Looking Forward to 2014 with Alan Manufacturing!

Before we get down to business, everyone at Alan Manufacturing wants to wish all of our family, friends, and customers a Happy Holidays!  It really is a special time of year, and it offers us the chance to thank all of you, not only for an amazing 2013, but for the chance to share 2014 with us!

Speaking of 2014, the first big event for Alan Manufacturing in the new year will be the always exciting 2014 AHR Expo. Held this year at New York’s famed Javits Center, January 21-23, the AHR Expo is the world’s largest HVACR marketplace. If your business has anything to do with air conditioning, heating, refrigeration systems, building automation, or facility management, the AHR Expo is a can’t miss event. According to their website the 2014 show will feature:

  • 38,000+ buyers
  • 34 sponsoring & endorsing associations
  • 140+ educational sessions
  • Visitors from 131 countries

On top of all this, there will be over 1,900 exhibiting companies, including Alan Manufacturing! We will be showing off our latest customized damper and duct products at booth #8753. If you need more exact directions to find us, the AHR Expo website offers an excellent interactive floor plan!

Once again, everyone at Alan Manufacturing hopes you and your family have a joyous holiday season and we cannot wait to see you in 2014!

2013 Comfortech Trade Show Recap

The 2013 Comfortech trade show in Philadelphia, PA. took place from September 18th to the 20th.  This event brought together employees from HVACR, hydronics, and plumbing firms so they could present and view the latest products in the industry. Over 150 companies were be represented at this year’s show. Comfortech offers seminars covering aspects of both technology and business, plus those who attended the conference were able to get information on the latest industry trends. On top of all that, the trade show is an invaluable opportunity for networking.

That networking opportunity is one of the aspects Alan Manufacturing really values during these shows. We do our best to engineer products the way we think our customers want them, but we rarely get the opportunity to discuss our products with those customers face to face. We really appreciate hearing feedback from people who are using our parts and systems out in the real world. Positive feedback lets us know what we’re doing right, and negative feedback tells us what we could improve. Using everything we hear from the people we meet at trade shows, we’re able to build much better products in the future.

Although it’s one of the smaller shows we attend, we’ve always had great experiences at the Comfortech events and hope to continue doing so.

HVAC System Misconception: Do I Need to Seal My Duct Work?

There are many misconceptions when it comes to HVAC systems, their maintenance, and their repairs.  One of the biggest misconceptions is that if you have zone control dampers, you do not need to seal the duct work.  This is not the case; both new and older ductwork needs to be sealed and maintained to keep the system working optimally.

Oftentimes, when people put control dampers in, they think that that’s all, and nothing else needs to be done.  However, while you are spending the money to make the system more efficient, you are wasting money in the end if the duct work isn’t properly sealed.  Zoning your duct work does indeed make a home or business more comfortable and efficient, but if it isn’t sealed properly, you could potentially be losing air, making the zoning obsolete.  Just because you have properly zoned your duct work doesn’t mean it’s working as it should.

How do you ensure proper functionality? Make sure that your joints are sealed—there are now new, highly improved sealing tapes that last longer and seal more effectively than they did years ago.  There are many different types, some even made out of aluminum.  A good sealing tape will ensure the joints are sealed well—however, don’t forget to check it regularly.

Additionally, when you are sealing the joints and putting in a zone control system, be sure to have a bypass relief damper.  When the joints are sealed and there is nowhere for the air to escape to, it can go back into the furnace, and cause a blowout.  For this reason, a damper—which releases the air—is very important.

If you follow these simple steps when zoning, you will get the most out of your system and avoid problems, both small and large.

Top 3 Frequently Asked Questions

As any manufacturer can tell you, there are certain questions that come up from current and prospective customers over and over again. While we welcome any questions at any time, we thought we’d make things easier for our readers by addressing some of the most common ones at the moment.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1)      In this new economy, where do distributors stand on inventory?

