Dangers of Heat Illness

HEAT ILLNESS CAN BE DEADLY. When employees are exposed to hot temperatures, maintaining a safe work environment can be more challenging than you think. As summertime temperatures continue to rise, it becomes increasingly important for employers to focus on providing workplace conditions that are safe from excessive heat.

OSHA Heat Illness Fatalities

Heat Fatalities 2008-2014
https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/map.html

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA), thousands of workers become sick and even die as a result of exposure to heat each year. In the United States, an average of 400 deaths per year are directly related to heat, and an estimated 1,800 die from illnesses made worse by heat.

Many industries face challenges when it comes to providing a cool working environment, particularly in heat-susceptible areas such as industrial plants, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities. When surface temperatures on pipe and equipment routinely exceed 140° F (60° C), measures should be taken to improve the working environment. Without adequate cooling or precautions, workers are put in danger while equipment and manufactured products are at an increased risk of failure, which can impact worker safety and productivity, and certainly, a company’s bottom-line.

So how can you protect your employees from heat exposure while also ensuring that the work is accomplished on time?

According to OSHA, “The best way to prevent heat-related illness is to make the work environment cooler”. However, the dilemma now becomes how to efficiently and economically cool large, open areas where high ambient outdoor temperatures and heat-generating machinery are factors.

OSHA Touch Safe, Ambient Air temperature

Radiating temperature of a running barrel affects outside ambient temperature.

Fortunately, the use of industrial insulation on process equipment and piping not only saves money and energy, but also reduces the potential for heat- related illnesses. As insulation is added to systems, the surface temperature of these systems is dramatically reduced. This provides a cooler work environment that yields higher productivity, as workers do not require as many breaks and are less concerned with the potential for burns from hot surfaces. Furthermore, insulation helps reduce the amount of work your machine has to do by decreasing the amount of energy used without sacrificing quality or performance. Here are some key facts about the energy saving benefits of insulation.

The use of UniTherm’s UniVest® and ISOCOVERS Insulation Systems product lines provide easy and efficient ways to save energy and money while creating a cooler and safer work environment. Additionally, these product lines can be purchased online because they now are available in standard “off-the-shelf” sizes, which drastically reduces the time and costs often associated with custom insulation jobs. For all of our heat prevention products, view our online shopping cart here.

For additional tips on how to keep your facility cooler and your workforce happy and motivated, click here for more information about preventing heat-related illness.

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UniTherm @ NPE 2015

UniTherm has spent the last year preparing for NPE 2015 and boy what a year it has been. NPE 2015 wrapped up just last week, but we are still dealing with the aftermath. We decided to take our NPE presence one step further this year. We are a growing company, on the forefront of innovation. Just because we lead the way in our market, doesn’t mean we are going to stop moving forward. Here’s what NPE 2015 was like for us and what we got out of it.

NPE 2015 Preparation

IMG_0021

Kendal, Danny, and Brandyn discuss literature handouts for NPE.

Before heading to NPE, we had to come up with our message and what we wanted to showcase at the conference. In the years past, we took a “see what sticks” approach, showcasing all of our products and trying to answer every question for every application. As you could expect, this became very exhausting and spread our team extremely thin. For NPE 2015, we wanted to do the exact opposite and shake things ups. We had one goal in mind: Promote and Inform customers about our standardized product lines, in this case, the UniVest® Insulation Systems line. This approach made everything much simpler and more focused. We moved forward with having our entire booth to be designed around promoting the UniVest® product line. Brochures, koozies, mock barrels, and live heated applications, everything was UNIVEST®. This more focused marketing approach  allowed our entire team to be able to handle anyone and almost any questions they may have had. The simple and standardized design of the UniVest line is built for ease of use and  presents a minimal learning curve for users. Literally, (as many of us put it) if you have heat, you can benefit from using UniVest®. We moved forward with this single goal in mind and put together one fantastic booth.

Show

Unitherm NPE 2015 Booth Panoramic

UniTherm booth before the show opens.

