Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Fans help manufacturer weather sub-zero winters

Two fans boost comfort and cut energy costs for boat manufacturer.
By Josh Bond, Associate Editor
September 01, 2012

Old Town manufactures and sells canoes, kayaks and accessories worldwide. Several years ago, the company moved out of its century-old, multistory building and into a new 136,000-square-foot production facility. Heating the large facility proved costly during the long Maine winters, when the area’s average low temperature is well below freezing.

Following the move to the new facility, Old Town realized the difficulty of keeping workers warm near the docks.

“A lot of heat was being trapped in the ceiling,” says Eric Schmidt, engineering manager for Old Town. “The temperature in the mezzanine was 85 degrees. We were basically burning up a whole lot of fuel to heat the ceiling.”

The factory also has a break area near a line of giant natural gas fired ovens, in which aluminum boat molds create the hulls of molded canoes and kayaks. While the temperature neared 85 degrees near the ceiling, the break room itself could be as cool as 60 degrees.

After installing two high-volume fans (Kelley, kelley.4frontes.com), the company enjoys year-round comfort that keeps employees comfortable and production steady.
“We discovered fans could balance out our heating and cooling load,” says Schmidt. “We brought in one as a pilot for the loading dock area. The results were evident right away, and Old Town quickly installed a second one over the break area.

The heater is activated by a sensor, and thanks to the fans, it runs less often. The fans also eliminate stagnant air and create a pleasant breeze in the summer heat, says Schmidt. They are set to run at 30% in the winter, and 70% in the summer. Even at the higher speed, the even air flow does not blow papers around or create any other distractions. “The fans basically always get the temperature right,” says Schmidt.

Schmidt estimates that the two fans have reduced heating costs by roughly 15%. There are plans for additional fans projected to reduce heating costs by 20%. Schmidt says the fans are forecast to pay for themselves in the first year. 

About the Author

image
Josh Bond
Associate Editor

Josh Bond is an associate editor to Modern. Josh was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and contributing editor, has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce.


Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

IBM and Ohio State have formed a unique partnership to train students on supply chain management software. It's a model that other businesses and universities should emulate.

Located in the city of Jundiai, in the state of São Paulo, the plant has been configured for the assembly of selected automatic data capture product lines.

Gor the first half of 2014, NRF said that retail sales were up just 2.9 percent compared to the first six months of 2013, with sales through the end of the year expected to be up 3.9 percent annually.

Quarterly Material Handling Equipment Manufacturing Forecast (MHEM) indicates growth on horizon for industry.

Xtreme RFID manufactures rugged RFID tags that fully encapsulate RFID inlays in a one piece plastic housing to protect it from chemicals, water, impact, temperatures, and other unforgiving elements.



© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA