Focus on Environmental Control for Cleanroom, Pharmaceutical and Aerospace Applications
Air Innovations’ environmental control systems business supports numerous industries with extremely demanding requirements for temperature and humidity control, filtration and pressurization, as well as those with unique packaging and installation considerations. The award-winning company’s expertise was recently highlighted by trade magazines in three different industries: cleanrooms, aerospace and pharmaceuticals.
Air Innovations’ customized environmental control solutions for cleanrooms at a federal laboratory were featured in the June issue of Controlled Environments magazine. “Customized Cleanroom Applications Meet Today’s Environmental Challenges,” was written by Air Innovations’ President and CEO Michael Wetzel, P.E.
AI’s client—a government facility that develops and operates unmanned scientific spacecraft for Earth observation, astronomy and space physics missions—required close-tolerance temperature and humidity control, filtration and pressurization that had to be configured for six different applications.
Challenges that confronted Air Innovations included maintaining cleanrooms to 0.1 inches of positive pressure, using cooling media that ranged from a 15-ton direct expansion cooling unit for humidity control to a 3.5-ton chilled water system for personnel comfort, and matching environmental control systems’ design parameters to the laboratory’s space and programming restrictions. Other features AI incorporated were high static pressure fans to provide airflow through long runs of ductwork, proportional-integral-derivative controllers to precisely adjust process control setpoints, and re-heaters for tighter temperature control.
All of AI’s equipment was non-outgassing so it would not interfere with lenses and other apparatus being built in the laboratory.
For the aerospace industry, Air Innovations has designed and manufactured the environmental controls used in the manufacturing of satellites, an airborne laser and a portable air conditioning system for transporting rockets to the launch pad. An in-depth look at the type of environmental controls Air Innovations created for a client that launches military materiel into outer space can be viewed in “Ready for Launch,” which also was written by Wetzel and appeared in the May issue of Aerospace Manufacturing and Design magazine.
From the pharmaceutical industry’s point of view, perfecting the timing and precision of moisturizing and drying procedures can eliminate or at least drastically reduce coating problems. How Air Innovations mitigated inefficiencies in one client’s tablet coating department is explained by Wetzel on PharmaManufacturing.com in “Environmental Control for Fluid Bed Machines.”
Air Innovations (AI), established in 1986, is a leader in specialty air conditioning, refrigeration and environmental control solutions for end users and original equipment manufacturers around the world. The company’s systems are standard solutions or custom designs that feature close tolerance control of temperature (to +/-0.01°C), humidity control (to +/-0.5% stability), filtration and pressurization, and can be configured into a variety of packaged spaces. AI’s capabilities range from concept development to prototyping, from sample runs to mass production.
The company also manufactures its own brands of environmental control products that are used by: fine wine collectors (Wine Guardian®); supermarket florists (Floratech®); hospitals (IsolationAir®); and homeowner health care (HEPAiRx®). AI’s capabilities range from concept development through prototyping to mass production.
Air Innovations’ products conform to the most stringent international and industry-specific safety and performance standards, including Underwriters’ Laboratories, Conformité Européenne (CE mark), Canadian Standards Association, United States military defense standards (mil-spec), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and the Semiconductor International Standards Program. All of Air Innovations products are made at its 40,000-square-foot headquarters in North Syracuse, NY.
Almost one-quarter of the Air Innovations workforce holds engineering degrees.
Over the past eight years, Air Innovations and its personnel have been the recipients of numerous awards of distinction from regional organizations. These recognize their innovations in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration; their contributions to manufacturing excellence; expanding business in the greater Upstate New York area; and improving the communities in which the Air Innovations family lives and works. Some of Air Innovation’s most recent achievements include:
• Business of the Year (finalist, 2012), CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity
• Engineer of the Year (2011), Heating, Piping and Air Conditioning Engineering magazine
• Wall of Fame (2011), Manufacturers’ Association of Central New York
• Inc. 5000 List of fastest-growing, privately held businesses in America (2011, 2010 (Inc. magazine)