Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A Look Back

I’ll be doing another ASHRAE talk, this time in in Sacramento, CA. As I prepared for this trip, I started to think back to when I lived there for a year right out of college, going to the USAF Navigator School at the (now closed) Mather Air Force Base, which is about a mile from where I’ll be giving my talk. What I couldn’t believe is that it has been 50 years!

I served 5 years in the USAF, separating in 1972. A year later, I entered the building construction industry, working for Owens Corning Fiberglass (OCF) in their Product Testing Laboratory, in the same Ohio town where I went to college. Within a year, I reopened their Air Lab to study an issue with a specification on room air motion. It was then that I became involved in ASHRAE and the Air Diffusion Council to better understand air distribution, thermal comfort, and applicable standards.

At OCF, for any claim we published or advertised, we were required to have actual supporting test data (conducted in accordance with established test methods). I have carried that “rule” with me ever since, for 44+ years.

At Krueger, we have a set of folders on the server that hold performance data for every VAV terminal unit and air device for all our printed and electronic catalogs, dating back to 1983, when Excel became available on computers running MS-DOS. We learned in the early 80’s that it was not possible to develop an electronic catalog from printed data. Rather, what we found was that the printed data needed to be produced from the same equations and data used to create an electronic catalog. Krueger’s KEC (Krueger Electronic Catalog) was released in 1984 in MS-DOS. It is still able to run, be it painfully, as it doesn’t use a mouse or function keys (neither of which had been invented yet).

As I train new Krueger employees in the art of data gathering, regression, and catalog preparation (printed and electronic), I hope to instill the spirit of traceable and verifiable performance data that I learned all those many years ago.