In warehouse and distribution center spaces where our standard S-Series HTHV (high-temperature heaving & ventilation) heaters are commonly installed, the units see 20-30+ year lifespans under routine maintenance and within the range of normal environmental conditions.

However, not all applications are “standard” and need specific conditions to be considered in the system design. A prime example of a situation where a facility needs the heat throw and efficiency that our S-Series provides, but with an overly humid environment, is that of heating a carwash tunnel. 

First, the facts: the car wash industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S., valued at a record $14.21 billion in 2020 and expected to expand 4.8% annually from 2021 to 2028. Based on conversations with industry leaders, a significant portion of their profit comes in the winter months; however, outside winter weather conditions paired with open bay doors present a challenge to keeping the tunnel warm enough for the car wash equipment to stay optimally functional. Closing the bay doors to retain heat is not an option because people may assume it is not open for business if the tunnel doors are closed. 

Chains Mike’s Carwash and Crew Carwash partnered with the Cambridge applications engineering team to develop solutions to the heating and equipment longevity challenges they faced in their tunnels.

A simple, yet effective solution: a Cambridge S-Series HTHV unit that keeps the bay from freezing and can often double as a method of drying a vehicle once the cleansing process has been completed. The S-Series meets the heating and airflow needs well and can be adapted to provide optimal performance and unit longevity amidst high humidity levels and corrosive environments that exist in car wash tunnels. 

The standard unit for Mike’s and Crew’s car washes was an S1200 unit with a stainless base, downturn housing, burner, discharge duct, and 12” roof curb and rail. However, these units historically lasted only two years before needing extensive maintenance due to the high humidity levels put out by the continual wash process.

In addition to the impact humidity had on the units, the tunnels also experienced high acidity levels from the strong mineral acids - hydrochloric, nitric, and sulfuric acids - used in their car wash process. The corrosion rate of galvanized steel is increased at low and high pH levels, explaining the discrepancy in unit life expectancies between S-Series in these environments versus those in standard conditions.

Our applications engineering team developed stainless steel selections to increase unit longevity – a stainless fan, fan shaft, unit housing, supply duct, damper and downturn.

These improvements were implemented two years ago. The stainless steel changes to the S-Series units in Mike’s and Crew’s car washes required far less maintenance. They were able to keep their tunnel doors open with less downtime replacing, adjusting, or fixing worn out components. Units remain structurally sound with the stainless improvements. 

While it is not yet known exactly how much the stainless additions have increased life expectancy, it is undoubtedly true that they have added time and reduced maintenance and part cost along the way. 

By virtue of a continuous improvement culture – we are continually making improvements to our products and process. If you want to discuss how our product lines and technology could help you bring healthy working environments to your people, our manufacturing rep network is local to you and can tour your buildings and discuss solutions specific to your space and climate. You can find your local rep here.
 

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.