By Thomas Wilk, editor in chief
I get to do something this week that I haven’t done since this past March: I get to go to a professional event!
It’s not an in-person event, not yet. But it’s one that is a highlight of my event calendar and one that plant infrastructure professionals should not miss.
This is the week the third annual Best Practices Expo kicks off, on W-Th September 23-24, and I cannot wait to attend. The expo is organized by Rod Smith, publisher of the Best Practices magazines which focus on the care and optimization of critical plant infrastructure elements, especially compressed air systems, chillers, and blowers.
Although the past two expos have brought maintenance teams, energy managers, and engineering leaders from industry and consulting together in person, this year Rod has taken the event virtual, in the form of live keynotes and panels combined with pre-recorded sessions. The downloadable PDF on the event registration page provides an overview of all the sessions.
So, why specifically am I so excited about this event? First and foremost, this expo has a very strong focus on maintenance and asset management, which makes it a great fit for Plant Services readers. The lead track focuses on Compressed Air Technology Fundamentals & Maintenance, and a live discussion forum on Thursday will focus on How to Best Monitor & Fix Compressed Air Leaks. The live forum will include familiar faces like Ron Marshall and Wayne Perry, as well as industry insiders like Leslie Marshall, who works as the corporate energy engineering lead for General Mills. (Her Best Practices Expo keynote in Nashville last year addressed how her team’s effort to detect and fix compressed air leaks in their North American plants was projected to achieve $6.2 million in energy savings.)
Second, this event is strongly supported by industry associations like Compressed Air Challenge and the Compressed Air & Gas Institute (CAGI). In fact, Chad Larrabee, the CAGI Education Committee Chair, will be delivering one of the live keynotes. By attending, you’ll be tapping into a wide network of industry knowledge and support.
The third reason is the practical knowledge that is shared by the presenters. This year the presentations range from engineering case studies (“Paving the Way for Energy Management at CalPortland”) and operational tips (“Operating Rotary Screw Air Compressors in Hot Ambient Conditions”) to compressor and chiller PM best practices (“Centrifugal Air Compressor Fundamentals & Maintenance”).
Fourth, every compressed air story is at heart an energy management story. All presenters at the Best Practices Expo are ready to share ideas with you on how you can keep a better eye on energy costs at your facility, from blowers ("Sizing Multiple Small Blowers for Energy Savings & Redundancy") and chillers ("New Vapor Compression Technology to Reduce Heating & Cooling Operating Costs & CO2 Emissions") to the compressors themselves ("Proven Compressed Air Treasure Hunt Projects").
Finally, this is an opportune year for you to try out the Best Practices Expo, because registration for both days is free of charge! You can also request PDH certificates upon registration, for those who would like to add to their number of professional development hours.
It’s been a tough year for all of us, so I strongly urge you to join me this week for one or both days of education and virtual networking, and perhaps save the date for the 2021 Best Practices Expo which will be here in Chicago. This is the second year that Plant Services has been a proud Supporting Organization of the Best Practices Expo, and I could not be more excited to continue our support.
See you at the Expo!