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July-August-2014

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hat glistening sheen of water droplets on your cold can of soda may be a happy sign of summer, but when condensation hits industrial spaces, the accumulation of those little water droplets is a big problem. Condensation occurs when warmer, moist air contacts a colder surface. In the spring and fall, temperature swings and the accompanying condensation can wreak havoc on unconditioned workplaces. Condensation isn't just annoying — it destroys inventory and creates a potentially hazardous environment for employees as they walk and operate mechanical equipment. These risks can prompt shutdowns, impacting your bottom line in a big way. Pallet Problems Solved Take WestWind Logistics, for example. The humid Omaha, Nebraska, warehouse was the perfect environment for mold, and wood is among mold's favorite places to set up shop. It was a recipe for disaster that forced the company to rewash thousands of wooden pallets soon after sanitizing them, tying up employees and resources. "At one point, we had 4,000 pallets in the warehouse and over half of them got moldy," facility manager Vincent Hoy said. "We have to rewash anything that has mold on it or touching it, so that's two days of work lost." Mold spores are ubiquitous in both indoor and outdoor air, but its growth can be controlled by monitoring moisture. The air movement provided by high-volume, low-speed (HVLS) fans prevents the buildup of moisture on surfaces that might harbor mold by continually disturbing the thin sheet of stagnant air surrounding each pallet. Rather than using dozens of small fans to blow directly on the ends of the pallet rows, HVLS fans efficiently and effectively circulate air throughout the space. After installing two 20-foot fans, WestWind Logistics' rewash rate dropped from more than 50% to only 5% for pallets stored under the fans. "The fans helped us out in a lot of ways," Hoy said. "Now we try to put everything we wash under the fans." Slick Floors and Safety Condensation more often occurs in regions with high relative humidity, but industrial air movement systems can reduce condensation in any climate. And mold isn't the only moisture problem HVLS fans can solve. Condensation on concrete slab floors creates a potentially hazardous environment for employees on foot, as well as those operating mechanical equipment. 24 PalletCentral July-August 2014 palletcentral.com Look to Air TO DEAL WITH CONDENSATION SCARE By Katheran Wasson T HVAC equipment distributor N.B. Handy battled slick condensa- tion on its concrete floors whenever temperatures or humidity changed. The company installed fans to combat the issue, cre- ating safer working conditions. INDUSTRY

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