KMC Controls — A History of Great Success Built with Great People and Great Products

Screen Shot 2015-08-22 at 10.54.23 AM KMC Controls, an almost mythical American success story begins with a summer job at Barber Colman in Rockford, IL, where Ken Krueter was first introduced to the world of HVAC and controls. Ken Kreuter’s pioneer efforts were soon augmented by a remarkable family and a cast of industrious and harmonious visonaries that would sustain KMC’s growth — and allow KMC to make significant contributions to the HVAC industry — for the next fifty years. Today, KMC Controls stands as one of the most advanced and innovative HVAC Controls manufacturers in the world. The KMC Controls’ History is a video story worth watching and remembering!

KMC Controls was founded in 1969 by Ken Kreuter as Kreuter Manufacturing Company marketing damper actuators, pneumatic-electric switches, and logic relays through private label contracts with OEM partners. The KMC product line was soon expanded to include variable air volume controllers and actuators.

By 1989, KMC had expanded into its 100,000 square foot manufacturing facility in New Paris, Indiana. In 1996, KMC became a global distributor. Sales growth in international markets brought about a new era of expansion and product development. The company earned ISO 9001 certification in 1997 and released its venerable line of BACnet® open-protocol controllers in 2004.

Today, KMC continues to market innovative and intuitive solutions developed by responsive and supportive people. With a focus on quality and dedication to open platform systems and support, KMC is well-positioned to capitalize upon technological advancement to drive growth in new markets.

ControlTalk NOW Week Ending December 8, 2013

ControlTalk NOW thanks this week’s Platinum Sponsors: Vykon, EasyIO, DG Logik, and ControlCo DataEye Pro. These four industry superstars are nominated for a combined total of (22) 2013 ControlTrends Awards. The time draws near! Register to vote today.

ABBLOGOABB Poll: What is the Most Effective Energy Savings Action You’ve Taken in the Past 12 Months? ABB Reader Poll: What is the most effective energy savings action you’ve taken in the past 12 months? Reduced temperatures, Added VFDs, Added DCIM, Virtualization, or Other.

JapaneseGreeting ControlTalk NOW welcomes EasyIO’s global executive Mike Marston and special guest, William Achury, President, Sanko Telecom Ltd, a leading solutions provider from Tokyo, Japan (Thank You very much!). Great insight into EasyIO passing muster in a very challenging and competitive market.

SGIP Seminar on How SGIP Supports Electric Utilities, Regulators, Manufacturers and Integrators: How SGIP Supports Electric Utilities, Regulators, Manufacturers and Integrators in 2014 to Ensure Electric Grid Reliability in 2014 to Ensure Electric Grid Reliability Seminar. Join SGIP Thursday, December 12, 2013 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST.

AICAQUISITION NEWS! WattStopper Buys AIC-Wireless — Lighting Solutions for the High Performance Buildings WattStopper’s Pete Horton delivered this exciting announcement on the November 24th ControlTalk NOW. The combination of AIC Wireless and Bryan Pike’s expertise of the Tridium Niagara architecture with WattStopper’s extensive application understanding of the lighting and electrical infrastructures offers the high performance building industry new and exciting opportunities.

CGNA logoControls Group North America (CGNA), Together We Accomplish More. The ControlTrends Awards Committee thanks CGNA’s Mike Sackett and Jim Hayman for their sponsorship of the 2013 ControlTrends Awards. Controls Group North America (CGNA) is the leading network of Distributor Members and Manufacturer Preferred Vendors in HVAC/R industry. CGNA provides innovative solutions and takes a progressive approach to evolving your business. Through committees, conferences, webinars, and networking opportunities, CGNA impacts our Members’ and Preferred Vendors’ bottom line by increasing their market share.

ControlTalk NOW’s second guest, Brian Turner, President of ControlCo, an Oakland-based control solution provider and one of USA’s largest integration distributors, reviews DataEye Pro, which is a candidate for the 2013 ControlTrends Awards Best Building Application of the Year Award. After watching this interview, it’s easy to understand why DataEye Pro was nominated.

