Welcome, Joe Giacona!
ebm-papst Inc. is pleased to welcome Joe Giacona as market manager – transportation
Joe 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 Joe.Giacona@us.ebmpapst.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Compact, efficient FlowGrid air-inlet grill from ebm-papst significantly reduces noise spectrum for
axial and centrifugal fans
Whether 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.
“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
Here’s how noise happens within a fan and how FlowGrid corrects it:
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.’
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.
Mounted on the air intake side of the fan, the FlowGrid weakens these ‘vortex strings’ as they flow through the device.
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.
With 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 email@example.com.
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 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!
by 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.
By 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.
by Liz Callaghan – Director of Customer Service & Logistics
As 2014 begins, we're continuing our GreenTech commitment to reduce our carbon footprint in all that we do. From packaging and shipping materials to logistics and customer service to lighting and equipment, here are just a few of the ways that ebm-papst makes good on our commitment to sustainability!
Over the years we have gotten away from the use of chemically based InstaPak foam and moved toward the use of recyclable brown paper.
We recycle and reuse wooden skids for shipments.
We save all small cardboard boxes and dividers, to reuse them again.
We have reduced our paper consumption by emailing purchase order confirmations and customer invoices, rather than mailing a paper version.
In our logistics center, we've replaced our older pallet scales with new state-of-the-art scales. The floor scales are not only more accurate, they're also saving energy!
Our Logistics Center and Customer Service departments work with our customers to consolidate their shipments where possible. Bundling several orders together helps reduce the number of boxes and skids needed.
Our Logistics Center is equipped with motion sensor lighting in all aisles, helping reduce electricity costs.
We continue to upgrade equipment, such as order pickers and forklifts, to more energy efficient models.
About Liz Callaghan
As Director of Customer Service and Logistics at ebm-papst, Liz Callaghan enjoys meeting in person the customers with whom she’s developed productive relationships over the past 17 years. Her responsibilities include warehouse logistics, international purchasing and inventory control. A constant learner, she leverages her diverse experiences to anticipate and address logistics issues in advance, ensuring the best possible service to prospective and current customers.
By Brian Ladegard- Director of Operations
In manufacturing, we have to anticipate and react to several challenges that arise when building
our products – product weight and required fastener torque are two of the most common.
Our products have become increasingly larger over the years, as our product range has expanded and our EC motors began to proliferate. We now work with parts that are much heavier than previous generations.
To avoid unnecessary injuries (such as back strain or pulled muscles) from product lifting, we researched, specified and installed many lift assist devices. These devices range from the simplest form of a Scissor Jack, whereby the product pallet can be raised off the floor to a more comfortable 32” working height, to more elaborate larger crane systems.
Generally, we use two main types of cranes – overhead bridge cranes and freestanding jib cranes. Overhead Bridge Cranes allow for mechanically assisted part lifting
and then movement from station to station in a work cell. Typically, this type of crane assists in moving product through 3-5 stations in succession. Freestanding Jib Cranes perform the same assisted lifting – but only do this in a small circular area around their base. Typically, we use jib cranes to pull parts out of boxes, put parts into boxes, or assist with lifting in a single work space. Both are designed to keep operators from becoming fatigued over a full shift of work.
Required Fastener Torque
The other related challenge is fastener torque. Along with our product sizes – the fasteners we use have also grown overtime. Generally, fastener torque is proportional to the size of the fastener. Torque is the twisting force required to install a specific fastener so that it tightens the mechanical joint and keeps it from separating.
The issue with torque is one of physics – for every force there is an equal and opposite force. So, when we use a pneumatic or electric screwdriver to apply this force, there is an equal and opposite reverse force felt by the person (or device) that is holding the screwdriver. This is called a “torque reaction” or “break back torque”. If left unchecked, it can cause muscle damage, aches and soreness to operator wrists. So, whenever we use devices with higher torque values we employ an “ergo arm” or a “counterbalanced arm”. These arms are supplied by the makers of the screwdrivers and are designed to allow for free movement of the screw gun, while eliminating break back torque on the operator’s wrists. Typically, they also balance the physical weight of the tool – so operators can work for long periods using this tool with comfort.
