Going Green

Nowadays our environment is one of the most important concerns. We are certain that the world is constantly changing, and it will be a very different ecosystem 50 years from now. Environmental concerns are a real part of the decision-making process for many companies and organizations.  When it comes to refrigerants, these same factors play […]

Do You Have a Handle on Your Air Handling Systems?

Air is important, we all know that and take it as fact.  Still, how often do we think about the air? A wise man once told me that air was no big deal, until you aren’t getting any…  True story. In today’s food production facilities, air is a big deal in myriad ways. Do you know how air is affecting your production plant?

Air is just air; or is it?  What lives in the air, the temperature, humidity, volume, all play a role in the operation of food plants.  Air will get into the plant one way or another and by taking control over the entry and exit, you can better control its quality, quantity and effects on the process.  Proper filtration will limit the dust, debris and particulate that can enter your processing rooms. Stainless steel construction with direct drive fans, properly sequenced heating and cooling sections, and wash-down duty components allow you to maintain clean, dry air entering your processing spaces.  Considerations such as pre-filters to protect the final filters, draw-through cooling coils to eliminate final filter wetting, removal of belt dust and efficiency loss, multiple speed operation for dry out, pressure control and others are paramount in ensuring proper conditions in processing spaces during operation.  Locating the AHUs properly on the roof helps avoid the intake of contaminants from sources such as docs and process discharges. Proper elevations and curb heights help those in the North from having intakes blocked by snow drifts. There are countless air handling design considerations that can help or hinder the performance of your processes and your building.

Integrating air handler controls with the clean-up cycles can help limit fogging during wash downs and ensure that the units return to production mode once CIP is complete.  Automating the process eliminates human error from the air equation and helps to reduce the likelihood of contamination and the excess use of utilities to heat and cool the air.  The use of PLCs and VFDs can help to automate the air handling systems and ensure the air volume doesn’t drop off as filters load, ensuring proper space pressurizations are not compromised.

Air surrounds every worker, every machine and every product in your plant.  The air is carrying allergens, contaminates, pathogens, moisture and heat. Are you sure that your air handling systems are up to the challenge of maintaining a clean and comfortable processing facility?  Don’t let a lack of quality air take the wind out of your sails this year. While it may not be a big deal today, you may soon find yourself short on quality air, and that could take your breath away.


Written by: Joshua Isely

Are the Winds of Change Blowing in Your Plant?

Food production facilities are complex, living, breathing, dynamic systems. Just like our bodies, our plants need to be kept healthy to operate correctly. Much time and energy is spent to separate raw and ready-to-eat areas, manage human traffic patterns, train employees, and test products in order to minimize contamination risks. With all of these activities occurring, how is it possible that there can still be contamination?



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GIR’s Spring Highway Cleanup

Winter has finally come to a close- we think. With the weather finally being consistently above freezing, we figured that now would be a great time to tend to GIR’s Adopt-a-Highway service project.

On a sunny, 60-degree day, we geared up with neon yellow safety vests, gloves, and plenty of garbage bags. We divided and conquered the 2-mile stretch of Highway 18 that GIR is responsible for, with half of us starting on one end, half on the other, and meeting in the middle. It was terrific to be outside on such a pleasant day, to get a little exercise, and, most importantly, to give back a little to the local community.

After a long winter, the abundance and strange variety of garbage we picked up was at a high. We can confidently say that this section of the highway is looking a whole lot better!

Look for GIR at RETA Hershey, PA

The annual IIAR (International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration) conference is being held in Hershey, Pennsylvania this year from September 26th to 29th. Phil is escaping our Wisconsin office to attend and is hoping to see you there!

IIAR is an organization that, through advocacy and information, supports those involved with the industrial refrigeration industry. It promotes safe ammonia refrigeration practices, especially through its published standards such as IIAR 2. The conference serves as a great opportunity to learn more about the industry, brush up on important topics, to network, and to reconnect with associates. It is also a nice way for Professional Engineers to earn Professional Development Hours (needed for renewing PE licenses) by attending programs offered throughout the conference.

It should be a great time. If you’re attending, keep an eye out for Phil!