OX 5Five More HVAC Giants: Ken’s TOP 5 Information Pivot Points of Week 48: 1. Watts Water Technologies: In 1857, at the age of 17, Joseph E. Watts emigrated to Lawrence, Mass., from Cheshire, England seeking his fortune as a machinist. Just 17 years later Watts set up an independent machine shop, known as the Watts Regulator Company, to supply machinery parts and fittings to the local textile mills. In addition to his success at running his own business, Joseph Watts was extremely inventive—and he soon achieved widespread fame in the manufacturing world as the patentee and maker of steam and water pressure regulators.

lynxspring_logoThe Value of the Collaborative Community, by Marc Petock, Vice President, Marketing, Lynxspring, Inc. Original article published in Automated Buildings’ December, 2013 edition, entitled, “Collaborating Convergence.” Collaboration simply means “to work together with a shared vision and desired outcome for the future.” Today, many innovations are being fueled by collaborative, connected community efforts. We see it most clearly in the Internet and web, where new capabilities are continuously developed by communities that build on the work of others, creating “mashups”, and new complimentary applications.

nest protectNest Encounters of the Second Kind — Nest Protect: Something Different, Something Better! I wonder if its the golden-green Palo Alto sun? But, without a doubt, Tony, and the outside-the-box-thinkers at Nest have struck synergy-oil again. And, with every single modern residence in the world as a possible customer, any electrical appliance, gas, or water consuming device is the next likely egg in the nest (get it). Immediate future plans: Early 2014, will introduce Nest Protect model that works with wired security systems. If you add enough “nestrogen” to anything, you can make it more lovable, networkable, energy efficient, and practical. If we’re going to keep taking bites out of our own poison privacy apple, we might as well make them as economically and aesthetically delicious as possible.

JenesysLynxspring JENEsys — Nominee for ControlTrends Awards 2013 Building Automation System of the Year: Lynxspring’s JENEsys® is an open, operational and informational platform that combines building automation (connectivity, integration and interoperability), supervision and control, energy management and actionable information (data & analytics) into a single system within a cyber-secured environment. The JENEsys Platform is scalable and deployment allows organizations to continually build off the same network deployment for adding additional applications as desired.

J2_FinbuilderJ2 FINBuilder Cool Feature of the Month — nHaystack Tagging Basics: J2 Innovation reviews nHaystack Tagging Basics: nHaystack is a software module that enables external applications to get data out of Niagara stations quickly and efficiently. Once a system is tagged many new and exciting things become possible. By setting up a Site, Equipment, and tags on your points, you can combine data from multiple networks, and view them in one organized list within the haystack service. Now queries can easily be run against any tags on a nHaystack station to dynamically simplify the implementation of visualization, analytics, reporting and mobile apps. Download the nHaystack Service module and get started!

OpenADR2Demand Response Analysis Tools Available — The OpenADR Alliance is partnering with Joule Assets to provide the OpenADR community with free access to their DR market analysis tools for the next 30 days. After 30 days, only members of the OpenADR Alliance will have access to the free tools.

Functional_DevicesFunctional Devices Inc. Switching Smart Transceivers in LonMark RIBs from FT3120 to FT5000 12/1/2013: Message to Valued Customers. Functional Devices Inc. will be switching the Smart Transceiver in the LonMark RIB Devices below from FT3120 to FT5000 starting December 1, 2013. Devices that contain an override switch will now give the customer the ability to switch the output from N/O to N/C with an on-board jumper. The layout and connections have changed slightly, and FDI will included a new DI status LED (pink). The main advantage to customers will be the elimination of commissioning fees.

YaskawaZ1000Yaskawa Nominated for the 2013 ControlTrends Variable Frequency Drive of The Year: For the second year in a row, the Yaskawa Z1000 has been nominated for the ControlTrends Variable Frequency Drive of The Year. Yaskawa provided the Control Trends Community this video on their Z1000 Series. The Drives & Motion Division of Yaskawa America, Inc. announces the release of the Z1000 variable speed drive designed specifically for commercial HVAC applications.

momitst-eleganceWe introduce you to momit Smart Thermostat, a Spanish manufacturer, Thanks to Chantal Marin-Bourceraau, Product Manager and Business Development at Introducing the momit Smart Thermostat — (Europe’s Version of the Nest) Green momit, ControlTrends has learned of yet another innovative and smart thermostat sweeping across European markets, with a possible eye on the North American market as well.

control_MichaelWelchControlTalk NOW welcomes its fourth guest, Michael Welch, Co-founder, Control Network Solutions Ltd. from Chineham, Hampshire, United Kingdom. Michael shares with us, another global perspective of ControlTrends and our industry.

iBeaconsnowglobe_2Connecting More IoT-dots: Apple’s iBeacon Debuts This Christmas Season, Previews Connections Yet to Come: ControlTrends thanks Building Context’s Therese Sullivan,, once again for her timely and relevant insight (and image) into the cataclysmic change that is moving into place around us as IoT-dots (Internet of Things) so fast that we can barely see or perceive them, let alone comprehend the impact (disruption) these IoT-dots will be making in our lives, homes, and quite possibly to our industry, once connected. Be sure to access the linked content, and especially, read the comments at the end of the post.

