Later this month, the leading equipment manufacturers in the Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) industry will come together for the annual AHR Expo, one of the world’s largest and most respected HVACR marketplaces. This annual event enables the leaders in the HVACR industry to network, share best practices, discuss exciting new technologies and get up to speed on the latest trends in HVAC equipment and solutions.
One of the many HVACR companies that will be represented at this year’s show is Hunter Industrial Fans, a division of the well-known and respected Hunter Fan Company that was launched in 2016 to meet the needs of the burgeoning industrial fan market.
Much like many of the other equipment manufacturers that will be demonstrating their products at this year’s conference, Hunter Industrial Fans has been working to embrace new technologies in their products – making their fans “smarter” and more connected to embrace the HVAC marketplace’s shift in focus from individual components to all-encompassing systems.
To learn more about this shift in focus, what differentiates Hunter Industrial in the industrial fan marketplace, and the trends and technologies that the company anticipates will dominate discussion at this year’s AHR Expo, we recently sat down with Mark D’Agostino, the Vice President of Sales for the Hunter Fan Company’s Industrial Division.
Here is what Mark had to say:
Modern Equipment Manufacturer (MEM): Can you tell our readers a little bit about Hunter Industrial Fans? What industries does the company sell to and serve? Where will you find the company’s product?
Mark D’Agostino: Hunter Industrial, the industrial division of the more-than-century-old Hunter Fan Company, was launched in 2016. By launching an industrial division “late in the game,” our design and engineering teams knew that our high-volume, low-speed (HVLS) fans had to be purposefully built to meet the needs of the industrial fan market and fill the gaps in existing products on the market.
And we were able to do just that.
Traditional industrial fans are built with a gearbox and motor; however, we designed a direct drive motor for all of our fans which is maintenance free, does not leak oil like gearboxes do, and makes the fans lighter than competitors with gearboxes and motors.
Available in sizes that range from 7-24 feet, our fans allow for widespread air movement, low operating costs and year-round savings. The unique plug-n-play design, including pre-wired downrods and pre-aligned mounting brackets, contribute to the fans being easier to install than competitors. Every part of the fan arrives to your door in one box after it has been assembled and tested at our headquarters in Nashville, TN.
Our customers span across many industries, from manufacturing facilities, warehouses and distribution centers, to food and beverage facilities, to dairy farms and automotive plants.
MEM: The HVAC and industrial/commercial equipment communities will soon be descending on Atlanta for the AHR Expo. What do you anticipate will be the big technology trends at this year’s conference?
Mark D’Agostino: Energy efficiency always seems to be at the forefront of the HVAC industry. I think that trend will continue. I also believe we will see an increasing trend towards products that reduce total cost of ownership.
In the past, the discussion has really centered on consumed energy efficiency with a piece of equipment. However, we see a trend towards not just this single “efficiency” point but that of long life, lower maintenance, and faster, easier installation.
MEM: We’ve increasingly seen a movement toward smarter industrial and commercial equipment. Is this a trend that Hunter is embracing? How is the company embracing IIoT and advanced sensors to make its equipment smarter?
Mark D’Agostino: Yes, this is a trend we are embracing and planning around. We currently offer a full range of control options with our fans, including a 1:1 analog control and touchscreen controls with network capability and the flexibility to manage up to 30 fans.
Our control strategy allows us to integrate with almost any Building Management System (BMS).
MEM: What does the future of equipment development, equipment ownership, equipment maintenance and equipment operation look like? How will these things evolve as new technologies develop and are implemented?
Mark D’Agostino: I think we will see an increasing trend towards “system” focus as opposed to the historic “component” focus position the HVAC industry has generally considered. That is, how multiple HVAC components can be integrated to provide an efficient system as opposed to efficient components operating as standalone pieces of a system.
The investment in higher efficiency HVAC components is significant—improper or poor integration between components can dilute the targeted efficiency goal.
MEM: What exciting news or announcements does Hunter have planned at the Expo?
Mark D’Agostino: Booth visitors will have the opportunity to see the Hunter Industrial’s Titan series 18-foot fan installed and operating, along with its direct drive motor and blade section on display. Our booth will also feature our ECO series fan motor and blade section.
In addition to the product features on display, we will be giving away one XP series seven-foot fan. Guests must stop by our booth to enter.