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What’s that fan doing in my food chain? Part 2

LouMoffa 110x135by Lou Moffa, Market Manager – Commercial Refrigeration

Last week, my colleague Joe Giacona talked about why ventilation is critical within food transport refrigeration. With many fresh foods making an average journey of 1,500 to 2,000 miles from their source, well-engineered refrigeration systems and fine-tuned logistics ensure that these fragile foods remain delicious no matter their destination.

This week, we continue the food chain journey through the supermarket right before it is purchased for use at your home. As with the containers inside ships and trucks, consistent and efficient refrigeration in holding warehouses and at the supermarkets themselves provide a slowing of the clock to help maintain food as long as possible. Commercial refrigeration systems must maintain safe temperatures; perform reliably and efficiently while working continuously in the background.

In keeping with our company’s GreenTech philosophy, ebm-papst developed a specialized line of air movers to help refrigeration engineers meet their critical design objectives. The ecological benefits are achieved with features such as programmable speeds to dial in the exact air needed, two speed fans that allow the fan to change speeds without complicated wiring or variable speed operation that allow ebm-papst fans’ EC motors to operate over a full RPM range to match the cooling performance needed without wasting energy. These various features are found in our product line so it is easy to choose the right air mover for the refrigeration system. Our small mounting footprint and quiet operation provide refrigeration designers with exciting new approaches to solving old problems.   

To help your local supermarket maximize your food shopping experience, our fans are designed into various refrigeration systems that you will see in a typical supermarket.

Once the food products arrive at the supermarket they are unloaded from the trucks and usually placed in a "walk in" cooler (or freezer). Most walk in coolers are near the loading docks at the back of the store hidden from public view.  Even if you have not been behind the scenes, you still have encountered them during your recent shopping. One side of the unit cooler is typically made out of glass display doors that are open to the public. Fast moving items like the milk in a supermarket or the beer in a liquor store have doors that you open so that you can select your product. Since these products are usually in the back of the store, they are against a wall near the loading docks so they can be restocked with little effort. This allows the store to keep large inventories of product and have it appear so that it is always stocked. Next time you open one of those doors, peak in behind the milk or beer, if you don't see the fans up above, you will hear them running as well as feel them move the air around the area.  Fans are needed to keep the air in constant circulation within these cases to help keep the products cool.

The other key refrigerated areas of a supermarket are the display cases that hold fruits, vegetables, frozen foods and every other possible food product including recently refrigerated pet foods in the pet food aisle. These display cases must perform two important tasks: They must keep food at a constant and precise temperature, and present the food in a way that shoppers can easily see it, want it and ultimately put it in their shopping carts. This is not an easy task but our ebm-papst EC fans meet the challenge even while they are subjected to constant cold temperatures, moisture from misting systems and the bumps and jarring from stocking these cases every day.

The reach in bottle cooler is another example of a refrigeration system that is in constant operation, keeping soda and water cool for impulse purchases. ebm-papst EC fans are used on both the hot (condenser) side and the cold (evaporator) side. Your home refrigerator has it easy compared to what a bottle cooler goes through every day. Multiple opening and closings and constantly being loaded with room temperature products gives these coolers a workout. Our fans keep refrigerated air in constant circulation to help cool down product as quickly as possible.

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Our last stop on how fans are used in our supermarket, ends with a birds-eye of the condenser units on the rooftop. All of the reject heat from the refrigeration systems throughout the store is sent to the rooftop condensers. Our variable speed, EC Giant series of fans are installed here and are running at just the needed speed to cool down the refrigerant. Variable speed helps increase efficiency compared to running standard fans in an on and off manner.  By adding our latest AxiTop diffuser these EC Giants are operating quietly so that there is no unnecessary noise pollution and they are providing increased efficiency to help supermarkets further reduce their utility bills.