About Brian Ladegard
A lifelong tinkerer with a passion for product engineering, ebm-papst Inc. Director of Operations Brian Ladegard draws his expertise from the variety of engineering and sales positions he has held at the company over the past 20 years. He’s managed ebm-papst operations since 1996, including manufacturing engineering, production planning, component purchasing, production/plant operations, building maintenance and external contractors. Brian also oversees the company’s MRP planning, inventory control, capacity planning, bar coding, shop floor control systems and strategic sourcing activities.
by Matt Menard, Market Manager - Air Conditioning
In the world of HVAC, motors move conditioned air throughout the system. When a motor fails, cooling or heating ceases, leaving occupants of that building uncomfortable. The motor can be replaced relatively quickly with an experienced technician. However, diagnosing what caused the failure is difficult, time consuming and often ignored.
Motor failure is a major headache that can cost building owners significant money. With limited budgets and resources, implementing a preventative maintenance program on motors to minimize failures can be difficult for most. So what is the solution?
The December 9 issue of ACHR News discusses causes and prevention of motor failure. All of these types of failure can be avoided by choosing external rotor EC motor technology, such as is utilized in ebm-papst’s product line, to boost reliability and efficiency.
Belt — Belt tension is critical in avoiding vibrations between the fan wheel and motor. Belts tend to stretch throughout their lifetime, so technicians tend to over tighten during replacement. A belt that is too tight overloads the motor and shortens the lifespan. ebm-papst external rotor motors do not use belts—the fan wheel is mounted directly to the motor rotor.
Overheating — This is the most common cause of failure. Dirt buildup on the fan wheel and poorly designed/installed ductwork causes additional strain on the motor resulting in overheating and a shortened lifespan. ebm-papst EC motors have temperature sensors built into the internal electronics package that act as a safety device in the case of overheating.
Electrical Fluting — When utilizing a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) for speed control, users can experience a phenomenon called electrical fluting, which basically equates to a mini-lightning storm that occurs within the motor as voltage and frequency are regulated by the VFD. This ‘storm’ affects the bearings, resulting in premature failure. Electrical fluting is unpredictable and requires additional measures such as shaft grounding kits and ceramic bearings to prevent. ebm-papst EC motors have built-in speed control and do not require a VFD, eliminating the electrical fluting issue.
In addition to eliminating belts, adding temperature sensors and built-in speed control, industry experts such as Jim Connell of AirXChange Inc. believes that ECM fans are more reliable and use less energy than traditional AC motors and drives. Utilizing external rotor EC motor technology provides not only the most reliable, but most efficient technology available.
By Todd Cardillo, Market Manager - Industrial Markets
Generating wind and solar power presents an interesting challenge. As energy is generated, other power must be generated to help keep the whole process cool.
In the case of wind power, wind-turbine capacity continues to grow each year, with 6 to 10 megawatts (MW) on the horizon, key power generation components are needed to manage increasing heat within limited nacelle space. The generator, power-conversion electronics and transformers (inverter), gearbox unit, blade pitch motors and tower structure all need to be cooled within a wind-turbine nacelle. Each of these components requires different cooling needs. That’s where ebm-papst Inc.’s wide range of products comes in, Whether it is a small axial fan for blade pitch motor cooling or multiple large impellers to exhaust heat and pressurize an inverter, we provide innovative solutions.
Inverters: the heart of the system
While the infrastructure for solar applications is much less complex than that of the wind sector, there is still a need to convert DC power to AC with an inverter. As a main component in both wind power and photovoltaic (PV) systems, it is important that the inverter function properly to optimize system output. Factors that affect the life cycle of the inverter include:
Operating temperatures, which are caused by power loads and ambient conditions
Location of the inverter
Time of year and day the inverter is operating
Size of the wind turbine or solar array involved
Air movers are essential to mitigating heat and improving long-term reliability of wind power and photovoltaic systems. One of our key products, the GreenTech EC fan, provides the ability to remotely monitor operation via the Internet or a modem. All critical information, including speed, motor temperature and operating messages or alarms, can be monitored.
Click here for an overview of our cooling fans and blowers, and download our Alternative Energy brochure to learn more about the different air moving solutions we offer.