Crocker said manufacturers can design a combination of shut-
ters, inlets, and controls to create employee comfort at a signifi-
cantly lower price as opposed to A/C or natural gas.
Laabs says an ongoing trend is end users choosing a large
overhead-type fan to help control air circulation in industrial
plants. He warns, however, that it’s not always the best solution
to get rid of trapped hot air.
“If you have stratified air that gets stuck at the top of a plant –
let’s say it’s 120 degrees – and the most
a big fan can pull out is 10 degrees,
you’re still way over.”
Fans manufacturers also noted
cost-saving materials trends that often
prove costly in the long run. They in-
clude replacing metal with plastic, and
using sleeve bearing motors as opposed
to enclosed air-over motors.
Supplying high-quality fans is one
thing. Providing a fans solution or
service is even better. Laabs, Crocker,
and Anderson each talked about how
taking a service-providing approach will
earn the distributor and end user more
out of their investment.
“It’s not just about dropping off a
fan in a box. It’s about figuring out
what’s causing heat in their facility,”
says Laabs. “There’s an opportunity for
distributors to see what’s causing heat
and we can do an audit and figure out
a solution quick.”
“For a distributor to be successful, they have to be a counselor
in selling,” adds Anderson. “With site visits prior to sales, we can
go in and evaluate. Distributors can bring in financing, after-sales
support, negotiate warranties, and help with programming.”
The biggest takeaway manufacturers emphasized was that
letting them help find a fans solution for a facility will save the
customer money by being as efficient as possible and geared
better for longevity, as opposed to a
plant manager straight-up purchas-
ing a number of fans and placing
them where they deem best suited.
“Typically in a factory setting, the
complaint would be, ‘our fan is bro-
ken,’ or ‘I’m hot,’” says Crocker. “By
taking a solutions/systems approach,
you can be a lot more efficient
and get more bang for your buck.
There’s an opportunity to help a
plant manager engineer a solution
that works well and saves them in
the long term.
“It’s hard to compete with a guy
that says, ‘I need 100 pedestal fans
for a low cost,’” Schaefer continues.
“Other people play a little more to
put fans in the right position and
get them to last a long time.”