By BRENT SNAVELY - Detroit Free Press
DETROIT American Dryer, a manufacturer of high-speed hand dryers, is benefitting from demand for environmentally friendly products that also reduce costs.
In June, the company moved into a 20,000-square-foot building that is 40 percent larger than its prior location and is preparing to launch a new line of high-speed hand dryers for public restrooms.
"Companies in general are looking for ways to save money, and our products are one of the few things that do that," said Dan Rabahy, 47, president of American Dryer. "Our dryers - the new ones - dry your hands as quickly as paper towels, and you don't have the mess and landfill issues you have with paper towels."
Rabahy also said the recession and downturn in the automotive industry gave the company an opportunity to expand because it drove down commercial property values.
The company spent less than $1 million to buy and renovate the new building, he said.
"Five years ago, you could not have done this," Rabahy said.
American Dryer was a division of Taylor, Mich.-based Masco Corp. from 1952 until 1985.
That's when Dan Rabahy's father, Donald Rabahy, left Masco and established American Dryer as a separate company.
Donald Rabahy, 75, remains chairman and CEO and provides crucial experience and guidance, his son said.
Donald Rabahy said high-speed hand dryers were first introduced in the 1940s but the industry has remained relatively small because many people prefer paper towels over the loud dryers.
Now, advances in technology have led to dryers with faster drying times and less noise.
American Dryer's new product line, called Extreme Air, features adjustable speed settings and is designed to operate at four voltage levels.
"It's going to be the most compact, high-speed, energy-efficient, hand dryer in the market," Dan Rabahy said.
"We already have new commitments from customers, so we are ramping up," Dan Rabahy said.
With the new building, American Dryer can triple its annual production capacity from about 30,000 to 90,000 units.
As production increases, the company said it will add employees to its current 20. Dan Rabahy said the number could grow to 40, depending on demand.
Donald Rabahy said American Dryer's new products are less expensive than those offered by what may be American Dryer's most formidable competitor: Dyson.
Dyson, best known for its creatively designed vacuum cleaners, entered the market in 2007 with a high-speed hand dryer with a slot that blows hot air on a person's hands from two sides. American Dryer sells its Extreme Air dryers for about $300 to $600 each compared with an estimated $300 to $1,200 each for competitors.
Rabahy said he doesn't foresee American Dryer ever becoming a large company. But with about 90 percent of public restrooms still dominated by paper towel dispensers, the company's new product line and location put it on track for slow but steady growth.
That's why the company felt secure in expanding during a slow economic recovery.
"It's hard to believe after 26 years," Rabahy said about the expansion. "I think it didn't fully hit some of us until we physically moved into the building."
Forget driverless cars: Google is hiring engineers to develop new technology that can deliver clean energy at utility scale.
At this week's annual shareholder's meeting, CEO Larry Page announced a new R&D team. This move suggests the search and software giant is ramping up its efforts to develop its own clean technology in conjunction with its partners to bring that energy to market at efficiency and scale.
Google's energy investments have always been complicated, spread between philanthropy and business, trying to be responsible to both shareholders and the planet. On one hand, Google wants to take the long view, identifying genuinely transformative possibilities in energy generation and transmission and securing its own high-energy-needs future. On the other hand, the company is looking for places where it can make an immediate technological impact and generate a solid return on its investment.
"We spend most of our time on search and advertising," Page said, but "to people outside the company, what's more interesting is 'what is the latest crazy thing that Google did?'"
"For us, those things are interesting, too, but it tends to be three people somewhere in the company," he noted. "We're not betting the farm on any of those things." In the case of renewable energy, Google's new hires seem to indicate it will be five people somewhere in the company, but their work is more serious than just engineers fiddling in a lab looking for "the latest crazy thing." In other words, it isn't like a driverless car that may or may not appear in the indefinite future, but a serious industry that Google's approaching with urgency.
The ultimate goal is eminently practical: "RE < C," Google's long-established project to make renewable energy cheaper than coal. The urgency comes in the addendum to that formula: "Within a few years."
To that end, Google has advertised five new positions in its Renewable Energy Engineering wing in Mountain View. One will be charged with managing Google's own energy usage to help keep the company cost-efficient and carbon-neutral. The other four spots are much more mechanical-engineering heavy than the typical Google hires. These are more interesting.
The three-person renewable energy engineering team will be responsible for both evaluating and recommending investments for the company and in developing new technologies. There's a head of renewable energy engineering to lead the team, an engineer specializing in early-stage technology and prototyping, and a mechanical engineer who heads up design and manufacturing.
The key phrase throughout the advertised positions is "utility-scale." The language of the mechanical engineer advertisement is especially revealing: "You will not be designing laboratory experiments; you will be designing useful systems that must deliver cost-effective results in the real world." This isn't pie-in-the-sky R&D. This is about products.
Light Emitting Designs (LED-LLC.com) today announced the successful application of light emitting diode (LED) bulbs for the Portola Hotel & Spa in Monterey, California. What is especially unique is that the Portola property is 33 years old, so retrofitting existing incandescent bulbs and fluorescents fixtures was an important step toward meeting the criteria for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) compliance.
Director of Engineering, Al Hittle said, “This property has been known for its high standards of environmental stewardship for many years. When we started under new management in 2008, though, we set two goals: to become the premier enviro-hotel property in the Monterey area, and to become LEED certified. It was a challenge, but we prevailed.”
