Last month I wrote, “School’s out.” But, the days of summer vacation are lost to history. That said, I cannot remember a busier summer than the one we all are in the midst of right now.

There has been no time to rest. Generally, that is fine by me because when I am left to my own devices I am not a model of productivity.

So far this summer I have visited downtown Chicago twice for work-related purposes. And yes to those that read my columns regularly, I live in Chicago. But, I reside on the far north side so, in my opinion, getting down to the Magnificent Mile region is still a trip in my book.

At the end of June, I was at the National Fire Protection Association’s Expo and Conference for all three days the show floor was open. For a full show report, please turn to page 42 of this issue.

The manufacturer expo hall stayed busy throughout the three days with 360 exhibitors, which I thought was impressive for a summer show. I enjoyed the time I spent with Tyco, Victaulic, Blazemaster, NIBCO, Uponor and many others.

In late July, I attended Armstrong Fluid Technology’s Design Envelope Symposium at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel in downtown Chicago. I was joined by nearly 80 engineers, building owners, reps and contractors.

Armstrong’s Design Envelope has been around for some time, but the presentations were very informative because I learned new facts and nuances about the technology. I had spoken previously at trade shows with Armstrong about Design Envelope, but spending a full workday with the company’s experts opened my eyes on how the technology can be deployed for commercial buildings.

I hope the engineers in attendance paid close attention because it could go a long way in saving their clients energy-related money.

Finally, my major trip was in mid-June when I went to Charlotte, N.C., to partake in a training session at Bonomi North America headquarters. For a full report on Bonomi’s training efforts, please turn to page 40 of this edition.

I was impressed with Bonomi North America Marketing Consultant Rick Wentzell’s ability to command a room and parse the important information about the company’s valve line. Wentzell kept the conversation lively and provided a great amount of depth about the industry, all the codes engineers need to be aware of and the standards groups that are part of this industry.

I have cultivated a strong knowledge base of these groups, but after a three-hour morning session I learned so much more about the ones I know and more importantly about organizations I had not heard of such as the Manufacturers Standards Society and the Canadian Standards Association.

That’s my summer “break” in a nutshell. I have enjoyed the time on the road getting better acquainted with the industry.

There is a time to relax and play, and we all deserve it, but the industry does not slow down for the season. Do not forget to make time in your schedule to keep up.


 This article was originally titled “Time waits for no one” in the August 2015 print edition of PM Engineer.