For many on the UniTherm team, this was their first NPE. Some nerves were high, but we planned ahead of time to anticipate questions that could be asked and went over all of the key points of the UniVest® line. On Monday morning, we hit the ground running. Our booth was immediately swamped with attendees inquiring about our booth, our company, our products, and, of course, our T-Rex. Through the entire show, there were very few moments we had to ourselves. We had all types of questions, for a myriad of applications, and even received some  that we hadn’t thought of before. We had our typical injection molders, extrusion, and blown film plastic processors interested in our jackets, but some attendees had different ideas for our jackets. Have you ever thought of heat loss in your BBQ smoker? Neither did we, but one gentleman thought our ThrowBlankets with magnets would be the perfect solution. How about insulation for marine turbine exhaust? The way it was explained to me was it’s basically a jet engine on a boat. Of course, we’d love to help with that!

We were able to generate more leads, within the first 3 days at NPE, surpassing the amount produced from an entire week’s worth of the previous years. The overall reception of our booth and products was fantastic. We ran out of handouts, our signature koozies, and 50 lbs. chiclet gum by day 4. What a good problem to have!

We also decided to expand our reach at NPE this year by doing a short video series highlighting some exhibitors at this year’s conference. Videos were produced, shot, conducted, and edited by our in-house marketing team and can be seen here:

Post-NPE 2015

 

NPE Leads

NPE Leads, Leads, and More Leads.

The work doesn’t stop after the Expo ends. Once we got home, editing on the videos we shot began and came out quickly for people to see the recap of the show. We collectively took a sigh of relief we all survived the show. Now, with the great responses, leads, and business cards we received, now we have to follow up! This is where the real fun begins.

Let’s just say, this is going to take some time. It’s obvious why NPE is only every 3 years! We have some very special campaigns in the works for those who had the chance to visit us so be on the lookout!

Now, we prepare for NPE 2018. Who knows what we’ll bring to that show, but I can guarantee it will be amazing!

For more about UniTherm at NPE 2015, visit our social media pages:
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4 Common Misconceptions About Industrial Insulation

We come across many people who have the wrong idea about industrial insulation and think what we offer is not right for them. We ask them a few questions, and usually they are left wondering why they haven’t insulated their equipment sooner. We throw them a UniVest and they rush out the door to install it (cause it’s really that simple).

So we don’t have to go through the same spiel every time, we’ve compiled the most common misconceptions people have when it comes to industrial insulation.

1. Insulation is for my home, not my machines 

This is the most common one we come across and it’s pretty obvious why. The first thing people think about when you say insulation is their home and what’s inside their walls. That’s a perfect analogy because UniVests work the same way. Properly insulating your home saves you hundreds of dollars a year on home heating and cooling costs. It protects outside temperatures from affecting the temperatures you want inside. The easier it is for your home to maintain its temperature, the less you spend at the end of the month. UniVests are no different, except we deal with higher inside temperatures. Take a second and think, if you save hundreds by properly insulating your home, imagine how much could be saved when insulating your machine. We’ll give you a hint…its much greater!UniVest-3-Strap-On-Off-W-Background-Color

2. No Budget for Insulation

We all have budgets. Yeah, and we know they can be small and hard to deal with. Trust us, Windows 98 is getting really old at the office. Making new purchases on things that you are already operating without can seem like a luxury purchase. Little known fact is that with proper insulation, a company can see ROI (Return on Investment) in under 12 months. In the right conditions, a single set of UniVests or ISOCOVERS can last 5+ years after installed. That’s 5+ years of return. In 12 months or less, most companies make back the purchase price of a UniVest from energy savings alone.

3. My machines are working fine now without insulation

We’re sure they do, but wouldn’t you like for them to work better? Insulation minimizes the downtime of the machines they are on and relieves stresses from a hard working machine. This even increases the lifespan of the equipment. Wouldn’t we all like to work a little easier? Your machines would too.

