Protection from the unknown

We have all seen the images on the news of the destruction in Florida left behind by Hurricane Irma. This immense storm left after passing through, damage and flooding across the board with ten million residents without power. Perhaps the most frightening part of extreme weather and a storm like Irma is the unpredictable nature, about when it will occur and how severe the damage caused will be. People were torn between leaving their properties and places of business and even after government warnings some of them still stayed behind facing the unknown.

Engineers and architects know that the best approach to attacking an extreme situation is to prepare for all the risk factors, meaning designing buildings that can withstand high winds, impact, and other known extreme conditions.

Ruskin’s louver and damper products are designed and tested for extreme weather conditions and critical applications. Ruskin “Extreme Performance” Louvers and Dampers are recommended to meet or surpass requirements of severe weather conditions, and code requirements, such as the Florida Building Code, Texas Department Insurance, and Miami-Dade County approval. In fact, Ruskin’s louvers were the first in the industry to gain Miami-Dade County approval. The overall goal is to stop wind-driven rain and wind-borne debris from entering buildings while protecting critical facilities and paramount protecting life.

Leadership Lessons

Here is a picture of the Ruskin® Team in Kansas City, attending the Global Leadership Summit. At the Summit, we learned from leaders around the world, and Laszlo Bock, ex- Google HR guy. In his book Work Rules, he highlights the fact that complete open and transparent communication, along with real feedback, is a key to success.

I have learned a lot in managing and leading teams since 1996 when I had my first management job. I have learned that it is really about helping your teams help their people. Whether it is with mission and vision, strategy, or tactics, the best leaders are continually learning from experts in our ever changing world.

Five reasons I like Webinars

  1. Fast and focused way to learn

Webinars are a fast paced medium of learning and have been with us for several years now. Where time is a valuable commodity they offer a niche well-timed learning experience.

  1. Recorded electronic source I can watch on my phone

From a technology standpoint as technology has progressed we can now even watch a webinar on the screen of our cell phones while sitting on a bus if we so desired with a 4G internet connection. Using YouTube we can even hold a repository of past webinars to be replayed when desired. I can also contact the presenter in most cases with follow up questions and go further into a subject.

  1. I can pick the topics to learn

If there is something you wish to learn about, be it industry specific or not, you can find a webinar covering just about any topic.

  1. I can do it at night

Convenience is a word that sums up the experience saving participants from traveling to a learning environment. Audiences are not limited by numbers or distance and people can attend a webinar event from just about anywhere in the World, at any time, without them or the host having to leave their office or even home.

  1. When I want to go further on the topic I can email or call the presenter

Webinars offer two-way interaction between the audience and presenters allowing for valuable structured question and answer sessions following presentations.

Ruskin® hosts a webinar series on the second Wednesday of every month offering learning on relevant HVAC topics. The next webinar on August 9th, 2017 will give attendees insight into the latest critical environment damper series, which offers products suited for corrosive prone, or sanitary based applications. The webinar will cover the product names and damper type, features and options that make them durable, and suitable applications. Register here:

The Benefits of Sunshades

As you can see by the pictures above, when a designer or architect uses Sunshades (or Brise-soleil as they say in Europe) as part of a building’s design it can dramatically improve the exterior aesthetics of that building.

In addition to making the building look great, designers know how to also reduce energy usage of HVAC cooling units by applying best practices for passive sunlight control to help reduce glare and solar heat gain through glazing. This all reduces cooling energy load, and saves on building energy usage, a facility manager’s dream! With additional natural lighting benefits, this ultimately contributes to our main objective today, creating energy efficient buildings.

Taking the energy savings into consideration sunshades are a great way to accumulate LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) points for a project through the USGBC (United States Green Building Council). Sunshades tick the boxes for optimizing energy performance, using recycled content, regional content, daylight, and views. Sunshades can also be made to conform with ASHRAE 189.1, section 8.4.1/8.5.1 where shading with louvers and sunshades is detailed.

There are many varieties of sunshades which can be mounted both horizontally and vertically, as well as paint finishes to compliment any building’s appearance.  The use of factory supplied assembled, painted or in-house anodized sections assure that the submitted design is adhered to and meets local code requirements.

To learn a more about sunshades click here.

Growth of Data Centers in North America

As US businesses expand, strategic location and storage must be considered over storage and interaction with their data. Today data centers are allowing businesses to relocate their data rather than having resource consuming servers on site. Gone are the days where companies had their systems in an over-sized closet on site with the air-conditioning running on maximum.