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Whether it’s on a boat, in a truck or ready for supermarket display, our local, national and internationally-sourced food depends on reliable and efficient fans to help refrigeration systems to equalize air flow and save energy. To learn more, visit our new market solutions tool and click on “Refrigeration.”

About Lou Moffa
With his 11+ years experience with ebm-papst Inc., Lou Moffa listens to the challenges our customers face and recommends air-moving solutions that help refrigerant system engineers, warehouse owners and supermarket managers keep food fresh across a variety of storage and display environments. As the company’s market manager – commercial refrigeration, Lou holds an automated manufacturing engineering degree from Waterbury State Technical and a Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering from Central Connecticut State University. In his free time, Lou enjoys tackling renovation projects around his home, cooking and exploring new food shopping experiences.


What’s that fan doing in my food chain?

JoeGiacona 110x135
By Joe Giacona, Market Manager - Transportation

Sometimes we come across a bit of information that leads to a discovery about something we have long taken for granted. This new learning allows us a better understanding of how things function in a world that’s increasingly driven by technology.

A routine supermarket visit to purchase fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy items can yield one of those “ah hah” moments, especially when you look deeper. Take fruits and vegetables. There is such a wide selection - especially those that are on the shelf in the off-season! Where did they come from? California, Peru, New Zealand? How did they arrive at the peak of freshness? These are intriguing questions that offer “food” for thought.

In my years of experience within the transport refrigeration market, I appreciate the know-how, the people, products and technology that allows the movement of fresh food over long distances through what we call the food chain. This chain begins at the source, the point at where the food is picked and ends at your local grocery store. No matter what the cargo, the ‘chain’ of temperature control must remain unbroken over hundreds or thousands of miles to assure quality, maximize freshness and deliver value.

For the most part, refrigerated cargo is transported in either an ocean-going container or an over-the-road trailer/truck body with an integrated refrigeration or “Reefer” unit. These state-of-the-art machines are capable of maintaining precise temperature control throughout their interiors. They’re super-efficient because they balance temperature, air flow, and reliability.


On the surface, you’d think that temperature control is the most important – and you would be right. Almost. With sophisticated microprocessor controls, reefer units are designed to control cargo temperatures to within +/- ½ degree of set-point for extended periods of time over a wide variety of ambient conditions. However, temperature control cannot happen without precise air flow that moves air efficiently and effectively in every nook and cranny of the trailer to preserve those delicate fruits and leafy veggies we love. To protect the supermarket’s investment in its precious produce, the whole system must perform reliably over years of service.

Since the whole process is powered by some form of renewable energy or fossil fuel, it also must operate at maximum efficiency.

Our fans provide the critical ventilation that boosts the food-preserving performance of commercial transport units’ temperature controls. Designed to survive climate extremes and road shock, they allow precise delivery of air reliably and efficiently. Our food transport customers depend upon ebm-papst fans’ ability to meet their containers’ and trucks aerodynamic, electrical, and operational requirements day after day, month after month, year after year without fail.

The next time you purchase those delicious Chilean grapes or Mexican mangos in January, remember the combination of transport components and controls it took to deliver them across the food chain and unblemished to your table. Now that’s food for thought!

About Joe Giacona
Joe Giacona knows that HVACR components within transportation systems must deliver performance and reliability over the long haul. As market manager – transportation at ebm-papst, Joe’s 30+ years of diverse experience in HVACR help him recommend the best ebm-papst products to heat and cool customers’ buses, trains, trucks and other vehicles across North America. Joe actively supports the company’s market development, forecasting, field sales coordination and customer relations. He holds a B.S. in physics from Brockport State College and a B.S. in industrial engineering from the University of Buffalo. In his free time, Joe enjoys cooking for his family, do-it-yourself projects, keeping his 1960 Corvette Roadster in peak form, and making wine from New York and California grapes.

Applying our cooling know-how to the new John Deere 5080 R



John Deere
is a leader in tractor products, offering a wide range of products for every possible agricultural need. The company’s 80-to-100 horsepower 5080R tractor, the smallest member of its high performance 5R Series, is designed for comfort and productivity under high stress.

