Providing a safe and healthy environment for employees continues to be a priority for manufacturing leaders, especially in facilities where manufacturing conditions create a potentially harmful environment for those working inside. Many manufacturing and industrial facilities that are plagued with poor indoor air quality typically do not have adequate ventilation. This lack of proper fresh air can create a variety of poor conditions such as high concentrations of harmful contaminants, hazy indoor conditions, improper process or product quality, OSHA safety violations, or even severe employee illness.

The first step in solving your Indoor Air Quality issues for your manufacturing environment is a properly sized mechanical exhaust system, preferably located nearest to the source of indoor contaminants. The rate of exhaust airflow or amount of fans may vary due to the process or the type of contaminant. As the exhaust fans capture, contain, and expel these harmful gases, fresh air is drawn into the building and into the occupied space thus lowering the concentration of harmful elements.

A proper ventilation strategy must not stop here – as many manufacturing environments needs and processes change, they fail to add the necessary tempered make-up air units, resulting in poor temperature control, negative building pressure, uncomfortable cold spots, and sometimes poor product quality.

In these situations, a right-sized make-up air solution can bring in the clean air that is direly needed. This type of system not only improves the quality of air within the building to meet ASHRAE and local standards, but also protects the health of the employees.

Cambridge M-Series 100% direct-fired units are the most efficient way to offset building exhaust and improve Indoor Air Quality by introducing fresh clean air from outside.  Our Make-Up Air units are designed with reliability and energy savings in mind, along with low costs for installation and maintenance. M-Series heaters include patented Cambridge Low-Fire Start Technology and proprietary stainless steel burners are specifically designed to provide year-round ventilation and tempered make-up air for a wide variety of commercial and industrial facilities.

With CFM ranges from 1800 – 75,000 available and the ability to customize the system to your facility, these units are utilized across the United States in applications from tire factories to paint booths to food processing plants.

Do you feel like your facility is working against you? When the air in your facility is too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter, or too contaminated from your manufacturing process, you can turn to Cambridge Air Solutions for support and guidance. Join us for an Air Solutions tour customized to address your specific questions regarding how our technology can help you address your facility challenges. Your knowledgeable Cambridge guide will walk you and your team through our facility and answer any specific questions you may have regarding HTHV, Makeup Air, or Evaporative Cooling technology.


Video recap from our livestreamed Grand Opening from Tuesday, June 29th, 2021.

This 20 minute tour will be a quick glimpse into a lean workstation as well as a high-level look at what a people-centric culture is all about. We touch on continuous improvement (lean) and a close-up to what expansion during a pandemic looks like. We also showcase our M-Series Make-up air product line that brings in the fresh, tempered air into warehouses, factories and distribution centers all over the county.


Have questions about your specific facility and how to provide ventilation? Ask us anything.
We can arrange for a 45 minute virtual or in-person deeper dive of our technology.Your knowledgeable Cambridge guide will walk you and your team through our facility and answer any specific questions you may have regarding HTHV, Makeup Air, or Evaporative Cooling technology.

Since this tour is customized to specifically to address your facility’s challenges, we ask that you complete the online form below. When you hit the ‘SUBMIT’ button, it will go to our Sales Development Representative for review. The SDR will reach out to you to setup a mutually agreeable time for everyone to meet either in person or online. We encourage you to include everyone on your team who may be involved in the decision to improve the environment of your facility.

Sign up for a 1:1 tour here.
 

This blog was guest written by Matt Lanham, Regional Sales Manager at Cambridge Air Solutions.
 

What it Means to "Do Nothing" as a Leader
I’m supposing a few of you are picturing your toes in the sand, a good book, the feel of a gentle breeze and the rush of the tide crashing on the sand.  Maybe a comfy couch, a Saturday afternoon nap with absolutely nothing on your agenda. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

In the facilities management world, doing nothing can take on a different meaning. “Doing nothing” means meeting status quo - nothing more - and it can have a dramatic effect on everything from comfortable workspaces to employee health to retaining the best talent available for the job. When faced with the decision to invest in your facility, it can be tempting to put it off or assume that your current system is performing “OK” and there is no immediate need for action. But now that facility leaders are challenged with creating better cultures and healthier working environments inside their production spaces, the cost of doing nothing is now greater than ever in regards to your employee’s health, productivity and job satisfaction.

Focus on the Ventilation
One of our governing bodies, the American Society for Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), set forth standards to provide necessary minimum ventilation for occupied working spaces. This limit is always being pushed as healthier buildings demand less recirculated and more outside air for worker safety.  With proper filtration and the right amount of exhausted air, workers can experience better cross-flow ventilation, removing a ton of contaminants that can cause health and safety problems.

But indoor air quality (IAQ) is only a small part of a much larger picture. Leading an efficient workforce while maintaining a high level of quality in the end product is paramount to a company’s future. Greater than 85% of all manufacturing in the US comes from small businesses and what the larger big-box warehouse and manufacturers can attest to, worker comfort is a priority for their long-term growth, recruiting and retaining top-notch talent and for the overall safety of people.
 