4. Who Needs Protection AnywayIMG_8583

The biggest thing that people don’t realize is that insulation also improves workplace safety. As seen in a few of our videos on Youtube, a heated barrel with a UniVest on it can be touched and worked around without any special protective gear. More Safety = Less downtime and less liability. Insulation can also decrease surrounding ambient air temperature. Decreasing work fatigue due to high temperature and more comfortable work areas. 

Here’s typically the point where some people are kicking themselves for not already having insulation installed. If you didn’t make it this far, we completely understand. Our insulation systems are much more than the sum of their parts and offer a lot more usability than most people realize. If you’ve finally come to the conclusion that insulation could benefit you, take a look around our online shopping cart at www.shop.unitherm.com. For some help finding the product, measuring, or just want some more insulation entertainment like this blog, visit our youtube page: www.Youtube.com/UniThermInsulations

New Shop Experience

We’ve just released our latest version of our new shop and we are excited for our customers to start using it. Shop.Unitherm.com is a little different and is much easier to use than our old shop. What we wanted most from our new store is ease of use for the customer and usability, and we think we’ve achieved that. On the store front, you can see our running specials and featured products, along with all of our product categories, and helpful links.

Ease of Use

The main goal of our new shop was to make the shopping experience easy and accessible to the customer. On our old shop, we found many customers would get lost or not know how to find what they are looking for. Now we have multiple avenues to search for what you need. Every page can be found with a couple of simple clicks. Whether you have a question or need to check out, you can get there from every page.

New Shop FeaturesNew shop store front

Crucial to our design was adding a few new features to aid the customer. Some are more subtle than others, but here are a few of my favorite.

What we consider to be best new feature of the site is how easily you can find the right product for you. Each product is set into specific categories based on your needs, applications, or industry. Within each category you can set custom search perimeters to find the right size product you need. By selecting:

  1. Diameter or Circumference
  2. Width

You can have the exact fitting UniVest ordered in seconds. This makes our selection process even easier.

New Shop Compare Page
You can now also compare multiple products to be certain which is perfect for you. Selecting up to 5 items, and clicking the “compare” button will bring up a screen that will list all of the products benefits and features side-by-side for your viewing. From here you can add to cart or click an individual item for a closer look. 

My Account adds the ability to return to your personal preferences and shopping history. From the My Account tab you can track your orders, change your preferences, and manage all of your information. This gives our customer the benefit of a personalized shopping experience.

My personal favorite feature is the new Wish List. The Wish List is your own personal shopping cart that you can come back to at anytime. Unsure about a product, not ready to check out, or are just making a dream Christmas List, the Wish List makes it simple to keep track of your items. Inside the Wish List page you can view products, compare, and add to cart normally. This list is saved to your customer account so it will be there next time you choose to visit. 

Checking Out

Lastly (and probably most important), we felt that our check out process was a little overcomplicated and some customers had issues submitting their order. We condensed the order process down to 3 easy steps and can be completed in the matter of seconds. The checkout process becomes even easier and faster when My Account is used with the new checkout process. 

Let’s Go Shopping

Enough talking about the new shop, take it for a spin, and see all our new changes for yourself. Let us know what you think and what your favorite new feature is on our Facebook & Twitter pages. Stay tuned for more exciting content soon.  

New Shop Page: Shop.Unitherm.com

Facebook: facebook.com/UniTherm

Twitter: twitter.com/UniTherm

Check Out Our New Website!!!

UniTherm Insulation Systems, manufacturer of insulation blankets for high temperature applications, is excited to announce the launch of its redesigned website this week at: www.unitherm.com.

The design, e-commerce software platform and infrastructure of UniTherm.com have been completely reengineered. The goal is to provide a more personalized and simplified user experience on the website and e-commerce site. The revamped site also boasts ad units and integrations that are larger, more effective, and newly optimized for mobile users. Visitors of the site can now enjoy a seamless experience across all screens — desktop, mobile and tablet.

