Networked fans make air quality a breeze at Dillard’s
October 02, 2012 - MMH Editorial
At the Dillard’s DC in Fort Worth, Texas, only a portion of the one-million-square-foot facility uses air conditioning in the triple-digit summers. Roger Tudor, the maintenance manager, set out to create a more comfortable, safer work environment with a hands-off fan management system.
After managers visited the fan supplier’s laboratory to view a demonstration, Dillard’s installed 26 high-volume, low-speed (HVLS) warehouse fans with 24-foot diameters and connected by an industrial networked fan system, which can take customers out of the business of managing fans and allow them to focus on managing their facilities.
“We run two shifts per day six days a week and managing fan settings all day, every day just is not an option.” Tudor says. “The new fans are programmed to turn on at 6:00 a.m. at 30% power and increase 10% each hour on their own as the day warms up until they reach their optimal, energy efficient setting. We used to have 48 floor fans that workers would fight over daily. Now, I just set it and forget it.”
The system allows Tudor and his team to control fans from a single, touchscreen interface. The controls include fan speed, temperature and timer settings, as well as custom graphic displays of the facility with fan locations to easily pinpoint a fan’s exact location if adjustments need to be made. If the onscreen product manual does not help resolve an issue, the control system can even send a work order on behalf of Tudor to the local service provider.
The fan network software also tracks efficiency metrics and can generate reports based on each fan, each zone, or the entire facility. For instance, Tudor keeps the designated maintenance shop area at a much lower fan speed to prevent disrupting chemicals and paint.
Read more Casebook 2013.