Air Innovations' Environmental Control Systems Business Expands

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High tech, pharmaceutical and electronics customers are driving increase in ECU orders. Air Innovations ECUs maintain extremely precise process control of temperature, humidity, filtration and pressurization for customers in such areas as aerospace, semiconductors, biogenetics and university R&D.

AI's customized ECUs are available in stainless steel for those applications with stringent contamination control requirements. The system shown is used in nanomachining.

Our company is in a perfect position to quickly meet customers' needs

Demand for environmental control systems (ECUs) across all industries is significantly increasing sales of Air Innovations® (AI) specialty heating, air conditioning, ventilation and refrigeration equipment. "Our company is in a perfect position to quickly meet customers' needs," said company President and CEO Michael Wetzel, P.E., "because our products maintain extremely precise process control of temperature, humidity, filtration and pressurization in industries as diverse as the military, aerospace, metrology, semiconductors and biogenetics. This gives AI the ability to remain profitable and add personnel even when one sector experiences a downturn, as was experienced by some businesses in recent years," Wetzel explained.

During the past quarter, the company booked orders for AdvancAir® ECUs, with deliveries scheduled throughout June 2011. A typical AdvancAir ECU requires 200-plus man hours to design, build and test, as well as highly trained employees to support all functions. The most sophisticated model being built so far this year is a stainless system capable of controlling temperature to +/- .04°C and humidity at +/-1%, Wetzel noted. Out of the most recent five customers, two are new to the company, and all are making multi-unit purchases.

AdvancAir products can be configured in "cubes" that can be installed either horizontally or vertically depending on the original equipment manufacturer's (OEM) application. A choice of cooling media (direct expansion refrigerant or chilled water), integrated humidification (immersed element or ultrasonic), and filtration (HEPA, ULPA or chemical) can be specified.    

Meantime, pharmaceutical customers are placing orders for HEPAir® modular environmental systems. One such project challenged Air Innovations' engineers to design a system that could be rapidly and remotely switched to provide either a very dry condition or a normal humidity condition for a blister pack machine, said Wetzel. Air Innovations' solution was a combination of two HEPAir units and a desiccant dryer linked together to provide the desired environmental control. Full remote control allows the customer to choose any combination of the units, depending on the specific drug's requirements.

HEPAir units also were ordered by the OEM of desiccant systems for use in healthcare and electronics industries. This equipment will be used for managing moisture levels and volatile organic compounds that adversely affect product shelf life and integrity.

HEPAir equipment is available in standard or customized horizontal configurations and from one-half to two-ton capacities. It provides stable control of temperature, humidity, pressure and filtration for cleanroom, computer, laboratory, hospital and R&D applications. Options include integrated stainless steel humidifiers, pre-filtration, re-heaters, ultra-violet sterilization, duct collars, and PID (proportional-integral-derivative) controls.    

Air Innovations ECUs are available from fractional to 24-ton capacities and can be configured into a variety of "packaged" systems, from the size of a two-car garage to that of a microwave. They are made of high-quality stainless steel or powder-coated aluminum for durability and are factory-tested at simulated loading conditions to minimize on-site start up. Multiple supply, return and make-up air opening locations offer ductwork accessibility and unit location flexibility. Air Innovations offers prototyping, small runs and mass production; its products are available for international operation and are certified to ETL, UL, CSA, MIL-STD, CE, ANSI or SEMI safety and performance standards. AdvancAir products also serve as direct replacement for Clestra Cleanroom equipment built prior to 1999.

HEPAir, AdvancAir and Air Innovations are registered trademarks of Air Innovations, Inc., which has developed and manufactured specialty environmental control products in Syracuse, NY since 1986. Earlier this year, Air Innovations was named to Inc. magazine's list of fastest growing privately held companies.

To learn more about how Air Innovations solves critical environmental control challenges, visit http://www.airinnovations.com, email info(at)airinnovations(dot)com, call toll-free in the U.S. or Canada 800-825-3268 (international +1 315 452-7400).

About Air Innovations

The company's largest division, Original Equipment Manufacturing, creates environmental control solutions for customers representing the defense, aerospace, medical device and semiconductor industries, among others. For instance, Air Innovations' equipment: cools explosion detection equipment in baggage handling areas at airports around the world; conditions cleanrooms used during the building of rockets; and, keeps electronics free from dust so unmanned guided vehicles can be accurately directed on wartime reconnaissance missions. Cleanroom customers include hospitals, research laboratories, electronics and pharmaceutical companies. The company's floral coolers can be found in the largest supermarket chains and big box discount stores in the US, Canada, Europe, Central and South America. AI's wine cooling systems are sold internationally to wine aficionados who want to preserve and protect their collection of fine wines.

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Cheryl Gressani
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