What role does lighting play in the quest for LEED certification? For one thing, the use of lighting controls enables compliance with energy code provisions, a prerequisite for seeking LEED certification. Furthermore, exceeding these provisions enables credits or points that can increase the LEED certification level. After receiving the results of an energy audit, the first step was to seek locations that would reduce energy consumption with the most efficiency.
According to Hittle, “For us, one of the fastest ways was to reduce the number of fluorescents and incandescents, and to replace them with suitable LEDs.” For this, Hittle turned to Electrical Distributor’s National Accounts Manager, Dave Hinderscheid for advice.
“We walked the property and Al showed me what he was trying to accomplish. Then I went back to my desk and did the research,” said Hinderscheid. “What I found was that Light Emitting Design’s PAR38s, R30s, A19s and MR16s were a perfect fit for can lights needing dimmable bulbs. In addition, the T8 4-ft. LED tubes replaced fluorescents in utility and service hallways. These lights are on 24/7, so the energy savings is significant.” In all, the Portola installation called for approximately 500 bulbs.
Management and guests at the Portola are pleased with the results. The combination of lighting and HVAC improvements has resulted in the Portola shedding 20% of its overall electrical consumption. More savings came through taking advantage of available rebates. For best results, it’s important to get the utility company on board during the planning process.
Tim Taylor, CEO of manufacturer Light Emitting Designs, agrees. “When companies begin the quest for LEED certification, they suddenly realize the magnitude of energy savings multiplied times each bulb. In addition, they’re saving on labor to replace fragile fluorescent tubes in fixtures that run constantly, and today’s bulbs have a pleasing light output color. Now, more than ever, we see socially responsible companies are no longer debating ‘if’ they will adopt LED solutions, but rather ‘when.’”
Now that the first round of installation is complete, Hittle is looking for secondary locations to apply the LED retrofit solutions he’s found.
If these lights could bench press they’d be putting up 400. 400 watt metal halides, that is. The lighting at the recently opened Platinum Fitness in Buffalo, NY is 100% S3J LED, and 70% more efficient than traditional metal halide.
S3J LED Lights Included in the installation: High Bays, Citadel Fixtures, Wall Packs, Area Lights, and Tube Lights. The best part? The $5,000 annual energy savings that will be realized from the use of S3J LEDs over traditional metal halide lighting.
A major highlight of the installation was the precise use and effectiveness of S3J’s Photometric Analysis. Given a blank slate, S3J needed to devise a lighting layout to distribute foot candles evenly throughout the facility. With the use of 5 unique types of fixtures, utilizing different reflectors and diffusers, S3J Electronics achieved just that. S3J’s very own Photometric Engineer, Muk Musleh, was very impressed with the results, calling it a “testament to the value of the photometric analysis.”
Now, we can only hope that the Platinum Fitness Gym Goers show the same dedication towards losing weight as Platinum Fitness Owner, Rick Recckio, showed towards saving energy. And from this point on, we’re confident that the only things burning out at Platinum Fitness are going to be calories.
SATCO, along with Wooree Lighting, our strategic South Korean manufacturing partner of more than 35 years, have created the KolourOne brand of LED products. Both companies bring nearly fifty years of lighting expertise to the new frontier of LED lighting technology.
KolourOne LED lamps are designed and produced in a vertical manufacturing environment. All of the product's vital components, such as the LED chips, optics, driver, heat sink are designed and manufactured in house. KolourOne's tight quality control systems guarantee the products reliability and performance consistency.
Understanding the need for enhanced performance, superior appearance and continuous reliability, the KolourOne product line was conceived to offer a new option in LED replacement lamps. The KolourOne product line closely resembles traditional lamp size, function and visual appearance, making the KolourOne lamps the brand of choice. KolourOne doesn't follow trends, it leads them.
Simkar is pleased to announce that its Reflect-A-Bay product has been chosen and installed to light the interior of the first LEED Registered industrial building in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley.
The Liberty Business Center, a 920,000 SF warehouse located in Breinigsville, west of Allentown, is an example of the future of green building practices. The use of Simkar’s T5 Reflect-A-Bay fixtures, using 30% less energy than traditional warehouse lighting fixtures, helped to meet building requirements and earn the LEED rating.
On April 28th, MaxLite hosted another successful webinar on outdoor lighting options and the best MaxLite MaxLED LED and HighMax CFL products to use! See below for the full video recording:
Watch Now: (Part 1 of 2)
Watch Now: (Part 2 of 2)
Google has partnered with low cost LED producer Lighting Science Group to produce a Wi-Fi Android based bulb.
The idea is that when you walk into the room, your phone will sense your presence there, and your house will adjust the lighting accordingly. Google sees this as the first step towards IP enabled full home automation.
Lighting Science Group, a Florida-based lighting firm calls it “intelligent LED lighting,” and announced it during Google's keynote presentation at its I/O developer conference in San Francisco. The first product, a 60-watt equivalent bulb, is a combination of Lighting Science’s knowledge of light geometry and Google’s connected software know-how.
An Internet-connected LED bulb? Yes. With a little help from your home’s Wi-Fi network, you can dim or turn off lights remotely — or to program them to do so. Better still, the LED bulbs can leverage your smartphone’s GPS and proximity sensors, turning on lights when you walk into a room with the phone in your pocket. Google has always occupied the home area network space, but this is the first time it has addressed a specific appliance in the home.
Green Electrical Supply, LLC, an ENERGY STAR Partner, carries only the highest quality products from manufacturer names that you know and trust. It is our commitment to provide you with the highest level of customer service, support your needs with superior products, and transact business through an e-commerce website that was solidly developed on a trustworthy, ethical base. We are located in Auburn Hills, Michigan.