While we may not think about fasteners in our day-to-day life, companies like All-Pro Fasteners are working around the clock to produce the literal nuts and bolts that hold things together. Founded in 1976 to be a full-line, full-service fastener distributor for the oil and gas industry, All-Pro Fasteners has expanded into a variety of markets to make them a leading fastener solutions provider. All-Pro manufactures a full gamut of products – including anchors, screws, studs and washers – in a variety of types, grades and materials. Although many of these pieces are small, their impact can be much larger.
All-Pro Fasteners is in the business of manufacturing reliable products to ensure their customers finish projects right every time. Their principle distribution and manufacturing center in Arlington, Texas, is made of up a 16-acre campus with 350,000 square feet under roof. The facility includes six huge buildings – each ranging from 40,000-50,000 square feet – that house 285 employees, working in departments ranging from manufacturing to welding and forging.
In addition to the hot machinery and punishing Texas heat, the buildings are made of tin and have little insulation. That means it gets really hot. In fact, before All-Pro started using evaporative coolers, certain areas could get upwards of 120°F in the heat of the day. Everything from opening doors and placing stand fans had been tried, but nothing was making much of a difference. According to Mike Harris, Plant Manager at All-Pro, adding evaporative coolers has effectively cooled the facility by at least 20-30 degrees in the heat of the summer, making the workdays more bearable.
Mike, who has been with All-Pro for the last eight years, said the move to working with a trusted Texas-based manufacturer of the cooling product really came down to productivity. “We live in Texas, so we’ve always had to deal with the heat from a worker safety perspective,” he said. “However, we noticed the first month of high heat each year, we consistently would see a slow-down in productivity. Our workers would get hot and didn’t want to work. The evaporative coolers helped to negate this issue.”
All-Pro Fasteners started off with ten portable evaporative coolers, but they have since expanded to 40. Depending on the building set up and equipment, All-Pro uses two major cooling techniques. In the large manufacturing shop, All-Pro maximizes airflow by placing the larger portable evaporative coolers in each corner to push air in a circular flow. They use additional coolers in the “dead zones” to keep the air flowing. In more specialty locations, like the welder shop, All-Pro uses smaller portable evaporative coolers as spot coolers for each employee.
When it comes to evaporative cooling, some people believe it may cause rust in environments with metal products and tools. In fact, it was a concern of the Quality Manager at All-Pro. He does frequent walk-throughs, but he hasn’t been able to find any sign of rust. “In the beginning, there was a concern about producing rust, but we haven’t experienced any issues since we started using the mobile coolers four years ago,” said Mike. “The fact that the cooling process involves water gives the impression that moist air is coming out, but it really isn’t. It’s just cool air!”
Mike noted that he worked with a team member from the manufacturer to find the right water adjustment setting to customize usage to his environment. He reiterates that even with your hand directly in front of the fan, there is no misting, spraying or spitting. In fact, their cooling status continues to be on par and four years later, they are continuing to add evaporative coolers to their cooling lineup.
According to Mike, the use of evaporative coolers has not only made the work environment more bearable but has also allowed workers to be more productive without affecting the quality of the products they produce.