John Deere in Mannheim, Germany turned to ebm-papst for a cooling solution that would reduce high temperatures in the 5080R’s engine compartment. The companies worked together to develop new cooling technology for the tractor. The concept? Control the engine temperature with a fan that would incorporate a separate charged-air cooler.










The fan that ebm-papst developed for the 5080R brings charged air to a constant temperature. It ensures highly efficient cooling by improving the flow of cool, oxygen-rich air to the engine, which leads to better combustion. As a result, the tractor’s engine delivers more power and ‘zip’ under a variety of loads.


The new ebm-papst fan helped to significantly reduce the 5080R engine’s turbo lag. It also reduced the tractor’s fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. To free the fan from dirt, straw fragments and other debris after a day in the field, ebm-papst engineered it to run in the opposite direction for 30 seconds with just a flip of the control button inside the tractor cab.

Bring on the next harvest!

Click here to watch the full video on ebm-papst TV°: Charge air cooling in the John Deere 5080 R


ebm-papst participates in MAX’s O’Hartford 5K in Hartford, CT.


The MAX’s O’Hartford 5K is a 3.1 mile race that takes place in downtown Hartford every year around St. Patrick’s Day. This event is one of many annual races sponsored by the Hartford Marathon Foundation, with their most recognized event being the Hartford Marathon.

Many of the O’Hartford participants dress in green and orange and some even wear costumes, making the event a very festive atmosphere. ebm-papst participants wore our green “GreenTech” shirts featuring the GreenTech logo on the front and a HyBlade axial fan image on the back. Both images on the shirt represent our corporate philosophy of continuous improvement and innovation. 

We decided to challenge employees to participate in this event as an effort to promote exercise and to encourage people to set new health goals.  A 5K event was chosen so that everyone from the walker to the casual jogger to the runner could participate. We had 20 ebm-papst participants who represented the following departments; Customer Service, Engineering, IT, Marketing, Production, and Sales.

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Race events are nothing new at ebm-papst and our colleagues at ebm-papst Mulfingen, Germany take road racing to another level. They have been a long-time sponsor of a large race-event called the ebm-papst Marathon, which takes place every September in Niedernhall, Germany and includes a variety of race events.

This year there were over 2,200 participants in the race. The temperature was around 32 degrees, and even though it was a sunny day, a brisk wind kept the temperature closer to the low 20’s.  Besides the reward of working towards one’s personal fitness goals, a pint of local beer and a corned beef and cabbage sandwich on rye was enjoyed by all at the finish line!

ebm-papst Inc. is pleased to welcome Joe Giacona as market manager - transportation


Welcome, Joe Giacona!
ebm-papst Inc. is pleased to welcome Joe Giacona as market manager – transportation

Giacona JoeJoe brings with him 30+ years’ experience in the HVACR industry.  He has held progressively responsible positions in engineering, advanced manufacturing, product management, marketing, sales and customer relationship management. He received a B.S. in physics from Brockport State College and a B.S. in industrial engineering from the University of Buffalo.

In his market management role, Joe is responsible for market development, forecasting, field sales coordination and customer relations for the ebm-papst fans, motors and blowers that heat, cool and ventilate buses, trains, trucks and other transportation vehicles across North America.

Joe believes that HVACR components within transportation systems must deliver performance and reliability over the long haul. “The highly engineered and durable brushless electronically-commutated (EC) air movers that ebm-papst offers are well positioned to meet current and future demands of this industry.“

Joe’s already hard at work helping our transportation customers match their requirements with engineered, air moving solutions that are tailored to their specific applications.

Joe can be reached at

A behind-the-scenes look at the 2014 Grainger Show

MikeRota 110x135
By Mike Rota, Director of Distribution North America

Members of our leadership team recently attended the 2014 Grainger Show, which is said to be “the biggest & best maintenance, repair and operations show in existence”.  Being able to see the innovative products that today’s top industry leaders are creating while also introducing our newest ventilation and motor solutions was extremely advantageous for our team.