With the launch of the e-commerce website, the company’s President, Dan Sherrill, explains that, “In today’s market the launch of a new website may not be seen as groundbreaking, but within our niche, we recognized a need for and developed an e-commerce site that provides clear-cut, detailed information (such as delivery, product care, common FAQ’s, technical specifications etc.) on every product or part we sell.”

The new website includes a clean design, with brand new content that enables customers to easily search for new products and services. It is fully integrated with the company’s social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and its blog, and has an integral customer relationship management system to ensure that UniTherm’s sales and after-service professionals are fully informed of its customers’ needs.

Furthermore, the new web site showcases UniTherm’s pioneering efforts in offering a standardized product line –including product specifications for a broad range of available sizes and levels of performance– to make it easy for customers to order our products. This product line, along with the instant quoting, has eliminated the need for each project to receive a custom estimate and allows all orders to be instantly placed and processed.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with our new website. It’s well-designed, streamlined, and easy to use – just like our products,” according to Sherrill. “Our goal was to create a website that meets the needs of both our customers, who need easy access to our information, and the UniTherm staff, who need to be able to update the content easily to keep our customers informed. What we ended up with is a web site that looks great, is loaded with features, and has the ability to grow.”

Different isn’t always better…but better is always different

Every business always has the same goal: to become world-class through everyday changes by meeting the needs of demanding customers who will become more demanding, all in a constantly evolving marketplace.

This can be a particularly challenging dilemma for those entrepreneurs who create businesses around high quality goods or specialized information.  One way to work around this challenge is to present those goods or information as customized thereby enhancing the customer’s experience. Organizations realize they can often add value for their customers by tailoring or customizing their products to meet the special needs of individual buyers.

However, there is a limitation.

Pure customization requires starting from scratch every time you receive a new customer request.  This can be time consuming and ultimately drives up the total cost of the finished product or service. Even though you want to be flexible to meet client needs, being overly customized has some serious down sides.

And this is where the incorporation of some type of standardization comes to the rescue.

At a time when we are constantly being told to value the new and the different, it may come as a shock to learn that the standard, the shared and the common can be a driving force of change. Indeed, many of the innovations that have transformed the world, including railroads, modern manufacturing and interchangeable parts, money, agriculture, containerized shipping, numbers, the Internet, even language, only succeed because of standardization.

Advantages of standardization

Manufactures:

  • Rationalize different varieties of products.
  • Decrease the volume of products in the store and also the manufacturer cost.
  • Improve the management and design.
  • Speed up the management of orders.
  • Facilitate the exportation and marketing of products.
  • Simplify purchasing management.

Consumer:

  • Establish quality and safety level to the service and products.
  • Inform to the characteristic of the products.
  • Make easier the comparison between the different offers

Public service:

  • Simplify the production of legal text.
  • Establish quality, environmental and safety policies.
  • Help to the economical development.
  • Facilitate the business.

One of the best-known examples of standardized mass production was the ‘Model T’ car produced in 1908 by Henry Ford. An unchanging design, standardized parts and (from 1914) a moving assembly line all helped reduce costs dramatically, from $850 in 1910 to $360 in 1916. Hence, the term Fordize: “to standardize a product and manufacture it by mass means at a price so low that the common man can afford to buy it.”

2014-02-11_1108A modern day example of the power of standardization is the GSM™ mobile communication technology and its successors (3G, 4G…), truly global phenomena, in which ETSI has played a leading role. Although GSM was originally envisaged as a solution just for Europe, these technologies have been deployed worldwide. As a result, travelerstoday can communicate and use familiar services in every corner of the world – all thanks to standardization.

Without standardization these innovations may not have happened or may have not reached as many people as they have.

Standardization is not a bad thing, but like anything else when it is not used properly or with the right intent it can cause people to fear it. Don’t be afraid of standards. Use them to help you toward your creative goal. You don’t need to reinvent your process each time you have a new customer. Figure out the best systems for working with a client and use them over and over again. If you create strong standards, you actually have a better platform to generate customizable projects. If you save time and energy on the basic things, you can get your creative on where it will make the most impact.