Like many in our industry, we value our distributors and work with them as much as possible. Many no longer want to keep as much inventory in stock as in the past, and we believe that customers throughout the country understand this. Many manufacturers these days are doing away with large stockpiles that take up space and cost money, and are providing just-in-time shipping, which is an efficient way to deliver inventory as needed. (Check out this article.) It’s one of the hottest and most practical trends in manufacturing right now.

2)      In your industry, what does air pressure have to do with zoning and ductwork?

We see this all the time—homeowners will put in their own zoning without understanding the importance of air pressure.  Without a bypass damper properly installed, air buildup can occur and cause a major problem, including burning up your furnace. While you don’t need to know A-Z about air flow, you should do research or hire a contractor who does. There are many online training resources that can help you, as well as software programs that make it easier to understand, and therefore avoid major problems.

3)      Is a wireless zoning damper actually wireless?

The short answer is no. While the damper itself is not wireless, it is wirelessly controlled with a remote. This is a convenient, easy way to control up to 32 dampers individually.  And while the motorized damper is not battery-operated, the remote control makes is a very handy product.

The Importance of STEM Education

With American manufacturing back and projected to keep growing, one of the major topics in the industry is the skilled worker shortage.  It seems that where there weren’t many jobs a decade ago, there are now plenty of good manufacturing jobs, but not enough skilled people to fill them.

One of the major focuses right now in our country STEM education.  Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) form the basis of any well rounded education and career-training, and yet, many American children and teens are lacking these fundamentals.  According to this article, advanced manufacturers are desperately looking to fill positions with people who have the right STEM skills.  And a recent report suggested that greater support and training in STEM areas could help fill positions throughout the country.

The federal government, seeing the obvious need for a greater push toward SEM education among young Americans, is doing its part as well. In a recent article on the subject, it was said that “efforts include preparing and recruiting 100,000 new STEM teachers and opening opportunities to get more younger students interested in STEM.”  According to the White House’s deputy director for technology and innovation, “We have open jobs. We could be hiring more people if we had workers.”

So it stands to reason that if there aren’t enough skilled young people, and that young people with STEM skills are what employers want and need, then we, as a country, should be pushing our kids toward this.  One way is for parents to ingrain in children the importance of these skills for everyday life, as well as for their futures. Another is for both parents and educators to show the fun side of science and math—after all, robots, space ships, and video games all rely on these fundamentals.

As a manufacturer, we see the need every day, and we also see the career practicality. Each of our new employees is given a math test, and those who do well advance more quickly and inevitably earn more money.

While change isn’t easy and it doesn’t happen overnight, we can all help move the next generation in the right direction.

Alan Manufacturing at ACCA 2013

As you may already know, or are coming to find out, we at Alan Manufacturing love getting out there and interacting with our industry.  We attend many conferences and trade shows throughout the year, as they are not only a great way to meet new people and greet our customers, but also a wonderful opportunity to learn more and grow.  With this in mind, we are very excited about the upcoming ACCA 2013, happening February 26-March 2 in Orlando, Florida.

ACCA’s Conference is one of the biggest and most influential events for contractors.  With over 45 Learning Labs scheduled for this year’s conference, it will be the largest contractor education event in the country.   Experts in commercial and residential HVAC, refrigeration, building performance, and more will be there to teach and learn, meet and greet, and share knowledge and opportunities with each other.

We will be there presenting our products at booth #730.  We are looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones, sharing information on our products, and interacting with our industry peers.  We are also excited about our location directly across from the ACCA Theater, where they will be presenting on a number of topics, including load balancing, which we are eager to learn more about.

We can’t wait to finally get to ACCA 2013, and we look forward to seeing you there!

Alan Manufacturing: We’ll be at the AHR Expo!

As you can tell from our previous blogs, having a presence at trade shows is very important to us here at Alan Manufacturing. Not only is it important to take every opportunity that we can to get our name and our products out there, it is also just as important to see what others in our industry are up to as well.

Because of that, we will attending the AHR Expo in Dallas, Texas. This expo is the world’s largest HVACR event and beyond just having booths to visit and networking opportunities, there will also be educational sessions, association meetings and more.

