Hugh Lynas can’t wait for a really hot summer day.
That may sound like a harsh wish coming from a plant manager of a 100,000-square-foot facility that employs 120 and is used to battling southern Missouri heat with “125 personal fans hanging from pillars and posts.”
But that was before Tracker Marine, the nation’s leading maker of fishing and recreation boats, added six high-volume low-speed (HVLS) Entrematic® fans to their Ozark, Mo., manufacturing facility.
“Our main goal is to reduce the plant’s interior temperature by 20 percent this summer,” Lynas explains. “In a former life I had experience with HVLS fans and wanted to bring them to this facility.”
Heating Bills Cut 50 Percent
Lynas has every reason to believe the summer goal is achievable. Entrematic installed the HVLS fans just before winter. The effect in cold weather was startling, even for a seasoned HVLS fan user like Lynas.
“We were able to shut down 50 percent of our gas-fired heaters,” Lynas says. “The air movement from the fans circulated heat everywhere, eliminating cold zones. We cut our natural gas bill in half. Our HVLS fans are paying for themselves at an unexpectedly rapid rate. We didn’t expect such an immediate payback.”
More surprises were waiting for Lynas and his leadership team.
Comfort = Safety?
“Through the first part of 2016 [since the fan’s introduction] we had no injuries within the plant. Most of us believe that’s more than coincidence,” Lynas reports. “The feedback from the plant floor supports it. We hear, ‘I’ve got air movement around me. I’m more comfortable doing my job.’ More comfort means better focus and performance.”
“The people on the floor made the safety association before we did,” he says. “We constantly strive for an accident-free workplace. A benefit like this didn’t factor into our purchase decision. It’s a huge, huge bonus.”
Fewer Fans, Great Performance
That purchase decision yielded its own surprises. Tracker Marine was holding a quote from a big HVLS fan maker; they recommended nine HVLS fans. “The local rep for Entrematic fans, who was working with us on an unrelated project, suggested we consider an alternate quote,” Lynas says. “Entrematic came in and said six HVLS fans would work. That and their warranty and installation tipped us to Entrematic. It’s worked out great.”
For now, the buzz on the plant floor couldn’t be more positive. The Tracker Marine workforce is delighted by their new spinning friends on high. “Our employees are very excited about what we did on their behalf by installing the fans,” Lynas observes. He knows that kind of positive public relations doesn’t hurt recruitment or retention of quality workers.
Best Is Yet to Come
For Lynas, the “cool” part of this win-win story is just getting underway: the company’s first summer with the HVLS fans working their comfort magic.
“We’re praying for hotter days,” laughs the plant manager.
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