Here is a Q&A with our Director of Distribution North America, Mike Rota, who shares his insider perspective on the benefits of our team attending this highly regarded industry event.

Q. Why does ebm-papst participate in the Grainger Show on a yearly basis? What is the goal?
A. By participating in the Grainger Show, ebm-papst Inc. takes advantage of an opportunity to display and discuss new innovative products such as the DV6300.  Our air moving solutions are viable for the many markets that Grainger supports. As a market leader, ebm-papst is committed to working closely with our distributor partners and participating in the Grainger show is consistent with that commitment.

Q. How did our presence at this show benefit Grainger?
A. Our presence at this show benefited Grainger in many ways. I feel that the most important benefit is that it gave Grainger’s sales team and customers a chance to talk to us. We were able to provide them with more information and answer their questions about our products that are in the Grainger catalog and other products that are not.

Q. What kind of networking was gained from being present at the Grainger show?
A. Networking with key people from Grainger that support our products and key people that support competitive products is a very important residual benefit of participating in the Grainger show. Grainger has a good group of people working in our segment of the industry and spending time in an informal atmosphere (away from the office) is very helpful in building relationships.

To learn more about ebm-papst’s products, whether for maintenance & repair, or for brand new designs, please contact an applications engineer today at (860)674-1515 or

The sound of silence for air handling equipment


Compact, efficient FlowGrid air-inlet grill from ebm-papst  significantly reduces noise spectrum for
axial and centrifugal fans

FlowGrid 250pxWhether it’s heat pumps in the home, condensers in supermarket refrigerators or ventilation systems on the production floor, FlowGrid, the innovative patent-pending air-inlet grill from ebm-papst, is dramatically reducing noise levels for fans installed within limited-space air moving equipment.

What our award winning AxiTop diffuser does on the pressure side (outlet)
of the fan, FlowGrid does on the suction side (inlet). Easily mounted to applications with ebm-papst fans and backward curved impellers, its open grill design straightens airflow to minimize turbulence before the air hits the axial or centrifugal impeller blades. FlowGrid is ideal for fans installed within flat and central air handling units, air purifiers and heat pumps with centrifugal fans, or air-water heat pumps, condensers and V-shaped condensers
with axial fans.

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“FlowGrid is the result of our extensive airflow testing for inlet conditions with a wide variety of customers’ axial and centrifugal fans across dozens of applications,” said George Riker, business development. “By improving the aerodynamic conditions external to the fan, FlowGrid reduces the adverse effects of these inlet conditions and
minimizes noise.”

Here’s how noise happens within a fan and how FlowGrid corrects it:

  1. When the walls of a device such as an air handler, heat exchanger or heat pump are different distances from the fan, powerful vortices combine in the narrowest areas to form so-called ‘vortex strings.’

  2. These turbulences then hit the rotating blades of the fan, generating noise – specifically a broadband noise and additional narrowband, tonal frequency components, known as propeller noise or tonal noise.

  3. Mounted on the air intake side of the fan, the FlowGrid weakens these ‘vortex strings’ as they flow through the device.

  4. This reduces sound pressure across the entire sound frequency range and especially in the low frequency tonal range.

Apart from reducing overall sound pressure, the most drastic reduction is in low-frequency blade-passing noise (the sum of the fan speed and the number of blades) caused by blades cutting through turbulence within small space applications such as heat exchangers. The FlowGrid grill has been proven in certain applications to reduce overall sound pressure levels by as much as 3.9 dB(A), and these blade passing frequencies by up to 16 decibels.

FlowGrid2 250pxWith FlowGrid, ebm-papst is making a clear contribution to passive noise reduction – a big part of our GreenTech philosophy. It can help manufacturers and ventilation specifiers comply with noise regulations and improve the environment for employees who work near ventilation equipment. The innovative air-intake grills, which require less acoustic insulation, work with both axial and centrifugal fans without reducing their performance. Using them can help to reduce or entirely avoid the use of cost-intensive, active noise-reduction measures.

