Understanding controllers and looking into the future


Written by Ian Sheppard 


Watch the You Tube video at the end of this blog called Understanding Controllers

Spring UK have been producing pump controllers for many years. We are an electronics company and have a deep understanding of how a WFP system works and then strive to provide easy to use controllers that offer a range of enhanced features and value to the user.

As an electronics company, there is sound engineering reason for what we do and why. Our controls have a number of functions designed to make working with them easily.  They have a number of built-in safety functions designed to protect the control pump and system. Designed for purpose the Controllers are very flexible and will operate with any 12V, 9 amp pump on the market. The controller can manage pumps up to 150PSI and 10 LPM flow rates.

The controller design has been independently tested for EMC and CE standards. All our controls are offered with a 12-month manufacturers warranty and are designed and manufactured in the UK.

The Digital and Analogue controls do the same job but offer the user an option of an interface. One has push buttons with an LED display in which we can display 3 digit codes and messages. The other has two dials.

Digital controls

By far the biggest selling control on the market are digital ones featuring an LED (light emitting diode) display that allows manufacturers the option to present useful information, for example, battery voltage.

The digital allows for a built-in Voltmeter displaying accurate battery voltage. This can be a useful diagnostic tool. For example, it is very easy to see if the battery is nearing the end of its life. A badly worn battery will not hold a charge for as long. Also, spotting cable breaks or worn connectors can show up through what we refer to as volt drop.

The digital also features a low battery override selectable within the user menu. This gives the user the ability to complete a days work then charge the battery overnight.

Note: Repeated draining of the battery below 10.5V increases the risk of damaging the cells. This will mean the battery does not hold a charge as well.

Auto Calibration is available in the digital range. Making calibration of the pump and system easy and highly accurate.

Analogue controls

There was also a demand for a control which was function rich and had the usual features and management capability. Some, however, wanted to have a dial as opposed to a button interface.

The analogue will still provide a wide range of information and diagnostic messages. Using lights as opposed to LED messages. Instead of an LED display we use lights to show the control is ‘on‘, ‘dead detection‘ and ‘pump pressure switch‘ are all still monitored and shown.

The Analogue monitors the battery state in the same way and still features a low battery warning light and low battery shut down. The analogue is not able to display voltage neither are you able to override the low battery shut down.

We also have a wider range of controllers that monitor TDS or switch heaters, mains booster pumps, measure flow through a membrane and multi-function feature rich controllers.

SO what next?

The external cleaning market is constantly evolving to meet demands of its customers for high-quality professional services. Customers increasingly look for additional services beyond regular window cleaning. Solar panel, facia, gutter cleaning and soft washing are just some of the services that are coming to the fore.

It is likely that offering a multi-service offering to customers will become the norm. Spending perhaps two hours on a single site and charging accordingly offers companies an opportunity to spend less time traveling between sites and offer a wider range of value-added services to the end customer. Margins per site will increase while costs will reduce.

We see this exact service being offered in the US and Europe. It is becoming more normal in commercial cleaning sites in the UK too.

Provided the customer understands what is being offered to charge several thousand pounds for a commercial contract is already happening.

Increasingly there are investments being made into professional equipment that offers flexibility, ease of use and automation into systems. There are systems to suit all businesses and work sites. Seeing a four-fold return on a £20K system in the first month is becoming the norm.

Increasingly automation and remote management tools will come to the fore. The ability to check TDS, the state of a fill, order consumables all from the comfort of your home or even whilst away easily and simply will become common.

Extended range radio remote of 500, 600 meters perhaps more is not very far away. Equally the means to work out of sight of your vehicle and get feedback from your system in real time is very close.

We are on the cusp of very exciting times. New services, a growing market that has no limit. Investment into quality systems will bring returns in a short period.

Controllers will evolve to meet the needs of both the business user and their customer base. Working smarter not harder is the key, 

The future of WFP is here.