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Case Study: Fans cool storage facility

October 23, 2012
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Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy Stores are “kind of a cross between a grocery store, a hamburger restaurant, and an old-fashioned soda fountain,” explains manufacturing director Bobby Sanders. Braum’s directly manages all the steps in its chain, from the dairy cows to the furniture in its 280 retail stores throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri.

One facility in Oklahoma was facing insufficient air movement in the dry goods storage warehouse serving the network of Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy Stores. All of the paper cups, ketchup packets and other dry goods supplying Braum’s emerge from a 75,000-sq. ft. warehouse in Tuttle, OK.

“We load 50 semi-trucks to resupply our ice cream stores every night,” Sanders says. “Those guys are pulling orders, palletizing, putting things on trucks and getting everything loaded. Whenever the warehouse was built, not enough attention was given to ventilation. In Oklahoma, the temperature is over 100 degrees all summer long.”

Employees turned to a dozen industrial box fans for cooling, but their noise level, airflow and space requirements left a lot to be desired. Multiple noisy box fans didn’t move enough air, and their cords presented a trip hazard, so the company reached out to Big Ass Fans (www.bigassfans.com) for a solution.

Eight 24-ft. diameter Powerfoil®X fans proved to be the perfect solution. Although ceiling fans do not lower the air temperature in a space, the perceived cooling effect can make a person feel significantly cooler. Research has shown when temperatures exceed 77° F, productivity declines. Hot working conditions affect worker morale, absenteeism, turnover, quality of workmanship, and the frequency of both accidents and grievances.

“The Big Ass Fans have made a huge difference,” Sanders says. “I would say the fans have made that warehouse feel 15 degrees cooler. The employees are a lot happier.”

Building on that success, Braum’s has also added Big Ass Fans to its ice cream plant and furniture workshop.

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