Case Study: Medline

Improving Warehouse Comfort and Sustainability: How Medline Utilized HVLS Fans for Success

When Medline Industries needed a solution to improve their warehouse employees’ comfort in the warm Midwest summer months, they turned to VividAir for a cost-effective solution. In 2012, Medline trusted our air scientists to optimize air circulation in their large Libertyville, IL warehouse. The benefits of the installed Z-Tech HVLS fans were immediate. In the decade since, VividAir has installed and maintained over 400 HVLS and industrial fans in Medline facilities across the United States.

As a leader in the global healthcare market, Medline specializes in the manufacturing, distribution, and supply of medical products and services. They work closely with healthcare providers to understand their unique needs and challenges, offering innovative solutions to improve patient care and operational efficiency. VividAir’s long term partnership with Medline relies on these same principles. Our team analyzes the unique needs of each Medline facility we collaborate with and then offers innovative solutions from our catalog of patented HVLS and industrial fan products to improve the working environment.

Improving air circulation in high rack aisles. Medline’s large, well-stocked warehouses utilize high rack aisles, which can make air circulation challenging. The racks and stored inventory create barriers that obstruct the flow of air both vertically and horizontally. This leads to pockets of stagnant air and stratified temperatures as warm air rises and is trapped near the warehouse ceiling. Existing HVAC solutions struggle to create a consistent air temperature in challenging conditions such as this, and will work overtime to maintain a comfortable temperature in both summer and winter conditions.

VividAir proposed a solution that would destratify the air, improve uneven temperatures, and increase energy efficiency for high rack aisles in Medline’s warehouses. Our TAZ fan is specifically engineered for tight spaces where traditional HVLS fans cannot fit. TAZ’s two directional setup with six airflow deflectors throw air up to 75 feet on either side or 150 feet in one direction. When installed strategically throughout the space, our TAZ fans created forceful, direct air movement that reaches both the lower and upper levels of the racks. The fans mitigate stagnant air and distribute conditioned air more effectively, resulting in increased employee comfort and decreased heating and cooling energy costs.

Cooling employees working in mezzanine spaces. Warehouse mezzanines are commonly used to maximize the available space within a facility without the need for expanding the building’s footprint. They provide a cost-effective solution for increasing storage capacity, creating additional work areas, or accommodating office spaces within the warehouse environment. Medline utilized mezzanine space to increase operational efficiencies, but struggled to achieve a comfortable working temperature in these difficult to reach spaces.

VividAir proposed a solution that included four different patented HVLS and industrial fans to optimize mezzanine air circulation. In addition to our TAZ fans, our air scientists created a custom plan that included 36” TAZ fans, ConZumer fans (HVLS fans on a smaller scale), and industry-leading HVLS Z-Tech fans. Medline employees were so happy with the improved air circulation and more comfortable working environment that VividAir has enhanced multiple Medline mezzanine spaces across the country.

Maintaining and replacing aging HVLS fans. HVLS fans have a typical life span of 10 to 15 years. Our partnership with Medline has allowed us to promptly service and replace fans that have reached their end of life. In some locations, VividAir fans have replaced those of our competitors. These facilities have been able to compare the performance of our fans directly alongside our competitors’ HVLS fans, with remarkable results.

Medline employees have reported a strong preference for VividAir fans over the competition. VividAir fans provided 20% more coverage and moved 30% more air at a wind speed of at least 9mph compared to the competition’s 5.5mph. During summer months, these metrics make the evaporative cooling effect vastly superior, but Medline employees were also surprised with VividAir fans’ winter performance. With VividAir HVLS fans’ true reversibility, winter air can be destratified without creating a windchill, allowing the fans to be run 24/7/365 for significantly increased employee comfort, maximum energy efficiency, and reduced heating costs.

“Medline has used other big fan manufacturers over the years. We have evaluated those fans next to Go Fan Yourself fans and have determined that GFY fans are the best choice for Medline. The overall performance of the GFY fans has helped to make our facility more comfortable year round. The people working in the areas where the different fans are installed all prefer GFY fans over the competitor’s big fans.” –Robert Paull, Director of Operations, Medline Industries*

Increasing environmental sustainability. When considering potential solutions, Medline’s commitment to environmental responsibility and overall corporate sustainability goals prompted an evaluation of the benefits of energy-efficient HVLS fans. A 2014 study by the Nicor Gas company found that a facility utilizing HVLS fans cycled their heating system less frequently, resulting in a 21.4% reduction in energy use. This potential cost savings and reduced energy dependence was a consideration in Medline’s decision to install VividAir HVLS fans.

Happier employees. By focusing on creating a more comfortable work environment for their employees, Medline has made strides to improve productivity, reduce absenteeism, and decrease employee turnover.

Medline Industries recognizes the value of VividAir’s industrial and HVLS fans in creating a comfortable, healthy, and productive warehouse environment for their employees while achieving energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. Their long-term partnership with VividAir has resulted in improved warehouse air circulation, increased employee comfort, and greater operational success.

*Go Fan Yourself now operates under the brand name VividAir.