For businesses across the world, finding the right fan for a specific application can be more challenging than you might at first think. Off-the-shelf solutions have their place; an instant solution to an immediate problem. However, this ‘easy’ option can often be surprisingly costly in ways you might not expect.
Get the specifications wrong and you could miss out on significant cost savings and energy efficiencies, and that could make the difference between product success and failure for OEMs in a highly competitive global market.
Order a fan that’s too small and it won’t be up to the job. Too large and the excess cost in energy alone could more than double the long-term cost of your off-the-shelf option. So, how do you avoid falling foul of fan procurement failure? And how can you be certain of getting a fan that’s just right for the job and at the right price too?
Thankfully, the answer lies in custom-built fans; a precise solution to precise needs, ensuring optimal efficiency and performance alongside significant lifetime unit cost savings.
Here at ACI, we’ve been helping businesses around the world for more than 50 years design and develop innovative and efficient solutions to individual needs, be that for a single fan unit, or a continuous requirement for multinational OEMs.
The good news is that the process is a lot easier and quicker than you might think.
So, what information do you need to supply?
For businesses yet to experience the process of specifying and ordering a custom-made fan, we’re here to make the task simple and seamless.
There’s not a challenge that we haven’t faced, be that in terms of space, power, material, volume or pressure ratios, so you can rest assured, whatever your required outcome, we can help. Our many years of design and manufacturing expertise helps us make the process nice and easy for you.
From concept to production, we’re here to provide a total solution addressing performance, appearance, size, preferred materials, finishes, motor types, speeds, voltages and frequencies.
Most important of all, we’re here to put the pieces of the puzzle together, so even if you don’t have a full picture or a complete specification, our experience means that we’re able to work with you to design the perfect fan solution for the job. All we really need to know is your desired outcome, plus a few key dimensions, and we’ll do the rest.
Tell us the problem that you’re facing, the airflow and/or pressure (static or total) that needs to be achieved and the available space within which the fan solution needs to fit, and we’re in business.
Using our in-house software, we can determine the correct fan size and specification in relation to an application; whether the fan’s to be used within a piece of equipment, with air-knives, nozzles or a different outlet altogether
Through the use of our smart technology, we can determine the required air volume and the pressure needed proportional to the aperture – such as in a ducted system – enabling us to optimize fan performance.
If you already know your Duty Point, your required flow, pressure, the size of the aperture through which the air has to pass and the space within which the fans needs to be housed, we can calculate the ideal size of fan required.
So how does the design process work?
Once we’ve agreed a specification with you, our team of expert engineers develop a first stage design to share with you. Using an array of design software, we can provide 3D modelling, drawings, basic rendering and aminations of all our products and systems.
We’ll take in to account physical space restraints and your material preference, be that mild steel, stainless steel or other, as well as required protection such as powder coating, specialist paint finish or PTFE coating to protect the fan casing from corrosion. We’ll allow for the environment in which the fan has to operate, such as whether it needs to be ATEX explosion-proof, anti-sparking or IECEx flameproof, and we’ll take account of frequency, voltage or special motor requirements for use in different global markets.
Next, we’ll look at other factors such as inlet and discharge options – whether open or connected – and identify if your fan requires a mounting flange, spigot, dampers, guards, flexible connections or an AV mount connected to the motor or the inlet to remove vibration from fan to the system.
We’ll assess if you need a pedestal, brackets, or feet on the motor in relation to the fan – which can be situated above or below. If the fan and motor need to be incorporated into a skid, we can do that too, and this can be wired and positioned ready for you to fit ancillaries. We’ll review your requirement in terms of cables, wiring harnesses and electrical plugs and we can even offer enclosures ranging from standard to custom-built.
With all these boxes ticked, we’ll take you through your options, variants and the pros and cons of each, taking into account any additional factors that you might identify. Then we’ll be in a position to provide you with an accurate quote in terms of pricing and manufacture timeframes so that you’re always in control.
From here, we’ll work on a prototype using our dedicated in-house laboratory to give you absolute certainty that our advanced and innovative fan meets all your expectations.
These testing facilities – available at our UK Headquarters in Devon and at our US site in Maine – measure airflow, pressure and current. They provide a performance curve to demonstrate your fan’s capabilities and also allow the implementation of original solutions to solve specific challenges or to address unusual requirements.
Examining performance, vibration, noise, speed, and including a heat run for three hours to measure the resistance across the windings from cold to hot, we ensure that the loading on the motor is correct. From here, any final changes can be made based on sizing and performance before the prototype is sent to you for trialling in situ.
With ISO 9001:2015 quality management system and ISO 14001:2015 in place, alongside our full performance guarantee and the CE Mark, you can be certain of complete customer satisfaction.
So, can the fans be white labelled or unbranded?
Absolutely. We understand how important it can be for an OEM to integrate technology and parts from third parties as a total, seamless solution. Our only identifier in these instances is a serial number for reference and maintenance provided by our support team.
Where solutions are built for clients from the ground up, you also have the added reassurance that you’ll own the IP, protecting competitive advantage in the sector.
In many other cases, our fans are based on previous ACI solutions. This allows us to make rapid modifications to meet your precise needs, enabling swift implementation and manufacture.
What about fan lifespans?
As part of our service, we work with clients across the world to update and replace fans, bringing them into line with new regulations, improving performance and efficiencies through the implementation of new technology and materials.
We also offer servicing and maintenance support for our fans.
Are modifications possible?
They sure are. We work with global customers internationally. Many clients operate fans in different geographical regions, and that throws up a range of diverse requirements. To meet these, we frequently customize and modify our fans. It’s part of what we do.
As a matter of fact, the variations can be quite staggering, encompassing fan size, case size, impeller, style, colour, orientation, manufactured material, inlet type, discharges type, be that mounted from the case or motor. Then there are the electrical requirements to be considered: 115v, 230v, three-phase 400v for the UK and EU, 460v for the US, 575v for Canada, or other specific voltage. Whatever the required modifications, we have an array of motors and solutions to meet your specification mix.
We like to make the process simple for our customers, so why not call one of our team today and tell us about the challenge that you’d like to resolve. No problem is too big, or too small for us.
And even if you don’t have all the pieces of the puzzle, you don’t need to worry. You can be safe in the knowledge that our super-skilled, problem-solving team are ready to fill the gaps; it’s what makes us tick.
LET US HELP YOU FIND THE BEST SOLUTION
You’re just a call or an email away from a total turnkey fan solution that could help make your product smaller, more efficient, faster, or cheaper.