One of the many reasons for the web’s popularity is how easy it is to find answers to questions. Using your search engine of choice, you just type “what is...” or “how do you...”, and, bingo, you’ve usually got what you need.

Lots of companies that manufacture industrial cooling-related equipment have recognized the advantages of making some pages on their sites interactive. Not unlike little children who need to be kept busy in order to hold their interest, adults also like a little payback for the time they give a web site. These interactive pages give web sites “stickiness”: They keep a visitor occupied and interested, so he or she hangs around and likely explores more of the web site.

For users, the advantage to relying on software posted on cooling-equipment suppliers’ sites is that cooling industry users know they’ll get information that’s highly specific to their job and field of interest.

Omega Engineering in Stamford, Conn., has a probe “configurator.” (Find it under “Features” near the bottom of As you select the diameter, sheath material, length, etc. for the thermocouple, the 3-D image changes to match your input, and it does so with a “whoosh” sound. At the end, you can get the price for what you have created. The company also has a “configurator” for RTDs, pressure transducers and multi-sensor probes.

The online software for heat transfer fluid maker Dynalene, in Whitehall, Pa., allows users to plug in their low and high temperature requirements, click on one of the 13 fluids listed, and then view the fluid’s properties such as specific heat, conductivity, viscosity, boiling point, etc. Find it in the top toolbar at

At, Branford, Ont.-based Henry Technologies makes it easy to find the Henry valve that matches an application with its interactive valve-selection program. The link is near the top of the home page.

Some web sites require registration to access some really cool interactive software such as that of Chart Industries in New Prague, Minn. The company’s “modulator” at shows you 3-D images as you design your own vacuum-insulated piping system by “snapping together” individual modules, and getting an instant price quote.

One of the best aspects of these tools is that you can do your searching any time, any day and any hour.

Anne Armel, Group Publisher,