Sustainability Today for A Greener Tomorrow

Today, ‘green’ has become a fashion statement of sorts. Everyday, we’re constantly reminded to “go green” — use less energy, shrink our carbon footprint, save the Earth, etc. Over the last few years, the word “green” has gained a definition that goes way beyond color. Today, “green” has established itself in our vocabulary as an adjective, noun and verb, not to mention a movement.

The term “going green” can mean different things to different companies. To some, green means recyclable. To others, green means free of potentially harmful chemicals. But in reality, many green-leaning businesses, families, and governments are still fiddling while the planet burns. Why? Because implementing sustainability is brutally difficult.

Going Green and Being Sustainable – related phrases, but different meanings. However, the words “green” and “sustainable” are often used interchangeably, and sustainable has a more precise meaning that is often obscured, distorted, and diluted by the commercialization and marketing of the green “movement”.

• “Going green” means to pursue knowledge and practices that can lead to more environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible decisions and lifestyles, which can help protect the environment and sustain its natural resources for current and future generations.

• Sustainability, on the other hand, is often defined as managing the triple bottom line – a process by which companies manage their financial, social and environmental risks, obligations and opportunities. These three impacts are sometimes referred to as profits, people and planet.

Generally, sustainable products and activities are subject to a higher standard of performance because of “future” factors. For example, a car can be considered “green” simply because it manages to deliver 40 miles per gallon of gasoline. But it’s not sustainable for us to be extracting fossil fuels from the earth and burning them at current rates.

Sustainability values form the basis of the strategic management, process the costs and benefits of the firm’s operations, and are measured against the survival needs of the planets stakeholders. Sustainability is the core value because it supports a strategic vision of firms in the long term by integrating economic profits with the responsibility to protect the environment; as there is no economy, unless there is a planet.

Just like the term “green,” “sustainability” encompasses a broad range of activities and issues. While both terms are associated with environmentalism and living in ways that are less harmful to the planet, green doesn’t always mean sustainable, and what’s “green” isn’t always that good.

So what does this mean for business operations? It means they must define their green/sustainability goals, implement these changes and then measure their success. An understanding of what makes companies survive will help sustainability managers embed their programs more effectively. If they are not concerned with whether or not their company can stay in business, all the good green and community work could disappear at the whim of the market.

IG-Sustaining

All Aboard the Simplicity Train- Final Destination, Further Money Gain!

Energy efficiency, in theory, is one of the simplest ways to save money. As energy costs continue to rise, industrial industries in particular, need effective ways to reduce the amount of energy they consume. America’s manufacturing sector is the largest in the world and reducing energy waste at industrial facilities can provide huge benefits for companies by boosting industrial competitiveness while creating and retaining jobs through cost-effective energy efficiency improvements

According to the U.S. Energy Administration, estimates show that the industrial sector consumes more energy every year than any other U.S. entity. Yet, reaping savings in the industrial sector is more like a scavenger hunt thanks to the myth that energy efficiency improvements are easily attainable. Energy efficiency in this area is always more work, and it requires a good amount of experimentation.

So what makes the industrial sector so much different? Here are a few factors to consider:

  • Industrial environments are extremely complex and consistently changing, making predictions far more difficult to ascertain due to various factors such as weather, product variation and constantly changing schedules. 
  • Efficiency is a relatively low priority for many industrial companies. Industrial customers are very risk-averse and will not make changes to existing processes if they could jeopardize the flow of operations.

It may seem that big problems require big solutions…

When it comes to guaranteed money savings and economical, efficient operation of a vast array of facilities, using thermal insulation is like “solid gold.” With rising energy costs and the unwanted environmental emissions accompanying lost energy, the time has definitely come for facility owners, operators and energy managers to fully take advantage of this valuable money saving, energy conserving, and emissions reducing tool.

So it all comes down to money. This makes it critical to find solutions that are easy to install and support; and offer you the most value for your money.