In turning to these cloud solutions the business will enjoy better data bandwidth, avoid regulation and compliance issues and save huge amounts of money on maintenance, running costs and even space. Data center running costs include the power consumption and maintenance of HVAC equipment. It is important to manage and keep outside air flowing efficiently and safely in and out of a data center environment to reduce energy loads. Hyper scaled cloud server facilities have made a complex science out of increasing data center efficiencies to bring down HVAC energy usage down as much as possible.

Next to the actual server systems used, cooling and air movement systems consume the most energy within the data center. Data centers are estimated at consuming at least as much as 1.8% of the USA’s electricity usage calculated at over 70 billion kilowatt-hours. Demands on these systems have increased substantially in recent years as server densities continue to rise.

Ruskin® has been out front and anticipating the trends to data center cooling and providing equipment to help solve customer challenges. Equipment that takes into consideration more economical cooling solutions as well as protection against the elements for data centers. In an independent study, the use of Airside Economizers reduced the energy use by as much as 13%!

In order to protect vital data center generators from overheating and causing a potential shut down, compromising critical information, a Ruskin CD50, CD60, and TED50 have all been used, which open quickly and allow for proper exhaust functionality.

In critical environments, the thermal-efficient TED50CE eliminates thermal transfer and the potential for condensation. The damper also meets the IECC, features the same non-corrosive bearings and shake-proof linkage as the CD50CE and includes twin seals to ensure no thermal path. Both of these dampers are low leakage, low maintenance, AMCA licensed to Class 1A and offer quieter performance to the data center facility manager.

Ruskin louvers and FEMA rated grilles, the HZ850, the EME720, and the XP500S also will protect your data center, as well as allow air flow in and out of the facility in areas that are prone to extreme weather conditions meeting AMCA 540 and AMCA 550 requirements.

The Benefits of a Corporate HQ in Kansas City MO

I think Kansas City is a secret! Described as America’s creative crossroads, with a population of around 2.3 million people, Kansas City is built on diversity, innovation, and accessibility.

Ruskin® was founded in the Ruskin Heights area of Kansas City in 1958 growing into the largest and most innovative manufacturer of air control solutions with production and office locations across the States and worldwide.

Home of Ruskin’s worldwide headquarters, Kansas City is logistically the ideal location for our headquarters coordinating manufacturing, support, product development and sales efforts. For our Regional Sales Manager’s supporting our Sales Representatives own offices across the United States it aids traveling with access for face to face meetings and technical support. Any location can be reached relatively quickly from this central hub. It also serves as an optimal location for basic and advanced training sessions to assist and build knowledge around our product offerings, applications, and standards.

On site at Grandview headquarters, there is a fully equipped state of the art AMCA accredited test laboratory, allowing Ruskin to test air control products at the center of their development, in turn, assisting speed to market.

The Benefits behind a Digital Catalog

The objective behind any catalog is information. To communicate information on product models, illustrate their features, specification and provide useful illustrative imagery. Representatives have always used catalogs to guide customers as to best-suited products for their needs. Speed provided by digital access is vital today getting product information to our customers to allow them to complete their task at hand.

As the Internet has evolved since the late 90’s, practically every company has moved over to housing their products within an ‘online’ digital catalog on their website. Using an online catalog also has great advantages over paper for the customer with search functionality and the ability to share. Also, online catalogs ultimately provide greater product visibility to end users, with 24/7 Worldwide access from any device.

Digital has no restriction in size and isn’t limited by the amount of pages. There are no logistics involved around distribution, as with traditional printed mediums.  Producing printed catalogs can involve production and printing costs in the tens of thousands of dollars. They can have large fixed costs for a small number of products. Along with this also comes storage and these can become can be outdated and wasted in a very short time period. Wasting catalogs means wasting paper and this isn’t very green. When printed catalogs run out it is increasingly difficult to share the information, however with digital sharing is endless. Mistakes in printing can be costly after a print run, but with digital errors, these can be instantly corrected. Digital also has the possibility of linking to other media, for example, installation videos or relevant codes and authority.

It is worth remembering that printed catalogs still function without batteries or Wi-Fi signal. Many people still find them extremely convenient, however, the days of us mailing mass quantities to everyone isn’t the case anymore. We still respect customer requirements and are happy to deliver a catalog in whatever form needed at their request.