Honeywell 180x120 Can The Honeywell VFD Repeat as ControlTrends Best Variable Frequency Drive of The Year? Honeywell, winner of the coveted 2012 ControlTrends Awards Variable Frequency Drive of the Year, is nominated again in the Best Variable Frequency Drive of The Year category. Watch this video to see why many in the world wide ControlTrends Community think the Honeywell Smart VFD has the right stuff.

bruce-stimpson Sad News from Lynxspring’s Terry Swope, Bruce Stimpson, CIO and Dear Friend Passes. It is with a heavy heart that I announce the unexpected passing of Bruce Stimpson. Bruce was co-founder of Lynxspring, Vice President, CIO and dear friend. Please join me in offering his family and friends our sincerest condolences during this sad time. We will miss his smile, jokes, hard work, direction and undeniable passion for Lynxspring.

KMC ControlsKMC’S In Touch Newsletter​, Q4 2013: KMC Wins Big in Vegas! Each year, the industry organization, BACnet International, uses the platform of the National Facilities Management and Technology (NFM&T) Exposition in Las Vegas, Nevada to recognize outstanding contributions to the BACnet community. And each year, it seems, KMC walks away as a winner in the BACnet “Leaders of the Pack” awards. For the second time in 4 years, KMC (and a KMC rep) were recognized with top honors. “Best in Show” for the outstanding BACnet project of the year, went to The Bullitt Center of Seattle Washington. KMC representative, Roger Norman of Northwest Automation, was the controls contractor/system integrator for the project and KMC products highlight this landmark facility.

Johnson-Controls2013 ControlTrends VFD Award Nominee: Johnson Controls — A VFD for Every HVAC Application. Johnson Controls featured the significant additions and improvements they made to their VFD offering at the 2013 ABCS Building Championship Teams Conference. Take a look! Johnson Controls is anxious to save you and your customer energy and money on your next VFD purchase. The Johnson Controls VSD series of variable speed drives offers a broad range of competitively priced open drives and drives with bypass, specifically engineered for Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) applications.

edwin_ruud1 5 More HVAC Giants: Ken’s TOP 5 Information Pivot Points of Week 49 1. More than 100 years ago, Edwin Ruud, a Norwegian mechanical engineer, came to America and developed the first successful automatic water heater. That early success marked the beginning of a tradition of innovation and value that led to the introduction of RUUD heating and air conditioning equipment in the 1950s.

ControlTalk NOW will continue to provide a weekly episode featuring the people, products, and the News of the Week shaping our world of controls, building automation, and the HVAC industry.

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5 More HVAC Giants: Ken’s TOP 5 Information Pivot Points of Week 49

edwin_ruud21. More than 100 years ago, Edwin Ruud, a Norwegian mechanical engineer, came to America and developed the first successful automatic water heater. That early success marked the beginning of a tradition of innovation and value that led to the introduction of RUUD heating and air conditioning equipment in the 1950s. Since then, the RUUD has grown into one of North America’s largest manufacturers of quality heating, cooling and water heating products for residential and light commercial use. Today, RUUD operates manufacturing facilities employing highly trained workers and state-of-the-art equipment. Over the years, the product lines have expanded, changed, and improved significantly as new design techniques and better manufacturing technologies have become available. Source: Ruud History

robertshawsimply2. History of Robertshaw Controls Company: In 1899, Frederick W. Robertshaw invented a thermostatic control device to control the flow of gas to the water heater in his home. In 1907, he formed the The House Services Utility Manufacturing Company. In 1914, the business had expanded to such a degree that it outgrew its plant in Pittsburgh. He purchased a building in Youngwood, Pennsylvania and changed the name of the company to Robertshaw Manufacturing Company. In 1922, the name was changed to the Robertshaw Thermostat Company. He no longer manufactured plumbing supplies and other devices other than thermostats. In 1928, the U.S. Foil Company acquired Robertshaw Thermostat. At the same time, R. J. Reynolds, president of U.S. Foil changed the company to Reynolds Metals Company. It primary product was aluminum foil. Also, in 1928, Reynolds Metals purchased Fulton Sylphon Company of Knoxville, Tennessee. In 1936, Robertshaw Thermostat purchased Grayson Heat Control, Ltd. Also, Robertshaw Thermostat purchased American Thermostat Company of St. Louis. And, they purchased Bridgeport Brass Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut. The company was renamed the Bridgeport Thermostat Company. On September 24, 1947, Reynold Metals Company merged all these companies into one company to form the Robertshaw-Fulton Controls Company. Source: Grayson Controls

