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.


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 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
Inside IIoT: How technology, strategy can improve your operation; Dry media or web scrubber?; Six steps to design a PM program
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming
Managing automation upgrades, retrofits; Making technical, business sense; Ensuring network cyber security
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

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.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me