Summer Temperatures
As warmer temperatures take hold of a majority of the United States, processes inside of manufacturing spaces cause internal temperatures to rise even faster,  largely due to the processes going on the production floor. While many facilities utilize a combination of intake and exhaust fans, this is just a first step in battling heat stress.  Several recent studies indicate that there is a direct correlation between rising temperatures and productivity levels – so much that there is a 1:1 correlation between temperatures above 77˚F and worker output.  Not to mention at higher temps employees are more likely to have accidents and produce products of a lesser quality. By doing nothing at all, facility leaders are already spending several thousands of dollars daily, weekly or annually in lost productivity and down time. 
 

Can You Air Condition a Warehouse or a Factory?
Inside our homes, there is great success in using vapor compression/direct expansion (DX) cooling with recirculated air, but with huge heat gains from processes inside manufacturing spaces, DX cooling isn’t adequate enough nor does it provide enough outside air to satisfy minimum occupancy requirements. Moreover, the cost to run DX cooling is some of the highest in the HVAC industry. Some plants consider using chilled water systems, but typically require a large capital investment up front to install chiller plants, pumps and other equipment.
 

Nature’s way of cooling
For centuries, manufacturing spaces have utilized evaporative cooling to provide temperature depression inside their spaces. They know that because of a very simple design, there are less moving parts and MUCH less energy required to run them. While typically thought as a viable alternative in drier climates, the use of 2-stage evaporative cooling (including an indirect heat exchanger coupled with direct evaporative module), is gaining a lot of traction in climates of the Midwest, Mid-South and Southeast United States. These facility owners know that their customers demand a high quality product, their workers rely on healthier working environments to be productive and they can provide temperature relief without spending a fortune operating their systems.
 

Come and See for Yourself
At Cambridge Air Solutions, we not only manufacture equipment to help create healthier working environments, but we’ve experienced some of these same challenges – internal heat stress, worker comfort and unhealthy indoor temperatures.  Come connect with us either virtually or in person to see how we have tackled some of these issues, installing a large Two-Stage evaporative unit on our building to help offset internal heat stress while lowering our indoor temperatures to help maintain a healthy work force.

Many building owners working through retrofit or new construction projects are familiar with International Mechanical Code (IMC) standards, which state that an HVAC smoke detector be installed on any air handling system with a capacity greater than 2,000 cubic feet per minute (CFM).

 Following installation of a new air handling system, most building owners will need to have their new heating or ventilation equipment inspected by municipal code authorities, who adhere to requirements put into place by the IMC. A common item flagged on installations of industrial HVAC equipment—including Cambridge Air Systems products—is that a smoke detector was not installed on the system. This is a common request made by engineers and building inspectors that we see at Cambridge Air Solutions – and is a misinterpretation of how our 100-percent outside air make-up air systems and industrial heating products work. Have you ever received a request to include an HVAC smoke detector with your Cambridge heater? You are not alone. Within this article, the experts at Cambridge seek to alleviate any confusion over whether a smoke detector should be installed on your new HVAC system, and why your inspector may have flagged this issue in the first place.

When Are Duct Smoke Detectors Required?

It is true that with most traditional recirculating air distribution systems, installation of an HVAC smoke detector is required. Within Section 606 of the International Mechanical Code (IMC),this requirement is clearly addressed, stating the following: 606.1 Controls required. Air distribution systems shall be equipped with smoke detectors listed and labeled for installation in air distribution systems 606.2 Where required. Smoke detectors shall be installed where indicated in Sections 606.2.1 through 606.2.3. However, the code statement does not end there. It continues: Exception: Smoke detectors shall not be required where air distribution systems are incapable of spreading smoke beyond the enclosing walls, floors and ceilings of the room or space in which the smoke is generated. Cambridge Air Solutions systems, including make-up air units, ventilation systems and industrial heaters use only 100-percent outdoor air to heat and ventilate. Because of this design, Cambridge’s air systems are incapable of spreading smoke beyond these parameters. The IMC Commentary provides further explanation on the intent of the code: It is not the intent of Section 606 to require duct smoke detectors in systems that function only as exhaust systems or only as makeup air systems. Remember, a make-up air supply system that discharges 100-percent outdoor air into a building does not withdraw air from the building and, therefore, cannot contribute to the movement of smoke. Because of this important reason, Cambridge units fall under the exception stated in IMC code section 606 and thus do not require an HVAC duct smoke detector system installation.

Why Are There Duct Smoke Detector Requirements?

It is more important to keep in mind that the intended application of Section 606 is to address the potential hazard caused by ducted air distribution systems that link together rooms and spaces within a building, thereby providing the means to distribute smoke to such rooms and spaces. For more traditional systems, which recycle indoor air, the smoke detector requirement is in place to quickly detect smoke coming from one area of a large commercial building and to alert other areas within the large facility. Safety is the key reason why smoke detectors for HVAC systems are often required. Note, that 100-percent outdoor air systems of any type, including Cambridge Air Solutions equipment cannot transport smoke beyond the area of fire origin and are thus exempt from the provisions of this section.

Our Director of Engineering Dave Binz describes how the Cambridge team approaches an industrial retrofit process, and the best way to get started getting answers about your project.