BASO3. For Almost a Century BASO & Quality Have Remained Synonymous. Since its inception in 1914, BASO has been recognized as an innovative leader in developing and manufacturing a wide range of quality gas control products and accessories. Orignally called Milwaukee Gas Specialty Company, the company produced gas range accessories and later added products for water heaters and furnaces.When the company was granted an exclusive license to manufacture and market the Baltimore Automatic Shut-Off (BASO) switch in 1934, Milwaukee Gas Specialty Company and BASO quickly became synonymous. The company’s name was officially changed to BASO, Inc. in 1957. Also that same year, the first of several phases of contruction on our current manufacturing site at 1007 S 12th Street in Watertown WI were initiated. In 1961, BASO merged with Penn Controls, and the combined entity was later purchased by Johnson Controls, Inc. in 1968. In August 2004, the BASO Pilot Burner and Gas Valve manufacturing business were purchased from Johnson Controls Inc. in a private acquisition. Today, BASO is owned by George Sopko and continues to manufacture product at this same location. While many things have changed in the last 100 plus years, our commitment to producing superior products, providing exceptional customer service and operating with integrity remain unchanged. BASO Gas Products LLC…firing you up since 1914. Source: BASO History

Rheem4. The Rheem Story: Rheem Manufacturing Company was established in the mid-1920s when brothers Richard and Donald Rheem acquired a galvanizing plant in San Francisco, California. In the 1930’s, Rheem began manufacturing water heaters, and by 1936 had coast to coast distribution. During the 1940s and 1950s, the company increased its product line to include space heating units for homes, oil furnaces and air conditioners. In 1959, Rheem acquired Ruud Manufacturing Company, a pioneer in the water heating industry with a well-regarded product line and a distribution network throughout North America. In subsequent years, Rheem entered the heating and air conditioning market and expanded in the late 1960’s and 1970’s with the rapid growth of the central air conditioning industry. In 1985, the company acquired Raypak, a leading producer of copper tube boilers used for swimming pool heating and commercial hot water supply and hydronic heating. Source: About Rheem

Eugene Bourdon5. In 1849 the Bourdon tube pressure gauge was patented in France by Eugene Bourdon. It is still one of the most widely used instruments for measuring the pressure of liquids and gases of all kinds, including steam, water, and air up to pressures of 100,000 pounds per square inch. Eugene Bourdon founded the Bourdon Sedeme Company to manufacture his invention. The American patent rights to Eugene Bourdon’s gauge were bought by Edward Ashcroft in 1852. Ashcroft played an important role in the widespread adoption of steam power in this country. He renamed Bourdon’s gauge, the Ashcroft gauge. Source: Mary Bellis Inventors

Not Just the Hard to Find Parts

Many people think of Stromquist when it comes to buying those “hard to find” parts — the old or obsolete parts or those that just aren’t very common. We’re well known for our great counter and inside sales staff who find matches and replacements for such items. While we do appreciate that you think of us for these, we want you to also think of us for those everyday, run of the mill parts like thermostats, valves, gauges and sensors. Some people automatically go to the bigger supply house chains for these types of parts and only come to Stromquist for the more elusive items. So we would like to ask that you give us a try on your “regular” parts too. We stock a wide range of Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Schneider Electric (formerly TAC/Invensys), Belimo, White Rodgers and many more. And we’re competitive on our pricing. The next time you need that simple thermostat, a relay or pneumatic fittings, give us a call. We’d be happy to pull one off the shelf for you in addition to finding the replacement for that rusty part that’s 25 years old.

Energy Saving Timers

Everyone is looking for simple and inexpensive ways to save energy and money.  Here’s a thought to consider:  hot water heater timers.  Intermatic’s WH Series time switches provide automatic control for electric water heaters. They provide to-the-minute accuracy in programming and time keeping, and they can be programmed for repeat daily scheduling, 5-day working week scheduling, weekend scheduling or any individual day scheduling. Timers can be scheduled for operation during the lowest time-of-day rates or to switch off the electric heater during periods of peak power usage. The time switch can be set to operate for up to 6 ON/OFF operations daily for a maximum of 42 on/off operations weekly. They provide a convenient external override switch and LED load indicator for ease in scheduling hot water as required for extra hot water demands.

If you are in Georgia or Florida, you can contact Stromquist for more information on Intermatic timers.  All others can order this product from one of our affiliates at CGNA.