For additional information about how FlowGrid can make a difference in your application, contact one of our application engineers today at 860 674-1515 or

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Looking Back and Moving Forward in the World of GreenTech

BobSobo 110x135
by Bob Sobolewski - President & CEO

If one thing was evident at last month's Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration (AHR) Expo in New York, it's that innovation and sustainability must go hand in hand.

AHR provides us with an opportunity to meet our partners, suppliers and customers face to face. Every year, the show renews our belief that energy savings and resource conservation are a priority. It renews our commitment to our GreenTech philosophy: that every product we develop must exceed its predecessor in terms of efficiency and economy.  At this year’s expo, we gave a group of editors and industry experts a re-cap of our company’s achievements in 2013.

2013 Growth

2013 marked the 50th anniversary for the ebm-papst Group. Founded by Gerhard Sturm and Heinz Ziehl in 1963 with only 35 employees, the company now has 11,400 employees at 57 sales offices and 18 production facilities worldwide. ebm-papst Group grew 10 percent to around 730 million euros ($993 million) for the first half of the current fiscal year (April 1 - September 30, 2013). Over the past three years, the global company has grown by 37 percent.

The double-digit growth of ebm-papst USA last year was fueled by a growing need for climate control across nine major markets and the applications within each, as well as employees’ focus on exceeding customer needs.

Awards for AxiTop

The epylen wood-plastic composite AxiTop diffuser, introduced in 2012 as a new, passive component in ebm-papst 800 and 910 mm series fans, recently earned ebm-papst top honors at the MATERIALICA trade fair in Munich. AxiTop was honored in the Material category for its combined energy savings, noise reduction and energy efficiency.

US production of Axial and RadiPac fan assemblies
Over the past decade, we’ve expanded our product portfolio into much larger dimensions. Ten years ago, a large ebm-papst fan was 500mm to 630mm in diameter. Now, we’re selling fans up to 1.5 meters in diameter that are used in large-scale refrigeration and ventilation applications.

To increase responsiveness to our NAR customer base, we began localizing production of our larger axial fans, which are typically used in condensers and chillers, and for our RadiPac backward curved impellers used in rooftop A/C units, computer room A/C units and other applications.

Localizing production of these fan models also helps us customize the venturi, housing, mounting and paint color specs to customers’ requirements, speed turnaround and further reduce our transport-related carbon footprint.

GreenTech in practice at our Farmington, CT production facility and offices

Last year, our production facility completed installation of a new large capacity powder paint application system complete with an automatic feed system and new spray guns. The guns allow for more even coating and better use of powder at lower air pressures – further reducing powder spray waste and improving paint quality. The new powder paint system’s dual cyclone technology feeds back (recycles) the 40% of powder that hits the parts and falls into the bottom of the paint booth – increasing our actual powder usage efficiency to about 95%. As a result, production has increased our powder spray efficiency, disposed of less scrap powder, achieved higher quality for painted parts, and significantly reduced color change times.

We also replaced all highbay lights in our production facility and warehouse, and all outdoor lighting around the plant with new energy efficient LED fixtures. Energy savings for this recent installation will be measured throughout 2014.

A comprehensive new high-efficiency 15-unit HVAC system with an average Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating of 12.0 is being installed to replace a circa-1999, 9.0 SEER-rated 200 ton cooling system on the roof of our US headquarters. Based on today’s energy rates, we expect that these new HVAC units will save the company 20% per year in electricity expense. To further boost efficiency, a sophisticated web-based control system will allow for in-house and remote monitoring. What’s more, the new HVAC units employ ebm-papst impellers!

