and we’ll do the rest.

Want more information? Here’s our alpscontrols.com tech-genius Curtis McCormick to show you just a little about what the Point Six sensors can do:

If your building project needs products covered under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, have we got a list for you.

2010 October 12

In our daily chats with the more than 130 manufacturers whose products we sell on alpscontrols.com, we’ve been learning more and more lately about the HVAC, lighting control and building automation products that fall within the requirements of the “Buy American” clause of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

Wayne National Forest Solar Panel ConstructionAt its basics, this clause states that construction projects may be funded through ARRA if “all of the iron, steel, and manufactured goods used in the project are produced in the United States”. In our business, there are some subtleties at work with regard to products manufactured in the United States with components from other countries, but the simple fact is that we sell a great big boatload of products that fall under ARRA requirements.

If you haven’t done so, I’d encourage you to read more about ARRA here. The “Buy American” clause can be found in section 1605 of the act.

From what our customers are telling us, a number of construction projects and bids are being awarded with ARRA in mind, which makes identifying the products that fall within its requirements more important than ever. We’ve reached out to our manufacturers to ask them to help us out on this, so I thought we’d pass along those who have provided us with documentation:

And you should keep an eye on this list – we’ll be adding more of our manufacturers to it in the days and weeks to come.

(photo credit: Wayne National Forest)

Lighting Controls: Introducing the 40% Solution

2010 September 23

If you’re a building automation specialist and you use HVAC control products to reduce energy use in your building projects, you seriously need to watch this video.

Because you’re probably only doing half the job that you could be doing.

According to our consultant Carl Keller, a controls contractor with decades of hands-on industry experience, most building automation specialists are neglecting a good 40% of a building’s energy use when it comes to control products, because they refuse to enhance and integrate their building’s lighting controls.

Are you putting in occupancy sensors and automatic light switches? That’s great, but you’re only saving pennies instead of thousands. Take a few minutes and see what Carl has to say about that:

With some new technologies and a small learning curve, traditional control contractors can integrate lighting controls into an overall energy-busting strategy for their buildings. Stay tuned to alpscontrols.com as we delve more deeply into specific lighting control technologies that can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.

Let Setra Systems take the sticky out of your summer.

2010 July 27
by admin; 5,269 views

In many locations across the United States, temperatures are packing a wallop this summer, well above normal levels. From office buildings to schools, hospitals, factories and more, people have been seriously cooking in the last few months, and not in fun, summertime BBQ-kinds of ways.

But it’s a dry heat, right?

No way. Hot weather plus humidity leads to some truly uncomfortable conditions where a day at the office can feel like eight hours in the sauna – but for a limited time, Setra Systems and Alps Controls have a solution.
setra systems humidity sensors

Right now, you can save up to 20% on all of Setra Systems’ humidity and combo sensors.

Yes, that’s all of them: room and duct humidity sensors, combination temperature/humidity transmitters and more. And to make things even cooler, Setra Systems has added active temperature outputs on every combo unit. Just add a combo unit to your cart and specify if you want current (4 – 20 ma) or voltage (selectable 0-5 VDC or 0-10 VDC). Simple.

So if you’d like to save some money and you’re tired of your clothes feeling as sticky as a Florida swamp, slide over to the Alps Controls e-catalog site and drop some Setra Systems humidity and combo sensors into your shopping cart today.

WIN! Dave Meyers and Ken Siefert of Alps Controls named 2010 Ernst & Young Entrepreneurs of the Year!

2010 June 21

In June, Alps Controls’ Dave Meyers and Ken Siefert were named 2010 Information Management Entrepreneurs of the Year by Ernst & Young!

The awards were handed out at a black-tie event at the Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh. The competition honored sixteen finalist companies in industries as diverse as healthcare, logistics, e-commerce, fashion and more. Now in its 24th year, the Ernst & Young competition is judged and awarded regionally, nationally and then globally. Recipients at each competition level are invited to move onward and upward.

Alps Controls has now been honored in a region including Western Pennsylvania, Upstate New York and West Virginia, and Dave and Ken will be invited to attend the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum in Palm Springs, California, in November this year. Speakers at this year’s event include Deepak Chopra, Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent, Tom Adams of Rosetta Stone, Charlie Rose, film director Kathryn Bigelow and more. Following the four-day forum, National Entrepreneurs of the Year will be awarded at a gala event hosted by Jay Leno.

dave meyers and ken siefert, alps controls 2010 entrepreneurs of the year(from left to right, Alps Controls Sales Representative Wendy Siefert; Vice President & Director of eBusiness Systems Ken Siefert; President Dave Meyers; Ann Meyers)

Big-time congrats to Dave and Ken from everyone at Alps Controls!

5:00 pm. 5 Questions with our Accounting Manager Betty Horvwalt

2010 June 16

Today we pose 5PM5Qs with Betty Horvwalt, our Alps Controls Accounting Manager who uses her five answers to extol the virtues and mysteries of handling your customer payments electronically through alpscontrols.com.

Is it easy? Cheap? Will it make your life oh so much better? I think you probably know the answers to all of those, but let’s hear Betty tell us in her own delightful style.

Were you paying attention? I think she might have just offered you a hug.

Get free shipping in June and July when you order Siemens Building Technology products at alpscontrols.com

2010 May 26
by admin; 6,095 views

UPDATE: This promotion has expired, but keep an eye on alpscontrols.com for future special pricing promotions from more than 130 manufacturers.

That title pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? And it’s even simple to do:

  1. Visit the page on alpscontrols.com where we’ve magically assembled all of the products that we sell from Siemens Building Technology
  2. Browse the products and add a whole bunch of them to your shopping cart
  3. Process your order and totally don’t get charged any regular domestic shipping charges
  4. Do all of this within in the months of June and July of this year
  5. Enjoy the happiness that will ensue

Hey, you don’t suppose that there’s a video explaining all of this, do you?

The new Ventostat from GE Sensing is now available in all configurations with next-day shipping!

2010 May 13
by admin; 5,236 views

GE Sensing introduced their new Telaire Ventostat 8000 series to us at Alps Controls several months ago; it’s the first of its kind on the market that can measure temperature, humidity and CO2 all in one compact sensor. GE Sensing has created an innovative new design for the Ventostat which distributes any heat generated by the unit’s power source and sensor technology and distributes it outside of the sensor’s case – ensuring accuracy and proper calibration of the unit. What’s more, having only one sensor do the work of three cuts down on installation and maintenance costs, and makes it easier to meet aesthetic design requirements.

And right now the Alps Controls e-catalog site has all of the Ventostat 8000 series configurations available with next-day shipping – so take a look at this video in which GE Sensing Global Product Manager Chris Ranwell introduces the new sensor: