Following an extensive, nearly yearlong full facility remodel, industrial furnace manufacturer AFC-Holcroft held a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony at its world headquarters in Wixom, Mich. A dedicated testing and development area specific for process control equipment was created, allowing a virtual environment where furnace process-control functions can be developed, simulated and tested prior to being deployed in the field. A main focus of the renovation, however, was to make the building more environmentally friendly, specifically with regard to heating and cooling. The walls of the entire production area were replaced with insulated wall panels, and numerous windows were added to provide more natural light. The roof system was renewed and insulated, and the overhead warehouse doors were modernized to contribute to the new high-efficiency ventilation/heating systems. These measures improve energy efficiency by around 35%.
Investments in IT infrastructure were also made. In the conference rooms throughout the building, new technology was added to support the latest in video conferencing and improve the security of IT infrastructures. In addition to improving the comfort and energy consumption in the manufacturing areas, the entire production floor and shipping/receiving area were analyzed for improved workflow. Two units of a state-of-the-art vertical storage system were ordered to free up additional manufacturing space while improving the storage and ergonomic retrieval of a variety of items.