Why Personal Connections Still Count in a Digital World

MarkPierce 110x135by Mark Pierce, Senior Director, Sales

Everywhere you look, digital communication is exploding. Baby Boomers and Generation Xers must adapt to how Millennials — our first generation of digital natives — are changing the way we live and work.

According to Pew Research, 56 percent of American adults now own smartphones. Mind-blowing factoid: A recent United Nations study reported in TIME found that while more than 6 billion people (85 percent of the world’s population) have cell phones, only 4.5 billion have access to working toilets!

Because of their time constraints and work demands, we often find that our customers are more comfortable using email, text, or social media. Digital communications offers us new ways to build direct relationships with our wired and educated customers and give them the tools to be advocates for our brand. Their input through digital channels also offers an important feedback loop for product development.

But in our quest to speed up the process, are we dropping the ball? Author-entrepreneur Austin Allison thinks so. In his words, “Physically connecting with another individual creates the ability to sell without using a machine as the mediator.” His new book talks about how we need to juxtapose traditional face-to-face interactions with digital communication that makes sense.

Our customers must feel confident that ebm-papst will support them through both good times and tough situations.   

So while we’re adept at communicating through digital, we also know that sometimes it is more important to pick up the phone, get in the car, or jump on a plane to make the personal connections and have detailed conversations.

Strengthening relationships with our customers is one of the most important responsibilities of our sales team, and communicating effectively is a key ingredient.  We continually strive to build the trust that leads to great products and excellent service.

About Mark Pierce
ebm-papst Senior Director of Sales Mark Pierce thinks like a customer because he’s worn that hat. Before joining ebm-papst in 2000, he served as a purchasing/operations manager for an international refrigeration compressor manufacturer. With a B.A. in Business Administration from
Mercer University in Atlanta, Mark enjoys working with ebm-papst customers to solve their thermal challenges and provide solutions for their applications. In his free time, Mark and his wife keep busy with their four children’s many activities.

Cooling the Cloud, One Data Center at a Time

describe the imageBy Peter Kimmett - Business Development Manager

In my last post, I discussed how we're reducing acoustic levels for equipment that cools today's fast, high-powered computer systems. Today, I'm exploring the other side of the equation: heat reduction.

In our world of growing cloud-based services, users want more online storage, faster video streaming and quicker access to information. In a recent article in The Data Center Journal, Jeff Clark discusses how, as energy prices and demand for cloud services increase, the demand for efficient systems to save data center floor and rack space is also growing.

While higher density data system racks can reduce facility size requirements, their cooling systems also need to accommodate higher heat loads within these smaller areas.

With an increase in rack density – both in power and airflow impedance – the challenge of keeping these systems cool while still remaining within old standards limitations is becoming significant. The dilemma? How to keep one’s data center upgrade costs low while providing the additional cooling that’s essential for higher-power density equipment which can now approach 20+ kilowatts per rack.

In this changing environment, equipment manufacturers must accommodate aging standards while also meeting higher cooling flow needs in denser rack systems. As rack densities increase, air-cooling becomes more expensive and more challenging.

As cloud-based services continue to grow, ebm-papst continues to refine technologies that help maximize cooling capacity of our air movers to meet a wide range of data center requirements. Whether it’s our new line of highly efficient compact RadiCal impellers or high-pressure capable axial fans, such as our new DV6300 series, we are always pushing the improvement curve.

Have you experienced any of the above cooling challenges in your IT/Telecom applications? If so, how did you resolve them? What solutions did you choose moving forward? We welcome your feedback in the comments box below!

About Pete Kimmet

ebm-papst Business Development Manager Peter Kimmett approaches projects in the IT/Telecom market with the same focus and determination he applies to his sports and technology interests. With a B.S.M.E. from Western New England University, he uses his engineering background, detail-oriented mindset and sense of humor to work towards common goals across the company’s disciplines and teams. A tech geek and Apple enthusiast who keeps up on the latest personal and mobile product trends, he enjoys rock climbing, snowboarding, soccer, running and experiencing different cultures through travel.
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