Calibrating a Pneumatic T-Stat

  1. Determine the throttling range for your control system.  Let’s use 3-13#’s as an example.
  2. Next measure the ambient temperature at the thermostat with a precision temp meter.
  3. Adjust the setpoint knob on the T Stat to the current ambient temperature.
  4. Pull the branch line off the T-Stat and T tap a gauge between the T-stat and branch line.
  5. Adjust the calibration screw in the T-Stat until the branch PSI reads zero.
  6. Now adjust the calibration screw in the opposite direction until the branch pressure reads mid range. In this case our differential  is 10#’s of pressure, so (13-3)= 10(diff) /2 or 3+5 = 8 psi.
  7. Verify the box damper and reheat valve(if applicable) are both closed. Fine tune if needed.
  8. Remove your calibration gauge and replace the branch line back onto the T-Stat.
  9. Adjust the T-Stat to the desired setpoint.

Your T-Stat is now calibrated…

How to save time and money when replacing gas valves

You can’t get heat and your troubleshooting skills (hopefully learned at a Stromquist & Company training class) have lead you to the conclusion that your gas valve will have to be replaced. Being the great technician that you are, you write down all the information and part numbers of the furnace or heater you are working on and head off to see Bob, Jerry, or Mark at the Stromquist counter to get a new valve.

After driving across town you are less than happy when you are told that the replacement gas valve cannot be determined by the furnace or heater number. Although there are hundreds of gas heater and furnace manufacturers, there are only three major controls companies that make gas valves for these companies: Honeywell, White Rodgers, and Robertshaw. What makes it tricky is that these three companies will make and sell these valves as OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts for all these different heater companies and will put different part numbers on them. In some cases, the valves even function differently.

Why would a manufacturer want a different part number? For one thing it makes it very difficult for you to get a replacement valve at your local distributor. Think about it, these companies are in business to make money and if you have to come back to them for your replacement parts, they are able to sell more products. The problem with this is that very few of them have local inventory, and since they are manufacturers instead of wholesalers, quick shipping is usually not one of their skill sets. So you have to wait, which is usually not an option when your heat is not working. In a few cases the valve is built differently and you have no choice but to go back to the manufacturer, which usually results in you paying higher prices and dealing with longer lead times.

The good news is that with the right information, your local distributors like Stromquist & Company can provide you with the right gas valve at the right price. To make sure you get the right valve, either take the bad valve out and bring it into your local distributor or use your camera and take pictures of the valve, making sure to get the part numbers in the picture. Make sure to watch Mark’s video, Replacing Gas Valves On Furnances and Hot Water Heaters.

Replacing gas valves on furnaces and heaters

There are hundreds of furnace and heater manufacturers out there, yet there are only three main companies that make the gas valves for all these heaters. The companies that make the gas valves usually put a different part number on the valves for each of these heater companies. This makes finding the right replacement valve tricky.
Although you can go back to the manufacturer to buy replacement parts using the part number of the heater, you usually wind up paying a lot more for the valve and will have a hard time getting the valve shipped quickly.
The best choice is going to a local wholesaler like Stromquist & Company, or another company within CGNA ( Controls Group North America).
When you go to the local wholesaler don’t make the same mistake most people do. Most people take the part number off of the furnace, but we need the number off of the gas valve itself. In this video, Mark from Stromquist & Company will show you where it is.

Sizing a Control Valve

Stromquist designed this great form to help you get the correct valve or valve/actuator assembly for your application.  When you don’t have part numbers, it is important that we get as much information as possible when helping you choose the correct parts.   You may not always have all of the information, but the more you can give us, the better.  The back of the form even has diagrams to help determine if you need a two- or three-way, mixing or diverting valve.  If you have any questions, need any help filling out the form, or would like to get a supply of these forms, call Stromquist at 1-800-241-9471.

View front of valve form.

View the back of form.

The Real Color of Green

For a while now the new buzz word for our clients and manufacturers has been “green” products, which are products that are specifically designed to cause less damage to the environment.  In concept we can all agree that thinking green is a good idea.

Does a new green product make your client green? What can we do as distributors to help our clients become green?

When working with a facility manager who wants to become green, the first step is to identify what in the client’s system or processes is not working to peak efficiency.  This seems like a no brainer, but it is amazing how many clients want to talk green when valves are leaking, pipes are not properly insulated, boilers are not firing efficiently, or oversized and undersized control valves and equipment are not addressed. As controls experts our integrity is on the line here folks!  Take the time to look carefully at the job site and determine what core products you sell that will increase the bottom line energy savings to a client’s facility. Take the time to offer your help and knowledge even on the products you may not sell but may contribute in helping your product be more efficient.

When a client’s system is running properly it is easier for you to show the client where and how that new green product can help them become GREENER, and that my friend is the real color of green.

In the Georgia and Florida areas please contact your Stromquist and Company representative to help you with your energy savings needs.