Stop By Our Industrial Fan Factory from Wherever You Are
As an essential business, we’ve stayed open and busy throughout the pandemic, but it’s been almost a year since we were able to host visitors at our fan manufacturing plant. We used to host customers here regularly and enjoyed showing them what goes into the centrifugal fans and blowers that end up in their industrial applications. But when we find a roadblock, we always find a way around it, and the solution on this one was simple enough: a video factory tour.
Resolving problems often creates new opportunities. The opportunity the video factory tour brings is that more people from far and wide can see it! We hope it doesn’t replace in-person visits when those are once again possible. We would love to host you if and when you’re ready. But in the meantime, this is a start. It will help our prospective and current customers get a sense of what we’re all about and what it’s like to work with us.
Stops on the Video Factory Tour
Guided by a familiar face, Senior Application Engineer Chet White, you’ll see the complete industrial fan production operations across our two facilities in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Here are some of the primary areas and what you’ll see there:
West Plant – Receiving Bay
The West Plant is our fabrication shop. In the Receiving Bay, trucks drop off shipments of raw materials. Some get sorted by the pallet with the steel required for individual jobs in progress. There’s also an area for stock products like access doors, bearing bars, and wheel spinners, plus a lean-to that houses inlet spinners. Moving further into the raw material area, we see things like flat bar, angle iron, and channel getting cut to size for specific projects.
West Plant – Wheel Fabrication
The next stop on our video factory tour is where the Wheel Fabrication process and the start of production. This facility is largely specialized in wheel welding, although some fans are fully fabricated here as well. Chet made a surprise stop in a fabrication bay, where we see a clean, high-quality wheel in the final stages of production. Key to our consistent product quality, all of our welders are certified to AWS D14.6 standard.
West Plant – Balancing Station
Next, we go to the Balancing Station, where all completed wheels are headed to their first of two dynamic two-plane balance testing processes. At this stage, we test each fan to the minimum required specification of G6.3 based on the maximum imbalance at minimum speed. Wheels go through a series of spins in multiple runs with two pick-up points to measure the amplitude of imbalance in the wheel during operation, so that we can determine the necessary weight to weld to either side to minimize the imbalance.
North Plant – Receiving Bay
The tour continues to the North Facility (about eight miles away) where we complete the painting, welding of other components like housing and pedestals, assembly, final balance testing, and shipping. Again starting in the Receiving Bay, we see a storage area for paint, motors, and job-specific pallets containing drive components. We take a quick walk past the area where steel gets rolled and cut to the proper length for production.
North Plant – High Bay
In the back of the facility is a spot called the High Bay, where the fans get painted and put together. There’s a blast booth for special coatings, and two pressurized paint booths, with pressure pods for mixing. We typically paint our fans standard dark grey, but we can match any color. The paint runs from lines on the outside into the sealed booth to spray the paint onto the products.
North Plant – Fan Assembly
Next, we head out from the High Bay to Fan Assembly, where completed fans go through standard SP1 (using solvent), SP2 (by hand), and SP3 (using power tools) cleaning processes to remove everything from dust and grease to mill scale and contaminants before painting, Fan Assembly is also where we complete trim balancing. Fans are bolted down and run at operating speed before shipment. All fans go through every step in the process.
North Plant – Shipping Bay
Our video factory tour ends in the Shipping Bay. There, our inspectors perform Quality Control checks to ensure it perfectly matches what you ordered. We put on the finishing touches and load it onto the truck.
What Our Video Factory Tour Highlights
Along the way through the video factory tour, Chet points out several banners and displays evident throughout the facilities. These are important because they are at the foundation of how we work, our reliability, our quality, and our culture. Key highlights include:
- Our 100% employee ownership, which means our skin is in the game at all times.
- Our 95% on-time delivery requirement (minimum), which we meet or beat as a rule.
- A Safety screen that shows a running total of days since the last lost-time accident. We take safety seriously, and as of the filming of the video, the count was at 634.
- Our industry-leading 3-year warranty, which comes standard on all products.
Hear it from an Application Engineer
Senior Application Engineer Chet White walks and talks you through our two fan production facilities in this 10-minute video.
Once you’ve taken the video factory tour, we’d love to meet over coffee (virtually for now) to get acquainted and answer any questions you may have. Feel free to schedule a call with an application engineer. We also welcome comments and questions via our LinkedIn Page, and you can always Contact Us or Request a Quote.