TechTalk Issue 74
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Fantech joins an impressive list of innovative companies including Bombardier Transportation Australia, Ecotech and Jayco Corporation as inductees of the Victorian Manufacturers Hall of Fame.The hall of fame celebrates the heroes of Victorias manufacturing sector and includes companies that have shown a sustained contribution to manufacturing excellence and are recognised as leaders in their field, both in Australia and overseas.
The Manufacturing Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held at Crown Casino on May 3, 2012 as part of an annual industry gala dinner. The Hon Richard Dalla-Riva MLC, Minister for Manufacturing, Exports and Trade announced the award winners to an audience of over 600 industry leaders.
Fantech Operations Director Brad Ackehurst said it was an honour to be nominated by South East Melbourne Manufacturers Association (SEMMA) and a greater honour to be inducted into the 2012 Hall of Fame.
The entire Fantech team can be proud of this achievement which recognises our commitment to the highest quality Australian manufacturing, improving customer service and furthering our technical expertise.
Brad said investing in people was a key. Staff are provided with the training, the encouragement and the empowerment to seize opportunities and make changes that improve quality and create efficiencies.
In the last four years Fantech has provided sponsored training for more than 108 operational staff nationwide to Certificate III and Certificate IV level in Competitive Manufacturing.
Brad said there was also a strong commitment to the training of potential and up-coming management. The company has sponsored a number of key personnel in leadership and quality management training programs which continues today.
Most recently Fantechs Market Development Engineer Daniel Tan won the ARBS Young Achiever category. Daniel has been integral to the introduction of impulse ventilation and JetVent fans to Australia and the design of the new JetVent EC series which won the ARBS Product Excellence category.
The entire Fantech team can be proud of this achievement ...
But Daniel is just one example; all staff are encouraged to be involved in the business operations and in reviewing its processes. This feedback and workflow mapping has resulted in a move from a paper-based system to a transparent intranet-based work order management system which has led to a dramatic reduction in lead times and improvements in order fill rates.
Brad said the factory floor had been transformed with purpose-built workstations and highly efficient production cells. Modern computer stations were now throughout operations utilising the internally developed Clear Vision software. This software and the integration of the computer system has allowed the status of all jobs to be available in real time throughout the sales, manufacturing, warehousing, despatch and finance processes.
These initiatives are helping to ensure customers receive a high quality product at the right time, he said.
Fantech would not have won this award without our staff, he said. While it is the company that is inducted into the hall of fame, it is the staff passion and dedication to product excellence and customer service that got us recognised, and ultimately it is our customers who benefit.
Fantech entersThe Hall of Fame
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August 2012Newsletter Number 74
From left to right: Fantech Operations Director Brad Ackehurst, Minister for manufacturing, Exports and Trade, The Hon. Richard Dalla-Riva MLC, and editorof Curve magazine Belinda Stening
with Daniel Tan
A good ventilation system is vital in car parks. It must provide fresh air and ensure harmful pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides and various fumes from the vehicles fuels do not accumulate and reach toxic levels.
Traditionally car parks are fitted with a maze of ductwork which carries fresh air from one part of the building to another.
The introduction of impulse ventilation systems has revolutionised car park ventilation in Australia. Impulse ventilation systems use small strategically located high velocity jet fans (also known as induction fans) mounted directly beneath the ceiling in place of ductwork. The fans provide a constant air flow that mix the air, ensure pollutants do not accumulate in dead areas and direct them towards the main extraction fan.
Impulse technology operates on well proven longitudinal tunnel ventilation principles. The fans produce a high velocity jet of air, in turn moving a larger quantity of air surrounding the fan through a process known as entrainment. The amount of air entrained by a single fan increases with the velocity and the quantity of air being discharged by the fan. The ability of a fan to do this is measured by its thrust rating which is measured in Newtons (N).
Fully ducted systems typically require a larger extraction fan with the capacity to generate higher static pressure development to overcome resistance within the ducts.
One of the key advantages of impulse technology is that it largely eliminates the need for air distribution ductwork within the car park and because the mechanical supply and exhaust systems have less resistance, these fans can be smaller and therefore consume less power.
Other savings may occur during construction, for example the reduction of site excavation due to the low ceiling height made possible by using jet fans. And with no duct to navigate around concrete beams, other building services such as cable trays, water and gas pipes are easier to install with potential savings in labour and material costs.
EC motor technologyTo reduce power costs and the buildings carbon footprint, fans can be made to reduce their speed during times of low activity and speed up again at times when ventilation is required. This is usually achieved by using variable speed drives (VSD) paired with a conventional 3 Phase induction motor. VSDs have become accepted as normal practice, so it is often forgotten that they take up valuable plantroom space and that wiring the shielded cable from the VSD to the fan is an added expense in time and money.
By using an electronically commutated (EC) motor to drive a fan, speed control becomes an integral part of the unit, removing the extra installation, space and costs associated with conventional motors and VSD pairings. Also, by having the speed control as an integral part of the motor, shielded power cables do not have to be used in the power connections to the fan motor. Lastly, because the EC motor is specifically designed to be speed controllable, the result is a motor that is efficient across a huge range of operating speeds and does not have the electronic hum that is characteristic of VSD driven induction motors.
Digital communication systemIn order to achieve speed control of an EC motor, sophisticated motor control strategies are integrated into its on-board electronics. EC motors provide digital/high level communication which allows the fan to respond to and send relevant information to a controllers BMS.
EC motors enable each fan to get full functionality using only a single twisted pair communications wire. This can provide substantial savings, because, each fan function normally requires its own pair or trio of wires, which can very quickly add up to significant cost over a large site. For example, some fans in a system may need to be variable speed controlled, provide run/stop indication, and have a fault alarm signal/switch. In some installations current monitoring may also be required. It means that this fan would require six separate wires to operate the first three features and a smart power meter to monitor power consumption. With the EC motor over digital communication, all of the four required features can be monitored by communicating over the communications bus.
Most EC motor solutions available for HVAC applications with high-level communication, support the MODBUS protocol over RS485 serial connections. With specific reference to JetVent EC applications, the following ways of applying high-level communications are available:
A - Jetvent Digital EC Integrated Zone ControllerIn this mode of operation, the Jetvent EC system is supplied with a matching carpark pollution monitoring system and a speed controllable fan. In addition to the benefits of high-level communication noted above, this solution also allows pollution sensors to be powered and directly connected to the nearest fan to further reduce wiring costs, while still allowing the integrated zone controller to set the speed of Jet Fans in the system in accordance to any individual sensor readout in the carpark.
B - Jetvent Digital EC Integrated Zone Controller with BMS Monitoring
The Jetvent EC system with its powerful zone controller can also be connected to the main building BMS. The controller is connected as per the above method (A), but with additional communication lines connected to the BMS, which can communicate to the controller with a choice of BACnet over MSTP, BacNET Over TCP/IP and MODBUS over RS485 protocol and connections. This option allows the facilities manager to monitor CO levels, fan speeds, status and alarms without leaving the office.
C - Jetvent Digital EC Direct BMS ControlIt is also possible to fully address the fans in the Jetvent System with MODBUS protocol over RS485 connections. If the BMS in the building has enough available programming points and processing capability left free, this will give the buildings facilities manager full BMS monitoring and control of the carpark Jetvent System.