We are so excited to be a part of this important event. Stop by the Dallas Convention Center from Monday, January 28th to Wednesday, January 30th and visit us at booth #552. We can’t wait to show you our wireless zone control system and our rectangular duct muffler!

Keep your eyes open for our next blog because we here at Alan Mfg are on the move yet again and will have information about the next trade show we will be attending.

Women in HVAC

At the recent Women in Manufacturing conference, women from around the country gathered to discuss their roles in the industry.  At the event, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch called the attendees “trailblazers”, stating “It’s not often you see a woman who makes the choice to commit to a career in manufacturing.”  At Alan Manufacturing, we realize how uncommon, and how often underappreciated, women are in the HVAC industry.  After all, it is a male-dominated industry, and women often have to prove themselves more than a man would in the same role.

We recently attended Mechanical Systems Week, where one of the most valuable and interesting aspects was the Women in HVACR Reception.  Here we engaged with women throughout the industry, listened to interesting speakers (including one woman who was one of the first to get into HVAC), and gained insight into the topic.

With that in mind, we’d like to spotlight one of our many talented, successful, highly qualified employees, who we are certain is just as good at her job as a man would be.  Rachel started with Alan Manufacturing 13 years ago, right after she’d just had her second son.  She was only 21 years old, and needed a job, and job searching for a long while, we hired her . She began answering phones, having no HVAC experience, and learned all about the industry on the job!  Today, she handles our website, all marketing, social media, IT work, customer service, sales, and more, and loves her job.  She’s an invaluable member of the Alan Manufacturing team, and we are proud to have her, and all of our female employees, onboard.

We salute women in HVAC, and are happy to shine a spotlight on the subject.

Mechanical Systems Week 2012

At Alan Manufacturing, we are proud to be leaders in customized HVAC-related hardware. We provide our customers with the highest quality products, including custom zone control dampers, and we get excited whenever we have the opportunity to present these products to potential clients who haven’t yet seen them.

One such opportunity will come from September 19-21, at Mechanical Systems Week in Chicago. We will be showcasing our zone control products at booth #1220, and we are thrilled to unveil the latest improvements to our radial damper. The product now features a motor that is outside the airstream, rather than in it, making the motor easier to change. We also look forward to presenting our new and exciting product, our rectangular duct muffler!

This will be our second year exhibiting at Mechanical Systems Week, and we can’t wait to reach the attendees and meet new people. One event for which we are particularly excited is the 9th Annual Women in HVACR Reception and Meeting, on September 18th and 19th. We are look forward to being a part of the audience and learn from the seasoned experts in the field. After all, this event is as much about showcasing our products as it is about learning how to make them even better.

We look forward to bringing our expertise to Mechanical Systems Week, and to experiencing that from others. We hope to see you there!

Alan Manufacturing Inc.: Solutions for All Your HVAC Needs

Radial Damper

Radial Damper

At Alan Manufacturing Inc., we are proud to be a leading manufacturer of quality HVAC damper assemblies, duct support, zone control products, and custom HVAC components. As a veteran-owned business that makes all of its products here in the U.S., we take customer service seriously. We also are committed to providing you with green, cost-effective results.

Our customer’s find us to be the solution they are looking for when other manufacturers don’t stock the large or irregular sizes they require. We specialize in custom projects with fast turnaround and superior design. We also offer an array of unique, innovative products. One of our clients’ favorites is the Duct Muffler, which helps silence your duct, and has the added benefits of lessening the risk of lint buildup and providing energy savings. We are the only company to offer a rectangular version of this product.

Another favorite product is the radial damper, which is motored from outside of the ductwork for accessibility. This damper is often used in office diffusers that do not contain enough room for a round damper to make a full rotation. Our dampers can be hand controlled, electrical, cable, or by pneumatic motors and are available in round, rectangular or oval shapes. Most recently our radial damper was placed into a drone that flies with or without passengers—an exciting piece of machinery!

Damper blades and hardware, metal rings, gaskets, duct hangers, duct connectors, and so much more; whatever your HVAC needs are, we’re happy to have you covered. Please visit our website at www.alanmfg.com/catalog_product_categories.htm to see our complete product line.