A major culprit across all industries is heat waste, the byproduct of inefficient technology. The more heat you lose the higher the cost, so identifying key areas for insulation can go a long way towards increasing efficiency. Equipment valves, flanges, expansion joints, and other irregular surfaces are common culprits of heat leakage. Routine system maintenance on industrial processes often involves removing insulation on pipe valves and fittings. If it is not replaced, the energy loss can be substantial.

To circumvent these issues, many industrial professionals have turn to removable/reusable insulation jackets to maximize heat retention and increase performance.  The efficiency and proficiency of utilizing a removable/reusable insulation jacket, translates into improved facility and personnel protection, enhanced operational efficiency, and less energy consumption- easily making this product a no brainer for companies.

In a nutshell….

Companies need to work smarter, not just harder, in order to be successful. A company’s success should be measured by how wisely it uses energy, water, and other resources; how well it maintains a high quality of life for its people; and how smart it is in building prosperity on a sustainable foundation. Companies must become smarter about how they use existing capacity and resources in order to be productive and profitable. If not, they will be overshadowed and outpaced by other companies that are laying the foundation to prepare for future growth.

I want to say one word to you. Just one word: Plastics!

Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.

Benjamin: Yes, sir.

Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?

Benjamin: Yes, I am.

Mr. McGuire: Plastics.

Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean?

Mr. McGuire: There’s a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?

When Walter Brooke, as Mr. McGuire, spoke those words to Dustin Hoffman in his legendary role as Benjamin Braddock in the classic film The Graduate, audiences would not have known just how enduring the future of plastics would be. Since 1976, plastics have been the most used material in the United States and will most likely continue to be used in many years to follow.

However, plastics have a bad rap for the ways that they negatively impact the environment; it is inexpensive to make and easy to discard. Plastic morphed from an engineering triumph into a global plague. A 2000 survey conducted by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), discovered that fewer than half of Americans had a positive opinion of the miracle material; and 25 percent “strongly believed” that plastic’s environmental negatives outweighed its benefits.

Plastics are ubiquitous; they are an intrinsic part of our modern world. Plastics are incredibly useful, and despite their reputation, can be an energy efficient alternative to their glass and aluminum counterparts. Plastics are not only energy efficient, but saves the United States dollars by the second. In a recently conducted test, researchers found out that by using plastic over other materials such as glass and metal, the United States economy could save over $336 trillion. Plastics certainly have made a home in our world’s economy as the “useful innovation of the millennium.”

the-graduate-infographic

However, plastic requires more than just an image makeover if it’s going to make a positive contribution to a more energy efficient, less disposable world. The solution may be for plastic to keep doing what it does best—evolving, in essence, to become a better substitute for its current form; to focus not solely on what new plastics will be used for, but where they will go when they’re thrown away, and then engineer them to break down accordingly.

Attention Texas: Lean And Mean, But Green?

Lately, the topic of banning plastic bags has become hotly debated subject that is sweeping the country. Eco-crusaders across the globe have had great success in attacking the widespread use of plastic bags and feel that the banning of bags is a simple and environmentally responsible approach. 

 Over the past several years, more than two-dozen U.S. cities have implemented bag bans, most of them prohibiting plastic bags and imposing a fee on paper. The majority of these cities reside in the states of California, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, and now Texas; which, includes the cities of Austin, Brownsville, and South Padre Island.

For the last five months, the Dallas City Council members have been deliberating over the decision to adopt or deny the ban on plastic bags. Yet, the ban on plastic bags in Dallas is unlikely to come before the City Council for months due to a lack of direction and plan of execution. The majority of City Counsel members know a solution to this problem must be sought out, but feel that the entire banning of bags isn’t the correct approach. It will be some time before the counsel reaches a solution to this rising problem.

The fact that policymakers are banning bags and creating fees without considering the real impact it could have on the economy and environment is frightening. Rather than bans and fees that take away jobs and increase costs to consumers, policy makers should be more inclined to take advantage of the great economic and environmental opportunities associated with the responsibilities of recycling these bags, thus creating more economical growth and sustainability, while preserving environmental obligations.