Radiant Heat Warms Up Manufacturing Plant

The new Bonide Chemical facility near Oriskany, N.Y., serves as proof that radiant heating can meet the most challenging heating requirements. This 150,000-square-foot building-with 2,900 cubic yards of concrete flooring and 40-foot-tall ceilings-will eventually house manufacturing, warehousing and office areas.

02/01/2001


The new Bonide Chemical facility near Oriskany, N.Y., serves as proof that radiant heating can meet the most challenging heating requirements. This 150,000-square-foot building-with 2,900 cubic yards of concrete flooring and 40-foot-tall ceilings-will eventually house manufacturing, warehousing and office areas. Combined with the plant's location-upstate New York, with its harsh winters-this multifaceted environment posed some tricky heating obstacles.

Working together, the manufacturer's representative, the construction manager and the system engineer successfully designed and implemented a radiant-heating solution that incorporates 21 miles of radiant pipe and copper-finned, high-efficiency boilers. Now finished, the facility's heating arsenal includes a wealth of engineering expertise.

Heating people, not ceilings

The building's plans originally called for the installation of hanging unit heaters in the manufacturing area, with radiant floors only in the office areas. This solution proved impractical for several reasons. Hanging unit heaters must be installed near the ceiling-in this case, almost 40 feet above the floor. This would make maintenance difficult, not to mention dangerous. Also, because heat rises, the ceiling-rather than the building's occupants would be warmed, resulting in uncomfortable working conditions. Additionally, warehouse doors would be opened and shut frequently, leading to a constant cycle of hot air escaping with the heating system trying to compensate accordingly. As a result, energy costs would have been astronomical.

The project team decided that a radiant heating solution throughout the immense facility was the best solution. Because of thermal mass storage, a properly controlled radiant slab remains at the proper temperature despite changing ambient air temperatures. Installation and maintenance is safe and easy when compared with climbing 40-foot scaffolding. And while the hanging unit heaters would have required copper piping as large as six inches, the radiant solution featured tubing that did not exceed two inches, providing substantial cost savings in a facility of this size, as well as simplifying installation.

Bring on the hardware

The Bonide facility contains a total of 237 circuits of 3/4-inch-barrier PEXc tubing. Rated at 750,000 Btuh each, four gas-fired boilers are connected to the six-inch copper tube primary heating loop as individual secondary circuits. To minimize heat loss, each boiler is on line only when fired.

When engineering the radiant heating system, the building was divided into 14 zones based on function and location. Since the function and location of each zone results in different temperature conditions, one of the requirements of the heating system was that it provide separate zone control for each area. To accomplish this, a pump-injection control system was installed in each zone. Then, a mini-tube system was installed to connect each area efficiently from a cost and space perspective.

Featuring useful space-management and consistency features, minitube systems use variable-speed pumps to mix hot boiler water with cooler return water at manifold stations, rather than in the mechanical room. In addition to providing more even temperatures throughout the facility, the minitube system provides an orderly way of delivering water to each zone via small-between 1 inch and 1.25 inches-copper tubes, simplifying and reducing the cost of the tubing.

When Bonide's employees show up for work in the spring of 2001, office and plant personnel alike will experience the luxury of working in a building that was designed for comfort throughout every one of its 150,000 square feet.

For more information on PEXc piping and Thermal Solutions boilers from Burnham, circle 103 on the Reader Service Card.





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Leaders Under 40 program features outstanding young people who are making a difference in manufacturing. View the 2013 Leaders here.
The new control room: It's got all the bells and whistles - and alarms, too; Remote maintenance; Specifying VFDs
2014 forecast issue: To serve and to manufacture - Veterans will bring skill and discipline to the plant floor if we can find a way to get them there.
2013 Top Plant: Lincoln Electric Company, Cleveland, Ohio
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Bring focus to PLC programming: 5 things to avoid in putting your system together; Managing the DCS upgrade; PLM upgrade: a step-by-step approach
Balancing the bagging triangle; PID tuning improves process efficiency; Standardizing control room HMIs
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.